Why You Should Use (Not Abuse) Forums to Increase Your Traffic

There are dozens of reasons why you should look up the forums that are related to your market and post to them often. Here are 3 to get you started.

1- Get to Know Your Market as both an Associate and An Expert

The research alone is a good enough reason to at least sign up to some forums and read. Just by reading posts in forums, you can hear what your market concerns are, straight from consumers. You'll be able to find what their pains are - look particularly for frequent questions that don't appear to have solutions.

For example, if you sell timeshares, and you join travel communities, you may often hear questions asking for the best times of year to visit a certain region or locale. With this information you could start a section at your site for every listing that tells the cheapest time to travel for that area, the best time of year for good weather, and other special bits of information a traveler might want.

When you're comfortable enough to begin posting, after watching the conversation for a few days, or perhaps even a week, you might find that new people have questions that you can help them with. By consistently becoming the go-to person, you increase your credibility as a knowledgeable expert, and people begin to trust your ability to provide information.

2- Increase Your Site's Visibility With More Targeted Links Back to Your Site

Many forums are run by hobbyists who aren't so much concerned with marking money from their visitors, as having an established community for discourse on certain issues. These forums will often allow you to leave a link to your site in every post. The ones that are open to public viewing for visitors are also frequently spidered by search engines.

If you set up your link correctly, you'll then have topical links back to your own forum. Even if the search engine spiders can't see these links at forums that can be viewed by registered users only, you will also find that once you become a part of the community, other members will click your link out of curiosity or because they're looking for something specific that you may have at your site.

Even forums that exist to gain more sales of their own products often allow you to post your link, especially if it isn't to a competing site. For example, internet marketing forums run by people who sell do-it-yourself SEO products may allow infopreneurs who sell a different type of product, such as an autoresponder service, to post their link freely.

The focus here, at all times, is to help other members, not just to promote your product. Your link is in your signature, so unless someone asks you a specific question, you get far better results from being helpful than you do by posting forum spam that gets deleted anyway.

3- Lurk, Listen and Learn

If you've been around forums at all, you already know that there are often 8 to ten times more people registered and not posting than there are people who actually visit and participate.

Reading without ever posting is commonly known as "lurking". I usually suggest that at least for the first week, you should monitor the community you wish to join in this way, just reading posts, and learning the personality of the forum you'd like to post in - this keeps you from committing any faux pas that might have you corrected by another member, or even worse, banned.

Sometimes you'll find a forum that is appropriate to read, but doesn't seem like the right place for commercial posting. Or you might find that you're there to learn and not to teach - or maybe you just don't have the time to post as you'd like to. You can still learn a lot by being a lurker.

When lurking in forums, your primary job is to listen (figuratively speaking) and learn. Again, pay attention to questions that come up repeatedly over the course of a month or so. Be on the look out for rumored product or technology developments. Find out who is the resident expert - maybe this is the key person for an interview you want to do, or an affiliate program you can join.

The most important thing you can learn from this exercise is what annoyances your market is experiencing. If you sell cat furniture, and you find out that a common complaint is availability in remote markets, maybe you can change your shipping policy to add international ordering and increase the scope of your business.

Anywhere you can fit a solution to a problem can bring you the sales you need. You may find out that you need to change your product, to enhance it, or perhaps to take out features your prospects just aren't interested in.

This is a good solution when you have the time to visit forums and post or read. As you become more busy, you'll find yourself at the forums less and less as a poster, so this isn't necessarily a permanent solution. However, if you follow these steps correctly, you'll soon have the traffic to foster more community relations at your own site as well.

Copyright 2005 Tinu AbayomiPaul

Tinu is a website promotion specialist who posts free information on a variety of traffic tips in her blog at http://www.freetraffictip.com.

In The News:


Council candidates to face off in series of public forums
Stockton Record
STOCKTON — Voters will have the chance at two separate public forums over the next eight days to hear from the candidates for the three City Council races that will be decided Nov. 4. The formats for the forums will be markedly different. At Thursday ...


LaPESC to host school board candidate forums this week
The Daily Advertiser
The forums will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the LITE Center, 537 Cajundome Blvd. The Tuesday forum will feature candidates from Districts 1, 2 and 3. Candidates "Coach Don" Gagnard, Mary Morrison, Tommy Angelle, James Chavis, ...
Board election forums setBayoubuzz

all 3 news articles »

Livingston Daily

Election forums begin tonight with state Senate candidates
Livingston Daily
Voters will have an opportunity to hear the views of candidates for Congress, Legislature and judicial races in Livingston County in three forums in advance of the Nov. 4 general election. But there has been a change in the lineups for the forums. The ...


Eater Forums: A New Place to Share Your Tips, Recommendations, Gossip, and ...
Eater
Along with today's major design overhaul, Team Eater is thrilled to announce the launch of our first-ever discussion forums. All of the Eater cities now have corresponding rooms where readers can discuss recent meals, trade tips, share photos, debate ...

and more »

Large candidate pool prompts Hampden to split council, school board forums
Bangor Daily News
HAMPDEN, Maine — With 15 people vying for seats in local elections on Nov. 4, town officials have decided to hold separate “meet the candidates” forums for Town Council and Regional School Unit 22 board of directors hopefuls. This year, there are ...

and more »

New Greenville police chief schedules community forums
Greenville News
The Greenville Police Department will host a series of community forums in locations throughout the city to provide citizens with an opportunity to meet Chief Ken Miller and to share their perspectives and ideas regarding public safety and police services.

and more »

Candidate forums announced
The Herald-News
An Oct. 4 candidates forum sponsored by Unity Community Development Corp., Second Chances Expungement and the Black Bar Association of Will County, will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Unity CDC office, 1 Doris Ave., Joliet. It is open to the public.


Nude celebrity photo leak: More images posted to online forums
CBC.ca
More nude photographs of celebrities were leaked online Saturday in what appears to be the second release of material from a hacker who posted intimate images of dozens of celebrities on an internet forum earlier this month. Apple admits some stars' ...

and more »

Candidate forums kick off busy campaign week
St. George Daily Spectrum
GEORGE – A series of candidate forums scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at Dixie State University kick off a busy campaign week as contenders for state and local office hit the stretch run before the Nov. 4 election. The forums, organized to give voters ...

and more »

Preview: Candidates will face each other in series of forums
Stockton Record
At 6 p.m. on Oct. 1, the League of Women Voters of San Joaquin County will host council candidate forums in council chambers at City Hall, 425 N. El Dorado Street. Those forums will feature head-to-head appearances of candidates with their opponents.

and more »
Google News

Whats The Deal With Discussion Lists? (Part Three)

Why Do People Start Writing Discussion Lists? Angela Gillaspie, who... Read More

Seven Must Follow Rules While Participating In Message Boards

Participating in message boards (forums) discussions is a great way... Read More

3 Reasons Why PHP Message Boards Rock

If you are web designer, chances are you include forums... Read More

Marketing Via Messageboards & E-mail Discussion Lists - An Alternative View

One of the most suggested means of getting traffic to... Read More

Promoting in Online Forums

Forums can be a useful tool if you`re doing business... Read More

5 Reasons You Should Market Online

If you've got a website you'll need to let the... Read More

Whats The Deal With Discussion Lists for Writers? (Part Two)

What Are the Advantages and/or Drawbacks of Subscribing to Discussion... Read More

Dont Over Accesorize Your Forums; Give it Community Content

Have you been to those forums where when it opens... Read More

Using Forums To Network Successfully

According to one of the entries found at dictionary.com the... Read More

Milton Keynes - A City For The Future?

The two main features of Milton Keynes which distinguish it... Read More

Some Quick Tips to Easily Improve the Success of Your Forum!

It is difficult to define a 'successful forum'. However, all... Read More

Get Traffic & Sales Using Discussion Forums

Message boards, discussion forums and newsgroups can all produce very... Read More

Forums: What They Are And WHY Theyre Essential For Anyone Considering Starting An Online Business

Well... first off, let's define exactly what a Forum is... Read More

The Demise of EZBoard

For years, EZBoard was a community that offered relatively cheap... Read More

8 Tips for Starting and Maintaining a Successful Online Forum

Nothing promotes a business online better than staying in touch... Read More

Using Online Marketing Forums to Jumpstart Your Home Business

One of the most wonderful things that I have discovered... Read More

How to Sell Your Product on the Forums?

1. Your signature file:Most of the forums allow you to... Read More

Make Money From Forums

If you have a website about a topic you enjoy,... Read More

5 Reasons Why Participating in Forums can Benefit Your Business

Did you know that by simply participating in various forums... Read More

Internet Forums - Six Ways To Avoid Disaster

Internet Forums are highly popular, they cater for all tastes... Read More

The Importance of Forum Participation in Promoting an Internet Business

Many internet business owners are really lost when doing anything... Read More

Forums - Why You Might Want One And How To Get One...

Several people have asked me about setting up a forum... Read More

6 Forum Management Essentials

If you are tasked with managing a forum, congratulations to... Read More

The Benefits of Hiring Forum Posters

There are many business benefits to be realized by including... Read More

Chat Forums and Blogs: The Unofficial Internet Posting Rules

Have you been hanging around in internet forums and/or making... Read More