Forum Marketing Tips That Boost Your Business

Forum Marketing Tips That Boost Your Business forum marketing tips

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional forum marketer. The follows is what I’ve found to work for me and what I’ve seen work for others.

Can’t guarantee your mileage.

So…

There is no doubt that forums can drive traffic to your website.

No big secret there.

But SO many people do it wrong.

Now, I am not that naive that I don’t know some people (many it “seems”) only post on forums to get a link back or only to “try” and drive traffic. I know many folks are not there to even try to contribute in a meaningful way. Only getting what they want.

Always going to be those who abuse.

But… let’s get back to the positive.

For those who want to brand themselves, build a reputation and actually build a business or an income, let’s talk about it.

For those who only want to use and abuse forums, stop reading now. I don’t want to waste my breath or your time.

Seriously, stop reading now if this doesn’t pertain to you.

Sure you want to continue?

Is that your finally answer?

I want to talk to the folks who are trying to build a serious business that lasts. That stands the test of time.

You know who you are.

One other thing, I know there are folks who might even say or think forum marketing is too time consuming to bother with. While I agree it can be a time suck (if you let it), there are a few important reasons it can be worth your effort.

Okay, since you asked…

Benefits of Forum Marketing:

Another traffic channel – Not every blog commenter hangs out on a forum and not every forum member comments on blog. Yep, another way to get new customers or clients.

New Connections – I don’t know about you, but one of the best things I’ve found with blog commenting, is the people I’ve met and the new connections I’ve made. Priceless. Same holds true for forums. It can be a great way to network. You never know who you might make friends with.

Branding – Here’s something I believe SO many people don’t give enough thought. We should always be branding our selves or our business. Now, I am not talking about constant promotion, that’s quite different. I am talking more about building your reputation.

Stand Out – What makes forums a little “better” for branding is the fact that you can stand out a little more. Let’s be honest… your comment on a blog could and often does, get lost among the sea of replies. While a forum post usually gets more attention. Why? How? Most forum posts do not get 100’s of replies. There are some, and it depends on the forum, but they are far and few between.

Now that we’ve covered the benefits, time to get to the tactics.

The Center Of Attention

One of the best aspects of a forum is that YOU can start your own posts. This is the REAL power. This is when you start to actually get seen as, or at the least be perceived as someone who knows something.

This is where you start to build your reputation.

The good stuff.

Now, I know putting up your own forum posts can be intimidating. Starting a post on some forums can be downright scary. But if you really want to be “someone”, you need to do this.

Seriously.

And you can do it. I know you can.

If you’re a little skiddish about putting yourself out there, here’s a couple idea’s that might help…

• Get some feedback BEFORE posting. Ask an online friend, heck even a family member, to read your post before you post it.

• Start with smaller forums, they can be less intimidating and could help to build up your confidence.

On to the next one…

Be A Real Person

Funny how people use their real name on places like facebook and other social platforms, but when it comes to forums, they often have all these strange names.

Again, the strange named might not be concerned with branding.

No problem.

But if you want to brand yourself, it’s only common sense to use your REAL name.

Who’s going to remember Krl422?

Or some other weird, hard to pronounce or hard to spell member name.

Make it easy for people to remember you and they will mention you more often. That’s when you become more.

Be a REAL part of the community

Dang this should be so common sense, but unfortunately it’s not.

Now, this one can be quite powerful if you do forum marketing correctly. It’s something I don’t think many give a thought.

It’s networking. It’s making connections. It’s making buddies.

When you make yourself a part of the community, you get to know the regulars and some of those regulars can become not only friends, but those connections could lead into big things.

And it’s so easy.

Simple engage with others on the forum.

Mention other members by name.

Here’s how to make it even easier… treat it like real life interactions.

When we talk to people face to face, do we go on and on about ourselves? Not if we want to make or keep our friends.

In real life, do we speak with others as if we did not even hear what they said? Of course not.

We know how it works in the flesh, but for whatever reason, when it comes to online, far too many don’t seem to care much about others. They speak as if they are the only one in the room.

Don’t get me wrong, most every forum has a core group that do make themselves a part of the community. They get it.

Now let’s talk about…

Use Your Real Picture

Most people don’t like pictures of themselves. Well, unless you’re a Kardashian.

But, if you want to build a real reputation, along with your real name, your real picture is another part of the equation.

And, please, if you’re serious about this, DON’T use a picture of a celebrity. Or a cartoon character.

Be REAL.

While we are on the subject…

No Hot Girls Allowed

It’s an age old tactic, but some “marketers” still think they will gain in some way if their profile picture is some scantily clad hot girl. It might get them some hits or attention, but rarely do those kind of members last. I doubt it even get’s them the kind of attention they want. Though, I guess it depends on what they are selling.

But, who is even going to take that kind of member seriously?

It’s not a good long term strategy.

And frankly it can be a little creepy if you ask me.

Not to mention, it’s not exactly professional.

If that matters.

It’s already been said

Sure I am not the only one that gets annoyed when people say the exact same thing that someone else has already said.

It’s like really? Didn’t someone already say that? Didn’t I just say that?

If you’re going to repeat what’s already been posted, at the very least acknowledge the person(s) that’s already said it. And add something extra or something or value. Otherwise, what’s the sense of replying? You’ll just look like a fool.

Plus, this all goes back to building relationships with other members. Acknowledging what another member has said gives you’re the opportunity to connect with them.

Thank You Goes A Long Way

If you ask a question on a forum, or ask for a review of your website, or anything else you might want to know, make sure to thank those who have given a good response. They’ve taken their time to help you; they at least deserve some appreciation.

Not only is it the proper way to show your appreciation, but it can be a step to forging relationships with others on the forum.

The End…

Obviously this was not meant to be a complete guide on proper and successful forum marketing, but I hope it’s been helpful.

Do you have anything to add?

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I’d love to hear what you have to say, so please leave a comment below. Don’t be shy now.

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You can also download this post as a PDF here:  Forum-Marketing-Tips-That-Boost-Your-Business

  • Sherman Smith

    Hey Ron,

    I never used forum marketing but it’s the same etiquette that you would use in social media groups or blogs. When it comes down to it it’s all about becoming a person of value and empathy. When people see and feel this no matter what site you’re on then you’ll start to grow a loyal following.

    Great post on forum marketing Ron! Have a great up and coming weekend!

    • Good to see you Sherman.

      Well, you get it, you know how it works. You are a good example of some one who really interacts with people. Seriously. I don’t know how you find the time to be everywhere, but you do it and you do it well.

      Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked it.

      Sure we will talk soon. 🙂

      Hope you have a great weekend yourself!

  • Hey Ron Great post. I have always loved forum marketing to get traffic and create engagement. It is a give and take situation.You provide quality help or advice and in return you may get traffic to your site.
    After all Matt Woodward, used forum marketing exclusively for his first year to get visitors and list subscribers for his blog. My two favorite traffic sources to use is article marketing and forum marketing. TOday social media and forum marketing is my favorite way to drive traffic and get engagement.

    • Hey William.

      Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the post. Don’t know Matt, but there sure are plenty of people who have used forums to drive traffic. It’s worked for me. Like you said, for lists or a blog. Or even straight up selling.

      Article marketing just doesn’t have the power it use to, course that is just my opinion. That and those sites don’t get the SE traffic like they use to. But it still can a traffic source. And a place to brand, right?

      I agree, social media is where the people hang out these days. And like you said, it can be a prime place to engage.

      Appreciate the comment 🙂

  • Hey Ron, I’ve not really engaged in many forums, but I have used Facebook Groups. The same ideas above apply equally as well there. I’ve been able to help a few people out with answers to problems, and I’ve also been able to point people to relevant articles that I’ve written.
    (And I’ve used my real picture!)

    Good solid advice here Ron!
    Thanks
    – David

    PS – nice feature image…you been busy in photoshop or hiring on Fiverr?

    • Hey Mr David. Good to see you.

      Facebook groups is a good example. Same idea. And another traffic source. And probably a good place for traffic, being there are limited forums. Maybe you need to do a post on that subject? 🙂

      And the groups worked for you, to push traffic huh? I don’t spend much time on Facebook, I am probably missing out. Only so many hours, right?

      Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the comment! Talk to you soon.

      P.S. You like my Mad Photoshop skills huh? Fiverr? Phffpt! Just sized a pic I bought from Fotolia and added some text. That’s my awesome PS skills. Easy Peasy.

  • Mark Newsome

    Excellent real world advice as usual Ron!

    Honestly though, Krl422? Sounds like an aspiring hip hop artist moniker!LOL!

    But your point is well taken, about being for real and trying to be helpful,
    not just another promoter!

    Sounds like successful forum marketing 101!LOL!Which apparently, is a class,far too
    many, aspiring young marketers have skipped!LOL! Great job!Thanks!

    • That was my DJ name back in my mobster hip hop days. Didn’t think any one would catch it. Back before I had belts for my pants.

      Good to see you Mark.

      It’s funny, there are SO many people that are proving that being “real” can and does work. Yourself included. Guess to each their own, huh?

      Don’t know about skipped, seems too many think they need to pimp their stuff instead of being a part of the community. Or they know something I don’t.

      Thank you for your kind words, it is appreciate.

      Don’t be a stranger 🙂

      On Side note, you need to fix your Disqus profile, you don’t have a link to your blog. Was going to visit, but don’t remember it off hand. Just a thought 🙂

  • Mark Newsome

    You a hip hopper! Man, I would have never guessed!

    So you no longer use your auditory skills and now you mesmerize with
    your affiliate marketing prowess!LOL!

    From DJ to to CEO! That’s definitely a nice change!LOL!

    And your new role suits you well my friend!

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