Forums are one of the best way to get traffic and decent backlinks to your website provided it is used in the right way. Forum participation is considered as an integral part of any online marketing activity and forums can drive some good and quality traffic to a website. Most of SEOs and other online marketing professionals starts off with forum participation and somehow they manage to drift away from this in the course of time. In the end they label forum participation as a useless thing and a complete waste of time.
Forum participation can be useless if you do not execute it in the right way. You cannot achieve anything from forum participation overnight as it needs to be carried out on a regular basis. There are many things to take care if you want to taste success with forum marketing and here are some of the basic things that I would suggest if you are going to try forum marketing.
1) Select and Register in Related Forums of Good Quality
Always search and find out the most relevant forum for your website and also make sure that the selected forum is related to the services offered in your website. There is not point in joining and trying to promote your website in a forum that has no relation with your website services.
2) Start Participation
Once you have joined the forums, start participating in the forum by just introducing yourself and your business, responding to the questions asked in the forums and by other means.
3) Never be aggressive
Most of us have a conception that the forums are the best way to generate traffic and keeping this in mind, some of us try to over participate in the forums by throwing away links at time when it is less needed. Some also tries to spam the forums by pasting his website link all over and in the end getting banned from the forum.
4) Put Signature Links
Most of the forums provide options to put links as signature and this should be taken advantage of, as these links can serve as a good traffic referring point. Certain forums makes the availability of signature links only to those users who have a certain amount of points or grading in that forums. So make sure that you put an optimized signature link in the forum.
5) Provide Informative and Useful Answer
Forums contain a huge number of genuine questions from people who are really in search for a good answer. So while answering questions in the forums, make sure that they are informative, accurate and to the point. The answers that you provide must make you a reliable source of point for other members in the forums.
6) Post Genuine Questions
While posting questions post genuine and worthy questions, rather than giving out silly ones. If you are giving genuine questions, you would be getting good answers and on the other hand if you start posting silly questions other members would ignore you and may result in a bad user reputation.
7) Develop a Good Network of Forum Friends
Always try to make a good rapport with the other members of the forums and add good friends into your network. This would help you in the long run and you can always take advantage of a good friend network in a particular forum.
8) Maintain Regular Participation
Never register in a site and sit idle after making a couple of posts, as this would not fetch you any advantages from forum marketing. The participation should be regular rather than doing it once in a while. If you participate on a regular basis your points and reputation along with your signature links would gain more advantage. If your participation is low, then your profile and link weightage would go down.
9) Follow all the Threads You Participate
While participating in a thread, it is better to turn on the option to follow that thread so that any answers made above your post would be notified via your email and you can reply to that thread if it is worthy for it.
10) Try to Earn Reputation in the Forum
If you are a reputed forum posted, then you would be considered as a reliable source of point and it would make your website promotional activities much more easier. In order to earn reputation in a forum, you must have a regular and quality participation in that forum.