The idea of joining and posting in a online discussion forum may make you a bit nervous if you’re new to Internet marketing. Because you’re still new in the Internet marketing business you may feel as though you don’t know enough and that people will think you’re stupid. But everyone who’s in Internet marketing had to start somewhere, and the quickest, easiest way to get answers to what you need to know is by asking someone.
Just understand that forums have a certain etiquette to follow, whether they’re about Internet marketing or about your niche. So, before starting to post, find the forum’s guidelines and rules and regulations and read through them. Most online forums are fairly civilized, if they have moderators, but there may still be places you want to avoid.
In order to post, you’ll need to register for the forum, but you can read as much as you like from it without registering. Do this first. Read through some posts, get to know what people are talking about, and pick out the regulars–people who go to the forum and post every day. And if you have a specific question that you’re interested in getting an answer to, search for the topic to see if it has been brought up before. People don’t like to rehash old topics again and again, and you’ll be able to find the information you’re looking for readily available. No need to wait.
But when you’re ready, dive in! Register and then, find the thread (a post and its responses) that says “Introductions,” and tell the people a little about yourself and your business. You’ll get some welcome messages and then, begin posting. Don’t make your posts very long and be sure that they’re clear before pressing the “submit” button. Start something new or reply to old posts. The latter may be the best route, until the folks in the forum get to know you.
Here’s where list building comes in: In your signature file. You can customize this when setting up your profile. Use anchor text (a phrase containing your keyword, which is hyperlinked), and notice the style of code. It’s not quite HTML, though it’s similar. For instance, you won’t need quotation marks around the URL. Your anchor text link in most bulletin-board style forums will look like this: [url=http://yoursite.com]Article Writing Service[/url].
When you’re finished adding your signature, post something to see how it looks. If it’s not right, no worries. You can go back in and change your signature file any time and it will change in every post you’ve ever made. Just be sure to link to your squeeze page. That way, you’ll be list building and getting a one-way link back to your website, which is a plus for search engine optimization.
Internet marketing businesses have been very successful at using forums for a long time. It’s a great way to get the word out for our products and services. Just don’t make the mistake of writing a “selling” post. Most forums frown on that. Let your signature do your talking or mention your business casually and you’ll get some great traffic.
Find forums in your niche by typing “forum +niche” into one of the search engines. Then, venture into the forums, and see which ones fits your personality best. The only mistake you can make that will really hurt you is by becoming “addicted” to posting. Then, you’ll never get anything else done. Visit first thing in the morning or when you’ve finished working in the evening. But if you’re into Internet marketing, don’t overlook online discussion forums. They can be a great way to be list building, and to be driving traffic to your website for a long time to come.