An internet forum, also called a message board, is an online discussion site where people can interact with each other in the form of posted messages. Within a forum, the members can discuss about something, ask questions, look for help from others or help other members to solve their problems. There are hundreds of forums which deal with different topics. Some forums are general in nature whereas some are niche specific. Forums can be effectively used to drive traffic to your website or promote your product or service, provided you know how to do it.
For effective forum marketing, find out forums which are relevant to your business or niche. For example, if you are promoting a weight loss product but start promoting it in a car forum, you are not likely to get any prospects there. To find out forums in your niche, search in Google or other search engines. You may start by joining one forum but it will be more effective if you join three/four forums. Each forum has it’s own set of rules which must be complied with. Most forums do not allow direct promotion of any website, product or service. Any sort of blatant promotion can get you banned from the forum. However, in most of the forums, you can advertise your website or product through your signature at the end of each post. Again, some forums do not allow posting any affiliate link in the signature and you can only post the URL to your own website or blog there. You can also use important keywords in the signature line.
After you join a forum, go to your profile and edit it. Give a small description about yourself. Add the link to your website or blog and edit your signature line. Go to the main forum and read the posts. Introduce yourself and let other members welcome you back. Actively participate in the forum discussions. You can ask questions about anything you want to know. But the best thing is to help others to solve their problems. Give useful and practical advice to them. Avoid simple and useless one line posts. Make sure that your posts are valuable. Visit the forum consistently and make regular posts. It will help to build relationship with other members and they will visit your site by clicking on your signature. Another advantage of posting on forums is that, search engines often crawl popular forums and index the posts. In this way, your posts may get indexed in the search engines and bring you a lot of organic traffic.