Forum marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your online business and to drive traffic to your website. It is a great way to network with other home business owners. Through forums, you can establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
The first step in forum marketing involves finding suitable forums which are relevant to the niche of your website. So, if your niche is ‘Dental Health’, you need not go to a ‘Music’ forum as you are not likely to get any prospects there. You have to be part of a forum or forums which are relevant to your niche, participate in the discussions and make useful and informative comments.
You can find the related forums by searching in Google or Yahoo. After you find a suitable forum, go through the postings to see how the members are participating in the discussions. Go through the rules and TOS to see whether you are allowed to advertise your business, either through a link in your signature or in a separate thread. Some forums do not allow any sort of affiliate links in your signatures, whereas others may allow only a link to your personal website or blog. In some forums, there is a separate section where you can advertise your business. Most of the forums do not allow direct advertising. Blatant advertising may get you banned. So, before signing up with a forum, it is necessary to go through the rules of that forum.
After finding a forum, you have to sign up using an username and password. The next step is to edit your profile. In your profile, include a short description about yourself, links to your websites and blogs and your forum signature. The forum signature is the most important marketing tool that you can use to drive traffic to your sites and to gain back links.
Now you can go to the main sections of the forum and start posting. You can ask questions, make comments or give useful advice to other members. The best way is to answer questions and give useful advice to other members, which helps to build your reputation. The better your answers, the more clicks you are likely to get.
One disadvantage of forum marketing is that it takes time to build your reputation within the forum. You can not expect to receive instant traffic. But once the traffic starts to come, it will be regular and long term.