How To Use Online Forums To Promote Your Website

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Forums can be a great tool for promoting your website’s link to a niche group of interested people.

However, most people do not do it right.

With a focus on promoting links, most webmasters simply spam forums and never contribute anything useful or worthwhile. Not only will this not get anyone to click, you will likely end up getting banned from the forum and your links will be removed.

Quality vs. Quantity

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Whenever you are logging into a forum, remind yourself of the magic mantra:

Give more; take less.

Remember to contribute more in value than you are getting from placing a link there. This builds a great deal of trust with the members of the forum, making them more likely to check out your site.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the member who appears the most selfless is the one who will get the most benefit. This is because you are giving a lot of value to other members, and you are giving a signal to the moderators of the forum that you are not there to spam.

Because of that, an occasional link to your website inside of a relevant discussion will not only be condoned, but you will also be thanked for providing such “valuable” information.

  • Read: Why I Joined Internet Marketing Forums And Why You Should Too

PM With Influentials

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Seek out those members who appear to be influencers in your niche. These are the members who can help you make a leap to the next level.

Make it a point to contribute to all discussions that they contribute to, PM them with your point of view and questions, and get to know the individual on a personal level.

After a few value-filled messages, you can request for a backlink or a review of your website. They’ll likely accept and be happy to help.

Flame Bait

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One of the most popular ways of inserting a link is within a forum signature.

Everyone knows that this can bring in traffic, but why aren’t a lot of people clicking? It is because we have not provoked them enough to get curious and check us out.

The best way to fix this is through flame baiting.

Here’s the technique: Every niche has its own controversial topics that can invoke heated discussions and passionate debaters. Periodically start a topic on one of these controversial topics and let the flame grow.

So many people debating back and forth will get curious onlookers to click on your link and check out your site.

5 Secrets to Promote Your Site Via Forum

1. Finding a good Forum

Not all forums are created equal.  Some are small highly targeted affairs while others are large forums with very broad topics.  Some forums are pro-business and welcome a little self-promotion (Warrior Forums is a good example) while other forums are communistic affairs that boot anyone who even breaths about their business online.

You will be making a serious commitment to any forum you plan to use for promotion, so shop like you would for a long term girlfriend/boyfriend.  Each forum develops a personality of its own so you and the forum better match up in style, interests, and approach to life.  If there is not a good match you will be frustrated and the promotion will fail.

Search “niche +forum” to identify possible candidates to join.

2. Make your profile shine

Choose an appropriate non-offensive but memorable user name and fill out your profile with some reasonable detail.  Do not include AIM and Yahoo profile links – only spammers do that.  Do include a link to your main website if there is a spot for it.  Look around at how much detail some of the forum thought leaders put in for a guide.

3. Use Your Signature

If the forum allows signatures definitely put an anchored link into your signature.  Be sure you understand the forum policies on signatures first though so you do not make enemies with the management.  If in doubt, ask first by private message.

4. Start and Respond to Topics

Regularly visit the forum, starting good topics and making intelligent comments.  Where it fits well into the conversation drop in the occasional anchored link to your blog, but make sure you are not offensive or off topic.

Don’t always link to your stuff, link to other interesting resources too.  Score big points by posting appropriate links to the blogs of the forum thought leaders and up and coming members.  Others might even reciprocate (but NEVER ask them too).

If you blog, occasionally you can write a killer post with a little controversy.  Post a summary and link to the forum as a new thread, asking others what they think.  Say something like “If I got this wrong please let me know“.  Participate in the resulting discussion, but not too much since your comments can end the discussion if everyone thinks you have your answer now.  This technique can be very effective to bring in traffic to your blog posts.

5. Be Engaging to Engage Others

Forget using a forum to promote yourself unless you are prepared to come to the forum regularly and contribute.  As a regular poster you will develop trust and make friends who will engage with you in your business, blog or websites.  As a rare poster you will be considered a lousy drive-by spammer worthy only of being banned.

Also read:

These are just a few ways to promote your website via forums. But these simple techniques are sure to get you valuable visitors.

Do you have any tips to share on promoting via forums? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Anand Srinivasan is the founder of KnewThis.com - a website for affiliate webmasters to earn unlimited backlinks to their site. Learn more about how it works by clicking here

51 thoughts on “How To Use Online Forums To Promote Your Website”

  1. Abhishek Tavasalkar

    This is truly a short but informational post. I don’t even remember how many times I’ve stumbled over this post and forgot to share what I thought… By the way a great deed Anand…

  2. Aabia Liz

    nice article but i have a confusion. Google said the forum links are not getting as much preference.
    so why we consider forums for link building. We should try any other techniques for link building.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      @Forum link building might not be as effective as other link-bulding methods, but it helps you in many ways.

      Obviously you are building links from relevant niche forum and that helps.
      You are driving traffic from forums which are more targeted.
      Being active on forum also helps you to establish yourself as a topic expert, and helps in branding.

      1. Aabia Liz

        Thanks for the reply Harsh. I will try to active on forums.

        1. SAS Clinical Programming

          @harsh, Please Can you suggest some sites that helps to increase website Rank?

  3. Azman Nabi

    Good article to consider for forum discussions.

  4. Nuno Isitemiz

    It’s not so easy to get good backlinks from the forums and takes so much time but they are indeed great sources. Thank you.

  5. Jason Franich

    Really informative and well written article. Using forums wasn’t anything I’ve thought of before. Does anyone know any good forums for professional painters?

  6. Mohit

    I am Really thankful to you for this nice tips. Well, i never used forum for promoting website, i think shall try atleast once by following your tips.

  7. vrunda

    thanx for information… till now i am only member of 2 forums and i am not active.. i should start it soon…. thanx for the post..

    regards,

  8. chandan

    If you say about build backlink from forum then digital point, v7 are some nice forum site where you can build lots of backlink.

  9. Nihar

    Nice post!.

    I must admit that i have never tried to promote my blog in forums. May be i should do that.

  10. Anand Srinivasan

    Thanks Basant, Chethan, India365 and Michael for commenting. Glad that you guys liked the post…

    1. SAS Clinical Programming

      @Anand,
      How to increase Backlink? Can you please list out some way??

  11. Michael Aulia

    And by commenting in the right forums, you might get new subscribers if your blog is on the same niche as the forums’

  12. India 365

    100 marks to anand I should say!!
    Awesome article mate!!
    I guess, I should take a hard look at my New Forums site and see if I’m adding value to all the users. It is too new just 3 days old, and it would be great if I can manage to make significant changes to the forums so that, real people with blood and bones visit my forums to participate, rather than spiders and spam robots.

  13. Chethan

    Wow! These Tips are Very Helpful.. I have never done promotion through forums! let me do now!

  14. Basant

    One more excellent post! Many take aways.
    I am a new blogger & learning the tricks of the trade from established bloggers like you.

  15. Surender Sharma

    Hi Harsh,
    Really impressive article by Anand.
    Forums can drive extra traffic to the blog but if signature panel is blank then nothing.Even some forums comes with great feature like blogger can publish the recent post url from the RSS feed.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Thats true Surender. A good forum give all the benefit to the poster to promote their blog and services, though very few people know how to make most out of it.

    2. Anand Srinivasan

      I have observed this eespecially of DigitalPoint. Helps me with decent traffic..Thanks for the comment, Surendar..

  16. Sanjeev Mishra

    Very useful information for blog promotion thru involvement in forums. forums are really great place for branding as you can simply achieve there by helping others with relevant answers. Thanks Harsh for this tips post.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Thanks for your comment Snajeev, just a little input this is a guest post by Anand.. So credit goes to him for this useful article. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Anand Srinivasan

        Thanks Harsh ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Glad that you liked the post, Sanjeev.

  17. Gabe | freebloghelp.com

    Some great tips there on forum promotion. The same could be applied for comments. I must say that the people who regularly comment do add excellent insight. But the people who pop in every once in a while typically would only add a quick statement like “Good article. A+!”

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Such people are usually spammers who wants to increase their post count and signature visibility, though some of the active community forum like DP and problogger have strict rule for such forums.

  18. Avi Singh

    I like your points .
    What you have to do is building up a name for yourself as an expert in your field by helping other people with their problems and if you really care about your Target market, you have to win their trust, that means targeted visitors who believe you.

    1. Anand Srinivasan

      True Avi..The problem I see in most newbie bloggers is that they are looking for results quick and they can’t hold too long before promoting their websites, which is seen by others (and actually is) spam. It’s both eviction from the forum as well as bad reputation…

  19. QWERTYWEB

    forum is indeed a much better way to connect readers and bloggers than commenting on website coz in comments offbeat ideas are not very well seen , while in forums , they result in a new thread , but forum in blog is very rare , but good idea !

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Thats very true and even Google is promoting and encouraging forums. regarding blog and forum integration, its kinds tough to manage both at the same time, I have been thinking of integrating shoutmeloud with a forum but due to lack of time it is still under my to-do list.

  20. Webmaster Forum UK

    Nice post, however, your forum profile is tThe first thing you should do when joining a forum is fill out the forum member profile completely including your interests, your business information, and your website address where if allowed.

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      Thats True, because it adds more value to your profile and at least that profile will come out of the league of spammer. Thanks for your insight and welcome to shoutmeloud.

    2. Anand Srinivasan

      Very true..If you can get people interested and curious, this is the place they are going to visit, and they may find our website from here..

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