Whether you are an internet marketer or just a webmaster, it is a great idea to use forums to promote your website. Forums are powerful in many ways, and usually completely free. Think about it – a forum allows you to have links to your site in hundreds of posts – posts which drive traffic directly, give a little bit of “link juice”, and get ranked in the search engines, driving even more traffic to your URL. If you are still unsure, check out the points below:
Forums don’t just drive traffic – they drive high-quality, targeted, interested traffic. You can get traffic easily, but getting interested traffic is an entirely different matter. Forums are filled with people who love what they are talking about. If the forum is about horses, every individual there loves horses, at least enough to search for them on Google, and participate often in a forum. So if you have a site about horses, a site selling horse supplies, etc, chances are it will do very well on the forum.
This should be obvious – forums are almost always free. Nowhere else could you gain exposure to hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people without spending a dime. Forums are easy to use, free, and provide a great source of traffic.
This one is important. What other promotional methods are actually FUN? For most people; none. Promoting a website is rarely fun, so when it is, that should be a sign to stick to whatever you are doing. Forums are, in my opinion, very fun – especially if you are interested in the topic. To me posting on a forum is relaxing, and it seems more like a break than work to me.
If you have a site on a subject that you are interested in (you should of course) then just join a forum related to the site, and start posting. In my experience I have found that I don’t consider it work, and therefore I do it much more. I post all throughout the day, and I justify it by examining the large amounts of traffic I get from it daily. Some may say forum posting is a waste of time, but I disagree. I get upwards of 20 unique visitors per day to one of my sites, coming from a forum I post maybe 1 or 2 posts daily. It is also nice because it builds on itself, so while I have 20 uv’s/day today, I may have 21 tomorrow, 22/day next week, etc.
These days, there truly is a forum for everything. Almost every niche has at least one forum supporting it, so no matter what type of site you run; chances are you can find a related forum. Also, since smaller niches have only a few forums, if not just one, almost every interested individual gathers at that one forum, so your audience is large and highly targeted.
Forums are very much a place of respect. Users who have been on the forum for a long time, and/or have lots of posts are very respected and looked up to. If you are a senior member, newbies will look up to you, and trust whatever you put in your signature. For example if your site is based on affiliate marketing and you join a forum about affiliate marketing, and you are a senior member, every new member there will view your signature with trust. If you are trusted, there is a much larger chance of making a sale, getting a lead, etc. So, forums reward active posters in that way.
After several of my own experiments, as well as looking at other people’s results, I can safely say that most forum users are information seekers, and they like to be fully engaged in whatever they are doing. What does that mean to you? It means that the traffic coming to your site from a forum is much more valuable than any other traffic. That means more conversions, lower bounce rates, and overall better traffic. Forum traffic is great for any type of website, but especially for blogs. Blogs are somewhat interactive (comments) and therefore they are more interesting to forum users.