If you look at most of the most successful Internet Marketers, the one thing they all have in common is how well respected they are within the forums in their particular niche.This is really evident in the biggest forum online today, the Warrior Forum where threads are often discussing who are the ‘biggest 5 names in Internet Marketing today’. This list changes depending on who starts the post, who writes within it and who is ‘flavour of the month’. This is the cutting edge Forum for all who want to learn about Internet Marketing, eBook products and home based businesses.Not everyone is a huge fan of Forum Marketing, but those that benefit from the business they have got from Forums cannot praise this enough as one of their top marketing strategies.I love Forum Marketing and when I started I looked around for teaching products but failed to find what I was looking for. Yes there were one or two products that told you to use Forum Marketing to promote your business, but didn’t explain how to do this without looking like a spammer or an annoying car salesman!It is sad to see so many people in the Forums thinking they are marketing their product because that is how their mentors told them to do it but they are simply wasting their time. Time is the one thing none of us have enough of so why not use it as productively as you can by using Forum Marketing the way it should be used.Some of the more new and timid marketers will see others being labelled with the Online Forums as spammers or just being told off and this could easily knock their confidence and make them write off Forum Marketing before they even really get started. My advice would be to become a great student; spend the first few weeks, about an hour each day just watching how others post, how they respond and get a feel for how it all works.When working within Internet Forums, you really need to master some basic strategies:The Importance of Forum MarketingBefore you start implementing this strategy in a concerted way, you need to understand the specific advantages and disadvantages (yes there are some) of Forum Marketing. You need to know how to work your time in the Forums effectively.What to Promote with Forum MarketingYou may already have a product or service you want to promote within the Online Forums, but if you don’t have that, then it is so easy to create your own product or service just by using Forums.The Best Forums for Your NicheYou cannot just go into Forums and start marketing because that will get you banned. You have to know which forums will be most productive for you. It is all about taking your time to find the right Forum that will give you the best return on your time.How to Create An Effective SignatureThe best and ‘non spammy’ way of effectively marketing in Online Forums is to have a keyword rich anchor text signature. Many people within the Forums have no signature or they have one that is really untidy and unprofessional looking. A Forum Signature is the little bit of text after your post that includes Anchor Text linking back to your website. You need to make your signature attractive, preferably by creating intrigue so people want to click on to see what it is all about. You want it to attract however rather than distract so not too loud and just a subtle call to action for your reader.How to Establish Yourself as an Expert in Your NicheIt is really important that others posting within the Forum see you as someone of authority, a so called subject matter expert and this does not happen by just visiting the Forums for 10 minutes each week. You have to earn this status by regular posting, giving value, helping others and always offering solutions. This is really important if you want people to buy from you. By working in these forums daily, you will ensure you always remain current with what is going on within your niche. I would suggest that you post on average 5-6 posts per day.SummaryForum Marketing is underused and most definitely undervalued as a business marketing strategy. Using Forums is a great way to promote your business provided you remember what your focus should be. You should answer questions and give advice, create an effective forum signature and make sure you are a regular visitor and contributor at all the forums within your niche.
Interaction within forums is a great vehicle to promote your website to other Internet Marketers and potential customers. Forums are essentially a virtual community that meets to discuss issues or share opinions that relate to their chosen market or business. Internet Marketers can use these forums when they are first starting out as a learning tool, but there are also other ways to optimize the forums to promote your website or chosen niche business. Three of these ways are listed below. . . .1. Create A Discussion Forum For Your Website.An excellent way to get people to engage the content on your site and to revisit it frequently is to create a forum. Many hosting services now allow you to do this with a plugin. From there, you can simply manage the site through the control panel, adding forums, managing sticky notes, and deleting posts as necessary.Of course, creating and managing a forum can be a tricky process. And it is important for you to understand that your forum will not be successful unless you dedicate a significant amount of time to the launch phase.Without dedicating this time to your site, it will be hard to get it to go from a ‘ghost’ forum, where no one posts to a forum, to one where there is lively activity and where it is mentioned on other sites.2. Populate Your Discussion Forum.Although it may seem like a lot of work, launching your discussion forum is only the start. It is a pre-requisite for one day having a populous forum, but is by no means sufficient for creating a good forum. In fact, most forums start and end as ‘ghost’ forums because their owners never take the time to populate them.If you want your forum to be successful, you will have to take the time to populate it with individuals who will engage in lively discussions; and who will perpetuate your forum by mentioning it elsewhere.There are several ways to do this, I’ve listed some below.i) Create threads on the forum about important topics in your niche. Since the new visitors will find that the forum is empty, they will be hesitant to post; however, if there is at least one other person posting threads, they may take the time to respond.ii) Pull forum members from other blogs and forums. Find places where other individuals already engage in active discussions; and solicit them for your forum indirectly. You can do this by including a signature with your forum and blog posts that link to your forum. Overall, remember that if you want to retain your forum members, you will have to keep them engaged. So, as you step up your promotion efforts, remember to simultaneously scale up your on-forum engagements efforts.3. Make Money From Your Discussion Forum.Once you have created a successful discussion forum, which has both ‘core’ members and lurkers, it is time to start figuring out how to reap a return on your investment. Personally, I would suggest that you adopt one or more of the following three strategies:i) Use a service like AdSense to place pay-per-click ads on your forum.ii) Use the forum to announce product launches and to promote sales.iii) Use the forum to promote your products through permanent threads.In addition to these three strategies, there are dozens of others; however, these are perhaps the best options to start with. Alternatively, you might consider using the forum to address customer service issues and questions about your products. This is a good way to increase customer engagement; and to encourage customers to buy new products.