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How To Use Forums To Promote Your Website

Aug 17, 2007
Forums are a tried and tested way of getting free traffic to your website. By posting on forums that allow sig files (those messages that appear below each post) you can indirectly advertise your website or affiliate program every time you post a comment. It sounds pretty straight forward, but a lot of people are still failing to make best use of this method of promotion. In this article I discuss exactly what to do and what not to do when posting on forums.

The first thing you should do is to find the most popular forums in your particular niche. Start by doing a search on your favoured search engines for relevant forums, and then read a few posts and see if they allow sig files. If they do, jot down the url of each forum, until you have a nice list of suitable forums. Then I recommend going to alexa.com and typing each forum's website address into the traffic ranking box and seeing how much traffic each forum gets. Ideally you want as low a number as possible for it's ranking, and as a rule I generally tend to favour forums that have a ranking of 50,000 or lower. This ensures you don't waste your time posting on forums that hardly anyone is visiting.

Once you have your list of forums you can start registering for them and creating your own sig files. This is where SEO becomes a factor, because not only should you create links that contain your main keywords that you want to rank highly for, but you should also vary them slightly so the search engines don't think that you are simply buying links, because they all use the same anchor text.

Now you can begin posting some messages. Your ultimate objective of posting on forums is to get people to click on your sig file and visit your site, however there is a right way and a wrong way of doing this.

The wrong way is by spamming forums and posting endless worthless comments that don't add anything to the topics being discussed. The end result of all this is that other readers of the forum will soon suss you out and regard you as a forum spammer and so will have no interest in clicking on your sig files and visiting your site.

The right way to get the most people you can to click on your sig file, without spamming forums, is to brand yourself as an expert in your particular niche. By bearing this in mind when posting each individual message you will start to become respected and people will naturally want to find out more about you and your website. How will they find out this information? Through your sig file of course.

There's a few other things you can do to maximise your click-thrus from sig files.

Firstly, if you are posting on forums for any length of time, you should change the wording of your sig file every so often. People get bored with seeing the same sig file over and over again, and tend to gloss over it after a while, so it's important to spice it up every so often (while keeping it keyword rich of course).

Secondly, on every forum you will generally find one or more epic threads, ie those threads that have simply taken off, with several pages of posts, each of which has been viewed hundreds, if not thousands of times. These are the kinds of threads that you should try and post a comment or two on for maximum exposure.

In addition you should also try and start your own epic threads. By being the first person to post on one of these threads your sig file could be seen thousands of times by other readers of the forum. The best ways of doing this are by either starting controversial topics that people will be begging to add their own opinions to, or by starting an open-ended discussion that could lead to many additional topics being discussed, all on the same thread. Either way your initial post containing your sig file could potentially get exposed to thousands of readers.

If you follow the basic guidelines outlined in this article you should create a steady stream of traffic to your website just from forums alone. Combine this promotional method with any of the other numerous traffic-generating methods, and you will soon have a high traffic website on your hands.
About the Author
James Woolley is a full-time marketer who runs a website and newsletter dedicated to helping people make money online through internet marketing.
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