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Does Forum Marketing Mix with Affiliate Marketing?

Aug 10, 2008
Marketing your business on forums is a common piece of advice. A good forum can provide access to a number of people who are interested in the products you're trying to sell.

So why does it fail so miserably for so many people?

1. Trying too hard to sell.

Many people who try to market affiliate products on forums go about it all wrong. Marketing their product is all they do, and they aren't the least bit discreet about it. They may post all over the forum telling people to check their product out. They may try to squeeze a mention into every conversation, whether relevant or not.

They think of their efforts there as entirely to market a product. Not to become a trusted resource.

2 . Ignoring forum rules.

Working too hard to sell is just one way people can ignore forum rules. It's the big one, though.

However many forums won't allow you to advertise a business in your signature, or may require that you pay for the privilege. They may not allow affiliate links within posts, even when the product is perfectly relevant.

3. Signature line isn't compelling.

Some people do better at participating in the forum, but still fail to do well as marketers on forums. Some will put just their affiliate URL in their signature. Sure, that gives a link to click, but what is it?

Or, if the link is followed or preceded by a description, the words aren't the least bit compelling. Most forums allow you to use BB Code, which allows you to link to your site through your words, which looks much better.

4. Too irrelevant.

You're not going to do that well marketing pet supplies on a crime forum. Sure there will be some pet owners, but that's not what people there are looking for. Try to have some relevance in your signature to what people are talking about. It doesn't have to be perfect, though.

5. Too relevant.

Too close a match can be a problem as well. You don't want to be offering something that pretty much everyone in the forum already has. Try to come up with a product that will intrigue the people who read your signature.

6. Too many links.

Most forums have limits on the number of characters you have in your signature. Some limit the number of links you may include.

Both of these things are good for you.

People aren't generally going to read a really long signature line. They also may ignore excessive links within your signature. Keep the number of links down and be sure your signature is easy to read.

7. Never, ever changing your signature.

Remember, even if a forum has thousands of active members, after a time just about everyone interested in your current signature has seen it. Changing things up, even if you're still offering the same product, can bring in fresh customers.

8. Fail to test your signature links.

Test. That's right, test, test, test. And test again. Then change things up regularly.

Forum marketing is just like any other kind of marketing. An ad may be pulling well and then suddenly quit working.

But beyond that, make sure your links actually work. It's amazing how often forum signature links just don't work because you didn't get it quite right. Strange things sometimes happen between typing your signature and hitting the Submit button.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.aspectsofhomebusiness.com/blog/ about running her home business. Get more tips on using affiliate marketing in your home business at her site.
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