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Using Blogs and Forums for Free Traffic

Aug 17, 2007
For every subject that you can possibly imagine and probably a few that you would most likely never want to imagine, there are people gathered on the Internet on blog and forum sites who are discussing it... at great length.

You can bet that no matter what the topic of your website or what product or service that you are selling that somewhere (and probably a lot of somewheres) people are discussing it right now as we speak on blogs and forums on the Internet.

Whatever your product or service is, there is a specific group of people who are the most likely to buy it. These are the ones who are gathered on blogs and forums discussing a topic for which your product or service is an answer to their problem. I use the word "problem" rather loosely here. "Problem" covers anything that a person wants but doesn't have... whether that thing is a new pair of jeans, a cure for cancer or anything in between. Problems are simply things that people want but don't have...and your product is obviously one of those things...at least for some of them. Now, your mission is to find these people.

Go to your favorite search engine and in the search box type in your key words followed by the word: forums. Hit search. You will be amazed at the number of forums on which your potential customers are discussing the topic that you are most interested in and the one where your product can actually be of service.

Repeat the search using the word: blogs behind your key words. You will likely get just as many hits using that term.

Now out of these two searches that you have done, choose the top 4 or 5 sites of each search that come up in the results. Visit these sites and determine if they are in fact discussing the topic that your product relates to. Choose three or four of the most active forums or blogs. Active, meaning those who have had the most posts made to them in the last 24 hour period or who have the largest number of members listed. Join the sites.

Remember that posting to blogs and forums is a time consuming task. It is an important task and it is a task that will help to drive traffic to your website but, I assure you, it IS time consuming. For each and every blog and forum site that you join, you will need to post 3 to 5 times each week and each post will consist of at least 300 words, probably more.

This is important! Do NOT start out posting blatant advertisements for your product or for your website. Think of each blog and forum as a neighborhood that you have just moved into. The people on each site will most likely know one another well and you will be the new kid on the block, so act like it.

Posting advertisements for your product or for your website is just rude. They will likely be removed by the blog or forum administrator as will you be removed from the membership list. Advertisements are generally banned from all blog and forum sites.

What you can and should do is include your website address in your signature tag. That is not considered an advertisement. It is simply a part of your identity and is viewed as such by the administrators as well as the members of blogs and forums.

You are going to have to go slow here. Introduce yourself to the group. Take your time to get to know each of the members who are the most active and who exert the most influence within the group.

Remember that your posts need to be thoughtful, considerate and helpful to other members and must never EVER appear to be advertisements for your website or for your products. You can suggest your products as solutions for problems within your posts but they must not look like advertisements. They must appear to be of the friend-helping-a-friend variety.

You may be tempted to use articles that you have written as blog or forum posts and sort of get more bang for your buck so to speak...don't. Articles and blog or forum posts are two different animals...and they are not interchangeable. The other reason for never using an article as a blog or forum posts is that search engine spiders may well identify one or the other as duplicate content. Duplicate content is NOT a good thing. Just don't do it.

Never include links to your website within the body of your posts to blogs and forums. This can be construed as advertising and it can get you tossed out on your ear. You must be satisfied with the link to your website that will appear just below you name in your signature tag at the end of each post.

You can safely rely on the human trait of curiosity to insure that the members of the blogs and forums will click on the link to your website in your signature tag. Most people come with a healthy and built-in supply of curiosity. They will not be able to resist clicking on the link below you name at least once.

If they find something that will provide them with an answer to a problem while they are visiting your website out of curiosity, they will return time and again.

We haven't discussed your website content and we don't have time to now but let me tell you that content really is king when you are talking about website traffic. You must not use articles that you have submitted to article banks and you must not use your blog or forum posts as content for your website. Be sure, however, that your website is loaded with a lot of good and relevant content.

Posting to blogs and forums who's topics relate to the topic of your website or to your product or service is an excellent way to create website traffic and do it for free.
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