There are dozens
of reasons why you should look up the forums that
are related to your market and post to them often. Here
are 3 to get you started.
1 - Get to Know
Your Market as both an Associate and An Expert
The research alone
is a good enough reason to at least sign up to some forums
and read. Just by reading posts in forums, you can hear
what your market concerns are, straight from consumers.
You'll be able to find what their pains are - look particularly
for frequent questions that don't appear to have solutions.
if you sell timeshares, and you join travel communities,
you may often hear questions asking for the best times
of year to visit a certain region or locale. With this
information you could start a section at your site for
every listing that tells the cheapest time to travel for
that area, the best time of year for good weather, and
other special bits of information a traveler might want.
When you're comfortable
enough to begin posting, after watching the conversation
for a few days, or perhaps even a week, you might find
that new people have questions that you can help them
with. By consistently becoming the go-to person, you increase
your credibility as a knowledgeable expert, and people
begin to trust your ability to provide information.
2 - Increase Your
Site's Visibility With More Targeted Links Back to Your
Many forums are
run by hobbyists who aren't so much concerned with
marking money from their visitors, as having an established
community for discourse on certain issues. These forums
will often allow you to leave a link to your site in every
post. The ones that are open to public viewing for visitors
are also frequently spidered by search engines.
If you set up your
link correctly, you'll then have topical links back to
your own forum. Even if the search engine spiders can't
see these links at forums that can be viewed by registered
users only, you will also find that once you become a
part of the community, other members will click your link
out of curiosity or because they're looking for something
specific that you may have at your site.
Even forums that
exist to gain more sales of their own products often
allow you to post your link, especially if it isn't to
a competing site. For example, internet marketing forums
run by people who sell do-it-yourself SEO products may
allow infopreneurs who sell a different type of product,
such as an autoresponder service, to post their link freely.
The focus here,
at all times, is to help other members, not just to
promote your product. Your link is in your signature,
so unless someone asks you a specific question, you get
far better results from being helpful than you do by posting
forum spam that gets deleted anyway.
3 - Lurk, Listen
If you've been around
forums at all, you already know that there are often 8
to ten times more people registered and not posting than
there are people who actually visit and participate.
ever posting is commonly known as "lurking".
I usually suggest that at least for the first week, you
should monitor the community you wish to join in this
way, just reading posts, and learning the personality
of the forum you'd like to post in - this keeps you from
committing any faux pas that might have you corrected
by another member, or even worse, banned.
find a forum that is appropriate to read, but doesn't
seem like the right place for commercial posting. Or you
might find that you're there to learn and not to teach
- or maybe you just don't have the time to post as you'd
like to. You can still learn a lot by being a lurker.
When lurking in
forums, your primary job is to listen (figuratively
speaking) and learn. Again, pay attention to questions
that come up repeatedly over the course of a month or
so. Be on the look out for rumored product or technology
developments. Find out who is the resident expert - maybe
this is the key person for an interview you want to do,
or an affiliate program you can join.
The most important
thing you can learn from this exercise is what annoyances
your market is experiencing. If you sell cat furniture,
and you find out that a common complaint is availability
in remote markets, maybe you can change your shipping
policy to add international ordering and increase the
scope of your business.
Anywhere you can
fit a solution to a problem can bring you the sales you
need. You may find out that you need to change your product,
to enhance it, or perhaps to take out features your prospects
just aren't interested in.
This is a good
solution when you have the time to visit forums and
post or read. As you become more busy, you'll find yourself
at the forums less and less as a poster, so this isn't
necessarily a permanent solution. However, if you follow
these steps correctly, you'll soon have the traffic to
foster more community relations at your own site as well.
Author: Tinu is a website promotion specialist
who posts free information on a variety of traffic
tips in her blog at http://www.freetraffictip.com.
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