There are always a lot of channels to talk about when considering on marketing your blog, but probably next to using social media networks, the next big network of opportunity is to take advantage of forums.
Why do I call forums a network?
I did so simply because a forum is to where you can find a collective group of people in need. Depending on the industry or niche you are in, there’s always a forum wherein people discuss issues and resolutions.
A forum is a virtual community where people meet to discuss new trends and practices, and even solving problems relative to each other’s settings.
If you think that what you offer on your blog is something that would benefit somebody, then you know that there’s always a forum waiting for you and would even be needing your right now.
Aside from you being a benefit to others, you can also use forums on your own benefit because it can really gather the people towards what you offer. In other words, your blog will gain more credibility (both to search engines and to real people), and more traffic means more money to you.
1. Find not just one but two or more ‘right’ forums
One forum is not enough if you want to gain more traffic to your blog, but a single forum can already consume you of your time.
Finding the right forum is also a bit hard to achieve. This would require that you are certain with your niche, that you are willing to share even your information (some would even ask for your real name but not all cases), and that you are really ready to meet people online.
To check if a prospected forum is ‘right’ for your blog, check:
- the topics if they're related to your niche
- the number of members within the forum,
- how active that forum is (by counting the number of most recent or daily posts)
- and of course, how healthy the forum is (because some forums end up being a placeholder for spams and phishing and even other bad stuff).
Quick Tip: To search for forums related to your niche, go to Google and search for "Forums + Your Niche"
Here are some forums I recommend for general bloggers:
2. Create and practice a promising profile
A good profile is that which includes a decent photo, a good contact information, and of course a good name.
- Use avatars. This is one of the first things that other people will notice about you, so you must choose a photo that is decent without any distracting or trending ornaments.
- Use a good username. Use ones that are easy to remember and recall, and one that is not too long with complex number combinations. If you can use some few keywords, then it would be great.
- Add your contact information. Don’t forget also to include the critical contact details that will help people find your blog.
- Use a signature. Lastly, if your forum allows signatures, then create one that you will consistently use for marketing your blog. Don’t forget your blog’s name aside from your real name and title, and make sure that the URL linking to your blog is an active hyperlink.
3. Help others solve problems
Keep looking around for potential problems that you can be of great help..
Usually, questions and concerns are categorized accordingly, and you might want to sneak into each category for assistance.
Looking for the latest posts is also a good idea since the newest posts are more attended than the older ones, and people who asked would always be more than expecting for a quick answer from the first fortunate guy.
If you want to establish a cool identity real soon, then start helping people. Remember: be honest with the information you provide, and don’t forget the link to your blog or to one of its content.
4. A sound expert on your field
Be an expert who is helpful and polite, but not proud and overwhelming for others to feel inferior or insulted..You can always sound like you know the best solution, but the rule is that, you don’t have to compare what you offer to what others would offer. If it is an answer they are looking, then simply provide the right answer without remarking the works of others as wrong.
Lastly, if somebody else sounded correct, learn to affirm and confirm.
Don't forget to back up your post with links to trusted sources.
5. Use freebies as your marketing strategy
Who doesn't love free giveaways?! Freebies can definitely boost your business exposure, as long as they meet the needs of your target audience. You might want to offer coupons, special discounts, free samples or hold a contest.
For example, you offer a free website theme to the forum members. If they loved your give away, they would get curious and visit your site to see more of your services or products. Also, freebies would motivate people to link your site or sign up for your newsletters.
6. Use Call to Action
Use hanging endings on your responses to direct your clients to your blog or to its particular content.
Hanging endings don’t mean that you don’t answer in a complete and extensive manner, but rather you can insert some few more redirections (call-to-actions) like “If you want to learn more about this, then you may want to read (your article’s title in a form of a link).”
Another form of adding a call-to-action to your responses is by providing a ‘preview’ of the whole solution. If your answer would involve ten steps as a solution to a problem, then you may want to offer only a fraction of the whole solution and give a link to the rest of the steps.
Again, don’t sound too obvious that you only want a page view. Still, sound as complete and helpful as possible without making them feel hanging and dissatisfied.
7. Make announcements
You may also want to stay ahead of the forum by making announcements about your new offers from your blog..
If your forum supports shout-outs and other status updates, you may want to take advantage of these opportunities of leading people to the solution that you offer.
Remember that for this to work you have to really sound beneficial and that you are targeting a specific need.
If your blog is hosting events, then you may want to use your forums as channels for inviting a larger crowd.
Again, the principle is to sound compellingly helpful and true, and if people would adhere to what you offer, you must respond in a timely manner.
You may also want to offer these invitations on each of your response, but to do so, you must strongly clarify and posit the significance of that event to your client’s current concern so that they will deem it as timely and important.
8. Follow the forum rules
Check out the forum’s policies first for any regulatory rules that you want to remember..
Check if they allow or limit the number of links you can provide (especially if you are a new member), together with other rules that may inhibit or prohibit you from doing the extra mile.
If you’re not sure, ask the admin of the forum or any other expert out there..
This is a critical thing to consider because any violations within forums is not only viral, but is also not good for the image you showed as an impression.
If you want to sustain a happy feeling associated with your blog, don’t give your future visitors a reason not to believe in you.