Forums are one of most effective free internet marketing strategies, if done correctly. Many people participate in online forums for different reasons. Especially in internet marketing forums, they use it for getting advice and answers to their questions.
Another reason is finding new tools, products and marketing concepts that they can apply to their website or online business in general. Internet forums are also an excellent resource for contact with other online entrepreneurs to build win-win and profitable joint ventures. Finally, you can promote your website in forums in an indirect mode, of course. Taking advantage of forums can be focused on link of your site you are allowed to place with your posts. However, this is not as simple as it sounds. Users must have a reason to click on your link. One reason could be a useful tip or resource you provide along with your answer for instance. On long-term run, you gain credibility and start becoming an expert in your field.
But how do you accomplish that? First, you must study carefully forums before you join them. Check for their guidelines, their theme, questions, level of knowledge and experience users have. After that, you group questions in a specific block in order to provide answers.
For example: Questions: 1) How can I protect my website from theft? 2) Where can I find HTML security software? e.t.c
Answers: 1) HTML encryption software 2) Hide your website’s code. e.t.c.
Now it is time for getting answers. You can find answers using search engines, or a recourse you have already used in past or even a “how to” e-book you had purchased. There are many options. Don’t forget that you shouldn’t restrict yourself to one topic. You can repeat this procedure as many times as you want.
You can provide your answers to forum users in three ways actually.
First, by informing forum users with a website you saw that contains solution to problem they have. This is less effective way, because you are keeping them away from your primary cause, which is to visit your website by clicking your link.
Second, is to create a webpage to your website that contains answer. For example: http://www.yoursite.com/htmlsecurityreport.htm. This is an excellent way of promoting because it’s not a blatant advertisement (you are informing people) and on other hand, users visit your website.
Third, create a new website exclusively related on this subject. For example: http://www.htmlsecuritytips.com. This way is extremely effective too, but you should keep in mind that you do have to spend some money for that (web hosting, domain registration e.t.c.) and definitely more time.
The catch here is that with second and third options you can promote your website, which can include your affiliate programs or even your products without breaking forum’s rules.