Copyright 2005 Tinu AbayomiPaul
There are dozens of reasons why you should look up 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.
For example, if you sell timeshares, and you join travel communities, you may often hear questions asking for 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 cheapest time to travel for that area, 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 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 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 Site
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 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 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.