Regardless of whether you’re an affiliate marketer or a product owner, you can benefit from forum posting. In fact, pretty much anybody who has a website of any variety would be well served to get involved in a few forums.
The great thing about forums is that they contain a lot of people who are looking for answers. What better place to get a link in front of a customer than right when they’re frustrated and looking for answers?
The way to go about this is first to identify which forums are talking about your area of interest. One tool I recently discovered that lets you do this is Omgili.com which basically functions as a multi-forum search engine. Type in your keyword and the only results that come up are forum postings.
Once you’ve found a few forums with recent activity on your keywords, go sign up and become a member.Take the time to fill out some profile details; people tend to distrust anonymity. Sometimes a profile picture or avatar can go a long way to creating trust in a subconscious way. You might even be able to use this as a way to stir interest in your product if you’re creative.
Now you need to make sure that you create a killer signature. Nearly all forums these days allow you to leave a signature after your post. Most will also allow HTML tags in them. Have a quick peek through some other threads on the forum to see if others have html tags on their signatures. If they do, then you’re good to go. If they don’t, you might want to check a bit closer as some forums disallow their use.
In your signature, you want to try to create a mini-ad for your product. If you offer something for free, this is the perfect place to let people know. For instance a tag line I’ve used for my digital frame store is “Don’t even think of buying a digital picture frame until you’ve read our “Savvy Buyer’s Guide to Digital Picture Frames.” You then link the keyword text you want to your landing page. Preview it to make sure it is both catchy and yet not too in your face.
Now you need to get involved with the forum. Find the thread talking about your niche and jump in. Be helpful, ask questions, but above all, don’t get salesy or spammy! If you do, you run the risk of getting banned, which really hurts the sales-pitch!
The benefits of this approach are that you’re slowly gaining keyword targeted link juice with the search engines, and, probably more importantly, you’re putting your offer in front of qualified potential buyers.
The great thing about forum threads is they hang around forever. I’ve often times searched google for something or other, and a forum thread comes up high in the rankings because it has so much content in it. When I look at the date of the last post, it is often a year or two old, though still relevant. So even two year old posts can provide traffic, as the original authors may be long gone, but as that thread gets hits, your offer will still be seen by the new eyeballs on a daily basis.