Article by Dale King
In this article, I’m going to reveal the secret to making money with forum traffic.
An Internet forum is a facility on the World Wide Web for holding discussions, or the web application software used to provide the facility. Web-based forums, which date from around 1995, perform a similar function as the dial-up bulletin boards and Internet newsgroups that were numerous in the 1980s and 1990s. A sense of virtual community often develops around forums that have regular users. Technology, computer games, and politics are popular areas for forum themes, but there are forums for a huge number of different topics.
Internet forums are also commonly referred to as web forums, message boards, discussion boards, discussion forums, discussion groups, bulletin boards or simply forums.
The smaller forums are often based around a single subject. Usually there is an “off-topic” forum where users can post any items they find interesting or play “forum games”. Larger Internet forums are in general more subject to public conflicts between users. Depending on the level of moderation there may also be conflicts between users and administrators.
Like other forms of online communication, Internet forums are home to many heated exchanges and rivalries. Often, administrators and moderators ask users to conform to “netiquette.” If they leave a forum unmoderated, it may degenerate and become useless for discussion. Forums, however, can also be extremely profitable, if used properly.
I belong to several Internet Marketing forums. Even though my days are usually pretty busy, I ALWAYS make time to post to my favorite forums, even if it’s just posting an article I’ve recently written.
Why? Because numbers don’t lie. And according to my raw log data, roughly 25 percent of my traffic is coming from the forums I frequent. Considering the amount of traffic I receive on a daily basis, 25 percent is a huge number. And that traffic has converted into thousands of dollars in sales as well. So yeah, I make time for my favorite forums.
Forum traffic has also helped drive my website ranking into the top 1 percent of all websites, according to Alexa. Considering my website’s only been online for a few months, that’s pretty impressive.
So how can you profit from forum traffic? First of all, go online and find a forum of interest to you – one that ties in perfectly with the theme of your website.
For example, as I was writing this article, I went on Google and typed in the words “business forums”. Google presented me with 324,000,000 pages. Typing in the words “internet marketing forums” brought up 154,000,000 pages. Typing in the words “automobile forums” brought up 7,020,000 pages. And typing in the words “pet forums” brought up 27,900,000 pages. As you can see, the possibilties are virtually endless!
Once you find a forum you like, start participating in the discussions. Develop a friendly relationship with other users. Eventually, the other users will get around to asking you what you do. Now this where you have to tread softly. Go ahead and tell people what you do, but use the “softsell approach”.
Why? Because people in general don’t like being “sold” – especially by someone they’ve never met. That’s why it’s so important to give people a chance to see you participating in forums, and get to know you – check out your website and view your posts on a bulletin board. You have to build a reputation within the forum community and develop trust with the members first.
There are 3 important keys to making money from forum traffic:
1. You have to post regularly. You can’t post on forums every once in a while and expect to reap rewards from forum traffic. Post regularly – at least several times a week.
2. You have to have superior knowledge in your field of interest. Don’t SPAM, don’t post garbage and don’t try to fake how smart you are on forums. It will kill your credibility. Most forum members can spot a fraud a mile away and will call you out. If you don’t know what you’re talking about – DON’T post!
3. Use an effective forum signature. Signature files are automatically attached to every post on the forums. Your forum signature goes underneath your posts in the forums and allows you to add a bit of text about yourself – a picture, a link to your website… whatever you like really. In essence, it’s really a small advertisement – and if used correctly can be very effective.
The problem is, most people don’t use sig files correctly. Their sig files consist of meaningless, nonsensical babble that doesn’t mean anything to anyone except themselves. What a waste! If you don’t have a website, join an affiliate program and post your affiliate link in your sig file. Since the forum administrators allow you to use a sig file, you should use it to your advantage and try to profit from it. To do otherwise is just plain foolish!
In closing, regularly posting on forums is a win, win situation for both you and the forum owner. The forum owner depends on your posts for fresh content. Fresh content helps their search engine rankings and attracts thousands of new visitors to the forum which in turn helps the forum owners bottom line as well!
So, what are you waiting for? Start posting!
About the Author
Dale King is the owner of the new Internet Marketing website, GuruKnowledge.org
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