Forum Marketing How To

Hello To All Of You JohnChow Fans! My name is Shannon Lilly and I run a Webmaster Forum that was recently reviewed by John Chow dot Com.

The review was excellent and made some great points, however the original review quoted a few stats inaccurately. We contacted John about this and he graciously offered us this guest post in return. The review stated we had 3,000 posts but we actually have over 21,000 posts by over 2,600 members in our forum. The review also stated that we had no Marketplace but we actually have it hidden to unregistered members.

I am thankful to John for allowing me to clear the air when it comes to our webmaster Forum. I am very passionate about my forum as John is with his blog. John and I decided to include some of my techniques in the area of “Forum Marketing” and the different ways it can be approached. I hope you can use some of what I have learned and build upon it for your own success.

Using Signature Links To Your Advantage

Signature links are one of the best ways I have found for marketing a website on a specific niche. Im not talking about buying signatures on forums (although that can work sometimes) I am referring to your own signature on a niche specific forum.

Ok let’s start at the beginning; you have a forum about Gardening. You know that your gardening forum has great info and you believe other gardeners will like what you’re offering, right? But how do you get the word out about it without spending too much money? This is where signature links come in, spend some time going through what you consider “Top Notch” gardening forums. Join them and start posting daily, offering free tips and advice. Nearly every forum (check before you sign up) offers signature links as a way for you to promote your own websites of that niche. Take advantage of that and post a signature containing a small description and a link to your forum about gardening.

Knowing what to say with your signature and how to say it can be a bit difficult. I have written about this very subject on my blog before. You’re welcome to check that article out and be sure to subscribe to my blog if you like what you read! Signatures have increased my traffic and click through upwards of 500% which is pretty good considering I am in a flooded niche.

Commenting For Extra Traffic and Signups?

Blog commenting is another great way to generate traffic to your forum or blog. By commenting on a blog in your niche you can provide helpful tips to a post by the blogger. It is possible to get 100’s if not many more visitors to your forum/website from each comment you make. Specifically, comment on blogs that get high traffic in your niche, find blogs that have thousands of rss subscribers or members and comment on these daily.

If you are one of the first or top blog commenter’s you should see significant traffic from each comment/blog. I have had traffic increases upwards of 750% when I actively blog comment on a regular basis. Just remember, when commenting what you say is how your website is reflected to the public. If you have poor grammar and spelling mistakes in your responses other readers will tend to skip past your comments and not give your site a second look. If your comments are of good length and stand out from the rest you should get clicks. Blog commenting success is greatly dependent on how well you do in your comments so take your time and respond carefully with good grammar and spelling!

Connect With Similar Sites

A commonly overlooked marketing technique is the power of β€œword of mouth”. One of the easiest ways I have found to accomplish word of mouth over the net is by connecting with similar sites. Learn to work out ways for linking up on other sites similar to yours. You will be doing yourself a favor by getting and giving good quality links. Not only will you get link juice and traffic from a recip link from other forums and blogs of your niche but you will also receive valuable contacts that you will need later down the road for continued growth.

Think of these similar websites as a pond with lots of fish in them, by placing your hook (website) into the pond you will hook some fish. These hooked fish will become members of your site; if you can connect with many of these niched websites you will be hooking visitors and traffic.

Don’t underestimate the smaller sized sites either, while trying to linkup with the big bloggers or forums is great, your response will be much better if you attempt to hook up with medium to small sized blogs and websites. You can get a much larger % of linkups and in turn generate more traffic and signups.

When you do these recip link trades, do not link out of your homepage. Instead create a page on your forums blog or in the forum itself called resources/friends list. Add a nice description 200+ words for each link and you should not be penalized by the search engines.

Remember, connections are everything on the internet, surprisingly people want to hook up more then you would think. Take advantage of that and email everyone you can, asking for a link trade. “You Do Not Have Because You Do Not Ask…”

There are many other ways to get traffic to your forum. Be sure to read our forum and signup today to start asking questions on how to promote your own forum, blog or website to the worldwideweb audience!

49 thoughts on “Forum Marketing How To”

  1. This comment is for traffic only – click me πŸ‘Ώ

    1. ROFL Done! πŸ˜‰ aside the jokes tho the above mentioned strategies ARE actually working but don’t do miracles as advertising on trafficked sites with a very eye catching banner or even being reviewed by John Chow πŸ˜‰

    2. Your comment got me πŸ˜‰ Will do, haha πŸ˜‰

    3. Kacper says:

      Ok. I clicked 😈
      Is it called social psychology?

      1. Syed Balkhi says:

        Nah I think its just peer pressure :p if one clicks than the other would too.

  2. Wow…. crazy commentor above me. Anyhow… good to know. I like forum marketing, but generally feel it takes more time than I have.

  3. Please let me know about the blogs where you can get more than 100 visitors from a single comment. I would gladly spend all day spamming that one! (I hope you know that’s a joke.)

    1. If possible, please send me the list of those blogs. I’d really appreciate it. πŸ™„ πŸ˜†

      Btw it’s a decent article, and I have to agree with Shannon, that it’s much easier to get backlinks from small/middle sized blogs.

      1. Somehow I’m thinking blogs that bring you that kind of comment traffic don’t really exist.

        1. Richard M says:

          I’ve had people comment on a few sites with links to previous related posts from my blog that have netted well over 100 hits so its not altogether that unlikely. I will say a comment alone with just the typical link to your site netting a 100+ does seem a bit unlikely however (meaning the “comment by” links).

          I’m a very active poster on several forums and really don’t see Signatures as a viable way of increasing traffic five fold ❓ I’ve seen a few hits but nothing extraordinary. I’ll agree that if you are active on forums then its a no brainer to add the links, but I think the amount of time spent compared to the traffic generation doesn’t compare to other methods.

          1. Yup, blog commenting will get you a few visitors here and there, but there are ways to increase that:

            -Have a real sexy avatar, people will click on that
            -Post intelligent comments, with quality info. People will want to know more.
            -Be controversial. People will want to know who you are and what you do.

        2. Somehow I agree w/ Alan on this one πŸ˜‰

    2. There are definitely certain forums that you can get huge amounts of traffic for sharing your posts in the correct category. 100’s of visitors from a single comment? I could definitely see that happening if you leave a lengthy, quality comment!

  4. Terry Tay says:

    Using your signature in forums to advertise your site is a good idea but I agree with Terra. Using forums to market your site requires time to post which some may not have much of.

    1. Forum posting is a little more tedious than commenting on blogs. You really have to, or should, add value to the threads and not just comment.

    2. Definitely, using your signature link is a must πŸ˜‰ Like you mentioned, forums require some time — but if you can put in the time and establish your credibility in certain forums, your efforts can definitely pay off πŸ˜‰

    3. Well if you are already active in a forum, then it’s a no brainer. But going to forums and post just to promote your sites is not that much of a gain (post 1 or 2 posts per forum for backlinks)

      You can use forums though for Viral activities (contests, promotions…)

  5. Simon Lau says:

    21K posts is no small achievement. That’s almost 1K posts by each member of the board. It takes a lot of time to develop a forum and to build the atmosphere around it that you want which will keep generating good content.

    1. Guess you have not heard about buying bulk postings for forums over at DP

      1. Mayank Rocks says:

        Good technique specially when your getting lots of visitors or a good way to get content to your forum when your link building.

        1. Hannah says:

          Yeah but from DP the quality of the posts you’re going to get is absolutely awful. No one who speaks remotely decent English is going to post on forums for $0.20 per post.

  6. A lot of the same things I’ve heard before, but a good post nonetheless.


    1. Definitely, forum posting is something that should never go overlooked when marketing a blog πŸ˜‰

  7. Thirtyplus says:

    I had to LOL at these — I’ve actually done these naturally for the first year of my site being open. I have noticed that there seems to be a quite linear (not exponential) increase in traffic using these methods.

    Which makes sense. More links pointing to your site on the intarwebs = more traffic coming to your site in a trickle.

    Keep it up John Chow, your ebook is already improving my site. Nice Reventon BTW — but I’m presuming you weren’t one of the 8 that were ordered for the US πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience Thirtyplus. I agree, more links pointing to your site should definitely correlate w/ a somewhat linear increase in traffic. An exponential increase sounds a little farfetched πŸ˜‰

  8. Wade says:

    Some forums are really picky and don’t let you link to even your own personal site. A really popular forum I ran around on got mad because my sig pointed to my site. Oh well, I am done with that forum anyways so I guess it will stay until an admin removes it or deletes my account. I have 1500 posts there, so it is sitting there as free advertising.
    I have been doing my best to promote my site. Still I am not receiving the hits I need. Maybe that means I need to buy an advertising spot on John Chow πŸ‘Ώ Or even greater yet, for a review.

    Unfortunately I don’t have the funds to pay for advertising. I was hoping to get enough revenue to use my sites funds to pay for advertising to make it even bigger.

  9. Charles says:

    As a business owner I barely have time for the forums. Most of us business owners spend our days advertising. And those of us who are multi-skilled spend the remainder of our time building those same websites through graphics design and modifying CSS style sheets and then of course advertising.

    I mostly do all this advertising and page building with seering pain caused by arthritis in my left wrist. So I would have to agree with Shannon’s proposal it could work if you have time for the forums. If you have the determination, ambition and the will you can do anything.

    1. I agree Charles, if you have the determination and ambition, you can do anything. With commenting on forums, you’ve got to evaluate the size of the forum community and returning traffic to your website and evaluate the in ratio w/ the time that you spent (or wasted) @ the forum…. Then you could really figure out if it was worth it or if you should focus your efforts elsewhere.

    2. True to that, I’d much rather stay with Advertising and stuff like that.

      But there are times when forums become beneficial (and I don’t mean, post 48378 posts just to get your name out there)

      A good promotion or contest in there, especially the busy forums, can give you a good boost.

  10. Richard M says:

    Or heck we can all go with Andrew’s idea and flood a blog with 7 posts in 10mins, but then again he did say “more links pointing to your site should definitely correlate w/ a somewhat linear increase in traffic” πŸ™„

  11. Mademind says:

    Forum marketing is one of the surest things. u cannot totally fail. you always get something.

  12. Niro says:

    Well … let me see I’m doing this spam on my niche these days hope it will work.

  13. Bigman says:

    Well written post, I have started posting more on various forums already.

    1. Mayank Rocks says:

      Good Luck but that isn’t worth the time you know. Focus on ranking better in search engines and then try signature advertising. People from other relevant forums wont join another same niche non active forums EVER. πŸ™‚

  14. Syed Balkhi says:

    Yes blog comments do actually work especially if it is targetted on your own niche. Forum signatures work if your text stands out and not is in the middle of 4 other links..

  15. Hello everyone, thanks so much for the kind comments! I hope everyone can learn from what I have said, about the blogs I comment on sending them to you would be a waste of time. They are niche specific, for instance one is about pets, I have a pet blog and need pet related traffic, pet owners dont want to know how to make money online πŸ˜‰

  16. Mayank Rocks says:

    Link Building is the most important technique that can make your forum get more visitors, members then.

    Signature Advertising helps a bit, not much!

    Forget getting much members by commenting on blogs…… 😯

    1. I could have covered all that, but its been done time and time again. My listed techniques are not covered often, but they do work well if you know how to do them. Thats why I suggested everyone read my signature link article as it outlines what I do and I get 100,s of visitors per day from one forum alone πŸ˜‰

  17. vrempire says:

    That’s a very good advice that you give there especially the signature linking. I’m quite impressed with 750% jump. Hope that I can apply some of the method πŸ™‚

  18. PokeFarm says:

    As an owner of a midly popular forum I can say that forum raiding is generaly frowned upon by most forum owners. Forum Raiding, for those who do not know, is the method of going to another forum for the sole purpose of siphoning off members to your forum.

  19. John Esberg says:

    Amongst all comments listed above in response to the article, I find it hard to believe that no one is looking at it in terms of opportunity cost , much less core competencies standing head and shoulders above all else. πŸ™„ We all have to look at what we’re good at in our work. With so much competition out there, we can easily be swept away if we waste our time on inefficient tasks at our given skill level. 😯 We must focus on our strengths and work with others via JV’s or outsourcing to maximize our efforts. Once we know where we want to focus, then we can give a dollar amount to our activities to figure out the opportunity cost. If the opportunity of getting a few links isn’t returning the CTR’s we need, or whatever metric that needs to be followed, then we need to change tactics to reflect the true cost in our work. Remember, we don’t want to work for free for the rest of our lives! πŸ‘Ώ

  20. Chetan says:

    Infact i know a few blogs where commenting in a negative manner can send us constant traffic in small amounts.. My comments there send me 5-10 visitors from each blog per day, and am actually happy with it.

  21. Very interesting post.
    Do you think blog commenting can bring more traffic that forum posting?
    Do you have any statistics about this question?
    Thanks πŸ˜›

  22. Infogle says:

    yes this also helps in increasing the traffic to your website or blog so this is always recommended

  23. Vong says:

    thanks for this post !

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