Promoting On Forums — Does It Work Anymore?

Discussion in 'Internet Marketing' started by Redd, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Redd

    Redd
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    12
    There was a time when promoting on forums could drive tons of traffic to websites, blogs or other forums. Spammers however took advantage of that and to deal with the spammers many forum owners started cracking down on self-promotion. These days, the best anyone who wants to promote their sites on forums can hope for is to get a signature link, which most forum users ignore anyway.

    But still if you look around the net, you'll find "experts" claiming that forums still can be a great traffic source.

    Do you, webmasters, think that forums still are good traffic source?
     
  2. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2015
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    14
    I'm not a webmaster, but I'd like to know hear some opinions and experiences. I don't promote on forums, but have also heard that this is one of the best ways to draw customers who are interested in the specific topics/products related to the forums, so they're pretty much a built-in audience. The only way I can see to take advantage of that, since most, if not all, forums have cracked down on self-promotion, as @Redd mentioned above, would be to pay for advertising. I haven't checked into that option, but before doing so, I'd like to hear some feedback on whether or not it's even useful.
     
  3. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Community Leader
    Community Leader

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2,266
    Likes Received:
    697
    Since I joined this forum 6 years ago, we have not allowed promotional links in normal forum posts, but I am constantly seeing people try to sneak them in anyway. I used to have a link in my signature, but have only received four responses in almost 6 years. Based on my own personal experience, I would say it's not worth it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Danielle Davidson

    Danielle Davidson
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    9
    I think that I have run into a forum like this before. I don't own my own site yet, so I have not done this. I mean there is a forum for everything so I'm sure that you would be able to find one. The only problem is that you have to find an active one. That does seem like it would be a great way you can get some traffic to your site. Right now I just have my blog, so it could be a good way to get traffic there.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Doc Moose

    Doc Moose
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    As with anything else if one is selling online, it depends on the product. If it is a hot item, then you got a winner. Promoting it on various forums would drive buying customers to your site. I remember doing it for my employer years ago and Nintendo Wii was such in a high demand during that time because of a shortage of supply.
     
  6. steveposter

    steveposter
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    9
    I don't think that forum sites could drive tons of traffic even if it is related or not.

    They are not experts but only promoters for their signature links.

    Not at all, I think most of the webmasters treat these forum sites as a source of knowledge and experience for their specialize field.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. kaian

    kaian
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    11
    How many members does this forum you are referring to have to say that it can drive tons of traffic? You can use your signature to contain the site you want visited but that is not enough but could be of little help. I have seen some members do some tricks into leading you to their site you know but I will not tell how they do it for sure most of you had seen it.
     
  8. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2015
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    14
    I definitely view a forum such as this one as a source of knowledge, and am happy to come here to learn and share my knowledge.

    This is not the type of forum where I would expect to derive long-term customers, but if I did have a signature link, it might draw people to visit my shops one time. I don't have a problem with people coming and looking at the shops, but I'd rather focus my energy on those who are interested in the types of items I'm selling, who appreciate them, and would want to share the link with like-minded friends and family members, who would ultimately buy products.
     
  9. Ted

    Ted
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    164
    Yes I know for a fact that forums are an excellent source of traffic and/or customers. There are some catches though.

    When I say they are a good source of traffic, I mean that they can deliver a steady stream of highly targeted visitors who are much more likely to do business with you. You won't get tens of thousands of visitors. You will get a small number of visitors who are highly targeted. I would rather get one buyer to my website than one thousand lookers if you know what I mean.

    In my experience the forum only serves as a source of traffic if you are participating in a forum whose audience also matches the exact audience of people you are trying to attract to your website. If those aren't a very good match, then promoting yourself on that forum would likely be a giant waste of time.

    In my experience, the best way to generate buying traffic from a forum whose audience does match your target audience for your website is to become active enough and helpful enough that you develop friendships with other highly talented and respectable people on that forum. If you develop friendships to the point where other people will publicly vouch for you on the forum "as being an expert" then that will drive 3rd party readers to your site and raise their trust level enough to get them to buy from you.

    In order to do that though, you really need to be knowledgeable and you really need to try hard to be helpful. You pretty much have to go above and beyond just offering one sentence answers to people. And it also really depends on the quality of the forum.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    5
    I really think it is still ideal to promote your website/business on forums. Any kind of internet marketing is never a wrong thing. We should make the best out of the internet anyway. Well, to avoid getting banned from forums, I think you should contact the administrator of the said niche and ask permission first before you spam their site.
     
  11. Redd

    Redd
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    12
    I think the results would vary from niche to niche. It's much easier to sell products:

    - To people who are looking for solutions . . . and the product/service you are selling can be that solution [they seek].
    - Knowing those you intend to sell to well enough could make it easier for you to sell anything to them. The presence of forum members or guests on that forum would mean they could be interested in whatever you sell, etc, etc.

    Since forums provide all that and more, odds are ads on forums could actually draw more customers your way. Just my 2 cents . . .
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Khalid

    Khalid
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5
    I think forum posting does work however it isn't like in the old days, and most people today are not willing to put in the time, effort and hard work. Let me explain.

    In the past, before the Google algorithm updates any backlinks were golden so spammers went to town on various forums and flooded them with bogus comments just for the signature backlink boost to their ranking. Google changed all that. Backlinks from forums aren't very helpful from a ranking POV. However it can still drive highly targeted traffic (lower quantity, higher quality) back to your site.

    For forum posting to work today you need to:
    • Find and join very specific forums related to your niche
    • Add an incredible amount of value (this is where most people just give up, it is a lot of hard work)
    • Have a relevant signature link
    At the end of the day it comes down to building trust with those in the online community. Once people see that you genuinely want to help, are there for the long haul (not just 5 posts and then are gone) they will respect you an expert and a leader. Plus they will want to visit your site and support/promote it to others including their own list. Also don't forget about personal messaging, you can reach out to others within the forum directly or they can reach out to you.

    I'll end with a personal example and a question.

    I recently took an online course which was promoting a specific autoresponder which was in beta, it was terrible. Students were struggling, I was struggling. I found a much better, cheaper option and reached out to the students in the community who were having the most difficult time and suggested the alternative. Was it spammy? No. Did they appreciate being offered another solution? Absolutely.

    If you can build trust and form a friendship with even 1 person in a forum who then goes on to share your content/product/service etc with 500 people on their blog/email list/Twitter/Facebook would you not consider that worthwhile?
     
    • Winner Winner x 1

Share This Page