If you are familiar with the Internet and websites, you are probably familiar with message boards and forums. These online communities allow people to connect, share stories, ask questions, offer information, and build relationships. By participating in these forums you can network with other Internet Marketers, communicate with potential customers and increase the amount of traffic that is visiting your website.
Most forums allow you to add a signature line to your profile. You can choose to add your name, a logo or catchphrase that describes your business and a link to your website. Your signature line will be added to each of your posts, and as people read them, they may be curious about your business and visit your site.
When you are new to a forum, post an introductory greeting and let people know who you are. These forums are a great way to build relationships. However, it takes time to build relationships and establish credibility. Try to post regularly and avoid blatant advertisements of your business. Forums often attract a number of spammers whose sole purpose is to advertise their site. These spam messages are usually deleted by the forum’s moderators.
If someone asks a question that you have an answer to, by responding and being genuinely helpful, you will establish yourself as an expert in that topic. People will come to you with their questions and will trust your answers. They will remember you and be more likely to visit your site in search of more information on that topic.
You can also include links to your opt-in pages for your newsletter. This will drive traffic to your site and increase the amount of people on your mailing list. Adding links to your newsletter that leads to articles and other information on your website will further increase the amount of traffic to your site. If you are offering an e-course, a special report or some other discount for a product or service on your site, include a link in your forum posts. The members of the online communities you belong to will want to take advantage of your special offers.
Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Word of mouth advertising has long been considered some of the best advertising you can find. With the onset of these forums, your online friends can literally refer you to people all over the globe. You can also use the forums to network with other Internet Marketers, and they are a great place to find people to team up with on joint ventures.
By building relationships with other forum members, offering helpful information to establish yourself as an expert, and placing links to your website, you will be able to add a steady stream of traffic to your website.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.