You will need to do some research before you employ forum posting as a marketing technique. First, you need to find forums that deal with subject matter related to the product or service you’re promoting. Then you need to evaluate the traffic. A forum that doesn’t get a lot of visitors or posters is not going to be a good advertising tool. For maximum effectiveness, you want to find and join a high-traffic forum so that plenty of potential customers will see your posts.
Next, read the terms of service and forum rules. Find out if it is permitted to put either or links to your website in your signature line. If links are not allowed, find another forum to join.
Once you’ve found the right forum, lurk for a while. Spend time reading posts and getting a feel for the community. Learn the language of the forum. This may seem strange, but each online forum has its own culture, and an unwritten list of do’s and don’ts. If you just dive in and start posting without familiarizing yourself with the culture, you may find yourself inadvertently putting people off. Remember, the other posters are your potential customers. You want to stay on their good side.
Now you’re ready to start posting. Keep your eyes open for “hot topic” threads that are related to your product, or website content. Try using the subject line to make your post stand out. Create informative posts that are relevant to the subject of the thread. If you are in a houseplant care forum, and someone asks about keeping their philodendron watered while they’re on vacation, don’t just jump in and say, “Hey, let me tell you about this great drip watering system”. Write a post giving information about the use of drip watering. If it’s too obvious you’re promoting your online business, you may be banned for spamming.
You should also leave your posts open-ended. Don’t write everything there is to know about the subject of the post. You want to leave room for people who read your posts to add their own contributions. Try asking a question, or inviting a comment. This way your post will get more views. The more your post is read, the more people will see the link in your signature line.
Your signature line is the most important part of the post. This is where the link to your website, or if allowed, your affiliate link is going to be. You need to create a clever, attention grabbing signature line. If you’re in a health and beauty forum, you could write something like