I want to share with you one of the biggest lessons I learned in my internet marketing career that really made a huge difference to my success.
It began the day the penny dropped and I realized that forums were my best friend.
I noticed they were places rich with useful information. The reason for this is that forums are where your target market hang out, so it’s like the ultimate Spytool!
In this post I am going to explain three great ways to use forums in your internet marketing strategies so you too can benefit from them like I have.
Leads, Links and Language
There are a number of ways to gain value from being in forums, the most obvious is if you are of course looking for information and want to interact with other like minded people. However let me share with you the three L’s; Leads, Links and Language.
Let’s first take a look at language. You might be wondering what on earth I am talking about with this one, so let me explain.
Perhaps the most important aspect of internet marketing is mastering the skill of writing sales copy. I can not stress enough how important this is. You can have all the traffic you like and a super hot product, but if people are not convinced by what your sales copy has to say, and if it doesn’t strike a chord with them, then you can kiss those juicy commissions goodbye.
What’s this got to do with Forums? I’m glad you asked.
Forums that are in your niche markets are where your target market hang out. By searching around in forums you can very quickly find out what the major concerns and challenges are that your target market have. Not only that, you will also learn the language they use to describe the market and its products.
I vividly remember writing a sales copy for a client one time, on a topic that I knew very little about. However being the young buck that I was, I thought I knew what this market wanted to hear and went ahead a wrote the copy, the way I wanted to.
This was a fatal error and a big lesson for me. Luckily the error in my ways was uncovered before the product went live and I was able to amend the page. My mistake was assuming that the target audience thought and described things like I did..however I wasn’t even interested in this niche in the slightest, and my assumptions were wrong.
When I recognized my mistake, I ate humble pie and went straight to Google and searched for forums in this niche, did my due diligence and read post after post until I was confident that I had discovered what the real issues this target market were facing.
So whether you are an affiliate writing article and review pages, or a product developer creating your own sales pages, make sure you profile your target market by visiting forums, and do NOT just assume you know what your target market are thinking.
Find out who they are, how old they are, what products they have bought, what their challenges are, and make sure when you write your copy that you speak to these challenges and how you can help people overcome them!
This is the great advantage that we as internet marketers have…researching our target audience is really not that hard, and often the market intelligence we need is right under our noses!
Another reason to use forums is for gaining back links to your site. Keep in mind that not all forums have the ‘Do Follow’ tag switched on, so if this is the main reason for you using the forum then you should check this out before you jump in.
For those of you who don’t know how to do this, I recommend using one of the Firefox add-on that highlights the links in different colors so you can very quickly see if they are follow or no follow links.
Here’s a link to the Firefox add on for you: Do Follow Add-on
In the examples below you can see what the add-on does to links. The image on the left is
from a dog training forum where the signature link is a NO FOLLOW and shows up as a pink color, and is no good for SEO purposes. However the image of the right is from another dog training forum where the signature file is DO FOLLOW and is highlighted in purple, and they also allow keyword anchor text links.
In order to find forums in your niche, you can simply type into Google : YOUR NICHE +FORUM and browse the results pages. Some niches will not have forums unfortunately, however most will. If not maybe you could try starting one yourself.
When you sign up for a forum make sure that before you start posting you set up your signature file. This is where you want to have a link leading back to the page that you want to rank in the search engines. Make sure that you use Keyword Anchor Text for the link too.
So instead of having link as it is, you will want to have: YOUR KEYWORD PHRASE as the clickable link.
The great thing about forum signatures is that they are in every post that you write. So you will start to create a lot of links leading back to the page the more you post. These links can of course be changed at a moments notice to another page if you so desire, which can be useful if you want to rank a different page quickly.
Imagine if you have 1000 posts across multiple forums? You will have some pretty good SEO juice from that.
The third great way to use forums is to generate leads. Now this works very well in the Internet Marketing niche, however it does work in other markets too.
What I am referring to is instead of using your signature link for SEO value, you can have it leading to a squeeze page. To do this well you will want to make the signature catching and enticing, so people that see it will want to click it and arrives at your squeeze page.
Once they are at the squeeze page, if your page is good the rest is pretty straight forward.
Another effective trick that I have used, and continue to use, is interacting in forums of products that I am promoting. This is a smart approach to take, because these leads are people that are BUYERS and they are worth a lot more to you than just any old lead.
Some forums will allow you to use images in your signature, and this can work well, because you can then create more eye catching signatures to increase the clicks you get to the squeeze page.
The key to using this approach to build a list is to post regularly and as much as you can. The more posts you make, the more people will see you when they use the forum to search for help. It is also important to take the time to write good quality posts, because when people read your great posts and are impressed they will check for your signature in more cases.
Well that’s all from me!
Remember the three L’s, Language, Links and Leads and that forums are your best friend.
Thanks for reading,