Senin, 14 Juli 2008

Marketing Via Messageboards & E-mail Discussion Lists - An Alternative View

One of the most suggested means of getting traffic to a site in the early stages is to get involved in messageboard and e-mail discussions on your topic of choice. The idea is that you can show your expertise and therefore get traffic to your site via your signature file (most discussion lists allow you to include your signature file with your post - a few lines with your name, site address and maybe a very brief description). Whilst this is a valid tip, I don't believe that the real reason for why you should do this has been investigated far enough previously.

Firstly, if you post an ad for your site on a discussion list, your are spamming and will create a bit of a fiasco. This does not make good business sense. So, the way to do it is to look for people asking questions and answer them. The issue here is your reasons for doing this. If your reason is purely to drive traffic to your site, you probably won't be terribly successful and, sometimes, people will work out what you are up to. Therefore, your goal should be to be seen as an expert in your field, not to get traffic to your site.

Even if you don't include a signature with your posts, you can still make a name for yourself and, in the long term, this will prove to be a far more profitable approach. I have visited many discussion lists in my time and it is easy to see the people that have gained respect. From a business point of view, they are the ones who will benefit from this approach, not the people who post simple answers to try to get an immediate effect.

Your goal must always be to achieve success in your online venture and your personal credibility will play a major role in this. So, when looking at marketing on messageboards and in E-mail discussion lists, establishing your credentials as an expert in your field must be your number one priority, not short term traffic generation methods.

By Sean Burns

Using Message Boards Properly

We all have our own reasons for joining message boards. Maybe its to meet some friends, or find some ideas for your business. Maybe you just needed a place to announce your party. Whatever the reason, are you using them properly?

There are several purposes of a message board:

1. Meet new people/network ~ This does not mean finding people to advertise to. Networking means just meeting people. A person you meet can do several different things:

- Become a customer

- Introduce you to another customer

- Open up other networking opportunities

- Become a partner

- Become a friend

2. Share Idea/Get Opinions ~ Key word here being SHARE. Asking for ideas and opinions is good, but giving them is more important. Be sure you are giving back to the community.

3. Announce Specials and Events ~ This should be done only in appropriate categories and only if you are active in the community.

Some "don'ts" of message boards:

- Don't spam the board by posting your ads in inappropriate categories or threads. For example, in a category called "Parenting Advice", don't post your special on toys.

- Don't just post when someone is looking for a business. Get involved with the community and help people as much as you can without promoting your business to them.

- Don't rely on everyone else to start posts, start some yourself. If everyone else waited for someone else to post, no one would be posting. Share and experience with a party, or about an interesting article you read. Just get the conversation going!

- Don't join just to promote your business. If you join expecting your sales to explode, think again. Remember you are here for support, to share ideas, and make some friends. Sales will come eventually, and will probably not be directly.

There are all kinds of message boards, so be sure to follow the rules on each. A few of my favorite boards are:

Mommy's Helper Community:

Self Starters Weekly:

Most importantly - Have Fun!

By Kara Kelso

Five Tips to Launching a Successful Message Forum

Forums a.k.a. "message boards" can be great marketing tools for your website. They attract repeat visitors and provide a meeting place for them to share their thoughts, ideas, questions and concerns.

Unfortunately many webmasters that attempt to launch a board on their site, end up closing it down due to lack of activity and popularity.

So what's the key to success, you ask?

Below you will find 5 quick tips on creating and promoting a message board for your website.

1. You Need Plenty of Traffic

If your site is receiving small amounts of traffic per day, then it will be very hard to get the conversations going on your board.

Keep in mind not everyone that comes to your site will even notice or visit your board, and those that do stop by may just browse without posting. In fact, the majority of the visitors to your board will only look around.

Your site should be getting at least 1,000 unique visitors per day before you even launch. Don't open it up prematurely because it can make your site look uninhabited if no one posts.

2. Create Some Starter Conversations

Once you've created your board, post a few questions to get the ball rolling. This may coax people to jump in and post some comments.

And if you are using a free board like, you can create polls to spark participation. People like interactivity and to give their opinion. Post a few polls and allow your visitors to vote on topic.

Also, don't be ashamed to talk to yourself. What I mean by that is you may want to create a few usernames on your own and have them post questions and answers. It may sound silly but if you're lacking activity, this may help get some conversations going. No one will know they aren't real people, except you! ;)

3. Promote! Promote! Promote!

Don't just provide one or two links to your message board. Link to it from every page on your website. Include it in the signature of your emails, and if you have a newsletter, devote a special edition to the launch of your board.

On your "Contact" page, suggest that your visitors post a question on the message board as an alternative to emailing you. This will force some people to browse the board and possibly find the answer they need. If your visitors begin finding the board useful, they'll return often and hopefully will start posting.

4. Keep The Categories to a Minimum In The Beginning

A big mistake that people make with new message boards is that they create too many categories. Remember that for most new forums, the number of posts are going to be small at first. So if you have 10 categories and only 1 or 2 are being used, it makes your board look scarce.

Try creating just one or two in the beginning and then once the traffic starts coming in you can add new ones.

5. Make The Board Easy to Use

Don't force your visitors to search for instructions on how to use your forums. If they have to figure things out, they will be discouraged and leave. Be sure to use a script that is neat and intuitive.

I recommend Not only are they free, but the setup is easy and the layout is nice and clean.

Hopefully these quick tips will help you as you launch your new messaeg board. Again, don't forget to promote it like crazy. If you can build an active community, it can be quite the marketing tool for your website.

By Lisa Irby

Using Forums to Promote Your Business

When is work not really work? When it's fun!

Using online forums, also called message boards, can be a fun way to promote your business in a low key way.


You cultivate relationships with others

You learn about all kinds of topics

Your marketing message is presented without screaming advertisement

By answering questions related to your topic, you are positioned as an expert in your field

How to Use a Forum for Promotion:

First, find a forum that is of interest to you and frequented by people in your target market. A great place to start is to go to and search for forums by keywords that reflect your target market.

Next, I suggest you "lurk" or just watch the activity for a few days to get a feel for the tone of the forum. When you feel confident this is an appropriate place to represent your business, introduce yourself. Often message boards have a 'New Members' type place to post your first message.

After you have been welcomed, scan through the topics and post answers to questions others may have about your area of expertise. Repeat daily or weekly.


Of utmost importance is to have a signature line that is added to the end of each message you post. This is like your calling card, and is what makes this method so subtle. You may be posting a famous recipe, but everyone who checks it out will see your business name. Most forums have an account setting or options area where you can set up an automatic signature or you can cut and paste your signature each time, but this is much more cumbersome.

Don't spam boards by visiting once and posting an advert everywhere. It will give you a bad reputation - not what you need to increase sales.

Check the regulations of the board to be sure signature lines are allowed. Some forums strictly prohibit marketing of any type.

Revisit your posting frequently to address any replies. Also, add new postings of interest every few days to keep your business in the message board's eye.

Message boards and forums can be a very valuable marketing tool. While you're at it, be sure to check out the fun topics, too!

By Megan Corwin

How To Maximize Your Profits With Forums

Forums are one of the most effective free internet marketing strategies if done correctly. Many people participate in online forums for different reasons. Especially in internet marketing forums, they use it for getting advice and answers to their questions.

Another reason is finding new tools, products and marketing concepts that they can apply to their website or online business in general. Internet forums are also an excellent resource for contacting with other online entrepreneurs and build win-win and profitable joint ventures. Finally, you can promote your website in forums in indirect mode of course.

Taking advantage of forums can be focused on the link of your site you are allowed to place with your posts. However, this is not as simple as it sounds. Users must have a reason to click on your link. One reason could be a useful tip or resource you provide with your answer for instance. On the long-term run, you gain credibility and start becoming an expert in your field.

But how do you accomplish that? First, you must study carefully the forums before you join them. Check for their guidelines, their theme, the questions, the level of knowledge and experience the users have. After that, you group the questions in a specific block in order to provide the answers.

For example:


1) How can I protect my website from theft?

2) Where can I find HTML security software?



1) HTML encryption software

2) Hide your website's code.


Now it is time for getting answers. You can find answers using search engines, or a recourse you have already used in the past or even a "how to" e-book you had purchased. There are many options. Don't forget that you shouldn't restrict yourself to one topic. You can repeat this procedure as many times as you want.

You can provide your answers to forum users in three ways actually.

First, by informing the forum users with a website you saw, that contains the solution to the problem they have. This is the less effective way, because you are keeping them away from your primary cause, which is to visit your website by clicking your link.

Second, is to create a webpage to your website that contains the answer.

For example: This is an excellent way of promoting because it's not a blatant advertisement (you are informing people) and on the other hand users visit your website.

Third, create a new website exclusively related on this subject.

For example: This way is extremely effective too, but you should keep in mind that you do have to spend some money for that (web hosting, domain registrar e.t.c.) and definitely more time.

The catch here is that with the second and third option you can promote your website, which can include your affiliate programs or even your products without breaking the forum's rules.

Of course you could ask,"where can I find forums?" One way is using search engines. Write in the search bar "internet marketing forums" and you will have many listings but you should notice that only the active ones worth your attention. Another thing you should be careful about is how many users and posts the forum has every day. If there are one or two users then you should go away, although forums indexed by the search engines are important because a link of your website to this forum could mean indexing for your website too.

When you post to a forum always, use your name and not some kind of number or code like 22357 e.t.c. You want to gain credibility with your name and not with characterless number or fake username. Use your signature in every post, which should contain your name, 2-3 lines of text (that depends on how many lines the forum administrator permits you to use) and of course your site URL.

By Christos Varsamis

5 Reasons Why Participating in Forums can Benefit Your Business

Did you know that by simply participating in various forums and posting your various views and ideas, can potentially bring new growth and life to your online business?

Let's look at some of the positive aspects that forum participation can bring to your business.

1. We are all looking for traffic to our websites and if we can get it for free with little effort, that's even better. Did you know that when you sign up as a new member at a forum, you can usually create a "signature" line that will be attached to every post that you make in a forum? This signature line can contain your website address, and as other members read your post, this will provide another route for potential customers to find your website.

2. One of the worst things about trying to advertise on the Internet is the lack of trust between website owners and customers. Everyone is afraid of being scammed. A good way of building trust with potential prospects is by giving them a chance to get to know you, and by letting some of your knowledge, honesty and integrity show in the post that you make at a forum.

3. Most webmasters on the Internet exchange links with other like sites, because exchanging links will boost your link popularity. It's a proven fact that you get higher search engine rankings when your site has a high PR due to your link popularity. But did you know it's even better if you have a link pointing to your site that isn't reciprocated? Every post that you make in a forum will create a one way link pointing to your website. If you make 1000 post in a year, you have potentially created 1000 back links pointing to your site. As the search engines crawl the Internet and detect all these links pointing to your site, your website is going to move toward the top of the search engine listings.

4. Running a business on the Internet can be a very lonely occupation. There is very little interaction with other people and this can be devastating to some. By participating in forums, you will meet other people who have online businesses and who have a lot in common with you. It's sometimes comforting to know that there are others who share your occupational frustrations, and will be there to support you if you need them.

5. It's a proven fact that two minds are better than one. Everyone goes through learning curves on the Internet. Whether that learning curve involves starting out, building websites, search engine optimization, or the millions of other things that you must be prepared to do on the Internet to establish your business, there is someone in your favorite forum that has been there and done that. These people will be more than happy to give you free consultations.

Best wishes to you,

By Rebecca Gilbert

The Value of Forums

There are literally thousands of online forums that cover a wide range of topics. Forums provide individuals, who share a common interest, with a meeting place for open discussion, and a great gathering spot for "water cooler" talk. When used properly forums can be an excellent business tool and resource. By providing well thought out, helpful responses posters can develop a reputation as an industry expert. Establishing a reputation within forums will eventually lead to solid business contacts and relationships.

Forums, online discussion groups, can be found on many websites. Companies, individuals or groups often have their own web-based forums, which are a good source of technical information or just general discussions. They can be closed for private use only or open to anyone to post messages, which are usually sorted within different categories, or topics. Posting to forums is obviously effective when an immediate answer is not required. Forum can be found by searching for topic or subject with the word 'forum' or 'forums'. Forums are a great way to participate in a community that is discussing a particular topic, or communicate with a group of people interested in the same topic.

Rules & Regulations

Before you post to a forum its important that you read the Charter or description of the forum and determine what is appropriate. It is probably not a bad idea to monitor a newsgroup for a few days prior to posting. Understanding what is accepted or not accepted in each newsgroup will go a long way in befriending the participants.

Forum Etiquette

Spam is generally frowned upon, if you require information on general forum etiquette I'd encourage you to read the article at: . Rules and etiquette can vary from one group to another, so don't assume what is acceptable in one, is acceptable in another.

Some forums require that you register and provide contact information in order to post a message or respond to messages. The registration is typically simple and requires that you submit general information. An email confirmation is required in order to confirm the information; once the confirmation is responded to posting privileges are granted. Some forums do not require registration and you can post anonymously.

What to Look for In a Forum

Because time is valuable it is best to frequent forums that have a lot of traffic, this will ensure that any posts receive maximum exposure for little effort. The most recent posts should be have current dates and it should be clear that there is regular activity on the board.

Moderated Forums

Some forums are moderated, which means posts are approved prior to being made public. This means that if you post to a moderated forum, there will likely be a delay between the submission and the posts appearance in the forum. Moderated forums tend to have a lower 'noise' ratio and have less off-topic posts. The downside to moderated forums is that like moderated newsgroups they are usually less popular because of the lag time between posts.

Signature Line

Most newsgroups allow for posters to include a signature on any posts. This is your opportunity to mention your products and services. Use this as an opportunity to tell other forum visitors what you want them to know. Be sure to provide an url to your website, as the link will not only refer potential clients but it will help search engine ranking.

Finding Forums

Forums can contain generic information or be very topic specific. Try the following resources to find forums that meet your needs.

Forum Directory -

Forum Directory -

Forum Search -

By Sharon Housley