Basic Steps: Advertising Your Forum
Having created your forum with a perfect idea, using the best design, posted a few threads inside your fantastically structured forums and setting up rules etc. there is one thing your missing. Advertising.
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You might ask yourself this before and during the forum promotion process. "Why should I spend hours advertising my forum, using services and optimizing practices?", I think it is useful as you can remind yourself of the task list that you need run through.
With the different, non exciting (I'm afraid so, but the results are more than satisfying!), processes in which you get your forum's brand out there and gain traffic, you really do learn an awful lot about Administration & how the Internet works. You need to note one thing people search. The search engines are there for a reason, to be used to find relative information as to what the user is looking for. Your goal is to be at the top of relative searches that contain your niche.
One of many reasons to advertise is to receive traffic, it is most important to newer, smaller forums that aren't able to stand on their own two legs just yet. Another good reason for advertising and forming partnerships with other web masters/forum owners is that you will find valuable relationships arise and are very good in exchanging both traffic and PR (Page Rank) juice to one another through the connections with good authority, that is of course if you are one of those folk that care so much about their PR.
The basic and most effective way to advertise on other forums, why? Because they are on every single post you make, they are shown in your profile and you can even have a really well designed image to aid in the effectiveness of drawing potential visitors to your forum. Many people may not even create a signature, not even place a link in there until they have maybe 400 posts or so, what a waste of potential traffic.
You have 3 posts on this particular thread page, there have been 69 views so far that equals to 60+ (depending on how many times you have viewed the thread) people seeing your signature 3 times, thus having a good chance on clicking through if they find something interesting.
As you can see, signatures can really make a difference in an effective forum advertising campaign on other boards. An even better result would be for posting good content on your competitor's forum with your signature active to help gain the right, relative traffic that will benefit your own forum the most. All in all use signatures!
Though not as effective and viewed enough to be considered anywhere near as worthy as your signature, your profile link can send a few visitors your way nonetheless. Being in your main profile, should people find you interesting and wish to see your previous posts etc., and in your side posting mini-profile (if enabled by Administrators) it can be useful to link to your forum just to be safe.
Building Targeted Links
My good friend Daniel White explains this to great extent in a post about building links for forums, his blog also contains valuable information for all web masters to refer to, I highly recommend it. It covers how to fully link your forum in the sections I have covered in this post, giving you an idea on how to use the right anchor text, creating relative links and much more.
Social Media Networks
Feel free to use my previous post on using social media optimization for your forum as a reference. Social networks are powerful, very powerful. Sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and others gain millions of hist daily some of which could be channelled to your site! Simply adding a link to your Facebook, MySpace and other social network profiles, making a few friends, staying active and maybe inviting a few people with similar interests in your fourm can improve traffic and dedicated member counts as well as the other sections covered here.
There are many advertising boards out there to be used, they are driven by providing you with the means to improve your forum and it's activity. The services offered can vary forum to forum but the norm, popular choices are as follows:
- Basic Promotion - A simple thread with a link, description and misc. information about your site/forum.
- Reviews - Can really help in identifying porblems where your going wrong and providing suggestions for improvement.
- Packages - Straight up traffic boosters!
- Exchanges - Member to member exchanges (explained below).
- Banner Promotion - Some forums offer banner placement in their forum header (which is normally in rotation).
- Signature Promotion - Staff of that advertising board place your link in their signature for more link coverage!
Using the services listed above can really aid in your efforts to create your dream board. Sites such as Forum Promotion offer more unique services and advertisement placement than other boards (all for free!) so it is recommended to use them to the full capacity! On a quick side note I really love Forum Promotion on how they provide you with a small icon to show off on your forum as to what score you gained from their review team.
Member to member exchanges are a perfect way to get direct traffic from your competitors and forums you are in relations with, gaining relative traffics and dedicated, long lasting members is only the start to the advantages to this service that is offered around advertisement boards. Although you must note that it is a member driven service and that you should aim for niches that are the same (or near enough) as your forum to really get the maximum effect of the links and traffic.
Looking At What Competitors Do
Keep an eye on your competitors, watch what they do, follow their movements on advertising boards to view their practices and see if you can improve upon them. Improving on your forum to be better than your competitors is the only way you will rank better in Google, have more dedicated members and feel better about your skills as an Administrator.
What Not To Do
There are of course, some practices that you should never carry out. Many reasons back me saying so, but the main one is that you can get either yourself or your forum penalized in ways you wish not to happen. The list isn't exactly big or covering every aspect of wrong practices, but it is fairly useful to get the right idea:
- Never advertise through Personal Messages, it is both rude and mostly against stated rules. People hardly visit sites advertised this way regardless.
- Do not join link farms, they are not worth it and could even potentially damage your forum.
- Do not send out mass emails to your members advising them to advertise and refer friends.
- Never buy loads of links at once on other sites related to your forum, this looks slightly spam like work to the Masters.
That's something to think about, right?Make sure you read other forums, sites and blogs for more informative posts such as this one to really get a broader view on how you should go about your advertising. Good luck and enjoy the time of being an Administrator!
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Posted in Other Home Post Date 06/07/2021