Before I was so rudely interrupted by an illness that laid me flat for a few days, I was busy giving folks some information on linking. I’m out to prove that it’s not dead.
So, what’s the last form?
How many forums do you belong to? Are you current with any of them? I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t had much time to be a forum friend lately, and it makes me sad. I used to spend some part of every day in Net Marketing Forum, where there is a really helpful bunch of people whom I miss a lot. I also belong to Conquer Your Niche forum, Warrior Forum, and the Copywriter’s Board forum. I just couldn’t keep up with all of them or any of them lately, but I really do plan to get back and to post to at least one of them every day.
Because it’s not just the great friends you make, the other really incredible benefit from posting in forums is your ability to add links back to your website. They’re one-way links, unless of course, you link back to the forum from your site. I do occasionally, as I did in this post, but as a rule, it’s better to have the links coming in, rather than going out.
The trick to forum code (usually) is that it’s not HTML, it’s what’s known as BBCode. How simple is that? Anyway, this is what a link to this site looks like:
[url=http://ovblogger.com]Blogging – Internet Marketing – SEO[/url]
No quotes. No a href=, just simple here’s the URL, here’s the anchor text. Bingo! Links. Links that point back to your site from every post you make or have ever made in the past. How cool is that?
What should your link say? Keywords, keywords, keywords. You’ll notice that right away in the example above. You can be more creative, for sure, but use your main keyword phrase as anchor text and the SEO benefit is huge.
Search engines love anchor text. They can sort out the URL and see that it relates to the hyperlinked term. Makes things pretty simple for them.
So, here’s what you should do. Pick one forum or a few forums, but be sure they’re in your niche. Learn the lay of the land. By that I mean, don’t post anything, until you’ve read several posts and the rules. If you barge into a community of people like a rocket in a tea shop, you’ll come back a little crispy. People don’t appreciate posters who just barge in and act like they own the place.
Forums usually have an “Introductions” thread, so be sure to make that your first stop. Let people in the forum know something about you, and don’t be embarrassed to say that you’re new. If you are, it will show anyway, so if you tell people that up front, they’ll be more likely to be patient when you post something really dumb. I know you won’t do that because you’re really smart, but…
There are folks who will come in, acting like they know it all, when they don’t know squat. That’s a really bad position to be in because you’re going to be called on it. Instead, ease into things and you’ll be amazed at how kind other people can be when given half the chance.
But once you feel comfortable, have introduced yourself, and have something valuable to contribute, then post away!
Choose one forum per day and make 5 posts. Either start a new thread or contribute to an existing one. If you are a newbie, ask questions. But maybe try a search for the topic first. Some questions have been answered and re-answered in some forums so many times that the “regulars” or people who are there every day get really sick of the same questions and the same answers. Try to be a little sure that the question you want to ask hasn’t been asked 10,000 times before.
But just have fun. Make friends. And avoid being a forum lizard. Don’t let it take up too much time or you won’t have time for your business. Just limit yourself to 5 posts a day, even if the state of the world is being decided.
Forums can be great, if you use them wisely. You can make friends and learn a lot. Plus, you’ll get all these wonderful, valuable one-way links coming into your site.
Forums really are the Neutron Bomb people!