Promoting a blog or website is a continuous process, provided that is you actually want people to visit your site. For most individuals/businesses/charities/artists/writers we want people to visit our site, that was the whole point of setting up a website in the first place.
There are many facets and opportunities in promoting, forum SEO just one of many.
Forum SEO has garnered a recently “retired” WordPress.com support volunteer over 8 MILLION hits on their relatively mediocre site. So, it’s a strategy that IS very VERY powerful.
Why promote in forums ?
1. You get to shine in your field, and help others in the process – win-win
2. It’s whitehat SEO, so it’s “allowed”, provided you’re actually adding value to the forum, obviously
3. Forums often have VERY high page rank, because people constantly search Google looking for answers to current challenges or problems they face. Some of this page rank gets passed back to your site
4. If it’s a forum about “your field” it can be interesting and rewarding
Why Specifically ?
Google likes or dislikes your site partly based on your reputation – that is what “others” are saying about you. In you posting in a public forum, this will be seen by Google as “others” talking about you (and your site, obviously). Also usually forums allow you to link back to your own website, or it’s included in your profile, so you get a backlink everytime you post in most forums.
I prefer to give people models and adapt the model to their chosen way of doing things. So some example models …
An example of a SEO as a whitehat promoter in a forum :
You’re run a non-for-profit blog/website that helps bloggers improve their blogging with blogging tips, specifically WordPress. You want to increase the number of visitors to your site because you believe you are offering genuine value. You’d like to increase engagement on your own site, because comments help you improve what you’re doing, and expose the kinds of questions that your readers would like you to answer. So you decide to act as volunteer support in a WordPress support forum.
Or a needlepoint blogger :
You’ve spent a lot of time getting the most out of your blog, and setting it up so that it’s visually appealing and has nice content. You’d like more people to visit. So you decide to answer questions you can drawing on your knowledge setting up your site. So you have a look at blogging support forums, and also join a needlepoint forum and a photography forum.
Find A Forum That’s Relevant To Your Site And Has A Decent Page Rank
In this example, we’ll imagine the WordPress.com forum which has a Google page rank of 6. It’s advice that’s relevant to MOST forums. So might be a good place to try your hand ?
Also, one could also participate for instance in the WordPress.org support forum which has a Google page rank of 8 (higher is better, google.com is 9).
As a couple of examples. There are pagerank checkers available, all you have to do is paste the link to your forum of choice, and the checker will let you know the forum’s pagerank.
There are thousands of other forums out there, I’m familiar with these two because I’m a WordPress geek, and have a genuine interest in answering WordPress related questions.
Establish Yourself As An Expert – The Do’s
You don’t need to be a NINJA or GURU, just someone who’s fairly intelligent, charismatic, helpful and willing to learn. It helps if you have some experience on which to draw, and you’ve had some experience in helping others. But not essential.
Chances are you won’t be greeted as an expert off the bat, so be prepared to meet with reservations from other forum members. People are also wary of “outsiders”, especially people who have yet to be approved by “the clique”. Some thick skin maybe needed to start with, as many of other regular forum members may ALSO be promoting their own sites via the forum, and will see you as a threat. If you’re cool, not argumentative, and charismatic, they should warm to you eventually. Anything is possible with Charisma they say … Positive mental attitude, PMA …
Being an expert doesn’t mean a big ego. Experts are often very humble, they offer and give value to people they are helping. So be humble, mostly. Pride stinks, you know that.
Learn from the others around you about how they do things in the forum, and who the clique members are, and what cliques exist, and who the head clique is. Forums always have cliques, and you’d do well to know who they are not piss them off, well at least not the “ruling” clique. Pissing them off will not help you …
Take Your Time. I’ll say that again – Take your time !
This is a strategy you’ll see benefit over the long haul, so don’t expect instant results. Do your best to answer a few questions, help a few people daily, and over time.
Be relevant. Post relevant links. Do share links to your own how-tos, provided they are relevant.
Help people, answer questions people post.
Don’t Do It – The No Nos
DON’T troll. Spamming and trolling are the fastest ways to get ejected from a forum.
DON’T Disrespect the clique(s) and the moderators. Pissing them off is another way to get kicked off a forum.
DON’T hijack threads and try to change the subject of threads to suit your own agenda.
DON’T break the rules. Forum’s always have a set of rules, even if other people break them, don’t do it yourself. It’s no defence to say to – so-and-so was doing it, so I should be allowed to too.
DON’T press “Post comment/message” without making sure that is *really* what you want to say. Some forums don’t allow you to edit your own comments. And also high page rank forums are very popular on Google, so your comment could get read by *a lot* of people. Check spelling, and check you’re definitely relevant and you’re actually adding value by posting.
DON’T specialise too much. Participating in a wider range of topics broadens your reach, and stops you looking like you’re just there to promote your own site.
Lastly – DON’T just be there to promote your own sites. Do have a genuine interest, and add genuine value.
WordPress.com forums AND WordPress.org forums are indexed on Google. If someone asks a question which you don’t know the answer to, doesn’t mean you can’t answer the question. Simply search on Google (or the forum) using relevant keywords and see if any other solutions exist for the same question … chances are someone solved it already, so you can either refer to that solution, or relay it in your own words.
No need to just post in one forum. I’m also a member of some photography forums, some geek forums and web design forums, etc. All these forums bring visitors to my site, via value that I’ve added there. If you’re really lucky and actually post something useful on your own site, you may find others linking to you from forums, without you having to do anything.
Thanks to Janice Wald for posting about “How to Immediately Make Your Blog Posts Go Viral”, she already sent me a lot of vistors, so partly my opportunity to give her something back in posting this. Reading her article, which is very useful, inspired me to write this.
If you have a blog or website, then the chances are you want people to visit it. One promotional/SEO strategy is to regularly post in forums that are related to what your website is about.
The benefits are many-fold in doing forum SEO – for instance receiving backlinks and organic traffic from Google. It’s also a good way to increase your own knowledge on your chosen field, to help others and (sometimes) make friends.
So there you have it 1300 words should have only taken you a few minutes to read, and now you’re a master of forum SEO … good luck with NINJA or GURU, or give us a shout over at DonCharisma.com if you need a contractor for the fast track … anything is possible with Charisma …
*Shameless self-promotion* – Sometimes we work – Our commercial site :
DonCharisma.com – you dream it we built it … because – “anything is possible with Charisma”
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