You Can Double Your Website Traffic And Sales Using Relationalship Forum Marketing
Do you need more traffic to your web site, and more sales? If you do, then you need to consider an often neglected side of web site promotion which is called forum marketing.
Most web sites make use of forums to provide the element of response from user to owner and vice versa. These forums take many forms, and include the standard forums, discussion boards, bulletin boards and currently blogs where the visitors to the web site can leave their comments on the site.
Marketing has always revolved around relationships. The basic element of relationship from the aspect of online marketing is to weave an element of trust between the potential purchaser and the vendor or web site owner. Once there is this element of trust, even the tiniest bond that has been sown between the potential buyer and seller, it becomes easier for the potential buyer to take a further step to buy the product. That is why many marketers are establishing forum boards and blogs to interact with clients and to provide support and to answer queries.
These forum boards provide a fertile ground for you to test out forum marketing for your products.
You need to compile a list of the discussion boards and blogs that are related to your product or service line that you are going to market. Then on a daily basis, visit these forums to read their postings. These forums are the best sites where newbies to internet marketing would congregate to seek free resources, or request information or advice from more experienced forumers. When you see a post where you can respond, make a brief informative post, and more importantly make sure you leave a reference to your web site in your signature line. This confers on you two advantages. Firstly, you gain a backlink to your site when you leave your website address in a much visited forum, and secondly, forumers who read your post will tend to visit your web site by following the link in your post.
Some internet marketers channel all their visitors to a squeeze page and not to a sales website directly. This squeeze page is a sign up page where you get the email address of the visitor in return for a free download of a ebook or report or software. By using this squeeze page, you gain targeted leads.
Statistics show a potential buyer would need to be exposed at least 3 to 5 times before he becomes interested to take the next step to purchase anything from you. By getting his email, you can email him on a regular schedule or use an autoresponder to channel your marketing message across.
The most important part of forum marketing is to identify a group of marketing forums and blogs related to your product or services that you are selling, from which you can then launch off. Once you have the list of forums and discussion boards, it becomes a daily affair to spend enough time to visit these forums and to post to them. Beware though, forum reading can be addictive, and you can be spending a whole lot of time on reading and posting to forums. Track your leads, and as you continue to do your forum posting daily, you will see a steady increase in your web site traffic and your sales.
Hawaii Forum Popular Summer Vacation Activities
I don't know about you, but I live in a place where you can't really do much in summer, except perhaps shed all you clothes, stretch yourself out tight in an air conditioned room, and pant like a dog. Getting out is a punishment, and no one does it unless they are forced to. Your very survival is at stake; activities are out of the question.
But since you have your summer vacation, you'd like to spend it doing something meaningful and fun. Now what are the most popular fun things that people all over the world do during their summer vacations?
In summer, people like to get in or near the water. They look for recreational activities involving water. For example, there is whitewater rafting. What can match the thrill of paddling furiously as your inflatable rubber raft pitches and bobs dangerously, moving swiftly with the turbulent rush of water in the rapids? You have trained and expert guides to take care of you in case you put yourself in any danger. There are canoes and kayaks waiting on the sidelines to pick you up in case you manage to capsize. But still you feel the delicious threat of living life on the edge of safety. Your adrenaline pump works overtime. You feel alive like never before.
But this sort of high-octane, unrelenting extreme sport is not everyone's idea of good fun. What do you do if you are the quiet sort of person, not particularly athletic, and dislike too much physical exertion? Well, there's a popular water-based sport for you too - there's fly fishing. What's more relaxing than watching the float minute after minute as you sit coolly by, perhaps reading a favorite book or perhaps chatting away to your heart's content with like-minded friends or family members? And when a sizable specimen does indeed swallow your bait, the kick that you get out of it is hardly matched in any other sport.
There are many more aquatic activities for your summer delight. If you'd like to get in closer contact with the waves, why not try out scuba diving? There's a whole new world waiting for you down there. If you choose your scuba spot wisely, you'll get rich glimpses of a wholly different level of existence - the world of fish, corals, mollusks and other forms of marine life.
For some who want to really cool it off, water isn't quite enough. They opt for snow and ice. Skiing, skating and snowboarding are some of the most popular activities of the western world. But how do you get snow in summer? The answer is, not cheaply. There are places in Canada and also in Europe where it is possible to indulge in these activities all the year round. But whether in the Rockies or in the Alps, this will be much costlier than any of your other options. Of course, if your budget permits it, then what the heck?
My personal favorite activity during the summer is one that suits my budget best. I simply take a collection of my favorite books and movies, and hole up in an air conditioned room for a few weeks. They push the food in through small hatches, and clear up the dishes at night. Try it sometime, you might even like it!
Forums What They Are And Why They Re Essential For Anyone Considering An Online Business
Well... first off, let's define exactly what a Forum is so that you'll be able to relate to what I'm about to explain within this article.
The simple definition of a Forum is... it's a online community with a open discussion that allows you to 'Post' questions or queries related to a specific topic.
You can find Forums online related to any topic under the sun, so it doesn't matter what the question is that you might have because there's a Forum out there with hundreds, if not, thousands of members ready and willing to give you helpful Tips and Advice to the questions you have making your life and decision making that much easier.
I can't stress this enough, especially if you're New to Internet and the Internet marketing scene.
Now, for the last segment of this article on want to focus on WHY forums are essential for Anyone who is considering starting an online business.
Well, the main reason is this... Forums are a great way to research your market you are considering developing a Product or Service for.
Why, you ask?
Simply because this is where people go to post there questions about a certain problem they're dealing with and the 'Rule Of Thumb' is... when creating a Product or Service (no matter what kind of product or service it is) make sure it solves a - Problem.
This is the KEY ingredient to the success of your Product or Service.
Seriously, take a look at all the Posts from the members and note which ones share the most common threads.
If you see alot of common treads, that means there's potential for a Product or Service to be developed.
By doing this simple task it will save you Time and more importantly... MONEY, because who would spend the Time and Money researching and developing a Product or Service if there was NO demand for it. Right?
You see how this works.
It Pays to do a little research.
And Research is the KEY ingredient for a successful Product or Service and Forums are simply a great place to get started, especially for anyone considering starting an online business.
Now, with that said, what you need to do now is figure out what you would ENJOY doing as a online business and draft up a business plan from there.
This is a VERY important step.
Then, go to your favorite search engine and search out a few forums within the area of business your interests lie and become a member.
Take notice to the main topics and write them down on a notepad so you can look over them later to see if there's any potential.(Remember, the most common threads)
It's that simple.
I truly hope this article helped you and opened up your mind up to the endless possibilities that await you online, no matter what business your considering.
We all need Answers and Forums are simply the BEST place to get them answered.
Selling Yourself On Forums
Because of the anonymous nature of the internet people are generally more skeptical when it comes to doing business online. Owing partly to famous internet scams sensationalized by the media and to bad personal experiences online, people are less likely to trust a party whom they've never met in person.
As an online marketer, you face the challenge of building trust and loyalty without the benefit of a physical handshake, a face-to-face meeting, or even a smile. To this end online forums can provide an excellent way to build meaningful relationships with people and attract new customers.
By joining a forum in your area of expertise, you gain access to a community that shares your interests as well as a pool of potential customers. There are countless forums dealing with just about any topic imaginable. The vast majority of forums do not charge you a fee to register or post messages. Many allow you to include with your posts self-promotional "signatures" that you can use to promote your business and link to your website.
A good way to locate a forum relevant to your line of business is to do a keyword search using one of the major search engines. Why a major search engine? A Google search for "website marketing forum," for example, will not only return dozens of relevant forums on website marketing, but will also give you an indication of how highly they are regarded by the search engine giant, as gauged by how high they rank for that key phrase. Forums that rank higher on the search engine result pages (SERPs) are the ones of which you'll want to become a member.
Forums allow you to share knowledge and gain reputation as an expert in your field. Offering concrete advices that are immediately useful to other people is an especially effective marketing technique. Once you've gained credibility in your field, you will be sought after for your professional expertise without your having to promote yourself.
Participating in forums is also an excellent way to humanize yourself and your business. When people deal with you, they'll know that they're dealing with a real person, not a nameless, faceless business entity. By staking your reputation online, you demonstrate that you are willing to accept some degree of accountability for your actions.
If you're a generally honest and agreeable person in the real life, there is no reason to hide behind a company name when conducting business online. The personal qualities that make you likable in the real world will also make you likable in cyberspace. Indeed, establishing meaningful relationships online is a lot like making friends in the real world. After all, on the other side of the terminal is a real person with real emotions just like you.
Another key to meaningful online relationships is to create an atmosphere of openness and transparency. Although you normally use a nickname to start and respond to posts in public forums, you should use your real name in private correspondences. It is good practice to begin your messages with a salutation, addressing them by their real name whenever possible. A little courtesy can go a long way in building loyalty and trust.
Apart from selling your personal qualities, you must have something of value to offer to people- and at prices that are fair to everyone! On a venue where your personal reputation is not at stake, you can price a widget for any amount you want and hope someone will come along and buy it. When you do business on forums, however, you must be extra value-conscious when pricing your product or service. If you overprice your widget, you risk receiving flames from other members that could harm your reputation. This is why it's so important to research what other members are charging for a similar widget and to price yours competitively. Often you'll end up charging lower prices to members of your forum than to other customers with whom you have not developed as close a relationship for the same widget.
Building positive relationships is about making people feel important. Just as you want to feel good for having sold your product or service, people want to feel good for having bought it. This is why it is so important to promptly answer their questions and attend to their concerns. Listen to their inputs and incorporate their ideas into your business practices. This is how you make your customers a part of your team. It's not a stretch to speak of your customer as a member of your team. When you really think about it, no business can exist without its customers. Teamwork is not limited to interacting with other members of your company. It also takes teamwork to build a constructive, mutually beneficial relationship between you and your customers.
How Can I Monetize My Forum And Start Making Money With It
New forums are popping up around the net all the time, adding to the thousands of forums on out there already. Many of them will never make it past a few months; some of them become pillars of the ever growing internet community. What makes the difference you ask? The following concepts will explore why some forums become successful and how to turn the success into cash.
Forums are a place for people to exchange ideas. There are two key elements in that simple sentence, people and ideas. You need people in your forum and you need them to be talking about things that matter, things that will get others to join in the fun. This gets you to the first problem, getting people and getting them to talk. People don't like to join empty forums so you will need to get a few friends together and start posting topic others would be interested in talking about. When your forum is small, you really need to target a niche and get a good core group of regularly posting members. With many huge forums out there you are not likely to succeed with a broad forum. You can always expand later when your users ask you to. Start small with quality content, or if you already have a forum scale it down and find a target group.
If you are good with code or graphically inclined, you should spend some time customizing the forum so people feel like they are part of something special. You need to invest some time into making your forum look professional and inviting to people in your target niche. If you already have a forum maybe it is time for a makeover. Our visual sense is our strongest sense so a redesign will make a big difference.
Traffic, traffic, and more traffic. Every website needs traffic and everybody talks about how to get traffic so we won't dwell on it too much. We will look at how to make that traffic into cash instead. Now that you have a core group of users and your forum is looking all pretty, let's see if we can squeeze some ads in there. Affiliate banners such as Adsense probably won't make you money unless you have massive amounts of traffic so you are better off finding your own sponsors. Since you are targeting a specific niche of people you will have an easier time to find individual sponsors. You can use something like Adbrite where individual sponsors will sign up for your site, commission junction where you can lick niche specific sponsors, or you can implement a custom php solution, what ever you think might work best.
An even better way to make money is if you can directly sell services or products to your members. For example a forum talking about web hosts can offer web hosting directly, a forum talking about travel can offer downloadable wall papers and so on. Also a great idea is to have something like a gift shop where people can order T-shirts, coffee mugs and so on with the forum logo on it. You could also look into maybe a good drop-shipping retailer deal for arts and crafts related forums. The possibilities are so broad that we will discuss it in the next article.
For now the you have lots of work to do, target your forum at a specific niche, get a core group together and start producing some valuable content. If start seeing increase in your traffic you can start looking for advertisers or establish services for sale or get a product line together.
Phpbb2 A Tapestry Of World Languages
Several of my related articles about PHPBB2, the open source program that helps webmasters create and maintain internet forums, touched on many of the technical aspects of the program. What you may not know is that PHPBB2 has a worldwide audience with the potential to reach more than half of the world's population in their native language. Chalk it up to a combination of expert programmers and wonderful translators who have made this feat a reality. Without their hard work, the software's reach would be quite limited. Let's take a look at how translators have expanded PHPBB2 to the far corners of our world.
As with any software program, expanding it beyond one's native language presents its own special challenges. Not only must you write the code correctly, but you must translate it into various world languages, many of which are distinctly different from others.
I am impressed by PHPBB2 as it has expanded the reach of forums well beyond English and Western speaking countries to Asia, Africa, and South America. Indeed, not a continent is not represented save for Antarctica. Then again, if penguins knew how to communicate on our level I am sure a program would be made up especially for them!
So, exactly who is represented? I am glad that you asked! The following is a complete list of 60...count 'em 60 languages:
Afrikaans; Albanian; Arabic; Asturina; Azerbaijani; Basque; Bosnian; Breton; Bulgarian; Catalan; Chinese [simplified and traditional]; Croatian; Czech; Danish; Dutch; Esperanto; Estonian; Farsi; Finnish; French; Galician; German [simplified and formal]; Greek, Hebrew; Hungarian; Icelandic; Indonesian; Italian; Japanese; Korean; Kurdish; Lithuanian; Macedonian; Mongolian; Norwegian [2 dialects]; Polish; Portuguese [2 dialects]; Romanian; Russian [2 dialects]; Sakha; Serbian [2 dialects]; Slovakian; Slovenian; Spanish [2 dialects]; Swedish; Tatarish; Thai; Uighur; Ukrainian; Vietnamese; and Welsh. Yes, English is also one of the programs!
If you are one who favors international goodwill than you can appreciate as much as I do the many and varied languages as well as cultures represented because of PHPBB2. To further the software's reach, PHPBB encourages the creation of additional translations. A knowledge base to help translators out in their quest is listed right online.
As I mentioned elsewhere, PHPBB2 is a free program one that virtually anyone around our wonderful planet can access and translate into their own language provided they have a computer and internet access. One has to think that this bit of goodwill can go very far. Let's hope so...our world needs every bit of it!
Give Me A One Two Three And A Forum Online Forum Etiquette
It seems that every other article or guru tip you read extolls the benefit of one program or another as the absolute best way to enhance your internet marketing business. In reality, there are many ways to boost your business online - writing articles, search engine optimization, acquiring incoming links - the list goes on and on. But what about online forums? Are they really worth the investment of your time, effort and energies?
The answer really is quite simple, YES! If you are looking for effectiveness, looking for ways to enhance your web presence in a significant way, without spending a fortune-then forums are the ticket! One of the best ways which is often overlooked is to find forums relating to your line of business and join as many as reasonabily possible. Being a frequent participant on forums can increase links back to your website, increase your chances of being seen as an expert, increase your mailing list, sell more of your product, get new affiliates to sign up, make you new friends - and the benefits get extensive.
However, there are some things to think about before you get started in a forum. Your purpose is primarily to establish yourself as a knowledgable person (even a guru of sorts). You do this through a careful etiquette and approach. Here are a few helpful hints of good forum etiquette:
Things to Help Your Business (These are the GOOD Ones!):
1. Research each forum before you join. Make sure it's relevant to your business and see if the participants are in your target market. Look at how much traffic the forum gets. How busy is it? There's no point in joining a dead forum with very few posts.
2. Check the forum rules before you post. Some forums will allow you to post adverts for your business while others will object. Check if you are allowed to add a signature at the end of your posts - adding
a small biography with a web link to your business is a great way to increase incoming links to your site and to get more traffic.
3. Be polite and treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Even though you don't meet people face to face you will build up some great relationships if you take the time to give good answers to questions, to be helpful and to respect other people's opinions. And every post you answer adds to your reputation. Use your posts to give genuine, useful advice, not just to plug your business and you'll soon be looked on as an expert.
4. Don't be afraid to ask for advice - no-one knows everything and sometimes you will need help.
5. To make the most of your time on the forums, allow yourself only a certain amount of time each day.
6. Read only the posts that are relevant and that interest you and post answers quickly before moving on. It's very easy to spend the whole day on forums and not get anything else done.
Things that will Hurt Your Business (These are the BAD Ones!):
1. Never, ever use a post to blatantly advertise your business, particularly if the forum rules don't allow it. Nothing will damage your reputation faster than spamming a forum.
2. Don't go through the list of forum members, collect email addresses and send them unsolicited mail. At best you'll be banned from the forum and at worst the owners might report you to your ISP.
3. Don't ever get involved in a flame war (this is when a heated conversation on a forum boils over and degenerates into nothing but an exchange of personal insults). It might be really satisfying to say what you think about someone, especially if they've been getting on your nerves, but just imagine what other people will think of you if you do.
In conclusion, treat people online like you treat people in real life. Think of it as a networking event that's taking place on your computer and don't forget that other posts on the forums are made by real people with real feelings. You already know how to make friends and new contacts face to face. Apply what you already know to online networking and you could be enjoying great success with a global audience. Before you know it, you will have gain a tremendous amount of information, knowledge, networking contacts, friendships, and potential business venture partners for the future. You will be amazed at how extensive the list of benefits for forum exchange can be.
Forums Talk And Make Money
If you have a website about a topic you enjoy, you can make money from discussion forums. Talk, post links to your site, get traffic. Traffic means money, right? If not, try different affiliate programs or Google Adwords. The worst sites should get a couple cents per visitor. Now here's how to talk and make money.
Search "forum" plus the topic of your site on Google or Alta Vista. For my first site, I searched "backpacking + forum" and in the pages of results I found several good forums. I also searched related topics like "hiking" too. You can also check about.com, and other sites that have forums on many topics.
Registration is usually giving your email address and choosing a password. Some forums allow guests to post without registering. Once registered, browse the forum topics, and post a response to anything, just to "learn the ropes".
Income From Discussion Forums
The point of posting in forums is to get readers to come to your web site. Sure it's fun to give advice and discuss things of interest to you, but that's secondary. With that in mind, do the following:
1. Always link to your site. If they don't allow any links, find another forum.
2. Don't "spam." Sales pitches will be removed. Offer honest advice, or express an opinion, then sign off with your name and the link to your site.
3. Ask for help from others. This is an effective and acceptable way to "advertise." Enter a topic like "Can I get some advice?" and post something like, "I just started a meditation site. If some of you would visit and tell me what you think, I'd really appreciate it." Have a link to the site. People love to help, and to give opinions, and they'll click on those ads while they're at your site.
4. Look at total "views." Many forums show the total times each "thread" has been viewed. When you see some with many more than others, get in on those, or start a new thread on the same topic. Go where the traffic is, and get some of it.
I didn't like the idea of forums until I made a few posts, and saw my traffic and revenue climb for days afterwards. That convinced me. Just be polite, offer some value to others, and always have a link to your site. Many other secrets of using forums are covered in my newsletter, but this should be get you started. Talk and make money today.
Forum Posters For Hire
There will be a day when forum posting is not only just fun for people, but also profitable. Profitable for both the forum posters and the forum owners who hire them. Paid forum posting is nothing new, but it just hasn't really caught on in a way that I think it will someday. Many forum posters are loyal to their own forums and simply post there because they enjoy the community and the level of quality that the forum draws. However, if these forum posters knew how much money their hard work was making the forum owners, they might think to themselves that they should be entitled to some of this money. Building constant unique content for a website is no easy task as any webmaster knows. It's tough to be both a technical guru and a prolific writer at the same time.
Forum posting jobs and exchanges are best done out in the open right in a forum itself. There are many forums like this now where exchanges can take place. Finding forum posters who are interested in posting on forums in exchange for links, hosting, or even plain old hard cash is finally becoming common and easier to find. This is a good thing. Forums are one of the best ways to bring authors and readers together in an exchange of knowledge like never before. It's one thing to read someone's opinion in hard copy in a newspaper or magazine and then write to the author via snail mail. It's quite another to engage the author in a discussion forum in near real time.
So, if you have a forum that is just sitting there neglected consider exchange posts with others as way to help build your forum to a state where it becomes attractive with quality content so that others might join and build your community for you. Or, if you have more money than time offer to pay someone to post in your forum. You'll be amazed at how eager some forum posters are to post in your forum for pennies. Of course, the more incentives you can offer forum posters, the higher the quality of content and English Grammar you will attract. Don't expect forum posters to go out of their way for you if you try to low ball them. You want to develop a relationship with your forum poster so that if you need him/her to come back at a later time when activity slows you will have them eagerly awaiting your next forum posting job.
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