So you run an online business or are an affiliate of a big online MLM or you want to promote your blog and have a low budget and thus cannot advertise with the big boys on Adwords, ValueClick Media, DoubleClick and other big ad networks? Not to worry. You can still get a piece of the Internet cake albeit you have to work smart for it. How? I’d show you in a few minutes. Read along…
There are indeed several methods you can promote/advertise your online business without paying a dime for the promo/ad. I have used these methods with varying degrees of success over the years and willing to share it with you here and now. In this blog post however, I will be discussing only one of them – Online Discussion Forums.
It is indeed possible to reach out to a target audience through online forums – without paying for it. You sign-up at forums that best meet your needs, and then contribute meaningfully to the existing threads, or even create new threads of your own. Be careful not to be too aggressive in doing this, as forum admins/moderators might consider your action spamming if you tend to be too explicit for comfort.
What you need to do is search the forum for topics that relate to what you intend to promote. You then add your opinion and ideas to the discussion, and can then point to your URL (web address) where it is necessary to do so. Forum members would start noticing you when they find your contributions useful and would not only click on any link you recommend, but would also contact you directly for further explanation about your business. These are leads – potential customers. Again, remember not to spam. You might be banned if you splash your URL all over the forum indiscriminately. Whether you point to your URL in the thread or not, the users should see your signature – which should contain your URL.
That brings me to the next issue: Signatures
You can advertise your website on discussion forums by including a text link or banner image to your URL in your signature section. Some forum admins restrict the lenght of text you can include in your signature section so you need to use this very wisely. Where a lenghty text is allowed, you can include a 468×60 banner ad. Your banner image should be attractive, well-designed and not too flashy. Where possible, have a web graphics designer design a professional banner for you.
Where the text length allowed is for example 60 characters, you need to be very creative. Your marketing text would then have to be crisp and sweet, in a nutshell, it has to be free from all elaboration and superfluous detail. If your URL is a long one, you can shorten it by using services like TinyURL or that of Justin Hartman – TinyLink. With a short URL, concise marketing text, your signature should do just fine and attract the much needed clicks to your website.
Finding a good discussion forum:
Search for online forums that have a huge number of active members and that target your core audience. Aside huge numbers, look for forums that have rules and enforce them so you know you’re protected if you stick to their rules, and that no other user will encroach on your rights.
The forums I am suggesting below are not the only ones out there. Research for more.
*Do not spam. Spamming is counter-productive. Forum members would ignore your links if you are too aggresive and always posting duplicate content. You can get banned by the forum administrators or moderators when found.
*Use decent language. Do not go around attacking other members on the forum. Research and have a good knowledge of a subject matter before you post. All these would go a long way to bring some respect to your person, and some attention to your business.
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