How To Find Forums & Forum Etiquette
|July 17, 2011||Posted by Louise under Website Traffic (and Customers)|
So you’re ready to join a forum and you may be wondering how to find one. The most obvious starting point is to run a search on Google. But there are other tricks too, which I listed below:
3 Ways to Find Forums
- Just ask: Sometimes we overlook the simplest method of all. If you know people, have a mentor or follow experts in your niche or in the internet business field, it’s super simple to ask them which forum they recommend.
- Use a Search Engine: To do a search, enter “topic name forum” in the search field, topic name being the name of your niche (whether one word or more) or any business-related topic you are interested in exploring, like web design, internet marketing, SEO, etc. Don’t forget to encapsulate the text in quotation marks.
- Use Forum Search Tools:
- Omgili.com is a search engine for forums, discussion groups, mailing lists and other user generated content platforms. Just enter the topic and it will provide you with a list of discussions containing those keywords.
- Boardreader is another forum search engine you can try.
- Big-boards is not a search engine, but rather a directory for forums. Just click on the Forum Directory link or Forum Search link in the left menu.
Now that you’ve found and joined a forum, you are good to go. Your finger is poised over your mouse, but before you
click consider a little bit of forum etiquette. As in most communities, accepted social rules exist in forums and respecting these will keep you in the good books and in the game.
Here are a few steps to get you on your way to proper forum behaviour:
Always familiarize yourself with the rules of the forum.Like a business, a forum is a reflection of their owners. And since we are all different in what we value and strive for, so do the rules of each forum. Rules are usually situated in a thread of their own, near the top of the forum’s main page, easy for members and newcomers to find.
In the beginning, get acquainted with the forum. Introduce yourself and read the threads. Watch how members participate. You’ll get a feel for the environment and you can use that to fit in. If you discover that the forum disagrees with you in any way, such as the niche is focusing on an area you want to avoid or the members are too pushy, then you can delete your membership. It’s just as important that the community fits you and your business as you fit into the community.
Use this opportunity to build your reputation. Go by your real name, be honest, and don’t pretend to be someone you are not. Include a picture of yourself and a link to your website. Of course, you shouldn’t have to share everything, such as your personal address and phone number. But you certainly can provide your business information. It makes you look credible and builds trust.
Be aware of what image you are projecting. Everything you say and do in a forum (and everywhere else) reflects upon you. Your actions affect your reputation.
Be respectful in your interactions. Encourage, don’t discourage. Especially, don’t argue. Turning threads into arguments might not only disrespect someone else’s opinion, but it also wastes everyone’s time. Also, be tactful when sending private messages to members. Make sure you’ve built a rapport before contacting someone directly.
Go ahead and ask for help. Start a thread and ask away. If the forum is large enough, there will be many natural mentors who are experts and love to share their knowledge. And don’t be afraid to look inexperienced. Plenty of other members will appreciate your questions and the accompanying answers. Don’t forget to thank others for their help.
Finally, give back to members. Offer help when you can and always respond to posts and messages addressed to you.
So, now you know the benefits of forums , how to find them and how to behave once you’re there. Are you going to try and join one? Are you already a forum member? Feel free to add your comments below.
keep moving forward…