How To Find Forums & Forum Etiquette

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.
  • 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.

 

Forum Etiquette

Now that you’ve found and joined a forum, you are good to go. Your finger is poised over your mouse, but before you

how to find forums

© JcJg Photography - Fotolia.com

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…

12 Responses to How To Find Forums & Forum Etiquette

  1. Hi Louise,

    I like your post on finding forums. The part that sticks out the most is that you point out that you can ask any questions and to “not be afraid”.

    One such forum is the Warrior Forum. A lot of new business marketers are on there. I have asked many questions there and also have been able to answer questions as well.

    We are both part of a new forum, “I’m sure you know which one with a little study” LOL. I’ve noticed you making a lot of posts on there and that’s how I found your website here.

    You are building a great reputation there and I want to encourage you to keep going. You are doing the exact same thing that I did when I first started online and it led to a great service oriented business.

    I look forward to getting to know you better and to see your growth. See you in the forums!

    Michael Ottman

  2. Thank you Michael for visiting my site and offering your encouragement and kind words!

    What a great example of how supportive and mentoring a forum can be. If I could give you karma points right now, I would.

    I’m also at Warrior Forum, but have not visited much lately due to that special forum you alluded to taking up a fair chunk of my time. Yes, I have been pretty active and it’s been very rewarding.

    I will have to look you up there…
    Louise

  3. Hello Louise,

    Love the post here about forum searches and etiquette. This will guide the internet newcomers. Forums are a very powerful tool if used right. You have explained searching for forums very well and I am going to have to put your search tools in my tools folder for future reference.

    Reading and obeying each forum’s rules and practicing good forum etiquette will give the user an enjoyable experience. If the user follows your advice they will fall in love with forums and the knowledge that can be gained.

    Dennis Pippin

  4. Hi Dennis,
    Nice to see you here & thanks for the feedback!

    I agree that what you get out of a forum is based on what you put into it. It can be such a great resource for online businesses.

    So, glad I could provide you with some useful online tools.

    Louise

  5. Hey Louise…

    Another great article from you.

    There’s another way of finding a forum that fits what you do, and that’s with a forum search on Google.

    With your topic/niche/keywords in mind, try:

    forum:niche
    or… forum:keyword/s

    This will bring up the forums that operate in the area of your interest.

    In my case, I search for forum:writing, forum:how to write, and so on.

    And regarding that hidden forum we all seem to be frequenting; where much merriment and attitude enhancing discussion happens; long may it prosper!

    Anthony

  6. Hi Louise,

    WOW! What a fantastic blog.

    I wandered over here from “you-know-where.” LOL!

    I am SO impressed with the excellent content here. Truly I am! This post about forum participation and etiquette is SPOT ON! Very well said.

    I looked around a few pages here and I spotted a picture of your pupster, Juno, on your About page. What a cute little guy.

    Great layout, good graphics and excellent writing style Louise. This blog is a distinct CREDIT to you!

    Gary Simpson
    http://www.internetbusinesscodex.com

  7. Thanks for visiting again Anthony!

    Happy you enjoyed the article. As for,

    There’s another way of finding a forum that fits what you do, and that’s with a forum search on Google.

    With your topic/niche/keywords in mind, try:

    forum:niche
    or… forum:keyword/s

    Geat forum search tip. I will definitely use that one & add it to my list.

    See you you-know-where!
    Louise

  8. Hey Gary,
    Thanks for taking time out from your super busy schedule to visit.

    And thanks for your feedback! Means a lot coming from you, coach :)

    Louise

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