Join Forums to Help Your Business Grow
|July 17, 2011||Posted by Louise under Website Traffic (and Customers)|
It takes work to build an online empire. If you’re on your own, at the very least, you have to manage one website, create content and products, and let’s not forget constantly research and train to help you achieve it all (and keep it all). You can’t afford to miss out on valuable relevant resources that will help you along. Especially ones that offer a variety pack of benefits like networking, training, problem-solving, researching and more. One such resource is a forum.
What Are Forums?
Forums are controlled online sites where you as a member can have conversations in the form of posts. The posts are broken-up into topics, which are in turn grouped into categories of discussion of a broader topic. Better said, a forum is an organized discussion board for a specific subject.
Why Can’t I Just Use Twitter?
It’s worth noting that forums differ significantly from other social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. A platform like Facebook for instance focuses more on creating connections between people with the same interests, while forums behave more like closed communities. You could say that social networks are like tradeshows where you build connections and exchange business cards. Forums on the other hand are more like exclusive clubs, where members of a common interest come together to socialize, discuss topics, learn, and support each other.
So, What Are The Benefits?
Taking the time to participate in the right forums could benefit you and your business tenfold. Below is a list how:
Social: Joining a forum in your niche, you can build relationships with others in your field. Not only can you build business partnerships and find support, but make friends as well. It also provides a social outlet, which you may missing if you work from home.
Learning & Training: To succeed with any online business, you need to know how to market online and how to use many internet and software tools. Many forums exist to support you in this. Experienced members will offer advice and guidance to those that need it and do so at no cost.
Give Back: You could be one of those experienced members. Joining a forum in your expertise is a way for you to give back. Not only will you derive pleasure from helping others, but you’ll build more relationships in your field.
Building Online Presence: Your regular presence in a forum, be it business-related or niche-related, will get you exposure. Go under your real name and participate often. If what you offer is credible and has value, others will notice. The right forums provide you with the opportunity to get exposure and “build your brand”, as they say.
Increase Traffic: Participating on forums could bring extra traffic to your site. For example, if you joined an internet marketing forum, but your niche is on growing herbal gardens, you could have fellow forum members with complementary niches visit your site, like it, and recommend it on their site. You’ll gain extra linkage benefits and the potential for some extra traffic. Likewise, if you are participating in a niche-related forum and offering value in your discussions, you could have future clients visiting your site. Of course when joining a forum, you have to remember to include a link to your site.
Niche & Market Research: Joining a forum in your niche can help you find out more about your market or the industry itself. You can discover through the threads (series of posts in a conversation) the latest technology or trends. You can also review your target market’s discussions and uncover hot issues. You can then use these hot issues to help you create “wanted” content for your site and future products.
As you can see, forums can be wonderful tools in improving your business and keeping your world balanced. I participate actively in the Internet Business Codex Forum for internet marketers and was inspired to write this piece because of the all the benefits I have enjoyed in being a member.
Now, learn more on how to find a forum and how to get the most from your forum experience.