Forum marketing is an excellent way to market products for free. But there are a few tricks to marketing on forums without getting banned. You have to be careful not to do any blatant advertising or you’ll probably get banned very quickly.
The first thing you should do when you’re new to a forum is create an interesting profile. Add an avatar that’s a picture of yourself, or a picture related to the niche. If you’re in the dog training niche, you might put a picture of a dog – preferably your own. In the golf niche, it could be a picture of your favorite golf pro. You get the idea.
Next, start making posts that answer questions. You should never mention your website or product at this point. Being a member of a forum, you’ll be there to give people helpful answers to their questions and post an occasional thread of your own to spark a discussion or provide helpful tips.
The point of this phase is to start establishing yourself as an expert in the niche. By giving people valuable answers, you’ll be seen as the go-to person in your niche. As forum members start to recognize your contributions, they’ll start looking for your posts, hanging on your every word!
Check the rules of the forum to make sure they allow links in signatures. If they do, you can add a link to your site. You might prefer to link to a squeeze page, so you can start building a list of forum visitors that you can market to later.
Don’t do anything to draw attention to your signature – such as continually telling people, “I have more information on the site in my sig file.” Just keep posting as you have been, giving out helpful information.
After you’ve built up a very good reputation at the forum, people may start searching for you on their own. Make sure the name you use on the forums is featured in the text of every project you promote, because you need to make it easy for people to find your products if they start looking for them on Google.
You might even be able to JV with the forum owner after you’ve become rather well-known around the forum. You could offer a standard JV, or you could just ask the forum owner to be your affiliate. You might offer them a special deal, with a higher percentage of commission than normal affiliates – or a discount reserved just for their members.
Respect the forum boundaries. Don’t private message people and ask them to check out your site unless you already have some sort of previous relationship with them. The only time you should ever draw special attention to a project of yours is if someone makes a post that specifically asks for recommendations about products.
For example, if someone asks, “Does anyone know of any good books that can help me housebreak my puppy?” You could probably get away with posting, “Actually, I wrote a book about how to housebreak a puppy in just four days. If you’re interested, you can find the link in my sig.” If it’s an invitation to provide a product link, it’s probably okay – but otherwise, let the forum traffic funnel in on its own.