Over the last month I’ve been frequenting a handful of Internet marketing/webmaster forums, not only for the valuable information provided by their members, but also as a means of building authority and gaining a following. I never understood why, but many aspiring marketers overlook the power of having “authority” status on popular, niche related forums. I know people who make a huge portion of their online income selling products and services via Internet marketing forums, like the infamous Warrior Forum.
Each forum is a community, much like a blog, with it’s own lingo, rules and rituals. People post threads and people comment. People agree and disagree. It is not unheard of to see digital debates continue for 60 comments amongst 10-20 people, and guess what? Within these arguments and threads lays the true grit and concern of potential niche information seekers.
Start studying some threads and you’ll see what I mean…
To be perfectly honest, it’s almost ridiculous how receptive these forums can be – essentially you establish yourself as being a contributing member by posting useful comments, you then start posting a few threads which is no different than posting on your blog, and once you have around 100 posts (which includes comments and threads) you start marketing your own info products, services and techniques.
Once you’ve achieved the status of being reliable and providing value within the community, you can pretty much bank on the fact that when you post up a thread with your latest report, service or method that people will eat it up – and I’m not embellishing this one bit. With the forum monkeys following your every move, you can write a report that might take you 5 or 6 hours, post up a thread with some clever sales copy selling it for $7-10 and cash out several hundred dollars in a matter of days. This is not a joke!
So where do I start?
First, you need to get rid of the notion that online forums are intimidating and uninviting – this is the furthest thing from the truth. Yes, if you’re an idiot and post up a thread asking the community to TELL you their profitable niches, you will get your ass fried in a heart beat, and believe me, it will happen so fast and so fierce that you’ll end up in a corner, sucking your thumb in fetal position.
With that being said, here are some tips to help you get started:
- Choose your user name wisely – Just like you would with a domain name, you don’t want to have a user name that says “noob” or “masturbation magician” because as time passes and you become more reputable, your name will not change. Choose a name that represents you strength, personality and or brand. You can find me on most forums as TheAtHomeCouple – genius, right?
- Complete your forum profile – Most online forums provide a “profile” section where you can put a little blurb about yourself, a picture, choose your avatar, and add your social bookmarking/networking/website links. Do not overlook the power of your forum profile – when you post comments that are useful, leave a controversial comment, or outright assassinate someones credibility like a ninja in the midnight mist, people WILL check your profile to leave you a private message or find out how the heck YOU are.
- You must have a signature link – For those of you who are not familiar, and signature link in a forum is no different than a signature link in your personal email. When you leave a comment or post a new thread, there will be a section below the content to provide a url (or several) of your choice. You want to include any links or sites that you are promoting because people will click your sig link, and it is a back link to your site. Tip: If you have recently launched a product, report, or your services within the forum, include a link to that thread within your signature file with a catchy anchor text i.e. Find out how to make $100 a day within 3 weeks! Internal traffic funneling my friends!
- Rules and lingo – Interaction is the heart and soul of every successful online forum. When you are new, take the time to read the forum rules and browse the threads for a few days making note of any lingo – because each forum has its own language.
- Comments are king – Once you feel comfortable, start to leave useful comments on threads that you enjoyed. Do not be one of those “great thread!” people because I guarantee that you will get lost in the shuffle with zero impact. Speak your mind. If something fucking sucks, believe it or not, you need to leave a comment saying that it fucking sucks, and explain why. Forums are a lot less formal than blogs and discussion groups, so don’t be afraid to say what you feel even it it means putting someone on blast. If you found the thread resourceful, then thank them for taking the time out to share the info with you, let them know what you liked about it, and what your plans are. On the same note, if you found the thread resourceful, but felt that they left out some vital information or steps, don’t hesitate to fill in the blanks for the rest of the readers to benefit from – this is a great way to build your rep as someone who is full of useful info!
Please, for the love of all things good, don’t brush off niche related forums as being a waste of time, because if you do you will be missing out on an opportunity to set yourself apart, earn reputation and generate some good revenue to add to your business model. Visit Google, and type in your niche/keyword+forum and you will find an endless list of communities for you to join. Start off small, posting 5 comments a day. After a few weeks you will have a solid foundation, and the position to start marketing yourself and your products to the community.
I’m going to be releasing a few secret ninja reports on a few IM forums in the next month or so, and will keep you guys updated on the progress, and the success!