How to Join a Gang and Get More Traffic to Your Blog

I run with a tough crowd at Blogging Bookshelf, where I write blogging tips for smart people, based on my 7+ years of experience as a blogger.

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We’ve all heard for years that participating in forums is a great way to get traffic to your site. It’s an old Internet marketing staple. But it’s not as easy as just signing up, writing a few posts, and getting traffic back t your blog for life. You’ve got to pay your dues. Joining a forum is like joining a gang, and here’s how to do it right:

(But first, a quick disclaimer: While this piece will for sure bust a cap in your grill, you need to know that I’m a 24-year-old kid from the suburbs. Everything I know about gangs I learned from Gangland on the History Channel. And I in no way am encouraging you to join a real gang.)

1. Have street cred

You can’t just join a gang, start bossing people around, and expect them to start blindly icing fools for you. You’ve got to prove that you’ve got what it takes. You’ve got back up them fightin’ words. The best traffic I get from forums is from forums that I’ve been active on for a while; people know who I am. People know me, man. They know what I’m capable of, and they respect that.

2. Don’t be a cop. Whatever you do, don’t be a cop!!

No one likes a nark. Don’t be a punk, and don’t ruin other people’s fun. The other gang members will ostracize you and maybe even put a bomb in your mom’s car.

3. Get cool tattoos, not wussy ones

Your forum signature is your tattoo. You wouldn’t want a tattoo with a winky emoticon on it, right? Right. Make your signature something that you can be proud of, something that represents you and your blog well.

On a related note, some forums don’t allow signatures; people have to click on your user name to find a link to your blog. Avoid these. The kind that allow signatures will help direct significantly more traffic to your site.

4. Start a gang war

You want to get noticed? You want

people out for your blood? You want to live in infamy? Start a gang war. You want to get noticed on a forum? Start up a thread that will get A LOT of replies. Like what?

The way I see it, there are two main types of forum posts that will get lots of attention: controversial things, and things that everyone has an opinion about. Asking for people’s opinion about controversial things is self-explanatory, I think. As far as things that everyone can weigh in on, some examples are, “What would you do with $1000?”, “When/how did you start ____?”, and “What’s your favorite book/blog/movie about ____?” Note how each question is broad and can be tailored to pretty much any niche. The more people that view your thread, the more people view your signature, and the more people will click on it to visit your site.

5. Volunteer yourself for those missions no one else wants to do

Er”¦ In other words”¦ be as helpful as you can. Quality of your work is important.

6. Be active in your gang

The only way for people to notice you in your gang is if you’re out on the front lines, doin’ crap, sellin’ crap, hustlin’ crap. Same thing goes with forums. Quality of posts is key (remember tip 5?), but quantity is just as important. Don’t just be a one hit wonder (you’ve got to admit that was a pretty great pun).

7. “The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: You DO NOT talk about Fight Club!”

Know the rules, follow the rules. If you don’t, you’ll get banned forever from your beloved forums. You don’t want to commit a faux pas in your gang and wake up in the morning with your house on fire.

There you have it. Follow those rules and you should live to fight another day. People will revere you, and you’ll grow up one day to become the online mob boss you’ve always wanted to be.



  1. Really interesting stuff here, Tristan.
    I really loved your suggestions about the types of questions we need to put up in forums.
    You are absolutely right in pointing out that the most ‘broad’ questions will get the best response.
    I will try following that strategy for a few days and see the difference.
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  2. This is a very interesting article, i usually like starting a ‘gang war’ myself on my blog and it sometimes get carried over many blogs!
    And I think this can be implemented in forums as well as any social gathering you are participating in.
    Thank you.
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  3. Hello Tristan,

    I cannot but completely agree with you. I drive a decent amount of traffic from a very popular forum and I can attest to it that it’s more of less, joining a gang – and leading them!

    I once had to thrash out a fellow and give him 12 of the hardest for disbelieving the points I made…little did I know it would get me a very loyal following!

    However, like everything in life, it is my belief that moderation should be the key! When things are taken to the extreme, you may get mobbed by other gang members!

    Take care, stay safe and don’t be mobbed, Tristan.

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  4. Backlinking Strategy is much Better then doing Gang wars.
    Nitin Singh recently posted…Best Strategies to Drive more Likes on your Facebook PageMy Profile

  5. Interesting post. It is completely a new concept for me. Let me start a gang war on my blog. Thanks for the share.
    Lakhyajyoti recently posted…9 Most Trusted Ways to Make Money with Your BlogMy Profile

  6. He Tristan,
    Nice post and Yes, forum or group really play an important role in blogging. It helps in promoting our blog and also drive traffic to our blog. being active in group is very important step as it helps in making good connections with others. Thanks for sharing this post.
    Sudipto recently posted…Flappy Bird FOR PC / Computer / WINDOWS 7/8, MAC AndroidMy Profile

  7. nice post bro
    Its always cool to get with group as it helps to get assistance whenever you feel struck. Also it helps to learn from others mistake and preventing oneself of committing one.A very true experience depicted in your post.
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  8. A gang? Seriously? What type of gang admin?
    You really have a very unique style of writing :P

  9. No doubt, action is absolutely necessary. To drive decent traffic literally means a lot of work and thats the right approach.
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  10. Shu Arvilla says:

    I am new to forums. I appreciated the input of starting with something controversial

  11. Ya blogging is not possible without gangs. Forums are the best way to join the gang of blogger. Interesting post.
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  12. David Weightman says:

    It’s so hilarious how you get to relate blog traffic to similar to joining a gang, but seriously, your post make a lot of sense. Let me also add another one, It says “Get ready for some back-up, dawg!” which means, that as you gain followers and traffic to your blog you might as well need people to influence you to widen your scope of interest for your blog. Influencers are in a way motivates by giving helpful tips and tricks on how to best approach more people and deliver quality results to your blog.

  13. Author i respect your strategy but personally i think that search engine optimization both on and off page will help you to bring more quality traffic
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  14. Nice suggestions for creating your blogging gangs.
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  15. I usually love and prefer blog commenting for getting traffic. It’s best way to get backlinks and traffic. What do you say?
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  16. Great post, Definitely networking helps you build strong traffic easily…
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  17. having a close network of bloggers certain helps
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  18. I love your called to action headliner.. nice post..
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  19. Nice post, I belong to a few forums in my niche and I always notice that traffic from those specific forums increase when I’m active on them. It’s a good reminder. Your tip about general questions is very helpful. Thank you :)
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  20. This was the funniest thing I read all day. Maybe all week. Good job.
    Although I would throw caution at #4. Without details I know a very popular but controvesial magician who is banned for life from the most poplar magic forum site. Basically because he talked trash about a VERY popular magician who every one reading this will recognize. So, yeah, maybe not too big of a gang war… LOL!
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  21. Pretty nice information, it is really helpful in getting more traffic to our blog. Thanks for sharing this.
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  22. Awesome post with a very funny way to tell facts. Still loved the way you described each points.
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  23. These wars can be quite useful in bring traffic, but it does come at a risk. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful strategy.
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  24. This is a very interesting article, i usually like starting a ‘gang war’ myself on my blog and it sometimes get carried over many blogs!
    And I think this can be implemented in forums as well as any social gathering you are participating in.
    Thank you.
    Very great article…,asjalsas
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