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
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 homemadetransisterradiofortolkienfansforum.com 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.