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Gain Traffic and Make Money Online by Using Forums

November 27, 2007

traffic using forums
Photography by gaurang.

If you’ve tried everything imaginable to increase your site’s traffic, including even the tiniest little ideas, but you are still not getting the amount of visitors you were hoping for, then you might want to try forums.

A forum is basically an online discussion group, focused around one niche. The members of a forum can make posts and discuss everything related to their niche, ask and answer questions, and even private message each other. A forum is like a blog for the people!

For example, take Digital Point Forums. This is a forum I actively participate in the most, and it is for webmasters. There are separate boards in which you can discuss search engines, SEO, link building, domain names, HTML & web design, and a lot more.

The first thing you need to do is go to your favorite search engine and enter “[YOUR NICHE] forums”. For example, you might enter webmaster forums, technology forums, or even gardening forums. I will guarantee you that no matter what you blog about, there will be a forum out there you can join.

Once you find a forum you like (or even better, two or three) sign up for them all. Make your username your blog’s name or something equally catchy – and of course, your password something you will not forget. After you make and activate your account, go into your “User Panel” or whatever it might be called on the forum you signed up on. Add an avatar (a small icon which goes beside all of your posts and identifies you; can be changed later) and a signature (can also be changed later).

The signature is important; it is what helps you gain traffic! Make sure you read the rules associated to the forum, and if they permit it, link to your blog in your signature. Use catchy vocabulary and colors that will make people notice your signature and want to visit your site.

Then all you have to do now is get to posting! Make sure you add value to every conversation and don’t just take, give back to the community by answering questions you know about. DO NOT SPAM. Remember that your signature will be shown at the bottom of all your posts, so you want to make good replies with a lasting impression.

Remember how earlier I mentioned Digital Point Forums? Well, this is how the money-making comes into play. I recommended everyone who has a blog or website to join this forum – you can definitely learn a ton here, I know I have!

After you sign up on DP Forums, again you should add your avatar and signature. But this time, take note of their Buy, Sell, or Trade Forums. I’m pretty sure your account must be of a specific age and that you must to have made a certain number of posts to use these forums, but once you’ve done that they will be your best friend.

At times I have not been able to get the exposure I wanted for my advertising sales, and I can do that on DP Forums. If I’m selling banners or text link ads, I usually make a post on DP letting the other forum users know. In fact, most of my previous advertising sales have come about through negotiating on the DP Forums. Without using forums, I would not have made as much money as I have today.

Basically, using forums is ONE OF THE SMARTEST THINGS YOU CAN DO if you are a blogger or webmaster. You can reach a whole new range of people who might be interested in your site. You can gain plenty of traffic and, if you play your cards right, make a little money in the process as well.

But remember, for people to check out your site or trust you, you have to give back to the community. Spend time daily reading topics and replying to them with helpful information. People will see your signature and click on the link to your site. Whenever a question or post comes up that you have written about on your blog, link to your article! I have done this before and people have actually visited it and thanked me for bringing it to their attention. JUST DON’T SPAM. Be helpful and be honest and the favors will be returned.

Using Forums You Can:

  1. Reach a whole new group of people,
  2. Gain plenty of traffic,
  3. Possibly make money online,
  4. and learn a lot of new things about your niche!

What’s to lose? Get started and join some forums. :)

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26 Responses to “Gain Traffic and Make Money Online by Using Forums”

  1. Frank C on November 27th, 2007 9:35 am

    Another thing that helps you build traffic, as long as the forum isn’t nofollow, is to put links specific articles on your blog in your forum posts. Of course, they have to be relevant, not spammy. This usually works best with your quality pillar articles that people will find useful.

    What this will do over the course of a few months is help get your individual articles indexed by Google, have them show up well in search results and give these pages PR of their own.

  2. Sue on November 27th, 2007 10:01 am

    I agree with you on digital point, I have learned so much from all the people who post there, as well as get some entertainment out of the other!

  3. Tay on November 27th, 2007 3:09 pm

    @Frank – Great tips Frank, thank you! So far I’ve only been promoting my blog’s homepage but I think your idea is even better. I might try promoting my ’75 Ways to Increase Your Site’s Traffic’ a little more too. :)

    @Sue – It’s definitely a great forum, that’s for sure! Whenever I don’t have a clue about something and need some quick help, I can get it within five minutes. DP is a great place. :D

  4. Forrest on November 27th, 2007 4:30 pm

    This is true … moreover, forums are great for what people are calling reputation management these days. If you’re a positive, helpful presence, naturally people will check out the links in your signature, but they’ll also remember having a good impression of you.

  5. Tay on November 27th, 2007 10:13 pm

    @Forrest – Very true. Using forums a person can get a lot of positive exposure for their site as long as they are polite and don’t spam. :)

  6. Michael on November 28th, 2007 12:41 am

    Well I thought I would add a real world example of how forums brought my traffic up almost 100% since last month. I have taken alot of advice from your site to heart. Using your 75 ways article, I did the forums thing. I put my website my signuture. Then began helping people with computer problems linking back to articles when needed. So far my traffic last month ended at 531 Unique visits. I’m currently experiencing over 1300 unique and its not the end of the month yet. I know for a fact that at least half came from the forum I belong to. Thanks for a great post.

  7. Tay on November 28th, 2007 12:55 am

    @Michael – That is fantastic! You definitely do have a lot of great articles and a lot to learn on your site, so I can see why so many are stopping by to visit it. And the even better thing is, if you keep it up, that traffic will only continue to increase and you will gain a lot more loyal readers.

    I’m glad that the 75 Ways to Increase Your Site’s Traffic article helped you out, and it definitely means a lot to me to know that you’re reading my content. Thank you for sharing your success with us. :)

  8. Ruchir on November 28th, 2007 9:17 am

    Check out bloggeries.com . It’s not as active as DP but still good for a blogging only forum…

  9. Lisa on November 28th, 2007 9:05 pm

    Don’t forget to check the forum to see if Google indexes the signature sections. Some have nofollow on all signature text.

    To test this you can simply go into the forum, scroll back a couple months of posting, and find someone’s signature with a link to their page. Now, you use google’s pagerank tool to find all the “backward links” to that forum user’s signature URL. If the forum shows up in the results, click it. Make sure it is the signature that has been indexed and not the body of a post. If it is in fact the signature that google has indexed, tada!! You’ve found a forum that indexes the signature, and you can post there to help build your page rank.

    Two other small things you can do besides increasing your own backwards links. Make sure the text in your title and h1 tags are exactly the same as your URL. This will increase your PR and make you more prone to receiving “navigational queries.”

  10. Mario on November 28th, 2007 10:57 pm

    You are right about the Digital Point forums: they are a wealth of information. I also wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts on the use of forums as a way to get genuine traffic.

  11. Tay on November 29th, 2007 3:03 am

    @Ruchir – I definitely will do that, thanks! :)

    @Lisa – Good tips, even if a forum sends plenty of traffic via links backlinks are always a bonus! Thanks a bunch for sharing your advice.

    @Mario – Thank you for your comment. Yes, DP has so much to offer all the time. Their resources are endless. :)

  12. Forrest on November 29th, 2007 3:21 pm

    Lisa; I think whether a forum uses nofollow or not in signature links, Google is able to ignore or discount them. In any case, any given page ( ie the one displaying the posts in a thread ) only has so much link juice to spread around, and that gets divided among all the outgoing links.

    Whether or not a forum can pass along some love in the SERPs doesn’t seem that important. But if you make valuable posts, that are well liked, people will click your signature links. Not all of them, but active forum members will want to learn more about other members they like. Which means you’ve just introduced new readers to your site; if any of them are bloggers, and impressed enough, you may earn a ( “real” ) link on their blog roll, in their next post, or something along those lines.

    Personally, I think that’s far more important than whether a post will carry a “live” link in your signature. The point being that a forum can still be valuable, even with nofollows.

  13. Tay on November 29th, 2007 5:29 pm

    @Forrest – Google actually is counting some of my backlinks from forums, but I doubt that it’ll do much good. Extra links don’t hurt but I think traffic is the biggie here.

    And like you said, as long as the post quality is good people will click the link, and if they like your site who knows – you might have an extra reader!

    The main thing I gain from forums, personally, is traffic and knowledge. I can learn a lot about my niche and get people to my blog at the same time, and I find that pretty cool. :)

  14. Forrest on November 30th, 2007 2:42 pm

    I see some forum links showing up in Google’s Webmaster Tools, but I doubt they carry much weight. I also see nofollow links there. Whether Google knows about a link, and whether they give credence to that link are two different questions. And we really can’t say the answer with certainty unless one of us takes a job with Google … so at the end of the day, the answer is probably “it doesn’t hurt, and may help a little.” Just don’t expect forum sig or even post links to be a silver bullet.

    But I want to comment on what Tay said: “The main thing I gain from forums, personally, is traffic and knowledge.

    If you stop to think about it, that’s actually a profound “tip.” You always hear about politicians keeping their finger on the pulse; reading a forum within your niche to keep up to date on what people are concerned about, tired of, or want more info … can only make you a better blogger, help you write posts people will want to read. We keep hearing about how Stumble is able to send loads of traffic, but following Tay’s example is probably the best way to make ‘Stumble friendly’ pages.

  15. Tay on December 1st, 2007 1:37 am

    Forrest, I have links from forums showing up in Google Webmaster Tools, and also a few of them in Google search results when I type in “link:superbloggingtips.com”. You are right, Google knows about mainly all links but most of them don’t give credit.

    Thanks Forrest. Yes, I do learn a lot using forums. If a blogger stays isolated and doesn’t participate in other blogs, communities, or message boards, then if something new happens they most likely won’t know about it, or will learn too late. Forums are a great way to, like you said, stay on top of things. :)

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    […] Gain Traffic and Make Money Online by Using Forums – Tay […]

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    […] Gain Traffic and Make Money Online by Using Forums from SuperBloggingTips […]

  18. Making Money Online Using Forums on December 27th, 2007 3:31 am

    Wow! Is it true we can get more traffic and make money online by using forums? Thanks for sharing your advice. I will try this and participate in the discussions..

  19. Find Ideas for Posts by Using Forums | Super Blogging on January 29th, 2008 3:16 am

    […] and forums have so much potential to help you grow your blog. Previously I discussed how you can gain traffic and make money using forums. If you post on forums that are in your niche by answering questions and helping others, then not […]

  20. Colon Cleanser on February 12th, 2008 8:52 pm

    Yup. This true. Forum is still my main traffic source. Blog will give me some but most of them comes from loyal forum readers who believe the value that I offer in the forum.

  21. Tay on February 13th, 2008 2:26 am

    @Colon Cleanser,

    Social media, search engines, and forums are what gives me a lot of traffic besides other blogs (and Entrecard). Using forums is something I’d do anyway to get and share advice, but thousands of extra visitors from forums over time is definitely a huge added bonus!

  22. Wade on April 16th, 2008 6:52 pm

    It takes a popular topic to get a forum going. If not, it will be a ghost town.

    Wade’s last blog post..Posts In The Bank

  23. CyberReview on May 18th, 2008 1:49 pm

    I must also admit that posting in forums helps me gain traffic to my site and increase their page rank in Google.

  24. Mmo on June 17th, 2008 1:46 pm

    It’s hard to get traffic from forums unless your signature link or post is perfectly targeted to that forum’s specific niche. Forums can however be a huge wealth of information. I’ve learned a lot from Digital Point and other webmaster forums. But then again, I’ve equally learned just as much from reading blogs :D.

  25. Doc on July 27th, 2010 11:54 am

    I agree with the poster above. You really have to work with targeted forums. However, results can be substantial when you do this.

  26. 10 Simple Steps to Increase Your Blog’s Traffic | Super Blogging on August 6th, 2010 11:18 pm

    […] No one can deny that one huge aspect of maintaining a blog is being social and building relationships with other bloggers. That’s how social media has helped to mold the internet. Create a Twitter and Facebook and invite your readers to add you so that you are able to easily network with them. Also participate in sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, and others. Not only will this aid in your traffic growth, but it will also help to build long-term results with repeat and loyal visitors. See: using Twitter, using StumbleUpon, using blogging forums. […]

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