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Promoting in Online Forums
Forums can be a useful tool if
you`re doing business online. You can learn a lot by reading the
content and actively taking part in the discussions. Reading a
forum's archives can be a great way to get a basic knowledge
about a topic, and it can also give you pointers about the
changes in trends and opinions through time.
It is always very important to read the terms and conditions of
each particular forum for a basic guideline as to what is
acceptable. It`s also a good idea to read archived posts in
order to see the guidelines in action. If you don`t, you could
end up doing something wrong, like spamming the forum, and that
could seriously hurt both your name and your business.
Taking an active part in forums can help you gain recognition in
topics you show some knowledge of, and may even result in some
great business leads and contacts. Read through posts, and
answer any questions you are able to in a polite, friendly and
helpful manner. It`s a brilliant way to get your name and
services known, but you have to be aware that different forums
have different rules in regards to self-promotion.
Some won`t allow any hint of self-promotion, some are
specifically aimed at self-promotion, and a lot of them fall
somewhere in between, allowing either signature files or URL's
to an off-the-page member profile. The in-between ones are the
best ones to use for marketing yourself, especially as the ones
aimed at promoting usually end up more like "spam boards" than
See if you can choose forums that allow a sig file, which is
basically a short block of text about you and/or your services
which can be automatically attached to the end of every post you
make. No matter what you do, never EVER post a reply to a
'legitimate' topic with nothing but spam in the body of your
post. This will annoy forum members who are seeking valid
answers, and kill your credibility as an online marketer almost
"Netiquette" is a must-have if you`re planning to use forums.
What is netiquette, you ask? Basically the same as offline
etiquette. It is essential to have a good understanding of
acceptable ways to communicate with other forum members. That`s
why it`s so important to do a LOT of reading in the forums
before you start posting messages yourself.
This is where good moderators come into play. They check the
forums for inappropriate posts and spam, they keep the boards
clean, and make sure everybody plays by the rules. Forums
without moderators tend to turn into ghost-towns, with nothing
but spam bots visiting them. A nice clean board needs good
moderators to keep it that way.
In the worst-case scenario, if you break the rules in a forum,
by maybe spamming, or using inappropriate launguage or behaviour,
either the administrators or moderators may well end up banning
you from that particular forum. If that happens, they will most
likely delete each and every post you`ve made, whether it`s good
Happy Visiting and Posting.
Anna-Marie Stewart Venton
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