10 Ways to Advertise Your Forum (Part #1)
By: Shawn J. Gossman

Everyone is looking for ideas to advertise their forum! The topic can be made discussed until it is dead and then revived and discussed again over and over again. So I thought I would ring in with a big article about the many ways to advertise a forum. I hope you enjoy this article and I hope that my methods and ideas can help get the word out about your forum and get you more traffic and members! This is 1 of 5 articles I will be posting with ways to advertise your forum.

1. Articles - Writing an article based on the niche of your forum is a good idea because people will usually read it. You need to be unique with the article and give something to the reader to make them want to click on your link and see more. I suggest adding your link (if possible) near the top of the article by your name (exp. By: John Doe, Owner of SomeForum.com) or at the bottom of the article with a marketing language attached (exp. For more information about this subject, check out SomeForum.com). You should write a lot of articles because the more of your articles that are read, the more reputation you build up for you and your forum. Post the articles on others sites besides your forum so that others can see them and you could possible get more back links in the process.

2. Signature Links - You should join other forums within your niche and outside your niche and add your forum to your signature link (if permitted, don't spam!). When adding the link, I suggest you add a short link with a short description and don't use huge font sizes and banners because it can make you appear to be desperate or even worse, a spammer. When you advertise through signature links, you need to go to the forum with being an active poster in mind rather than plugging your forum. Go post new topics and replies that contribute to the forum. Welcome new members on other forums. Help members on other forums. Befriend others on other forum and they will likely want to check your forum out as well. The main reason for signature linking on other forums is to build up a positive reputation which will likely make other members more curious about you and your signature's forum link.

3. Blogs - Consider writing a blog all about your forum's niche. Be active on the blog and advertise the blog here and there to help get readers and traffic. You can link to your forum on the blog and it will be shown to your readers. If you provide your reader with something they can use and then refer them to join your forum for more resources and information, then you will likely get more members on your forum. You should also be an active blog commenter. Go around looking for blogs that share the same or related niche of your forum and comment to their posts. Engage the blogger with further questions or add more resources in your comment. Put your forum under your name or in the link field if there is one present. I have got a lot of blog owners to join my forums in the past because of this tactic.

4. Social Bookmarks - You have seen those buttons for Digg, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. If you click on those buttons, you can share posts and links of social bookmarking websites which will drive all sorts of traffic to your forum. I suggest doing this for articles, blogs, main topics and pages on your forum. You just need to make sure that the post or shared content is worth the read. Don't share an introduction post or a post for a thread game. I would share my forum admin articles using social bookmarking because it gives readers something suggestive to do with their own forum. Do this often and you can start to develop a following of visitors who want to read your content and it's a good way to get new members as well.

5. Groups - A news group is a good way to get more traffic because people still use them frequently. I suggest going to them and joining them. Then you can start contributing to their related topics and develop relationships with the members. After that, you can start inviting people to join your forum. It's better to make friends and then invite rather to just join and invite because if you just join and advertise, you are going to look like a spammer. If you get the reputation of a spammer, then people will likely avoid your forum like it's the plague and that could haunt you for the rest of your forum's life.

6. Post Controversial Topics - Back to your forum now, get on there and post topics that are controversial in nature. That will make people want to reply to get their opinion and ideas about the topic. I do this often and because of that, I create several page topics with a lot of people responding. This is a good tactic because it's baiting guests to want to register and become a member so they can reply with their comments and ideas about the topic. You should post many of these topics as well because it will keep people coming back to the forum to discuss it.

7. Answers - There are tons of answer websites out there like Yahoo! Answers and so on. You can take advantage of these websites by answering questions related to your niche and then adding your forum as the source of where you got your information. People are always looking for answers to their questions and a lot of times, Yahoo! Answer pages will show up in search and then your answer could be the one they see along with your forum link. To master this tactic though, you need to ensure that you give the best possible answer you can give so that they select you as giving the best answer. This will also rank you up through the answer services and build you a trusted reputation which could be helpful for advertising your forum as well.

8. Trade Links - Go to other forums, blogs and websites that are the same niche as your forum or at least somewhat related and ask for a link exchange. This is a good way to help someone else out while they are helping you. You link to their website and in return, they link to your forum. You should try to stick with websites that is related to your niche though because then you will get traffic that is interested in your niche. This is also a good SEO tactic as it creates relevant back links which help give you a higher score in search engine ranking.

9. Reviews - Ask for reviews for your forum from bloggers and other forums such as ForumPromotion.net and other advertising forums. This will not only show your forum link to others and drive traffic over to your community but it will also give you a chance to see the Ups and Downs of your community and what areas you should improve. I have got a lot of new members simply by asking for reviews on other websites and I highly recommend you do this tactic too.

10. Webinars - Create a webinar about your niche using YouTube and other video sharing websites. Make a good webinar that teaches viewers something new or something important relating to your niche. Ask them to join your forum throughout the webinar to learn more information and discuss the topic further with others who are interested in it as well. This is a growing and popular way to get traffic to a website nowadays and you should consider using it as well.

I hope you enjoyed this article. I have 4 more planned for this series and that will come soon.. Please show you support by giving a comment or two about this article and thank you for reading it!