So your advertising isn't doing much for you?

Music Man

Keep Music Alive
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Messages
1,162
Music Man submitted a new Article:

So your advertising isn't doing much for you?

When you ask a new forum administrator what the toughest part of growing a successful forum is, they often reply "Getting new members". If you spend enough time speaking with them, you might find even more specific answers like "Finding a way to advertise for free that isn't a total waste of time, brings in the right people, and encourages them to stick around."

Well I'm here today to tell you all that you've been mislead by people who think they know what they're doing, and in good faith have shared their methods with others...but are going about it all wrong. Many admins today talk about some very outdated methods of advertising, and I'm not so sure anymore if it's just them withholding the better methods and sharing the outdated ones, or if they just don't know any better and are still making the same mistakes themselves. Regardless of their intentions, I'd like to expose some of the more commonly discussed advertising suggestions you may have heard, and point out the flaws they have, as well as provide some better options. I think I'll write this as a series when I get time to write, and as I come across more advertising myths and poor suggestions.

So here is part one:
Advertising at other forums.

All over the web you see people offering advice on how to advertise for free, and one of the most common that I see is the suggestion to advertise on other forums like yours. Now I shall dissect some of the recommendations I've seen, and hopefully I can help steer you all to a path that will get you more results for your time spent. For the sake of this article, let's say you started a forum dedicated to discussing Widgets a couple weeks ago, and your forum is located at WidgetTalk.com.

There are two major things that the following myths seem to suggest, but they are in fact things that can make your advertising efforts all for naught. These misconceptions are...


1. Posting on other forums and letting on that you are part of the staff at your forum, or even appearing to be a fan boy of your site is good.

2. Spending more time at other forums than you spend at your own is a good way to invest your time.

These two misconceptions are really hurting a lot of people, and in some cases it's killing their forums completely. If you only remember a couple things from this article, please remember the following. Posting as the admin of WidgetTalk.com on WidgetForums.com will...

Read more about this article here...
 
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simsgenius

Participant
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
96
great, i'm gonna use those tips with my own forum but which would you suggest, posting at a related forum with a link to several sites in your sig with 1 of them being your own or dropping links to your site every so often? or would you even get away with both?
 

Music Man

Keep Music Alive
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Messages
1,162
simsgenius said:
great, i'm gonna use those tips with my own forum but which would you suggest, posting at a related forum with a link to several sites in your sig with 1 of them being your own or dropping links to your site every so often? or would you even get away with both?

Good question!

If you're going to do both and get away with it, I'd recommend having a few other links in your sig, and use anchors rather than spelling out your url. For instace, if you look at my sig you'll notice three links that don't seem all that related. However, they all three point to pages on my music site. Of course I'm not trying to be sneaky here at TAZ, I'm allowed to promote my site in my sig. So as far as a sig goes, avoid banners with your logo, and avoid url's if possible.

Now when it comes to posting links every now and then, you also need to be subtle and make sure that it's relevant. For instance on my music site, we have a subforum full of threads that list news and tour dates of today's bands and artists. If I was on another music forum, and I wanted to get some traffic coming in to that section I would do the following. If someone was wondering when Radiohead was touring, I could link directly to the Radiohead Tour Dates thread in a helpful, but not pushy way. I often get away with this with nothing other than a "Thanks Man!"....without throwing in other links to Radiohead's official site or others. But I do make a habit of using anchors and blending it into my post like this...

example said:
I love Radiohead and I can't wait to see them play live! Here's where you can see Radiohead tour dates and I think Ticketmaster is where you can get tickets. If they are playing anywhere near you, you should definitely go see them!

Note that that type of linking is one of the most effective ways of getting SEO-friendly backlinks.

But if you decide to link like that in threads, make sure that not every single one of your links are to your own site. Mix it up and act like your site is not the only one you visit and recommend. ;)
 

Phanna1

Neophyte
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
8
One thing I have noted on forums is that if two forums copy each other's topics and content, basically one will get sick of the other. I have seen boards where the members at one invote the members of the other, and basically the same content appears on both. I found that people tend to get sick of a "repeating thread". Forum Games like word association is very applicable in this case.

Plus there are only so many times one can discuss Movies, Music and Tv shows.
 

Orp

ForumsForums.com
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
Messages
1,043
Music Man said:
But I do make a habit of using anchors ...



Note that that type of linking is one of the most effective ways of getting SEO-friendly backlinks.

But if you decide to link like that in threads, make sure that not every single one of your links are to your own site. Mix it up and act like your site is not the only one you visit and recommend. ;)

Interesting stuff. I thought having the url in my sig would make the name more recognizable.
Which type of linking is the one that is most effective for getting SEO friendly backlinks? Are you saying Anchors are better than listing the entire url for SEO? I don't understand why. Would you please elaborate?
Thanks!
 

Orp

ForumsForums.com
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
Messages
1,043
My forum is Off Topic, debates, jokes, computers etc.
I have struck up a relationship with a specialty tractor forum. We have been able to help each other by allowing sigs pointing back to our respective sites. Since the subjects are different, it seems worth it to maintain this relationship.

Anyway, it works for me. Now lets see if my sig works this time .....

nope. had to add it manually. whats up with that?


http://www.dothq.com Work
http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/ FUN
 

Music Man

Keep Music Alive
Joined
Nov 13, 2005
Messages
1,162
Orp said:
Interesting stuff. I thought having the url in my sig would make the name more recognizable.
Which type of linking is the one that is most effective for getting SEO friendly backlinks? Are you saying Anchors are better than listing the entire url for SEO? I don't understand why. Would you please elaborate?
Thanks!
Well, would you rather people only find your site at google by searching for "www.yoursite.com", or would you rather use anchors everywhere you link your site, and have a number of keywords associated with your site?

For instance if I am a member of 5 other forums, and in my sig at all 5 I simply put http://www.keepmusicalive.com, then all I'm doing is telling google that my site has content dealing with "www.keepmusicalive.com". However, if I use 5 anchors such as "music forum" "tour dates" "song lyrics" "guitar discussion" "songwriting"....then I'm telling Google that my site has content related to all of those subjects. After getting enough backlinks with good, diverse anchors, I may find myself being ranked very high for some of those if my site actually contains relevant content and I'm not just pulling keywords out of my ass. So use anchors, but make sure you're using keywords 100% relevant to what you're linking to, and also keep in mind that the place where your link appears should have some content relevant to your keywords and linked page on your site. Me having a link in my sig pointing to a music page, with a music related anchor, but placed on a thread or site with absolutely no music discussion does me far less good than placing it on a related music site or page.






Orp said:
My forum is Off Topic, debates, jokes, computers etc.
I have struck up a relationship with a specialty tractor forum. We have been able to help each other by allowing sigs pointing back to our respective sites. Since the subjects are different, it seems worth it to maintain this relationship.

Anyway, it works for me. Now lets see if my sig works this time .....

nope. had to add it manually. whats up with that?


http://www.dothq.com Work
http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/ FUN
Signatures are turned off in this forum to avoid clutter.

And by the way, what you wrote isn't a url with anchor text, it's just a url with the url as the anchor, and a word placed after the link. To truly use an anchor, meaning a keyword will show instead of your url, do this...

[noparse] Keywords Here[/noparse]

That will show up as Keywords Here
 

.Rogue

The Thinker
Joined
Aug 19, 2006
Messages
339
Excellent article and will help me out very much. I can see a few mistakes that I've been making now.

Thank you.
 

QueenB

Neophyte
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
3
Very useful info, thanks. Ive been tempted to do a couple of the 'wrong' things myself and you just saved me! Thank you.
 

The Kingpin

Devotee
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
2,551
I think that this article has highlighted some very interesting points and should be read properly by anyone interested in starting a new forum.

I agree entirely with you about the exchanges, they are a complete waste of time, i don't see what you gain at all by posting the same number of posts on someones forum as they are on yours. Usually the person posting on yours has no ideas about your subject.
 

netridge

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
212
caught my attention when you said widget in the topic :unhunh:
Very informative article, I would like to see you put one together about creating content. Nice work, thanks. :tup:
 

desertseo

Aspirant
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
22
thank!!! Excellent article and will help me out very much. I'll try. i was making mistake for long time.
 
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