Seven Benefits of Internet Forums

Internet forums are wonderful places to be, especially as an Internet marketer. If you join forums in your niche, then be sure to benefit so much, especially when you try as much as you can to be active in the forums. Just take a look at the following benefits:

– Free Knowledge: In forums you have access to knowledge worth some real money for free. Forum members are ever willing to share their knowledge and experience with others, and you can, especially as a newbie, benefit from these free knowledge.

– Cost Saving: You are saved cost by having some things that you would ordinarily spend money to achieve given you for free by your forum members. When I was to publish my first site, I had some difficulties. Yet I had it published by a member of one of the forums I belong. I would have spent so much money to have someone else do it for me.

– Mentorship: Forum members provide a form of mentorship to newbies. There are those in every forum who are ever willing and ready to offer you help in every topic. And from there you can even develop a lasting business relationship with some of the gurus in the industry.

– Opportunity to build credibility: Forums offer you the opportunity to build credibility and establish yourself as a guru in the Industry where you operate. If you are the open-minded type that will always offer help to people, especially the newbies, you will soon be seen as a guru and an established expert in the Industry. The idea here is for you to always be willing and ready to offer useful help to people.

– Opportunity to advertise your products: The forums have sections where you can advertise your products for free. This is also another way of saving you cost. You also have the opportunity of advertising yourself.

– Early Guidance: I was in warrior forum and saw forum members discussing a particular product that was bought by some of them and found out that the product was just nonsense, and worse still, when they asked for refund as promised by the product owner, he said their guarantee was just for thirty days and that the time to ask for refund was over. This issue actually came up because somebody in the forum wanted to buy this product and wanted to inquire from the forum members whether to go ahead with the purchase or not. After all he heard about the product, I’m sure no charm in this world would make him want to buy any product from this owner.

– Source of Motivation: You can easily see people who will give you the motivation and encouragement you need to keep on in your business and eventually succeed. It is great to have people of like minds and in the same business line who are willing to co-operate with you and help in building you up. Remember that iron sharpeneth iron.

These are some of the benefits of joining Internet forums. And if you are yet to join one, I wonder what it is you are still waiting for.

Master the Art of Selling Yourself in Forums

People are very skeptical when they are doing business online due to the anonymous nature of the Internet, especially with regard to the bad personal experiences and Internet scams witnessed over the years. Naturally, people find it difficult to trust someone they have never met before. So, you need to know how to sell yourself in forums.

In online marketing, you face so many challenges of building loyalty and trust, establishing face-to-face meeting, or physical contact. This is why online forum is there to bridge the gap with people. It is a perfect way of attracting new customers.

By joining a community that shares your area of expertise you will build a solid business relationship that will attract a pool of future customers. There are many forums that deal with any topic you wish.

You are not expected to pay some charges for registration or posting of messages. Some will even allow you to post some self-promotional signatures you can use in promoting your link and business to your website.

Another way of locating a relevant forum for your business is by doing some keyword searches using any of the major search engines. As expert in your chosen area of interest, forum will enable you to gain reputation and share knowledge. You will be sought after for issues relating to your field, people need to be convinced that you have gained the necessary reputation.

Participating in forum is a great way of humanizing your business and yourself. So that when people are dealing with you, they will not entertain any fear. They will be convinced that they are not communicating with a faceless, nameless business entity. Staking an online reputation will do great harm to your business.

If you are a good and honest person generally, then try to show it in your Internet business, because those things that made you likable offline are also capable of making you likable in online endeavors. Truly, establishing meaningful relationship is like attracting new friends online. Another useful key is to create a transparent and open atmosphere.

In responding to public posts in forums, you may use nickname or your real names, but real names should be used strictly in private correspondences. A little display of courtesy could go a long way in building loyalty and trust. Ensure that what you are selling to people is a valuable commodity at highly reduced rates or fair prices. Be very conscious when you are pricing your goods or service. If they are overpriced, other competitors will take advantage of you. Let the pricing be moderate and friendly. It is a good thing to master how to sell yourself in forums.

Types of Online Forums

A forum is basically a medium where people can exchange their ideas and views on a particular issue. It is a sort of online community where visitors can hold conversations i.e. read and post messages of common interest. There are infinite numbers of forums that are running online like internet marketing forum, technical forums, entertainment forums, sports forums, and many more. Let’s discuss a few of them:

Marketing forum: The marketing forum is community where you can read and post messages that are connected with marketing and its various connected fields. Here you can discuss and increase your knowledgebase about topics connected with internet marketing such as search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, pay per click, offline marketing and alike. Whatever you want to market, whether it’s a product or service, you can get lots of information from these forums. Using the techniques mentioned here you can increase the reach of your marketing which thereby helps to enhance your sales and hence can manifold your profits, earnings and turnover.

Search Engine forum: The search engine is basically an encyclopedia of information. The information consists of web pages, images, etc. There are many search engines that are present but the major ones are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The search engine forum mainly consists of conversations that are related to search engine optimization and search engine marketing. This is again a medium of knowledge where you can exchange your ideas and get the solution from various people.

Make Money Online forum: There are money making forums that helps you to find ways with which you can make money online. It provides you various tips and tricks with the help of which you can earn money by sitting in the comfort of your home. The fundamental requirement is internet and dedication to work; and no one can stop you from earning good bucks. There are many ways that you can choose from like business development, ecommerce, content development, and so on. There are eBooks that helps to guide you through the whole process and you can move ahead in this field.

Design and development forum: The design and development forums include discussions on HTML, PHP, web designing and graphics and also the scripting part could also be discussed in these types of forums.

Marketplace forum: In this of forums you find discussions related to buy, sell and trade of products and services. The conversations can be found connected with the deals on domain name sales, website sale, link sale and lot more.

How to Make a "Sticky" Web Site with Web Forums

Internet is all about communication between people. Those people belong to some groups. People with similar interests form groups where they are able to discuss about their area of interest, to help each other and to learn more about other members. One of the most used ways for communication between like-minded people are web forums. How this can help to your business?

In order to have success on the Internet you have to have repeat visits. In order to people visit your site on a regular basis you have to constantly make your content fresh, to make regular updates. You can post articles relevant to your business, you can post the latest industry news and you can have a web forum.

One of the main advantages of web forums over before mentioned techniques for having a “sticky” web site is that after some time, web forums are “self going”, at least in some way. In other words, you won’t have to spend your time in creating fresh content – your forum members will do that instead of you! This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to do anything. Depending on the size of the forum, there are people called moderators who take care that the discussion is going on the right way. Companies have management, web forums have moderators. Some popular web forums have more than 50,000 members, and anytime you can find at least 200-300 people online. Corporate forums don’t have that many members but you will also need at least one person who will be responsible for your forum.

Web forums are great because this is one of those ways that help you to stay in touch with your visitors and customers. Visitors need to complete the registration form so this way you will have their names and email addresses. This way you can offer them to subscribe to your email newsletter. Like in subscription forms for email newsletters, don’t require too much information from your visitors. Every member of your forum will have an unique username and a password.

Web forums are consisted of categories. So if you are in Internet marketing business your forum can have categories like Email Marketing, Search Engines, Domain Names, Web Hosting, Web Services and etc. For the start, it is better to have fewer categories that will be more general. Later you can make more categories that will be more specific. Every category should have a moderator who is usually very knowledgeable person about that category who will start interesting discussions and, therefore, engage other members to post their answers.

The most important thing in having a successful web forum is quality of posts and then number of posts. Quality and only after that quantity. When you start your forum, you will probably have a low posting activity. That’s why you will have to “persuade” your forum members to be posters and not only lurkers. This won’t be so easy.

At first, in lack of discussion, maybe you will need to post interesting news about your industry and to post smart tips that you know that are of interest of you members. Later, with increasing your forum membership base you will have more and more posting activity. In order to build your membership base you can ask your members to invite their friends to join the forum. Also, you can offer a contest based on quality and number of messages. For example, you can start with choosing the Member of the Month. Winner will be chosen by other members based on quality of his/her posts. It is great for increasing loyalty. Another good thing for increasing your forum activity is to say, for example, that people with more that 30 posts will get an e-book and members with more than 100 posts discount on your products. Usually web forum software categorize members in groups so new members with less than 10 posts can be in Newbies group, with less than 100 posts in Juniors category and with more than 100 posts Addicts. Forum software usually offers a so called Avatars feature so your members will be able to place an image below their username. There they can place their photos, too. Also, quality web forums software offers that members rate posts.

Web forums are great supplement for articles and email newsletters, for getting a better feedback. For example, when you post an article on your web site or in your email newsletter, at the end of your article you can make a link to a discussion about that article and topic on your web forum. Also, you can include subjects of your most popular threads on your main page.

Having a corporate web forum is a value-added service to your visitors. If you build a quality web forum they will appreciate it very much because you are the one who provides them with source for gaining new knowledge. Also, with web forums you are building ongoing relationship with your members. Some of them are your clients and many of them can be your clients. It is up to you. With providing great answers in your forums you will increase your credibility that can persuade your members to buy your services. People buy from companies they trust.

Web forums are very useful for companies in one more way. For example, if you are a software company, you can (and you should) make several categories in your forum for your products and services. There, your members will be able to ask about your software, to give tips for maximizing its possibilities, to give suggestions for future upgrades… So this way, many of your forum members will serve as your technical stuff. Did I say free of charge?

Quality web forum makes the web site very “sticky”. People are coming back to read new messages, to check if they have private messages, to post new messages… They will be notified each time someone replies in thread they watch, if they chose that option.

Actually, the only disadvantage of web forums is the amount of time to get it up and running, to have an ongoing conversation and good members activity. Later you will have to spend your time for moderation, in order to make sure that members post appropriate messages, that they are not spamming and that the discussion is on the right track. However, good news that your reward will be higher profit, as well.

There are quality free and fee based web forum software. Recommendation for free forum software goes to Simple Machines – http://www.simplemachines.org and for fee-based forum software for vBulletin http://www.vbulletin.com.

How Businesses and Entrepreneurs Can Use Online Forums For Marketing Research

Market researchers have many options available to them as they explore their target customers and try to understand how they think. Each of these methods involves tradeoffs, so none of them is necessarily better than any of the others. Forums can be a powerful tool for market researchers, particularly entrepreneurs who have limited resources. Since most forums allow members to view and post for free, they serve as one of the best ways for entrepreneurs to conduct marketing research. In addition to being low cost, forums have a few other advantages. Unlike most surveys, respondents can give detailed descriptions regarding how they feel about a particular product, service or issue. Forum respondents are more patient participating in forum discussions than in market surveys because they typically are participating on their own volition.

Since they are not being pressured into responding and don’t have to give up a single, sizable chunk of their time as they would in a survey, they are willing to reply to more than one threaded discussion or post more than once to a thread. Reading all of the posts that a user places on a forum can give market researchers a more thorough understanding of their preferences and opinions. Forum respondents are also often more likely to be honest if they feel that they can respond with anonymity. The biggest challenge that market researchers face is not in acquiring data, but rather analyzing it. When people post in forums it is typically difficult to authenticate what they are saying or why they are saying it.

Forum users could post overly positive information because they have a vested interest in promoting a specific type of service or product or post negative feedback because of a grudge they hold. Another problem is that it is difficult to develop a true and accurate assessment of the demographic information of the posters, which is obviously a very important element of any marketing research study. Fortunately, there are ways that market researchers can address these shortcomings. With experience, researchers can learn to identify when forum users seem to be straightforward and when they seem to have ulterior motives for what they are saying. Of course, given the anonymous nature of the Internet, it is never possible to determine for certain whether or not they are being completely honest. Many forums give users the opportunity to create profile pages describing themselves.

Market researchers should try to focus on using these forums, because they can read these profile pages to learn more about the forum users. If such information is not displayed on a profile page, researchers can scan the posts they have made in the entire forum to see what demographic information they have said about themselves. Forums can be a tremendous medium for market research but has been largely overlooked by researchers because they feel that it is difficult to authenticate the information being posted. However, there are a few approaches that they can use to authenticate this information to open up a new channel for conducting marketing research. On the other hand, social media sites can still be better for niche research because demographic information is more readily available.