If you just started blogging, you need an external source of quick readers to your blog. No blogger wants to keep updating a blog that nobody is reading, and if there is anything that would quickly kill a new bloggers’ interest, this is one sure way (having no one to read your post). I really doubt you’ll be patient enough to wait until the search engines like Google, Yahoo starts sending quality visitors to your blog. Hence, you need a quick start. Online Forums are good and effective starting points to build traffic to your new blog. While there are bazillion ways to get traffic to your blog, it’ll surely help to select a handful of techniques and be good at it. Your blog is still a baby and is in dare need of attention. You probably have a handful of posts that deserve to be read. So you need to step out and get people to read your blog. There is Facebook, twitter and other social networking sites to help you with that, but as a starter, with quite a low attention in such sites, it can be quite challenging to get a head start. You need to bring your blog before your targeted audience and not just any group of people.
When I resumed blogging after a long break, I devoted my traffic building campaign on online forums. It proved to be an effective traffic source since I used this method to build a good amount of subscribers at the early stage of my blog. If you can do it right, online forums can be a good start to give your new blog a purpose. Here is my tips on how I leveraged on forum websites for traffic when my blog was still at the infant stage.
Find the right Forums to work with
Depending on the topic of your blog, there could be hundreds of forum websites in your interest. If you are anything like me, you wouldn’t want to work on as many as you can register. You will rather want to pick the best and develop a presence on them. If you don’t already know popular forums in your niche, search for them on Google or any other search engine. Use keywords like, fashion forums, Chelsea fans forum and so on to find high-ranking forums in your niche. Here are things to look out for in selecting which forums to work with:
- It’s population (how many registered members)
- It’s posts index rate (how often does it appear on search engine results for major keywords)
- It’s rules and regulation (some forums may be rather too strict)
- Posts read rates (check the first few 2 to 3 days old posts to see how involved members are).
Use these indicators to decide where you are likely to shine and drop the rest.
Pick your best two or three
I think I’ve already said that, however Simplicity and consistence is the key. There is no point registering as many forums as you can find. At first I started with three of the best forums I could come up with but had to stick with two along the way. Working on multiple forums may result to spamming if you start posting the same thing in all forums, which will not go well with the post search engine ranking.
Contribute and share your link
Most forums allow members to include their blog’s or website link in their signature. If you update your profile signature with your blog link and descriptive texts, it will appear below every of your posts. Most advice on forum traffic emphasized on “link in” signature as a source of traffic and backlink. However, I agree more on the benefit of link back you get. The link in signature traffic strategy didn’t go well with my blog niche. The bulk of my blog’s forum traffic came from links I promoted in form of forum posts. But I think it depends on your blog niche. There is nothing wrong with writing a post that partly solves a problem then refers to a post on your blog for more details. But you have to be reasonable doing this. You don’t have to do this often. Sometimes, just share something without a direct link, and then have a call to action on your signature for those who care to get more information on the subject. I wouldn’t claim to have kept all the posting rules from day one, I even got banned for some weeks in one of the forums I contributed on, but I learnt from that and tried to keep things in control. Stick to the rules. You can do it without breaking forum rules.
Write Comment-able posts and reply to comments.
To get the best of forum traffic, you need your post to show up the recent-post list. With Most forums, the posts with the latest comment in each category always stay atop. If your post keeps receiving comments, it will keep appearing in the first page of the recent post list. After I discovered and started leveraging on this forum structure, my traffic rose significantly. I could get up to 400 visits from one post daily for weeks. To add to the benefit, such forum posts with high comment rate tend to rank well on search results, therefore bring you more visitors. To make this work, study the most commented posts in a forum category. Notice what it is that compelled people to comment, then go be creative. However you choose to do it, depending on your niche, be sure your post totally encourages people to comments. Then try to reply to comments where necessary to keep the discussion alive.
Don’t expect to get instant results. Learn from ones that didn’t work and find out why. And always play by the rules of the forum.
These are personal techniques I used to build my blog traffic at its early stage. How do you use forums to get traffic to your blog? What traffic strategy did you use or are you using to build you new blog? I, and am sure other readers, will love to hear about it.