Forums are a great way to advertise just about anything without
any cost at all. *Lots* of people will read what you write
there. And they're exactly your target audience. Or are they?
First of all, you can't just assume that people will read what
you post. And second, they aren't necessarily the people you
want reading your advertisement. Here's what you can do to make
sure the *right* people are actually *reading* your post.
The first thing you need to do is get people to open your
message. Until they open it, all they know about it is what the
title says. The title has to draw them in.
---------- Let me pause for a moment to clarify a couple of
things. There are typically two types of forums. Some will list
every person's message in a list on the page. And the messages
will be grouped together as threads (a thread is a topic). In
this case, each person can put a unique title on their message.
An example of this is at
The second type of forum you'll see will only list the different
threads, but not the individual messages within each thread. In
this case, whoever started the thread decided on the title, and
that's what everyone sees. An example of this is any of the
forums listed at http://associateprograms.com/discus
What I'm about to say regarding titles is only relevant to the
first type of forum. ----------
Make sure that the title of your message is going to make people
want to read it. The default title is usually just the original
title preceded by "Re:". Don't use that. Give your message an
But just using an original title is not enough. It needs to make
people want more. You don't need to hype it up. You just need to
make it interesting. Here are some examples:
The best one I've found Just be careful about... Two things you
These are examples of titles you might use if you were
responding to someone else's post. Your message would then make
a comment on the original post. So the title of the original
message would lead into yours.
If you're starting a brand new thread, then you would need a
different kind of title. Some examples:
Great new resource I found Important information about Google
Any cheap web hosts?
All of these titles give you a clue as to what the message is
about. If it's too generic, then people may not be intrigued
enough to read the message.
But once someone opens your message, you still have work to do
if you're going to get them click on your ad.
Most importantly, only put an ad in your signature. Don't make
your whole message an ad. That will be frowned upon.
So if the ad is only in your signature, then you're once again
in a position where you need a title that will get people to
click. The same rules that apply to the title of your post apply
to the signature.
But let's get back to a point I mentioned above. You need to
make sure that the people that see your ad are the right people.
The kind of people that buy whatever you're advertising. The way
to do this is to advertise something that is relevant to the
topic of your message.
For example, when I respond to a question about web hosting, I
include an ad for my web host guide.
At the very least, make sure that whatever you're advertising is
something that the people on the forum are likely to be
interested in. A lot of people make the mistake of advertising
something completely off topic.
If you're posting a message to one of the two forums I mentioned
above, then you know the people there are generally interested
in the internet and ways to make some cash.
So if you include an ad for an online pharmacy or health
supplements, you're targeting the wrong audience. There *might*
be some people there who are interested in those things. But
there are probably a lot *more* people there who are interested
in things like list building and getting traffic to their web
You're more likely to get clicks if you target the ad to the
Just common sense advice. But sometimes common sense gets lost
when we think too much.
If you'd like more tips on posting to forums, then Harvey Segal
has a great ebook you can download (no charge) at
P.S. Forums can be a great place to learn, and they only cost
you your time.
About the author:
Dave Brown is a self-taught marketer and software developer. He
also publishes the uncommon and uniquely original newsletter on
making the most of your life - A Fresh Perspective. You can
learn more at http://www.dave-brown.com