Monday, May 23, 2005

How to Market on Forums and Message Boards Without Pissing Anyone Off

Believe it or not, you can market on forums and message boards without pissing anyone off. In fact, not only can you market this way, you SHOULD market this way, and I'll tell you why later in this article. But for now, I'd like to point out that the reason I'm writing this article is because someone on an affiliate forum that I frequent got kicked out of an affiliate program for spamming a message board community. He'd posted his opinion of the affiliate product in the "personal opinions" section of the board, and the moderator of the community reported him to the merchant, who then kicked him out of the affiliate program.

There's a big difference between expressing your opinion and marketing a product. Often the difference can be discerned as easily as discerning the tracking code in an affiliate URL for a product. I moderate at several forums online, and I despise dealing with spammers who think it's okay to blatantly market to my readers without contributing anything of value to my community. So here are my rules for marketing on forums without pissing anyone off.

1- Participate in a forum that allows links to your website in your signature. If the discussion board doesn't allow links in your signature, go find one that does.

2- PARTICIPATE in the forum. Ask pertinent questions. Make pithy observations. Answer others' questions if you know the correct answers. Try to post something daily, maybe more often. Just be sure that you're not just participating to get your link in front of people; participate in the forum in order to add value to the members' experiences there. The rewards in terms of higher click-through's and conversions are well worth it.

3- Include a link to your website in your signature file in a normal sized font.

That's it. That's all there is to it. How does this help your marketing? Well, you should be participating in forums at least partially related or of interest to the people who hang out in a forum. So some of them will click on your signature link just out of interest. And, if you post intelligently and often, you will gradually become recognized as an expert in that area. And that will make you more attractive. You'll begin to get link exchange requests, links, and requests for help from indviduals on the forums. This is when you know your strategy is working.

Marketing on forums and message boards isn't for the faint of heart, or for the lazy spammer. But if you're willing to make appropriate effort, you'll get appropriate returns.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I am now Full Time

I left my day job this morning to work on web marketing and affiliate stuff full time. I've worked for someone for 20 years now, so I'm nervous and scared about making the leap. But I calculated my hourly wage doing web marketing versus my hourly wage doing rat race work, and web marketing won out. I'm excited. So far the main thing that's changed for me is that I have to set priorities and work them now. I've always worked on whatever I felt like working on before, but now I need to step back, take a look at my business as a whole and my websites as a whole, and decide where my priorites are and establish a work routine.

Wish me luck. I hope to remain successful.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Obviously I'm Not Doing a Lot of Updating Lately...

But I do have a couple of sites to recommend:

The first is Party Riches - Poker Affiliate Programs Discussion - This is Jeremy Enke's site promoting his ebook on how to make a lot of money promoting Party Poker. His ebook is excellent, and there's a lot going on in the affiliate forum. Some of the guys in the affiliate forum are young and inexperienced, and as a result, they have a lot of ideas that they're not afraid to share, which is good stuff. Real grassroots stuff going on here, is how one of my friends put it.

I'd also like to recommend the new Poker Gamer Blog - This is a new online poker blog from my friend Travis. He was kind enough to share my link on his site, and I'm going to do the same for him. He's using one of my favorite templates for his blog, and he's got a lot of good info to share. Entertaining site. He also owns and operates the Texas Holdem Online Strategy Guide. It's a newer site, but very clean and well written. I have a feeling that Travis is going to be very successful as a poker affiliate.