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Tip 17: Join Forums and Contribute!

If you followed the last tip, then you have probably found a few forums that relate to your website. Now it is time to use those forums and build a reputation with your fellow members. By helping others and contributing information to the forum, you build credibility toward your name and your opinion. The more people who value your opinion and your advice, the more traffic you can bring to your website.

Building up a reputation isn't something you can do in a day. If you want people to trust you and listen to what you have to say, then you will have to be viewed as a long time trusted forum member. Long time? How long exactly? Well, that varies from forum to forum. In my opinion, you should have at least been a member for 2-3 months and have a few hundred posts under your belt before people start trusting you.

The entire time you are posting, giving help, and expressing your opinion, you'll be building up your reputation and adding valuable one-way links to your website. Oh, I didn't tell you that you have to put your website link in your signature, did I? No matter; just put the link in your signature, add a short attention grabbing description, and forget about it. Concentrate on contributing to the forum and it won't seem like advertising "work". After awhile, you'll feel as though you are part of the community; and that's a good thing. Basically, you're killing two birds with one stone; getting free one-way links to your site and building up your credibility with the other members at the same time.

When posting information and helpful tips for members, be very careful and make sure you follow the rules. A small mistake could label you as a spammer and get you banned. Some forums will give you warnings and others will not. Also, never ever refer to the link in your signature. This can be seen as spamming and is usually frowned upon. Just follow the rules and you'll be fine.

Provide useful information, help members, and be honest and genuinely interested in other peoples' opinions. It won't be long before members label you as an expert and start listening to everything you have to say.

Tip 18: Create a Forum and Add it to Your Website!

Having a forum is an excellent way to get repeat visitors and more website traffic. Every topic has people that want to discuss it, so that leaves a big opening for you. You can be the one that allows people to express their opinion's in a place that is friendly and focuses specifically on the issue. Sure, there are other popular forums out there, but why should that stop you? There are other websites out there and that didn't stop you from creating one of your own, did it? No, so why stop now?

Adding a forum to your site is not only convenient for visitors, but it can be profitable for you. There are quite a few different ways to profit from a forum; like google adsense and selling advertising space. It's also convenient for you in the fact that it lets you know how many people are actively visiting your website.

You've seen it in movies; one couple starts to dance, then everyone starts to dance. Well, it's the same in a forum. A few people start talking, then everyone else starts talking. But for that to even be possible, you have to make sure you have a regular amount of daily visitors.

People that see a dead forum might think "Eh, Maybe this site isn't as good as I thought" or "No one else is using this site, so why should I?". Yeah, those are extreme examples, but you never really know what turns people off. But I guarantee that if no one starts a conversation, then the forum will fall flat on it's virtual face.

Starting the discussions may be left up to you; so start a few posts, try to spark some ideas, and then wait for some responses. If you have enough visitors, then you should see some activity within a few days. Some people even go as far as hiring others to make posts for a month or two, just to spark interest. It's not a bad idea, but that's completely up to you and your budget. Either way, you need to get people to start talking!

In all honesty, you just have to know how to manage the forum and maximize it's use. If you can do that, then the money and the people will take care of themselves.

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