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Forum Participation

Updated on December 2, 2012

Why Participate In Forums ?

A ton of website owners seem to believe that the reason to participate in Forums is to get back links to their website(s). If you secretly believe that this is true, then do read through this material and discover why this is not really 100% correct.

Are You Asking Yourself Whether You Can Gain Links Through Forums?

Well the answer to that is kind of - Yes and No.

Forums are places for people to share their knowledge / skills and also share in the knowledge / skills of others. This happens when one reads / answers topics that everyone is discussing within the Forum.

If you believe that this is a place to leave and inane comment bound to a back link to your website, please think again. This is definitely not helping you. Instead this is giving you a bad reputation as a Forum spammer.

Commenting / Posting in Forums is a way to gain back links, but you should know and appreciate the proper way of participating in Forums to enjoy this reward.

The Proper Way to Participate in Forums

Read and Obey the Forum rules.

Before you start making Posts or Commenting in any forum do take the time to read its rules. Clarify anything that you do not quite follow with the Forum owner. Once you’re happy that you’ve understood the Forum only then start posting either queries or comments to the Forum. If you do not do this there is an excellent chance that the Forum owner / administrator / moderator will swiftly ban you. That will be the last of your participation in that Forum.

Fill out your profile.

Once you’ve decided on the Forum that you wish to participate in do make it a point to fill in all your personal details. The Forum owner and members often click on your link to find out details about you. Everyone beings to feel a heck of a lot more comfortable sharing with people they feel they know rather than some unknown / suspicious entity.

If allowed ( most Forums encourage this today ), upload a recent photo of yourself to use as your avatar.

The combination of personal details and a face to attach these details to is really very reassuring to most Forum participants.

Introduce yourself.

Quite a few Forums today have a thread where you can introduce yourself. If such a thread exists, do make it a point to introduce yourself. Take a few minutes and read the introductions of several other Forum members.

In your introduction you could indicate your first and last name ( if you like ), mention your academic background, if relevant, describe your work experience and other stuff. Creatively drop in anything that you believe Forums members would be interested in knowing.

If allowed, place a link within your introduction to your Blog or Personal website. If the Forum is a mature one you can bet that it’s participants would love to find out more about who you are.

Share your knowledge.

A good way of starting off is by replying to others who have posted questions that you know the answers to.

You don’t have to give away all your technical secrets, but you can definitely share the basics of what you did under the same circumstances when you were starting out. Often the person who asked the question will thank you, ( although do not expect this ) and if someone does I’m sure you’ll feel good about helping others.

Keep going back to the Forum again and again as often as you can.

DO your very best to visit the Forum and log in at least once a day ( or at least a couple of times a week for sure ). Each time you log in look for new questions that you may be able to answer. Check the answers you’ve posted to see if the person that started the thread ( or any of the other participants in the thread ) have left any follow-up questions for you.

Address those if you can ( if you cannot it may be a good thing to simply state that the question raised is beyond your skills set ). It’s amazing how much goodwill / empathy that can gain you.

Why not ask questions yourself ?

Often there’s something that you would like to query. Happily start your own thread. Do not hesitate to seek help from other Forum members. This is what Forums are for – remember. Do seek help from those who have greater skills and experience than you have.

Do spend a little time in searching the Forum to make sure that others have not already asked the question that you want to key in and that it has already been answered in-depth on another Forum thread.

How Being A Good Forum Participant Benefits You

Once people notice that quality and depth of your answers ( and you may be quite surprise how quickly that happens ) the Forum participants will begin to trust you. A sure indicator is when people start thanking you for your replies or for the issues you’ve raised.

That’s when people will want to visit your website or Blog to engage with you beyond the Forum.

If your website is filled with great material those who visit you could begin to add you to their Blogroll.

If you’ve written an article or Blog post they really enjoyed they may also link to your article from their own website or Blog as well as share this with the friends via their social media link ups.

This is when and how you gain link backs from Forums.

Ivan Bayross
Open source tutorials | Open source training


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