December 2, 2010

Internet forums are great places to get to know other people in your target market. Some forums allow you to insert the link to your site so you can get some free traffic.

However, there are several rules of etiquette when it comes to participating in forums. Follow these and you can perhaps get your next business partner. Violate these and nobody will want to do business or buy from you…and they might even kick you out!

1) Don’t Read The Rules

This might seem obvious but there are a lot of people who go onto forums and start posting ads, etc. without reading the forum rules.  Not all forums allow you to insert promotional content so make sure you read the forum rules before posting.

2) Start Pitching Right Away

When it comes time to start promoting your product through your forum signature and other methods, don’t do it right away.

Build up some rapport in the forum with other members. Once you gain their trust then you can start promoting.  Someone who starts promoting right away could be labeled a spammer and get kicked out!

3) Leave Meaningless Replies

Posts like “Good idea” and “I agree” only serves to inflate post count and is ill-advised.  Forum members are pretty smart and can tell if you’re just trying to inflate post count or making  sure your promotion in your signature file is spread throughout the forum.

4) Get All Involved

Many people spend a lot of time in forums…sometimes to the detriment of their work.  It is especially tempting when there is an argument going on and you just need to jump in.  So make sure you don’t get caught up too much in participation in these forums as they can be a time-waste.

Remember, internet forums are great places to learn about your target market and perhaps meet some new friends/business partners.  You just need to learn how to use them without wasting a lot of your time and “aggravating the neighbors”.

Live, Love, Laugh!


Sean McPheat

Internet Marketing Academy

3 thoughts on “4 Things You Should Never Do In Internet Forums!

  1. Generally good comments, but let me offer another, slightly critical one:

    Don’t not be the one who doesn’t use double negatives.

    Here’s what I mean.

    Your headline is “4 Things You Should Never Do.”

    So, the first thing I read is, “Read the forum rules.” Oh, so like I should never read the forum rules?

    I immediately think, this is cool, this is going to be an edgy post because it’s telling me I should reject authority, or be an anarchist, or something. But then I read on and in fact you seem to be saying this is something I should be doing, not shouldn’t be doing.

    Let’s call this Error 1. It’s ignoring the blog title completely and restating a negative as a positive.

    Then I get to rule 2: “Don’t Start Pitching…” Now I’m really confused. Does this mean I should never not start pitching? Which is equivalent to saying “do start pitching right away?” Or have you just simply committed a second type of error in headlining–a double negative where you really meant a single negative.

    Now you’re oh for two, with a different incompatibility each time. You’re asking a lot of the reader going into item 3.

    And under the title Things You Should Never Do… item 3 is—Leave Meaningful Replies. What? I should leave meaningless replies? OK, I get it, this is Error #1 again, you’re ignoring the negative title and restating the same point as a positive.

    And what do we get as Item 4? Don’t get TOO Involved. Ah, yes, Error 2 again, the double negative.

    OK so I’m being sarcastic and maybe a little mean, apologies for that. But I would argue that clean and clear writing is important in internet forums, as well as on blogposts. To put it simply: if you use a list in a title, follow through in the same way, i.e. negative or positive.

    The article content is quite good, but I would have found it much easier to read if it had been written as either:

    I. 4 Things You Should Never Do in Internet Forums:
    a. Don’t Read the Rules
    b. Start Pitching Right Away
    c. Leave Meaningless Replies
    d. Get All Involved


    II. 4 Things You Should Always Do in Internet Forums
    a. Read the Rules
    b. Save the Pitch for Later
    c. Leave Meaningful Replies
    d. Take It Light, It’s Only an Internet Forum

    And just so I’m not being too much of a d**k here, those are four really good points that we’d all do well to follow; thanks for a solid list.

  2. Great points Charles and thanks for pointing them out to me.

    I have since used your advise and changed the sub headings

    Thanks Buddy


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