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How To Properly Advertise On Forums Without Getting BannedViews: 1395
Dec 11, 2007 2:08 pmHow To Properly Advertise On Forums Without Getting Banned#

Steve Bralovich
It never ceases to amaze me how many people still don't get how to properly do business on the Internet.

Spam in online forums and networks like Ryze abounds. It gets sickening to visit sites that are nothing but other people's marketing messages.
It just turns forums like this one into nothing but interactive classified ads instead of archives full of truly useful information.

I'm all for advertising because it pays to get the word out about a really good product or service that you use yourself. And being paid to get the word out, just sweetens the pot.
Online forums that contain highly targetted traffic are very tempting for someone to just butt in and make a post about a relevant product or service.

There's just two things wrong with doing it that way. It probably won't work and you'll very likely get yourself banned if the discussion is moderated.

The reason it won't work is your ad is acting as a referral. A referral is usually wasted unless there is some trust built up with the reader of your message first. Pure hard sell advertising messages are not as effective as a referral from a helpful message poster.

The correct way to advertise in discussion forums requires a little more work, but is safe from banning and will garner A LOT more traffic and sales for you.

Here's how I do it:

1. Make yourself a good signature for all your messages. Just about all message forums have a user control panel that allows you to add a signature message to all your message posts. Make up a good one such as:

Free Internet Marketing Tools
http://internetmarketingtools-network.ryze.com

Then anytime you post, your signature will be added to your message. Resist the urge to make this too salesy. The appeal should be subtle but obvious what they will be getting. Notice that the signature references a URL. This is your landing page where you can do all the selling you like. Avoid direct affiliate URLs because it's frowned upon by moderators

2. Before posting, scan the other messages and questions that are being asked by other members. If you can add a useful comment, suggestion or pose a question just reply and include your signature.

3. If the message is a very relevant and popular message , subscribe to the message so that you will be notified when the message is updated by fellow members. Then reply to the message again. This will push the message up and keep your link in front of more people and for a longer time. I've seen popular discussions get thousands of page views.

That's all there is to it . Simple, effective and I've never been banned for doing things this way.

Quit trying to make the fast sale. Everyone is suspicious of people trying to just make a quick buck. Try a little useful participation and use a soft sell approach. It works for me and it will work for you.

Private Reply to Steve Bralovich

Dec 13, 2007 8:06 amre: How To Properly Advertise On Forums Without Getting Banned#

Robert Collesano
Aloha Steve:

I just joined your network here on Ryze.

I have been around Ryze awhile but in-active due to full time work responsibilities, however, now I am desiring to focus once again on internet marketing .

I simply do not want to work for anyone else anymore.

Thanks for your posting re. proper advertising.

Regarding your statement:

"Then anytime you post, your signature will be added to your message. Resist the urge to make this too salesy. The appeal should be subtle but obvious what they will be getting. Notice that the signature references a URL. This is your landing page where you can do all the selling you like. Avoid direct affiliate URLs because it's frowned upon by moderators"

See my signature, below, and please advise re. forum posting?

You might talk a little bitmore about what a "landing page" is vs. an "affiliate URL."

I was going to list my site: http://www.FreeLiveWebsites.com under your free internet tools area .... a person can get a free website, free hosting and free internet marketing consulting from my site but I wasn't sure if it would be an appropriate listing since http://www.FreeLiveWebsites.com is my business .... My business is giving away free websites with the potential of business related up-grades down the line. So please advise about that....there really is NO FEE associated with my immediate offer. Money comes into play if someone wants to add a Merchant Account; Shopping Cart etc. later. Personal web pages, hosting and an eMarketing book are all totally free at: http://www.FreeLiveWebsites.Com

Any thoughts?

Aloha,

R.A.C.

Robert A. Collesano / Island of Maui in Hawaii
http://www.AnyOneCanTakeCreditCards.com
http://www.FreeLiveWebsites.com
http://www.EasyDropShipBiz.com

Private Reply to Robert Collesano

Dec 13, 2007 12:24 pm re: How To Properly Advertise On Forums Without Getting Banned#

Steve Bralovich
Robert:

Welcome to the network..

Your signature is fine but I personally shy away from the 3 Line URLs. To me it seems a little desperate like you know there's a limit but you're trying to cram as much stuff as you can into it in the hopes that someone will click on one if they see something they like. Start testing those URLs one at a time and use a stats tracker to find out which one performs the best for you, then stick with that one.

Notice that I named this network "Internet Marketing Tools". This name implies some form of utility for Internet marketing. People on the Net are looking for free sources of information and other truly free stuff.

It appears that your pages do offer some free things in the hopes of being able to pick up a few sales of related products. This is a good tactic as long as your free offer is truly no-strings attached.

That's the same as the Free website offer you see advertised on this network page. It is truly free with nothing to buy until you need more features than the free package allows. Statcounter.com does the same thing with their free stats package. It's been working for them because it really is excellent for the beginning website owner. It's full featured but the number of visitors it tracks is limited to storing 500 at a time. It overwrites anything over that limit. Theirs is a landing page you should look at to compare with.

As far as landing pages vs affiliate links, an affiliate link would be something like http://easyfreestuff.com?affId=33245 or whatever your id is. These links are a dead give-away that you're trying to make a quick buck. Avoid them because even though it might lead to a standard landing page, people know that you are getting direct credit for it so it makes you seem mercenary. The other thing is that they're usually long and ugly. Another tactic that some affiliates do is to make quick, one time posts with just their affiliate link. That really stinks of "fast buck" marketing.

Your landing pages are okay but I would try setting up an informational website that acts as mid-step before sending people to those free offers. Then you can put those three links on your page after you've talked about free business opportunities or something like that.

Look at http://FreeCarGuide.net as an example of what I mean.

The Internet is great for doing business but it has a big drawback which is that people can't see you. In the real world it's much easier for you to judge whether or not someone is on the level because you have visual and audible cues. In the virtual world, that's all gone. So you need to be less pushy and use more subtle approaches that gradually build up trust. Forum and blog posting is a great way to do that. But just adding some direct affiliate links does just the opposite.

Best of luck...

--Steve

Private Reply to Steve Bralovich

Dec 14, 2007 9:13 pmre: re: How To Properly Advertise On Forums Without Getting Banned#

Steve Bralovich
Here's an example of a post I did to promote this network on the IM Alliance forum in response to an article writing rant.

http://forum.theimalliance.com/off-topic-rants/rewrite-rant-705.htm

Notice the warm response I'm getting because I actually steered them towards something they could use WITHOUT putting any affiliate links in the message. (I'm Polar Bear Guy)

These folks are great just like the folks here. They deserve some really useful information, not just another sales pitch.

The rule of thumb in online marketing is whenever you're tempted to just "Flog" a product, don't...

--Steve

Private Reply to Steve Bralovich

Dec 16, 2007 8:16 pmre: re: How To Properly Advertise On Forums Without Getting Banned#

Reg Charie

>>Any thoughts?

Definitely R.A.C.

When I see someone write something like:
" I was going to list my site: http://www.FreeLiveWebsites.com  under your free internet tools area .... a person can get a free website, free hosting and free internet marketing consulting from my site but I wasn't sure if it would be an appropriate listing since http://www.FreeLiveWebsites.com  is my business .... My business is giving away free websites with the potential of business related up-grades down the line. So please advise about that....there really is NO FEE associated with my immediate offer. Money comes into play if someone wants to add a Merchant Account; Shopping Cart etc. later. Personal web pages, hosting and an eMarketing book are all totally free at: http://www.FreeLiveWebsites.Com ", I lose all faith in the advertisement.

Why do you repeat your link 3 times? Don't you think we could see it (and understand what it is) with one display?

Steve,

I don't object to 3 line sigs as a lot of us promote a number of sites and it is, or should be the tag line to the post.

Networking is not advertising.
Networking is building relationships, connecting on a personal and business level and exploring opportunities to help.
As I say on my main Ryze page:
"If you join my networks, want to network with me, sign my guestbook, or instigate any contact I will enable my instant messenger info for you, should you wish to build a relationship."

This is my first post here, so I would like to include a quick bio by way of introduction.
I'm a nerd.
66 and fell in love with computers in '84 and online in '94.

In past 'lives' I was a web offset pressman (23 years), a tech service rep in the same industry for 8, and retired in '90 to sail my (mostly) home built 54 foot ferro cement ketch "Sea Dove" to "points south", returning to Canada in Oct '94.
Through out my life I have usually had some sort of "sideline" business. Sponsored racing, photography, wood turning, commercial property management, teaching, to name some.
When in the Bahamas I started a marine repair business which I built over the period of about three years.
Services included  everything from minor repairs to a complete refit of a 72 foot steel private sailing yacht, which took over 3 months and $140,000.

After I returned to Canada I started Charie Computer Services which morphed into DotCom-Productions in '98.
My current business is DotCom-Productions which deals with web design, marketing, open source, SEO, affiliate sales and a bit of MLM.
I have been hosting on co-located servers since '98 and now own and operate Zero Grief Hosting.
For the graphic artist. web designer or photographer I sell Fantastic Machines Tile Tools as well as being a reseller for Portrait Pro.
I also designed and market April Point's pet friendly Vacation Cottages.
Kenny Shaw and RICarbide are a couple more of my sites.

On Ryze I run Telling IT Straight and Zero Grief Hosting networks and have a third network in the planning.
I do a weekly series on The Suggestion Box called THURSDAY's Techno babble by Reg and contribute to several other networks, Small Business Think Tank, Let Me Vent, Personal Sovereignty and others listed on my Ryze page.

Wishing you all success in your endeavors.

Reg

 


 

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Dec 16, 2007 8:45 pm re: How To Properly Advertise On Forums Without Getting Banned#

Steve Bralovich
Reg:

Welcome to the network...

I'm a Canuck too. Love your pic.

I didn't say I object to 3 line sigs, to me it just seems like multiple personality disorder..(LOL)

Anyway, thanks for the intro and I agree with your comments.

--Steve
Moderator

BTW, I've been a computer tech and software developer for almost 30 years. Good to have a fellow techie aboard

Private Reply to Steve Bralovich

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