Using Forums to Promote Your Blog: Part 3

Using Forums—Part 3: Links, Signatures, and Moderation

One Problogger article encourages bloggers to “do nothing” when you first join a forum.  I disagree.

Let me explain why:

I’m not going to waste my time on a forum that will not allow any form of link/signature, and I would not advise you to waste yours.  If all links are banned, I want to know fairly quickly.  After all, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of other forums to choose from.

Think about it:  most forums make money from the traffic they create (through adsense, online stores, etc).  If my participation helps the forum make money, why shouldn’t I at least be allowed to have a signature or an occasional link?  A strict, “no links” policy basically causes forum members to invest their time, energy and (in some cases) expertise for free—no fair!   

Here’s more information on my process of finding forums with reasonable moderation policies:

*Some forums require a certain amount of posts before you can have an address in your signature.  No problem—that’s a good way to reduce spam, so I don’t mind earning the privilege.  Just post a few times a day until you've earned the right to have a signature. 

*Sometimes I’ll just send a direct message to a moderator, telling him/her that I’m new to the forum and I’ll probably be putting a link in every once in a while.   That’s a quick way to know how strict the moderation will be (if the moderator likes your blog, he/she will be more likely to allow you to post links). 

*Sometimes I’ll just include a link or signature to a post and see what happens (remember: I am talking about a relevant link to a high quality blog or post).  This my last resort, but I'll do it if I can't figure out the forum's link/signature policy.  If a moderator warns me or removes the link, I’m gone and never coming back.  I’ll just move on to the next forum. 

This strategy is more assertive than the before mentioned “join and do nothing at first” approach.   But I don't think it has hurt my blog's reputation at all. 

Remember:  the key is to participate meaningfully and only post relevant links.  If moderators will not allow any links (or at least a signature with your blog address), then don’t waste your time working for someone else’s profit. 

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4 Responses to Using Forums to Promote Your Blog: Part 3

  1. S.K. says:

    Hey, I just ki$$ed your addy. Hope you'd do the same for me.

  2. S.K. says:

    My blog is

  3. ian says:

    hey kuya kevin. i totally agree with you. joining forums can be an unwitting way of promoting one's blog. i am semi-active in one forum which is focused on my profession and totally inactive in one forum about a hobby. both fora allow the use of links and signatures. whenever i browse through my statcounter account and see where the traffic comes from, i still note a handful that come through these fora despite my inactivity. curious also that they click on my signature via posts that i've made 1-3 years ago! i can't begin to imagine how much more traffic i can generate if i were more active in the said fora.

    thanks for this reminder!

  4. Ian,

    Thanks for stopping by!

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