This article was first posted on our blog on 07/02/2010. For this reason, the information may be outdated and no longer reliable/correct.
Are promotion forums as effective as we think?
Over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about how promotion forums work and whether they are effective. I would of course love to think promotion forums are the most effective way of advertising forums, websites and blogs, but I do have some points I would like to cover.
Promotion forums came about around 7 years ago (3 years, when this article was first written), I myself joined a lot of them around that time, they were, as you know, a big hit! People joined at once, having found it hard to get members before the introduction of promotion forums. However, many users, including myself, quickly discovered some of the important caveats which have to be taken into account when using promotion forums.
Services such as basic promotion, where you will post a link and description of your website or forum, while effective in some ways, depend on the types of people who use the forum you are advertising on. By definition, the only people who are going to join from a promotion forum are other webmasters. I, myself, do not consider this to be desirable, because I want members with a keen interest in the topic of my forum. While members who join from a promotion forum will make posts on your website, their primary interest is most likely in getting you to join their forum, which means that if you do not, then they will stop posting on your forum.
Consider large sites such as http://neoseeker.com, which have 1000’s of members, some of them over a million! I am willing to bet that a forum like Neoseeker has never advertised on a promotion forum. This brings up the question: how did they get so many members? I think it’s a combination of a quality website-building, good SEO, and affiliations with other sites of the same sort. Of course, the entire purpose of a promotion forum is to advertise to its members, just as you would when affiliating with any other forum. However, when you affiliate your forum with a website that has the same subject matter as yours, then you are appealing to a group of people who are more likely to register, more likely to post interesting messages, and more likely to continue to show interest in your forum for the months to come.
When you want to find a new forum, what do you do? I myself go to Google.com and type in what I’m looking for. I don’t think anyone uses promotion forums to search for forums they want to be a part of. Any popular forum will be on google, and is a single search query away, so that is where most people go looking. Many popular forums advertise on ForumPromotion.net, and similar websites, but it is much easier to search for these websites using Google, rather than a promotion directory. I know it, and most of your forum’s potential members know it.
Promotion forums are not useless. Reviews, posting packages, exchanges. These are valuable services which are offered by promotion forums, including ForumPromotion.net. If you want to make your website a success, however, you cannot rely only on promotion forums. You have to recognize that the advertising services offered by promotion forums are only useful to a point. Find other websites similar to yours and make affiliate agreements with them. Research how to build strong SEO on you forum, so that people will discover it using google. These are the proven, reliable ways to make your forum successful, and the ones which will best serve your community both now and in the future.