Online forums can a great resource for a home based business. They can also be a good marketing tool. If you are trying to market yourself, a forum can be a good place to establish credibility and connect with new clients or customers. However, some precautions should be observed when using online forums.
First, be careful with the use of links in your forum posts. Many of the popular forums are well ranked and frequently indexed by Google. This is particularly true of the forums on the VBulletin platform. As such, a link from a forum can be a valuable back-link to your site, but might generate some animosity if not used correctly.
Most forums allow a link in the signature line. Set up a signature line and put a link in it if the forum rules allow that. Then just post your thoughts, responses, and advice as usual and your signature will have your link. If people like what you are saying, they’ll want to know more about you and will follow your link. The more often you post, the more they’ll get to know you. Usually, it’s not appropriate to place a link to promote your site directly within your forum post.
Another thing to keep in mind is controlling your language. Forums are lively places and some people engage in name calling and such. This can provoke more name calling in response and so on. (Same to you and more of it neener neener, etc). But you will be much better off if you don’t engage in this sort of behavior. To do so will show your weak side along with your signature attached. You probably don’t want your name associated with this behavior.
Keeping these issues in mind, you may find that forums are an effective way to market your home based business website. Oh and in most cases they’re free to use!