There are several different ways that people use to make money online. One that a lot of people use successfully is forum marketing. Using this method gives you as an internet marketer a way to connect with the people who are likely to be the most interested in your offer. That’s the promise, anyway; however, just like any other online business method, there are some pros and cons that you should be aware of.
PRO: Discover the wants and needs of your market. Forums are places where people with the same interests meet to exchange ideas. This is done through posting in the forum. You can use this to your advantage. Why? Because you will see exactly what problems people are having…and then you can offer a viable solution. You will find out what has them excited right now, what they’re buzzing about…and you can make a product that feeds into that buzz. You need to pay attention, but if you do it right it can pay off in a big way.
PRO: Interacting with your target market. Forum marketing isn’t simply posting your offer every chance you get. Instead, you need to interact with members of the forum and become a contributing member of the community. In fact, a lot of forums have strict rules about marketing, so you need to make sure you understand and follow them. Either way, the ability to interact directly with your market is a definite plus.
PRO: Achieving expert status. As you interact in the forum, people will start to develop opinions of you. Now, you shouldn’t go in trying please everybody because that’s not the point. However, if you are able to demonstrate your knowledge, and are an active member then you just may achieve expert status. You can’t over-estimate how important doing this can be; it can virtually guarantee sales every time you have something new to offer.
CON: It takes time. As you may have figured out, forum marketing isn’t the kind of thing you can do overnight. It will take an investment of time to do it right, but the good news is that the payoff for that investment can be huge. Don’t rush into it and pay attention to how people behave on the forum.
CON: Becoming accepted isn’t as easy as some people would like you to believe. The one variable that is always present on any forum is people. You can never be entirely sure how they will react to you, and they may test all newcomers to make sure they share the same interests. If you are there for the long haul, then stick it out and you will be the better for it.
Of course, those few cons are easy to get around with a bit of time and the right attitude. Don’t let them stop you from forum marketing because it not only works, but works really well. You can discover the wants and needs of your market, interact with them, and may even become a recognized expert in the process.