Blogger forums are a great place for networking. It’s amazing what we can learn just by showing up and participating. Enthusiastic learners and generous teachers are attractive human beings. We draw others to us, and every good-natured, authentic interaction is one step to relationship building. Nothing out does the fast-pace give-and-take of a blog forum for teaching-learning, story-swapping, and bloggy brainstorming.
There are some great benefits to becoming a member of a blog forum in my niche.
- Forums offer a chance to gain visibility, form relationships, and establish a reputation for what I know. Serious blogger forums are like mini-seminars. They’re a great place to ask and answer questions. The very act of participating lets people know that I’m out there and willing to help. People who like what I say might stop by my blog for more, and I’ll have a place I can go to when I run into a bind that is over my head.
- Talking about my blog is a natural part of the conversation. What would be shameless self-promotion in other venues is using examples in the context of my forum. Pointing a forum friend to an article on my blog that meets their need is something they say thank you for.
- Leaving a signature link when you enter a thread can be common practice. I realize that I’m joining a group that has it’s own protocols. I look at how others sign their names before I make my signature. If the forum is a good match, I try to have posts in five or six threads. For the first day or two in Forum Land, I do as the forumers do. (In editorial we call that 2.3rds of a pun–p-u).
- Some forums ask me to introduce myself and my blog. I take those opportunities very seriously and pull together three important points–the purpose of my blog, a little of my strategy, and what I think readers come to see. I chose those three because I want the forum to know me as a multi-faceted thinker who takes blogging seriously.
- Search engines see forums as a hotbed of content. When the bots come they find plenty of tag-relevant words being used, my link in that mix gets indexed too.
Some forums may be part of an association, directory, a webring, club, or alliance. These groups offer the advantages of a forum and additional opportunities to network with people about your blog. They might even offer opportunities in which you plan blog promotion events together.
Whenever I start out in a new forum, I keep in mind that I’m building new relationships and a new reputation. I take care not to bring out my complete sense of humor too soon or too often, because I want to be taken seriously, and I want the people I meet to know I take them seriously as well.
Don’t join just any forum look around and be choosy. Find one that will be a mutually-beneficial experience for you and its members. Also read Hart’s comment after Blog Promotion Basics [for Everyone]ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬? to find out how he learned that the wrong forum is worse than being in none.
–ME “Liz” Strauss