Forum Signature Hints

The key to successful forum marketing is in your forum signature. Without a signature, how will you drive traffic to your site? Regardless of the value you offer in your comments and responses, you will be unable to monetise that goodwill.

A good forum signature will help members know who you are and what you do. If written well, it will also motivate them to contact you. And this is the whole reason for forum marketing in the first place, isn’t it?

What You’ll Want to AVOID in Your Forum Marketing Signature

It’s important to avoid every one of these five things in your signature. Learn more about Common Forum Marketing Mistakes.

  1. Too Many Links: Filling your signature line with multiple and irrelevant links will confuse your fellow members and maybe get you banned from the forum. Both results don’t help you reach your goal of building your business.
  2. Forgetting It’s Business: Don’t mix up your personal and professional forum profiles. While saying: Visit my blog at www.myblog.com is fine for a personal blog, links to your business blog need to be more professional. See more below.
  3. Don’t be Cryptic or Deceptive: If you sell multi-level marketing products, say that. If you sell Word Press plugins to monetize travel blogs, say that. If you are not clear about who you are, then you are not going to be able to build trust.
  4. Avoid Flashing Graphics and Emoticons: They are perfect for best friends and grand-kids, but they don’t build trust of any sort in the business world. Don’t ever use these in your forum signature.
  5. Being Too Casual: Even though you might be working at home in your fleece jammies and bunny slippers, your prospects want to think of you in a more professional way. Be sure that any language or images used convey professionalism, at all times.

Remember that the goal is to build trust and add value. Be as transparent as possible, and this will help people trust that you are who you say you are.

What You’ll Want to INCLUDE in Your Forum Marketing Signature

  1. Your Name: Should be pretty standard, but could be forgotten. You should use your full professional name, without nicknames, unless the nickname is part of your brand.
  2. Description of Your Site: A simple but concise sentence (or two) will help fellow forum members know what you do and who you are.
  3. Url of Your Web Site: In terms of search engine juice, its best to link from the description of your site to your site itself. For example, link the main key word in your profile to your site. It is more compelling than a link from “My Blog”.
  4. Other Contact Information: You may want to include your email address, and select social network links. Direct links are okay for most sites, but you’ll want to avoid publishing your email address directly. Email harvesting bots can collect your address and begin spam you. You could publish your email address as yourname (at) yourdomain (dot) com. Harvesting programs don’t recognize this as an email address, but your readers do and can use that to contact you directly.
  5. A Professional Photo: Not to formal, but not to casual. Somewhere between the business suit and the flower print shorts will be fine. Even if you are participating in a laid back forum, don’t be to casual or readers won’t trust you enough.

imagesWith a great forum signature you’ll be well on your way to successful forum marketing.

Forum Marketing Tips

Forum marketing platforms are discussion sites where people carry on conversations via posted messages.  These conversations span topics including the latest news to niche categories including hobbies, professions, politics, and business ideas.

The practice of forum marketing involves interacting with users in the online forums to promote your business.  For those who approach the practice wisely, there can be a high return on investment.

The easy online availability of forum marketing can be a wonderful resource for low-cost and highly effective marketing.  Following these five basic forum marketing tips for forum marketing can help ensure your success.

Focus your efforts on the most appropriate online forums.

Whatever your business niche, look for forums dealing with that particular topic. In the beginning, you’ll want to concentrate on 3-5 forums on which to focus your efforts.  Look for forums that have a solid membership base and good-sized, current, non-spammy post count to ensure an active audience to make your marketing efforts worthwhile.

Get familiar with each forum’s user guidelines.

You’ll want to be sure that you’re not inadvertently breaking the rules in terms of posting links, promoting your business, or overstepping any boundaries.  Be respectful.

Set up a user account with each forum immediately.

In many forums, seniority translates to credibility, and an established and active user will be taken more seriously than a person who might be viewed skeptically as jumping in for the sole purpose of promotion.  Choose a user name and avatar wisely remembering that other users will associate these with your brand.  Include a way for other users to contact you that you don’t mind having public.  Most importantly, if the forum allows you to include a signature line, make sure that you include your website URL to make it easy for other users to find out about your business.

Become a forum “lurker.”

Although the word might previously have had creepy connotations involving dark alleyways, the idea of lurking in online forums is not in the least bit sinister.  Rather, it’s a mark of wisdom to spend some time watching the interactions on the forum, reading the posts and becoming familiar with the forum itself, the discussions it hosts, and some of the characters and personalities actively interacting on the forum.  Get a feel for the posts, topics, and tone of interaction before stepping in to begin creating posts of your own.  You’ll fit in a lot better and make your marketing within the forum much more effective.

Be a Collaborator, not a Drama Queen.

Contribute to the community.  Your own posts in the forum should not be limited to your own marketing materials.  Responding to posts that you have first-hand experiences with, will boost your credibility.   But, don’t let yourself be drawn into other member’s controversies.   Remember that there are potentially thousands of others that are reading what you post (potential customers) that might be driven away if you appear to be nothing more than an attention-seeking Drama Queen.

The key to forum marketing is to not treat it as a one-time advertisement but rather a long-term channel for spreading the word about your business.

List Growth With Ad Swaps

Once you’ve built your subscriber list up to 500-1,000 subscribers, you can
then start building your list exponentially using ad swaps. Ad swaps are
hands-down one of the fastest ways to build your list online.

But first, let’s talk about exactly what an ad swap entails…
An ad swap occurs when two list owners each agree to mail their list an
offer from the other list owner. This is usually a free offer placed on a
landing page/squeeze page in exchange for someone’s name and email
address. As a result, they are both adding hundreds of subscribers to their
lists.

The most effective ad swap occurs when two list owners endorse the other
person’s squeeze page offer, which gives away a free report, video, or
some other content of value.

Even if you just have a small list, you can still leverage that asset to swap
ads with other list owners – helping you to grow your list at a rapid pace.
Ad swaps are a little-known tactic that almost all of the big internet
marketers are using to add 200 to 500 subscribers per day.
So, once you’ve built a “seed” list of 500-1,000 subscribers, it’s now time to
go out and start looking for potential ad swap partners.
Here are some places online where you can find other list owners who are
actively looking to do ad swaps:

http://www.imadswaps.com
http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-joint-ventures/
Safe-Swaps.com
http://www.AdswapFinder.com
JVME.com
ListSwapper.com
HonestWorkFromHomeSuccess.com
EliteClickSwaps.com

Once you have found some potential JV partners, contact them and
propose to do an ad swap with your lists. Keep in mind that it doesn’t
matter if your potential JV partner has a bigger list size.
For example, let’s say you want to swap ads with someone who has a list
of 10,000 subscribers and you have 1,000 subscribers. Not a problem! The
person with 10,000 subscribers would just send your ad out to 1,000
subscribers of their 10,000 person list. So they would just send it to a
segment of their list. Easily doable in Aweber, GetResponse, etc…
Problem solved!

Plus, here’s a powerful tip that will increase the chance of your
potential partner agreeing to do an ad swap…
Go ahead and set up a squeeze page that is specific to the marketer
you’re swapping ads with. So at the top of your squeeze page (directly
under your headline), you would have some text that says, “This is an
exclusive secret download page only for Bob Smith’s subscribers)
This makes it a lot more personal. Not only are you going to get a more
positive response from your potential partner, but you will also get higher conversions on your squeeze page because it’s targeted directly to their
subscribers.

Ad swaps are one of the best ways to grow your list quickly without
spending any money.
This is some of the very best traffic you can get because someone is
endorsing your free offer to their list of subscribers.
Plus, the really cool thing about ad swaps is that you can do them
MULTIPLE times… with the same people!
Since both of your lists are growing all the time you can do an ad swap
with the same people on a monthly basis by sending the ad swap only to
your newest subscribers.
I hope you’re starting to see how powerful this is.

Also keep in mind that there are MANY different types of ad swaps. Email
ad swaps are the most common, but you can also exchange banner ad
space on your blog, ads on your thank-you page, log-in page, log-out
page, etc… Think outside the box. After you’ve done an ad swap with
someone look for additional ways that you both can integrate your ads into
the other person’s marketing and sales funnel. This type of integration
marketing can create a perpetual list builder that lasts well beyond an initial
ad swap

Procrastination

Do you put off your work for later, only to find your deadlines steadily creeping in? Then you, my friend, are one of the millions of people afflicted by the procrastination virus.

Procrastination is the biggest reason for loss of productivity and late output. Though many would not admit it, they would benefit greatly if they start their work on time.

For many people, putting off their work for later is more habit than desire. It can be so hard to get into a groove where starting your tasks in a timely fashion is a priority, especially if the consequences for being late are things that one can probably bear.

If you are one of these people, yet you desire to shake off your propensity for procrastination, then you have come to the right place. Here are a few tips to help you overcome this dilemma and become a more productive and reliable person.

1. Set schedules – It is very important that you have a list of activities to accomplish per day. This will help you realistically budget your time and resources. One of the cardinal sins people commit in regards to performing their tasks is to put off their work because they feel like there is so much time left. A journal, organizer, or calendar of events will help you plan and schedule your task so that you can start them promptly and finish them on time.

2. Save the Vacation for Later – Many people put their work off for later saying, “I’ll just have a little fun then buckle down to work later.” While it may be true that they may have more than enough time to accomplish their tasks, it would be better if they finished their work first and relax afterwards.

Wouldn’t relaxation be sweeter if it were after a taxing job? If you choose to lay back and relax before doing your tasks, you will be more prone to burnout and will have nothing exciting left to look forward to after accomplishing a task. It is always better to have slack period AFTER a job than before one, especially considering that people are wont to overusing their slack time. This is suicide if you are heading towards a deadline.

3. Never Underestimate Your Tasks – Sometimes procrastination sets in because people underestimate the resources, difficulty, and time spent for a particular task. They will usually say, “It’s just mowing the lawn, its easy; I could do it in a jiffy.” The problem is, no matter how trivial the task, it still takes time and resources to accomplish. If you underestimate a task, you will most likely set too little time to do it and schedule it too close to its deadline.

4. Don’t Allow Yourself to Get Comfortable Doing Nothing – It would definitely help if you kept a subconscious alarm whenever you are doing nothing. Get this alarm to remind you of things that may need to be done. This will help you foster the notion that jobs accomplished now means more time for relaxation later. However, even if this is the case, do not forget to put ample time in for rest and to remove all thoughts of troubles before hitting the sack. The trick here, however, is not to overdo you rest. There is a difference between resting and idling. Always set the right amount of time for rest and stick to that schedule.

Get RSS Right And Go Worldwide

In today’s Web 2.0 online environment, it’s almost impossible to land on a blog, newsletter or current website without seeing an invitation to get the webmaster’s information via RSS.

Subscribe to RSS feedIf you are one of the thousands of new Internet Marketers just dipping their toes in the fast-paced waters of the Internet, you might not understand the valuable uses for RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and how syndication can improve your sales and drive traffic to your offers. Believe me, you are not alone.

Every new process, or revamped old process, develops it own set of terminology and buzz words, so let’s take a look at some of the RSS terminology first.

  • Syndication:

Syndication, according to Wikipedia, means that you allow your website, or a portion of it, to be available for other sites to use. This usually means “…making web feeds available from your site, or blog, in order to provide other people with a summary of your website’s recently added content (for example, the latest news or forum posts).”

Different types of syndicated content can be found all over the Web, including newspapers, commercial websites, blogs or product offers from Internet Marketers. It has become a free and easy form of advertisement that increases targeted traffic and expands your site’s exposure across normally unreachable online platforms.

Web syndication by online marketers is removing the hesitancy web surfers have with providing personal information to invisible marketers, like name and email address for signing up to receive a newsletter. Those surfers expecting to subscribe to an RSS feed instead are growing in numbers and will soon be in the majority. Don’t ignore them!

RSS and Atom are the two main syndication formats.

  • RSS Feed:

To start with, an RSS feed notifies you when a web site or blog you are interested in has been updated. There are two kinds of RSS feeds, static and dynamic.

When you see the latest scores for your favorite team or are continually checking for bargain airline tickets for your vacation to Disney World, that information would be a static feed from a sports news media or an airline/ticket site.

Info from a dynamic feed would depend on your search terms to provide specific information to add to your data stream. A dynamic feed would be one from a website you are watching for new content or notices about new products. It would give you notice of the change on the website.

  • Feed Reader or News Aggregates:

Those two terms are merely names for the software that allows you to get the RSS feeds from websites or blogs that interest you and have it displayed so you can read it and use the information the way you want to use it.

  • The Big Question…What is RSS?

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a format for delivering regularly changing web content and is making it easier for you to stay informed by receiving the latest content from your sites of interest. You don’t have to visit each site individually and do not have to join each site’s newsletter by providing your private information.

More than several big name sites, like Yahoo News, the BBC News in the UK, the US government and more newspapers and other news media than you can shake a stick at, are providing free RSS news feeds for delivery to anyone. They are not doing that for no reason, but because they recognize the extended reach their message will have and the benefits that reach will return to them. Copy success!

Internet Marketers are starting to add an RSS feed to their websites and blogs. Look for a button or link that says “XML,” “RSS” or an invitation to “Syndicate This Site” if you want to start receiving their information via an RSS news feed.

Almost any information can be used to publicize updates to your website or blog… photos, summaries of your latest update or simply the title of your update with a link back to the original source.

RSS benefits both the readers and the publishers of the feed. When you update your blog post, add new content to your website or want to announce a new sales price or special bonus for your readers, they all will know immediately about the change or special offer and can decide if they want to visit your site or not.

Internet Marketers can reach a much wider audience for their products or services because web browsers are becoming much more likely to subscribe to an RSS feed and avoid the email clutter that clogs their inbox after subscribing to a few newsletters.

rss4 300x272 RSS Feed Explained All the benefits of RSS feeds are not restricted  to your subscribers, but have some powerful results when used as a marketing tool. When you use an RSS feed to market your products, you are attracting visitors and customers who are interested in your products and want to receive your information. This Win-Win process protects you from a spamming accusation.

The new techniques and requirements of using RSS to get your message circulating may still intimidate or confuse some of your customers. It is a good idea, for customer service, to offer both the RSS feed and email notification of your website, blog or product updates. You do not want to immediately exclude a set of customers who prefer one method over the other, regardless of the reason.

As a tool to increase targeted and focused traffic to your site, RSS feeds work great for this top-of-the-list marketing need. If the content update interests your reader, many will want to read the complete story on your website and will click the link to do just that. When that happens, they arrive at your website already interested in your product… marketing gold!

Getting comfortable with this vibrant and ever-changing Web 2.0 tool will expand your reach and increase your conversions. More and more people are switching to RSS feeds everyday to make their lives less cluttered and to put the information they receive in their own hands and not those of random marketers. Don’t ignore this grass roots movement… join it!

Now Add Facebook Features To Your Site!

Good news for the social media-minded business owner:

Facebook has made it easier to integrate its social functions into many websites. The Menlo Park-based social media giant released its own pre-made plug-in for popular website and blogging tool, WordPress.

With the new plug-in, called Facebook for WordPress, website owners can add Like, Subscribe, Send and Recommendations buttons easily onto not only pages, but also to photo albums and online stores — adding extra sharing and engagement options. One function called Social Publisher automatically posts new content on a website back to a company’s Facebook page. There are also Insights functions, which track how much activity occurs.

While dubbed “the official” Facebook plug-in for WordPress, this tool enters a crowded field of Facebook add-ons, including Facebook Connect, Facebook Tab Manager and Facebook Members.

Here are four reasons why a business might consider integrating Facebook features into its online experience:

1. It is easy to add.
Websites that run on WordPress should find the plug-in simple to download and to configure from the WordPress control panels. Options include color, size, and choosing which pages to place Facebook links on.

For sites that do not use WordPress, you can still add many of these features to your site. Visit developers.Facebook.com and choose from similar options. Facebook will then provide you with a few lines of code to copy and paste into the edit tools on the control pages of a website.

Related: 3 Ways to Supercharge Fan Engagement on Facebook

2. Gain new “friends.”
By adding a “Like” or “Share” button on a page or post, businesses are allowing customers and visitors to easily share content on their own Facebook walls. This feature can help spread a company’s message further, faster and helps information go viral.

Consider using Facebook’s commenting feature, too. It allows businesses to prevent anonymous disparagers and puts real names and faces to comments.

3. Access more detailed analytics.
The plug-in’s Insights feature can provide an added dimension to analytics for businesses. Firms already have access to Web log data for how many people visit their website and where they come from. But with Insights, businesses can tell how many visitors actually “Like” a page.

For example, posting a photo album that gets 100 views can be further analyzed by tracking which picture gets the most “Likes”. The data you collect from Insights can help you improve customer engagement with your site.

4. Keep your brand socially relevant.
The plug-in makes it about as simple as possible to place a well-known icon such as the Facebook “Like” button on a company page. With more and more socially-aware customers, this can help add extra credibility to a site.

Upgrading a website with Facebook apps can signal to potential customers that a company is worth being friends — and doing business — with.

The Hard Part In Making Money Online Is, Starting.

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What’s even more amazing – is Chris only began online in 2008.

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Bottom line: You’ll make a TON more cash online once you understand the PROCESS of making money online.

The biggest myth about making money online is that it is hard to get started.

It really is not. Let me prove it to you….

Niche Research Explained

Alongside the mechanics of identifying, supporting and entering niche markets, what are the key factors you’ll need to exploit to succeed? Here are some key questions to answer about niche research.

Is there a need, a new opportunity or a customer problem?

Opportunity – a new market has emerged or a new opportunity exists in an existing market and a range of new solutionsare required to satisfy the new demand.

Problem – a group of people (or businesses) share a common problem and need a solution that they can easily adopt.

Need – the niche needs to or needs to find out about something and needs a focussed solution that provides the information they need.

The main purpose of the Niche Marketing Center is to help members find ideas for niche markets where there is an opportunity, a problem, an existing market or a need that needs solving.

Do the potential clients actually want the solution on offer?

The target group of customers must actually want the solution on offer – not have a need alone. For example, many thousands of people have a debt problem and ‘need’ to get out of debt – but very few actually ‘want’ to take positive action to do something about the situation.

The offer has to be just right; look good, sound good, cost good, seem good, BE good so that your potential customer will ‘want’ it and buy it.

The aim of all your communications, sales messages, emails, product offers, design or benefit statements is to gently take potential customers along the journey from slightly interested to the ultimate result of buying.

Are you trying to Run Before You Can Walk?

This is no joke, if you’re trying to go for a market that’s way outside your knowledge zone and very hard to access – you may find yourself spending a lot of time, money and heartache trying, and trying and trying some more.

You need to set your sights on easier opportunities that make the best use of your limited resources of time, money and effort. Progress will encourage more progress and the more experienced and skilled you become the easier it will be to access more difficult markets without taking so many risks.

You should be able to find markets that have forums, ezines, magazines, books, courses, training events, conferences, seminars, get togethers, stores, membership societies and so on to help with idea development, research, ideas, content and feedback.

Your niche might not have many or all of these but they are a good indication that your target market can be accessed and more importantly that information is available that can be tailored and focussed into specific products and services that provide what the market needs.

A small tight niche is great but are there any customers at all?

Finding a group of like minded customers who have great needs and wants AND MONEY! is a fantastic game to win. To be one of only a few suppliers with a product or service that is right on the button for the needs of the market is great but are there actually enough potential customers to make the market viable?

Will you get a return on your investment?

It’s all very well going niche but not if your product will never make a profit or your sales volumes are too low compared to the time and money spent on site management.

You need to find small focussed markets where you can generate enough leads, enough visitors and enough sales to make it all worthwhile..otherwise you might as well sit and burn a wad of dollar bills!

Can your customers afford your offer?

When considering a niche you need to bear in mind two key aspects around the affordability of your offer.

First up – you need to avoid playing in a market where the potential customers available to you simply can’t afford your offer – or don’t have credit cards.

More importantly you need to strike a balance between the cost of your product, the cost of alternatives or the cost of your customer not getting an easy solution to their needs.

So if your product doesn’t have much direct competition and the problem it solves is costly in terms of time, stress or money – you can afford to charge a much higher price. You also get a good sales USP.

What is the future value?

When you develop your first niche idea and your first product it will pay you very well to think about what your next and your next and your next will be. You’re going to be spending a lot of time and effort developing your first product and market so it makes a whole lot of sense to ensure that you can develop your business into complementary markets or offer complementary products to your customers.

By doing this you’ll ensure that your initial work can be used across more than one market and more than one product meaning each becomes cheaper in terms of resource and costs.

It’s the repeat business that will generate your biggest profits over time so it pays to plan ahead for new offers to your existing customer base as soon as possible.