Your task today in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge is to join a forum that relates to the topic of your blog (or, if you’ve already joined one to spend 10-15 minutes participating in it).
One of the questions I always get new bloggers to ask when it comes to finding readers for their blog is ‘where are your potential readers already gathering online?‘ One of the places I encourage them to go looking for those potential readers is on forums on related topics to your blog.
Forums are fantastic places for bloggers to participate for a number of reasons:
1. Profile Building – put consistent time into a large forum on your topic and you can build a significant profile in your niche. I’ve seen it happen in my own photography forum numerous times where people have produced such value and shown off their expertise that they’ve actually developed fans among other forum users.
2. Driving Traffic – create value and become a useful resource in a forum and people will want to know more about who you are and what you do via your signature and or profile page. You’ll also sometimes have opportunity to share some relevant links to things you’ve written.
3. Understanding Your Niche – the hidden benefit of joining a forum that many don’t talk about is that for a new blogger a forum can actually be a fertile ground for gathering ideas and understanding the needs of potential blog readers. Go to any forum and you’ll begin to see the same questions being asked over and over again. The questions actually annoy some regular forum members but you as a blogger should be taking note of such questions and writing posts that answer them because they are usually signals of problems and needs that people have on those topics. I know if I’m ever in need of a topic to write about on my blogs that forums are one of the first places that I go looking for topics.
Spend some time today searching for forums in your niche. Once you find them, join up and start participating. The key is to spend time being as useful as possible to the forum. Your main activity should NOT be leaving links to your blog but answering questions, making connections and generally being as useful as you can to other members of the forum.
Here are two posts on building a blog with Forum Traffic that you Should Read:
I could say a lot more about building your blog up by participating in forums – but we’ve covered the topic a few times on ProBlogger previously. Check out these two posts:
- Build Your Blog With Forum Traffic - a post where Skellie suggests 4 strategies on this topic.
- How to Use Forums to Drive Hundreds of Thousands of Readers to Your Blog – a story from an anonymous reader who built a successful blog using this technique.
Note: if you can’t find a forum on your exact topic look for them on related topics. If you can’t find any at all, perhaps it is a signal that you should start one at some point. Forums can actually be great additions to blogs.
Update: Day 9 – Promote Your Blog by Finding a Forum to Participate In – People are sharing and exploring this task together over at the forum… you could start there!
This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.
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