When you’re new to the internet marketing world, many things can look overwhelming. It’s a vast maze to navigate through. Even a simple task like changing the theme of your WordPress blog takes a lot of courage to execute. For you, every bit of achievement is like conquering a new frontier and with every mistake, you learn. There’s a surge in your confidence as you climb up the learning curve with each passing day. The excitement is intoxicating. And as you start getting a slight hang of it, you feel like trying out certain things – the technical stuff on your website, designing, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, SEO, driving traffic, email marketing, etc. But connecting the dots aren’t easy and you start realising that things aren’t as simple as they look.
Newcomers need guidance
Internet marketing is an interplay of various elements, and if you’re a beginner, you need guidance at every step to manoeuvre your way through. Without guidance, learning eats up much of your precious time when you’re trying out things on your own; you tend to commit more mistakes; there are many unforeseen impediments to your education. While it is true that success depends on how much effort you put in, it is also necessary that all your efforts are channelised towards the right path through proper guidance. The guidance can come in the form of personal one-to-one coaching, videos, books, blogging sites or forums. While guidance is needed, it must be such that the learning is a two-way approach. It should empower you to clear up your doubts and queries at any stage when you get stuck. This is where online forums come in. Ask any successful internet marketer, and he’ll tell you how online forums had been instrumental in his success. If you are blogging for earning money, you certainly need to belong to a community of like-minded individuals who will help you with all the money-making methods and how you should be avoiding making serious mistakes or making wrong investments.
Online forums and community building
Online forums are sustained by users with community building as its end. Unlike a blog which is owned by an individual, forums are run by its users. There is a wide interactive exchange of ideas among the members. When you start growing as a blogger, joining online forums becomes almost a necessity because there are so many things that you want to ask, many answers you seek, and opinions you want to share. Even if you do not comment or post anything, just being within the community helps when you see all those questions from newbie bloggers like yourself who are facing the same confusions and the many dilemmas.
Benefits of joining online forums
Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced pro, joining these online forums help you in so many ways. You get wide exposure in your niche and are more informed. Let us some of these benefits.
1. Exposure and online identity. For an internet marketer or for that matter, any marketer, a wide exposure and establishing an online identity is crucial. The internet marketing forums provide a platform for getting into interactions and debates on many topics in your chosen niche with fellow bloggers. You have an opportunity to establish your authority and your business brand.
2. More knowledge. The online forums help you gain more in-depth knowledge in all concepts in your niche. They provide you an awesome opportunity to learn and share your ideas with other like-minded people. As a beginner, it is important that you do not commit serious mistakes from where it’ll be difficult to revert. You know, a wrong SEO technique or a mistake in your website building could easily mar your business. When you’re in a forum, you can ask the more experienced people there whether what you’re doing is correct and if you’re going in the right direction. Whenever you’re stuck with an issue, just start a new discussion thread under a specific heading, and all the members in your community will come to your rescue. There’ll be many people who’re more than ready to help you out. Helping people is not only immensely gratifying but it also enhances your reputation.
3. Better traffic through quality backlinks. The online forums are very popular in internet searches and attracts a good volume of traffic. When you help and interact with your fellow community members, your reputation grows and along with it, your brand has better chances of visibility. In the interactions, if you feel you can help someone by adding a link from your blog post, and thereby add value to the discussion, you can create a quality backlink for your website. This will, naturally attract a good volume of visitors to your site and keep them engaged further.
4. Staying informed of the latest happenings. In online forums, you able to keep yourself abreast of the latest trends and news. These forums are the first to get the buzz of an impending update or major policy changes that are relevant to your business. You will always be in touch with the latest happenings.
5. Networking opportunities and building partnerships. Online forums are also avenues to indirectly build your client base as you establish network and friendship with like-minded peers and clients. There are many businesses and potential clients in your niche in these forums. As you participate in the online conversations and share your knowledge and experience, people start looking at you for partnerships and business alliances. They can also refer people to you if they feel you can provide them the services these people are looking for.
6. Expanding your personal and social media network. These forums are an awesome way to expand your social media and fan following. If your profile allows your social media links to be shown, they’ll help attract people to your network when you establish a good reputation in these forums.
The best internet marketing forums
I don’t think there can be a list of the “best” forums out there. There are many forums and most of them are very popular. Choose the ones that you feel suit you most. Joining too many online forums is useless and can be a wasteful exercise instead of being beneficial. However, joining a few forums (2-3, maybe) can certainly be helpful. Personally, I love these forums:
I. Wealthy Affiliate. It’s an amazing community of more than 1 million internet marketers. Basically, a training platform for building an internet business, the community is its biggest selling point. Comprising members from across the globe, they’re an amazing bunch of some of the most helpful people around.
II. Warrior Forum. Easily one of the most popular internet marketing forums, and has more than 1 million members worldwide.
III. Wickedfire. Another popular forum to have access to topics, upload content and communicate privately with other members.
IV. SitePoint. One of the most vibrant communities for affiliate marketing and SEO.
V. Shout Me Loud. One of the biggest bloggers’ communities, Shout Me Loud is a game-changer and is a very popular forum for internet marketers.
VI. Quora. Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked and answered by its users who form one of the most active online forums in the world.
There are some amazing ideas exchanged there. You can make the most out of these forums by soaking in everything that matters to your business. Forums are breeding grounds for ideas. Just be mindful of a few golden rules:
– be respectful
– be helpful
– be engaging
– provide value to your fellow members
If you haven’t joined any internet marketing forums till now, then it’s time you do it now to reap its benefits. By doing that, you’re going to take your game to the next level.