Forums are amazing.

Anyone that was online during the late 90’s and early 2000’s can attest that forums were the places to be social because they allowed everyone to create in-depth posts on just about any topic (depending on the forum, of course).

Today, though, it seems that forums have kind of gone to the wayside in place of other social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and others. It’s a shame though because forums provide you with a deep, social experience that cannot be fully gained from these other social platforms.

A forum becomes a tight knit community even though it’s mostly anonymous (outside of your user name). I would go as far to say that forums are probably the best place to start building your affiliate marketing business, compared to the others, because it creates genuine connections since people are invested in networking and authority rather than trying to bump their numbers.

This week I want to dig deep into forums and how you can integrate them into your affiliate marketing work but my overall goal is that you get active on them (even if there’s no monetary reward) because forums are simply awesome at connecting with great people, starting excellent discussions, and getting to be part of a community that really cares.

The first thing we should examine is …

The Value of Forums for Affiliate Marketers

What value does a forum bring to your affiliate marketing efforts?

  • Conversations – Instead of the usual run-of-the-mill quick responses you’d find on Twitter or Facebook when you ask “what’s your favorite X” or “what do you think of Y” on forums you’re bound to extend that conversations into the dozens (if not hundreds) which is infinitely valuable for gaining feedback, connecting with other passionate individuals, and gaining the opportunity to promote offers when the topics come up.
  • Longevity – The reason forums are great is that everyone is generally invested into the long-haul in which they’re not just there to leave a comment and be on their way – they’ll leave a comment, come back to check on it, and continue the discussion if it’s still going. Because conversations can go on indefinitely you can really start to get to know people on the board which can lead to great networking and relationship building.
  • Targeting – Let’s say you have a Facebook page about bicycling. The page does well and all with your posting and advertising but you’re still really restricted due to Facebook’s EdgeRank system which means you’re barely reaching a fraction of your audience. On forums, however, people that are passionate about the topic are going to hop into the discussion and stick with it. You already know certain people are coming to the board and if they are responding they’re even more targeted based on the topic. This really lets you get a firm understanding of your audience which also leads to better targeting in other areas of your online marketing from the data you’ve gathered from the forum feedback.

Overall you have to think of it like a local conversation. You see it as a group of people getting together to talk about a subject so you already know people are interest in what you have to offer. The longer you can keep that conversation going without distractions the better you’re off. This is one thing you can’t really do on other social networks because there is so many distractions.

Someone invested into your topic are there until they feel a certain satisfaction with the content which is almost never the case on social platforms like Facebook where someone can dip in, leave a comment, and then forget about the whole thing within a minute because there are dozens of other distractions.

Once you understand the value forums bring to your work you’d naturally want to find …

The Best Forums for Affiliates

The best forums for affiliates are the same as what I’ve talked about before but let’s bring them back up to make this easier to get started:

As part of our top forum list for affiliates.

Overall it really doesn’t matter which you choose. The higher number count certainly helps if you’re looking to reach a larger group of people but at the same time a smaller count is sometimes better to avoid being swallowed up by the noise. Find one that’s in-between so you can reach people without being immediately bumped to the bottom of the threads. If anything get started with Warrior Forums and then move your way to something like Digital Point which is a little more broad in topics.

This leaves me at a stopping point since we have so much more to cover so …

In Conclusion

Forums are a great way to connect with people on a much deeper level than what you’d normally find on other social platforms. When you have to invest time into the conversation you’re more likely to pull out the stops and do your best to add to the conversation.

A forum really brings people together. The technology may seem a little outdated but once you’re hooked into a good discussion it really doesn’t matter. The ability to start and continue long conversations, debates, and threads makes forums such an amazing social platform.

What I want you to do is take some time to look into the forums I’ve listed. Try to settle on one that really fits your style and needs. Throughout this week we’re digging deeper into using forums for affiliate marketing so go ahead and get one ready and even if you don’t use it for affiliate gains it’s still worth your while to explore the platform (especially if you haven’t before).