Website Traffic Series Part 6: Using Forum Signatures
Time to analyze another traffic generation strategy: using forum signatures. At the bottom of this post you will find links to all the previous parts on the series, and stay tuned for future ones, we are going to cover literally all of them!
The concept: Online forums are as old as the Internet, and despite being around for a long time, they are still a popular destination for Internet users that want to get specific questions answered, find solutions for their problems, or simply to socialize with other people that are interested on a specific topic.
Most of these forums also allow their members to create a custom signature containing hyperlinks, that will appear at the bottom of each of their posts. Now if you consider that some popular forums get hundreds of thousands of visits every day, you can see how a catchy link below your posts could end up sending some traffic to your website.
Does it work?: Yes if your blog is new or has a small audience. The traffic won’t be huge, but it will be real. Provided that you hand pick the forums where you will participate and use signature links, this traffic might also be very targeted.
When I started Daily Blog Tips I was pretty active on Digital Point, one of the most popular online forums for webmasters. I remember that my signature links would send 20 to 30 unique visitors every day to the blog. Not an impressive number, but every little bit helps when you are starting out (plus there is some SEO value on the links as well).
How to get started: Head to Big-Boards.com, a site that lists the largest online forums divided by topic, and select some that are large, active and relevant to your niche.
Register an account on these forums and start participating on the community. Remember that you need first to give before you get something in return. This means that you should contribute to the conversation and add value where possible, and not just spam posts around. This should be easy after all, because I suppose you would have endless things to say on your niche.
Aim to write a minimum number of posts daily, and make sure to give your opinion on the hottest threads around as well (because they will receive/send more traffic).
Over the time, as the number of posts that you have on the forum increases, you will start to see some traffic flowing from your signature links.
Over to the readers: Have you used forum signature links to generate traffic to your blog or website? Has it worked? Do you think this method is worth the time you need to spend on it?
Website Traffic Series
- Part 1: Using Web Design and CSS Galleries
- Part 2: Submitting Your Content to Blog Carnivals
- Part 3: Leaving Comments on Other Blogs
- Part 4: Faking A Website Sale
- Part 5: Pulling an April Fools Prank
- Part 6: Using Forum Signatures
- Part 7: Putting A Blog on Your Static Website
- Part 8: Adding a Forum to Your Site or Blog
- Part 9: Buying Targeted Traffic
- Part 10: Using Email Signatures
- Part 11: Putting Your URL On Online Profiles
- Part 12: Emailing Bloggers to Showcase Your Best Content
- Part 13: Faking a Hacker Attack
- Part 14: Promoting Your Content on Social Bookmarking Sites
- Part 15: Promoting Posts That Link to You on Social Bookmarking Sites
- Part 16: Promoting Your Content on Social Networking Sites
- Part 17: Using Article Directories
- Part 18: Exchanging Links with Partner Sites
Browse all articles on the Promotion category
51 Responses to “Website Traffic Series Part 6: Using Forum Signatures”
Its something I will try doing very soon, I thought it was kind of cheesy though to see a few forums actually charging subscriptions to just have basic forum features. Like Avatars and signatures.
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How it works?
I am an active member of 8 different forums and I must admit they help a lot to promote my blogs. Yes, DP is the best for webmasters as well as SP.
Most forums nowadays allows the members to have their latest post title, so it can really be a big help too.
By the way, thanks for Big-Boards.com! I never know that there is a site like that.
Yes I agree forum traffic can be had but just like anything else you need to stay active and get your name out and be a part of the community
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Thanks for the post. I’ve been beating my brains out trying to generate links and traffic. Your post identified the best forums and I’ve already joined them. I don’t have the time to be in many so knowing which ones are the best is a super help.
I also appreciate your ideas and your website in general. Definitely some good advice here, not the run of the mill tired same old same old. Again thanks…Cheers, Russ
this is my usual trick to get traffic to my sites. Its really work for me.
Thanks for the tips mate i especially liked the blog carnival one, i do not know where i have been but i ve never seen that one before. I am guessing its quite a popular strategy, i must just be blind.
Anyways time to get some food
thanks for the heads up on the board link – at the end of the day forum sigs work and build up traffic nicely. i always try to contibute and in return i get nice anchor tag – its a nice deal.
Traffic is king i say ,aim to traffic and you will reach your goal ^^
I made a blog about it if you are interested to see some more details
then click on my name 😀
keep on the good work 😀
I think forum marketing can be extremely lucrative, provided you actually participate in these communities by offering valuable feedback, help/tips, etc.
If you simply join and post one word sentences to get your sig noticed, it certainly will – but not in a good way.
I also think you need to focus on managing your time effectively, as it’s easy to get caught up in forum posting and spend far too much time on it, ignoring other important elements to successfully marketing your website. Since this traffic is often temporary, you should never focus all of your attention or time on just this method..
As they say, don’t put all your eggs into one basket (or something like that, LOL), but it’s a good way to ‘initially’ jump-start your site and generate interest, not to mention subscribers.
Yup this does work, I have been using this strategy for a while now.
This is nice for traffic, but what if you have few thousands of posts with a link in your signature, would that look unnatural to Google? I mean what is the point of getting traffic if you get penalized on search engines!? As Google doesn’t like manipulative techniques and this is certainly one of it how would big G react to that?
And for the Traffic Series, I must say as this is generally very useful blog I did expect a little more from this series, the last two parts were IMHO not very useful and I hope it’s because you kept the best for later :o)
Hi Daniel, this strategy is great. Because, I have tried this so many times. At one point of time i feel exhausted. But even then i didnt leave, if i am just posting for a sake then i might have left. But, blogging is my passion and i write genuine posts which drives me and wants to take traffic just because i want to to give the best information and unique and to reach people. Now i am getting a decent and regular traffic to my blog.
Thanks a lot.
I haven’t tried this but my friend does and it works. But the problem is what kind of forum should we sign up to that would give us good chances to generate traffic to our blog. Another method that i know is by using email signatures and then participate in a mailing list..
@Mr Cooker and Ben, you are welcome. Let me know how this will work.
@Gori Girl, I think in the beginning of a blog, Forum promotion is definitely worth it. Over the time you might find that the benefits from your time spent there will decrease, but that is fine.
I agree, Forums are also a great source of ideas.
@Atszs, Forums and blog comments are very similar, so I think that most bloggers would also enjoy participating in Forums that are related to their niches.
@Anonymous, you need to go with the flow. Take a look at what Forum members are doing, and how far they are going to promote their own stuff. Then you mimic what seems to be the accepted rules. Each community and Forum has its own rules.
@Eli, definitely, the more work and content you put on the forum, the higher the chances that people will notice you and your signature links.
Thanks for the Big-Boards.com link. I’ve been wanting to get some traffic into my lonely blog for some time now without any success.
I’ve tried linking in my signature but I guess the boards that I often visit is not very popular. ;D
From experience the quality of traffic is as good as a visitor from a search engine so I’d recommend this. The key is active forums with passionate members.
Obviously it will help if you’re more of a ‘power user’, for example a few thousand posts under your belt, some reputation, even being on staff will help out. I think it also helps to use an image to link to your website, as well as a text link, but most forums do not allow images in signatures.
I have a little success with forum sigs, but it’s nothing really noticeable, it’s worth putting your website(s) in the sig anyway though.
Thanks for the link to big-boards! was looking for something like this where i could find ACTIVE forums.
I have taken part in forums before. But I believe some forums (especially the ones as part of a commercial business) sees any form of links to your site as ‘spam’, including signature links. For one particular forum, I removed my own signature (knowing that they are pricks) and posted a couple of articles to answer some questions by the forum members (in order to be helpful). One of them contain RELEVANT link to my site that contains more in depth explanation. Nevertheless, the forum owner accused me of ‘spam’, notwithstanding the fact that the forum members appreciate my answers and thanked me for them.
I’ve also taken part one blog (the managing director’s blog as part of his business), using the identity of my site and have been accused of “blatent self-promotion” even after I modified my posts not to contain any links. I admit, I wrote very very long comments and disagree with the underlying philosophy of that business (but I took care to give them credit for their valuable work)
Not surprinsingly, the above-mentioned forum is dead quiet today. The managing director’s blog is hardly updated.
But I believe non-commercial blogs and forums tend to be more generous and open. Lesson: Be careful of posting in small businesses’s commercial blogs/forums- they can be small-minded individuals who do not feel secure of themselves and fails to think rationally when it comes to different dynamics of the online world.
yes it’s my first method to publish my blog ..i used it and i get some 50 visitor from just one forum
If you got something to say and what you say is quality you will get solid visits from forum sigs and blog comment links.
I did try that, but don’t stay very active on the forum, so that doesn’t work. And you’re right, first you have to give!
I’ve always been partial to putting my site in my signature, but until now, I never knew of Big-Boards.com. Looks like it could be a great resource.
Thanks for the tip!
I agree with Gori Girl. Using forum signatures is fine if you are already participating in forums… My experience is that participating just for the signature is not worthwhile. Of course, there are always exceptions…
â€¦ and I agree with you that forum traffic can be very targeted if you participate in the right forums. I am doing right now a small experiment with a minisite, which I am promoting only through forum signatures. Traffic is very low, but conversion is really high.
I’ve found that forum signatures can be very helpful to get traffic, especially if you’re able to find just the right one for your niche. However, I don’t think it would be an efficient use of your time, unless you already enjoy posting on forums. Personally, I enjoy the different sort of conversations that can come out of forum discussions – my readers are all on the same page as I am, so it’s great to hear a countering viewpoint. Also, I’ve found that forums can be a great way to discover new post topics.
i do tend to visit some signatures
Thanks for the tips. Never even gave it a thought and might be a better way to find some new readers and ideas for blog posts.
Thanks again for the tip Daniel. And thanks for pointing out big-boards.com never knew it existed.
Time to spam… I mean contribute to the forums!
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