Successful Affiliate Marketing With Online Forums

Posting to relevant online forums is a tried and tested way of successfully marketing a product or service you are promoting as an affiliate and remains a popular technique with people who are serious about their Internet business and establishing their online reputation.

Forum posting should be an integral part of your overall marketing plan.

Online forums are a type of social networking site, but unlike many such sites, online forums are places where people regularly participate.

Often this is two to three times a week and may even be on a daily basis. They ask real questions because they want a solution to their problem or they want to make a helpful contribution to the discussion taking place.

Why you should participate in online forums

As a marketer promoting a product or service as an affiliate, there are two main reasons for forum marketing:

The first reason for posting on forums serving the niche or market segment you are targeting is that your readers are already interested in your topic. They are a warm market, so there is no need to “qualify” them as you would have to with writing free reprint articles. Prospects from a warm market are much more likely to make a purchase than unqualified leads.

The second reason is that your signature can contain a link back to your website. This is the equivalent of your resource box in article marketing. Your goal is to get the prospect to go to your website. It is there that the selling is done, not on the forum.
Forum commenting to promote a product or service as an affiliate is free, but it does take time and some effort on your part as it must be done in a subtle way.

Each forum has its own rules and has an etiquette to follow. Most online forums are moderated. That means your post will

have to be approved before it is published. Overtly promotional posts are unlikely to be published.

Take a little time to view some potentially suitable forums to get a feel for them and check out their rules.

How to promote your affiliate product or service

Forum marketing takes time, not only to do, but also before you will start to see the fruits of your labours. The following five steps will set you on the path to forum marketing success:

The first step is to select one or more suitable forums in your niche.

It would be a good idea to only join one forum if you are just starting out in this type of marketing. You can join other forums when you have become established in the first forum. You will, however, need to follow the remaining four steps, but they will be second nature to you by then.

To find suitable forums, make an Internet search for your niche + “forums”. For example, “Type 2 diabetes forums”.

The second step is to sign-up and complete your profile.

Make sure your forum signature includes a link to your website. If the forum allows it, include a good photograph of yourself. Properly and fully completing your profile is important because many forum members will view your profile. Putting a face to your name will help you stand out from the crowd.

The third step is to introduce yourself to the forum.

Most forums will have an “Introductions” section, which is designed for this very purpose. Don’t just say “Hi!” or “Hello forum”, give it a bit of thought. Explain who you are and why you joined the forum (for example, to give and receive advice and offer assistance to other forum members).

The fourth step is to add value to the discussions in the forum.

You need people to notice you. You will need to post regularly for that to happen. If they notice your posts, it builds trust and they will also see your links. After you have created a great, informative topic or insightful reply, you will see your profile count grow and your signature URL clicks follow.

Establish yourself as someone that is there to improve the community.

Do not post unless you can add value to a conversation. This is where most people fail with forum marketing; they only post to get their links published. Spamming the forum will very quickly get you banned and all your posts removed.

The fifth step is to build up positive feed back.

Most forums have a feedback system. Give positive feedback to other posters. It will be reciprocated if your contributions benefit the forum.

Positive feedback helps to establish you as a reputable member

of the forum. Better still, if someone is looking for the product or services that you offer, they will come to you, over a new member with no reputation. So, don’t let this golden opportunity pass you by.

Don’t log onto a forum, make a post, and then stop posting just because you haven’t been successful in attracting visitors to your website. The key to successful forum marketing is to be regularly involved. Aim to post at least two to three times a week. This should start to build up your overall credibility.

Online forums are a good place to establish your expertise in your subject and to build a relationship of trust and confidence, not only with other members of the forum, but also with forum visitors. Adding value to the forum and receiving positive feedback help establish your good reputation.

People prefer to do business with people they know and trust and will follow the link in your forum signature. This, after all, is why you are doing forum marketing.

When the visitor reaches your website:

give them even more helpful information;
provide a cogent reason for them to join your mailing list; and
make sure you tell the visitor what you want them to do.
They may not buy the product or service you are promoting on this visit, but you can keep in contact with them by email to continue building your relationship with them.

Use your forum marketing to establish a relationship of trust and confidence,which your website and regular email communications further develops into a long-term relationship that benefits both you and your prospective customer.

A Walkthrough Of Product Creation

The internet has diversified business opportunities. Affiliate marketing is one of the available business models. In this model, an affiliate endorses the products and services of another company for a commission. This is an easy, low-cost method to setup a business. However, a vast majority of entrepreneurs prefer to start from scratch by creating their own products and services.

The idea is a good one, but demands higher startup investments and a bit of research. Here’s a short guide on business product creation.

1. Outline your Goals:

The creation process starts with outlining your business goals. This initial planning process proves beneficial in the long run. It allows you to balance proposals and projections with the available resources effectively. It helps outline varied sources from which you can generate income for your plan. A SWOT analysis is a must for every new venture irrespective of the merchandise you specialize in. A SWOT analysis allows an organization to pinpoint its strengths and weaknesses and identify external opportunities and threats. It also helps understand current marketing trends.

2. Involve Customers in Product Creation:

Customers are king. You may have a great idea for a product, but it will be of no use if it is useless to your customers. The secret to perfecting the development process involves including potential customers in it. Prepare a survey or list of interview questions. Visit local stores (similar to your business) and ask people to fill out the forms. The answers will give you more information about the product they are looking at and their expectations. It also gives you cues of the features that will render your product successful.

3. Create a Prototype:

After you have outlined your business goals and collected consumer opinions, you should proceed to create a prototype. This prototype serves as the basic version of the product. Hence, it need not be very expensive or perfect. In fact, it is weapon to test customer response. Based on the findings, you can iron out product and technical issues in the versions to follow.

4. Screen the Product:

Sell the prototype to your customers. Observe how your customers respond to it, how they use it, features they like and aspects they don’t like. Compare expected response with the actual result.

5. Fix Gaps:

This is the stage of perfection. The comparison gives you a deeper insight into the flaws of the product. Use the information to improve your current prototype and shape your marketing strategy.

Besides, the steps mentioned above there are a few other tips to keep in mind. Customer criticism should be taken positively. You should not underestimate a competitor. Instead, compare your product with that of your competitors to test how it matches them in quality and features. Employee suggestions are crucial. One should also keep in mind the constant technological changes and updates.

There are ready product creation systems to create, test and launch business products on the web. The combines human resources and information technology to design an expert product that will fare well in the market.

Intermediate Ways to Product Creation

Creating a product with a success guarantee is difficult. But one can initially take certain precautions while designing or creating a product, so that the product becomes successful after it is launched. Here are some ways to product creation that will help in making the product successful

The first step to successful product creation is to make an in-depth study of the previous products that are of the same nature of the new one. Find out their pros and cons. If a particular product has been popular among the people find out why and if a similar product has been unsuccessful find out the reasons for its failure. Research has always proved to be the key to popular and perfect product creation.

The next way to targeted product creation is creating the product according to the needs of the probable consumer. The product creation should be such that it greatly fulfills the desires of the probable consumer. Creating a product that suits the demands of the consumers is the best way to attain success. Carry out surveys to know the desires and requirements of your consumers.

Proper time management is also a key factor for successful product creation. If you target to complete your products by a particular time of the year, may be because it is the best time to launch it, make sure that you do that. If you so not complete your product creation within the time schedule, then you will lose the favorable market conditions of that time. Also getting late in schedules means, delay in starting a new venture.