Do you believe blog promotion at social media sites is the only way to increase your online visibility?
Anything could be further from the truth.
My post 79 of the Most Effective Ways to Get Free Blog Traffic explains 79 ways to get your blog visibility.
One of those ways is by leaving your links at forums.
This post will explain what free forums are available to use and strategy to get benefits from those forums.
Not only is forum posting a valuable form of blog promotion, but leaving your links at these forums will give your SEO a tremendous boost.
This post will tell you how to promote your blog posts at online forums and why forum posting is extremely beneficial to your organic traffic as well as traffic coming from social media sites.
Note: A bonus forum is offered at the end.
What is a Forum?
Posting at forums is like posting on social media sites. Both are a form of blog promotion. You leave your link and a blurb about your article and people learn about your blog content.
According to Business and Life Tips, “Forum posting (also called forum marketing) is where you share your views, opinions, and expertise as well as ask and answer questions on topics relevant to your niche.
You then leave behind your identity signature that carries a link to your site or blog post. These forums usually have a large audience base where people participate in discussions. If you actively participate in these forums, you can benefit from these large audiences by driving them to your blog besides benefiting from backlinks.”
This post will focus on using forum posting as part of your backlink building strategy.
How Does Forum Posting Help Bloggers?
Generally, forums have many uses for bloggers. Increased traffic, new contacts, and resources are among them.
“Networking with like-minded bloggers in forums is something you should do every day to improve your SEO. These bloggers in your niche can help spread the word about your blog,” according to Dave Cain.
According to Josh Weikel, “The value of forum posting comes mostly from networking opportunities, not direct traffic. Stick to forums that are directly or closely related to your site’s content, but not all subject matter has excellent forums accompanying it. Try to find forums that influencers occasionally post on or users within that community that are active on other sites. These could provide opportunities to collaborate on sites that can give you more direct traffic.”
According to Aliakbar from HostingCodes.net, “For me profile creation on top forums sites works the best still in 2018 as most of the links are dofollow on those forums.”
This post will focus on how using these forums will help your search engine visibility.
If a website with a higher Domain Authority than yours links to your blog, your search engine visibility will increase. To check your Domain Authority, use Moz’s free tool Open Site Explorer.
This post will explain how you can put your own links at these forums.
UPDATE: ShoutMeLoud shut down its forum in August of 2018.
Harsh Agrawal is the brains behind ShoutMeLoud. Harsh is the most famous blogger in India.
His blog, ShoutMeLoud.com, has almost one million readers and social media followers.
Harsh’s forum is pretty popular as well. A blog’s value is determined by its Domain Authority Score.
The forum has a DA of 60. If you leave your link in one of your answers, that would be a huge boost to your SEO.
Also, you could find valuable information and get help at The ShoutMeLoud forum. For example, at the time of this writing, some of the discussion titles were “Need Viral Content Writer” and “Need Help to Grow Adsense Revenue.”
2. Growth Hub
Inbound.org is currently transitioning to a new website, GrowthHub. As my post about Inbound explained, Inbound had a dynamic discussion forum. I predict Growth Hub will have all the benefits that Inbound had but with even more bells and whistles. Since Inbound had a forum and an opportunity for forum posting, I predict Growth Hub will too.
Warrior Forum’s reputation is so strong, I am assuming it is the best forum out there.
Advantages of using Warrior Forum:
At Warrior Forum you can:
- Start threads.
- Comment on topics started in threads.
- Meet serious bloggers.
- Learn tips. Some of the recent conversations on Warrior Forum were titled, “Best Traffic Method” and “Having Problem Bringing Website to the Top Results in SERPs.”
- You can upvote comments.
- The community tab allows you to join social groups where you can find like-minded bloggers. Search your blogging niche under “Category.”
- Take courses where you can learn from the best.
- Create offers.
Step 1: Go to http://www.warriorforum.com/. Make an account.
Step 2: Click a discussion link that interests you. They are in red. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen and you can see a place to comment. I use “Quick Reply” to comment.
Can you leave a link? Tread with caution. Someone suggested only leaving a link if people are familiar with you. I once received a link from Warrior Forum. An established member of the forum left my link in one of his answers during a discussion.
I certainly felt excited: Warrior Forum has a Domain Authority score of 68. A link from a DA this high will boost my search engine visibility.
Warrior Forum is free to join although you can become a full member for $97.00. The paid membership entitles you to sign with a signature and avatar.
Warrior Forum Testimonial:
Raymond Baxter reports receiving traffic from Warrior Forum. People have learned about him there. He feels it’s worth his time to engage there.
Disadvantages of Warrior Forum:
As mentioned, getting a link to your website is nearly impossible.
I’m on the mailing list. All I get is promotional emails which feel spammy.
Postwaves is a relative newcomer to opportunities for forum posting since it was just started in 2016. Postwaves has great appeal. The site bills itself as “The Social Media for Busy People.”
Concerned about all the spam and useless information at other online forums, Postwaves started a new type of forum.
The reason this site is innovative is that you vote for quality content. You get notified by email when there’s an article for you to vote on. The link to the article is sent to you by email so you don’t have to go to Postwaves to hunt for it.
When voting, these are your choices:
- Leave links
- Join groups
- Find interesting, relevant articles you can use for research in your articles
You can add a post also and have people vote on it. Just click ‘” Add Post.”
GrowthHackers also has a strong reputation. The website has a Domain Authority score of 63.
At GrowthHackers you can
- Meet serious bloggers.
- Add your articles: Just click Add Post under your profile picture. Remember, a link from a site with a DA of 63 will boost your SEO.
- Find helpful articles to read.
- Get your questions answered.
- Participate in discussions.
- Find jobs.
Note: Like Warrior Forum, GrowthHackers is a place for serious bloggers. “Link dumpers,” people just going to drop links and not engage,” will be frowned upon. This behavior can even get you banned.
There are many ways you can boost engagement, traffic, and your SEO at GrowthHackers.
Uttoran Sen finds GrowthHackers helpful.
Carol Tice included GrowthHackers among the websites that will give you more traffic, improve visibility and give you more social shares.
The Digital Point Forum currently has 833,581 members.
Niches at Digital Point Forum include business, design, development, and marketing.
Philip Ariel recommends Digital Point Forum.
Update: Since writing this post, I learned that the Digital Point Forum is overrun with spam.
7. Bill Belew’s Forum
At Bill’s forum, you can
- Get help with blogging concerns.
- Meet serious bloggers. I was there just a moment to introduce myself. I tagged my introduction so members would know my blogging niche and my interests.
Within seconds, I received notice that someone upvoted my comment. I followed him on Twitter. It took seconds for me to make a new blogging connection.
8. 2020 Update:
I’ve had trouble accessing Snapzu recently. I assumed the site folded, but a reader wrote to tell me the site is alive and well.
At Snapzu, you can
- Upvote each other’s articles.
- Receive more perks as you move through levels.
- Join tribes.
- Follow other members.
- Save your favorite posts. This curation will increase the amount of content you are shown.
- Do research for future articles.
- Engage with community members.
- Post content such as links, videos, and images to publicly share with the Snapzu community. It’s fun and exciting sharing great content that piles up the votes!
- Discuss the issues in the posts.
Note: Like the other forums, Snapzu has rules against spamming. Due to these concerns, Snapzu only allows you to promote your own work 10% of the time.
As soon as you sign up, you’ll be enrolled in tribes for immediate engagement. You can modify by leaving or even starting your own tribe.
When you first enter, you’ll be greeted by a tutorial. Opt to watch it. It’s helpful. Also, you’ll receive 200 experience points for watching which will put you closer to the next level.
When you click “Submit,” you can compose a post right at the site, upload your article link, or a photo.
Indicate your post is safe for work and which tribe your content will find most relevant.
Snapzu will let you know how many members are in the relevant tribes you’re shown. Since my first submission related to Google, I chose the Google tribe. It contained 2,304 members! Talk about exposure! Look at all these new eyes on my content!
Choose the kind of content you’re publishing. Click “Publish” and share on your social media.
By the end of my first visit to Snapzu, I had 650 experience points and only need 1,000 for a level promotion!
Wealthy Affiliate is a platform to learn affiliate marketing and provide you the environment where you can get all the tools, websites, hosting, training, coaching and interact support to create and grow a business within the affiliate marketing world. It’s not a forum by itself. Wealthy Affiliate presently has a community of about 1.3 million members. Wealthy Affiliate is free to join for seven days, but then you can upgrade to a premium plan. You can still read the content, but after seven days, you won’t be able to post or interact with the members.
According to member Nikola Roza, “Wealthy Affiliate has a live chat feature where folks gather to share ideas, questions, problems they’re facing and solutions for said problems. It’s like a forum, but much more dynamic because the replies happen almost instantaneously.”
Update: Since writing this post, I found a source that reports unethical practices by the Wealthy Affiliate Forum.
Reddit bills itself as “The Front Page of the Internet.”
In my opinion, Reddit is primarily a forum. That’s why the site has a reputation for being difficult to generate blog traffic.
Since Reddit is primarily a forum, Redditors assume you’re just going to “link drop” and consider that spammy.
The magic of getting Reddit to work for you is to use it primarily as a forum and not a place to promote your links.
By engaging in the discussions, you’ll generate karma points and get people to know you. If they do, they could upvote your articles and answers and get you visibility there. By getting visibility, you have the potential to generate massive blog traffic.
Consider blog traffic the perk, not the point of going to Reddit and you’ll have a greater chance of generating blog traffic from there. Suppose you wanted to start your own discussion on Reddit? Click the Start Discussion arrow.
If you do decide to leave a link at Reddit to promote your content, you have two choices in most “subReddits.” You can opt to either submit a new link or a new text post.
I heard that if two people click your link from Reddit, you’ll get a dofollow link from Reddit which will improve your SEO. According to Open Site Explorer, Reddit has a Domain Authority score of 99 out of a possible 100.
I’m becoming more of a fan of Reddit. I enjoy going to forums and keep going back to Reddit. The site is becoming my go-to forum.
Look at the screenshot: As soon as you log into the site, you see content the Reddit algorithms know will interest you.
By looking to the left, you see the popularity of each Reddit post.
Here you will find information about Reddit’s subReddits.
Instructions for using Reddit can help you try to generate traffic.
UPDATE JULY 2020: Reddit is so widely respected, SEO expert Marie Haynes quotes the Reddit SEO subReddit in her podcast.
[Related Reading: These 26 SubReddits Will Make You Know More]
Price Urb recommends PearStep Forum. He receives recommendations of blogs to follow at the forum, he reports. PearStep is definitely a true community.
The admin of PearStep gives generously toward bloggers. How do I know? I’m one of the bloggers he has helped promote. The forum promotes this blog’s Link Exchange.
12. The PAC Forum
Although the PAC Forum is relatively new, the members seem to have already generated a sizeable amount of traction.
Why join? Why not? The forum has all the perks of other forums: question and answer threads, interaction with other members, engagement, and a community feel.
In addition, you could be featured which will add to your exposure and ability to generate blog traffic.
Look who the PAC Forum featured in January! I was interviewed and featured on the forum.
13. LinkedIn Forum
As you can see from the screenshot, joining a forum discussion at LinkedIn is easy. Just click on the conversation title that interests you.
Also, when you first log in, you’ll see conversations going on you can participate in as well.
You can leave your links in these discussions or in LinkedIn groups.
Instructions for using LinkedIn are easy to follow.
According to Open Site Explorer, LinkedIn’s Domain Authority Score is 100 out of a possible 100. It’s true!
Update: Since publishing this article, I learned of new forums:
According to Hannah Sulcov from Fit Small Business, “Fit Small Business is in the process of building up our forum which includes any type of business related questions. We are looking for marketing experts, which is why I thought to reach out to you. Participating in our forum is a great way to show your knowledge and experience! Responding to forum posts can eventually lead to getting featured on our site and receiving an expert badge.”
15. BizSugar Mastermind Community
In 2019, BizSugar, while continuing to be a promotion site, branched off into a forum. You can join this community by invitation only.
To request an invitation, go to https://www.bizsugar.com/mastermind.
The forum seems multi-purpose. The features range from a site like Trello where you can organize projects to an educational forum for bloggers and marketers.
16. Black Hat World
This seems to be an active forum.
Although the name of the forum is Black Hat World, there are many threads including “White Hat SEO,” “blogging,” and “social networking.”
Since the site linked to my White Hat (SEO-appropriate) content in the past, I know the tips are not all “Black Hat.”
17. Gulshan Forum
A commenter on this post recommended the Gulshan Forum.
The site describes itself as offereing blogging tips for bloggers of all levels.
Bonus Forum Posting Tip
According to Sunday William, a Facebook Group is like a forum where people learn from each other. Not all are for self-promotion. Many are for both.
According to Sunday, “This type of group is like a forum where people of like minds interact, learn, and solve problems for one another!
How to Get Traffic from Forums
At places like Warrior Forum and Reddit, you can make others aware of you by upvoting their comments and commenting on their threads.
Check the Domain Authority of the forum as I did in most cases here. You want it to be higher than 40. Since you’ll be linking the forum to your website, a link with a DA higher than 40 will help you get visibility at Google.
Warning about Forum Use
Some forums allow you to leave links to your posts in your answers.
Links to your site boost your SEO and therefore your search engine traffic.
Knowing this, many bloggers tried to game the system, and go to every forum imaginable to link drop where permitted.
Google got wise to this attempt to work their system.
For this reason, my guest author listed Forum Linking as a way to get a Google penalty in her article about how to lose organic search traffic.
Forum posting can boost your:
Ability to help your readers
Feeling of community.
In closing, you don’t have to blog in isolation. There are forums for every niche. If the 13 forums suggested in this post don’t fit your brand, you can still find forums that work for you. Google forums + your niche and you’ll be able to find one of these communities. Then, you can benefit from forum posting too.
Readers, please share so other bloggers discover the many benefits of forum posting.
I look forward to hearing about your experiences in the comments section. Do you post to any of these forums? What are your experiences? Would you recommend forum posting to bloggers?
Janice Wald is the founder of MostlyBlogging.com. She is an ebook author, blogger, blogging coach, blogging judge, freelance writer, and speaker. She was nominated as the 2019 Best Internet Marketer by the Infinity Blog Awards and in 2017 as the Most Informative Blogger by the London Bloggers Bash. She’s been featured on Small Business Trends, the Huffington Post, and Lifehack.