There are plenty free tools you could employ to generate more traffic to your website. While the novice at Internet marketing will use traffic exchange sites or buy traffic, the experts will advise you not to opt for such methods. You’ll hear from many SEO advisors: write articles, blog, post in forums.

I suppose it’s clear how writing articles and blogging can help: you target a specific audience with high interest topics. People are going to read your articles and blog postings because they need information. As a matter of fact, when a visitor is landing on an article or blog page, he or she is searching for something specific. Forums work about the same. The difference is that people who participate in forum discussions and groups need information and advice, so they ask questions and demand pertinent answers.

What you should do is target forums related to your niche and start participating at the discussions. You’ll get to know both your competition and your potential clients. This has advantages and disadvantages. You’ll learn what strengths and weaknesses your competition has, but don’t think your competition sleeps. They’ll learn exactly the same things about you. However, this is a good thing: open competition helps companies to improve their services and products. People trust companies that are not afraid of competition. Encouraging competition is a sign that you believe in the quality of the products you sell.

It’s a mistake to praise your own products in forums. People are not fools: they know when they are being manipulated. You should give honest answers and quality advice. That’s all they need to want to read your signature and click on the link to your website. You should never write your signature as an advertisement for your business. Keep it unpresumptuous. You are there to learn and help, not to sell. Read the forum policies carefully if you don’t want to be banned for advertising.

The search engines scan forums and blogs regularly; therefore you need to post regularly in both. However, while your own business blog is something you can control, forums could have hundreds of participants. Their posts could push your message lower and lower, till people will no longer be interested in reading it. So don’t think only search engines when it comes to forum postings.

Don’t limit the number of forums where you post to one or two, and don’t duplicate content. This doesn’t look serious. Avoid spamming the forums or posting pointless topics, silly questions or questions that can be answered fast with a simple Google search (for example “what does this word mean?”). It’s quality that brings traffic.

Try to start a HOT topic. Many people, including lurkers, read hot topics. Hot posts are usually focused on controversial subjects and they generate debates. Make sure you know the topic well before leaping into discussions.

Remember: the more knowledge and skill you demonstrate, the more clients you will attract, thus your traffic (targeted traffic) will increase. And one more thing: forums are great to bring you one-way links, and that will boost your website’s ranking into the search engine result pages.

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