Saturday, 11 August 2012

Forums for Web Traffic

I have been in the internet business for quite a while now, but in the publishing and book writing business a much shorter time and I keep on forgetting that most writers come from the other direction...

If you have an internet presence, then you need to get noticed and the way you get noticed is via web traffic. Now, the big search engines are all looking for new, relevant content and they all still love forums.

I forgot this, partly as my original forum had not been updated for a while, was outdated and had been hacked. Over this weekend though I have put the forum: Celtnet Forums (actually a series of forums related to the main sections of my website) back up. I added a few notices and posts and immediately the googlebot spiders were there indexing the content.

Within 12 hours I was getting content. Now, one of the forums I am running is about my writing and that has links to this blog and to my books with information about books, writing and publishing.

This makes that forum an excellent resource for informing prospective buyers about my books. And because the search engines love forums it's also a really excellent way of getting the message 'out there'.

So, I am sharing with you an angle of internet marketing that website owners have known for a long time, but which authors promoting their books may not.

Personally I use PHPBB for my forum. It's free, can be downloaded by anyone, is really easy to install... I was up and running in just a few clicks.

Like everything there are a few drawbacks and most of those are to do with the value of forums as link bait. Because of this you get plenty of spammers, but PHPBB gives you lots of tools to reduce this nuisance to a fairly manageable level.

Forums... a really useful resource that you should really, really consider.

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