Newsgroups have been around since two days before dirt
was new. But still today they can be a decent marketing
tool for your business. Times have changed though, and
just like with search engines, you shouldn’t focus a majority
of your time on posting to newsgroups. There are thousands
of them out there, most of which are filled with spam
messages. But through careful research you can find a few
Message boards are pretty much the same as newsgroups
except they are on the Internet. Just as with newsgroups
you’ll find a ton of junk spam postings you’ll have to root
through to find the “true” postings. Some boards are
moderated which is a real plus. It will cut back the time
tremendously from having to search through and find
postings you wish to reply to.
On a scale of 1 to 10 of effectiveness, marketing on
newsgroups and message boards falls in around a 5 or 6. A
busy, moderated message board will certainly drive more
traffic to your site than an unmoderated one. Keep in mind
the traffic won’t be anything big, a trickle is really all you
can expect, but still it’s a great way for people to get familiar
with your business. I find a lot of times people recommend
different websites to people who have a question. If you
establish your presence well on message boards people will
begin to think of you as a brand and automatically refer
people to you when they see a post asking for information
that would be relevant to your site’s offerings.
Searching The Newsgroups & Message Boards
Searching manually through the tens of thousands of
messages to find a few worthwhile postings takes entirely
too much time. You will want to use specialized software
that will search through postings quickly picking out the
ones you might be interested in replying to. A good
program to use is News Rover ( http://www.newsrover.com ).
They offer a free trial period and the full version is only
But if you’d rather look through the newsgroup postings
manually then you can do it free with Deja (just recently
acquired by Google) http://www.deja.com . You can search
for postings based on keyword phrases, but be prepared to
dig through a bunch of spam postings to find the good ones.
For a great place to find message boards (forums) to post to
you can search through ForumOne
( http://www.forumone.com ). Here you can locate message
boards that relate to your website industry.
Attracting People – Right & Wrong Way
There’s a right way and a wrong way to attract attention on
message boards. Keep in mind, if I just say message boards
or newsgroups, I’m actually talking about both. As I said
before they are pretty much on the same plane.
Everyone knows the wrong way, and that’s posting hundreds
of messages with the same content advertising your website.
In other words, spam. Just as with spam e-mail, people will
not tolerate spam postings and won’t hesitate to report you.
The right way to attract people to your website is to make
use of a signature file (sig). Most of you are probably
already familiar with sig lines in e-mails, and they are no
different then in message board postings either.
Here’s an example sig file:
Drive THOUSANDS of visitors to your site in just 48
hours! Find out how visit us at
http://www.ineedsomehitsnow.com and while there sign-up
for our FREE weekly e-zine for even more great web
Here are some tips to follow when you type up your
* Make it no longer than 5 lines
* Keep it clear and concise, and don’t forget to proofread
* Make it appealing and practically grab the reader by the
The first one is the most important. Don’t write a 10 line
sig, people won’t read it, and many will view it as just a
blatant ad and block it out.
When responding to a post, don’t just write a one or two
sentence reply. Get detailed and make it professional
because if you don’t, people won’t even look at your
signature file. Pose yourself as someone who is an “expert”
on the topic your replying to. It adds credibility and adds
value to your signature.
Again, don’t focus solely on newsgroups and message
boards to drive huge amounts of traffic to your site. This
kind of technique is good for driving initial traffic to your
website. You may already be getting good traffic levels, in
which case this may be something you wish not to pursue,
which is fine. However, if you wish to pursue this
technique make sure you use your signature to the fullest
extent, and answer postings quickly and professionally. If
you do this you’ll enjoy the decent traffic you’ll receive from
just spending a matter of minutes each day scanning over
the latest postings.
Jim Conley II is the CEO/Founder of MerchantSeek. MerchantSeek allows merchants from around the world to search FREE for a Merchant Account Provider that best fits their businesses needs and budget. Visit us at http://www.merchantseek.com/