For authors, especially self-published ones, reaching out to your target audience is one of the most important tasks. This is why online forums are important for authors, whether on one’s own website or in a community where there is a gathering of fellow authors and readers.
Promoting your book online can be a daunting task. However, there are many ways to get your book and your brand noticed by as many people as possible. The trick lies in being able to maximize the tools and platforms that allow you to publicly share your work. The online forum or discussion boards offer multiple opportunities that will lead to one important goal- marketing your book.
Here are 10 reason why we think online forums and discussion threads are as important as any marketing tool for authors.
- Exposure. This is one instant benefit of being in a forum, whether it’s a discussion board on your website or joining a community discussion in a website within your niche. By being in a forum, you allow yourself to be recognized by other individuals, groups, or even institutions. The first important move to being recognized is to officially register yourself in these platforms.
- Content. Every comment, every paragraph, or article you share in these forums can be considered content. The more you stay active in forums, the more you produce content registered to your name. It is true that the length of words on forums and discussions are limited compared to publishing an article. But imagine if you are seen in more than one forums and threads, the reach is as good as a published blog on your website, if not, greater.
- Engagement. A forum is both an opportunity and a responsibility. The nature of forums and discussion threads is that it is primarily engaging. You have to share your ideas but also be ready to elaborate, at times defend it and of course, answer further queries if need be. In any case, you are expected to be present real-time or at least be able to react and communicate timely. Commitment is a keyword in joining forums. And the way you engage in these discussions can be beneficial or detrimental to your marketing efforts.
- Increase in Traffic. Discussion boards on websites mean instant traffic for you. The more people will join your forum, the more visitors you will have. And these participants will have friends and affiliations that might be interested in your discussions. Plus, forums and discussions encourage visitor retention which is a great factor for increasing site ranking.
- Online Visibility. As I mentioned earlier, the more active you are in forums, especially in very reputable online communities, the more you will get noticed. The more people you have in your forums, the more your site will gain recognition. This is what you gain for always being present and actively engaging the online community.
- Building a Reputation. Participating in forums also means establishing your reputation as a person with authority. It is important to choose the topic to engage as well. If you are the one deciding the topic, choose the ones that are not only timely but also beneficial to your target audience. The goal is to be also inclusive.
- Create Updates. Forums can be a venue to catch up with everyone. Here you can discuss updates and also get updates from the community as well. If there’s one thing that forums effectively provide its members, its information. And in a fast-paced environment, it is most useful.
- Direct Marketing. Well, some forums explicitly bar its members from marketing any sites, products or services. If you are visiting a forum, I’m sure you can come up with creative ways to somehow make mention or subtly promote yourself and your brand. If you are directing the forum, you should be able to insert a call to action every now and then.
- Network Building. Whether you are building an email list, backlinking, or simply gaining new contacts, the forum is always a great venue to expand your network.
- Setting Direction. This is for forums on your discussion boards. Having full control of the website and the topics for discussions gives you an advantage on where you want to take your visitors. While managing a forum can be a challenging task, it will also allow you to deal with negative comments and most importantly direct everyone to whatever call of action you have in mind.
ReadersMagnet is a self-publishing company that offers publishing and book marketing services which include the dynamic website which allows you to create discussion boards.