Spend 10-15 minutes participating in a forum that relates to your topic area. When you think about where are potential readers already going, that is where you should go.
In 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, Darren says he spends about 15-30 minutes a day visiting forums in his favorite topic areas. Contributing to some discussions, especially in areas where you can provide the answer for someone asking a specific question, is a great way to establish yourself as knowledgable in the topic area.
Forums Provide Great Blog Fodder
Forums also provide great inspiration for blog posts. Think about a question you see posted frequently – the kind that make the moderators roll their eyes in a “Not THIS question again” fashion. Those are the areas where people are genuinely seeking specific information, and are likely to be great blog posts.
Forums Allow “Free Advertising”
Be sure to use your signature and profile spaces to link back to your blog, or even specific posts on your blog! And of course, like commenting on another blog, forum posts are lasting ways to show your value and knowledge….don’t waste your time with a simple “sounds great” or “I agree”…provide a bit of meat in your response and people will take note.
Challenge – Find three new forums in your topic area that you can join and set up a complete profile and signature with the maximum allowed number of links (each forum has their own rules so be sure to check). If you are already the member of a forum, visit that forum, update your signature and profile, and spend 10 minutes answering questions and contributing to the conversations there.
On a totally selfish note – both Untrained Housewife and Blissfully Domestic have new forums in place for their readers. Links in the signature (fill in the profile information) are allowed so consider visiting these and starting a few forum threads.