Friday, January 9, 2009

Joining WFHF (Work From Home Forums)

Back when I had a "real" job, I attended several of the dreaded Chamber of Commerce "After Hours" events. I say dreaded because out of all the dozens of people attending and socializing, very few had anything more than gossip to talk about, when the whole idea was to network and exchange useful business ideas. Well, recently I joined several of what I consider the online equivalent of the "After Hours" mixers: Online Forums.

If you search, you can find a forum on just about any topic you have an interest in. Now, these aren't "chat rooms" where conversations are flying by with dozens of people "chatting" at the same time. The Forums are static "discussion" boards where people post questions or topics and other people "post" their answers or replies. From my observation and experience the discussions can become quite active and sometimes even heated, but, all in all, they are mostly beneficial.

For anyone new to forums, the easiest way to find what you are looking for is to do a general search such as: Work form home forum or Forum for work from home moms. Once you get the search results, visit the sites and have a look around. The best forums are active ones. You can check the activity by looking at the threads and posts and seeing the date of the post and date of the last reply, how many views the questions have had along with how many replies. After you have found a few you think look promising, go ahead and sign up. Then, post in the "I'm New" thread, and spend some time reading. You really can learn a lot from these boards....and, you really can learn how to spot the ones out only to promote and scam! My advice is use the same cool head and character assessment online that you do IRL.

One of the most useful elements of posting in forums that I find is the chance to add a link back to my blog or anything else I may have published online through the "signature" feature. The signature will be found in your User Control Panel and it's here that you can add a URL of your choice. Sometimes you can add several. In fact, for others who are just starting out, the use of a signature can be one of your first ways to begin "advertising" your site or blog and drive traffic to it, and do it for FREE! As a little test, I created a link in my signature to my GPT (getpaidto.com) site and in a couple of days actually had 2 click through's for more information.

Hey, 2 clicks may not be a lot, but it's proof that this free strategy works!

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