A little more than a year ago, I was browsing a forum and noticed a forum networking mistake. It was on a forum related to dating advice for men.

A “guru” named RL posted an unsolicited article explaining his philosophy on how to meet women. Depending on a forum's rules, there may be nothing wrong with that. Some forums might even encourage it, if the guru is a respectable and established expert.

But the problem was that RL was not established at all. He just waltzed right in and posted an article. Hardly anyone knew who he was. Yet he came in there assuming he was an expert and started preaching to everyone. Not many people were willing to immediately accept him as a guru, bow down to him, and listen to his advice.

The result was that a lot of people responded negatively to RL's post. They refuted it and argued with him. Generally, they weren't very nice. One of them accused him of trying to sell a product.

What made matters worse was that RL argued back and even threw an insult to one of the posters. He most likely damaged his own reputation by doing that.

What RL should have done was to take the time to get himself established on the forum. He should participate in discussions like a regular forum member. He should befriend other posters and give advice whenever someone asks a question. This takes time, but it builds relationships with the forum members.

During the entire time, he can have a signature in each of his posts that has a link to his Web site. If people like the advice he gives or even just like him in general, they'll click on his signature to visit his site.

After he has offered enough advice to people's questions and established himself on the forum, posting an article, like he did initially, would receive a much more positive response.

There's another forum I used to visit regularly. It was an independent game developer forum. One of the forum members JL was selling marketing services. Unlike RL, JL was successful with his forum networking. Everyone liked him and saw him as an expert.

The difference between RL and JL was their approach. Unlike RL, JL took the time to build relationships. He participated in discussions like any other forum member. He shared jokes. And he offered advice whenever someone had a question. During the entire time, he had a link to his Web site in his signature.

Some of the forum members hired JL for his services.

At some point later, JL wrote an e-book and promoted it directly on the forum. Because he was a well-liked and respectable expert on the forum, no one accused him of blatantly promoting his e-book. In fact, people responded positively to it. Many forum members bought his e-book.

So if you decide to do forum networking, make sure you do it right. Before you post, check the forum's rules. Browse the forum for a while before posting to get a feel of the forum. And then network your way to success.

Author's Bio: 

Want hard-hitting copy that gets results? Francis Lui is a freelance copywriter who wants to deliver results for you. To learn about his services and how to get him to write hard-hitting copy for you, go to francislui.com/.