Online forums are a great, yet often overlooked place to get free publicity.

If you've joined a membership site, purchased any type of software, website hosting, email service, or technology product then you're probably familiar with online forums.
Most exist for the purpose of building a community around a topic, product or service.

Increasing numbers of companies use forums for tech support, probably knowing that some of their users will provide free tips and solutions equal to or even better than their own customer service or tech support staff.

Online forums have long been recognized among Internet marketers as a great way to generate traffic.

The typical approach is:

1. Join a forum of people who may be interested in your product or service.

2. Actively engage in discussion topics.

3. Contribute valuable information on a frequent basis.
Although most forums discourage or even ban actually linking to your site, once you are seen as an expert in your niche forum members will look at your signature file or profile to find your main website.

Some forums allow private messages which is another great way your potential customers can contact you about your services.

I used this technique when I launched my Author's Marketing Service. I joined the forum at Create Space, Amazon's Self Publishing Division. I contributed valuable tips about websites for authors, book marketing and publicity.

I acquired multiple clients, both editors and authors. They approached me because they recognized from my contributions on the forum that I could teach them how to successfully market their books and themselves and help them get lots of free publicity.

Those techniques still work well for marketing on online forums, but using online forums to get free publicity involves a completely different process. I've never heard or read anything about using online forums to get free publicity and to be quite honest, I stumbled upon part of it by accident and then developed it into a powerful tool that can grow your business.

My Discovery

I was searching for an answer to an Internet marketing question several years ago. I went to a leading forum that I'd been a member of and posted my question.
I then pasted the same question into that new (back then) search engine, Google.

Guess what one of the top results Google showed me was?

A link to MY question I posted in the online forum less than a minute earlier!

SEO Lesson Learned

Popular online forums typically rank very well with search engines for at least five reasons:

1. They usually have LOTS of content.

2. Their content is valuable.

3. Their content is updated frequently.

4. They receive lots of traffic.

5. Lots of sites link to forums.

Why is this an important element for using online forums for free publicity?

Free publicity is only effective if it gets you, your brand, product or service lots of visibility.

Utilizing the SEO potential that forums provide means not only will you be seen by other members of the forum, the article, picture, video, story or other content you post on an online forum can rank high with search engines so lots of potential clients can find you!

Use these five tips to get free publicity from online forums.

1. Look for all the online forums related to your business or area of expertise.

2. Narrow your search by looking for online forums that offer free blogs, allow you to make lengthy posts or allow members to post complete articles.

3. Integrate your name, product name or other keywords you are seeking to publicize into your article.

4. Add your article, video, infogram, press release etc. to the online forum of your choice.

5. Use your social media channels to link to the article and invite people to read it. This creates back links and generates traffic.

6. Encourage readers to share your article on social media. This creates more backlinks, social shares and traffic, all of which help improve your search engine rankings.

7. Submit the url of your article to Google and Bing/Yahoo using a free service like

Your article or other content will start ranking quickly with search engines and you will start getting free publicity!

Once your article ranks well it should continue to get you free publicity for months, possibly even years to come, which is why I call it Perpetual Publicity!

Author's Bio: 

Would you like Free Publicity? Get my free training at

Bruce is a bestselling author, speaker and trainer and founder of Perpetual Publicity, a step-by-step training system that teaches Authors, Business Owners and other Entrepreneurs how to grow their business through free publicity.

Bruce has been featured, quoted, profiled or has appeared in thousands of newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and TV shows in over twenty countries, including:The Today Show, Fox & Friends, CNN, MSNBC, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times, I Heart Radio, and NPR.