There are probably as many ways of doing forum marketing or thinking about forum marketing as their are people doing it. But the question begs to be asked: Are you doing it the right way?
One way that has been taught by many search engine optimization consultants is to go into a forum and start posting links so that you can get link juice. I know this is still taught because I see it in so many forums that I participate in. But is it effective?
I think the best way to do forum marketing is to start off not posting any links at all. Even forgo the signature link for awhile until you build some credibility within the community. Why do I say that? Because at the end of the day, a link is just a link but your reputation can come and go and what you don’t want to do is get a reputation for being a spammer.
Forum spam is one of those little annoyances that gets in the way of a good community. What it tells people is that you aren’t really there to get to know them. You are there to get a link and move on. And people won’t want to get to know you when you do that.
So, does that mean you shouldn’t build links in forums? No, not at all. Clearly, you should. But don’t join forums just so you can build a few links then leave. Rather, build relationships with people as you grow your credibility. Then, once you’ve established yourself as a helpful member of the community, it’s OK to add a signature link and start doing a little self promotion. Just don’t be overly aggressive.