Build Your Platform with Online Forums

November 2009
by Dana Lynn Smith

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Build Your Platform with Online Forums

by Dana Lynn Smith

Forums provide a great way to network with people who share your interests, to build your reputation as an expert, to learn from others, and to subtly promote a book.

These free online communities (also called discussion groups, listservs, bulletin boards, and newsgroups) can be Web based or function as email lists. Either way, they let people who are interested in a particular subject ask questions, offer solutions, and share experiences. Some posts recommend resources of interest to the group or are otherwise informational. Many forums are moderated, so that each message is approved before it is posted.

Joining Forums

To find forums related to a particular book’s topic and target audience, search Yahoo Groups and Google Groups, and type “[your keyword] + forum” into a search engine. You can also search for a keyword on Google— click Show Options (near the upper left) and then click Forums. Larger and more active groups will give you more exposure, so it’s best to concentrate your time there.

On some forums, you can specify whether you want to receive each message as it’s posted or receive a dail…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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