Forum etiquette goes beyond just following the rules of the forum you’re posting on and making sure you don’t offend other posters. There are many ways to make a fool of yourself on forums, especially when you’re posting to promote your blog or website.
Many newbies (include myself at one time) rush headfirst into forum posting without taking forum etiquette into account. Not only does such behavior scream that you’re new to the forum, it also hurts the reputation of both yourself and whatever website you’re trying to promote.
Forum Etiquette: Choose Your Forums Wisely
Forum etiquette begins with selecting the forums you wish to post on. Choose a forum that is related to your website. In other words, don’t go on a veterinary forum to post about a cooking blog. You need to know your audience if you want to pique their interest enough to visit your website.
Secondly, take a day or so to thoroughly scroll through some of the posts on the forum. Don’t just look through the most recent ones – dig up some of the old archives so you don’t make a fool of yourself posting about something that was hashed on a long time ago. Nobody likes the guy who drags up old topics.
Once you’ve selected the forum you wish to post to, read the forum rules for best forum etiquette. Many forums have strict rules about forum etiquette and how often you can post links to your website and where you can do that. Some will disable your signature line until you’ve written at least 50 posts. This keeps away most of the spammers and maintains a productive forum.
Forum Etiquette: Don’t be a Know-it-All
Everyone hates a know-it-all, especially on a forum. Your forum etiquette should exhibit constructive help when posting, not an attitude. Plus, you need to make doubly sure you really know what you’re talking about before responding to someone’s post. And if you’re the twenty-fifth poster in the group, be sure you read all the previous comments in the thread to avoid rehashing someone else’s answer just for the sake of upping your post count.
Another forum etiquette foul that many posters make is walking into the forum like they own it. The tone of their posts would assume they’ve been posting there for ages, but when their post count reads “9” instead of “900,” other forum posters tend to get irritated, and rightfully so. You have to earn your right to gain credit on a forum; it doesn’t just come with being another blogger/website owner out there who’s trying to post backlinks to his or her domain.
Also, remember that since most forums have link following turned off, your only real way of getting traffic to your website comes by wooing other forum members into clicking your link with your excellent forum etiquette. They’ll only do this if they feel you had good advice to offer and think your website might be worthy of looking at.
Keeping these forum etiquette tips in mind will help prevent you from making some embarrassing mistakes for many to see.