Website Traffic Series Part 6: Using Forum Signatures

By Daniel Scocco

Time to analyze another traffic generation strategy: using forum signatures. At the bottom of this post you will find links to all the previous parts on the series, and stay tuned for future ones, we are going to cover literally all of them!

websitetrafficforumsignature

The concept: Online forums are as old as the Internet, and despite being around for a long time, they are still a popular destination for Internet users that want to get specific questions answered, find solutions for their problems, or simply to socialize with other people that are interested on a specific topic.

Most of these forums also allow their members to create a custom signature containing hyperlinks, that will appear at the bottom of each of their posts. Now if you consider that some popular forums get hundreds of thousands of visits every day, you can see how a catchy link below your posts could end up sending some traffic to your website.

Does it work?: Yes if your blog is new or has a small audience. The traffic won’t be huge, but it will be real. Provided that you hand pick the forums where you will participate and use signature links, this traffic might also be very targeted.

When I started Daily Blog Tips I was pretty active on Digital Point, one of the most popular online forums for webmasters. I remember that my signature links would send 20 to 30 unique visitors every day to the blog. Not an impressive number, but every little bit helps when you are starting out (plus there is some SEO value on the links as well).

How to get started: Head to Big-Boards.com, a site that lists the largest online forums divided by topic, and select some that are large, active and relevant to your niche.

Register an account on these forums and start participating on the community. Remember that you need first to give before you get something in return. This means that you should contribute to the conversation and add value where possible, and not just spam posts around. This should be easy after all, because I suppose you would have endless things to say on your niche.

Aim to write a minimum number of posts daily, and make sure to give your opinion on the hottest threads around as well (because they will receive/send more traffic).

Over the time, as the number of posts that you have on the forum increases, you will start to see some traffic flowing from your signature links.

Over to the readers: Have you used forum signature links to generate traffic to your blog or website? Has it worked? Do you think this method is worth the time you need to spend on it?

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51 Responses to “Website Traffic Series Part 6: Using Forum Signatures”

  • MrCooker

    Thanks again for the tip Daniel. And thanks for pointing out big-boards.com never knew it existed.

    Time to spam… I mean contribute to the forums!

  • Ben

    Thanks for the tips. Never even gave it a thought and might be a better way to find some new readers and ideas for blog posts.

  • team ray

    i do tend to visit some signatures

  • Gori Girl

    I’ve found that forum signatures can be very helpful to get traffic, especially if you’re able to find just the right one for your niche. However, I don’t think it would be an efficient use of your time, unless you already enjoy posting on forums. Personally, I enjoy the different sort of conversations that can come out of forum discussions – my readers are all on the same page as I am, so it’s great to hear a countering viewpoint. Also, I’ve found that forums can be a great way to discover new post topics.

  • Artsz

    I agree with Gori Girl. Using forum signatures is fine if you are already participating in forums… My experience is that participating just for the signature is not worthwhile. Of course, there are always exceptions…

    รขโ‚ฌยฆ and I agree with you that forum traffic can be very targeted if you participate in the right forums. I am doing right now a small experiment with a minisite, which I am promoting only through forum signatures. Traffic is very low, but conversion is really high.

  • John

    I’ve always been partial to putting my site in my signature, but until now, I never knew of Big-Boards.com. Looks like it could be a great resource.

    Thanks for the tip!

  • Farfield

    I did try that, but don’t stay very active on the forum, so that doesn’t work. And you’re right, first you have to give!

  • Jaan Kanellis

    If you got something to say and what you say is quality you will get solid visits from forum sigs and blog comment links.

  • radio shack

    yes it’s my first method to publish my blog ..i used it and i get some 50 visitor from just one forum

  • Anonymous coward

    I have taken part in forums before. But I believe some forums (especially the ones as part of a commercial business) sees any form of links to your site as ‘spam’, including signature links. For one particular forum, I removed my own signature (knowing that they are pricks) and posted a couple of articles to answer some questions by the forum members (in order to be helpful). One of them contain RELEVANT link to my site that contains more in depth explanation. Nevertheless, the forum owner accused me of ‘spam’, notwithstanding the fact that the forum members appreciate my answers and thanked me for them.

    I’ve also taken part one blog (the managing director’s blog as part of his business), using the identity of my site and have been accused of “blatent self-promotion” even after I modified my posts not to contain any links. I admit, I wrote very very long comments and disagree with the underlying philosophy of that business (but I took care to give them credit for their valuable work)

    Not surprinsingly, the above-mentioned forum is dead quiet today. The managing director’s blog is hardly updated.

    But I believe non-commercial blogs and forums tend to be more generous and open. Lesson: Be careful of posting in small businesses’s commercial blogs/forums- they can be small-minded individuals who do not feel secure of themselves and fails to think rationally when it comes to different dynamics of the online world.

  • Paul

    Thanks for the link to big-boards! was looking for something like this where i could find ACTIVE forums.

  • Eli

    Obviously it will help if you’re more of a ‘power user’, for example a few thousand posts under your belt, some reputation, even being on staff will help out. I think it also helps to use an image to link to your website, as well as a text link, but most forums do not allow images in signatures.

    I have a little success with forum sigs, but it’s nothing really noticeable, it’s worth putting your website(s) in the sig anyway though.

  • BlogTalks

    From experience the quality of traffic is as good as a visitor from a search engine so I’d recommend this. The key is active forums with passionate members.

  • slippers

    Thanks for the Big-Boards.com link. I’ve been wanting to get some traffic into my lonely blog for some time now without any success.

    I’ve tried linking in my signature but I guess the boards that I often visit is not very popular. ;D

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Mr Cooker and Ben, you are welcome. Let me know how this will work.

    @Gori Girl, I think in the beginning of a blog, Forum promotion is definitely worth it. Over the time you might find that the benefits from your time spent there will decrease, but that is fine.

    I agree, Forums are also a great source of ideas.

    @Atszs, Forums and blog comments are very similar, so I think that most bloggers would also enjoy participating in Forums that are related to their niches.

    @Anonymous, you need to go with the flow. Take a look at what Forum members are doing, and how far they are going to promote their own stuff. Then you mimic what seems to be the accepted rules. Each community and Forum has its own rules.

    @Eli, definitely, the more work and content you put on the forum, the higher the chances that people will notice you and your signature links.

  • James

    I haven’t tried this but my friend does and it works. But the problem is what kind of forum should we sign up to that would give us good chances to generate traffic to our blog. Another method that i know is by using email signatures and then participate in a mailing list..

  • karthik sridharan

    Hi Daniel, this strategy is great. Because, I have tried this so many times. At one point of time i feel exhausted. But even then i didnt leave, if i am just posting for a sake then i might have left. But, blogging is my passion and i write genuine posts which drives me and wants to take traffic just because i want to to give the best information and unique and to reach people. Now i am getting a decent and regular traffic to my blog.

    Thanks a lot.
    karthik Sridharan

  • Davor Bomestar

    This is nice for traffic, but what if you have few thousands of posts with a link in your signature, would that look unnatural to Google? I mean what is the point of getting traffic if you get penalized on search engines!? As Google doesn’t like manipulative techniques and this is certainly one of it how would big G react to that?
    And for the Traffic Series, I must say as this is generally very useful blog I did expect a little more from this series, the last two parts were IMHO not very useful and I hope it’s because you kept the best for later :o)

  • Ashwin

    Yup this does work, I have been using this strategy for a while now.

  • Kate

    I think forum marketing can be extremely lucrative, provided you actually participate in these communities by offering valuable feedback, help/tips, etc.

    If you simply join and post one word sentences to get your sig noticed, it certainly will – but not in a good way.

    I also think you need to focus on managing your time effectively, as it’s easy to get caught up in forum posting and spend far too much time on it, ignoring other important elements to successfully marketing your website. Since this traffic is often temporary, you should never focus all of your attention or time on just this method..

    As they say, don’t put all your eggs into one basket (or something like that, LOL), but it’s a good way to ‘initially’ jump-start your site and generate interest, not to mention subscribers.

  • xited

    Traffic is king i say ,aim to traffic and you will reach your goal ^^
    I made a blog about it if you are interested to see some more details
    then click on my name ๐Ÿ˜€

    keep on the good work ๐Ÿ˜€

  • rob

    thanks for the heads up on the board link – at the end of the day forum sigs work and build up traffic nicely. i always try to contibute and in return i get nice anchor tag – its a nice deal.

  • SEO Genius

    Thanks for the tips mate i especially liked the blog carnival one, i do not know where i have been but i ve never seen that one before. I am guessing its quite a popular strategy, i must just be blind.

    Anyways time to get some food

  • edwin

    this is my usual trick to get traffic to my sites. Its really work for me.

  • Russ Emrick

    Thanks for the post. I’ve been beating my brains out trying to generate links and traffic. Your post identified the best forums and I’ve already joined them. I don’t have the time to be in many so knowing which ones are the best is a super help.

    I also appreciate your ideas and your website in general. Definitely some good advice here, not the run of the mill tired same old same old. Again thanks…Cheers, Russ

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  • Dan N

    Yes I agree forum traffic can be had but just like anything else you need to stay active and get your name out and be a part of the community

  • Angel Cuala

    I am an active member of 8 different forums and I must admit they help a lot to promote my blogs. Yes, DP is the best for webmasters as well as SP.

    Most forums nowadays allows the members to have their latest post title, so it can really be a big help too.

    By the way, thanks for Big-Boards.com! I never know that there is a site like that.

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  • Papa Razzi

    Its something I will try doing very soon, I thought it was kind of cheesy though to see a few forums actually charging subscriptions to just have basic forum features. Like Avatars and signatures.

  • making money online forum signature

    Forum can be very powerful, I have received lots of traffic and targeted traffic at that.

    Ben

  • Change Your Life for Better

    May be I did not participate in forums much. In digital point I did only 66 posts so far. In a year time I got 3 visits when I checked stats last time in Google Analytics. Actually at that time I had only 26 signature links to my blog.

    Now I am learning various advantages of signature links and several inferences on how to effectively use them. I plan to daily do atleast 10 posts on any forum regularly. As time passes without notice, we should see its benefit slowly.

  • European River Cruises

    Does anyone know which of the highest ranking sites on Big Boards actually allow signature links? DoFollow or NoFollow it doesn’t matter. Just looking for those that allow live links.

  • Western Mediterranean Cruises

    Forums can help you if that forum is related to your sites niche so if your site is about SEO you would us DP as in the screen shot

  • WebTechGlobal

    I liked this article it is simple yet I can recall seeing one 4 years ago when I started web design, just a list of all the things to do.

    If your interested you can register to http://www.click4click.co.uk and post your articles there. Advertise and link back to your website if you like including affiliate links.

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  • WebTechGlobal

    That totally came out wrong lol

    I meant to say can’t not “can recall” reads a bit different and less criticising sorry about that ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Yuxx

    it worked very well for me when i was a novice in blogging :p

  • medyum

    Thanks for the tips. Never even gave it a thought and might be a better way to find some new readers and ideas for blog posts.

  • Levi Blackman

    I always like having my website in my signature. Makes me feel like I have to make really good posts because I am representing my website while trolling noobs on forums at the same time.

  • WebGuru @ Totally Free Web Site Tools

    I’ve been trying this out with Digital Point, seeing a little traffic, but I need more. If it takes 100s of posts and comments to generate 50-100 visitors a day, and then it is temporary traffic which will die off as those posts get older, is it really worth the time and effort? Is there something better that generated more traffic, faster, and longer lasting?

    Checking out the other methods now. A combination is probably best.

  • Eryaman hali yikama

    Very nice sharing. Thank you…

  • MKR

    I’ve had a lot of success using my signature on forums where I’ve been a member for a while.

    The best part is that links aren’t nofollowed. I make good posts and am a good member of the community, so I earn a piece of that forum’s link value.

Comments are closed.