Why people use forums as marketing methods for their websites
Using forums for your marketing methods is nothing new when it comes to generating sales for your website. Finding the right forums within your niche isn't actually that difficult. All you'll really have to do is go to Google and do a basic search for "(your niche) forum" and it should give you a decent amount of results for that niche. You can then sift through them to see which are the most active and have the most members which would give you a great starting list of where to target
So why do people join forums?
People join forums because they are filled with like minded people who can answer questions and are there to bounce ideas off of. It doesn't matter what niche you're in, you can usually find a forum for it and start posting quality information to get responses from people interested in the same things you are. There are big "forums" such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc. These are now massive platforms for people to post what they want, but in the end they have the same core setup as a forum does
If you start working at home by yourself you may miss that person to person interaction. Forums are a way to get talking to people either in a chat or on a forum thread. I've actually joined Skype groups with like minded Online Marketers and we shoot the sh*t with each other and treat each other like best friends even though most of us have never met Forums are a great way to get your questions answered if no one you're friends with in real life is interested in what you do. I can't tell you how many times I've started talking to friends about what I do and they just give me blank stares because they have no clue what I'm talking about lol. I use forums as a way to talk to people who love the same thing I do, Internet Marketing
Since 99% of online forums are free to join, you can get free website traffic by being an active member. You can post threads about topics you're interested in and get people to come in and talk. You can answer questions with detailed responses so that you're helping someone out with a problem they're having. Doing both of those things will bring in traffic if you've set up your signature link properly. This is where your advertising comes into play lol. Most forums will allow you to use a signature under every single one of your posts on their forum. You may have to hit a certain post count before you are able to use the signature, but usually it's not a high number and it can likely be hit in a day or two if you're posting enough. I haven't come across a lot of good forums that have post counts above 100 in order to enable your signature links. Trust me, 100 posts isn't tough to do lol. Just add some quality content to the forum and you'll be there in no time
You can find some pretty smart people in your niche by just going to forums and talking to random strangers. You'd be amazed how many people will know as much as you, or more, about the niche that you're in. If you're posting quality content on the forum they're members of they will likely come in and talk about it. You can then interact with them and also friend them on that forum in order to keep up to date on their posts. Depending on your settings, you will get a lot of notifications about what they are doing. This is why I will always configure my settings as soon as I join so that I don't get 100 emails an hour about new posts generated by members I'm friends with lol. Becoming friends with these people will usually pay off in the long run. You can do joint ventures and work on the same project, and since you both know your stuff it will be easier to succeed
Now this is hit or miss when it comes to forums because a lot of the forum owners are wise to affiliate links. Posting affiliate links in your signature is usually ok, but if you're starting sales threads with affiliate links inside of them, you'll likely get banned pretty quick. You'll need to get tricky when it comes to affiliate marketing since a lot of websites want to only see unique products that you're connected with and not just affiliated with.
This is just the tip of the iceberg which is Forum Marketing, but it's a decent amount of content to give you an idea of how it works You need to put in the work before you can start seeing some traffic coming into your website through your signature links and eventually turning into sales. You will be building good relationships with smart people within your niche, which has the potential to turn into a business relationship later on down the road. You have to be active in order for everything to turn out well