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These days Forum marketing has become an integral part of each and every successful internet marketing campaign. It allows you, the web master, a free, as well as, easy access to people who could possibly be interested in the product or service that you are offering. It requires little to no investment to join these remarkable programs. But just like with all small business practices on the internet it does have some definite pros and cons.<p>

The first and probably the best positive thing of forum marketing is the highly targeted nature that it has. When you speak to a certain forum, that deals mainly with the program or product you are selling, you have the attention of the people that are most likely going to purchase your product. This will save you wasted time and effort on other advertising campaigns that you may have tried in the past. Also another great advantage of the targeting factor is that for everyone one who posted a comment there can be up to 10 lurkers, or silent watchers, at any time. These silent watchers will often purchase your product or service as well.<p>

Forum marketing is not only a great advertising program that will bring in customers, but also a great place to test marketing and product development. All you need to do to begin is to keep tabs on the complaints and product reviews that can be found throughout the forums. Once you have found the targeted product you can then test market it by either asking the forum posters about their opinions on the product or even giving out a few prototypes for people to try out and evaluate on.<p>

The final pro of forum marketing is that there is very little cash or time involved. The forums are available at no extra cost to you so you do not have to spend a lot of money on marketing. Also even though you will have to spend some time on posting in the forums, this marketing campaign can be done at your own leisure. Therefore this is definitely not a full time job and requires less than a half hour of your time each week. It can take up to several months to get the product up and running, but it’s well worth it when you consider the initial investment that you contributed.<p>

There are very few cons to forum marketing, but they are still as equally important as the pros. The first con, and probably the most notable, is this is not a program that you want to assign to an outside person or company. You have to personally take your time and bond with the posters before they will even consider purchasing your product. Because of this, this is not a practice for someone who wants to make lots of traffic and sales right away. <p>

The second con is that you, as the owner of the product, will need good people skills as well as the ability to appear trustworthy in the internet world. If you do not have either of these skills, you may want to practice in other forums before even attempting to promote your product. <p>

In order to determine if forum marketing is for you, you will need to weigh both the pros and cons that it entails. Most importantly if you do not have the time or people skills that forum marketing involves, you may want to consider finding other ways to promote your product. If you feel you do possess these skills, then forum marketing is a definite solution to your product promotion.

Remember to take it slow at first. You don’t want your inbox overflowing after you have followed many people.  Forums are a great place for information.

Best of luck,

Fred Horstman