Promoting Your Site Using Discussion Boards

Discussion boards are without doubt one of the best ways to get traffic to your site and heaps of backlinks without doing that much work. In this article I hope to show you how to fully utilise the power of community forums, and there is a list of dos and don’ts at the end for quick reference.

First off, what is a message board? Okay, maybe that is a bit of an easy question to answer, but as with everything in site promotion, we must analyse even simple elements so that we can really employ them to our benefit. Back in Roman times, a community forum was a ‘public space in the middle of a Roman city’ where people would sell items and meet up to socialise. The word ‘discussion forum’ in its Internet sense, is generally accepted to be a niche-specific community where individuals can post and reply to comments about a theme, and network with each other.

In case you are a bit confused by the phrase ‘niche-specific’, it just means that it is targeted to a particular topic, such as cars, or cooking. In this case, both ‘cars’ and ‘cooking’ are niches. If you are a webmaster, you may be part of some webmaster boards such as the famous DigitalPoint forums. DigitalPoint will be talked about further later on in this article.

So now that we know what a forum is, let’s get into the real stuff of how you can use discussion boards to promote your website. Firstly, you must choose a discussion board that you like and can imagine yourself spending some time on posting. It should also be related to your website’s topic. For instance, if you are advertising a ‘cooking’ site, don’t think of advertising your site on a ‘cars’ forum. To find discussion boards related to your site do a search on Google for “‘…’ ‘forums’”. Replace ‘…’ with a keyword related to your site such as ‘cooking’.

Once you have picked a message board, you have to sign up to it. The registration process varies depending on the discussion board, but in general you have to fill out some information and get emailed your login details. Discussion board registration will be free 99.99% of the time, so don’t worry about having to pay money. After you have logged in successful it’s time to update your profile.

You should now update your profile. Again, this may vary from forum to forum, but your profile normally has place to enter a forum ‘signature’ or your website url. A signature is added onto the end of every comment you post on the forum and is the best way of promoting your site on discussion forums. In the signature field you should put a link to your website. If there is a website address field on your profile, then fill that out too.

Note: Some discussion boards require you to have posted a minimum amount of times before you can add a signature. If this is the case, then just read on and come back to this step later.

It’s time to get posting. Remember, don’t spam. Never spam. You’ll get kicked off or banned, and then you have wasted all of your time. Make intelligent posts, and hopefully if you have chosen a related discussion board, you will know the topic quite well. Don’t focus on promotion at the moment, just answer questions, post comments, anything to try and get up your reputation. If you have already got a signature, then that should show up at the end of each of your posts which counts as a backlink each time. If you have yet to get a signature because of minimum post requirements, fill it in when you have reached that number of posts.

If you’re stumped choosing a forum, then I would recommend you check out DigitalPoint. You can get a lot of visitors through this website and it is very respected in the search engine’s eyes.

Here are a list of message board dos and don’ts:


  • Add a link to your website in your signature
  • Post informative/intelligent comments
  • Visit the message board often


  • Sound artificial/promotional in your comments
  • Add a link to your website and then disappear
  • Be inactive on the discussion board

If you have the time, sign up to more than one forum so that you get more possibilities of getting site visitors and links back to your site. Post on your chosen message board(s) often, and each time you will receive an extra backlink with your post. Also, try and get a good reputation by making useful posts, as this will make people want to check out your website.

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