How to Market Your Articles in Forums and Chat Rooms

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Unless you’re one of the rare few who is publishing purely for the artistic aspects of writing, then you want your articles to make money.  We all do.  Even if it’s just about reaching readers (ergo; i want to make money, but don’t want to admit my =basic literary prostitution) then the goal is the same… you want just as many people in cyberspace to click onto your article.

The secret to this, as anyone will tell you, is to promote your work, and the best way to do that is to spam.  Anyone who uses the Triond forum (or any other, for that matter) has seen this.

Hey!  I’m new to the forum, and would love some positive feedback! Please read my poem!

(url here)

And while this may garner a few hits, it as a rule is a waste of effort.  There is a science to spamming; simply doing a drive by tends to be rather ineffective.  Here are a few basic steps to ensure that if you drop a url, people will actually read it.

  • First, do your research. This doesn’t have to be an overly time consuming act, although like anything else,  you’ll get out of it what you put into it.  As I have said in other pieces,  there are forums and chats for everything under the sun.  For example,  if you’re writing a piece on Major League Baseball, Google ‘baseball forums’.  Obviously the more you find, the more opportunities your article will have for attracting viewers.
  • Set up a profile. Take the time to add a photo and fill in the little bits and pieces about who you are. Many will have a place where you can promote your home page.  A profile offers you an appearance of legitimacy.  Blank profiles, as a rule, do not attract viewers.
  • Take the time to chat, even if it’s only briefly. Create at least some kind of presence in the forum.  I have  I around 2 dozen forums I use regularly, and I leave a window of a couple of hours each week to do what I call ‘forum surfing’… bouncing around, dropping into conversations, basically letting myself be seen.
  • Add friends if it’s an option.
  • Give your articles interesting titles.  Something that will pique reader’s curiosity enough to click on them.
  • There are obvious exceptions.  I did a Michael Jackson article the day he died, and put it everywhere, because people were talking about it everywhere.  But for the most part, following these steps will take you from the tier of a few hundred hits to that magic four figures status.  Good writing!
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