Long before Web2.0 and the advent of social networks, one of the best places to network on the Internet was business forums. What is more, in spite of the huge surge in social networking sites, a forum is still more conducive to a focused group discussion.
When someone starts a topic or thread in a business forum, with either a question or an observation, this will likely generate a conversation. This conversation can be very informative because people can see both the question and the answer and at the same time see feedback/opinions. The discussion can also get very lively as each person who participates in the thread adds his or her feedback and so on.
A business opportunity forum is still a great place to network and meet people online. You have something in common with them, as far as they are also participating in and promoting business opportunities in your niche and others. Many important alliances can be formed over time through the forum format because of the open and public atmosphere.
These alliances may just be on the level of eventually, discreetly approaching someone to join a program you really like (read: discreetly). Most ideally the alliance may eventually result in joint venture projects. A joint venture is often where business promoters can offer others some benefit or percentage of sales in exchange for promoting a product to their list for you. Another example of a possible joint venture opportunity may be for a developer to partner with a marketer. This can really be a magical alliance that greatly benefits everyone concerned because it gives everybody something they need but don’t have yet.
You may also find that some business forums have sub-forums where they may for example have classified advertising for services that involve marketing, ghostwriting, website development or technical support. If you have been fortunate enough to build relationships in the forum, it will be easier to sell something to people that respect you as a person and trust you enough to pay you for a service that they need. This is versus some anonymous name and number posted on a board.
On a business forum that gets lots of traffic, it is amazing how fast the links are indexed by search engines for all the world to see. It’s actually pretty amazing sometimes. This is not to say that you should ever start posting in a forum just to get your links indexed which is something like being a spammer. You won’t be very popular for long if this becomes obvious, all the way up to and including losing the privilege of having a signature.
However if you actually have value to add to the forum then by all means be sure to add your domain URL in your signature file so that it posts each time you add a comment or start a conversation. Usually affiliate links are not allowed because of ‘too much too soon’ but your own blog or domain would be perfect.