I’m going to tell you a secret.
I don’t buy anything I see in ads.
If you make something and want to share it with people, or have a business you want people to use, ads generate very little business. These days, most folks have an ad blocker up anyway, or even if they don’t, the ad blocker in their brains is working full force. That’s one of the reasons why my blogs and websites are ad free.
Sometimes I’ll share something in a post that I think my readers might like to know about, or I’ll let them know about a good deal, but I do not allow outside advertisers to put up ads.
If you want exposure, what does that mean for you?
It’s really good news when you think about it. Engagement is the key to building trust and getting sales. Posting on forums about something OTHER than your business, whatever it may be, but including a discreet signature link can work wonders.
Guest posts, blog reviews, casually talking to people, those all work too. If done well, it can be very successful. Spammers are now trying to copy this technique, with little success. Now they are trying to make their responses topical! This shows that it does work, and you can be far more successful by being honest, engaging with people, and discussing things they are interested in. Once they like you, they want to know more about you.
A note: I’m not talking about saying something in a forum such as “I really liked your post. It was interesting. By the way, I have a book to sell…” That’s just crass and intrusive. What you want to do is go to forums/blogs/message boards of people who might be interested in your book. Enjoy discussions, give advice, help people. Then let them notice your signature.
I wanted to share this secret because I know there are still people out there who can use it. Honest, sincere engagement helps everyone. It improves the quality of forums and message boards, it helps those who have services to offer, and it reduces reliance on annoying ads too. It’s more work to do it right, but it’s far, far cheaper.