Prompt #13 – Ning

Linking on forums

It’s day 13 of the Author Blog Challenge. Today’s prompt is:

What if you could create your very own Facebook? A social networking site that you run, based on your interests and whose members must abide by your vision, goals, and rules? Guess what, WABCers – you can do just that through Ning.com! I know – it’s crazy. Here we’ve spent the last 12 days talking about other social media platforms, and now your kooky leader is bringing up the idea of hosting your own network. There are drawbacks to be sure. T-I-M-E being chief among them. But if you have a special interest and haven’t found the perfect social site yet, Ning offers you the mechanism by which to create your very own social network. Ning has other benefits, though – chief among them being numerous sites on all sorts of topics that may attract your target readers. Are there any circumstances under which you could see yourself creating your own social network? Take a spin around the Ning Directory (http://ningdirectory.blogspot.com/) just to see what else is out there. Much like blogs, you’ll find half-abandoned Ning sites (ahem … I have one of those) and thriving sites. Are you inspired? Could you find time to visit one or two in your genre just to see if hanging out might be worthwhile? And by all means, if you already have a Ning site, share the link with us!

If you’ve known me for years, then you’ll know I used to run my own forum. It was a lot of time and it’s put me off a lot of forums… I don’t participate much in the ones I’m a member of, though I know this will need to change.

Since I’ve been a forum owner, I know how valuable forums of all sorts can be for promotion. There is quiet promotion through filling out your profile and your signature, and louder promotion by posting about your book, website or business.

With any kind of forum, including Ning, you need to make sure you read the promotion rules before you do any sort of promos. Some forums has specific boards or groups you can use, some don’t allow links in signatures, others are happy for members to post anything. There are still others that may require you to become a paid member before posting links and promotions.

Forums are another way that you can establish yourself as an expert. Find a forum where your target market hangs out and get involved in the community. People are more likely to click on links from people who regularly participate in all areas of the community, not just the ones related to your book or blog. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are using forums for promotion, then it’s better to stay away from communities full of writers. These communities may be helpful for you to improve your writing and get support with your projects, but, unless your book is about writing, they are not likely to buy your book (though some might).

Every now and again I wonder about creating another forum, but I don’t have the time or energy for it right now.

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Comments

  1. I haven’t checked out the site but I will. It sounds pretty cool to have your own social networking site but really time consuming. I belong to a number of forums but I don’t really follow them.

  2. I think forums are like shoes… the ones that are a good fit will last so much longer than the pretty ones. I just haven’t found the right fit.

  3. forums…. my next venture, where do I find the time though??? Maybe I need to learn to do it in my sleep!

  4. I can’t do forums. Those suck a LOT of time outta me. With everything else I have to keep up with, I have zero time for chitty chat. 🙂 But, you’re right, forums are a great marketing tool. WRITE ON!

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  1. […] Since I’ve been a forum owner, I know how valuable forums of all sorts can be for promotion. There is quiet promotion through filling out your profile and your signature, and louder promotion by posting about your book, website or business. READ MORE HERE. […]

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