Social forums like Reddit and Quora, as well as industry-specific channels, are great ways for brands to engage with their audience and connect with like-minded individuals. Whether you want to share some advice or weigh in on an industry topic, these websites are great places to position yourself as a thought leader.
Keep these tips on writing forums for beginners in mind to make sure that your contribution is helpful for the community and doesn’t get the dreaded red flag or spam marker.
It might seem obvious, but make sure that the subject you’re writing about falls under the forum’s particular beat. Websites like Reddit will quickly take down any content that isn’t immediately relevant to the subreddits you’re publishing on.
“The main goal of a forum is to bring people together about a specific topic,” says Alex Kafure, a digital marketing consultant.
If you’re thinking “Okay, this is a stretch, but it might work,” rest assured – it won’t. Take the extra research time to find the right forum, or consider revising your topic. If you’re answering a question, always answer the initial question directly, then provide supporting evidence and context. It’ll make writing forums for beginners more straightforward.
Before you write your first sentence, spend some time reading through posts that are on the forum. Take note of which posts attract the most engagement, and what users are saying. Also take note of the topics that don’t receive much traction or get down-voted by users.
The goal of this is to understand the topics that are important to each forum’s subscribers, what has already been covered, and what can be explored deeper. This will help your contribution provide value to the reader and help you appear as a valued expert.
“Forum copy is linear, and often gets lost among submissions, so if you are furthering a point from someone else’s post, make sure you quote them to better your submission’s readability,” suggests Kafure.
The point of a forum is to create a virtual community of like-minded people who want to share their knowledge, tips and tricks while learning from others. Always be respectful of other members of your chosen community. If you think your product or service could add value, send them a personal message instead of posting it directly on the site. This will start a natural conversation that doesn’t put them on the spot, and makes you seem less like a blatant advertisement.
“Try not to argue with others either, keep emotions out of your copy and stick to facts and good grammar. It will help your submissions earn credibility which is important in the forum community.”