Recently I posted a question in a discussion forum about one of the extensions I use in my Joomla website. This forum lets users create a signature for all their posts, including their web address, so I did that. Now, every time I post to that forum, I get a back-link to my web site. This is good!

It may be time to expand just a little out of your web comfort zone. This step will help you engage in conversations in a way that will bring qualified clients to your digital door by finding people who are already interested in the type of product or service you offer.

Let’s pretend you offer pottery workshops in Santa Fe. Maybe you discovered that 33,000 people a month are searching for “pottery classes”, which I just found out for free by putting the word “pottery” in the now defunct Google Adwords Keyword Tool. (Learn about the newer Keyword Planner.)

It’s easy to be notified when bloggers or discussion groups talk about pottery. Go to and type the word “pottery” in the text field. Choose the type “discussions” and select how often you want to be notified. Leave the “only the best results” selection as-is. Enter your email address. Click on CREATE ALERT. Repeat this step and choose “blog” in the type dropdown.

You will get email alerts whenever people blog about or engage in discussions about pottery. When you get the alerts, follow the links and see if you are interested in the sites. If so, see if you can make a comment or engage in a discussion. You may have to register a username and password. You may be able to enter your web address in a profile or a signature. Do it! These are the venues that will help you the most.

What not to do:

Do not promote yourself! Don’t even mention your business or your website in the text of your comment or post.  Engage from the standpoint of interest, curiosity  or sharing your expertise. Praise people who offer valuable information in the blog or discussion. Offer a tip. Readers can follow your web link if they like what you say.

Beyond marketing, expanding your web presence in this way will expand your knowledge and your community. You may find people who can solve problems for you down the road, or vice versa. It’s a  journey!

I look forward to hearing how these techniques help you.
Warm wishes for happy web marketing!