These days using an online forum can be a great way to advertise your home business and is often completely free! Forums also offer you the ideal stage to gather more ideas, carry out market research and interact with others.

1. Find a Suitable Forum
To begin with you will need to search for forums that are relevant to what it is you do. In the main try and stick to a bigger forum and one which has a number of active members so that your questions and advertising are seen by as many people as possible.

It is advisable to become part of the online community slowly and not to bombard them with advertising and promotions; otherwise you may find you alienate yourself quickly. Remember that forums are not really designed specifically for advertising purposes and some people may not like you doing this so blatantly.

Once you have found relevant forums, have a look and see if they have a trading area or something similar as this would be the best area for you to advertise your home business. Always keep in mind that some forums will require you to make a significant contribution to the forum before you are allowed access to certain areas. You may also find that there are rules to put a stop to you spamming or over promoting your business so be careful how you approach this.
2. Interact with Others

When you first join a forum be sure to make the time and effort to reply to other people and to start your own threads that are not all about your business. In this way people will get to know you and are more likely to respect and trust you as well as offer you their custom. New members who simply spam the site with information about their home business will often be ignored.

By approaching a forum in this manner you will also be able to ask questions and get ideas and opinions from other members. This means that in the long run you will be able to benefit from their knowledge. Once you have been a member for some time you may like to offer special discounts and offers for forum members so that they see you value them.

3. Profile Signatures
The majority of forums will provide you with the opportunity to have some sort of signature that shows up whenever you make a post. This can be a great way to link to your business website and catch people’s attention without having to mention it all the time. Just make sure that it is not too big otherwise it may annoy some members. Remember that to make the most of having a signature you will need to be an active member and post regularly!

Author's Bio: 

Chris Jenkinson is a UK based internet marketing consultant providing an outsourced marketing service to business owners and company directors.