How to Build Your Profile and Drive Traffic to your Blog Through Forums and Social Media Groups

In todays episode I challenge you to focus a little attention today on joining an online forum and/or social media ‘group’ as a way of growing your blog’s profile, finding readers and learning more about your niche.


You can listen to todays episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment).

In this Episode

In this short episode I share:

  • 3 questions to ask to help you find new readers for your blog
  • 3 reasons why joining a forum or group can help grow your blog
  • Some tips on how to find and participate in a forum or social media group in a way that helps your blog improve

Further Reading Relevant to this Podcast

How did You Find this Challenge

Are you already a regular contributor to forums and/or social media groups? What tips would you add to those in this episode? What do you find works best? What would you avoid doing?

I’m looking forward to learning from your experience in comments below!

I’d also love to hear your feedback on this podcast if you could spare a moment to leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher.

UPDATE: please scroll down to the comments section and check out the amazing and generous advice of Paul who shares some meaty tips on getting the most out of forums. It’s great stuff!

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Welcome to the ProBlogger Podcast episode 9 and day 9 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Today, your challenge is all about building your blog’s profile and finding some new readers by doing one of a couple of things, either joining a forum relevant to your blog or a social media group, either a Facebook or LinkedIn group, perhaps. Today’s show notes are found at

But first, a quick word from our sponsor, 99designs, the best place for new business or blog to build their brand. If you’re looking to launch a new blog or project and need some high quality but affordable design work done, then 99designs is where you should head. Start your next design project at and get a $99 upgrade for free.

Hi and welcome to day 9 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a ProBlogger podcast that gives you 31 different ways to improve your blog over a month. Today, I want to challenge you to join a forum that relates to your niche and then to start participating. One of the most common questions that I’m asked by bloggers is how do I find readers for my blog. It’s the number one question we get asked. There’s a lot of potential answers on a micro level, lots of different techniques that we could suggest, but what I generally start with is some bigger picture answers. 

Ask yourselves these three questions: Who are you trying to reach? What type of person are you trying to reach? The more you can get clarity around that question, the better. Ultimately, creating an avatar or a persona or a reader profile is a good thing to do. Once you know who you’re trying to reach, ask where are they gathering already? Are there blogs, are there forums, are there social networks that they’re already gathering? The more you know about that, the better position you’re in to go and participate in those places.

That’s the third question. How can I participate in those places? So, who am I trying to reach, where are they already gathering, and how can I participate in those places? There’s going to be a lot of different places that your potential reader might be hanging out. We’ve already talked about social media and that’s one of the big ones today, but one of the other places is forums. Online forums and membership communities have been around in different forms for decades now. In the early days, they were on message boards, then they morphed into what we might call forums today, and in many ways, what we see happening in social networking groups like Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups, probably still fit into this type of activity today.

I want to widen that a little bit. You can join a forum or you could join a Facebook group, a LinkedIn group, or some other type of group that you can find. Forums are great places for bloggers and groups, too, because they give you an opportunity to do a number of things. I want to talk about three of them really briefly.

Firstly, they help you to build your profile, your brand. If you are building a genuine and helpful presence in a forum over time—not just for a single day but over time—you can become quite well known. It’s an opportunity to showcase your expertise, your knowledge and your willingness to help others. Ultimately, it’s a great brand-building exercise. 

We have a forum on Digital Photography School and I know over the years that there have been a number of members of that forum who’ve built for themselves really good profiles among our members. I can think of one particular person, Richard, who contributed many tutorials to our forum. He used our forum almost as a guest posting place where he would write articles. We loved it as forum owners because we had great user-generated content being added, it was useful content, it helped our members, and our members loved it also. Many of our members wanted to find out who this guy was, so they got to know him and he built some authority and credibility in that place. Building your profile is one good thing if you build a useful, genuine presence over time.

The second thing that comes as a result of that is that you have the ability to start driving a little bit of traffic to your blog. The more useful you are, the more people will want to know about who you are and what you do. If you provide them with a link in your signature or in your profile, they can work out where else you are online. Also, based upon the bank of value that you add to the forum or the group over time, there will also come opportunities to share relevant links to your blog from time to time. The key here is relevant links. If someone’s asking a question on a topic that you’ve written an article on, it’s more acceptable to share that link than just share random links every day in the forum.

You want to be careful about how many links you share. But if it’s relevant and if you’ve already built a profile in that place and people are grateful to you and you’re being useful in a genuine way, people are much more likely to accept you sharing links. The other thing that you’ll find is that as people begin to get to know you, other members will begin to read your blog and then they will begin to share your links. That’s much more acceptable. There’s also an opportunity in forums, at least, to in many cases, have a signature where you can have a link to your blog or your social media profiles. It’s another potential place you can drive a little bit of traffic from.

The third benefit, the last one I want to touch on is probably in my mind, the best benefit of all. Many people don’t talk about it that much, it’s actually the benefit of understanding your niche or your potential reader. This to me is the real benefit of this exercise. Forums are a great place to understand the needs, problems, challenges, fears, dreams, motivations, habits of your potential reader. People really open up in forums. If you’ve ever participated in one, you’ll know that. There’s this real sense of community that often develops in a forum and people feel comfortable to open up. They express their pain points, they express their struggles and challenges. They also express their victories, sometimes in a really personal way.

The same thing happens in Facebook groups. As a result of this, you can get some really great ideas for content for your blog. You can get great ideas for how to build community on your blog as you see what works in the forum. You’ll also get ideas for products and the ways that you can monetize your blog. Take note of the questions people are asking in this forum, they will often turn into blog post ideas. Take note of the common themes that are raised. These might be the categories of your blog. Take note of the needs people have that they keep expressing. These may give you ideas for products to create.

Here’s your challenge today, search for a forum (or a Facebook or a LinkedIn group) that is relevant to your blog. Just hit Google and type in your niche, your keyword and then forum. And see what comes up, you might find quite a few, but choose one. Choose the one that’s perhaps most active or that suits your brand the most. You don’t want to find a dead one. Definitely find something that’s active. If you’re struggling to find a forum, search on Facebook or LinkedIn, there’s lots of groups. There’s almost a group for every niche that I’ve ever come across, sometimes multiple groups. Again, choose one that’s active and that’s probably relevant to you. Many of them are location-specific, for example. You might want to find one that’s in your local area.

Once you’ve joined the group or forum, take 20 or so minutes to do a couple of things. Firstly, watch, observe, how’s it structured? Are there sections of the forum? Are there different categories? What are the rules? Many forums and groups have a rule section, particularly groups I’ve found. Some groups will allow you to do certain things on certain days. Begin to understand the rhythm of the forum, the rhythm of the group. Who are the key members? Who are the leaders? Who are the admins? Who are the owners? Who are the moderators? It’s important to understand who are the key players.

Once you’ve been watching, once you’ve been observing, then begin to participate. If there’s an opportunity to add your signature or a link to your blog, or social media accounts in your profile, then do that. But let that be enough promotion for today. Then find a place to introduce yourself, many forums will have an introduce yourself section or many Facebook groups have a post where you can do that.

And then start searching for questions people are asking, provide useful answers, share your experience. Don’t start sharing links from day one, just add value. Pay attention to any thread of conversation that’s been unanswered. Show you care by answering. Start a thread, perhaps. Don’t start too many threads on day one, but start a thread that asks a question that you have. This idea of stimulating a discussion is really important. People pay attention to those who start the conversations as well as those who answer questions, both are important. Just add value, just for 10–15 minutes today.

It’s really important to make an appointment with yourself, to keep visiting that forum or group over the coming week or two. Just commit to doing it perhaps to the end of these 31 days. Just five minutes a day could have a massive, potential impact upon the building of a profile in that particular group, and you’ll learn a heap from what you observe. Don’t spend hours every day in there, just spend five or so minutes a day. Build up that rhythm of participating in a group like this. At the end of the 31 days, set aside some time to assess how it’s gone and perhaps to look and see if there are other forums or groups that you could do a similar thing in.

I hope you find today’s challenge a useful one. It’s certainly driven a lot of traffic to my blogs over the years, but more importantly taught me a lot about my niche and blogging. Tell us how you found today’s challenger over at where you can leave a comment and interact with others on the same challenge. There have been some great discussions and already a couple of collaborations emerging on those show notes in previous episodes. Also, if you’ve got a moment, please, we’d appreciate any review or rating that you can give us in iTunes or Stitcher.

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