How to Properly Use Hunting Forums

“This forum looks popular, why don’t I just write a huge post describing my business.”

For Sale

image credit: jchatoff

If you’re thinking about doing this, please take a step back and realize what you’d be doing: spamming.

What not to do

Do not go to forums and post long descriptions of your business/products/services.

People don’t go to forums looking for business descriptions. These threads move to the bottom of the activity charts very fast.

Example

Forum Topic: Ground Blinds

User Question: I’m looking for tips on how to properly set up and utilize a ground blind for bow hunting.

Wrong Answer: Hi User, I’m the owner of Bob’s Ground Blinds. Let me tell you about our blinds and why they are the best blinds for you and other bow hunters. First our blinds made of space age material that they use on the space shuttle. This means you’ll have no problem carrying it out to the field. And our blinds are extra easy to set up. Bob’s Ground Blinds have easy fold-down window flaps so you can stay concealed, but still have plenty of space for shooting. Check them out to learn more: BobsGroundBlinds.com.

The above example is something I see too often in forums.

Sometimes there isn’t even a question. A person simply starts a new topic and titles it “Bob’s Ground Blinds” and then the first post is the business description.

Please avoid using this strategy.

Also, never misrepresent yourself online. This will only lead to disaster. People will find out if you’re promoting your Website blatantly and pretending to be someone you’re not.

At best, you’ll be caught, your posts will be deleted and you’ll be banned from the forum.

At worst, others will figure you out and post negative comments about your business.

So please refrain from this strategy as well.

It may seem easier than participating in a valuable way, but in this case, easier is not better.

What you should do

If you’re in the hunting business, here are a few forums you can visit: HuntingNet, Bowhunting.com, BigGameHunt.net, and HuntingForums.com.

Go to these forums and start cruising around looking for topics and conversations that interest you.

Or better yet, look for topics that not only interest you, but also relate to your business.

Now here is the trick: Don’t write a post that simply says, “My product would be a great help to you.”

Simply give your honest answer to the question. Try and help the people in the thread gain a valuable understanding of the subject at hand. You’re an expert on the topic so they’ll appreciate your objective insight.

Example

Forum Topic: Ground Blinds

User Question: I’m looking for tips on how to properly set up and utilize a ground blind for bow hunting.

Correct Answer: Hi User, I’ve been a big advocate of ground blind hunting for many years. I’ve had a lot of success with this tactic. I find that ground blinds are easy to setup and move around as your learn the lay of your property and where the deer are moving.

Here are a few tips for setting up and utilizing a ground blind for hunting.

Always make sure you set up your blind early in the season. This will allow the deer to become accustomed to the blind.

Next I suggest sitting in the blind prior to the season. Make sure the blind is set up in a spot potentially close enough for a shot with a bow.

If you don’t have the time to do preseason scouting like this, take your blind out during the season and find some active trails. Set your blind up 20-30 yards from an X in a few trails. Make sure your window openings are setup to give you an open shot to a clear shooting lane.

Also make sure you have a window opening facing in the direction you think the deer will approach from. This will give you a chance to see the deer coming in, back away from the window (out of sight), and draw back your bow so you’re ready for the shot.

Good luck and let me know if you have more questions!

Bob

Now this should be a valuable answer to the user’s question. (I’m sure you could come up with an a much better answer for your area of expertise).

After you’ve provided valuable answers to questions, users will start to be curious of who you are and what you do. They’ll look at your profile or your username signature and click through to your Website.

Forums will have profiles for you to set up. You’ll be given space to add your Name, Email, and Website (optional) in most instances. Here is where you enter your Website. Now your name will become a link to your Website.

After users read your awesome insight and direction, they’ll click your name and go to your Website.

Here is my profile information on the Bowhunting.com Forum (Great forum by the way – check it out).

Click to enlarge

Bowhunting.com Forum

There is a place for a Website and a blog. Enter this information and people will do the rest.

They’ll discover on their own what you and your business are all about.

They will feel rewarded for finding your business and they’ll know you’re an expert in the field because you’ve already helped them with their questions.

Conclusion

The important thing to remember is the Push vs. Pull theory.

You’re potential customers are out on the Internet looking for answers to their questions. They are attempting to pull in the expertise and knowledge of others to further enhance their own understanding of key topics.

Instead of pushing yourself onto as many random forum topics as you can, do a little searching and find where you potential customers are asking questions as an attempt to pull in your knowledge.

Besides finding some potential customers, you’ll most likely make some great connections as well!

That’s what the Inter is all about: Making valuable connections!

Do you have any forum success or horror stories?

Do you have any suggestions for forums to visit?

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Dayne Shuda

I'm a blogger and hunting enthusiast. Follow me on Twitter.