educational

Making Webmaster Chat Boards Work for You

ToteMack

Wanna know the secret to building rock solid webmaster relationships? Easy, just talk to them! With so many different top quality webmaster boards around today, there are no longer any reasons why you or your company should suffer from bad lines of communication.

Just think about it for a second. If your webmasters are smart, business minded folk, as most of them are, then they obviously spend at least one hour a day on a webmaster chat board somewhere out there in cyberspace. The good thing is, the majority of us webmasters spend our time on the bigger ones like Xbiz, Ynotmasters, GoFuckyourself or PornoJunkies to name a few.

Your presence on these boards is, in the long term, a very simple, yet extremely important daily communication strategy. No honors degrees needed here, just good old-fashioned common sense. And I know what you're going to say "I've tried that, but when I talk about my sites or programs I get accused of spamming". This is a popular problem encountered by zillions of adult webmasters, mostly newbies though, all over the adult net every day. You have to look at it this way: Just think of the amount of different cash programs or sites people are offering at any one time, if everyone was trying to push their sites all of the time, no real communication, and therefore no real business could ever take place - you have to patient. Even if your site or program has the capacity to blow away the competition, it doesn't work like that.

Webmaster chat boards exist for two main reasons; to chill out and just have a bit of fun with other people in the same line of business and as a place where we can ask questions and get information on stuff we need for our sites etc. You will find that in a couple of days, when you start to get to know the other people who hang out regularly on the board, that advice, news or business proposals start coming from those people. Whether that be them helping you, or vice versa, you'll start chatting privately with them everyday on ICQ or whatever chat system you use. And you'll find that because of your presence on the board in terms of comments or queries you made, that people respond offering help or proposing services. After that it's up to you as to what's interesting or not for you or your company. And don't forget that Spam Boards exist too on almost every site, that's where you can stick that Fat SPAM banner for everyone to see.

I guess at the end of the day you could say that chat boards are about building relationships, whether that be for business or pleasure. Just remember when you get in there to be cool, say hi and just go with the flow, the rest will come naturally! - ToteMack Your presence on these boards is, in the long term, a very simple, yet extremely important daily communication strategy.

[ Editor's Note: after reading ToteMack's words of encouragement above, I felt that it was important to provide a few helpful Do's and Don'ts to make the newbie's first steps into this brave new world more comfortable and productive. The following is an excerpt from my article "Webmaster Message Boards" ~ Stephen ]

Do's and Don'ts
Promotion, and especially self-promotion, requires an often delicate balance along a slippery slope, and it's easy to go overboard ~ or to be perceived as going overboard... The established 'personalities' are usually given more leeway than newbies to the board, or those who lurk often, but post little. This is only fair, as those who 'work the boards' are the ones responsible for the tone and quality of content. They deserve to be rewarded for their time and effort in helping to build the community. If a newbie did the same things, folks would come down on them like a ton of bricks (and rightfully so). With this in mind, here are a few common sense tips for maximizing your advertising effectiveness through message board posting:

• DO participate in the ongoing discussions, or start new ones as needed.
• DON'T just post (spam) to say "Click Here to Make Big Bucks!" or some such.
• DO include your URL(s) and contact info in your 'sig' (signature) line. This is the correct way to promote your product or service.
• DON'T 'flame,' 'piss,' or complain about sponsors or other Webmasters. The boards should be about exchanging ideas, not personal vendettas, and yes, I'm guilty of this too.
• DO introduce yourself when visiting a new board, then lurk around to get the 'feel' of the community before posting inappropriately.
• DON'T POST IN ALL CAPS!

As with most things in life, there is a right - and wrong - way of doing things, and posting to the boards is no exception. While I personally feel that it's unfortunate, the truth of the matter is that in life, as on the boards, WHAT you say is often less important then HOW you say it. Style will often win over substance; heck, it's the American way ~ just ask E!

With that being said, how you tailor your message will go a long way towards gaining its acceptance by your target audience. For instance, a talented designer may respond to the questions posted about design trends and techniques, establishing him or herself as an 'expert' in the field, and branding their name to the point where 'professional Web page design' and the designer's name are synonymous. There is a fine line between giving away all of your best secrets, and helping others in the way in which you likely received help, way back when you were a newbie. One way puts you out of business, the other keeps you so busy that you're turning down job offers: It's up to you to find the balance.

Now go post and Enjoy! ~ Stephen

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