Promote your website using Newsgroups
present there are over 3.3 billion pages indexed by Google, and that definitely
does not cover the entire Internet. With so many competitors around, you sure
have to use every conceivable method available to promote your website. Newsgroups
can be very powerful tools in your web promotion endeavor if you use them actively.
What is a Newsgroup?
A newsgroup is a message board on the Internet where users come to discuss
topics of mutual interest. Each newsgroup is dedicated to a particular subject
of interest and consists of messages posted by participants. You can find several
ongoing discussions surrounding various topics within a single newsgroup. These
topics are call threads. As a user you can start a thread, post messages to
a thread and make responds to other postings.
Before the Internet era, the way you know it now, back in eighties and early
nineties people used to connect to electronic bulletin boards (bbs) through
modems and post text messages for others to read and answer. Usenet Newsgroups
was started as a collection of these bulletin boards. Along with the Internet,
Newsgroups have also started to grow rapidly. Thanks to the Interface introduced
by Deja News in 1995 use of Newsgroups became simple and convenient, which also
gave enough impetus to this growth.
Today, Usenet discussion forums or Newsgroups indexed by Google comprise over
800 million messages, which is around a terabyte of information! It is calculated
that over 10 million people have regular access to Newsgroups!
Each newsgroup is formed with a certain purpose. This is described in its charter
at the time it is started. Normally every Newsgroup has its own single subject.
However there could be many Newsgroups dedicated to one subject.
There are tens of thousands of newsgroups on every subject you can possibly
imagine. The subjects in Newsgroups are hierarchically structured. Some of them
are moderated, means somebody controls the postings, most don’t.
How to use Newsgroups?
Since there are so many newsgroups, whatever your interest is you will most
likely find a newsgroup which will suit you. Although, most email readers have
built-in features to subscribe Newsgroups the most convenient way to read newsgroups
today is to use “Google Search”. Once you are on the search page of the Google,
Click on the Groups from the menu. This will take you to Groups search page
with a directory of Newsgroups under the headline ‘Post and read comments in
Usenet discussion forums’. The most common subdirectories for businesses are
located in alt, biz and misc. For example: If you are in import and export business
you might try alt.business.imort-export, which has several groups within it.
Run a search using a keyword related to your online business that you would
like to promote from the groups search page of Google. The result will appear
chronologically, the most recent one being at the top. Check out the most relevant
Newsgroups from the results. If your search produces a very big list of results,
try the advanced search option. Try reducing the time frame of postings. By
default Google searches within all messages posted from 1981.
For really worthwhile information I’ll suggest to use moderated groups. Most
Newsgroups which are not moderated easily fill up with spam and you really have
to wade through them to find something interesting.
Did you notice that Google has a new paid service under the name “Google Answers”?
For a fee Google nominated researchers will get answers to your hard to find
questions. The service is located at http://answers.google.com. If you go through
the questions that are already asked, you will be amazed to see that by searching
newsgroups you will find answers to many of them without paying a dime. Newsgroups
are indeed a gold mine of information!
Benefits of using Newsgroups
As an online business you can rip varieties of benefits from effective use
Establish yourself as an expert of your chosen field
People will prefer doing business with you if they know that you are an expert
in your field. Post important and relevant information in your chosen Newsgroup,
answer to the questions posted. Very soon, people from the Newsgroup will start
considering you as an expert and you will be amazed to see quantity of new visitors
checking out your site.
Conduct market survey
Newsgroups can be a great source of marketing information. By asking questions
in relevant Newsgroups you can find a way of figuring out what people think
about your product, your website, etc. Get new clients
There are Newsgroups, which are formed with the sole purpose of various announcements
and promotions. Prudent use of these Newsgroups along with your relevant Newsgroups
will definitely increase your site traffic and get new clients.
Promote your site
In relevant groups you can post announcement about your site launch, press releases,
product information, etc. Participation in the discussions in your subject matter
with your signature file, which should include your website address, will help
getting new visitors and increase the quantity of backward links to your website.
Get answers to your questions
You can’t be an expert in every thing! Often, you will need answers to various
questions. Ask them in relevant Newsgroups along with your signature file. Not
only you will have answers to your questions, along with this you will also
promote your site.
Newsgroups can be a great place to find like-minded friends and partners.
Posting do’s and don’ts
You have to be very careful with what you post in a Newsgroup. Before making
your first post, go through the FAQ and posting rules of the Newsgroup and read
some of the postings. You want to position yourself as an expert not an idiot!
Some Newsgroups users are pretty aggressive. If they feel that you are spamming
their precious Newsgroup you will be flamed in no time.
Here are some basic rules:
• Don't post commercials, advertisements or press releases; unless the newsgroup
specifically mentions that it endorses these things.
• While posting a respond, stick to the original topic.
• Quote only the portion of the message you are responding not the whole message.
• Don’t cross post. This means, do not post same messages in several relevant
• Never post unrelated messages to Newsgroups. This is considered as spamming!
• While posting a message be specific and concise in the subject line.
• Post your signature file with each and every message. This is important for
your web promotion!
• Check your spelling and grammar before posting a message.
The idea is to make valuable contribution to the Newsgroups and by doing so
at the same time promote your online business. Ask questions that you perceive
useful to you and others. Post responds to messages, which are informative,
thought-provoking and of high quality. Soon you will build credibility among
your fellow Newsgroup members and start receiving a flow of loyal customers.