A good freelance writers offers a lot, from a place to drop by and break up some of the sense of isolation you may feel to asking for and getting help with writing and even other issues. In fact, good forums are actually active and lively online communities.
For example, in our 5BuckForum we’ve got a thread labeled in part, WTF!!. It started as one freelance writer’s total frustration with trying to move her blog, a real whine.
But it rapidly evolved into solid technical help from other writers and bloggers who’ve gone through moving a blog explained how to do it and also to answer specific questions. . Priceless.
Another thread is a through discussion of how freelance writers can really make use of Search Engine Optimization – again priceless tips.
Finally there’s at least one thread that encourages folks to post their last blog entry about writing or anything else they’re blogging about – a spot for some promotion if you will.
Here are some tips to make the best use out of any forum you join anywhere.
Getting Set Up
By all means register. There are forums for everything. I actually found one for my 1991 Honda Civic! Register so you can post. In most you can control how much, if any, email you get from the forum and from forum members.
Pay attention to your signature. Almost all forums allow you to have a signature. It will be in your profile or account settings. Fill it in with your websites and let the forum do a bit of promotion for you every time you post.
Follow or subscribe to topics automatically. There’s nothing more frustrating than asking a question and thinking you haven’t gotten an answer when you have. Solve this by checking follow or subscribe to the topics you post in automatically. Again, this option will be in your settings.
Click on icons and links you don’t recognize – you can’t break it. Although there are lots of similarities in forums, there are a ton of differences too. When you see links and icons you don’t understand, click on them and see what happens. You won’t break the forum, I promise. Clicking around is a good way to get to know the forum and, in fact, almost any application.
Be willing to share what you know. Good forums are filled with people who love to share what they know. If you’ve gained some expertise in the forum’s topics by all means share it. I know I love showing off what I know, and if someone shows me I’m wrong or there’s another way to do it or see it (and there almost always is)
Feel free to ask questions. Forums are great places to ask questions, even those you think you should already know the answer to. I can almost guarantee that the question you ask is one others also want to ask. Drop any shyness and go for it.
What other ways do you like to participate in a writing forum?