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Finally, when you are commenting on the forum, remember that it isn't a place for you to constantly promote your services. Be sure to provide helpful solutions to community members so you drive traffic to your website. Think of it as being at a social event: You wouldn't constantly be joining a conversation by saying how wonderful your massages are and offering to book them an appointment, would you? Of course you wouldn't, so don't do that here (or on any social network, for that manner).

Read through the threads (conversations) and make a point to add to the conversation or, better yet, answer questions. Remember that when you answer questions, your website URL will automatically be in your signature, so if you provide valuable and relevant information, people will automatically click through to your website to learn more about you.

When guest blogging and writing articles, contact the blog owner or editor directly. Usually they have a "write for us" invitation or "contact us" button on their website. Complete the form. Enter your name, e-mail and website URL, fill in every box you can, and enter your subject or blog title, or what topics you are interested in guest blogging about. If you have created a post, go ahead and include it. The same goes for submitting an article.

If you don't have space to include the entire post or article, include three ideas you would like to discuss on the site. You can also include your expertise and why you are qualified to be guest blogging or writing. If you find it difficult to come up with a title or topic, ask what topics their followers are most interested in.

When commenting on blogs, the most important step is to get your comment approved. If the owner of the blog feels you are "spamming" or advertising your products or services only, it will most likely never get approved. Here are some key points to create a proper blog comment so it gets approved every time. If you follow these quick tips, you should be well on your way to guest blogging and writing articles online soon!

  • Review the webpage of the blog and read through the content so you understand the topic.
  • Enter all information in the comment box and include your website URL.
  • Agree, disagree (politely) or compliment what you liked best about the points in the articles. Express your opinion.
  • Check the notified box; this is usually optional and some blogs may not have them. But if they do, I like to check them. It e-mails you any time a response or comment is added.

This really helps to keep you engaged in the community you are writing to, especially on those blog posts you have participated in. (You don't want to be known as a drive-by poster.)

Squidoo Backlinks

Squidoo backlinks are powerful because they are safe, legal and built upon theme-related sites. What's more, links from Squidoo are not usually pounded with a bunch of comments or spam. An item to pay attention to here is when adding your link to the "post your link" box, be sure you provide the URL they are asking for. Some want a YouTube URL, and sometimes they ask for a website URL or blog link; be sure to provide the correct information.

Wikipedia and Similar Sites

Wikipedia is considered an authority website; you are allowed to post links that are relevant to the Wikipedia page. Make sure the backlink you create is relevant to your niche and you will receive referred traffic from all the visitors viewing the page. Why are educational and government sites so important? These sites increase your authority, award you higher rankings and give you more targeted traffic to your website when used effectively.

I'm not suggesting you have to add relevant backlinks from all these sources; if you choose just one, consider how powerful it can be, especially when the sources are relevant to your target audience. Remember, if your website content addresses multiple target audiences, you will need more backlinks to support the relevance in the eyes of the search engines. If you build the link properly and the potential customer clicks the backlink to your page, but the page doesn't address their issue, or your content and wording isn't relating directly to their needs, they will most likely immediately leave. The search engines will record this as irrelevant backlink or spam – not your desired outcome.

Be very clear as to whom your target audience is, and make sure your message and content on your website relate to that target audience. This is one of the best assurances that you will maintaining your ranking. If you want examples or suggestions with finding relevant backlinks to one of these sources, e-mail me your target audience and which source you need assistance with, and I will e-mail you one to three examples.

Stephanie Beck is the owner of SRB Solutions, an online and social media marketing business. Contact her with questions, comments, and for more information at .

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