As Im preparing my business plan, I notice that there is a section for market research. Thus, if you are testing a new online business - how do you obtain consumer insights? How do you recruit them? Please advise.

polls and questions in forums is a great place to start.

do a little research on marketing plans and you'll find out that there's tons of areas to consider... it's not just about customer profiling.

some other areas:
competitors
industry trends
pricing
promotion and marketing
strengths
weakness
opportunities
threats
etc.

Online negotiating could also help you recruit customers and client as well as you are also deserving to help them, in short cooperative.

Definitely Forums and polls on blog will help you to get good report, or took results of already done report.