I am running some sites, from which one is a new forum for women. It's a sort of a general chat for women only. We discuss about everything in our lives: home, career, relationships ...

My question now: how and where do you think I could promote it? The site is still small (the forums). I have 13 members so far and I am closing to 300 messages. The post count will increase rapidly since I am quite an "avid" poster. But still it would be better to have some more members to develop.

I cannot afford paying for promotion, so the hints should be for "free advertising". I am looking forward to your response, and I thank you in advance ;)

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I cannot afford paying for promotion, so the hints should be for "free advertising".

You can't even afford $10 for Google Adwords? Without some kind of boost at the beginning, you're going to grow VERY slowly.

I guess if I had absolutely zero dollars, my best way to promote would be SEO on the forum itself. For example, I just learned that Google doesn't normally index phpBB forums. The reason for this is the sid in the URL. There is a phpBB mod that fixes this so that Google will get normal URLs and start indexing the pages. By doing this, anything you post might start appearing in search results, and thus might bring in visitors. There may be similar things you can do to your forum that will "encourage" Google and Yahoo to index each post.

I might also come up with a succinct, excellent signature, add it to my profile on OTHER forums, and start posting on THEIR forums in addition to my own. Your own good posts on other people's forums will drive a few interested people to your site. The trick is to make your posts actually helpful.


Well, we all know adwords don't cost just 10 usd. not to mention I haven't too many ways to pay for it. I am quite limited as options go because I live in Romania. Not too many ways to send money to google.

As for the links in sig. I am already doing it. but with little result so far.

Anyway, thank you for the tips :) Aside these, what else could I do?

... Will try add the mod-rewrite hack on the forums. Good idea indeed.

Well, we all know adwords don't cost just 10 usd.

Huh? You can do a 50 cent Adwords campaign, if you want. Google will let you spend however much or little you wish.


I used to run a $2,000 / month AdWords campaign. Nowadays, I'm running a $20 / month campaign :)

Anyway, I can't send the money. I don't think Google would accept cash in registered mail :D

So I'm left with free advertising :)

Best way to promote your forum on few female oriented site and related forums, publish about your forum in few relevant PR site.

Do you know any women?! Kidding. :)

Seriously though, I am fairly certain you have told your female friends, but if you haven't you should probably do so. Make it a grand mass-email announcement to your girlfriends. You might even lean on them to tell their girlfriends to do them a favor and go create an account on your site, and make a few token posts. They'd rather do that than help you move, trust me. Who knows, if you can make you grand opening aggessive enough, maybe some of the posters you 'guilted' into posting might stay.

Your idea is indeed nice, but I am Romanian .. my female friends are not all that willing to chat in Enlgish ;)

By making my forums in another language I kinda cut my way to have too many friends in it. But I will surely look into this too :)

Well, an update.

I got myself an ADWORDS ACCOUNT ... woohoo ...

Well, I have a Visa Electron card for my salary. Got to the bank today and placed the adsense check I got from google (150 USD, not much, but it's a monthly wage in Romania, so it's good) and asked the woman there if I could use my card for abroad payments. She said yes.

20 minutes ago I entered adwords and put my details there .. Looks like it worked. I have a 30 USD budget set (100 RON, our currency) and I hope it won't go more than that). Now I am looking forward to seeing some results ... if any :)

Will keep you posted. Am so thrilled now :D

Wow, if you're actually going to do it, let me give you some tips.

First, you can blow your whole budget in an hour, if you pick keywords that are too broad. If that happens, it's not a total loss, because you WILL get traffic to your site. You'll get your money's worth. But getting traffic in a big burst is not ideal. Getting traffic steadily is much better.

So if you have a budget of $30, make sure it's spread out and can't all be blown in an afternoon. Google will let you set the budget to $1/day, for example. You've probably already done that.

Next, pick VERY focused keywords. And custom-tailor you ads to those keywords. I work with one company that spends $250/day on ads -- they just picked the keyword "Java" and they run a generic ad for programmers. That's not going to get good results. But they spend so much money that they're bound to get a few hits, so they're happy. In your case, you want to be much more careful. Instead of a keyword such as women, try "careers for women" all in quotes. And then make your ad speak to that. So if someone searched for "careers for women" your ad might say, "come discuss careers for women at our women-only discussion forum."

It's better to create 30 narrowly-focused ads than 3 broadly-focused ones.

Next, be sure to use geo-targeting. In the Google Adwords settings, you can specify that your ad only appear for a specific location. So if you see Romania in the list, and think that you'd get better results if you focus on people who speak your language and know the area, then you should definitely target that location.

Lastly, try not to be hugely stingy with the amount you pay per click. I used to specify that I wouldn't pay more than 20 cents. The problem with that is that your ad usually runs at the bottom of the list, which means it gets clicked very little. And if your clicks are too low, Google will stop your ad. So I found that running the ads at 30 or 40 cents each was enough to keep my ads high (although sometimes, my ad wasn't #1), and thus, I got a lot of clicks.


Well, in short its all about targeting, your campaign should be targeted to following sites;

fashion/ Modelling
women health
work at home

WHoooaa! $2000 a month? For which site? This one???

WHoooaa! $2000 a month? For which site? This one???

Might have misplaced a zero somewhere? :p

WHoooaa! $2000 a month? For which site? This one???


Select most suited site from the list and distribute that much amount equally to all. :)

Yes, this one. Hehe.

Shhh!! NO site specific talk in this forum. (To encourage stimulating anonymous discussion of business practices and to encourage people posting to learn from each other and not because they have second agendas.)

Well, I had a month of Adwords going on. Not a lot of visits, but it did get some traffic. I have posted a lot and had some new members join. They are posting too, and it seems we're starting to have a community.

Will keep you posted ;)

I was actually expecting some valuable suggestion from csgal, since this thread is for promotion of a women forum.

I would write an artilce on a topic of interest to women and submit it too a few dozen article directories. Here is a list of article directories to submit your article to:


Don't forget to include a resource box linking back to your site.

I know, this seems like a lot of work, but it's free and effective.

Good luck!

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