It's been said time and time again that one of the best ways to promote your website is to post in other forums and link to your site in your signature. Many other people, myself included, frequently visit various webmaster forums out there (such as this one) and ask for site reviews or such.

When can this do more harm than good? We all know that one of the best ways to make a successful site is to have something unique and creative. So why go into depth about this original idea of yours in a webmaster forum where everyone else is out to find a creative idea and has the means of and skills to copy you?

Is it really counterproductive? Or is it one of the best ways to succeed?

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Considering the state of things now, with Google's popularity and page rank based on linkbacks its probably a necessary evil. Unless you somehow manage to get into a "viral" growth situation where your users do most of the link back generation and recruitment for you.

I'm not really talking about SEO promotion. For example, suppose I started up a website which was based entirely around an entirely unique concept that many people would be interested in. In an effort to get word out about my new site, I post in a webmaster forum asking for a site review and telling the community about my site. But I just opened up a can of worms because lurking around this webmaster forum are other web developers who are all too eager to take my idea and run with it, creating competition for me.

If I didn't introduce my site to the webmaster community, it would have been a lot longer before others picked up on my idea and I had competition. Basically what I'm saying is ... do people say too much in webmaster forums? We talk about our business practices, our strengths and our flaws, how we make money, what works and what doesn't ......... do we just open ourselves up way too much and just become way too vulnerable??

In a brick and mortar business, the business plan is tried and true. Take the retail business. You have the store. You buy wholesale. You sell retail. You have customers. But on the web, the startup costs are little to none. There is often no initial investment to make a profitable business, so the threshold to get into it is none other than a good idea ... ideas that can be found in webmaster forums all too easily. So do webmaster communities do none other than give us more competition? Why do we post in them then?

I think it is essential to make the distinction between its selective use for specific period especially when you start a business and during decline stage. When you attain maturity you should accelerate for branding not for advertisement coz Possibly It may harm when your business reach to maturity stage. :-|

Member Avatar for william2

I'm happy to get out my web page no matter what. If people want to copy go ahead, I'm a children's author and my stories are copy righted.
it's been about two years now since I've had my web page but, only 3,110 hits.
Bad if you ask me. how much I spent PPC with google, local newspapers, talk radio, ect. advertising is making me broke. Sorry can't post my site here-LOL

I was actually not really thinking about ecommerce sites or sites advertising a product or service, but more of an online businesses with a very unique business model. The more successful the business, the easier it becomes for others to copy your business model until it's no longer unique. Not to mention participating in forums such as this discussing the business model in terms of revenue generation, etc, just makes it all that much easier for copycats to learn how to duplicate you.

I think that its a necessary evil as Danceinstructor said . Posting with URLs in one's signature is the way we fellow website guys have been doing it for sometime now & I think we would be better off if we could make google think otherwise about its PR policy . But sadly, we all live due to google , so canot even question its policies .
I believe that Webmasters should encourage postings with signature URLs , since i believe " you get what you give " . If you are talking sense in a forum , you should be allowed to give out what you have .
Right cscgal ?

Advertising can do more harm than good when it is intrusive. Such as: pop-ups, email spam, or just targeting the wrong audience.

I think the worst thing that can you do in a webmaster forum is to post a 'success story' of yours.

Before some days a kid had started a topic on another webmaster forum, of how he made 700$ in the first month of his first web site.

The idea of that kid was really cool, but the result from this post was a lot of copy cats sites, plus there were people asking him details - help to copy his site!

I think the worst thing that can you do in a webmaster forum is to post a 'success story' of yours.

Finally someone who understands where I'm coming from :)

I understand where you're coming from. :) Pesonally, with so many options available to a person for promotion I would find a better avenue for getting the word out.

Advertising can do more harm than good when it is intrusive. Such as: pop-ups, email spam, or just targeting the wrong audience.


Yep agreed, advertisement is advertisement, some time a small ad give an extraordinary result, it is very hard to predict the desired result in advance.

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