Yesterday I submitted content to a forum with the prime objective of assisting its members whilst at the same time being conscious of the possibility of the benefits of generating traffic to and awareness of the free of charge resources on offer at Digital Entrepreneur. On first looking around I noted that it was etiquette to submit content that people could use immediately.

I wondered what content I could usefully add and eventually decided on a basic checklist of tasks that people starting out in business could refer to as and when needed – things like a detailed business plan, choosing a good accountant, publishing an effective a website – stuff I and the people I spoke to considered to be important.
I posted my checklist on a forum and almost immediately it was pounced upon by various members who disagreed with my list. By the tone of the comments I had clearly irritated some individuals.

At first I was somewhat concerned that this could possibly damage the Digital Entrepreneur brand – had I made a mistake here? After some thought about this I checked out Google Analytics to see how much activity was on the site and I was quite surprised at the result.

I had not mentioned the web address, nor had I made any reference to Digital Entrepreneur other than on my forum profile page but regardless people were pouring into the site and eventually broke previous traffic records – I also discovered that Google had indexed the forum and placed a link to my checklist.

This got me thinking about Google, forums and traffic and whether the gain had been worth the pain?

With Digital Entrepreneur I am working to build an effective, high quality free resource for entrepreneurs, a place where they can go for documents, tutorials, advice, mentoring and so forth.

Judging by the volume of traffic to the site yesterday I achieved this – will I continue to use this method to drive brand awareness? Perhaps, but next time possibly ask the forum members to help me build the content instead of spoon feeding it.

Today I am meeting a representative of the University of East London (UEL) to discuss how Digital Entrepreneur can help provide graduates with the resources and information they need to start up in business on their own.

After yesterdays interesting proceedings I will be taking with me a little more knowledge and a little less uncertainty – and that for me is very much worth it.