Using Forums for SEO
Participating in forums is a worthwhile activity for any webmaster, but it's particularly useful if you are a newbie. Firstly, you can learn a lot about internet marketing, SEO and related subjects. Then, as you learn more yourself, you can help others with advice.
Being an active participant in a lot of forums can definitely lift your profile, and confer credibility, much like article marketing can. And the whole while you are doing this, you can also promote your website or blog by using a signature. (A signature is a line that is automatically placed under each of your posts in a forum. Some people just have favourite saying, or funny line. But if you have a website or blog, you should put the URL in there.)
Remember that some forum administrators will make this link "nofollow", which means that it does not confer search engine benefit. However, a nofollow sig can still be useful - particularly at high traffic forums - because a certain percentage of people will click on it. That said, "dofollow" forums that allow sigs are preferable.
The backlinks that this method supplies will help a little bit for lifting your search engine rankings for the keywords you're including in their anchor text. But I wouldn't join dozens of forums in the hope that it will help a lot. And again, you must diversify the anchor text greatly. You should also just leave it empty some of the time. Google is getting increasingly intolerant of webmasters who repeatedly use the same or very similar anchor text with the aim of beating the competition.
One indirect, but still very valuable aspect of forum promotion is that all the while you are participating in them you are accumulating content. Think about it: If, on average, you post 2 replies a day for a month, then that's about 60 posts. If each one is at least 100 words, then you've put 6000 words up there. That's a lot of content.
If you log into your forum account and cut and paste these onto a file, you'll have the raw material for many blog posts and/or articles. You can use these on your blog or website or you can post them to article directories and gain valuable backlinks. Of course you should rewrite them quite a bit to make them unique, since they won't help at all if you simply duplicate them on other pages. Still, that's not much work. The main thing is getting those ideas down into words, and you've done that already.
Since this site is Australian, I've searched for dofollow forums based in this country. There aren't many, unfortunately. But some good ones are Australian Webmaster, Flying Solo Forums, DN Trade, Webmaster Forum, and Web Hosting Talk.
No matter. There are countless others you can join. I suggest that you have a look at the dofollow forums that allow signatures on the list below and get cracking! (Remember that some of these only allow signature activation after a certain number of posts and/or days of membership. Also, some of them may have changed their policy recently, and switched back to "nofollow".)
And please don't spam the forums with meaningless, unrelated, brief or "fluff" posts. Don't just post anything so you can get a link back. Write good questions and thoughtful answers. That will help you and the forum generally.