So...I'm looking through my awstats like I do at least once a day. I have always found server logs to be full of useful information, and it's important to try to glean as much as you can about your visitors from reading them.
Last week there was a very interesting spike in the number of visitors that came to this website. One day my traffic was more than double the average, even considering how traffic has been going up like crazy since I revived this domain last month.
I figured it might be the articles I have been writing and distributing. I have seen my byline all over the Internet lately, which I think is terrific. That day a new article appeared on a bunch of new sites, so maybe that was it. I went over to Isnare to take a look. Isnare is the foundation of my article distribution service -they're good and they're inexpensive.
I'm a good author (says me), but I had only been viewed 39 times, so that wasn't the source. Even my email messages from people who had visited the site had increased. When I replied to one of the emails (I try to respond to all of them), I asked the person how he had come to the web site. He responded that he had seen my signature in a sitepoint.com post.
Sure enough, right up near the top of referring URLs was the SitePoint script that spits out the forum posts. Awesome. Want to see my signature? Here it is:
Pretty fancy, huh? By the way, I posted because someone asked a very good basic question that no one was answering. I didn't want to leave him hanging, so I answered it. That's all. And I got a ton of traffic. I even got a private message from someone asking me if the domain was for sale. The bonus is that the post is also good for my Google pagerank, as the forum's PR was way higher than mine (which isn't difficult these days). I also noticed that a lot of the Sitepoint people were checking out affiliateblog.com using whois and SEO tools, just to find out more about me. I guess that is the Internet equivalent of dogs sniffing eachother (I won't say where).
So go out there and find a forum or two that fits the theme of your site, and then go bail someone out who needs a question answered. Here are two forum directories for your posting pleasure: