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Let's consider an abstract situation:

We develop a commercial plugin for Joomla that does something. For example it turns all normal links into SEO links (I know it's trivial but it's just an example). Now we want to reach people. We add our software webpage to the most obvious places like Google Ads, software directory websites, etc.. However the first thing that comes to mind is to actually let Joomla users and SEO folks know about this software. And then comes the problem: all such places (Joomla forum, various big SEO forums) prohibit advertisement.

What is the way to deal with that? It's quite natural that I want to let Joomla users know about software that might help them but at the same I can't break rules. I can think of tricks like creating topics that would pretend to not have ads (e.g. "did anyone use this plugin, is it good?") but I don't want to go that path very much.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It sounds like what you are talking about is free advertisement. The whole reason that forums prohibit advertisement directly in the forum is that they have no control of what ad is posted where and if users know that the ad is actually an ad.

If forums allowed people to post ads directly as questions and answers it would quickly corrode the value of the forum and the forum would die.

You really have 2 solutions:

  1. Create a blog or site in conjunction with your commercial tool that explains how to use it and the value it creates in details. When you find questions on forums that can be solved by your commercial tool answer but make sure that your answer does not come across as an ad. The best way to do this is to give several solutions and just mention yours as one of them. This is adding value to the community and can get people to your commercial site. When you do this you usually want to make a not at the bottom of your answer that you do work for or are affiliated with one of the solutions. The solution is time intensive and does not guarantee results.
  2. Pay for you ads. For instance I am sure if you contacted the people that make Joomla you could get your commercial tool onto this page, http://extensions.joomla.org/ by paying for it. Just like the stack exchange site allows relevant advertisements to be posted for a fee. You could also see who the biggest Joomla bloggers are out there and see what fee they charge to make a blog post about your product.
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