A blog, or a forum?

by Ricter 27 replies
Control seems to be the big variable here.

With a blog, you're mostly in charge, the comments are attached to your posts, so you lead the dance. Your readers have less "power".

With a forum, your guests can run a bit wilder. You still have the final word, but if you stand back, they can really take off. They have more power.

Do you run a forum anywhere? What kind of business do you think a forum is better suited to?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #blog #forum
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    I have a small gaming forum, but it is for fun, not making money.
    Kim
    Edit: I also have another small one that was for magic that I have let go stale over the years, but I think I could start bringing it back and make soem money off it now.
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  • Profile picture of the author VinceNouvel
    If you want to build a community.. Forum will be so much better.. Both can be used in any type of business. It really depends on how you want to use them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Zalesky
    Originally Posted by Ricter View Post

    Control seems to be the big variable here.

    With a blog, you're mostly in charge, the comments are attached to your posts, so you lead the dance. Your readers have less "power".

    With a forum, your guests can run a bit wilder. You still have the final word, but if you stand back, they can really take off. They have more power.

    Do you run a forum anywhere? What kind of business do you think a forum is better suited to?
    Why not build a blog that has a forum with it?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ricter
      Originally Posted by Jason Zalesky View Post

      Why not build a blog that has a forum with it?
      One could but, isn't that a bit redundant? I mean, if I want to contribute something that would go in a blog entry, why couldn't I just start a new thread?
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      • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
        Originally Posted by Ricter View Post

        One could but, isn't that a bit redundant? I mean, if I want to contribute something that would go in a blog entry, why couldn't I just start a new thread?
        There's a lightly different effect on readers with a blog, to say nothing of it being easier to push people towards it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ricter
          Originally Posted by Justin Jordan View Post

          There's a lightly different effect on readers with a blog, to say nothing of it being easier to push people towards it.
          Justin, could you elaborate on "easier to push people towards it"? It's just a url, isn't it?
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          • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
            Originally Posted by Ricter View Post

            Justin, could you elaborate on "easier to push people towards it"? It's just a url, isn't it?
            It is, but it's been my experience (as both a blogger and mod at a couple of forums) that people are more likely to read a blog post and then drift than to go to a forum and read posts. It just seems to be a more palatable format for people surfing and what not.

            Some subjects lend themselves better to forums than blogs, I think, and vice versa.
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            • Profile picture of the author jhongren
              Do you run a forum anywhere? What kind of business do you think a forum is better suited to?
              Hi Ricter,

              Blog or forums: they both need to go through the same phases of development.

              1. set up
              2. traffic generation
              3. marketing
              4. monetisation
              5. building a community
              6. sustaining
              7. liberation yourself off it
              8. automating your business system

              As for what kind of business system for a forum, it can be:

              1. paid membership
              2. paid threads for sponsors
              3. image ads for sponsors
              4. subscribers' meet up and promoting of related products/ services

              (You own a list and there is so much potential you can do from selling of ebooks, to audios, videos, digital products to physical products and so on.)

              The sky is the limit.

              Cheers,
              John
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              • Profile picture of the author Ricter
                Originally Posted by jhongren View Post

                Hi Ricter,

                Blog or forums: they both need to go through the same phases of development.

                1. set up
                2. traffic generation
                3. marketing
                4. monetisation
                5. building a community
                6. sustaining
                7. liberation yourself off it
                8. automating your business system

                As for what kind of business system for a forum, it can be:

                1. paid membership
                2. paid threads for sponsors
                3. image ads for sponsors
                4. subscribers' meet up and promoting of related products/ services

                (You own a list and there is so much potential you can do from selling of ebooks, to audios, videos, digital products to physical products and so on.)

                The sky is the limit.

                Cheers,
                John
                I kind of feel like I've been caught by my boss, lol. Hi John! Glad to hear you say that bit about the same development phases for both, since I'm currently using your blogging product! Love it, by the way, good work.

                I've always loved forums, so even while reading your blogging ebook I'm noticing that the principles there can be applied to a forum, as you said.

                John, I haven't seen any of your books but the first one, so before I continue reading, and before I begin blogging, can you see any reason why a person cannot, or should not, build a forum using your development phases as laid out for a blog?

                Rick

                PS: no, I won't be wanting a refund either way.
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                • Profile picture of the author jhongren
                  Hi Ricter,

                  Thanks for your vote of confidence in my book.

                  I feel a person should build a blog PLUS a forum no matter which one first.

                  We are building a business model after all and we must be able to scale it.

                  A dog blog with overwhelming response in the comments can make use of a forum so that readers can bring their discussion there.

                  Likewise, a forum owner can make a blog and put in all the highly discussed threads as contents for his blog.

                  So it works both ways.

                  Cheers,
                  John
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  • Profile picture of the author SusanUSA
    I sell my eBooks on a blog . . . and my subject matter (which has many health issues linked to it) requires that I have the increased control of the blog format. When a question is asked of my on the blog, I do a lot of research to make sure I give a quality answer. If I don't know for sure, I tell the reader to contact their health professional.

    A forum would allow to too many people to leave their opinions which could misguide others. I know I can moderate all that, but it still has too many risks.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      I have blogs and forums.

      I moderate my forums, but no matter how quickly I pull down a spammer's or nutjob's post, someone has seen it. I cannot be online 24/7.

      For my blogs, I moderate all comments. It only takes one person to really be a PITA and wreak havok on your blog with comments! (And, yes, I have had it happen. Ugh.)

      The forums can take on a nice life of their own and develop a nice community, but you still have to watch them.

      JMHO
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      "Fate protects fools, little children, and ships called Enterprise." ~Commander Riker
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      • Yeah, I agree. Forums can be great communities where people can communicate with each other. Blogs are more like a dialogue; you and the visitor. It just depends on how in-depth you want the communication to be. Do you want it to be mostly you and your visitors or would you like everybody to have a chance to chat with one another?

        Originally Posted by Shay60654 View Post

        I have blogs and forums.

        I moderate my forums, but no matter how quickly I pull down a spammer's or nutjob's post, someone has seen it. I cannot be online 24/7.

        For my blogs, I moderate all comments. It only takes one person to really be a PITA and wreak havok on your blog with comments! (And, yes, I have had it happen. Ugh.)

        The forums can take on a nice life of their own and develop a nice community, but you still have to watch them.

        JMHO
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        • Profile picture of the author Ricter
          Angela, the idea of everyone chatting with one another while I simply moderate when necessary is fascinating. So many ideas, so much growth potential!

          Shay, the idea of an unacceptable post sitting in plain view for hours, while I sleep, and being spotted by my paying customers is frightening to say the least.
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          • Profile picture of the author ShayB
            Originally Posted by Ricter View Post

            Shay, the idea of an unacceptable post sitting in plain view for hours, while I sleep, and being spotted by my paying customers is frightening to say the least.
            It is not fun, I assure you!!

            If you have advertisers, it can be a sticky situation explaining why the post was left up for 6-8 hours (No, you aren't supposed to sleep. LOL)
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  • Profile picture of the author Ouroboros
    You can always moderate forum posts as well.

    Maybe the question should be a blog, a forum, or a social community? Why should they be exclusive of each other, why not have two or all three?

    Your product or niche will tell you which is best and you can phase out the others. Test...Test...Test.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author rocker123
    On my part, I would love forum. Coz it has a series of discussions on the board.
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  • Profile picture of the author Solidsnake
    Banned
    Forums are hard to promote but less maintenance... monitoring members' activity is easier than updating a blog with new articles...
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  • Profile picture of the author logosi
    I've always kind of thought of a forum as a club (group) of like minded individuals. Where a blog is my journal where I can be me. That's oversimplified of course, but speaks to my heart on the matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author DanGTD
    I think cool products need a blog, first and foremost.
    The forum is more for support issues and rarely forms a community that self-sustains, with new and interesting topics.

    But if the business idea is not a product, but to build a community to monetize by ads, both are needed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Koop
    I have a lot of blogs and a couple of forums (only for paying members, and not open to the public).

    They both have their purpose but which you should begin with really depends on what your "end goal" is.

    If you enjoy writing (and if people enjoy reading what you write) I would recommend starting with a blog and then adding a forum when the time is right.

    Personally, I have found that activity can die down pretty quick on forums and then
    you end up with something that doesn't draw much traffic or add much value.

    Just my two cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author webmatic
    Forums are more social and little bit hard to manage in the start but once you get hold of it, you don't need to do anything except for managing few ongoing stuff.
    Blog is easy to start with and easy to get hold on and not much social but you can make it social by getting repeating visitors who will interact with you via healthy comments.
    I personally prefer blogs.
    Thanks
    Webmatic
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  • Profile picture of the author easylearning
    If you use CPM, having a forum will be the best option because you will have a lot of traffic but if you use CPA, a blog is better.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sfrew
      Thanks to everyone who answered...I learned a lot just reading this thread.
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      • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
        Public forums are a lot of work, and for those with few webmaster skills...overwhelming.

        Public forums built on free scripts are easily hacked, and under constant attack from hackers and spammers.

        I think if you need to ask... stay away from forums.

        The ones that build and run forums are usually for a specific purpose, or an important hobby, or specific social group.
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