Before the social media giants came to existence and power, the internet was a world of blogs and forums where users could write reviews, ask questions and chat about experiences. Today’s realm of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and a dozen more initially began in chat rooms, blogs and forums related to specific topics and featuring users within specific demographics. Even with the popularity of social media, blogs and forums continue to exist and prove substantial venues to engage and network with a community of consumers.
Blogs are typically a more personalized website where people discuss things that are relevant to their lives and experiences, other websites, blogs or current affairs. There are blogs dedicated to everything imaginable from vegan cooking and Alaskan ice fishing to video games and ant farms. Literally, the expanse of topics are endless when it comes to blogs.
While the topics of each blog bring their own value and insight, one of the most significant aspects of any blog is found at the bottom of each page in the comments section. Here, readers are able to comment and further discuss the topic covered. Usually, comments are a way of contributing additional information and insight about a topic. It is also an ideal venue to mention your product or website as applicable to the topic of discussion.
Forums, on the other hand, are topic-related websites that generally have up-to-date information but do not feature a specific writer or group of writers. Instead, they often include a list of members who ask and answer questions related to the forum topic or overall website. While on a forum, you can contribute to questions or answer topics if you have any level of expertise in the field.
While blogs are content-focused to promote discussion, forums are more focused in posing questions to facilitate solutions through discussion. The best advantage of a forum is the fact that below each post you contribute, you can include your personalized signature. In the signature, you can promote your product or website, add an image or banner, or announce a call to action or promotion related to your company or product.
Whether you are on a blog or a forum, always make sure to contribute meaningful and valid comments rather than simply commenting just to promote your product or brand. Often, shameless promotion is considered spam and can quickly get you blocked from a site. As a result, blogs and forums often require you to register in order to post a comment, a proven method to effectively minimize users from spamming the site.