Saturday, August 11, 2018

Should you start a forum or a blog?

I have started both. I had a blog (this one) 5 years before I had a forum.

What I have learned from started a forum is that once you have a few pieces of content and a few members, the content will naturally grow by itself as you tend to your forum and discuss about things.

More ideas/content get started on a forum because you have more than just your own brain to start topics, you have members contributing which helps a lot in growing your content.

I had a blog 5 years before I started a forum, but it wasn't really a real blog that had interesting articles to read. I just added computer science words definitions for Vietnamese. It turned out no one was interested in searching for these definitions in Vietnamese so it didn't get many views.

When I started writing random short articles on random topics it got more views (not much more) but more. But when I started a forum, I found that as soon as I got some initial members after adding some decent content to attract members in the first place, the forum quickly grew and had way more views than my blog.

 The rate of growth in content on my forum (https://gimplearn.net) is vastly larger than this blog (11 million views in about 2 years on the forum verses under 200 thousand views in 7 years on this blog).

I guess I am not very good at blogging since blogging requires you to pick your own topic to write about and I am not good at that. Ninety-nine percent of the time I don't know what to start writing about on my blog and so I end up just blogging short pieces about nothing useful or people would search for. But with a forum, I can discuss about different topics about a major subject that the forum is about.

Also with a forum, you sometimes get ideas for your blog.  Like this blog wouldn't exist if I didn't have a forum.

So If you're deciding on whether you should start a forum or a blog.  I would say if you're self-motivated and ideas come to you all the time on various topics, then you should start a blog (starting a blog is free with blogspot.com) since you won't run out of resources to start blog posts. If you're like me and unsure what to write about, pick a subject that you have some experience in like (me writing scripts in GIMP) then you should start a forum (starting a forum will cost you some money to host it [I pay about $232/year]).

However, I enjoy having both a forum and a blog no matter how unsuccessful they are.  I would suggest starting both.  Each gives you a different environment and feel for the online world.