There are millions of blogs and discussion forums around the net, but people confuse sometimes between the two. Or, at least, they don’t have any idea about the difference between blogs and discussion forums. This topic seems easy to understand if you’re a web surfer, but we should remember that there are people who need to know the difference between blogs and discussion forums.
Blogs vs Forums
Blogs can live without comments
A blogger creates a blog post to share an idea or to explain a point of view, and that’s it. But, a forum thread is created to get replies and interactions, a blog can work normally and live without any comment, but a forum can’t live without discussions and questions.
Forums are built to discussions and interactions, this is why you see all forums with a long list of comments and posts, people ask and answer questions in every thread, and this is the main goal for forums.
Blogs need less work than forums
In general, you can start your own blog in one day and publish your first post, your blog needs some additional work every day to set the theme, the plugins and other things, including, writing posts. You can succeed a blog even if you create 2 posts per week.
Forums need multiple times the work for blogs. You need to maintain your forums active every day by replying to questions and posting threads every day. At the same time, you’ll find lots of spammers and you need real hard work to find them and stop them destroying your hard work.
When your forum grows and be large, you need to find moderators who help to fight spammers and clean the forum from spam comments and links. You need to be a hard worker at least in the 8 first months in your forums life.
If you look at the biggest forums you will find that they’re online since a decade, or, even 15 years of age. It’s really hard to find a really popular forum with millions of visitors every day, with one, or two-year of age. At the same time, you can build a popular blog in 3 years, because it needs less work (but really hard work).
In general, a blog home page it the latest blog posts. On the forum home page you will find the main discussions organized by topics, all you have to do is to click the topic title, and start a discussion or read what others talks about.
In blogs you can leave your comment without the need to register, or create and account. Sometimes, you need to use your email, but you can comment, even, without an email. This is the case for guest comments, in many popular commenting platforms integrated with blogs.
For discussion forums, you need to create a full account with your emails, and other information to be able to replay.
Blogs are more trusted
A blog with honest idea and review can be trusted by people who need more information about any program or anything else. Readers know the blog author through its articles, and social network accounts. Even, they can ask personal questions, and this is what makes people trust blogs.
On the other way, you can find an idea and its opposite in the same thread. People can say everything, and this makes the reader confused and lost. That’s why people don’t trust forums for reviews, this is not a rule because you can find some good reviews about any product in some forums. But, it’s really hard to say that forums have trust.
Blogs are SEO friendly than Forums
You can control your blog SEO and make it easy for search engines and people. In WordPress, for example, you can clean your theme and add more useful functions, and plugins to help indexing and ranking your articles in search engines. This is what you can’t control in forums.
In general, forum threads are low indexed in search engines. If you look at the number of indexed pages, you will find thousands and thousands of them. If that number of pages is blog posts, then the traffic from search engines will be multiple times much higher. This is because a blog is well-organized and optimized through its content, while the forum is a mix of multiple ideas, and sometimes non relevant at all.
Blogs articles are More organized than forums threads
A blog post will look organized and professional in general. This is not the case for all blogs, but, the majority of bloggers organizes their work by titles and make it good-looking for readers, easy to understand and it reflects the author’s point of view.
On the other side, forum threads are just comments from different people with different backgrounds, and this is what makes the page like something from everything. You can’t really tell the final word when finishing reading the page or the thread.
To understand why forums are less professional than blogs, you can just take a blog article and a forum thread, view the source code and word counts for each one in your browser. At the end, you can easily get a clear idea about the blog post through top words and titles, but you will be confused with a forum thread, you can find non relevant phrases and even comments.
Direct contact between people
In blogs, you can’t contact each person or view its profile, but you can do that with forums. All you have to do is to view profiles and send private or public messages to anyone in the same forum. This is normal because the main goal for forums is to discuss.
Some forums allow you to create a group of people who have the same interests, and exchange ideas and comments.
Blogs are easier to monetize than forums
You can easily add affiliate programs or links to your blog and make them organized by category, posts, or even keywords. A simple plugin can manage all that and make you a good revenue through banners, in text links, or other types of advertising.
If you have a forum, you can’t really monetize it as you want, you’re limited. It’s not easy to integrate links in forums. Of course, you can add Google Adsense and make money, but, you can’t add targeted text links as blogs, most of the affiliate networks require relevant content to be able to promote their product. And you can’t really do that, at least, with small or medium forum.
Fathi Arfaoui: A Physicist, founder and owner of Trustiko.com. He shares Business, WordPress, Web Safety, and Blogging tips to build better websites and blogs. Thus, you will succeed online with the right marketing strategies and recommendations. Of course, you’ll find much more topics.