Full Version: Why a forum instead of a blog?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Why a forum instead of a blog? I get asked this a lot.

First, let me say it isn't either/or. It's like asking me if I want tacos or pizza. Both please. I have a couple of WP blogs. I even have a few WP installs on various domains that do nothing but run WP plugins.

My honest opinion is forums are possibly the most underrated free marketing resource and MYBB software can probably be installed on your site in a couple of minutes if you have cPanel with Fantastico or Softuclous. I just like posting on forums more than blogs. I feel like it's much more casual and I don't worry about being as perfect as possible.

I've also used a forum to set up private discussions with another person or small group...ON MY OWN DOMAIN for extra privacy. It only takes a minute or two to create a private forum for friends, family, freelancers, etc.

But the things I like most about forums is community and User Generated Content. That's you folks. A blog is all about "me" while a forum is about "us". While people can post comments on blogs, it's different. They can't start their own threads/topics so they are not as connected and the topics of every potential conversation are totally up to the blog owner.

Forums are better for social...

Both WP and MYBB have RSS pheeds. This means it's easy to post your new content on a variety of social media sites.

I use (free) to take the RSS from the Phorum and add the URL to IFTTT. IFTTT then checks the RSS to see if there are any updates. If so, it posts the title and link of every new thread here (in the public forums only) on my Twitter account.

Every time time someone starts a new thread on this forum, a new tweet is made to my Twitter account. Think about this...If you post a new thread, I get a new tweet on my Twitter account. And I get a link from my Twitter account back to the forum and your thread.

This doesn't have an instant impact. But it does build over time.

My Twitter account is pretty old. I got a good part of the followers using automation. It was easier then to get followers, but it's still a good idea now. For a site like Twitter, there's some decent follow/unfollow options available. I don't use them now so I can't recommend any..but put a lot of thought into getting the best sources for followers and take it slow and steady, especially at first.

There is a security risk with this. If a spam post gets through here it will also post on Twitter. But this problem is no harder to fix. Fix the spam on your forum. There's a number of things you can do.

You aren't just limited to MYBB and Twitter. IFTTT can take your MYBB RSS and share it in a variety of ways, including other social media sites.

A forum is the absolute best way to get other people to contribute to your site. While WP can do something similar with forum plugins, this is exactly what a forum like MYBB is supposed to do, make it easy for other people to add content as possible.

And every time someone starts a new thread, it also creates a tweet.
MYBB has a couple of plugins that allow people to log into your forum using their Twitter and FB accounts. I have the FB one installed here and just applied for an app at Twitter.

As a marketer, think about the possibilities MY Twitter Connect and MYBB have. I've bolded a few to highlight them:


At the moment, MyTwitter Connect comes with the following features:
  • Connect any user to your MyBB installation with Twitter

  • One-click login/registration: if Fast Registration setting is set to off, it will ask the user to choose an username from scratch and to decide what informations to import from Twitter

  • Automatically synchronizes Twitter account data with MyBB account, including avatar, biography and location

  • 3 dedicated settings that users can manage and change to whatever they like, controlling what data to sync with their Twitter accounts

  • Existing users can link their Twitter accounts to their accounts on your board within their User Control Panel and with the click of a button, without necessarily create a new account from scratch (or ask admins to merge their accounts)

  • 2 registration modes you can choose to use within your Admin Control Panel: One Click Registration (Fast) and Two Step Registration (More slowly, but fast anyway [Image: 1f60a.png])

  • Ability to send a PM containing a randomly generated password to every Twitter-registered user

  • Ability to post to the user's timeline upon registering/associating his account

  • Redirects logged in/registered users to the same page they came from

  • You can choose what usergroup to insert Twitter-registered users

  • You can tweet something on the user's timeline upon registration/linking

  • Works for all MyBB 1.6 installations and web servers thanks to the TwitterOAuth library provided in the package

  • Who's Online List support

  • It works

  • It's free

The tweet on the user's timeline is repeated...and it needs to be used carefully. But it's also a great opportunity to expand your reach.

  1. Someone starts a new thread on your forum which also creates a tweet on your account with a link back to your forum. Someone on Twitter sees your tweet and checks out your forum thread and wants to reply.

  2. So that person is automatically registered to your forum using just one click (or more if you want) and can easily engage in your forum.

  3. And when they register, your forum automatically automatically posts a message on THEIR Twitter timeline, spreading the word about your forum, so the potential for this cycle to continue.
Again, you can automate WP using IFTTT too. The question is, which format is better for encouraging people to register and participate, which starts the cycle?

A blog or a forum?
Here's my Twitter can see that the tweets match this forum. Smile
Another benefit of having a forum are the polling features. Polls can be used for getting info and feedback and even entertainment.

If you're just looking for info and don't want people to have to register to vote, just create a new forum for your polls and you can set the forum "permissions" to allow unregistered guests to vote (or not). It's really easy.

Since it's your forum, you're in control and aren't reliant on a third-party to host your polls or jacking your voters' data for things like retargeting.

MYBB has some good polling functions built in, but there's also a good free plugin to extend the polling power of MYBB.

...and it's free.
This is a site called SEO Clerks and it's like Fiverr but for IM. A lot of stuff is blackhat and could get you in trouble, but there's some great things too.

These services create "IFTTT linkwheels" for you. Basically, for a few dollars they create accounts at a number of social sites and hook them up with IFTTT using your RSS feed.

Now every time someone on your forum creates a new thread, you'll have quality, human-written content automatically posted to your entire social network.

You can set this all up for $5...or create the social accounts yourself and it's entirely free.

Use social sites that allow for automating follow/unfollow and find some software to automate this. Don't over-do it, be slow and steady. Mix automation with being a real human. Check and see where you get traction and focus your personal efforts there and let the rest run on autopilot.

I don't automate much on FB. My Twitter is probably 90% automated. The rest are all automated.
You don't need a public forum for MYBB to be valuable for your business. I posted above that I have multiple installations of WP that I only use for various plugins and not as a web site. A MYBB forum is similar in that it doesn't have to be a public web site to be useful.

Some of the IMers recommend that you add a "testimonial collection" system to your sales funnels. MYBB and Pheeders are perfect for this and can be set up literally in minutes.

Install MYBB and Pheeders
Sell a product using WarriorPlus
Set up a private forum

When someone buys have Pheeders set up an account for them and give them access to that private forum.

Have a thread for their download.

Have another thread for testimonials.

Other than decorating your forum, this is really all there is to creating a support, download and even a testimonial collection system.

Any of you WP fans want to race me doing a fresh install and setting up a similar system? Wink