I wrote a post about using the forums when we first started Blogable. This was because forums were something new to some of us. As a general rule we don’t like new things because they confuse us. And who has time to really bother with something new when we have got by for so long with what we have already? Well that is the sort of fixed mindset we challenge here on Blogable. Here we are about growth mindset and growth of your blog. Here we want to embrace the new with energy and verve.
The post that I wrote was about how to use the forums. It was a beginner’s guide so to speak because although how to use them seemed obvious to me, (I set them up after all) it did not seem obvious to others who had never come across them before. We really didn’t want to leave it to chance and discover later that people found it too hard or too confusing. That said, the forums have not been as well used as we had hoped. So pulling my growth mindset hat on really fast, I am here to try to change that.
This post is about why you should use the forums.
Actually there are loads of good reasons.
Forums encourage discussion
This is kind of an obvious one as discussion is the point of a forum, but sometimes, things just need to be said. What we hope our forums will do in this respect is to provide a space for you to ask other people for advice, or tips, or just what their opinion on something is. Of course, discussion goes both ways so you might want to share your knowledge, experience or thoughts with someone else via the forums as well. This could be in response to something that they have posted, but it could be that you put yourself out there and write something for others.
Forums improve communication
Having forums on our site improves communication. It means that communication is not only going between the author and the commenter on a blog post, for example. If you have started a forum topic or are adding to a reply, you could be part of a much larger conversation about a topic that you are interested in. It also means that you don’t need to wait for the appropriate blog post; you can ask about what you want, when you want it. And speaking of communication, the forums are a way of communication with us about what you want.
If a thread is started about a topic then we can use that to think about whether or not there is more to say. Would it be worth gathering the information contained in the thread and compiling a post on a topic? It is also a great way for us to find guest writers as we all have our own areas of expertise and it is often the case that you only know what you know. Forums let us see not only who wants to know what, but who already does know what!
Forums increase collaboration
Being part of a community is about working together as a team. More than one head is always positive in terms of both creativity and output. Forums increase the collaboration as they mean that we are all working together, supporting each other. They also allow us to meet people in a way that we might not usually. There is an informality about forums which leaves them somewhere in between comments on a blog post and a conversation over live chat. Engaging in forums allows you to get to know others and can lead to working with a wider group of people.
One of the reasons we decided to opt for forums was because we felt that it would help to create a sense of community. While we wanted Blogable to be a one stop shop for bloggers, we didn’t want it to stop with us. We settled on the idea of the Blogable Club because we wanted a community for writers and bloggers. We wanted somewhere that new bloggers could come and learn from scratch from the experience of those who had been around for longer.
Community works on this idea of paying things forward and we have each been lucky in our time here to have benefitted from help here and there from others. While Blogable is our way of paying things forward, we also wanted to provide a place for others to do the same. There is no fee for joining Blogable and the resources are here for anyone, but we have the members area with the forums so that you can contribute and be an active part of what we have started.
Without you, this would be a site just like many of the others where a couple of people tell you their thoughts on what to do. And possibly charge you for the pleasure.
Seeking assistance and support
Traditionally forums have had a history of being places to seek assistance and support. They are widely used in so many different areas that it goes without saying that they are seen as being somewhere to get help. Our forums are no exception to this. While they are more structured that the post-your-tech-question-here style that we have grown used to, they remain a great place to get an answer or three. The value of this is that we can learn from each other and there is often not just one answer to be had.
Helping to make connections
There are lots of different ways in the blogging community to make connections with others. One of the key ways is through commenting on the posts of others, but also by participating in memes and prompts. Some bloggers use social media and that can add to the relationships you are building on line by engaging with someone through a different medium. Forums contribute to this too, and especially so when you have a shared area of interest, or are just starting out.
Sources of information
We have tried to organise our forums to collate lots of different voices on a range of varied topics but all under one umbrella. We have used a similar structure to that of the site categories as that works for our content. As the volume of information on the forums grows, their organisation and structure should mean that things don’t become lost, so they are always a great source of additional information to supplement the other content on the site.
We Need You
So all that remains really is to thank those of you who have embraced something different and added content for everyone already. For those who haven’t yet done so – we want you – so please check them out and jump in by creating a topic or replying to someone who has started one already.
If you are finding the forums hard to navigate then please check out this post which explains all you need to know.
And finally, here is a selection of some of the varied content you can find there already …..
- What are your favourite plugins?
- Charging for Reviews
- What content to create
- How do I get people to find my blog?
But guess what? You know that thing you have always wanted to ask? Well now is your chance, so why not head over and start a topic of your own?