This is Day 9 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers. You can read an overview here.
Today’s assignment is to join a forum and start participating. Some of you participating may already be involved in a forum which means you are ahead of the crowd. If you already belong to a forum spend 10-15 minutes today on the forum asking and answering questions. If you do not already belong to a forum it is important for you to participate in at least one. We all have to remember that aside from the technical stuff that all of us struggle with, blogging is about relationships, and forums are a great place to build those relationships.
Here are a few benefits to joining a forum:
- You can ask questions. All of us have questions that need answers. We need technical help, we need topics to write on, we need to know where to find experts, etc… Forums allow us a place to ask questions where people are gathered around a common purpose. (Keep in mind not to limit yourself to forums centered on you niche. If you have tech questions join a forum for techies. If you need ideas join a forum that discusses issues related to your topic.)
- You can answer questions. The best way to build respect and gain trust is to help others solve their problems. If you don’t know the answer then help them find someone that does. When others know that you are not just there to score a sale or recruit readers then they will be more open when you have the opportunity to point them to your product or blog for answers.
- You get free ideas. Joining a forum allows you to see the problems and questions that people need answers to. This gives you an unlimited supply of post ideas. If you can solve problems then people will turn to you for answers and also refer their friends.
- What are some other benefits of joining a forum?
- If you are already a forum member, how often do you participate and how has it helped you?
- Can you recommend a forum that has helped you with technical support or site development?
The Extra Mile
A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…
- Reply & give other bloggers feedback on the little things they do.
- When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
- Check previous posts in the series for new comments.
- Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.
Larry Westfall is a husband, father to two children, and serves as a youth pastor near Charleston, WV. His passion is to help those around him to pursue a life of significance. You can follow him on twitter @LarryWestfallJr or read his blog at http://larrywestfall.com.