As I was trying to devise a topic for my blog today I thought I’d reach out to Joe (a big forum advocate and the main reason behind the forums at WhyDoWork.com) for some inspirational ideas but all he could muster was a measly few words: “write about how blogs suck.” Now being the lead blog writer I took some offense and told Joe to get a life, but after a hearty debate and some colorful brainstorming I realized there was some truth in what was being said.
First of all to counter the above statement, I enjoy reading blogs. There are some great writers on the net who’s opinion and writing style appeals to me. Their RSS feeds populate my iGoogle hour by hour, preventing me from escaping the Internet for more than a few hours at a time. These people inspire and motivate me and that is why I would never recommend abandoning blogs (especially this one), however…….
Blogs are a Supplement, Not a Solution
Let’s start this section off with a little quiz:
Would you rather have a team of doctors diagnose a medical condition you have, or just stick with one opinion?
I think most people would go with the team of opinions versus just one. This is why I truly believe that if you want to make money online you need to do more than follow the blogs of those who are succeeding. Take a look at the Alexa rank for a popular blog about making money online (JohnChow.com) versus a popular forum on the topic (Wahm.com):
It’s pretty clear that in the last year the blog has been the clear winner (and there are many examples like this). The problem I see with this comes down to learning. There is only so much you can learn from reading the successes of someone else. Forums give anyone the ability to ask a questions, and any number of people the chance to answer it or alternatively work together on a solution: What a beautiful thing.
The natural progression we would have thought to occur would be blogs followed by forums, and not the other way around. Single opinions should have given way to a collective, community based approach to topics, including making money online. This however, is not the case. Forums are rapidly declining as the place to be for information on a topic while blogs are all the rage. Take a look at this quote from here :
Another thing I noticed is that a LOT of the people I used to see frequently at the same forums as me, I am now seeing frequently at blogs I visit and not so much at the forums anymore. Could it be that more people are spending all their time at blogs and forgetting about the forums?
Could it be that some unseen force is driving visitors to blogs instead of forums?
Take Me to Your Leader
If you subscriber to several different blogs in the work at home sector you might notice a crippling virus that has plauged them in 2007. It’s called paid blog reviews. When all your favorite bloggers are jumping up and down, telling you that Product X is the next big thing what you may be experiencing is simply a paid review blitz, a marketing campaign. If all your info comes from only a few people its easy to get caught up in the hype and fail to think about the negatives (bloggers often delete negative comments).
Have Your Cake and Eat it Too
This is not to say that following blogs is a bad thing. I think there are immense lessons and tips to be found in many blogs, however (and this is a big however) the most learnings and chances at success can only come from interacting with others. Forums provide a great medium for this exchange of knowledge to happen.
The next time you think about visiting your favorite blogs for information, think about what questions you’re looking for answers to, and ask them in a forum. You might be surprised at how much quicker you travel on the road to success.
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