I actually use a forum software, vBulletin, more as a blog than a forum.
Take a look.
Pure Bible Forum.http://www.purebibleforum.com/
It seems to me that it sections out much better than a blog, and has nice ability to quickly put in pictures, change fonts, move posts, etc.
Granted it misses some of the blog niceties, ideally I would coordinate a blog with the forum.
vBulletin has not made everybody happy the last years, I am on V.4 and have no plans to go to V.5. Yet I do occasionally run into glitches, one would lose data when a page would become white. Usually a large overloaded thread with many pics. That experience, which happened a few times and was difficult to troubleshoot, dampened my enthusiasm a bit.
So I may do the couple of hundred dollars and start Xenforo. Then I actually would add features and plug-ins and perhaps build up a community of sorts. I would like the Facebook sign-in, since I have many involved in Facebook, but that seems to not really function. Twitter sign-on is supposedly very good.
Then there is SMF and ElkeArte and such, Tuxman talked about them on another thread. Less or no $, perhaps just as good in many ways.
And I may also use, separately, a forum as an adjunct to an e-commerce biz. (Precious metals.) There are many WordPress plugins that do forums, that are a bit rinnky-dink, that is another alternative. (We use WooCommerce under WordPress.)
Some of the other nouveau forums are here:https://www.slant.co...elkarte-alternatives
Trying to get good SEO without a lot of time/money investment is one factor.
Your free-form thoughts welcome!
(I would keep vBulletin in its blog mode. It does many things very well.)