Online community is a great way to drive profit. If you are running a website, you’ve probably seen your traffic build and reader loyalty increase. This is what drives you to keep creating great content and form a solid blog. Once you’ve done this, you simply need to transfer that passion into connecting with your readers so that a community can form.
This eventually leads to a profit as can be seen by the recent purchase of the Warrior Forum by Freelancer.com for $3.2 million. With an active and strong community in Warrior Forum, it’s clear that building a solid community can pay off. Here is a look at how to start building your community to create profit.
Where to start
Once you’ve realized building your online community is the key to creating massive profit, it’s time to get started. Your customers want to feel a part of a community and tell people they know about your site.
Plus, when a site has a successful online community, word-of-mouth advertising will increase by up to 35% according to some marketing studies. What better way to connect with your customers and interact so that they feel more inspired to purchase your service or product from you rather than a competitor they have way to relate to?
The keys to a good online community
There are a few keys to creating a successful online community. Your members should feel part of the group which can be done by welcoming new members, asking them to introduce themselves, and recognizing birthdays. For example, Spark People is a diet website that has grown in popularity because of the tools for dieting and recipes, as well as the perks like featured member pages and birthday wishes.
You’ll also want to make sure members feel valued with benefits that will make them want to visit you regularly. For example, your site could be their top resource for information in your industry or niche. It could be the place they go to learn something or it could be a place they visit to converse with like-minded people.
People also love a place that feels like a safe zone, like a community where people can feel safe to share their opinions without the fear of being attacked, so establishing boundaries to protect members on your site may make it easy for them to want to visit, contribute, and come back regularly.
Having a specific niche is always a great way to build a solid online community, whether it’s a common religion, a common goal like weight loss, or a site for golf enthusiasts. Having a specific niche will give those with this common interest an obvious place to look for news updates, helpful tips, and a sense of community for questions or advice.
Challenges you may need to overcome
The hardest part of building an online community is that even if you follow all of these rules, you still don’t know if people will get involved in your community. It takes a lot of time to manage a community and it’s challenging to attract newbies to the community. By doing things like welcoming your new members, starting discussions, planning events like a contest, and answering your members’ questions, you’ll have an easier time getting people involved.
You can grow by encourage people to share your site with their friends, making sign-up really easy, and starting a social media page with links to the page’s sign-up. Manage the upkeep of it by having a way for members to report abuse, keeping an eye on regularly posting and knowledgeable members that could potentially start contributing for you, and automatically approving members’ posts that have posted over a dozen times in the past.
You’ll soon see that building an online community can bring massive profits, from an increase in traffic to a higher ranking on search engines, and even a potential chance that the community chooses to purchase products and services from you compared to a competitor. Use these tips to build a great online community and watch as it grows and becomes something really great. Make time every day for your community and set up automation to make it easier on yourself.