With the rise of the internet, the variety of the available choice has also risen. And the more variable choice we have, the more we find ourselves. The more niche our interests are. Of course, the human being is extremely complex. Thus, I may be interested in more than one niche at a time.
A person can identify himself as a biker, economist, a bodybuilder, a soccer fan, who happens to collect Lego constructors. And given that one has enough time and money to pay attention to all of his interests, there is nothing to stop him from doing so.
Seth Godin refers to these people gathered around a specific interest, like tribes. And your tribe is made of the people that are interested in what your blog is about.
No matter if you are just starting your website or you have an established one with a loyal audience, adding a forum to it is something that you really must consider. I got to admit that forums are so 2006. Yet, if you already have an audience that is loyal to you and what you do, it is hard to find reasons not to create a community for them.
To create an online community for your tribe could be extremely beneficial.
How to Create an Online Community?
There are a lot of ways to create an online community. You can do that even by using WordPress if you learn how to use WordPress.
If you choose to create your online community with the mentioned CMS, the best possible hosting solution is WordPress Hosting Service, even though you can do it using Free Hosting.
Once you’ve chosen the CMS that you want to use to build the forum, you should install it and start to brainstorm ideas for appropriate topics.
Having done that, you are ready to let people register and user the newly created online community. You just need to promote it enough for every one of the targeted audience to be able to hear about the existence of a forum about their sphere of interest.
1. Get Closer to Your Audience
Of course, this is the leading benefit of creating an online community. You, as chieftain of your tribe, need to get closer to them, and thus, to be able to lead them. As long and as far as they will follow.
This, obviously, is a figure of speech.
Yet again, building a forum will let you know your audience and them to know you. Even more, they’ll get to know each other through your forum, and friendships may occur. Friendships that emerged thanks to the online community that you’ve created.
Thus, people may feel closer to your tribe, to your website. And the benefits of highly engaged and loyal users is beyond measure. The closer you are to them, and the more they trust you, the more they’ll be eager to share their interest in what you do with their friends.
You shouldn’t be a genius to foresee where this is going.
2. Content Idea Generation
People are going to forums with problems. They know or are searching for their pain points in the hope that someone else, who is more knowledgeable then they are, will know the answer.
And will give them a panacea. All of the shared pain points and problems are potential content for your blog. And that is one more benefit of creating an online community for your tribe.
3. User-Generated Content
Search Engines are seeing everything. And the more valuable content your website has, the more way there are for it to be found.
User-generated content is crucial for a vast number of businesses. Like, say, Facebook, Reddit, and even Google(in a way).
When you allow people to communicate on your platform, especially about something that they care about, they ’ll embrace the idea. And once they do so, you’ll directly an indirectly receive more traffic on your website.
Disclaimer: That, of course, depends on the niche of your website.
4. Promote Products
Depending on the way that you monetize your website, you can have found the benefits of having an e-commerce website long ago.
And if that’s so, you know that the part of your audience that is most loyal will probably buy everything that you offer to them. As long as what you sell is giving value, and is in some way useful to your customers.
Do you have products to sell? Why don’t you engage with your audience face to face, and offer them whatever it is that you sell? Of course, try to do so in a subtle way. Don’t be pushy and aggressive. Still, once created, the online community would be a perfect medium for a product placement and advertisement.
5. Gather Information and Feedback
What you do is not perfect. Nothing is. And is there a better way to catch your mistakes on time than having your most loyal fans tell you?
I don’t think so.
A lot of people will have a lot of different opinions, but those you must listen, are the people that have been along with you yesterday, and everything shows they’ll be next to you tomorrow.
Creating an online community for your tribe will help you gather information even about the topics you write about, you’ll get to know the point of view of your people. But it will also let you know what they think about you, your work, and knowledge.
Even information about the performance of your WordPress website will be available to you because there will be someone on the website all the time. And if something gets wrong, they’ll most probably comment it in the forum.
Forums probably are a bit (ok, a lot) outdated. But they still do have a place on Earth.
You can try to use the Groups on Facebook or another social network instead of an in-house forum, but that will restrict your access to a large amount of data, that you could otherwise reach.
Thus, if your niche is appropriate and if your audience is loyal, do something for them. Craft a little online community for them.
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