Building a successful online community is hard work. I have mentioned before that I feel it is essential that your community is based on a subject you are passionate about. I also feel that you immediately have a huge advantage over your competitors if your community is based on a subject you have a large amount of knowledge and experience in.
Consider your skills and experience
If you are still in the planning stages for developing your online community, consider first what your skills are and where your experience lies.
You will find it far easier to develop a community and maintain your enthusiasm and motivation if you are knowledgeable and experienced in the chosen subject area of your community.
Think about your hobbies, think about times you have helped people understand certain concepts or theories, think about times when people have complimented you for your knowledge in a specific area.
Utilise and exploit your skills
Once you have identified your skills and experience, you should exploit these and develop your online community around them.
If you are running a blog dispensing advice on running an online business and happen to run one yourself, give examples of your own experiences – the use of examples really helps illustrate a situation for a reader.
If you run a forum on this subject, offer advice and content in the way of articles offering helps and tips based on your own experience and skills. Consider setting up a ‘Q & A’ section on your forum to further encourage interaction.
Continue to learn
Regardless of your current level of skill and experience in a certain area, it is essential that you never stop learning. This is particularly important if your area of expertise is related to the business world, or the Internet in particular.
Things change at a phenomenal pace in the online world – you may be an expert in a certain area today, but if you stop learning and developing your skills you will soon fall behind and lose the advantage you once held over your competitors.