This is the question on which thousands of blog posts have been written perhaps. Before starting to write this, I found that most of the posts that are already published online put less value to the reader. The reason why I am saying this is, the manner in which the posts are written are sluggish or more correctly, ambiguous. Building an online community is not an easy task. But it is not as complicated as one could think it is.
I developed my first proper audience 5 years back when I was not quite aware of how Social Networking websites really work. It was Facebook. And all my strategy that I will be telling you, will lie within the context of Facebook in this post. It is probably because Facebook is much effective and handy to communicate and share things effortlessly with others.
Yet, most people don’t really come out with the possible benefits of an online community. It is, perhaps, because they don’t know what these benefits exactly are. I posted the other day about six secrets of mine that I use to earn from my writing skills. In that post, I laid a great emphasis on how you can earn with your online community. Here I mention some of the important benefits that you can gain from an online community before going further:
- You have a better online presence on which you can be proud.
- People start trusting you.
- You will have an influence.
- People will follow your recommendations on any affiliate product you introduce.
- You can drive thousands of serious visitors and readers to your blog from the day first.
These are the major 5. There are lots more that you will find after developing an online community of your own. Now we move forward. I am going to mention the step-by-step method of how you can build an online community.
Step # 1: Decide a Topic of Your Interest.
This is the first and of course the most important step for every writer or any person seeking an influence online in a particular field. Choose the topic or niche after making a good research of the lateral sides of the topic. The products related to the field. The market of these products. The annual turnover of the industry. And also the number of readers. You can simply do it by google searching the topic.
For example, if you are a Bookworm, you can write about books. You can recommend books to people. Try Google AdWords Keyword Planner and make a research about how many times a month your topic is searched over search engines (Google in particular). Google AdWords will automatically suggest you the topics people are interested in the most. Keep a list of the topics with you.
Step # 2: Start Writing
This is where you are practically starting to build your online community. Remember that your Facebook account must be with your real name or the name that you want people to know you with (the pen name). The privacy of your profile and status should be set to “Public”. Start writing a status a day on Facebook. Write for at least 20 – 30 days. Write short and concise status of 150-200 words. You can choose whatever you want to write. But everything you write must add value to the reader.
For example, if you are a political analyst, write your analysis on current news and trending topics. If you are an entrepreneur, write about the weaknesses in struggling entrepreneurs (and the solutions more importantly). If you are a literature guy, write suggestions on how one can improve the knowledge of literature. But remember to be thoughtful and concise. Don’t post your “self-made quotes”. Don’t behave like a philosopher and an ultimate thinker. People won’t turn to your side this way.
Step # 3: Increase your Friend List
Now, I assume that you have been writing one status/day for 20 days now. It is time to stand up now. Google search the public figures and celebrities relevant to your subject. Find their pages and Facebook Profiles.
If you are, let’s say, a politics writer or a journalism writer. Find Facebook profiles of Famous columnists and TV anchors. If you are related to the field of Creative Writing, do find some of the famous writers related to your niche. For example, if I am interested in journalism or politics in Pakistan, I will be adding Javed Chaudhary, Amir Hakim Khakwani, Hassan Nisar and others in my friend list.
Facebook will generate automatic suggestions to add people relevant to your field and readers of the mentioned columnists and journalists. Keep adding them. Send 10 friend requests per day and keep writing at least one good status every day. Attract people to make comments on your posts. Choose trending topics and in-market celebrities for your status. People will start making comments. Let them.
Step # 4: Keep Enlarging your Online Community
Once you reach an interactive community of 1000 people in your friend list, start writing larger posts. Give it a tough time. Go from 150 words to 300 and then 500 words. Make it a daily routine. Now you actually don’t need to send friend requests. Relevant people will start finding you themselves. Allow everyone to connect with you on Facebook. Keep the “Add as Friend” and “Follow” options open for everyone. Now, you only need to maintain the quality of content you provide to them.
Put questions and queries to make your content interactive and attractive for the readers. Ask for their thoughts about your way of thinking. Ask them to point out your mistakes, loopholes, and fallacies. Tell them to disagree with you and put their own point in the comments.
Step # 5: Start a Blog and Write an eBook
It is time to reap the harvest now. You have a big community. Start your own blog and become a blogger. Drive traffic to your blog from the community you built. Monetize your blog with ads and earn. Write a How-To e-book for the newbies in your subject area and teach them how to gain success. Sell your e-book. People will buy from you. Search for the products relevant to your subject and start affiliate marketing.
Keep a budget to promote your works. Keep promoting and reaching new readers. Add good content and keep earning with your online community.