Building an Online Community - Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of "Building an Online Community" series. In the previous parts (part 1 and part 2), we discussed about the mindset and basic preparations needed to build an online community. Part 3 is about "Launch Day". Before we talk about it, there is one thing I need to address.

I just realized that, I never talked about the online tools needed to build our community.

There are so many tools available around which you can build your online community (blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, etc.). You decide what works best for you. My personal preference is starting with a blog. All forms of content can be incorporated in a blog and that's awesome. If you plan on creating a photo blog, I would use Flickr along with your blog. If you are creating a video blog, start a YouTube channel of your own. It's fairly easy.

Congratulations! You've picked a medium you want to build a community around and just posted your first post. Now what?

Here's what happened after I posted my first post

I'll tell you what I did after my first post. I was excited to post my first Welcome message. And, then I waited in anticipation for someone to comment or page views to go up. Neither of those things happened. Two hours later, no one had visited my blog. I believed people had dumped my blog the day I launched it. Then it hit me. I hadn't told anyone about it. In the excitement of launching it, I had forgotten to tell people about it.

So, I posted about it on my Facebook and Twitter channels. But, that wasn't enough. I knew from reading other blogs and articles that much more needed to be done if I was to get any significant amount of traffic. Here are some of the resources I found that were very helpful.

A few lessons I learned about Marketing

Here's what I learnt from these resources when it comes to marketing my blog.
  1. Use a good blog design. It should make things easy to read and navigate as well as be appealing to the eye.
  2. Write for the members of your community.
  3. Create titles that build curiosity.
  4. Make sure the blog is updated regularly and current.
  5. Give your visitors a reason to come back.
  6. Submit regularly to blog directories. If the directories are relevant to the theme of your blog, even better.
  7. Post regular comments on blogs that you admire.
  8. Encourage your visitors to engage with you and each other.
  9. Do something everyday to market your blog. It's doesn't have to be a ginormous effort everyday, but do something towards marketing it.
  10. Have Patience. It takes time effort and patience to build a sizable community.
  11. Stay excited. Pretend everyday is a launch day.
I implemented some of these things to find out it works! I experienced a surge of traffic to the blog. People from 12 countries around the world were reading what I had to write. I hope even better things happen to you after you launch your blog.

Know who's talking about you on the Internet

If the content on your blog is good, it will be shared. If other bloggers pick it up and share it, even better. But how would you know that happened? Create Google Alerts for your blog name. You can go to and create an alert. What this does is, anytime your blog is mentioned on the Internet, it will send you an alert. You can pick the frequency of this alert. It could be instantly, daily or weekly.

To summarize our launch day, tell as many people as you can about your community. Engage them in conversations and entice them to visit you again.

Next Friday, let's talk about what makes an blog post awesome for your readers and search engines. If you know of any good resources to market a blog or other forms of content, please share them using the comments below.

Thank you for reading!

Like they say in Slovene,

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