Tips on Building and Growing Your Online Community

Tips on Building and Growing Your Online Community
After thinking about it for some time, you are excited to announce the launch of your own online community. You plan on filling the site with plenty of interesting blog posts and provide a place for people to gather online to share thoughts, ideas and encouragement.
In order to help get your new online community off the ground and encourage it to grow and prosper, check out the following ideas:
Passions + Entrepreneurial Adventures
One way to make the most of your online community it to start a separate entrepreneurial adventure that connects with the overall theme of the website. For example, if your blog focuses primarily on healthy eating, beauty tips or how to live a greener lifestyle, you might consider becoming an Independent Business Owner with a company like Amway, which is committed to creating earth-friendly cleaning products, organic supplements and top quality cosmetics. As a bonus, working for a company like Amway can give you plenty of inspiration for future blog posts or videos that you can share with your audience. For example, you might create a video on how to use green products to help make your bathroom sparkle. In addition, working with Amway can be a nice way for you to bring in some extra income as your online community gains traction.
Embrace All Offerings
While you would love it if everyone who becomes part of your online community reads every single blogpost, comments favorably and shares frequently, this is not usually the way it works. It’s important to understand and accept that some members will be super active and others will lurk now and then and rarely post, if at all. Try to embrace all that your members have to offer you, from the constant poster who shares lots of ideas to the one that might offer constructive or seemingly snarky criticism. To inspire people to contribute and join your network, consider ending blogs with a question or two that will encourage visitors to answer and join the discussion and help get people involved in whatever way they find to be comfortable.
Apply The Principle of Reciprocity
Another effective way to grow your online community is through something called the Principle of Reciprocity. The way to use this concept in your blog is to be the first to give something without any perceived notion of getting anything in return. For example, if you have any free samples to send out as part of your work—for instance, maybe laminated sets of recipe cards for earth-friendly cleaners—you can announce that you will give out sets to the first 25 people to email you asking for them. This gesture will help the members of your online community feel as if they are truly valued and are receiving something fun and interesting, and will also make them feel appreciated and that they are not the only ones giving you their time and business—the give/take goes both ways.
It’s reassuring to know that after all the time and effort you have put into your new online community, there are tangible ways to get it to grow and flourish. By piggy backing a side entrepreneurial adventure to your blog, appreciating any and all members and offering goodies from time to time, you may be pleasantly surprised at how well your new venture does.

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