Building an online community is not as easy as putting a forum or chat room on your website and waiting for a rush of users. Of course building your own online community has many advantages, mainly in profits for your website, but unless you understand the basics of web communities and what strategies make them successful chances are you will have a hard time creating a successful web community of your own.
A web community whether it is a social networking site, a forum or a chat room, needs a common theme or interest that will bring users together. If you already have a website that gets a fair amount of traffic you have the makings of an online community as you have visitors with common interests that already frequent your website.
The advantage of creating an online community is that you give your visitors a way to connect with one and other and feel as though they are part of a community. This in turn translates into advantages for you as the webmaster because it means more traffic for your website, it gives visitors a reason to return to your website, and it increases readership which will either bring you more ad revenue or more potential customers.
Building an online community requires a little foresight and the right tools. You can go for an online community on a grand scale by creating your own social networking site or adding social networking to your existing website or you can create a lucrative online community around your existing website more simply by adding a forum or chat room. There are so many different software programs for creating your own social network website, forum, or chat room, some are even free.
Going with a simple online community such as a forum will allow users to create unique profiles and then post about various topics and communicate with one and other. There are many forums on the web with hundreds of thousands of active users so they can be quite a lucrative way to create an online community depending on how large your audience is.
Adding a forum to your website is relatively easy, and there are many types of free forum software that you can use to build your very own online community. Likewise, adding a chat room t your website will enable you to build an online community rather easily and many times for free.
Going with a more advanced option such as a social networking site gives you the potential for the most profits as they are some of the most popular communities online. Users love social networking sites because they provide the greatest level of interactivity between friends and allow people to easily make new ones.
Creating your own social networking site is the most advanced way to create an online community and although you can find free software that will allow you to do so if you want the best results be prepared to make a small investment.