How to Communicate with Other Online Communities in Your Niche - dummies

How to Communicate with Other Online Communities in Your Niche

By Deborah Ng

An online community isn’t only made up of people who are part of a particular forum, social network or blog. It can also be expanded to reach out to others in the same niche, even though they may socialize through different channels.

For example, if you belong to a freelance writing forum, that forum is just a small aspect of the much larger freelance writing community which includes blogs, forums, and social networks within that niche. Rather than eyeballing other similar communities as competition, consider them colleagues or collaborators and do what you can to encourage cross-participation and promotion.

Suppose that you are the community manager for a large freelance writing social network featuring useful articles, a Facebook page where you post updates and communicate with your readers, and a forum where members discuss issues relating to other freelancer writers. You can grow relationships with others in the much larger freelance writing community by

  • Inviting guest blog posts and articles from writers and bloggers from other freelance writing communities.

  • Following freelance writers and community managers from other freelance writing communities on Twitter and participating in their discussions.

  • Liking other freelance writing Facebook pages and participate in the festivities there.

  • Attend outside offline events for freelance writers, including conferences, meetings, and seminars.

Here’s something no one tells you about online communities: They don’t happen on their own. You can’t just set up a website or put up a social networking page and hope the world will show up. If people aren’t invited, how will they know you’re having a party? It’s up to you to bring people in and keep them engaged and interested enough to continue to come back.