What do all of the most successful online communities have in common?
They all serve a particular niche.
Think about it – Mumsnet offers support and advice to new mothers, Stack Overflow is a popular forum for coders, Fitocracy and MyFitnessPal are geared up for fitness enthusiasts, Instructables is for people who do DIY… the list goes on.
So, let’s find out how to find online niche community ideas and attract people to your community.
What exactly is a niche market?
Let’s keep things simple.
A niche market is simply a cross-section of people narrowed down to a smaller group by a shared hobby, interest or need.
There are literally thousands of niche markets out there, and each niche contains sub-niches.
For example if we take the “keeping pets” niche, you can narrow down further to dog owners, cat lovers, reptile keepers, etc. Or you could drill down into professional pet niches such as vets, dog groomers, pet accessory makers, etc. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of pet sub-niches!
How to discover your niche community ideas and sub-niches
Whatever your own interest or profession is – the arts, sewing, eco-friendly products, gardening, spirituality, health and fitness, etc. there are plenty of opportunities to create a unique community that people will be interested in joining.
Start with your overall passion. Let’s say you have a passion for art. Maybe you enjoy painting with watercolours or creating sculptures. These could be good sub-niches to consider. Any area that you are skilled in or have specialist knowledge is a good starting point for building a community.
Once you’ve got an idea of your overall niche and sub-niche, you can move on to the practical steps of creating your online niche community.
Making Online Niche Community Ideas a Reality
The following steps can be applied to create a niche community online.
Step 1 – Research trends on Google and identify SEO keywords
You can use Google Trends or Google Keyword Research Tool to see what people are searching for in your niche. If a topic is being searched often, by a large amount of people worldwide, then you’ve probably found a profitable niche.
For example, if you’re a health and fitness instructor, you may find that lots of people are searching for a particular type of niche diet, let’s say a ketogenic vegan diet, and you have knowledge to share on the subject. Make a note of the keywords and phrases, as these will be useful for SEO when you build your community.
Step 2 – Identify your audience
Once you’ve researched and decided on your niche and sub-niche, you need to get to know your audience. Research forums, blogs, and social-media groups to find out the type of people involved in them and what their needs are.
Step 3 – Create content or resources
You may already have plenty of content ready, if so you can skip this step. If not, you need to create some online content to share with your audience. Some of it you can give away for free, but keep the more valuable stuff back as premium content.
Don’t limit yourself to one type of media. If you enjoy writing, then sure, write some articles, posts and maybe even an ebook. But make sure you also engage with videos, downloadable audio, live streams, etc. The best niche community ideas will be easy to make plenty of content for – especially if you are passionate about it yourself.
Step 4 – Create your online niche community
Now that you have content to offer and you know your audience, you can start building the community.
The good news is that there’s plenty of online community platforms and apps out there to help you these days. Community platforms give users a familiar social-media experience with news-feeds, group chat, threads, private messaging, live streams, etc. but with more features and greater customisation and control for the community owner.
A community platform such as Disciple allows you to create a desktop and mobile-friendly community app that has your branding and style, with all the communication tools of social media, plus a content library, membership management tools, and full control over your data.
Step 5 – Market your online niche community
Don’t sit back and think “I’ve built it, so they will come…” – this simply isn’t true.
You may have some great niche community ideas, but you need to get the word out about your niche community to make it a success.
You can market your community in several ways. There are free marketing channels such as blogging, guest posts, appearing on podcasts and video streams related to the niche, etc. There are also paid methods such as Google ads.
It’s also important to make sure that your online niche community website or app is SEO-enhanced. In other words, make sure that the keywords you identified earlier are prominent in your content.
Online niche communities provide great value for members looking to engage with others who have the same interest and to discover new information or skills around the topic.
They are also a good way for professionals, influencers, and practitioners related to the niche to make a profitable business.
To find out more about Disciple and how we can help you make your online niche community ideas become reality, contact us today.