Getting active in online communities is a good way of expanding your blog network. However, you need to expand through the right communities for your business or niche.
This involves not only choosing relevant online communities, but those that contain like-minded people - people who will benefit from your content and those who are more likely to digest and share your posts.
Online communities that might be beneficial to you are not hard to find. In fact, here are 10 of the most popular that you can start participating in right away.
1. Google Plus Communities
Google Plus is fast becoming a superpower in social networking. Since it is owned by the biggest search engine, it helps to improve ranking in Google search, as well as having a thriving in-house community platform - Google Communities.
You can join groups of like-minded people and begin engaging almost instantaneously. Take note of the rules of each community you join - most do not like spam and will quickly delete your post or membership if you're only there to spread links.
2. Facebook Groups
Facebook allows people to set up groups (different to Facebook pages), where people can join if they have an interest in a topic. If you’re a technology blogger, for instance, you could join tech groups and have access to a platform where you can extend your blog reach with similar bloggers.
There are two types of Facebook groups - open and closed. Closed require membership to be moderated and usually have post moderation too, in order to avoid spammers.
3. LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups function similarly to Facebook groups, covering a range of topics and interests. As LinkedIn has a user base made up solely of professionals, the content you share in LinkedIn groups should be tailored accordingly and be positioned to a working audience.
I think there is plenty room for LinkedIn to improve their online community features, but because it is such a large and established platform, it simply can't be ignored.
WarriorForum is great for those looking to develop and optimise their blog, plus learn blogging strategies. It’s slightly different in that it is a forum made up of a loyal user base who are happy to help others.
It is a great source of help and a valuable learning resource for the internet marketing and related industries. You will find that most of the established professionals in these niches are visible on WarriorForum in some way or another, be it to listen to the community, actively participate in discussions, or advertise and promote related products.
Triberr is an online community that operates more as an amplification platform for your content. People join relevant sub-groups called "Tribes" and help each other by sharing relevant content to their own social audiences.
Many established bloggers are members of Triberr and the reciprocation value is extremely high. I also like to use Triberr as one of my main platforms for content curation, mainly because the typical quality of content is strong.
BizSugar works as a content sharing platform where article submissions spur engagement and community spirit from it's users.
You're able to segment your content by categories, which allows you to also search for relevant authors and articles quickly and easily.
7. Social Buzz Club
Social Buzz Club was designed to help people to share each others’ content by rewarding active users. It’s set up in a way that people earn points for sharing posts, which encourages them to be unselfish.
This is one of the online communities that is often reciprocal in style. So if you share someone’s post, they’re more likely to share your posts. It does lead to getting your blog out to thousands of other people without doing much heavy lifting.
I think of DoSplash, Klinkk and Blokube as all very similar to BizSugar, but sightly behind in their development.
All of these online communities allow you to submit articles, comment on published content, vote for your favourite pieces and engage with other bloggers.
They form a great collection of platforms for extending your blog network, reach and marketing scope, while not draining a lot of your time.
Recent new features include Awards and Karma Wrangler - a secure way to get more engagement in Klinkk blogging community by forcing users to engage before submitting their own articles.
Upcoming features on Blokube include sections for Jobs and Deals.
Start Using Online Communities
There are many online communities out there. Most people will know about Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups, but there are many other options worth exploring. Not only will you start to promote your content to wider audiences, but you will also build an extended network of fellow bloggers and industry professionals.
Online communities are a great resource for bloggers and businesses alike to help expand blog networks, increase traffic and to boost content sharing and engagement.
Which online communities are you active in?
Featured Image Source: Jay Simons