How To Start An Online Community

The motto, "if you build it, they will come," may have worked for Kevin Costner, but it certainly doesn't work for most online community builders. Building a highly active and engaged community comes as result of meticulous planning, detailed research, and hard work. You have to start small, and grow steadily. You have to focus on a narrow group of people. You must aim to get 50 highly active members, then target to get 100 active members. Then 500. Forget about a big, public launch with press releases and email blasts, and instead, celebrate the public milestones that build momentum and push your online community forward.
Buy Course - 750.00 USD

Course Outline

About This Course

  1. Course Introduction (3:15)
  2. Housekeeping Tips (3:20)

The Basics

  1. Section Intro (0:53)
  2. Defining Online Communities (7:32)
  3. Does the definition *actually* matter? (1:58)
  4. Why People Join Communities (3:42)
  5. Key Traits of Successful Communities (3:42)
  6. Exercise 1: Identify Genuine Communities (1:54)
  7. Types of Online Communities (4:08)
  8. Exercise 2: Classify These Communities (2:46)
  9. Types of Online Communities
  10. Expected Returns of Online Communities (4:41)
  11. ROI Framework
  12. Reasons Not to Start an Online Community (2:03)
  13. Companion PDF: The Basics of Successful Online Communities
  14. Interview: John Baku, FeverBee Podcast
  15. Recommended Resources

Resources & Required Research

  1. Section Intro (3:06)
  2. Why We Research (2:04)
  3. Gathering Essential Knowledge (5:20)
  4. Identifying Internal Resources (5:56)
  5. Pinpointing Liabilities (2:38)
  6. Ecosystem Analysis: Issues (3:29)
  7. Ecosystem Analysis: Influencers (2:54)
  8. Ecosystem Analysis: Competition (2:21)
  9. Audience Analysis: Demographics (5:40)
  10. Audience Analysis: Habits (1:41)
  11. Audience Analysis: Psychographics (3:30)
  12. Companion PDF: Research & Analysis
  13. Guest Presentation: Dianne Kibbey, FeverBee SPRINT 2014
  14. Internal Analysis Worksheet
  15. Online Community Strategy Template
  16. Helpful Research Tools

Developing Strong Concepts

  1. Section Intro (1:24)
  2. Introducing the Conceptualization Framework (1:16)
  3. Breaking Down the Conceptualization Framework (7:48)
  4. Identifying An Industry (4:36)
  5. Isolating the Strong Common Interest (7:57)
  6. Repositioning the Strong Common Interest (8:13)
  7. Demystifying Community ROI
  8. Understanding Objectives
  9. Setting Good Objectives
  10. Companion PDF: Developing Strong Concepts
  11. ROI Cheat Sheet
  12. Guest Presentation: Richard Millington, FeverBee SPRINT
  13. The Conceptualization Framework
  14. Recommended Resources

Community Platform Design & Development

  1. Section Intro (2:06)
  2. Community Platform Goals (6:40)
  3. Types of Community Platforms (6:07)
  4. Developing Criteria & Requirements (5:59)
  5. Critical Platform Features (12:23)
  6. Additional Platform Features (2:55)
  7. Navigating Sales Processes (4:21)
  8. Companion PDF: Platform Selection & Development
  9. Guest Presentation: Jeff Atwood, FeverBee SPRINT 2014
  10. 5 Tips for Designing Community Platforms
  11. 31 Unique Ideas From 9 Different Communities
  12. Recommended Resources

Starting Your Community

  1. Section Intro (1:49)
  2. Critical Mass & Founding Members (2:51)
  3. Planning Founding Member Activities (2:35)
  4. Identifying Founding Members (5:33)
  5. Outreach to Founding Members (6:14)
  6. Companion PDF: Starting A Community
  7. Interview: Allison Leahy, FeverBee Podcast

Reaching Critical Mass

  1. Section Intro (2:12)
  2. The Community Lifecycle Model (2:41)
  3. The Art of Starting Discussions (6:13)
  4. Soliciting Replies & Member Outreach (6:14)
  5. Guidelines for Community Manager Participation (3:32)
  6. A Crash Course in Creating Content (4:28)
  7. Direct Invitations (5:30)
  8. Companion PDF: Reaching Critical Mass
  9. Guest Presentation: Nathalie Nahai, FeverBee VirComm 2014

Course Closing

  1. Course Closing
  2. Digital Badge
  3. Certificate of Completion
  4. Course Feedback & Review
  5. 25% Off 'Successful Community Management' On-Demand Course
  6. Free Sample: Pages 1-137 of Buzzing Communities

About the Course

Students rate this course 5 out of 5!

How to Start an Online Community introduces the theory and methodology behind getting your online community started. It covers the basics of starting your online community from scratch, and moves through to practical strategies for growth. The course contains teachings from experienced community managers, and time-tested theories from leading social scientists and behavioral psychologists.

This course is designed for organizations who are in the early stages of developing a community, newcomers to community management, those whom frequently develop communities for their business or clients, and individuals who are struggling to get their community off the starting block. If you're considering purchasing an online community platform for your organization, you must take this course first.

By the end of this course, you will have a clear, reliable, and proven framework for developing any number of online communities. You will be able to develop the right community concept for your target audience and take it to critical mass — the stage at which a community continues to grow and develop without direct stimulation from the community manager. You'll understand the community platform space, and know how to navigate the complicated vendor selection process. Most importantly, you will have the fundamental knowledge and skills for building an online community that naturally explodes to life.

If you need support during the course, make sure you visit the Student Homeroom. There you'll have the opportunity to connect with other learners, ask questions, and become a part of the FeverBee community. We'd love it if you'd take a second to introduce yourself to us and your fellow learners.

As a student of How to Start an Online Community, you'll also receive:

  • Access to our library of templates and worksheets
  • Access to related academic journals
  • Access to interviews and guest presentations with experienced community professionals
  • Access to exclusive content from FeverBee's live events
  • The ability to interact with other course students using the integrated discussion features
  • A certificate and digital badge upon successful completion of your final assignment
  • Access to this course, and all future updates to this course, for the lifetime of this site

Student Ratings & Reviews