If you know your niche and you want to build a massive following, then one of the very best things you can do is to engage actively in the community.
So, let’s say you have a well designed site and brand and you just posted a fascinating article on free running. You now have to go about sharing that article in order to get readers and to hopefully gain a few more followers in the process.
One tip you’ll get often is to head to a forum or another online community such as Reddit or Google Plus and then to post there. In doing this, you’ll be gaining exposure for your creation and getting lots of new eyes on it.
Problem: if you head over to r/FreeRunning and post your article, it will probably get downvoted and possibly deleted. And only one person will see it.
Why? Because you’re engaging in blatant self-promotion and close-knit, supportive online communities don’t take kindly to that. Even if the content is good. Not only that, but they don’t know you from Adam and they likely have a number of views and policies, several of which you probably violated.
The Other Approach
Now consider the other approach. You spend time in that community actively taking part. You comment on other people’s posts, you helpfully answer questions and you make friends with several of the members.
Then when you post your article, people see it is written by you. They know you and they trust you and so they click it. And because many people in the community will feel obligated to you and indebted to you for helping them out, they’ll be far more likely to share what you’ve posted in other places.
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You now have the force of a whole community behind you. These people are practically guaranteed fans and backers and because you understand this audience so well, you can keep writing content you know is going to be a massive hit with them.
So, the bottom line is this: if you want to grow your audience then you should absolutely spend time in the community making yourself known. This can be transformative in the eventual success of what you release and it’s something that very few creators have used to the fullest of their capability.
And then you can find more communities and repeat the process!