A big part of the web 2.0 boom is communication. People are communicating now more than ever, and it’s not a surprise. With the vast size of apps these days, along with almost every website running some type of forum or blog, users are more connected than ever! Many marketers can see ways to utilizing this new “social networking fever” as a turning point to make some serious money online.
Today I want to bring up a few facts about gaming websites. I have run a Kingdom Hearts gaming community website Destiny Islands for well over 2 years now with one of my closest friends. We’ve put in hours of days of weeks of work into it, and by also observing how similar website’s are run I’ve learned a lot. Not only about being a webmaster, but marketing and developing a healthy, happy community online.
How Communities Differ from “Web 1.0″
Building up a community-based website about any niche is completely different from how websites used to be. 10 years ago, websites were only there to display content for the reader to enjoy, no comments or discussion. Web 2.0 has changed all that, and it allows for visitors to actually interact with not only the site, but other members of the community.
This is what gives gaming niche’s so much power. You’re collecting tons and tons of members for a site devoted to either a particular game, a set or series of games, or even an entire gaming system or development company. Either way, your niche is attracting members who are all interested in the same thing, and want to discuss their ideas and give back to the community.
These sites also give members a place to call “home”. Everybody has a home in real life, and on the internet it’s no different. There are some website’s you frequently visit and interact with the community, and building a site to attract like-minded individuals is a huge step.
Profits will Come – Build the Community First
A big problem I see with micro-niche gaming and blogging sites today is that everybody wants to put AdSense up ASAP and start earning. This is great that your goal is to earn money online, but it doesn’t happen just like that. You need to focus on your community first. Laying down the principles which govern your site, gaining active members and supporters of your cause, etc.
The money will always come, trust me on this. It’s the theory that “build it and they will come” which ruins communities. You need to realize that they won’t just find your site, you have to get out there and market yourself! Building an awesome community is the first step, but building up the member base and discussion board is ultimately your goal. From there, profits will soar.
It’s Not About the Money. It’s About the People!
As stated before, money will come and go online. In fact, I would go as far to say put it last on your list of things to worry about on your website. The true website’s which succeed are the one’s who put the community first. Always have what’s best for your members in mind, and you’ll go much farther.
I only say this because I have seen it on multiple website’s before, even on my own. Members don’t want a site crowded with ads, they want a great design, happy community, and interesting topics to discuss. If you can build all that while still attracting a member database, just give your idea time to grow.
One fantastic way to learn is by just observing. Try putting on the shoes of a different site Admin – visit a site similar to your nice and see what they are doing right! I did this with Destiny Islands, and visiting site’s like KHInsider has done wonders for the community.
I hope my tips have helped some of your. Internet marketing and web/content development is a long, bumpy dirt road. But stick to your guns, and I can guarantee you’ll come out on top.