Just about every website owner knows how important fresh and relevant content is in the optimization of a website. However, most site owners find it challenging to keep up with the job of consistent content creation. Thankfully, there is a simple strategy that you can use to get your visitors to create your website content for you:  create an online community for your website through your own social networking forum.

A Brief Look at Social Networking

Social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Yahoo Answers, and other various online forums have quickly become the most popular sites on the internet. This is because these sites give visitors the opportunity to create their own content through the posting of questions, answers, and status reports and to become active participants in an online community. Social networking sites are also popular because they are promoted by means of the most effective type of marketing available: word to mouth advertising.

Therefore, creating your own online community gives you the advantage of having your visitors take care of both your content creation and the marketing of your website.  The following strategies will help you to accomplish this.

How to Get Your Community Built

Building an online community for your site starts with installing a forum plugin for your blog or having a forum custom-built for your site. Some popular programs for forum creation are:  WP-Forum which is used with WordPress blogging software and Joomla content management system which can be used to create entire websites and interactive forums as well.

Once you have your forum software set up, you’ll need to have an objective for your forum which is consistent with the theme of your site. For example, if your site is about dog training the objective of your forum could be to give dog owners a place to trade training tips, share stories about their experiences as pet owners and provide information about their experience with using your products or services.

Promoting Your Forum

It is unlikely that one of your site visitors will land on your site the first time, sign up for your forum and start making posts. This is especially true when your forum has just been set up there are no members to add value to the community. Instead, you need to build a long term relationship with your visitors by collecting their names and emails and promoting your forum to them through consistent email marketing.

In fact, all of the top internet marketers such as Ali Brown, Mitch Meyerson and Frank Rumbauskas testify that success in the online marketplace is all about building relationships with a list of qualified customers. Therefore, building a busy interactive forum for your site starts with building a list to market your forum to…

Building Your Customer List

List building starts with building an effective squeeze page for collecting your customers’ contact information. Once this is done, you need a way to get traffic to that squeeze page. The following are three of the easiest strategies for list building:

Article Marketing

Writing and submitting articles to sites like Ezine articles with a link back to your squeeze page offer is a great way to build your backlinks and your customer list at the same time.

Posting Content on Other Forums and Online Communities

You can also promote your squeeze page by posting comments on other people’s forums or social networking sites. In your signature, you can put a link to your squeeze page offer. Again, this will help you to build backlinks and your list at the same time.

Pay Per Click Marketing

Pay per click marketing is one of the fastest ways to promote your squeeze page offer and build your customer list. For best results, you can even lead your customers to a sales page and make an offer to them after you have collected their contact information. The sales offer will help absorb most of the cost of your PPC marketing campaign.

Multiplying your List Building

Another effective list building strategy is the use of viral “tell a friend” scripts which encourage your existing subscribers to send their entire address book an invitation to your squeeze page offer. This script is something that your customers should be seeing the moment they join your list as well as the moment that they join your forum. You should always offer an incentive like a free ebook or free report to your customers in exchange for sending their friends an invitation to your squeeze page offer.  Some popular tell a friend program are: free tell a friend script and viral inviter.


The key to building a buzzing online community for promoting and optimizing your website is persistence. Practice these list building strategies consistently and continue to invite your list members to join your forum. With enough patience, you will build an online community that will add tremendous value to your website.