There’s a lot of people on the internet. Whatever your content topic is, there’s a strong chance that communities of like-minded individuals are already gathering to discuss it. Knowing where your audience is gathering will help you to determine what they’re looking for, allowing you to craft content to directly meet this demand.
Finding these communities is incredibly easy. If you’re knowledgeable enough to be writing about a topic, chances are you already know some of the websites, forums and blogs where discussions are taking place. Join in! Get to know people and establish yourself as a knowledgeable influencer within the community. Once people know who you are, they will reward you with attention and traffic.
Active communities focusing on a breathtaking number of different topics can also be found on most of the major social networks. Facebook Groups and Google+ Communities are a good place to start looking. Reddit communities exist for most topics enjoyed by 18-29 year old men – the site’s most dominant demographic. Communities for topics appealing teen audiences can often be found on Tumblr, which dominates the young-adult demographic.
One important thing to keep in mind is that established communities usually have rules restricting self-promotion. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the culture of the community before leaping in so you don’t end up with proverbial egg on your face. Your primary goal is to develop meaningful connections, not to get a few clicks to your site followed by a ban for spamming.