2 years ago OnLandscape which is an online community for landscape photographers. Or should I say an online magazine?
It’s been a great 2 years and a good journey, with lots of learnings on the way. We didn’t invest in the design or technology initially as we wanted to see if the business model worked.
Paid vs Freeium content
Using a freemium model means that you need good free content to hook people in. the free content also needs to be optimised for the search engines to draw people in. There’s a subtle difference between content to hook people in vs maintain engagement. People want more tehnical, niche or rich media content.
Stand Alone or Extension of Business
Is the community going to be an extension of the business such as an ecommerce site engaging with their customers and looking at growing the community as a means of growing their customer base. Or is it a stand alone business / magazine? This will drive the technical requirements.
From a customer journey, if it’s an ecommerce site the users don’t want to have to have 2 logins for the shop and community – so think about about the overall business model.
Purpose of the Community
What’s the reason why you want to launch a community? Is it to grow your customer base or launch a new business or a book? This will drive how you structure your content strategy & technical requirements.
Content is King. People won’t pay for general content. Niche, technical content is important. Rich media (videos and MP3) are a great way of engaging people. Crowdsource questions for interviews or ideas for content.