The best content for any online community is content about the community. Too many communities focus on advice or industry news. You should focus on community people and activities. Here are 20 fantastic ideas you can use:
1. Week ahead. Write a weekly piece about what members can expect in the week ahead.
2. Events preview. Write an events preview, include predictions from members, short snippet of interviews and other material that involves a broader group.
3. Events review. Review recent events. Let others contribute their opinion. Members can reflect on the event together.
4. Predictions. Invite members to make predictions about the future, everyone loves to do it.
5. Interview members. Members interviews should be cornerstone content. It creates engaged readers for life, encourages referrals and gives people means to compare themselves to others.
6. Interview VIPs. VIPs are usually eager to talk to connected groups of people. Mumsnet has interviewed no less than two Prime Ministers. Who is a VIP in your industry?
7. Product reviews. What products are members likely to be using in the future? Can you review some?
8. Member achievements. Who has achieved something fantastic this week? Ask members to submit their achievements.
9. Gossip column. Risky, but often popular. Invite members to submit topical gossip and publish it as a weekly column. Go easy on the venom, heavy on the fun.
10. Member of the week/month. Like the above, but a member of the week/month tends to be popular. Use promiscuously.
11. Statement from the community. On a frequent basis I’d ask members to contribute to a statement from the community. i.e. We’re furious bank fees are going up, please input on what you would like in a statement from the community.
12. People on the move. Who is moving? It might be people changing jobs or people moving house or any relevant ‘move’. Hard to resist this sort of content.
13. Latest news. Overused in most communities, but often useful. What’s the latest news in your topic?
14. Job vacancies. Any jobs available? Reach out to recruiters or compile a job tips page. Any information that would encourage people to participate in the job vacancies page.
15. Competition. I ‘usually’ hate competitions. When they’re done right they’re really a lot of fun.
16. VIP spotted. Has any member spotted a VIP at an event recently, submit it here.
17. Opinion pieces. Give people in your community a chance to give their opinion in a rotating-authorship opinion section. Everyone gets a turn.
18. Guest columnists. Will any relevant business in your sector write a guest column?
19. Advice section. Summarize the latest advice, what’s the general consensus of the online community?
20. News round-up. What is the round-up of the news this week? It’s a simple place a member can visit to see what’s new without trawling various sources of industry news.
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