Creators and entrepreneurs around the world have realized the importance of building online communities to bolster their businesses. Why? Because an online community can sustain the conversation around your business and brand much longer than any content drop will.
Some people, however, might be unsure about whether what they create can sustain an online community. In reality, just about any topic can be bolstered by a thriving community around it. All you need to do is find your niche and a group of passionate people to support it.
Ahead, we’re breaking down what online communities are and how you can create one on an online community platform. Then we’re going to look at a wide range of online community website examples, so you can see the breadth of what’s out there—and where your online community can fit in.
What is an online community?
An online community is a group of like-minded individuals who are coming together around a shared interest, idea, or motivation to accomplish a common goal. So, as we said above, practically any topic can sustain an online community.
The best part about a community is that it doesn’t need to have thousands of people to be successful. In fact, if you can find passionate and dedicated folks, you only need a small cohort—think 10 people or so—to make it worthwhile. That being said, no one will be interested in joining your online community if you haven’t set up a great place for them to interact with one another and accomplish their goals together.
So, before we look at online community examples, we’re taking a slight detour to talk briefly about online community platforms.
What is an online community platform?
An online community platform can be a few different things. But the most common example takes the form of SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms that provide pre-built features and the functionality to create a thriving community.
In short, an online community platform is software that helps people build complex yet easy-to-use online experiences for their members without the need to know how to program anything. So, when we go over some of the excellent online community examples below, you’ll know that these creators and entrepreneurs were able to accomplish building these spaces thanks to robust and powerful features from online community platforms.
Now, let’s take a look at some awesome online community examples.
Great online community website examples
Here at Mighty Networks, we believe that digital businesses can reach new heights when they are powered by community. We’ve built our SaaS platform to empower creators and entrepreneurs in designing stellar community spaces that are ever-expanding with functionality like online courses and virtual event hosting.
Let’s take a look at some of the exciting online community examples that exist on our platform.
Luvvie Ajayi Jones, best-selling author, podcast host, and speaker, has been creating exceptional content online for almost two decades. And throughout that time, she has fostered a passionate community around her work. She built LuvvNation (which also doubles as her community’s name—think Beyonce’s “Beehive” or Rhianna’s “Navy”) to provide a more unified space where her followers could convene under one roof and grow together.
LuvvNation is a free community that offers a safe place for people to convene, share, and grow together despite what Luvvie calls “a dumpster fire of a world.” And as far as online community examples go, this is a great one: Ajayi Jones has been able to grow her community to over 14,300 members that continue the conversation—even when Jones is off doing other things.
Another great online community website example is Ryder Carroll ‘s BuJo U, a paid membership site for people enthusiastic about bullet journaling to network and share resources for how to better organize their life. After years of struggling with ADD, Carroll searched for a way to tune out the noise in his head and create an organizational methodology to unlock his full potential.
Now, he utilizes the knowledge he’s gleaned from years of practice to help others do the same. His white label membership site has over 750 members and has created a five-figure revenue stream. This is an awesome online community example because Carroll has found a way to create a space for members to share in their creativity and learn new strategies for organizing their lives.
After moving to New York City from Miami, Cat Lantigua felt lonely. After some months, she started hosting small gatherings at her apartment for other young women who felt lonely, too and wanted to build a solid support system. That’s when she created what she called Goddess Council and expanded her reach with local potlucks, a solid Instagram following, and new initiatives to help her fellow “goddesses” forge deeper connections.
When COVID-19 blew up in 2020, Lantigua thought it was the perfect time to expand the community’s reach and go virtual. Today, her online community website, Goddess Council, is a great example because, for only $39.99, she’s able to sustain her business with less than 100 members. This goes to show, you don’t need an immense amount of members as you might on traditional social platforms in order to have your business thrive.
Brother and sister artists Lee and Sarah Rubenstein started off their business by selling a subscription box filled with rotating art supplies. When their idea quickly took off, they started thinking about how they could expand it further. That’s when they created ArtSnacks Mix, an online community built to connect artists of different skill levels. In their community, they offer online courses, art challenges, feedback, and networking.
The Rubenstein’s have been able to grow their online community into a group of over 7,000 people all passionate to learn and share content centered around art. ArtSnacks Mix is a great example of an online community website because it offers a free and paid plan, so everyone has a way to engage with what the Rubenstein’s are building.
The Outwild Hub
Courtney Stafford fell in love with the outdoors once she moved to Seattle. From there she realized the value in dabbling and trying a bunch of new and different things. With the help of Jeremy Jensen and Sanni McCandless, Stafford started a retreat event series that helped people interested in spending more time outdoors learn how to make that happen called The Outwild Hub.
After two years of successful events, and in the wake of COVID-19, Stafford saw a future for Outwild Hub that existed virtually. Today, Outwild Hub has grown into an online community of over 2,000 members. Joining the Outwild Hub community is free, but they also offer a $150 membership that includes access to monthly speaker and workshop series, early registration for in-person events, and more.
Indie Birth Association
Another awesome online community example is the Indie Birth Association. Margo Blackstone is a midwife who is passionate about spreading the word about the importance of reproductive rights and the benefits of midwifery and home births. She partnered with her mentor Maryn Green, and together they created a 5-week course on childbirth education.
From there, the duo created a successful podcast and their following continued to grow. They realized that they needed a dedicated space for all of their followers to come together as a community. That’s when they started their Mighty Network, the Indie Birth Association. Now, they offer support groups, networking, resources and education, and virtual events for over 20,000 members and counting.
As you can see with all of the online community website examples listed above, practically any topic can have an online community if you’re a passionate leader who can bring people together. Online communities are incredibly powerful assets for growing your business on top of making new connections.
Mighty Networks is the best place for growing an online community
At the end of the day, communities are made up of highly motivated, enthusiastic people that are all banding together to accomplish a common goal. Isn’t that powerful? As these online community examples show, you can harness the power of community to bring your business to the next level, and in order to do that you’ll need a powerful platform to build what you’re dreaming up. When you forefront the importance of building a network where members can form real connections with one another, your community is bound to grow.
Building a community on Mighty Networks will give you access to a robust set of tools and features that you’ll need to make your online community more than just a hub for an endless well of content. In addition to industry-leading community-building tools, you also can offer paid memberships, and design online courses. You also get a powerful website builder that gives you the tools you need to deliver your awesome content.
On top of that, with a Mighty Network, you’ll be able to offer all of these pieces together under your own brand, instantly available on web, iOS, and Android. Don’t underestimate the power of your members being able to access your brand wherever they are.
Sounds pretty great right? All that’s left to do is to get started.