Learn how to find really good niche communities for both link building and networking with these great tips:

I have three tips that I’m going to share with you today, which you can use to build a network of links from niche communities.  Since developing these tips, I’ve managed to find great niche communities for the sites I optimise.  I hope you’ll be able to find at LEAST one niche community to engage with too.
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But before I get onto the tips, I’ll answer TWO important questions:

  • Why should I be engaging in niche communities? And:
  • What are the benefits of participating in a niche community?

(Feel free to skip these and jump down to the tips below if you already know why it’s important to post in niche communities as part of your SEO campaign.)

Why should I be engaging in niche communities?

Many SEOs try to fool Google into thinking their sites are important. We push our links onto bookmarking sites, news submission sites and social networks.  And we’re all guilty of creating accounts, dropping links and moving on to the next place very quickly.  I feel that it’s no longer the best technique, and it’s pretty obvious that Google’s on to us, so let’s keep one step ahead of the game and use a method that will benefit us, Google AND our niche market.

Instead, spend your time building quality links organically by engaging in a range of discussions on niche community sites.  Niche communities WILL help your content rank highly.  By participating in a niche community, you’ll build STRONG, relevant links to the site you’re optimising and you’ll give something back to the users of that site.

What are the benefits of participating in a niche community?

Aside from the obvious (a chance to link the site you’re optimising), niche communities provide the following:

  • LuMaxArt FS Collection Orange0052A stream of targeted and interested members, which you can engage with.  Find out what they’re interested in.  Learn about the questions they’re asking, which you can answer and later expand into blog posts (As an aside, I like to browse sections matching my particular niche in Q&A sites for this reason!)
  • Potentially, there’s a chance to bring a stream of targeted traffic to your site.
  • The chance to build trust and authority in your area.
  • The opportunity to network with other niche community members, who also have blogs and websites (think guest posts, blogrolls and comments.)
  • In some cases, PageRank can be passed to the site you’re optimising, which may help you rank better.
  • Think of all that relevant content surrounding YOUR links!

Sounds great doesn’t it?

We just need to find some fantastic niche communities to engage in now!

For the sake of this article, I’m going to look for handmade / crafting niche communities.  Let’s pretend I sell handmade items in the UK, so ideally I’m looking for UK niche communities to engage in.

So let’s get started:

Tip #1:  Find niche communities using Google’s advanced search operators:

How to find a Niche Community on Google

Visit Google (in the country of your choice) and type in the following:

allintitle:social network + craft

Allintitle: searches through the title tags on sites in Google’s index.  It asks Google to return results with ALL the keywords in the title.  Pretty handy if a niche community has named their site something like ‘The Craft Lovers Social Network’.

Next, try:

allinurl:join + craft

Allinurl: does a similar job to allintitle.  It searches for ALL of those words in the URL.  Again, this is handy if somebody has a site with both ‘craft’ and ‘join’ in their URL.

HINT: Try substituting network for ‘community’, ‘forum’ or ‘blog’ and ‘join’ for ’sign up.’

HINT: Try using related words for ‘craft’ too, such as: handmade, jewelery, etc.  And try using both plural and singular options.  Append ‘UK’ (or your country of choice) to find niche communities specifically in that location.

Tip #2: Find niche communities using ‘Sites Like’:

Find sites like those in your niche

If I’ve found one niche community and I’d like to find some similar sites to join, I type the following into Google:

Sites like MyFavouriteSite.co.uk

Usually, I find a blog post that gives a round up of similar sites to my favourite niche community.

If not, I try inputting the original site’s URL or some key phrases into these websites:

These return similar sites to the URLs you put in.  Very handy!

Tip #3:  Find niche community forums using these tools:

Use boardreaders to find niche sites

Forum participation is a great way to engage with your niche community.  Advice: spend less time worrying about your signature links and more time building relevant, helpful and USEFUL content in the forum and the traffic will follow.

You can easily find niche forums by searching with the following tools:

I found 20+ crafting and handmade communities with those methods, in just 5 minutes, how many did you find for your niche?

Finally:

Soon, I’ll be posting a guide on engaging with your niche community, giving you my formula for optimal participation. That’ll be up in the next week or so, so please subscribe to my RSS feed.

Finally, if you missed my last post, I shared over 500+ social media websites, which I’ve found on my Internet travels.  Many are categorised by niche, so you may find some great communities in there to get you started :-)

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6 Comments »

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  3. Found you on sphinn, instant fan. Loved the post on niche communities, and I couldn't agree more of the value of participating in the communities.

    Comment by Malmborg — July 5, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  4. Oh, I'm really glad you enjoyed the artice! I had no idea you'd left me a comment, I seemed to have missed it in my emails – thanks very much, it's appreciated! :-)

    Comment by Carly Wood — July 9, 2010 @ 7:09 am

  5. [...] Online groups and communities [...]

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  6. [...] while back I wrote about building links organically by participating in communities that fit around your niche.  I gave several examples on how you can find these niche sites easily.  One of those examples [...]

    Pingback by Link building: build organic links on niche community websites | Carly Wood — December 10, 2011 @ 12:24 am

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