At the end of last year, we reported on the imminent shutdown of several well-known online cartoon drawing communities, including Tubefree and Lacartoons.com. These websites have since ceased operations, but plenty of new virtual spaces for artists to connect with each other are arising in their stead. With so much competition in the industry, you might be wondering how you can stand out from the crowd and attract more users to your site. Here are some tips on how to get started developing a virtual community for digital artists, along with some competitor analysis and alternative sites like Lacartoons.com that you might want to check out instead.
What is a Virtual Community for Digital Artists?
A virtual community for digital artists is an online platform where creative professionals can connect with each other and share their work. Such sites frequently offer tools like online comic creation software, file sharing services, and blogging platforms so that members can build a profile and publish their creations. Virtual communities are frequently targeted towards a niche industry or professional group, so they can also act as an important recruitment and hiring tool. This makes them a powerful tool for businesses that rely on a lot of freelance work, like the gaming and animation industries.
Build a User-Centric Platform
One of the first things you should do when you’re planning to start a virtual community is to ask yourself what kind of user experience you want to create. What are people going to see when they first come to your site? How do you want them to feel when they’re there? What kind of features and functionality do you want to include? Before you can start building your platform, you need to answer some of these questions and define your core user persona. The best way to do this is to conduct some user research, either by looking for existing online surveys or creating your own. Another important step is to set up your product roadmap to help you stay on track with your development. You want to make sure that you don’t get too caught up in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture.
Offer Unique Content and Features
You can’t rest on your laurels and expect people to flock to your community. Instead, you have to offer users a compelling reason to visit your site and stay engaged, regardless of how many competitors you’re up against. There are a number of ways you can do this, including: – Conducting surveys and focus groups to find out what your potential users want – Offering exclusive content – Hosting regular events and competitions – Offering premium membership or subscription services – Creating a rich content library (e.g., tutorials, guides, etc.) – Offering rich features, like gamification elements – Building a public forum or other messaging feature
Target Rich Media Ads
Advertising is another oft-overlooked opportunity for bringing in new users, and it’s particularly helpful for virtual communities that rely on recurring income. Even though it might seem obvious to run ads on your site, it’s actually not as straightforward as you might think. The key here is to build a targeted campaign that focuses on quality user acquisition. Although you can always generate revenue from low-quality traffic, it’s not a sustainable model, and it’s not likely to lead to the quality members you’re looking for. You can start by choosing which social media platforms you want to run ads on, and then determining which ones are best for your site. From there, you can create ads, promote them, and track their performance to determine which are most effective.
Leverage Influencers and Partners
Influencers and partners, such as other companies or organizations, can be a great source of traffic for your virtual community, so it’s important to reach out to them and develop partnerships as early as possible. It’s helpful to think of this as a relationship-building process, not a transactional one. That means you should be willing to contribute to the relationship with your own resources. Look for ways you can help other organizations by providing content that’s relevant to their readers or sponsoring events they’re hosting. In return, they’ll be more likely to support your community and help you drive more traffic.
Virtual communities are great platforms for artists to help each other improve their skills, connect with like-minded individuals, and showcase their work. If you’re thinking about starting one, it’s important to remember that you can’t just create a platform and expect people to show up. You have to actively engage with your users to help them get the most out of your site, and you should be thinking about ways to expand your reach even further through partnerships and influencer outreach.