September 15, 2022

5 Things I wish I knew before starting an Online Gaming Community

September 15, 2022

I've been running my community for almost 10 years now. There were a lot of hard lessons to be learned in this journey, most of which I wish had been taught to me when I was starting out. Here I will discuss 5 things that you should know if you plan on building your own online #gaming #community.

People will come and go

For a very long time, I would take it personally when people would exit my community. I took it as a sign of me doing something wrong or something being wrong with my community. The fact of the matter is, there will always be people joining and leaving for various reasons and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Sometimes it will be because of a decision you have made, and other times it will be something completely unrelated to you or your community. When starting up a community, do not get too attached to members who come in. They will leave at the drop of a hat.

Be prepared to constantly work for little reward or recognition

As a community leader, you will spend most of your time working and managing people instead of gaming. The majority of the work will be on your shoulders. Gaming is one of the most saturated markets to compete in on any level. Whether it be a Youtube community, Twitch community, Discord community, Esports community etc... there are thousands upon thousands of competitors. And the barrier or entry is extremely low, which means everyone and their mom can start one with little to know effort. To be successful and stand-out amongst the sea of other communities, it will take grit, consistency, creativity, and thousands of hours of work to distinguish your community from the hoard of other communities out there.

You will have to make some tough decisions

There will be situations, fights, disputes, etc... Some of which, there will be no clear right or wrong decision to make. Sometimes your decisions will have a negative outcome not matter what you decide to do. The important thing here, is that you observe the impact of those decisions, learn from them and move on.

People will think they can do it better than you

If you've gotten your community to the point where it's active, you will constantly run into people who will try to sabotage the group, or leverage your members to spin up their own copy-cat community with the hopes that they can do it better than you can. This is normal and part of leadership. In fact, if you've started to encounter people like this, it's a good thing. This means that you've created something substantial enough that people either want to mimic it, or you've made someone so insecure about their own accomplishments that they are willing to go out of their way to try and sabotage what you have. In my opinion, seeing people like this crop up means that you've hit a milestone.

Your words have gravitas

I personally tend to have very strong opinions on a lot of things. Be very careful when discussing your opinions amongst your community on various topics. Especially if those topics are around sensitive subjects. Your words will carry a lot more weight than the common member of your community. A strong opinion from a normal community member might get a few stares, but a strong opinion from you will make people contemplate staying a part of your community, as it will reflect upon the entire community and not just yourself. Always remember that YOU are the voice for your entire community.

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