Community Building September 17, 2020

Who is building a community?

Rosie Sherry @rosiesherry

I'd love to hear from people who are building communities.

What community are you building?
How are you approaching it?
How's it going?

  1. 5

    I'm building a community of developers with Frontend Mentor.

    I'm doing it in a fairly haphazard manner at the moment. Furiously reading books like Get Together, Buzzing Communities, Community Builder Workbook, and plenty of resources from the Community Club in order to gain more insights into community building in a more structured manner. They've definitely helped and I'll continue to refer back.

    We run a Slack community alongside the platform, which has been really successful. It means people can easily get help on a project if they're stuck or set up collaborations to build team projects. Being active in that and welcoming every member personally who introduces themselves has helped grow a great culture where everyone seems happy to jump in and support each other. The Slack community now has nearly 23,000 people in, which is awesome. I'm getting to the point where I'm going to build a team of moderators from the people who have been consistently showing up. It will be exciting to see how that goes!

    Everything is going really well. I've worked with the community to get their feedback on the first version of our subscriptions, which went live just over a month ago. We've now got 369 paid subscribers and a solid roadmap of "PRO" features to build to evolve the offering. The platform itself now has 58,479 registered users, who are building projects, helping support each other, and building up their portfolios.

    I'm at a point where I'm thinking about going full-time on it, which would be a dream come true. I love every moment that I'm working on the platform and helping the community improve their coding skills!

    1. 2

      FrontendMentor looks really exciting bud!!

      Managing a 23k people slack must be crazy! Kudos on monetizing it and already having decent traction.

      How do you facilitating project collaborations and ensure engagement? Any articles you've shared here on IH or elsewhere on it?

      1. 1

        Thanks a lot, Preet! The community are actually great at supporting each other, so it's not as crazy as you'd think.

        I'm awful at writing, so I very rarely write articles. It's one of the items on my todo list that I always put off, as I'm much more comfortable talking to the community and building the product. I need to push myself to write more as it's a great way of organising thoughts!

        Everything is very loose around project collaborations at the moment. We have a "collabs" channel in the Slack community and everyone self-organises groups. It's something I'll be looking to build into the platform to provide structure in the future though.

  2. 4

    Building a community for Health and Safety professionals -

    ~100-250 page views per day, 983 users, 25-30% open rate on our newsletter

    Started in March 2020, and have promoted it almost exclusively through LinkedIn. So far it's been a blast

    1. 1

      This is impressive and the site is really interesting. Can I ask how you built it? I'm looking to do something similar with a forum and leaderboard too

      1. 1

        Thanks so much! It was built with the MERN stack (Mongo, express , react, node). There's a lot of free resources online for learning this stack, specifically youtube.

        Maintaining and promoting the site is the tough part. I have two other guys I'm working with to generate content and help write the newsletter.

        1. 1

          That’s awesome! Thank you for the info I’ll try and learn that stack.

          For promotions maybe you should try Reddit and Facebook groups with H&S folks. Just be part of it, interact as usual or buy ads. It’d be good for you from. Research perspective to see how they interact and what they’d need from a forum like yours that these groups don’t offer :)

  3. 4

    @charlierward is doing an unbelievable job of building the Indie Hacker communities in London. Both with Weekend Club and Indie London.

  4. 2

    @momoko Is doing great in bloggingForDevs.

    1. 2

      Thanks Vignesh ^_^

  5. 2

    I am building a community of people learning to code via coding projects. It's just a ~15-person Discord group for now.

    We do a daily progress update and share any challenges/questions.

    The initial traffic came from me volunteering to help people struggling to learn to code over a quick call. Decided to create a chat group since many of them are in the same situation. Not sure how else to grow it though.

    1. 1

      I started a weekly newsletter similar to this. Basically, I send out a newsletter every week for 4 months about a language. Then the next 4 months I choose a new language. I have about 50 subs right now. Not sure how to grow / Monetize.
      Not looking to monetize quite yet but for the future.

  6. 2

    I need to build one for a new project ( but no idea where to start :P

    1. 1

      What do you mean by "need"?

      1. 1

        require (something) because it is essential or very important rather than just desirable.

        1. 1

          Haha thanks for enlightenment in the English language :)

          My question was a result of wrong reading. I read instead "I need to build a new project"

  7. 2

    slowly building a following around YEN — taking the long, measured approach by daily engaging in a very select few spots on the internet and growing relationships one-at-a-time.

    it's a good pace, atm. but, i am ready to blow the top off of it... but, we're a long way away from that.

  8. 2

    I just launched a community for remote developers. Have 15members. Nothing is happening yet. Still thinking of the best way to grow it.

  9. 2

    I'm running Local SEO Community, a community for people to learn about local SEO and Google My Business tips and strategies.

    Over 425 members now :)

  10. 1

    Oh hey! I'm growing MastermindJam® (, a paid community for indie SaaS founders. We started in March of 2015, and we're around 600 folks strong at the moment.

    We've got a little of everyone in there: mostly B2B and B2C SaaS founders (a few hundred), but also people who would call themselves indie hackers, software dev agency owners, mobile and web app developers, WP plugin creators, info product makers, and handful of podcasters.

    MastermindJam is a founder community that specializes in helping online founders join small, private groups to get answers, accountability, and feedback. It lives on a custom-built community platform.

    I'll spare you the long version of the story, but MastermindJam didn't start off on it's own community platform. In fact, MastermindJam started in March of 2015 with no code (basically just a bunch of email automations and Zapier zaps), and ran that way for three years. The custom group and community platform was introduced in 2018, and it's still growing and expanding today.

  11. 1

    Hi Rosie,

    I am building a community of makers, coders, no-coders, indie hackers and digital nomads. I want to give quick access to their github, twitter, product hunt, indie hackers and product pages.

    You can filter for specific people within the community (for example Belgian no-coders who have expertise in webflow). In addition I want to make a newsletter for makers, where they can share their product, expertise, etc. with other makers. My goal is to make it possible to quickly find capable team members for a maker collab.

    I just launched the website: I am now searching for the first people who want to join the list/community. So if you are interested and a tech profile, feel free to join!

  12. 1

    Technology Mgr / Product Mgr for - We use a mix of platforms from Khoros to OKTA to Bevy to Totara, but have in-house engineering so we do a lot of customization/unique things as our community grows. I started ~3+ years ago when it was a team of ~2, and we'll soon be a team of 12 supporting everything we do!

    I approach it like I do everything, indiehacker style 😂 There is no one platform that does everything a cutting edge community should, and I doubt there ever will be - We instead build with the mindset that Community is the hub, and there is a lot of spokes (Groups, events, live events, forums, ideas, training, AMAs, etc). We do our best to integrate all of these different experiences/platforms seamlessly, at the end of the day the end user will never know they may be touching a dozen different systems, logins, etc.

    We're currently working on rebuilding our registration & onboarding experience along with the profile/settings pages. Not the most exciting stuff in the world, but a lot of foundational work to let us grow into a lot of personalization/relevancy around content, support and training, etc.

  13. 1

    🌹 We (a small team of 2) are building a community called LVRSNFRNDS []. We're based in London but our community is worldwide.

    🌍 In short, we are organising live video convos for people to discuss about love, sex & relationships. We have members from Los Angeles to Tel-Aviv, paying a €15/month membership.

    🚀 We have pivoted during COVID as we were primarily a social dating service in London & Paris with a pay-as-you-go model (and a free membership). We're now a strong community worldwide with a recurring subscription model and much more engagement from our members.

  14. 1

    I'm building a community specific for women + minority business owners through Launched the social media community (mostly instagram + Chicago-focused for the time being) to build brand awareness. Launching the community portal in a few weeks, starting with 10-15 beta users and we are using both Slack and a community resource portal on our website via Memberspace. Sticking with Chicago for MVP with hopes to expand to city #2 in early 2021!

  15. 1

    We are building an 'Artists for climate action community'. We're a material science startup that turns air pollution to inks and art material.

  16. 1

    I'm building a community of people who want to learn to code! I currently have 100 subscribes and growing each day!
    Our community is a weekly newsletter that is sent out by me, teaching them how to code. Soon, I am going to create a FB Group for everyone for more help and increase community members to each other.
    If you want to join check it out here!

  17. 1

    I'm building a community for writers called Writer's Bloc along with two other co-founders.

    We ran a beta group during late June/July and launched as paid at the start of August. We're now around 100 users and steadily growing with a thriving user base of amazing writers and creators.

    Our approach has been trying to bring in people who we've all connected with on Twitter. We've made it a priority to connect with other writers and engage with their work. Sure, it benefits us to have them in the community, but we love connecting with these people and getting to know them personally. This has organically created a devoted set of community members who are passionate about Writer's Bloc and have been inviting people into the community for us.

    As we did the beta group we ran up a waitlist of about 100 people. Once we launched as paid we let all of those people in for a 1 month free trial before having the option to move to paid. Many of them have.

    It's been incredible so far and already surpassed my expectations. Now we're working on a revamped website with further plans to officially launch. So far all marketing has been very natural, really no efforts on our part outside of Twitter.

    1. 1

      I've seen your community and I would LOVE to be part of it.
      Sadly, I cannot afford to pay 7$ a month.
      Writing at the moment is my only source of income but sadly, I havent managed to stabilize and make it rilable. I have been using free online resources to try and learn more and improve myself.

      Is there a way I could gain access to your community?

      I feel like getting in touch with writers is the boost I need to start being aware of and landing more stable and consistent writing gigs.

      1. 1

        @adrianmurage. Happy to work something out!

        Send me an email or Twitter DM (links in my IndieHackers profile) and we can get you squared away.

  18. 1

    Building community for the Side Hustlers where they can learn, get help, connect with each other and grow. Here is the community which I have started building It's going good as of now and I can say that building a community 👌 around your business, gols is best way to grow. Here is you can join community

  19. 1

    Hello Rosie! I'm building a Slack group around my podcast, Code Story ( Very early days, but I'm planning to have my guests do AMA's, bring in some community managers, and keep the environment active and stimulating. Any tips, I'd love to know them.

    Here is the signup link:

  20. 1

    Trying to build a community for Product Managers. Currently, building an audience via a WhatsApp newsletter that I run.
    Also, in the process of deciding if a closed or an open community works.

  21. 1

    I launched a community for Remote Designers off the back of my newsletter and site

    I'm prioritising content so the community gets it first over subscribers and website visitors. I should be logging in every day but finding it difficult to do so and spark conversation.

    I gave away 100 memberships and people were up for it but it's not the start I'd hoped for 🤷‍♂️ I feel I need to be more active and market this better

  22. 1

    Currently building a community for my pop-science media company called It's about the scientific story of the universe and the wonders it contains.

    Most difficult thing is working out what I actually want the company to be, and then creating the right content and putting it in the right places to drive traffic.

    It's going well, I've got a blog and web app running and looking great. Starting to really get my head around marketing it now which is awesome.

  23. 1

    I am building one:
    Connecting patients with doctors — and doctors with patients.
    Using Facebook as the platform and have 2800+ active participants.

  24. 1

    I'm building a community of developers creating profitable Alexa Skills and Google Actions (aka voice apps). We call them "voice apps" because they are apps that run on the Amazon Alexa and Google voice assistants similar to mobile apps on the iOS store.

    I'm going to take a similar approach to Courtland and have started interviewing developers who have made some money from their voice apps and sharing those interviews. I've also created a few events and just started to do them regularly: project night (focused on building), mixer (networking), and webinars/AMAs with experts (learning).

    It's going alright. Growth slowed down because we were being too broad and trying to serve everyone. About a week or two ago we finally niched down and interest has been picking back up. The hardest part right now is finding those makers who have made profitable voice apps and getting them to share their numbers. Any tips on that?

  25. 1

    I'm building a community for the fitness and wellness space!

    Currently building a community-based application and targeting to roll it out live in November :)

  26. 1

    Currently in the process of building one for the data engineering field, which provide abundant resources and discussions that will be helpful for those who either want to get into data engineering or advance their career within the industry.

    I'm currently in the process of setting up a Circle community for this. I've yet to figure out the pricing strategy, and I'm leaning towards either (1) free membership for the first X number of years and then an annual fee for the rest, or (2) free membership for all but will need to pay to see certain content.

    So far, it's going well. Obviously don't have any members yet, but I'm spending time building up content within the Circle community so that there's valuable substance already there before people sign up.

  27. 1

    We ( are building a community of youth coaches. We started with 1:1 onboarding, quarterly coach calls, and free t-shirt giveaways. Overall reception has been positive. Coaches are enjoying a platform where they have a voice. We assure them they impact our product roadmap, which strengthens the community. We only have 6 coaches right now, but looking to grow to about 50.

  28. 1

    I built and run Collective.Energy - it is a community for climate solutions. A single place like Indie Hackers where people can find like minded others, crowdsource ideas, get feedback, find an audience, and take action on sustainability initiatives. Quite a few prominent eco-entrepreneurs and investors are involved. Feel free to join if you care about the future of the planet!

  29. 1

    I have built communities in past, some of them had ~40k registered members.

    Currently, I run, I am not that active there, but I got what I needed.

  30. 1

    Building a community of musicians from Latin America, Spain and hispanic US market.
    Collective learning around music industry professionalization for independent artists.

    Got out a manifest, getting great feedback/interest. Will be subscription based on Circle + video meetings. Knowledge + networking.


  31. 1

    Will try building a community of scientists in academia and industry working on a specific topic. If we hit 50 in number, we unlock it, where they can see the others, what each is looking for and we organize a speed dating kickoff session. Any tips are welcome :)

  32. 1

    i Do Not Know How this Works.
    A learning community with a focus on learning software development, health, and wellness.

    #teachYourPeers: Learning to code with the #teachYourPeers monthly events. Each month a member delivers a presentation about a chapter from the Eloquent JavaScript book. This month I'm presenting on Ch 12 Project: A Programming Language.
    Event date 9/23 at 6pm MST
    Link to the event (

    Centenarian Fun: Health/Wellness. Training to be the world's fastest centenarian.

    Come check us out.

  33. 1

    Hi Rosie.

    I'm building a community made up of alumni members of my BWC (Book Writing Clinic). BWC is focused on helping each and everyone tell his or her story in the form of books. Turns out people are scared of writing. We started out in 2015 adding one or two members per month. Today we are about 125. It's strictly a private community. We have a WhatsApp and FB Groups. Out of 125 members, about 20 have written and launched their books.

    The grander mission is to help each and every member build an expert empire with a book as the nucleus. Brendon Burchard was the first to suggest that experts need to operate in seven dimensions as: author, speaker, trainer, coach, consultant, seminar leader, and information marketer. So that's what we teach and encourage our members to do at BWC - Build Expert Empires.

    The challenge is, only a small number of members are active: the 80/20 rule. So I've been wondering whether to open the community to "anyone passionate about book", not just BWC alumni members. Any opinion on the idea of opening up the community to a wider membership?

  34. 1

    I'm in the process of building out a community to connect Indie hackers/ devs with side projects to employers:

    Dealing with the cold start problem. The platform is only valuable if devs submit projects so I can take and pitch it to recruiters/ hiring managers.

    1. 1

      Pretty cool idea! A problem would be maybe if some people would fake their projects (someone else did them) and got ahead of people that really put the time and effort in their projects.

  35. 1

    I'm building a community platform for power twitter users who love finding, referencing, and learning from the most insightful tweets.

    However, struggling to determine whether I should launch as a subscription service or free and then implement a pricing plan.

    If anyone would like to offer their feedback I'd love to get in touch!

  36. 1

    I just launched a community for customers of Chinese shopping sites ( No members except myself for now.

  37. 1

    Hi Rosie.
    Nice you asked.

    1. 1

      yeah its nice when people care about others

  38. 1

    I'm building - a community for entrepreneurs wanting to build authentic personal brands and become industry thought leaders -> all so they can grow their own businesses and have a bigger impact.

    We have almost 600 members and the engagement and activity grows every day. We're currently revamping our onboarding, renaming some channels, and looking at maybe transitioning to a paid community for new members -> we'll see though, curious if anyone has insight/feedback on making that transition.

  39. 1

    Hi Rosie, I'm building, a constructive and inclusive social network for hackers, it will be based on, a great community platform, I also maintain a discord server with 25 members for the moment, it needs a lot of work, time will tell.

  40. 1

    I guess you could call it a community of newsletter writers at Newslet

  41. 1

    I just started focusing my efforts on building a community around craft beer enthusiasts, homebrewers, and brewing professionals (Crafted). The audience is kind of wide and I'm still working on narrowing down.

    Originally, I was building a newsletter. Then I saw a post that said something to the effect of "you aren't building a newsletter, you're building a community..." I think it was by Rose Sherry - can't find the post or I would have linked it here!

    Anyway, I'm beginning to see that my "newsletter" (or community?) has value not only in its content, but in the shared values and relationships between my readers, and myself included.

    I think that is where the real value is going to be produced - bringing people together around craft beer and what it represents to them: art, science, freedom of expression, good times with friends & family.

  42. 1

    We have just started building a community of "starers" at

    It's all about people who wants to learn how to keep going or how to start with their products or side pojects.

    We're happy to share our experience in tech industry with the community.

    Now we have around 10 members.

    ✅ Receive feedback from like-minded people from around the world.
    💰 Know how to monetize your product or side project.
    🔥 Know trending technologies.
    🚀 Help each other building startups.
    🚨 Stay focused and build projects with results.

  43. 1

    Not sure if it counts, but I technically still co-host the Laravel Sydney community. It's pretty much dead with covid though, as it never had much online presence.

    Originally when I came on board it was really passive in terms of approach. There was always a fresh supply of Laravel developers looking for a meetup and community (consistent +40 attendees / month). We didn't really have grand plans for it beyond the set few talks each month, but getting the community closer together was something I was always milling around in my head.

    I look forward to a point where we can start engaging with the community again in some way, at this point i'm a bit lost in what to do.

  44. 1

    Hi Rosie,
    I'm working on a stock market community. Ranking traders based on profit. Still developing. Are you working on a community?

    1. 1

      I'm working on Indie Hackers 🤓

      Is your community live yet?

      1. 1

        You're working on indiehackers? This is indiehackers...: \

        Not yet live no. Maybe in two weeks.

        1. 3

          I manage the community here 😇

          1. 1

            wow thats a cool job. so you basically work for stripe. how did you come across that job?? just curious

            1. 1

              I kept an eye on the community and saw an opportunity pop up.

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