21 Online Community Examples That Will Inspire You (2021)

21 Online Community Examples That Will Inspire You (2021)

Online Community Examples

These days online communities have become extremely popular among a wide variety of businesses, including online course creators, membership site owners, SAAS brands, etc.

For instance, online course/membership creators use online communities to improve learning and engagement in their programs.

Similarly, many businesses use free online communities to build a loyal audience to promote their premium products & services.

If you plan to create an online community as well, it will be quite useful to study how different people use communities in their business. Besides, it will help you understand:

  • What types of online communities exist?
  • How do communities improve their offerings?
  • What strategies are adopted by them to engage their members?
  • What online community platforms do they use?
  • And more!

To help you with all that, I have created a list of 21 online community examples that you can learn from. Now, let’s take a look at them.

1. Circle of Hope Community

Circle of Hope is a standalone community by The Healthy Weighout, which helps people struggling with emotional binge eating to develop healthy nutrition habits.

To begin with, the community provides a safe space for people to engage with others on a similar journey of healing and recovery.

Moreover, it comes with weekly educational videocasts from experts, where members can also join in on the conversations and ask questions. Plus, it includes a video-series for quick tips and frequent posts from experts.

Their parent site also offers in-person retreats and therapy sessions, so the online community offers a great opportunity for them to promote their premium products.

Circle of Hope Community

The community comes with both monthly and annual plans, which slightly differ in their offering. While the monthly plan comes with recordings of recent videocasts, the annual plans include the entire library of past videocasts.

Technology Used:

Mighty Networks

What I Like About Them:

  • They create engagement through video sessions where members can also participate.
  • Their annual plan offers a much bigger library of content, which helps drive up their revenue.

2. Ness Labs Community

Ness Labs community helps individuals improve their productivity and creativity through science-backed ideas.

In their community, members can join conversations on different topics in relevant channels. Plus, they can attend virtual events like Q&A sessions, workshops, and presentations. And the recordings of these events are also available for later viewing.

Members also get access to a monthly book club, a newsletter, and special offers on tools, books, and apps in the mindful productivity space.

Ness Labs Community

The community is quite reasonably priced and comes with monthly and annual subscriptions.

Another interesting thing about their pricing is that they offer additional courses, workshops, and reports on the annual plan, which must help them drive up their annual subscriptions.

Technology Used:

Circle

What I Like About Them:

  • The community addresses a fairly broad topic through a variety of engagement methods.
  • They have created different offerings on their monthly and annual plans.

3. Pencil Kings Community

Pencil Kings community is part of a membership site by the same name that helps sketch artists level up their skills.

Inside the community, members can engage with each other, post questions, and get feedback on their artwork. On top of that, members can watch regular live workshops and interviews of professional artists.

Another thing I like about them is that they give members access to dedicated coaches for expert feedback and guidance.

Pencil Kings Community

The community also hosts monthly challenges with prizes that help improve member engagement levels.

Besides the community, they offer a vast library of courses created by artists who work at some of the world’s best studios. And specific course recommendations are made to members based on their skill level, which is assessed through a survey.

Technology Used:

BuddyBoss

What I Like About Them:

  • They offer dedicated success coaches, which improves learning outcomes.
  • The community hosts monthly challenges with prizes to improve engagement.

4. MO Pros Community

MO Pros is a standalone community that helps professionals upgrade their skills and advance their careers in the marketing field.

Besides allowing members to network with other professionals, the community helps them get mentorship from experts, exclusive content, and special offers from the industry. Plus, they host regular Ask Me Anything sessions from marketing experts.

MO Pros Community

The community also comes with a job board, where members can create public profiles and post or apply for jobs.

In terms of pricing, they offer the usual monthly and annual subscriptions. Plus, members get 30-day free access, which further reduces the friction for them to sign up for the community.

Technology Used:

Tribe

What I Like About Them:

  • They offer a 360-degree career development community for marketing professionals.
  • The community comes with a 30-day free access, making it easier for people to sign up. 

5. Pipedrive Community

Pipedrive community is created by Pipedrive, a cloud-based sales CRM platform, and it helps them address several goals.

On the one hand, the community acts as a space for sales and marketing professionals to network with each other, which helps Pipedrive grow its brand.

In addition, the community also helps the company get feedback for its products and enables self-service support for its existing customers.

The community has several channels for different purposes, and they all come with specific guidelines. For instance, they have read-only channels where the company shares planned features and updates with the community.

Plus, there are specific channels for members to get advice from experts, post a job query, seek help regarding the product, among other things. 

Pipedrive Community

Their team is quite active in the community, and they regularly share case studies and invites for virtual events. And to further improve engagement levels, they use gamification, where active members can earn badges, referred to as Pipedrive swag.

Technology Used:

Tribe

What I Like About Them:

  • They use the community for several different purposes by effective use of channels.
  • The community makes use of virtual events and gamification to drive up engagement.

6. Create and Go Blogging Community

Create and Go Blogging community by Create and Go is another example of a free community created by a business to promote its paid offering.

The community is hosted as a Facebook Group, which reduces friction for users while joining and engaging with the community, as most people are already on Facebook.

I really like that their team is quite active in the community, where they engage with members in several ways.

For instance, users get prompt responses from community moderators on their general, blogging-related queries. Plus, the moderators often share posts and free courses from Create and Go in their responses, which also promotes their brand besides helping members.

Create and Go Blogging Community

Their team also regularly posts questions in the community to invite responses from members. And even the founders share regular updates for income reports and new launches in the Facebook Group.

Technology Used:

Facebook Groups

What I Like About Them:

  • They have created a free community to grow their brand and promote their paid programs.
  • Engagement is driven primarily through participation of community moderators.

7. Beyond the Brushes

Beyond the Brushes Community comes as part of the Beyond the Brushes membership site, which helps people create hand-rendered artwork using Photoshop.

The community is a core part of their overall offering, where students can ask questions and get assistance whenever they get stuck. Plus, they even encourage students to upload their artwork to get feedback from other students and the instructor.

Members also get access to contests and live events like goal settings and Q&A sessions, which are only available within the community. Another thing that stands about the community is that it is also available on a mobile app, besides the web.

And besides the community, their membership includes video lessons, recordings of live sessions, swipe files, etc. Moreover, their parent site, Elevate Your Art, hosts several other paid and free courses built around Photoshop artwork.

Beyond the Brushes Community

In terms of pricing, Beyond the Brushes offers monthly, biannual, and annual subscriptions for its membership.

Technology Used:

Kajabi

What I Like About Them:

  • They drive engagement by organizing exclusive live events for the community.
  • The community helps members get feedback on their artwork.

8. Lets Upgrade Community

Lets Upgrade community is created by Lets Upgrade, a learning platform for technology professionals.

It is a great example of a free community created by a company to nurture a potential audience and acquire new customers.  As you can imagine, the community consists of different channels, all of which serve different goals.

For instance, specific channels are dedicated to coding challenges, success stories, job postings, product ideas, and getting help, to name a few.

They also allow members to post articles and technical queries, which are organized into topics and sub-topics. And it has helped them create a nice repository of user-generated content.

Lets Upgrade Community

Another thing that stands out about them is that they use gamification quite extensively, which can be an extremely effective tactic for a community focused on peer-to-peer learning.

Technology Used:

Tribe

What I Like About Them:

  • They have created a useful repository of user-generated content.
  • The community uses gamification in a major way to drive engagement.

9. Hom Community

Hom community by Hom Collective is a holistic health and wellness community for mothers.

The first thing that stands out about it is that it is an app-only community that is completely free for its members. And when it comes to monetizing the community, they have curated a variety of courses, coaching offers, and therapy from different experts.

The community places a strong emphasis on creating a safe and intimate space for members to support each other. Upon signup, they ask members about their interests, which helps create detailed social profiles and a more personalized environment to foster connections.

Another major aspect of the community is the regular live workshops conducted by different holistic wellness experts.

Hom Community

Technology Used:

Disciple Media

What I Like About Them:

  • The community focuses on creating a highly personalized environment for members. 
  • They have created a viable business by offering in-app purchases in a free community.

10. eXd Community

The eXD community, which comes as a part of online courses offered by eXD, helps educators create equitable and anti-racist classrooms.

It is a great example of a site creating multiple programs on top of a single community.

The parent site comes with four different programs around the same theme but with slightly different course content and offerings. And besides coursework, they vary based on offering elements like Q&A sessions, online events, and expert support.

eXd Community

In addition, all the programs include a completion badge, which members can share with their professional network. And when it comes to pricing, all the programs are priced at a one-time, flat price.

Technology Used:

Mighty Networks

What I Like About Them:

  • They have created multiple courses that are built on top of a single community.
  • The community offers a completion badge to members, which helps improve engagement.

11. Makerpad Community

Makerpad community comes as part of the Makerpad Pro program that helps people build software without coding. What immediately stands out about them is how their community helps create engagement in a wide variety of ways.

To begin with, members can engage with each other on different channels. On top of that, they can participate in events like Q&A sessions, expert AMA’s, challenges, and collaborations.

The community also packs in a job board, plus it enables members to create public profiles, share their projects, and make themselves available for hire.

Besides the community, the Makerpad Pro program gives members access to tutorials, live workshops, bootcamps, and discounts for various tools.

Makerpad Community

They also have a free plan, where members get access to a basic version of the community, plus some tutorials and workshops. And this seems like a great way to build trust with their audience and promote the paid offering.

Technology Used:

Circle

What I Like About Them:

  • They drive engagement in several ways, like Q&A sessions, live workshops, bootcamps.
  • The free plan helps them grow and nurture an audience for their paid offering.

12. TopMusicPro Community

TopMusicPro Community is part of a membership site that helps Piano Teachers level up their teaching and grow their business.

The community helps Piano Teachers engage with each other and learn from expert teachers. Moreover, the community is made available on a mobile app, which helps drive engagement.

Besides the community, members get access to regular webinars, music sheets, and special deals for related products.

The membership site comes with different plans, and the community is the biggest draw for their starter plan, so it also helps them build an audience for their premium plans.

Inside their premium plans, they take community engagement to the next level with private discussion channels, a mastermind group, guest teachers, and a library of courses and workshops.

Technology Used:

BuddyBoss

What I Like About Them:

  • Community is available on a mobile app, which helps improve engagement.
  • They use the community to build an audience for their premium offerings.

13. Notredame University Alumni Network

Notredame University Alumni Network hosts multiple communities created around graduation year, region, and university clubs. They even have communities built around specific cities, which allows for offline meetups and events.

Each of these communities operates independently, with separate memberships, guidelines, and events. Inside the community, members can connect with others, access live events and newsletters.

Notredame University Alumni Network

Plus, they sometimes also feature opportunities for volunteering or mentoring. Most of the communities provide free access to eligible alumni, but there are a few that charge a subscription fee.

Technology Used:

Hivebrite

What I Like About Them:

  • They host a large number of communities to create a more personalized experience.
  • The individual communities drive engagement through virtual and even offline events.

14. Wanderful Community

Wanderful community is a global travel community for female travelers. Within the community, members can seek information, build travel skills, and connect with travelers in different parts of the world.

One interesting thing about Wanderful is that it is a great example of a hybrid online and offline community. So besides the online community experience, members get free access to local offline events across the world.

Plus, they get special perks at global events and opportunities to connect with locals for meetups and stay. And the community even includes special discounts for various travel products and services.

In addition, members get access to daily virtual events, weekly webinars, and online courses to help them develop useful travel skills.

Wanderful Community

The community is available on a mobile app besides the web, making it quite convenient for travelers. And when it comes to pricing, they offer both monthly and annual subscriptions.

Technology Used:

Mighty Networks

What I Like About Them:

  • They have created a perfect blend of an online and offline community.
  • The community offers additional value through discounts for relevant products and services.

15. Jay’s Genius Community

Jay’s Genius Community is a private Facebook Group available to members of Jay’s Genius program. The biggest part of its appeal is the weekly live workshops and guided meditations led by Jay Shetty, one of the most popular names in the self-improvement niche.

Moreover, the community helps people find accountability partners through the Facebook Units feature (a way to organize content on Facebook Groups).

Another thing I like about the community is that they have strict guidelines for what members can post, which helps them maintain engagement quality.

Jay’s Genius Community

Besides, members of the Jay’s Genius program also get a mobile app, where they can access recordings of all the past workshops and downloadable guided meditations, among other things.

Technology Used:

Facebook Groups

What I Like About Them:

  • Weekly live events are hosted in the community, which helps drive engagement.
  • The community comes with a mobile app, where members can access additional content.

16. The Love Club

The Love Club is a public community created by Love Wellness, a personal care brand for women’s health. And the community is designed to help the company build deeper relations with its potential and existing audience.

One thing that immediately stands out about them is that the community is led by health experts who regularly share in-depth content with the audience. Moreover, the content and conversations are not centered around their products but around broad themes related to women’s health.

So they have essentially created a content library and social network, where members can passively consume content or interact with each other and experts.

I also really like how they have seamlessly blended marketing for their products with the community.

The Love Club

For instance, they use gamification to link participation in the community with actual rewards and discounts for their products. Plus, every community member gets free shipping on their products for life.

Technology Used:

Tribe

What I Like About Them:

  • The community revolves around in-depth content shared by experts.
  • They use gamification to promote their products to the community in a seamless way.

17. Luke’s App

Luke’s App is an app-only community for the fans of Luke Bryan, a country musician. And it is a great example of a community built around a personal brand, where members can engage with each other and be part of a virtual, shared fan experience.

Available for a paid annual subscription, the community comes packed with access to exclusive live-streams from Luke and his team, which is its biggest selling point.

In addition, members get access to recordings of all past events, photos/videos from shows, a curated social media feed of the musician, competitions to win tickets, etc.

Luke’s App

Besides the app-based community, they also have a web-based fan-club, which comes with a slightly different offering. And fans can also purchase an all-access pass, which gives them access to both the web-based and app communities.

Technology Used:

Disciple Media

What I Like About Them:

  • They have created a valuable community centered around live streaming events.
  • Multiple offerings for the same audience helps them drive up revenue.

18. Liberated Being Community

Liberated Being community is part of a membership site that helps people learn movement-based meditation techniques. Inside the community, members can interact with others and ask questions to instructors.

However, the biggest part of their appeal is access to daily live meditation and movement classes, which are available 6-days a week. The classes are conducted by a variety of experts to help members learn different meditation practices.

In addition, the recorded replays of the classes are also made available to the community members.

Liberated Being Community

Besides their main offering, they offer a free community, where weekly live classes are available, which offers a really nice way for people to get a window into their program.

Technology Used:

Mighty Networks

What I Like About Them:

  • They create engagement through daily live classes that are organized by multiple experts.
  • A free version of their community helps people get a window into their paid offering.

19. Facebook Ad Creatives Only

Facebook Ad Creatives Only is a paid, subscription-based Facebook Group, which is not something you’d come across very often. The community is focused on a very specific theme — sharing Facebook Ad Creatives with Facebook Ad professionals.

And what I like most about them is how simple their offering is. Every day, members get access to a small number of Facebook Ads chosen by the community moderators.

The ads are often shared by the members themselves, so the only thing that moderators do is decide which ads need to be featured in the community. Besides, the community also gives members access to resources and tutorials on creating Facebook ads.

Facebook Ad Creatives Only

Another thing that works in their favor is that their subscription is quite reasonably priced, which has helped them create a six-figure business with a unique business model. 

Technology Used:

Facebook Groups

What I Like About Them:

  • They have created a viable business around an incredibly simple offering.
  • Moderators choose what can be shared in the community, which helps ensure quality.

20. Building a Second Brain

Building a Second Brain community is part of an online course (by Forte Labs) that helps people learn how to organize their ideas to improve productivity.

The community is organized into discussion groups created around different interest areas relevant to the course. Plus, it comes with dedicated channels for things like general Q&A, tips & tricks, and student feedback. 

Besides, members get access to regular live classes, Q&A sessions, and recorded lessons, with transcripts made available inside the community. Another part of its appeal is weekly live workshops conducted by the program alumni, where they share their learnings.

Building a Second Brain Community

One interesting thing about Building a Second Brain is that it is not always open for enrollment, so members go through the program simultaneously, which helps improve engagement.

Finally, the program comes with premium access levels, which pack in additional elements like private Q&A, group coaching, and 1:1 coaching.

Technology Used:

Circle

What I Like About Them:

  • Members join the community at the same time, which helps improve engagement.
  • Weekly live workshops by alumni adds to the appeal of the program  

21. Gainsight Community

Gainsight Community is a public community by Gainsight, an enterprise SAAS platform. Their community is broadly focused on two objectives — enabling self-support for their customers and collecting product feedback.

And what I really like about it is how the discussion threads are nicely categorized in the community to achieve these objectives. For instance, they have three separate discussion areas that cater to collecting product feedback in entirely different ways.

Discussions around product features are further categorized based on features categories, plus members can even use tags, and all of this contributes to improving the experience for members.

Another thing I like about their community is that it is not limited to discussion threads. So they organize regular events like webinars, training sessions, office hours in the community, sometimes several in a day.

Gainsight Community

Finally, they also use gamification features like badges and a leaderboard to boost community engagement.

Technology Used:

Insided

What I Like About Them:

  • The community makes use of virtual events and gamification to improve engagement.
  • Discussion threads are quite well-organized, which helps improve user experience.

Summary

In this guide, we have looked at a variety of online community examples, the purpose they serve, and the methods they use to engage with their audience.

For example, online communities that focus on teaching a skill often include live classes, workshops, and Q&A sessions.

On the other hand, online communities created by SAAS/software companies often rely on gamification and user-generated content to build engagement.

Moreover, businesses sometimes offer a free community to grow their audience as well as give them a window into their premium offerings.

I hope you enjoyed reading the article and found it useful.

Of all the examples in this guide, which one did you like the most and why? Please share in the comments below.

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