Whether you’re just getting started with online communities or you want to take your community management skills from amateur to A-list, there are certain problems that come up over and over again. Thankfully, we have experts who can help you navigate the pitfalls and pitfalls of online communities. If you’re ready to face your fears, read on!

If you’ve been active in online communities for even a short amount of time, then you know that not everyone is created equally when it comes to managing a community. Each community has its own set of challenges, but the common problems in online communities are universal across all communities. So if you’re ready to get your hands on a copy of The Complete Guide To Online Communities, let’s take a look at some common problems that plague every community.

People Don’t Like Change

Even if everyone on your team is a community expert, it’s almost inevitable that there will be times when the community wants to make changes. No matter how hard you try to tell them that this is the way it’s always been done, people will always want to make changes. It’s human nature. After all, no one wants to be the one who said ‘yes’ to something only to have it changed later on. When you’re managing a community, you need to be able to maintain a certain amount of consistency throughout the course of each month.

If a lot of the members of the community are changing their minds about how things are run or what they want to see, then it’s important to be consistent in your outlook. Be firm but kind, while still being open-minded to what the community wants.

People Think Community Managers Are Overworked

You may have even heard this one before: “People can’t be trained”. Well, that’s not exactly true. Anyone can learn to be a better community manager, no matter how ‘untrained’ they are. The real reason people think that people can’t be trained is due to the fact that most people don’t know how to approach a community. If you’re not experienced in managing online communities, it can be really hard to know what questions to ask and what questions to ignore.

Plus, if you don’t know the terminology, it can be really hard to get the right people on the phone or meet in person. As a community manager, you don’t need to be a psycholinguist or know how to pick up the phone and field calls. However, you do need to know some basic communication skills such as how to set up meetings and how to pick up the phone when someone is on the other side of the world from you. In short, you need to know how to lead.

People Can’t Be Trained

Some people will always say that you can’t ‘train’ people to do something. After all, isn’t that what jobs are for? Well, the truth is that you can. You can train your employees to do anything. You can train your students to do anything. You can even train your cats to do everything. All you need to do is find a way to make it happen. People respond better to training when it’s clear what the goal is, how they can get there, and why they’re doing it. There are plenty of ways to go about this.

The first step is to decide what kind of training you want. The most common types of training are in-house and outsourced. While in-house training is bound to be cheaper, it’s not always suitable for all situations. Outsourced training can be very flexible, but it also costs more. What’s more, depending on the type of training you choose, it might not be directly relevant to managing an online community. It’s crucial to choose the right type of training for the job.

Isn’t It Enough That People Subscribe?

There is a fine line between making people feel welcome and feeling pressure to constantly give them content. If you try to put out too much content without giving people room to grow, then you risk being seen as an elitist who only cares about sharing the latest and greatest updates. That said, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of your subscribers are just trying to get something out of it too. So by putting out content that they can relate to — even if it’s just a funny picture or two — you’re putting yourself in a much better position to grow your community.

Exclusivity Issues & The Rule of ‘NO’

One of the most common problems you’ll come across when managing an online community is the ‘exclusiveness’ issue. This is when a lot of members are interested in one type of community content but not in others. In this case, the problem is twofold: you have content without enough members to support it, and the members have different interests from those you’d like to see covered. To avoid this problem, make sure to diversify your content so that there’s something for everyone. Make sure that, regardless of their age or location, your members can find something to relate to in your community.


Online communities are special, because they allow us to meet new people, share ideas and have fun without having to leave our homes. However, there are still dangers that come with it. One of the biggest problems in online communities is that people are quick to point fingers at others for problems they don’t understand themselves. Luckily, the internet is full of experts who can help you navigate the pitfalls and pitfalls of online communities.

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