The concept of an online peer-to-peer marketplace is one that’s incredibly popular. There are sites that provide peer-to-peer lending, direct rental of apartments and entire homes, and even options for people to build an RV business by renting theirs out to other people.
The P2P marketplace has created a lot of opportunities for people to earn money for their skills and their assets, and the actual concept of the marketplace itself also provides opportunities for people who design and market websites.
So, if you’re considering starting your own P2P site, what should you know?
Find a Niche
Before you start any of the building or design of your site, you need to choose a niche, and it needs to be as specific as you can get it. For example, you might choose a vertical, or just focus on one specific geographical area.
If you’re trying to be too broad in your focus, you’re going to have a tough time finding the suppliers you need for a thriving online community.
When you’re working on developing your niche, you need to make sure that it speaks to the needs of real people. You can narrow down your niche so much that it focuses on one asset even, and then you may grow from there, but you need to develop the foundation first.
A lot of what appeals to people about a peer-to-peer marketplace over simply trying to connect with people on their own is the fact that there is a sense of trust and transparency created by these sites. Keep this in mind when you’re developing your own.
From safeguards to keep member information private, to options like leaving reviews, it’s essential that people who come to your site feel like they can trust what’s happening there.
Another way you can be trustworthy in the eyes of your community is putting a lot of focus on having members complete full profiles including pictures, and perhaps even linking them to their social media profiles for more credibility.
Should You Build Your Marketplace From Scratch?
When you’re building a peer-to-peer marketplace, you can opt to use a platform that’s ready to go, or you can build it from scratch.
Finding a platform to build a marketplace site is going to leave you with pretty limited options, whereas while doing it from scratch may be more difficult and expensive, it’s ultimately going to leave with you with the most flexibility and customization ability.
Make Room For Content
You are going to have to put as much focus on content as you do on everything else, particularly in the early days of developing your site. You need people to get to know your community if they’re going to participate in it, and to do that, they need to find you and then know your brand via your content.
Finally, as you develop your site, make sure you include a blog, and you might also want members of your community to create their own microblogs as well.