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Building a Discord Community in 6 Steps (2024)

Updated: May 27

In today's digital age, establishing online communities has never been more important. With platforms like Discord offering versatile features at no cost, creating a vibrant community has never been easier. Whether you're a brand, a content creator, or a passionate individual looking to connect with like-minded people, starting a Discord server can be very rewarding. In this guide, we'll walk you through the setup process step by step to build a strong Discord community.

Discord Discovery Page on Floating Laptop - Expocord


Step 1: Define Your Community's Purpose and Audience

Before diving into the technical aspects of setting up your Discord server, take some time to define your community's purpose and target audience. What is the primary focus of your community? Who are you trying to attract? What do they like to do? Whether it's a gaming community, a fan club, or a brand community, clarifying your community's mission will guide your decisions throughout the process.

Step 2: Creating Your Discord Server

Once you have a clear understanding of your community's purpose and audience, it's time to create your Discord server. To do this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign Up for a Discord Account: If you don't already have a Discord account, you'll need to sign up for one. Visit the Discord website here or download the Discord app and follow the prompts to create an account.

  2. Create a New Server: Once logged in, click on the "+" icon on the bottom left-hand side of the screen and select "Create a Server." You'll have the option here to choose from several server templates such as gaming, artists, friends, and more. After, make sure to select the "For a club or community" button to enable Discord community features. Choose a name for your server, select a region, and click "Create."

Create Your Server - Discord

Tell Us More About Your Server Discord - Expocord

Step 3: Set Up Channels and Categories

Channels are where the magic happens in your Discord server. They provide spaces for different topics, discussions, and activities within your community. Discord offers a wide variety of channel types to help meet your community's goals. Below are the five listed:

  • Text Channels: The bread and butter of every great server are text channels. Perfect for posting text, photos, and videos.

  • Voice Channels: If you want to talk to your audience (or want them to talk with each other), make sure to create some voice channels.

  • Forums: Forums are great places to allow users to create and discuss topics under a single umbrella. Many servers use forums to gather suggestions, support, and feedback.

  • Announcement: An announcement channel is simply a text channel that notifies users and displays a unique air horn icon. Perfect for important updates, news, and announcements related to the community.

  • Stage: Stages are voice and video channels perfect for hosting large-scale events, panels, and Q&As. Stages can hold up to 300 members with a Discord Nitro Subscription.

Drag and drop your channels into categories to keep your server neat and organized. For example, you can create categories for different types of content or activities, such as "General," "Gaming," "Non-Related," and " Customer Support."

Step 4: Customize Server Settings (Name, Icon, Roles)

General Settings

First, head over to your server's settings by clicking its name and then "Server Settings" from the dropdown menu. Start by customizing the server name, icon, and inactive channel (if you have voice channels).


Next, check out the "Roles" category. Here, you can create custom roles with different permissions to categorize users. For instance, if you would like to invite members to be part of the server team, you can create a role called "Staff". Members with the Staff role can have the ability to delete other users' messages and even kick them from the server. You can also create decorative roles, such as "Event Winner" to award members without giving them more permissions.

Community Settings (Overview)

The last thing you'll need to do is set up some community channels. First, create a text channel that details your server's guidelines. Take the time to establish community rules that outline expected behavior, prohibited activities, and consequences for violations. Once you're finished, select the channel in the "RULES OR GUIDELINES Channel" panel.

Next, you'll need to select a channel to receive community updates and safety notifications. You can use Discord's default moderator-only channel or create your own. If you choose to make your own, make sure only your community admins have access to it as it may contain sensitive information.

Step 5: Promote Your Community

With your Discord server set up and ready to go, it's time to start promoting it to attract members. Utilize your existing social media platforms, website, or other online channels to spread the word about your community. Share engaging content, host events or giveaways, and encourage your followers to join your Discord server. You can also collaborate with other communities or influencers in your niche to reach a wider audience.

Step 6: Engaging and Growing Your Community

Building a thriving community takes time and effort, so be patient and proactive in engaging with your members. Foster meaningful interactions, encourage active participation, and most importantly listen to your community. They know themselves best and can provide valuable insights to improve your server's experience.

Consider organizing regular events, contests, or community challenges to keep members engaged and excited about being part of your community. As your community grows, consider appointing moderators or community managers to help you manage your community effectively.

And That's It!

Starting a Discord community is a great opportunity to connect with your audience. By defining your community's purpose, creating a welcoming environment, and actively engaging with your members, you can build a bustling community that members want to be part of.


Need Help Building, Managing, or Growing Your Discord Community?

At Expocord, we specialize exclusively in everything Discord communities. From full-service community management to custom engagement plans, we build the strongest Discord servers in the world. Contact us below for a free community audit and proposal.


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