Dear Content Creators,
I have something to discuss with you. Something important. I see so many talented content creators abandoning their own personal content platforms for other pastures, and I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you why I feel this is a mistake.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t use other platforms to share your content, guest post on other blogs, or use content platforms like Medium, or LinkedIn to as part of a strategy create content, share expertise, and grow your business, because those platforms are important. But they’re better used as a secondary platform or as a platform for busy business owners who don’t have time or savvy to host and maintain their own content.
Remember, there’s a difference between business people who are looking to share expertise, and content creators who need a continuous platform to showcase talent and attract clients. Business owners who aren’t content creators use the above referenced platforms, as well as different social media accounts to drive traffic to their websites. On the other hand, content creators need to have their own content platform because content IS their business.
It’s essential for full time content creators or people who want to be known as content creators to have their own personal space to highlight expertise and grow community.
My arguments for hosting content on your own platform are below:
10 Reasons Why It’s Essential to Host Content on Your Own Platform
1. All traffic comes to you
When you use another platform to host your content – whether it’s a publishing platform hosted by a brand like LinkedIn or Medium or a social network like Facebook – those platforms are getting the bulk of the traffic. Certainly they can send a good chunk of that traffic your way, but wouldn’t you like to have the benefit of ALL your traffic?
Instead of putting all your eggs in other peoples’ baskets, start your own basket. Use the other platforms as places to share your content or drive targeted traffic to your blog, podcast, website, or video channels.
2. Your blog, your rules
Let me preface this by saying I dislike the expression “My blog, my rules” because it takes away from the community spirit. If we’re not blogging with our community in mind, it’s just one big ego project, right? So I do think other people’s opinions matter in that regard. However, there’s something to be said about having the freedom to handle your content as you like.
3. Hello, Myspace?
Platforms don’t last forever. People left MySpace in droves and Google+ doesn’t seem to be doing so well either. Even Medium is changing its perspective from a content creation platform to a social network. Remember b5Media? KnowMore Media? Creative Weblogging? They were promising blog platforms that don’t exist anymore. In some cases bloggers were able to keep their content, and other cases, all their content is gone.
By hosting content on your own platform, not only are you guaranteeing your own longevity, but you also own your own files. So you can take your content with you wherever you roam online.
4. Better search engine visibility
Yes, those other platforms do have the potential to send you a lot of traffic, which is why they’re a great secondary platform. However, as a content creator for hire, isn’t it more important to have your own pages indexed on the search engines so people who are searching for content creators come directly to you and not someone else on the same platform?
5. It’s your community – not someone else’s
People on the web are fickle and have short attention spans. When they’re on a platform when other writers and articles are featured prominently in the sidebar, they’ll move on to another content creator’s work. Which is fine, there’s nothing wrong with reading other people’s content. However, on your own blog you keep all the pageviews. If readers want to read more, they have YOUR content for their browsing pleasure – and not soemone else’s.
Moreover, people become regulars because their a fan of your content and you as a person as opposed to visiting a platform every day to consume random bits of content. This familiarity brings trust, and trust builds community.
6. You can monetize your own platform
You can use your content platform as the basis for many things. You can highlight your expertise, build your business as a content creator for hire, or find different ways to monetize via ads, sales of books, ebooks, webinars and courses, or other methods. The point is, you have the freedom to monetize …or not.
7. YOUR searchable archives
When I search for content on your web property I come up with YOUR content, not someone else’s. More pageviews, more established expertise, more personal brand recognition, and more showing me why you are a person I should work with.
8. Pride of ownership
Content creators who use their own platform are more to post on a regular basis. They’re also more likely to share their content and use the URL on business cards, online bios and profiles, and other promotional material. Content creators tend to be prouder of something they built and maintained on their own, and thus are more diligent about continuity, accuracy, design, and editing.
9. You can sell your web property one day
You may decide to retire one day and not wish to keep your blog or podcast going. However, if it’s a popular space, you can sell it. If you’re blogging on someone else’s platform, they keep the millions they earn in a sale and you’re stuck having to deal with new management and new rules.
10. You can still share on other platforms
Don’t confuse “own” with “only.” You can still share content elsewhere. Go ahead and guest blog for another blogger who will drive beneficial traffic to your own platform, or use another content platform to showcase your expertise and drive traffic, to, again, your own interests. That’s all important and will help to establish your authority and grow your business as a content creator. Just make sure you’re not doing all the work while giving someone else all the benefits.
As a content creator it makes sense you have a place to share content as inspiration strikes, while serving as a home base and showcase for your creativity.
Why would you give that to someone else?
Thanks for listening,