Many times we get questions using various third-party platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr and Medium for blog posts. While all of these platforms offer great ways for others to see your content, it is important to have your own place to hang your hat.
So why is it important for you to have your own digital home to house your digital content instead of using one of the services above? An easy way of explaining this is similar to buying verses renting a home. As a renter, you are subject to the demands of the owner. The owner has the right to change the paint, the landscaping and make any architectural changes. The owner can evict you if they so desire. However, if you are the owner of the home, you are in control of all of these decisions. The same can be said in the digital content world.
Below are two reasons why it is important to have your own website and a place to hang your digital hat.
1) Owners have all the power, not tenants.
A great example of this is Facebook business pages. Many think that if they post something to a Facebook business page, everyone that “likes” that page will see all of your posts. That is simply not the case. Since Facebook changed their algorithms, only some of your fans will see your posts unless you pay to promote each one. Twitter is considering something similar for their entire platform. Social media should merely be a way of distributing your content and a way of interacting with your followers and fans. Never natively post long content to social media platforms.
The more frequently you post native content on your site, the better chance you will rise toward the top in Google’s search rankings. This is impossible if you post on third-party sites.
A trick that some web design companies will do is integrate a service like Tumblr into their clients websites. Tumblr is an easy blogging platform that is very easy to use. However, it is still not your site and you will lose out on SEO benefits. It is a rented lot.
So, how do you go about building your own home base?
One way is to hire a web developer. This is probably the most costly, but will be the most professional. Make sure that your website has its own native blog component for you to post content.
Another option is to build your own self-hosted site. WordPress is a great choice, but do not use a wordpress.com site. Do an independent, self-hosted WordPress site. For example, we recommend using a WordPress server such as Host Gator. You can also purchase a WordPress them that you can customize to make your site stand out and look professional. We’ve had great results with StudioPress. Finally, you should have your own domain such as yourname.com. You can search and purchase domains from the major domain companies like Go Daddy.
Where does you digital content hang its hat? Feel free to mention your site in the comments below.