Why You Need Your Own Platform

Apr 13, 2012   //   by Kristi Hines   //   blogging, SEO Blog  //  20 Comments

As the club leader of the Social Media Examiner Blogging Club, I see the occasional post or comment about whether people should skip having a blog and post their content to Facebook, Google+, or Twitter instead. Or I see photographers saying they don’t need a website, they’ll just use Flickr instead. While you should be active on these networks, it doesn’t mean you should depend on them 100%. Let’s look at the reasons…

You Are Subject to the Network’s Rules

This goes for any social network and hosted blog platform including WordPress.com, Blogger, Posterous, Tumblr, and so forth. When you post your content on one of these networks, you are subject to their terms of service. If you violate any of their rules, you could have a ton of content and comments one day, and nothing the next.

This means that you actually do need to read these networks’ terms of service carefully to make sure things like your content’s topic, affiliate links, and other things you are interested in posting are not going to be in violation of the network. Otherwise, you can say goodbye to your content.

Hosting companies, on the other hand, are usually pretty lenient on content so long as you aren’t doing posting anything illegal, adult in nature, violent, or otherwise against basic moral code. Topics like SEO and affiliate marketing won’t get you banned, and they probably won’t have any problem with you uploading a large image advertisement for your own website.

You Are Subject to the Network’s Changes

Does it frustrate you when Facebook or Google+ revamps their design, and your only choice is whether you will spend the time (and possibly dollars) to get your profiles and pages fixed? When you own your own website or blog, you don’t have to worry about someone else forcing you to change your design. You can pretty much abandon it for a year, come back, and see that it is still intact. Redesigns happen only with your consent.

You Are Subject to the Network’s Backup System

One of my chief concerns about anything I have online is what would happen if a server should crash. When it comes to my own WordPress sites, I have the ability to go in, backup my database & files, store them on a hard drive, and protect them in a bank vault if I so choose. Networks like WordPress.com probably have a pretty tight backup system in place, but you can’t guarantee that every network will. And if your profile or blog is removed due to terms of service violations, then they don’t have to give you a backup so you can move your content elsewhere.

You Are Subject to the Network’s Ownership of Your Content

Pinterest isn’t the first or last network to claim some ownership of content once it is uploaded to their network. What if you decide that you want to take a piece of content down? Are you sure that it won’t be archived somewhere on that network’s database, with their right to use it already covered in the TOS you agreed to when you signed up?

You Are Subject to the Network’s Success or Failure

Last, but not least, if you don’t own your own domain, then you are subject to whatever might happen to your network. Facebook is not likely to be bought out any time soon, but what about Instagram? You thought your photos there were safe in their small, fuzzy network, and now they will be owned by Facebook. Or worse, think about when a network is bought out by a larger company and then closed. Unless you forget to renew your domain or pay your hosting fees, you won’t have to worry about any of those things when you own your own website.

Those are just a few reasons to really look at keeping your content on your own blog or website, and not just on another hosted blog network or social network. What other reasons can you think of?

Similar Posts:

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

More Posts - Website

"Newsletter" Our weekly newsletter features some of the best curated SEO content from around the web!



Comment Policy

  • There is no free lunch, Kristi, and “free” services are using your personal info and your content to make money, either now or in the future. Investing your time and creativity in a platform you don’t control is like making sandcastles, fun for now perhaps but not building anything that can’t be taken away with the next tide.

  • Amanda says:

    They should rest on their narrow — 2-inch wide — edges. Set them so that their outer edges are 80 inches apart.

  • Elena Anne
    Twitter:
    says:

    So very true I had never thought of it. While you may think the reward is more so the risk is higher too. You are tied to whatever system you are dealing with.

  • Total control of your own content is very important. I also think if you want to be taken seriously you have to invest in your own domain, site and content that is branded as yours and you have control over.

    • Gerald Weber
      Twitter:
      says:

      Agree with you 100% here.

      I really wouldn’t take any business seriously that is utiliziing blogger.com or WordPress.com

      The message I get is they either have no resources or simply aren’t taking their business seriously.

      • jimmy
        Twitter:
        says:

        I have seen a couple on blogger.com sites, where the “owner” was trying to sell things from. And I wouldn’t in a million years buy anything from sites like that.

        I you don’t own your won domain and site, then you a bound to fail.
        And of course all my sites are hosted on my servers and domains. ;-)

  • maria says:

    great post, to be taken seriously you need to constantly give good quality content and make a point of replying to your readers comments in my opinion

  • I recently redesigned my blog and moved to my own host. I AM THE HAPPIEST I’ve ever been with my blog. I have so much more say in what I do and don’t do without any fear of losing all my work at the whim of some company or person. It has been marvelous and all my followers are loving the ease of the navigation and archives on my blog. I would tell anyone to GET THEIR OWN HOST! Just do it!! Don’t wait!

  • Ray says:

    I prefer to use my own self hosted account for my projects. The only thing that I occasionally read about is someone will say hosting at Google Blogspot or WordPress can be beneficial if you get a sudden surge of traffic. I mean a lot of traffic. Apparently they usually don’t even flinch, where a huge spike in traffic on some self hosted platforms can’t handle it, or get real slow. I don’t hear about it too often though, so it’s probably kind of rare. I would still pick self hosted any day.

  • paul says:

    No matter if you are a blogger looking to build a network or someone struggling to sell adsense or affiliate revenue, you have to invest in your trust.

  • Glones says:

    In my own perception, using your own flat forms will bring a huge net to itself to built up an effective and well controlled stuff along without worries because you are able to handle every singe thing effectively…

  • Steven Papas says:

    I think one of the biggest mistakes a entrepreneur can make is relying on sites like facebook or flickr to gain exposure or commissions. Networking is very important, and such sites are great for that, but having your own platform is truly essential.

  • Johan Hedin says:

    Great post Kristi…Other reasons? Just like finance, never put all your eggs in one basket holds true in any industry. All your hard earned work can get flushed down the toilet…You want to be in control of your business so having your own domain name is so true as you say. However leveraging of the network that is available at your fingertips and diversifying your traffic is the same thing….you don’t want all your traffic coming from Google cause things changes all the time. You dont want to be owned by anyone….build connections and be social and your business will not be subject to someone elses changes…

  • biobank says:

    brilliant post, to be taken seriously you need to constantly give good quality content and create a point of replying to your readers comments in my opinion