Blogging

Don’t Build Your House on Rented Land (Why You Still Need a Website)

November 18, 2015
Why You Still Need Website

I’ve been spending a little more time on Instagram lately (join me!), and I’ve noticed something called the InstaBlog.

Essentially people are using Instagram as a micro-blogging platform. This is nothing new, but my concern lies with people who are trying to run an online business or have hopes of doing so in the future.

Five years ago I worked at an ad agency and my boss predicted that Facebook would completely replace websites because it was free and easy to use.

Even back then I cringed and said “No.” Let me explain why this is a bad idea…

You Don’t Own Your List

Within the past two years, Facebook has made it nearly impossible for you to get organic views on your business page posts (2% and lower for people who CHOSE to follow you!).

Twitter has said it will do the same, and since Facebook owns Instagram, it’s safe to assume that will get more complicated as well.

Essentially, if you build a following solely on a social media platform, you’re building your home on rented land.

You’re building your following, but you don’t own the list. The social platform does.

Having a self-hosted website and email list is still vital to operating an online business. Having your tribe opt-in to your email list is much different than having them follow you on a social media channel.

Inboxes are sacred these days, and these people are saying they WANT to hear from you. You can export that list and contact those people with whichever email service provider you choose, whereas with social media you can’t transfer those followers.

Your Followers Aren’t as Qualified

It’s also much easier for people to ignore your content in a newsfeed overflowing with friend updates, ads and other companies competing for their attention.

With your own website and blog, you have your own home or hub on the internet. If people visit from a social channel, that’s an extra step indicating their interest (aka they’re a more qualified lead).

Create an Integrated Content Plan

Instead, integrate your social channels within your website. Supplement your blog with visuals from your life + business on Instagram.

Lead people back to your website so you can track their engagement.

There are also other things to consider, such as search engine optimization. There’s a connection between social media and search rankings, but I wouldn’t rely on directing people from a Google SERP to a social profile.

Since I’m a content marketer, I’m a huge fan of blogging. However, if you choose not to write blog posts, I suggest providing an area on your website with Frequently Asked Questions. What are people typing into Google that you could help with?

I feel like there is also a trust factor involved. Would you buy from someone or hire someone who doesn’t have a website? We’re in an age where we do ample research before making a buying decision. That social profile would have to be extremely convincing and blow me away in order to make a sale.

If you’re currently running your “blog” solely on a social network OR not on a self-hosted server (so your URL reads something like blog.wordpress.com or blog.blogspot.com), I have a post on starting your own self-hosted blog with discounted pricing here.

Don’t build your house on rented land (you still need a website). twitter icon

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  • Holly November 18, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Love this post so much, Danielle! It’s so true – there’s definitely a trust factor involved and blogging is a really great way to gain trust.

    I can’t believe your boss thought Facebook would take over – it’s harder ever now to be seen on there! I love it for the groups but it’s frustrating trying to grow your page on there because you can’t really do so without paying. But for my day job we’ve been using Facebook Ads and they’ve been getting us HUGE results, so it’s really interesting.

    I didn’t know Twitter was doing the same and that really upsets me because I love Twitter 🙁

    • Dzeigler November 18, 2015 at 7:27 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Holly! I recently took a course in FB ads and started using them, as well. The targeting and retargeting is amazing. I learned about Twitter from a conference I went to recently, and it made me sad, too. I have the largest following on Twitter and love connecting with people on there. I have to say I do like the “While you were away” feature that Twitter rolled out a few months ago that shows me posts from my favorite accounts. In fact, I just pulled it up to verify what it was called and one of your posts showed up first haha!