Yay! You made it, another round around the sun! It has been a tough year but you have stayed strong and made it through 🙃
2021 was a year of transformation with new life experiments and hours of thought into whether I was making the right design decisions *noteworthy sarcasm*
This year I started my own blog (Thanks to Digital Deepak) published my home page, quit social media for 30 Days & read a few books. But most importantly got my domain name and hosting.
And that’s what I’m here to talk about.
Your Home On The Internet
Having your own website gives you a significant advantage over any other social media platform. Most people know that all of the social media is run by algorithms that prioritize certain content based on your engagement with the help of machine learning.
You might initially get more attention and followers on social media than visitors to your website. Bringing visitors to your website generally takes more effort but there is a catch.
Whether you’re a creator, artist, designer, or entrepreneur, your followers are not your permanent audience or your leads. A lead is someone who willingly gives away their name and email Id because they’re interested in your work, product, or services.
Social media platforms sometimes get into controversy and some even get banned like TikTok on 29 June 2020.
Now without a backup plan (which is your email list), all communication to your audience is lost and there is no way to recover your audience.
Your website is a platform where you can build direct attention, Once you have even a handful of visitors coming back to read your content or see your work, you can start building an email list. Every email and newsletter you ever write will always be delivered to everyone who signed up, unlike the content you post on social media.
Whether someone sees your social media post depends on the algorithm, which means not all of your followers are going to see the content you post but only some of the most engaged people who always like, comment or share your posts.
This is not to say that social media is not helpful, that is really far from the truth. It has its pros and cons.
Creators on social media keep posting to stay at the top of people’s minds (That is the attention economy) but the content they produce can quickly become stale with time because algorithms (Instagram in particular) promote newer content than older ones.
Your Website gives you complete control over your audience, You can see detailed analytics with the help of Google Site Kit, build a close-knit community for a cause or surrounding the topics of shared interest that you like most. Build thought leadership with the help of your writing and ranking at the top of search engines with SEO.
As of 2020, there were around 12,079,400 active blogging websites. Overwhelming. I know. But is it still meaningful in 2022 to have your own blog or personal website? Absolutely.
Google Search Indexing still works through keywords. So if you write about certain niche topics with long-tail keywords it’s still possible to rank on the first page when a certain ‘keyword’ within the title of your blog is Googled.
What I Learned setting up my website
Setting up your website comes with a few decisions to make. Where can you buy a domain and hosting when there are a bajillion options presented and how do you decide on what’s best for you?
I got my Domain registered with name.com and with hosting I really recommend Hostinger with their plans starting from as little as Rs.79 for a single website that is Rs.948 a year. They have a good support team & their servers are up all the time.
You choose the way your website represents you, and what you prioritize to show, and why. You can approve comments see what sources of the web visitors come from and where they are located. The more SEO you do, the higher the likelihood of your web pages being discovered.
If you’re someone who is serious about being discovered in the long term, think about what you want to be known for (in the long term) and find at least three keywords for the same. The more niche the keywords, the better the odds of your pages ranking at the top of organic search.
You may or may not want to have a blog, that’s up to you but writing helps me get more clarity and for people to understand my thought process. Blogging also helps with your webpage being discovered because Google is a text-based platform, unlike Instagram which is a visual-first platform.
The Imposter Syndrome
Let’s address the elephant in the room.
I wasn’t the first one to think whether I was good enough to write online because
a) I am not a ‘Writer’. I told myself
b) I am not a complete expert in everything design, marketing & books that I talk about. I told myself
But waiting till I become an “expert” at anything is going to kill time and the thrill of learning and sharing new things online. Moreover, my digital marketing mentor once told us that people are not always looking for subject matter experts, they care more about whether they can find answers or solutions to the search query they entered.
Starting before you’re ready
If you’ve opened Quora before it is filled with anonymous subjective opinions & answers to questions people ask. Most of them are not subject matter experts, in fact, they are anonymous but they still get upvoted for a good answer. The best advice I received was to start before I am an expert, which no one knows when that would be.
I am focusing on quantity over quality with respect to writing. Yes you heard that right, there is so much you won’t see published, with time and volume quality will follow. James Clear in his book ‘‘Atomic Habits’ writes about an experiment where students in a film photography class were split into 2 groups.
One group was graded based on the number of photos they produced, the more the number the higher the grade and the other group was graded on the excellence of the one and only photo they produced during the semester, it turned out the quantity group produced a better quality of work than the group focused on the quality of work (read the full case study here)
It appears that to me that feeling like an imposter to the point I can’t produce work because I am obsessed with the quality of my work is merely wasting time in speculation. So there you go, you can start before you become an expert!
You can start putting your website together once you get a hosting or a domain name. Having your personal website in 2022 is a good step to take when building your personal brand or establishing thought leadership in a niche subject matter. Having one in place can help you build your email list take control of your audience, monetize traffic, view detailed analytics and position your brand on the internet.
What is something you learned this year?
Have feedback or like what you read? Comment down below
For Hosting go to Hostinger.com
For Domain name registration head over to name.com
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