No, not in every case. A lot of people think having a website is just what you do. This is just not true! We need to look at the precise circumstances of your objectives, subject space, For some people a website just isn’t needed, they can be more effective with different media.
Again, this has many variables. Some people make social work for them incredibly well, while others struggle with it, and gain very little traction. The world has changed, many people have not caught up with this yet. There is no default answer to this, but we know that billions of people are active on social, it makes sense to look at different approaches, the specifics matter!
Today we have many tools, systems, Saas platforms, builders, you could build everything you need yourself BUT this is a lot of work, and the results are not guaranteed! It is always great if you have help, and expertise working for you. Cutting costs can sometimes be deceptive, you waste a lot of time and energy trying to do it all by yourself, a combination of specialised help combined with your efforts works best.
Many people think that hiring a full on tech team is going to get them better results. So-called ‘Full Stack” refers to coders, the software engineers who build bespoke web projects, this is a VERY expensive option, and the results show us that projects fail just as much with these hand coded projects. The variables are not about ‘Full Stack’ they are more about what is effective, and this is down to many other factors, ‘Communication’ chops are more important.
Not really. Hosting is a critical part of any web publication, your hosting determines page load speeds, and the overall performance of your pages, either in a site, or stand alone. You really do need good quality hosting, This is one area where seeking out very cheap options can work against your goals.
There are a lot of people claiming to be ‘experts’ out there, and some of them are exceptionally clever with convincing you to pay them enormous fees. We live in the ‘Information Age’ and knowledge is open to us all, but we need guidance and advice, not to mention technical resources that truly work! The value of a genuine web specialist is incalculable, but judgement is needed here!
If we are working with the World Wide Web then “Communication” is the name of the game. You might think that ‘Technology’ is what the internet, and WWW is all about, many people seem to, but I disagree!
Yes, all of the internet, and the WWW is made possible and sustained by technology, but this is not the true business of computers, or networks, the real business of our internetworked world is the amplification of our communication.
We can get very intellectual here, and talk about the nature of communication, but I don’t want to do that. I want to provide a clear, useful description of what the web is all about, and why you need to reassess your ideas about it.
The truly successful projects on the web are all about how well they make sense, and fit with groups of people. Google, for example has a very complicated objective and the back-0end of Google would stagger you in terms of its technical complexity, check out this single installation of ONE of their data and server farms:
The same applies to FACEBOOK, and all of the Silicon Valley media projects, these people have enormous resources and highly complex operations, bu in terms of Google their main page is very simple indeed:
Their main objective is to offer you a simple solution to a hugely complex task. Networks are communication amplifiers, they store enormous volumes of data and make that data available to us instantly.
Our task is to present what we are offering to a specific bunch of people very easy and understandable. This could be your teaching, your ideas, your thoughts and feelings, your goods and services.
Each case is highly specific, and each case requires a unique approach. The big problem with much of the web services we see out there is this tendency to make everything GENERIC, this is toxic to your goals, we need to avoid generic like the plague!
Being typical, ubiquitous (looking the same everywhere you go), offers us a pattern, but it also has the effect of making us disappear into the background.
The true outcome we want is to capture the attention of whoever it is we seek to reach, right?
If you look and sound just like everything else, you will vanish into the smudged grey sameness of the noise.
This is why the tagline of my website is: ‘Digital Media for a Noisy World’
My goal is to produce media which stands out and has a distinctive quality, this does not mean being loud and garish, it means being essentially authentic and true to purpose.
You want to achieve a certain result, this can only be achieved by taking a close look at what this is, and reverse engineering the steps which are going to make that possible.
1. Domain Name – there are over 1,000 options for your domain top level, that bit after the dot. Too many supposed experts are still telling you that the .com is the favored choice, and once upon a time they were right, back in the earlier days of the web having a dot com ensured you were more easily able to rank. This just isn’t the case today. Smart linking, and the move away from ‘Search’ as the primary type of activity means that your dot.sport TLD has as much SEO potential as any other choice. Alphabet, the parent company of Google has .XYZ, are Google worried about having a .com TLD?
2. Hosting – all the blogging gurus are trying to get you to buy from their affiliate link to Hostgator, or Bluehost. These businesses offer a handsome reward for gurus sending them customers, many of the gurus make a substantial part of their living from such affiliate links. I get it, I really do. If you want good results you need decent hosting, these guys are genuinely good: Liquid Web. I too offer hosting from AWS, if you are interested with good hosting, let me know. Page load speeds, and the overall performance of your pages/podcasts/videos depend on this.
3. Media Production Platform – Owning your media platform is an incredible opportunity. The idea of being in control of your own media has been dumbed down in recent years. The plethora, and scale of Silicon Valley, and other mass platforms work to aggregate the production of masses of people, so the concept of being a ‘media owner’ has cleverly been obscured by this, people feel Hip and cool if they participate with ‘Anchor’ or ‘Spotify’, but their distinctive identity is also obscured, and their ability to produce exactly what they want is determined by someone else’s ‘Terms of Service’. By owning your media publishing platform you always have this ‘fall back’ position of being able to publish to the web under your unique image, your logo and name. Wide distribution of your work is still the objective, but always from your own media location!
I promote WordPress as the ideal choice, not because there is any money involved, WordPress is Open Source mate, but because it is the best media publishing platform. I am invariably agnostic when it comes to technology, but I do like stuff that works.
I was speaking with a pretty switched on guy recently who had been publishing to LinkedIn for the past 6 years, a great writer and someone who knows his own field extremely well, he had built up quite a following on LinkedIn. Well this dude put a foot wrong, he posted one too many ‘edgy’ articles or placed too many affiliate links in his work, in any case LinkedIn deleted 6 years worth of work!
I asked him if he had his own blog, or site…Nope!
“Do people still bother with this kind of thing’? This is what he asked me.
Well mate, if you had published to your own media platform you would still have all your articles and so forth, you could have published them on Medium/Quora/Facebook as well, but still had your brand working for you.
It is like so many aspiring journalists I see these days. Medium is IT, they don’t want to know about anything else.
Be a media owner, be a contender, have a distinctive identity, differentiate yourself from the great mass of ‘me too’ writers and businesses.
4. Produce Content- do you know that with a media platform, such as this very one you are looking at, you can publish:
1. Articles and essays together with graphics and charts
2. Podcasts, series and episodes
You can combine all that you produce under the one roof, and from here I can distribute all of this right across the WWW, do you understand how significant this is? Do you?
eCommerce is pretty big these days, do you know what improves your sales from eCommerce? Email
Those people who can capture the email address of their customers have a golden opportunity to build a rapport, and conduit of communication with them. It is all about communication, everything that we do as people is based on communication. This one measure can massively change your results.
Twilio, mobile numbers. Have you heard of Twilio? If Email is good business, imagine what being able to directly reach your customers with a bespoke SMS system is? You can send them opportunities to buy stuff, and reach them from their beloved phones.
The upshot of what I am telling you here, is that the specifics matter a great a deal, stop being so GENERIC in your thinking, the WWW is the most powerful communication medium ever built, we need to get very particular, very specific, very focused, the best way to build your identity and gain visibility is to be a MEDIA OWNER. Don’t let them distract you from this.