In previous articles, we’ve discussed finding the right voice and right platform for your content. But how do people find that voice? Equally important to finding your voice is finding consistent places where your fans can find you! So today, we’re going to discuss the steps you need to take to carve out a more permanent home on the internet!
Before we dig in, though….you might be wondering why we need to do this at all. I mean, you’ve already got your own page on Twitch or Youtube, right? I mean fans could always find you there, right?
Wrong. And we’ll prove it to you with one recent example. In a previous article, we discussed the death of the Mixer platform. We had so many community members who lost their own community overnight, because they didn’t have a consistent location that they controlled, where their fans could find them, no matter what happened. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that, when you build your brand on someone else’s platform, you are at the mercy of that platform. The best thing we can do to protect our own brands is to make them as platform-independent as possible. Let’s talk about what that can look like.
As a brand, you need somewhere to be able to send a message (such as a blog/facebook post), a professional contact point, a way to disseminate links and info, and an easy place to verbally direct people to. There are two real ways that you can accomplish this feat, and both have their own strengths and weaknesses.
The first way is to cobble together a platform from multiple free services. You can create a blog on a place like facebook or tumblr, or a more mainstream free website platform like Wix. You can create a more professional, free email address (i.e., email@example.com) at a number of different email sites. And you can tie that all together with a link dump site (like Linktree or Bio.Link), to give yourself a place to gather information and a short link to send everyone to. This is a complete solution that checks all the boxes.
The Cobble solution is great for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it’s something you can do for little-to-no cost to you. Unfortunately, that’s where the pros end. It’s a significant number of platforms to manage. More importantly, if one of those platforms sunsets, that’s a piece of the puzzle you need to rebuild. Having multiple pieces of the puzzle that you can’t control is not great, but in the end, it’s a great free option that is still far superior to limiting your brand to one single platform.
Ultimately, though, the best plan is to find a platform you can fully control. Typically, that means getting your own domain, and hosting your own website. From your own site, you can check every single box we discussed earlier yourself. You can create a blog/updates page, and you can create a links page, where you can promote whatever you want. Not to mention YourBrand.com and YourName@YourBrand.com are very nice to throw around. All in all, creating your own website is a great all-in-one solution.
The best part of creating your own website is being in full control of the situation. That website will be up and running--and a part of your business strategy--for as long as you want it around. Not to mention that, if you are trying to work with a brand, they will often take you far more seriously if you have your own domain and associated business email. With that being said, there are some drawbacks. First and foremost, getting a website up and running on your own does take at least a modicum of tech knowledge, and some aspects can have a bit of a learning curve to them. Additionally, there are costs associated with running your own website; namely, hosting fees and domain registration fees. And depending on how extensive of a hosting package you select and how in-demand your domain name is, it could end up costing a decent chunk of change. At some point, you’ll have to figure out what your business needs, and make the budget work for that. But, in the name of completely owning your web presence, it might just be worth it.
Now, the purpose of this whole series is purely to help our budding content creators build their brand. Then again, what good is a platform like this, when you don’t drop a shameless plug from time to time?
The Noname Nerd does offer a complete suite of web services, including (as-of publication time) new .com domains from 16.99, web hosting from $2.49, website builder, wordpress hosting services,security services, and more. Oh and did I mention we offer a COMPLETELY FREE wordpress site? Because we have that too! Head over to host.nonamenerd.com to see the full selection we offer, as well as current promotions.
Ok, shameless plug time over.
Creating your own digital footprint for your business is a necessity these days. With that said, there are multiple ways you can tackle this project. You can go for the free, cobbled-together approach, or you could go for the cleaner, more professional, all-in-one approach. What is important is that you have that place to send your people. Have you set up something like this already? Let us know what approach you are using, and how it’s working for you over in the #noname-nerd-podcast channel on our discord! Not already a member? Grab the links to our communities at NerdsBelongHere.com! And as always, stay tuned to this blog for more great tips and tricks!