You have decided to start a blog for your business. You start outlining content and planning a calendar of posts. You have so much to say to your audience! But before you can publish anything, you have to decide where you are going to actually post. Should you be blogging where your readers are already hanging out online? Sure! Won’t your posts get a lot more traffic on an existing content platform than they would on your own, relatively unknown domain?
Not so fast. Turns out the grass is not quite so green on those big blogging platforms.
Do You Rent or Do You Own?
Step back from your blog for a moment and think about where you live. Is your monthly home payment going to a landlord, or does it pay down a mortgage and build equity for your future? Sure, there are major perks to renting—it is a short-term option, you are not at risk of major repair expenses, and you do not have to pour your life savings into a down payment. But you also do not have control over your domicile. If there is a leak or problem, you have to wait for the management company to send somebody out to make the fix. You do not get to choose when or how the repairs are conducted. If your landlord decides to sell the building and the buyer does not want to keep the tenants, you may need to find a new place to live when your lease is up.
If you own your home, you have to consistently put work and resources into maintaining it. But you also get to do things your way. If you do not like the kitchen cabinets, you can repaint them or install new ones. If you would prefer tile walls in your bathroom, you can put those in. Because the property belongs to you, you will never have to move out simply because some stranger decided you should not live there anymore. Renting vs. owning your home is not just a financial decision—it is a lifestyle decision, too.
We can also go with another example—a car. Nowadays, renting a car actually might make more sense. Your automobile—provided it is not a classic—will most likely lose value overtime. Your house will not. With cars, you can easily rent or lease one and not pay an absurd amount of money upfront just to watch your purchase decline in value day after day. What we are saying is that renting is not all bad. It is a tool. You just have to know when and how to use it.
What Does Renting vs. Owning Have to Do with Blogging?
Blogging on somebody else’s site is like renting your home: sure, everything is set up for you and all you have to do is put in your content and click publish. Medium is a great example of a popular blogging site with lots of high-quality content and lots of people who want to read what is posted. There are many other similar sites, and I could give you countless examples of sites that have risen and fallen in popularity over time.
The problem, for your business, is that you do not actually control your blog content by using one of these sites. What if the site you have chosen is sold or goes out of business?What if they change their algorithm and no one can find your content anymore? What if the site simply falls out of fashion and people stop spending their time there?
If you’ve built your business’ entire content strategy on what is essentially rented land, you are placing your marketing in the hands of whoever controls that site.
When you blog on your own domain, you retain ultimate control over your content. Posting content on popular sites is fine for individuals who are writing on personal topics. It is downright dangerous for a business.