Begin with the end in mind
– Stephen Covey
There has never been an easier way to launch a global platform.
Our problem today isn’t ‘how to’ but ‘which one’?
Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? website? etc …
Given that in an online world, your email subscriber base is your number one asset, your priority is to have a vehicle, designed to capture those details. For most brands, that will be a website (in some cases it could be something else eg. a smartphone App).
For those starting, I recommend that vehicle to be a blog using the WordPress platform which comes in two flavours:
The difference between the two flavours can be thought of in terms of Renting vs Buying.
WordPress.com is where you essentially rent their servers to host your website/blog. The free option forces you to choose a subdomain on their URL (eg. http://yourblog.wordpress.com) but for a small annual fee you can change this to a domain name you own.
WordPress.org is the same blog platform available as free, downloadable software that you host on your server. In this scenario, you independently buy your own hosting and domain name so you technically own both of these properties.
The difference between the two may seem trivial and ‘renting’ the wordpress.com servers on the surface is an attractive, hassle free option, but ‘buying’ is a better option for the long term simply because it gives you control.
Just like renting a property, as a tenant you are subject to the terms and conditions of the landlord – in this example, WordPress.com. Further, as a tenant you can’t just make structural changes to the property as you like – unlike buyers who can do whatever they want to their own place.
90% of the time, the WordPress.com ‘renters’ conditions are fine but every now and then (and always when its mission critical) these limitations will restrict or prevent the very thing you need to do.
Since hosting and domain names are now approaching free, it pays in the long run to ‘buy’ vs ‘rent’.
The same logic applies to all social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc – on each of these properties consider yourself a tenant and these networks as landlords.
So sure, rent on these web properties while you can, but your goal is to lead prospects from any web properties you rent, to a place that you own (and ultimately on to your email subscriber list).
Begin with the end in mind.