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Don’t Be A Digital Sharecropper

domain name photoAfter writing my earlier post about branding mistakes, I was listening to a Copyblogger* podcast and I was reminded how important it is to have your own domain name. More to the point, I was reminded WHY you want to have your content show up under YOUR domain name.

How many times have you heard about someone’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media account being suspended? Just yesterday I read about a mommyblogger whose Instagram account was shut down over a minor terms of service violation regarding a photo. Right or wrong, all her content is no longer available. All her effort creating a page, getting likes, followers or whatever, and now it’s a big blank page.

Digital Sharecropping

The term is “digital sharecropping” and it applies when you put your content on any platform you don’t control. If someone else owns it, you’re beholden to them and subject to their whims. Without your own website – and your own domain name, you’re creating traffic for someone else. All that fuss you hear about SEO and Google page rank? You’re helping to build someone else’s reputation and traffic. Wouldn’t you rather have all of your effort benefit your own business instead of theirs?

Your Domain Name = Your Brand

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should abandon social media. Not at all.

First, sharecropping extends to free websites and blogs too. Anyone remember Geocities.com? They had tens of thousands of websites hosted for free. They all vanished when Geocities closed their doors. Today, sites like blogger.com, web.com, weebly.com offer ways to get a free website. Continue Reading