Or more aptly,
Why you should always write on your “home base”.
I’ve always been a big proponent of owning and writing on your “Home Base”. For clarification, Home Base is the site you have complete control over. It’s NOT Facebook or Linkedin. It’s the site you have calls to action and lead capture on. For me, it’s here at AreWeConnected.com
I recently saw a tweet from Wil Wheaton.
HuffPost: We’d like to publish a story you wrote! Me: Cool! What do you pay? HP: Oh, we can’t afford to pay, but EXPOSURE! Me: How about no.
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) October 27, 2015
Was Wil just being a Hollywood Dick? No. But, I’ll get back to why Wil’s tweet is important in a bit.
I’m a voracious reader of content. I’m not talking about skimming the stream on Facebook. I read 200+ posts a day on my FeedReader. I read a bunch of posts on sites like Medium as well. Fascinating long reads like the Ghost Boat. I’ve spent hours and hours following the Ghost Boat posts.“243 People Disappeared. Young People. Women. Children. And No One Cares”. If you haven’t read it check it out.
I love Medium for the long content I find. To be honest, I have to admit that more than a few times I’ve been tempted to write on Medium. Or for that matter Linkedin, or now Facebook (which allows long post formats similar to Medium).
Why you ask?
Eyeballs. I want more people to see my stuff. I want more exposure. I want my message to be received by as many people as it can. It’s what we all want, right? (at least in our posts)
That’s why the Huff Post can get away with asking someone like Wil if they can publish one of his posts for free – people want exposure (most people, Wil is an exception). I’ve fallen into this trap many times myself. Not that I think I should be paid to write the dribble I produce, but having my stuff posted on sites like Examiner, LinkedIn, local news outlets and magazines and even the Wall Street Journal, for free, just for the hope of getting more exposure.
To make it clear, I don’t think I should be paid to write and knowing most of my readers they shouldn’t either. We use our sites to a variety of reasons with the ultimate payoff of doing more business (in the business that we are in). Collectively I can say we don’t pay the rent with AdSense, or guest posts or sponsored posts. We write to educate, to build and earn trust, to earn the business of that next client. Does that make sense?
But here’s the thing. This lure of exposure is a big trade off and I contend it’s a losing one at that. Exposure is great but none of those other sites can do what my Home Base can do. I was just reading a post on Medium entitled “Why you shouldn’t blog on Medium” – how ironic is that?
Clicks That Count
The article was written by an experienced writer with quite a few posts on Medium. He noted a few things of interest.
“People never click through to other blog posts I mention within my Medium posts. Or the ones I mention at the bottom of almost every post. No one ever signs up to my newsletter at the end of every article.“
This is true. I hardly ever click a link to go somewhere else on Medium. My site (and yours should) has Calls to Action, Related Posts (to keep you digging deeper) and other items to further endear you to me. It’s a marketing tool. In my case I want to build your next website. Your site has it’s own objectives and plan of attack depending on what you ‘sell’.
“We, aspiring writers, amateur writers, people who are just starting off, think that we could use Medium as a traffic machine. But it doesn’t work. Remember, you’re competing with presidents, celebrities and what not. And whose content will you most likely read?”
When it comes to competition, the readers on your site have nobody else to read – just you. Once you’ve gotten them to your site, it’s up to you to keep them there.
He also brought up items like Suggested Posts (see the bottom of this post), Brand Dilution and a few other good points.
Back to Wil
Ok, so is that weird? In an effort to get more exposure (I can only assume), he reposted it word for word on Medium.
So, maybe we do all want more exposure after all – even Wil.
He's an avid hockey fan, rides a mountain bike, sometimes rides a road bike, has a few motorcycles (he had a really fast one, bought a cool orange one, rode a really slow one, and wants a really small one). If that isn't enough, he makes cheese and sourdough bread, loves strong beer and good red wine, and poorly plays the Mandolin.