As you might listen recently, Youtube has changed their “content restrictions policy” (again) and Youtubers are sooooo Happy about it. If you are a content creator, you should pay special attention to this post if you want to build a long-term business around your content and your audience.
When you are creating content and you put it somewhere online, then you need to use a platform. Any platform to allocate and display your content.
There is basically two options, you own the platform which means you have control over it or you have to use a third-party platform to publish your content with no full control about it.
A rented platform could be Youtube, Blogger (from Google), Medium, Pulse (from LinkedIn) and even Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
They have a whole online platform where you can easily publish, usually for free, if you are a content creator.
That sounds great!
And why you should pay to host your own content online when you can use that super powerful, effective and free platforms?
Well, there is a few important reasons if you want to be a happy content creator for a long time.
Using third-party platforms to publish and promote your content have clear advantages, one of the most important is the access to a huge audience using the platform. Just think on Facebook with 1.86 billion users in December 2016.
Doesn’t mean, though, that you will access to all those people, just the possibility to reach out that massive audience with your content.
The problem is that you don’t have any control over the platform. They store the data, your connections, your followers, your messages, your posts, your visibility, everything.
This is why is so dangerous for a content creator to build your online home in this platforms. You don’t have full control of your content.
What could happen in the worst case?
They close the platform. It is unlikely to happen with the big platforms like Facebook or Youtube. But it’s still a risk.
What is it happening right now?
They can change their policies, and they actually do it, like Youtube recently did adding a “restriction” option button to block “unappropriated” content.
Who says the content is unappropriated? Youtube. Even if the content it’s totally normal the content creator can’t show this content to all of their subscribers.
Annoying and dangerous.
I am not saying you have to avoid this channels, don’t get my wrong. On the opposite, I encourage you to look for the best channels to connect with your audience and start building your brand there.
The difference is, you have to think of those channels as a communication channel to spread your message as much as possible, and then, attract those people to your site.
I see this every day with famous YouTubers who owns YT channels with millions of subscribers. They have been using the platform because the exposure to a huge potential audience and they certainly did it thanks to YT.
That’s a fact.
But the truth is, in this cases, the platform owns their audience, their content and therefore their business. I don’t see too many YouTubers who redirect the audience to a 100% owned platform such a website, email list, etc…
I wonder what would happen if YouTube would change significantly the platform and don’t allow them to monetize their audience.
For this reason, if you are building an audience through any platform, the ultimate goal should redirect all those people to your “own home”. As a content creator, you need to have direct access to a well targeted audience and communicate with this audience in many different ways.
Ideally, I’ll say instead, you should collect their emails and build your own email list, this is your biggest asset for the future of your “content business” as a content creator.
I am sure you listen before the famous “the money is in the list”, well actually it’s true. Not 100% true. But so true.
I say not 100% true because the list doesn’t make any money on its own unless you have had created a good engagement, nurture properly and provide high-valuable content on a regular basis. Then yes, the money is in the list, a lot indeed.
You can use a lot of platforms to build the audience, this is fair and even recommendable. There are amazing tools to contact and connect with your audience. But remember, 100K followers on Twitter don’t constitute a business by itself and not necessary have to produce any money.
Here a is a good social media advice: try to engage with people, send a unique and valuable message, then build a real community and then a nice business around that.
Anything else is a number on your social media profile and only benefits your ego.
Featured picture Freepik