I’ve spent a lot of time thinking on how should I share what I learn with the world, in a way that I can tailor the message to the right audience and at the same time own my platform.
I’ve signed up to Medium (@kamila) when they were just starting out so their business model was just being built. I wrote few articles on it but quickly realised that the downsides can be greater.
The original dream of the freely available information on the web is dying. Facebook, Google, TikTok, Twitter, Medium, YouTube and the likes entice us to give them our creative work. Their perfectly engineered platforms full of behavioural addiction-creating mechanisms make us work for little reward.
Putting dangerous psychological effects aside, the problem with these platforms is that they control what gets amplified and what gets monetised.
Solution? Stop giving away your work to people who care about exploiting it for their own benefit. Host your website, store etc. yourself. Distribute your work via methods you control. It’s not difficult. Build your audience on your own terms. Be in charge of the relationship with your audience. Deliver value and then ask for money if that’s your intent.
The beauty of the internet is that often you don’t need any middlemen to sell. If your work is good, people will eventually find value in it and will be ready to pay for it. Just don’t be shy to ask for it. People value things more which they need to commit to (be it form of monetary or time resources).
It’s dangerous to rely solely on third-party platforms like Amazon, Etsy or Udemy for your income/creation. Yes, it’s simpler to start and easier to reach your initial audience, but you’ll never be able to fully control the branding, customer experience and so on. And when some bot randomly decides that you’re breaking platform’s T&C and bans you from selling on the platform – you’re screwed. Appealing and trying to find actual human to set things straight will be a nerve wrecking, soul-sucking experience.
I love what platforms like Hey.com or WordPress.org are doing giving you the choice to be the consumer, not the product.
That’s why I’ve decided that if I create and publish on third-party sites, I’ll be using them as a link to my core platform – whether it’s this blog or our company’s website blog.
And you? Do you own your work?