You might be a freelancer, a business owner, a cook, a book reseller – you could still need people to read your content. Do you need a website, even if you’re on social media?
Yes, and there are multiple reasons to have one.
A website can really help you boost your business or help you create a new one, as even blogs can be very profitable.
If you’re on social media just for socializing with people, and not to build a business, then that’s fine. However, if you have a business or want to start earning money online, you’ll need a website.
Building a website is like building a house, you choose the location, design, interior elements. On the other hand, relying entirely on social media is like living in a friend’s house, it serves the purpose, but it’s not entirely up to your taste and needs.
Why do I need a website?
This question might have popped up in your mind while reading this. When comparing website vs social media, you have to take into account the fact that you can still advertise on social media, even if you already have a website.
There are several ideas that we’ll develop in this article but there are two main reasons for owning a website in the age of social media:
- You can reach many more users. Using all the possible channels together, such as social media, a website, paid ads will allow you to reach a bigger audience. That will, of course, reflect in your sales and views.
- Basic websites don’t require a lot of investments or skills. One of the main reasons why business owners are on the fence of building a website is the lack of time and money. However, trustworthy hosting providers have different plans for different budgets. You could be running your website for as little as $2/month. Additionally, the majority of website hosts offer website building services – so you don’t need to worry about the design.
Still not convinced? Here are another 4 motives on why you should own a website even if you’re active on social media.
1. It’s much easier to find a website
The way most people search for things online is through a search engine. The main search engine is Google, and you probably find yourself using it a lot throughout the day. It’s most likely a rare occurrence that you go to social media to search for something you don’t know yet.
Google processes around 3.5 billion searches per day. That is a very big number, considering that only 56% of the world population has access to the internet.
Google is also the most used search engine, and it gives you lots of tools to customize how your website appears on search engine results. Features such as meta descriptions, appropriate keywords, and titles allow you to customize the way your website is seen.
Best of all? Most of these things can be done for free.
These tools can’t be utilized on social media. Social media comes as it does, and you have little influence over it.
2. More control over your own data & privacy
Here’s how Facebook, one of the most popular social media platform, introduces its data policy for users:
This basically means, that technically you still own your content, but you have no control over it. The one option that you’re offered for control over your content might not even always work.
The terms state: “In addition, content you delete may continue to appear if you have shared it with others and they have not deleted it.”
So you can’t fully delete the content either. More importantly, your contact information is available on social media, and even if they offer an option to hide it, it is still not in your sole possession, and there have been numerous times when data was exposed.
This hack exposed over 50 million user’s personal information, which might or might not include a phone number.
As you can see, security is not entirely in your hands, and Facebook is being targeted frequently.
If that’s not scary enough for you, Facebook can suspend or ban any account they deem suspicious. If a business is operating solely on Facebook, a suspension or ban will greatly cripple that business. That would leave the business without a way to deliver a message to their loyal customers. Their main marketing tool would be taken away.
Social networks sometimes change their algorithm or policies, and that usually causes a massive rumble from their users. For example, Youtube in 2017 changed its ad policy which resulted in a heavy blow to the creators.
Then there were Facebook’s changes to their news feed algorithm. They started showing more posts from personal connections and less from Facebook pages. This concluded in websites receiving a lot less Facebook-referred views than before.
All in all, you have much more control over your data and privacy with a website. Hosting providers tend to collect less data (of course, always read the Privacy Terms before buying), allowing you to handle the content and information yourself.
3. Freedom that only a website can give you
The posting rules of Facebook or any other social media are a little limiting. Remember the 140 character limit on Twitter? Yeah, it’s now raised to 280, but it’s still very restricting. Instagram videos can only be 60 seconds long, with the exception of IGTV.
Why not use a website to beat these limits?
You can use social media to advertise the content of your website, if you’ve got a huge post, you can upload a photo to Instagram or Facebook with a text snippet and a link back to your website. You can still use social media to get more views, but also increase viewer retention.
Also, deleting or editing posts is much easier when you own the website. Searching for a post from a few years ago on Facebook is a nightmare, there’s no search button and you have to search manually. On your own website, you could find the post within 3 seconds.
4. Earning money is much easier on a website
Earning money directly through social media is reserved for huge celebrities with hundreds of thousands of followers. The main way to earn money is through sponsorships, and you’re not getting a sponsorship with only 3,000 followers.
In fact I’ve recently put together an article – how to make money on Instagram, if you’re curious to learn more about it.
A website, on the other hand, doesn’t need any prerequisites to start earning you money. You can implement ads on it from the get-go. Granted, the ads might not deliver any revenue at start, but as you grow, you’ll start to see some numbers popping up.
Another way to earn money is to sell online. If you’re a business, even local, you can quickly grow your customer base from one city to one country. Shipping fees are so cheap these days that you might not even need to mention it.
Even if you’re not a business, starting a blog can earn you a significant amount of money. A blog can be just writing about your passion, whether it’s cars, toys, or whatever you need it to be.
The number of ways to make money on your own website is less limited than on social media.
5. You Actually Own A Website
Even though you can edit your profile to your liking and communicate through your social media accounts, you don’t actually own them. And if you don’t play by the specific platform’s rules – you can get banned. Sometimes Instagram or Facebook ban accounts without any explanation.
Now imagine if, for example, a Facebook or Instagram account is your main source of revenue. If you get banned – your brand and business can suffer immensely.
A website, on the other hand, is a much more reliable platform for business. You won’t get banned for posting too much and other users can’t report you for the content they don’t like. You’re the sole owner of your domain name and a brand that your website represents. You can play by your own rules – a website won’t go anywhere (well, unless you forget to pay for your hosting or domain renewal).
By choosing a reliable hosting platform with strong security protocols, you can make sure that your website is always available to users without worrying about bans and ‘Terms of Agreement’ breaches.
Yes, of course, you need a website.
It’s gonna set you free from all the social media restrictions and earn you a lot more money. Using both a website and social media platforms will attract more views and clientele.
The benefits of a website far outweigh the cost of owning one. It doesn’t even have to cost a lot. You can build a website for cheap, and without hiring a developer. Today’s tools are making it much easier.
The most important thing to remember is control.
Control is what you trade for using social media. It might seem like social media is free, but all the time you put into it, they convert it into their dollars.