First of all welcome to my website! At this point, it’s just a blog and a reference to the vlog. But in the future, I hope to add some more pages that will represent who I am, what I do and where I will speak.
I had many reasons to start my website. In reality, so do you. Let’s go over some of the reasons why I build this site.
Own your content
Both Mattias Geniar and Freek Van der Herten have said it before. Everyone should own the content that they create.
My last post dates back to Februari 2019. That post, and the ones before it, were published on the Medium platform. I had no real place of my own on the web to post on.
Of course there are multiple spaces that I’m present on. Spaces like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others. But none of these are my own either. Not in reality. They represent a page of yourself on a different app.
This means that I own none of the content online. It’s owned by different companies on the web. Who knows what they will do with the content I provided, they could delete it or make other people pay for it.
They might delete your content
As others own your content, they might as well delete it without your consent. It has happened on Medium before and even on social media.
Recently 1 of the top Belgian TikTok accounts was deleted without any warning or reason. Herman Maes covered this story in 1 of his posts which you can read here. For non-Dutch speakers, Stien Edlund is a Belgian TikTok user with more than 2,5 million followers. They deleted her account without any warning or feedback. Luckily she has her own platform on which she can provide her content.
So if 1 of the platforms that I’m on deletes any of my content it will still be reachable on my own platform.
Others might make money from your content
Medium is by far the biggest example here. With their new paywall, they will earn money on your content. In essence, they take a piece of the pie. Which is fine since you agree with it. But it can turn out as a nightmare.
The whole design of Medium is built around their paywall. Whenever you try to read a post you get blasted with pop-ups and layovers to make you pay to read more. This has led to a lot of people complaining about it on Twitter. Not only does this mean you will lose money but people will also be unhappy when they try to read your post.
Gateway to your business
A while ago I started following Jelle Verdoodt. In the weeks after I started following him we had an interesting discussion. He believes that if you build a strong personal brand it will lead clients to your business brand.
As a freelancer that is a very strong reason to start my website. With each post on this site, the branding of my persona takes more shape. Potential clients can then see how far my knowledge reaches but also what kind of person I am.
Pushes to become a producer
Owning a website with a blog means there is extra pressure to start producing more content. In the past, I already made a post about being a producer instead of consumer. I’s why I added the dates in the overview of the posts.
It acts as a knowledge center
By adding all these posts I’m essentially creating a wiki with multiple upsides. Not only can I reach it from anywhere in the world, everyone can. As a meetup co-organizer, a public speaker and a developer in the PHP ecosystem I know and realize how important it is to share knowledge.
Sharing knowledge is what keeps this community so strong and tight. We all learn from each other and prevent others from making the same mistake. Besides that, it also feels good to share.
My own playground
Of course I can create multiple apps, setup multiple servers and start playing around with multiple languages. In the end, this is another experiment, another playground. I can test things out on this site and play around with the technologies behind it.
Everyone should have their own site. A place they own to put their research, their thoughts, their content. It doesn’t even need to be shared with the rest of the world. You can keep it all to yourself. Happy creating!