Why not to build a personal website? Or rather, structure your thoughts on the proposed website first!
Website in the context of this article refers to a the blog, or custom content hosting that will enable you to share your interests, opinion, and what not with the world. There are tens of reasons you want to have your own site:
- Consistent branding that is in your control
- Wider options to choose how you want the audience to get your thoughts, opinions and stuff, without worrying about what one or the other social platforms can do for you
- Less dependency on the social platforms that do not guarantee
- Opportunity to make money (if at all your website turns out to be decent enough)
But, stop and think before you act, and consider the complexities.
1. Websites cost real money
Website needs a domain, hosting space and potentially technical help to get up and running. Although there are ways to optimise the costs (learn how), you are still spending money today. If you are starting a new website and still new to writing, be prepared to not expect any returns on investment for quite sometime.
2. Websites demand content
Similar to other forms of expression on the internet. websites are subject to radioactive decay if left unattended. There are alternatives which may fit into your daily schedule, but that may not be true for a distinct, stand-alone website (unless your commitment is exemplary). If you have not tired creating content for blogs or some offline writing, the best place to start is somewhere else.
3. Websites need technology know-how
Although in today’s world it is a lot less painful to build a website than the early days, you still need to be comfortable dealing with a few technical terms. You still need to browse around and read opinions on where to setup components of your website. If you are not in the Information Technology space, you will find it harder. There are gazillion ways of putting together a website, and that will only help to confuse you a bit more.
So, what can you do if you have a bursting creativity that demands sharing with fellow humans? Here are some options that can act as a good baseline:
- Start with facebook, pinterest or linkedin depending your topics of interest. This not only familiarizes you with keeping the audience engaged and gain popularity, but also act as a good spring board to try whether your ideas interest the world. Social media platforms today (e.g. facebook) tend to combine multiple activities, which may gel well with your ‘normal’ and don’t impose pressure to deliver. Well, do note that ‘normal’ people can turn into obsessive sharers of their kitten photos – I am talking the pre-transformation period.
- Blog! Blogs demand your creativity and test your ability to structure and present content, and almost need the same kind of sustenance as a website. Once you start blogging consistently , you will be able to get a good grasp of how things will look further on. Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr are a few examples of of popular blogging platforms. You may also note that the blogs can easily be converted to websites with a separate domain name (more about that later)
- Sign up on Medium, or Quora to find an active and engaging audience
- Volunteer to write on any of your friends’ blogs, websites
What do you think? Is it worthwhile starting a website for beginners, have you seen the above ideas work elsewhere?