January 20, 2024

Own Your Digital Space

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Posted by Sharmarke Hujale

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4 min read

The noise on social media is loud.

Everyone is fighting for attention, seeking followers, likes, and shares.

And it becomes a challenge to get your voice heard and seen when you don't have a huge following.

The ever-changing algorithm doesn't make it any easier.

An algorithm that favors content from those with huge followings.

Let's not forget, that you're sometimes being force-fed ridiculous content because that's what the algorithm 'thinks' you want to see.

Also, when a new social media platform pops up, most people rush over to that new platform.

To try it out, to see if they can establish themselves.

Because it is a new platform, maybe there's a chance to get a piece of the new cake.

But what most new platforms end up being is just adding more noise to an already crowded space.

The world of social media is the Wild West with its own rules beyond your control.

Is Social Media All Bad?

Hear me out.

Social media is a powerful tool.

It's great for sharing ideas, distributing content, and getting seen.

It's also a great way to build an audience, connect with people, and create a community.

But it also has its problems.

What if policy and feature changes would impact your business model, strategy, or monetization method negatively?

Or worse.

What if they suddenly decided to shut the doors for good?

All of your hard work has gone to ashes.

How would you feel about it?

Frustrated? Angry? Throw yourself out of the window? (I know this is an extreme example).

I would be.

This is what happens when you solely rely on social media instead of growing out of it.

Create Your Own Digital Space

It took me a long time to realize that I was relying too much on social media and less on my personal website.

And I didn't even think about building an email list until recently.

I look at a personal website like an empty canvas.

You can fill it with whatever you want.

Imbued it with your personality and values.

You make the rules.

It's the space where people have the opportunity to learn about you and your work.

Your digital space is like a breathing room for people after being thrown into the storm of social media.

Stop Treating It as a Backup, Make It a Priority

You might think to yourself, 'But, it's too much work. I don't have the time to do it. It's just easier to have my social media account.'

Building your personal website and email list isn't a one-time-then-that-done-project.

No, it's an ongoing project. You'll make hundreds of iterations over time.

Because there's always something to work on and maintain.

You don't even have to make it complex. A simple blog page, about page, and where people can sign up for your newsletter can be a start.

The question you should ask yourself is, are you willing to invest in it or gamble with social media when it comes to your content and business?

The content that you share is important.

It's an extension of you.

Your thoughts and ideas. What you're up to and what you believe in.

Imagine all of that gone in a second?

You never owned anything to begin with.

You were in a rented space instead of building your own space.

Every time I see the hype train of a new platform or an existing one going in another direction—I'm more compelled to put in the hours of building my own.

Final Thought

'Personal websites are the backbone of the independent Web of creators.'

– Matthias Ott

I've always been a big advocate for having your own personal website, no matter your profession, especially if you're an artist, creator, writer, designer, or involved in any kind of creative work.

Social media shouldn't be ignored.

But the intention should be to build your own digital space (website + email list) where social media acts as a supporting bridge to direct traffic, instead of being the final destination.

This is where your attention should be placed.

There's no algorithm at play. No pressure. No noise.

You own it.

It's an investment that will pay you dividends in the long run.

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