Do you use a social media platform? I do, my own Twitter account. An account on one of the many social platforms gives you a web presence for free. A free lunch? No, because social media platforms pose some risks for your web presence.

A screenshot of the instructor's Twitter homepage, an example of a free social media account.

Because you don’t own your social media account the following distressing events can occur:

  • Though you don’t pay for your account, you pay “rent” with your attention to the platform. In turn, the platform benefits from using your information for various commercial purposes — showing you highly focused ads for example.
  • Your account can be closed against your wishes if you violate the platform’s terms of use.
  • The whole platform can be disappear. Remember Google+ or Vine?
  • Access to your content can be changed without warning. Just ask YouTube creators who were dramatically affected by policy changes.
  • Ads you neither like nor choose may be associated with your content.

There are some hidden risks to free after all. When you “rent” you are at the mercy of platform rules over which you have no control. 

What’s the alternative to renting?  It’s owning, which means hosting your own website with a personal domain name.

Finding a domain name and setting up a website is inexpensive and easy to do — if you know what to. I’ve done the work of finding and using the necessary tools.

I’ve also prepared step-by-step instructions on how to implement those web-presence-creating tools in my Nobody’s Guide course.

For an overview of what’s involved visit my handy checklist of the steps involved.

Your website can complement your social media presence. For example, a post on your website can be linked to one of your social media posts. You’ll be less vulnerable to the vagaries of their popularity and rules.