The world of writing is changing rapidly. I thought I’d start a new series, Writing Today, with occasional posts, on important stuff for writers.
By “important stuff”, I mean things like:
- SEO for your images;
- The value of adding information to your profile pages on social media;
- Insights and theories…
In essence, stuff which can help you or harm you in today’s totally enormous, global world of writing.
So, let’s look at one of the major challenges of building a writing business — setting up your business on prime real estate. That real estate can be expensive, even if it’s “free”. Consider Facebook.
Writing today, and building a business on Facebook
I know that many writers today build their writing business on Facebook. Why not? It’s easy, right? You don’t need to bend your brain or pay money to set up a blog. Facebook is free.
You can set up a Facebook page, and that operates as your de facto blog. You can create groups to promote your self-publishing efforts. Facebook can be very useful, and again… it’s free.
That’s true, but there are challenges.
I wrote about building your business on someone else’s property in this post on blogging dangerously:
That’s the lesson to take away from all those freebie blogging platforms which seem amazing, but over which you have zero control, and which are — POOF — gone. Your blog is just a single decision away from closing — a decision which is made by someone else.
Am I recommending that you leave Medium, Blogger, WordPress.com and other “free” platforms? No, I’m not. If you don’t have the time to deal with your own web hosting so you can blog using WordPress or Squarespace on your own website, it’s a decision you make.
Your writing business can vanish, if you build it on someone else’s virtual real estate
A platform which is free for you to use, but which is completely controlled by someone else is dangerous.
From NPR’s All Tech Considered, Building, And Losing, A Career On Facebook:
Lawler and the other page owners listed above got shut down. Lawler remembers he was sitting on his couch, posting to his Facebook pages. And all of a sudden, he saw a stream of notifications: “This page has been unpublished. This page has been unpublished. This page has been unpublished. This page has been unpublished. And I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ “
Strategies and risks for your writing business
The online world is ephemeral. Anything you build can vanish. That’s simply fact, and if you’re aware of that fact, you can take it into account.
So, if you’re building a writing business on a service which you’re using for free, protect yourself. Make regular backups of your material — you can make a backup of your Facebook information easily enough.
Take a moment today, if you’re using Facebook (or any other free service, for that matter) and think about how you can protect what you’ve built.
Then keep writing. 🙂
Resources to build your writing career
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