I’ve recently had multiple conversations with comedians who were surprised when I suggested that they needed to have their own “official” website and make it the hub of all their promotional activities and content. Because of the soaring popularity of things like YouTube, Twitter, and especially Facebook, I realized that a lot of comedians are thinking that having their own website is no longer really necessary.
As one comedian said to me, “It seems to me that visiting someone’s website is a thing of the past. Most people prefer to go to Facebook, don’t you think? The main reason I don’t worry about my website that much is because I assume people just go to my website to find me on Facebook. I guess I have trouble believing people go to websites any more.”
This is not an uncommon belief, but unfortunately it’s only partially correct. I agree that most people pretty much ignore comedians’ websites at this point, but the reason is because most comedians are ignoring their own websites. People will go to your website if you give them a reason to go there by regularly updating the site with fresh content. When it comes to websites, it’s definitely an “If you post it, they will come” scenario.
But even if you believe me that people will visit your website if you update it regularly, that still doesn’t necessarily explain why it’s so important for you to put the time and effort into having one. That’s why I wanted to take a couple minutes and share with you these 5 Reasons Why You Need To Have Your Own Website.
1. Your Website Ensures You Won’t Lose Your Connection To Your Fans
This is by far the most important reason why you need to have a website. When you rely on Facebook for your connection to your fans, you are leaving yourself extremely vulnerable to the ups and downs of social media trends. Just because Facebook rules the world now, there’s no guarantee that things will stay that way. In fact, most likely they will not.
And if your only connection to your fanbase is through Facebook, you lose all your fans if they abandon Facebook, It may seem impossible, but think about how many comedians built up huge MySpace followings a couple years ago only to find them useless when everybody stopped using MySpace.
Having your website be the hub of your fan community ensures that you’ll be able to weather the ups and downs of social media trends. No matter how things evolve, your website will still be relevant (and controlled by you), so it will ultimately ensure that you don’t lose connection to your fans as time goes on.
2. Your Website Allows You To Control The Experience You Give Your Fans
Things like Facebook and YouTube offer extremely little ability for customization. This means that you’re limited in the experience that you can offer your fans on those sites. For example, if you wanted to create a message board to allow your fans to communicate with each other and strengthen their connection to you and your work, you can’t really do that on somebody else’s site. If you wanted to create some kind of game for fans to play, that’s not going to work on other sites but could be a great feature on your own. The possibilities of what you can offer to your fans are limitless…but only if you’ve got your own website on which to feature them.
3. Your Website Helps You Capture Emails And Build Your Mailing List
Despite the explosion of social media, building a good old fashioned email list is still probably the best possible thing you can do to grow your fanbase. And it will be much easier for you to capture more fans’ email addresses on your website than it will be through other social media sites. This is because you can structure your site however you’d like to plug your mailing list and ask for signups. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be used to help promote your mailing list, but ultimately you’ll have more effectiveness capturing those emails on your site.
4. Your Website Creates A Valuable Archive Of Your Content
As you know from reading Connected Comedy, I’m a big believer in the importance of thinking about your career in the long term as opposed to the short term. And over the course of time you’re likely to create a ton of interesting and valuable content – but without a website to archive all of those creations, they will essentially get lost.
When was the last time you went to somebody’s Facebook page and scrolled through to see what they posted 6 months ago? Or when did you check out somebody’s tweets from a year ago? Or how do you search somebody’s Facebook page to find all of their TV appearances?
Most social media sites are designed for the short term, but they don’t do a great job of archiving and presenting older content which may be every bit as entertaining. But with a website, you can slice and dice your content however you want.
Want to create a page showing links to all your tweets about celebrities? That’s easy to do. Want to show people the 10 most popular things you’ve every created? Very easy. A website will allow you to benefit from everything you create for as long as you’d like.
5. Your Website Will Bring You New Fans From Google
Another thing that comedians rarely consider is the impact that having a website can have in introducing new potential fans to you and your content through Google searches. Every time post a piece of content on your website, you get the benefit of letting Google do free marketing work for you . That’s because every page is indexed by Google, and there are likely people out there searching for whatever you’re posting.
For example, let’s say you post something about how to get over a break up. Well, on average, 33,100 people a month search for “how to get over a break up” in Google and there’s a good chance that some of them will see a link to your post in the Google search results. This is free traffic and a great way for people who are interested in the kinds of content you’re creating to find you and be introduced to all that you do…on your website.
For more tips, check out my special report on 100+ Places To Promote Your Comedy Content.