I noticed two things recently that probably won’t surprise you:
Comedians post TONS of stuff on social media every day. But they post NOTHING on their websites every day.
If you’re like most comics, the rise of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and a million other social platforms has probably led you to put more content out into the world than ever before. But because you’re primarily posting that content on social platforms and not on your own website, you’re only reaping a tiny fraction of the potential rewards you could be getting from those creations.
Here’s a few reasons why I think you’d benefit from posting much of that social media content on your personal website as well.
1. It Extends The Life Cycle Of Your Content
You know that awesome photo or joke you posted on Twitter or Facebook this afternoon? Well, you’ve only got a few hours at most for people to see it so I hope people happen to be online when you posted it.
Social media – especially platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – is designed to be a very in-the-moment type of experience. It’s real-time, and people consume it by seeing what’s new in their feed at that moment. Think about it – when was the last time you looked at a tweet that somebody had posted a month ago? Or an Instagram pic they uploaded a year ago?
It just doesn’t happen and that means that all of that stuff you’re creating essentially evaporates within 24 hours of when you created it. It’s the equivalent of telling a joke on stage at an open mic, having it kill, and never being able to use it again or have anybody else discover it. It’s a waste.
But posting that same piece of content on your website at least creates an opportunity for it to be discovered later down the road – in fact, it can actually be found forever and repurposed in ways in which you can extend the life cycle and value you get out of it.
2. It Creates An Opportunity For People To Discover You Through Search
Let’s say you created something funny about diet tips. You can post that content on social media and people might like it, they might share it, and you might even get some new people to discover you through it.
But if that same thing goes on your website, it has the potential to be discovered by every single person searching Google for diet tips – forever. As you can imagine, that’s a LOT of people and while there’s certainly no guarantee they’re going to find what you posted, it still is a possibility that some of them will.
Here’s some stats to give you an idea of what’s possible. On Connected Comedy last month, I had 4,976 people visit my site as a result of finding it through 473 different things they had searched for in Google. None of that is paid ads or anything like that – it’s just a matter of me putting content on a website and them discovering it when searching for content about similar subjects.
And similar things can happen on an even less niche-targeted site. On my personal blog, I had 874 people visit my site last month from Google searches for 114 different things.
The point is that by only posting your great piece of content on social media, you’ve drastically decreased the potential audience for your work in the long term.
3. It Creates An Opportunity For Influential People And Sites To Discover You
Do you want a particular person or publication to know you exist? Here’s a simple way to do it – post a link to their website on your website.
Everybody (even big companies or popular people) pays attention on some level to who is linking to them and sending traffic to their site. When you post a link to them, the chances are if at least a couple people click that link then they will see the traffic you sent them and at least check out your site.
Here’s an example – Let’s say you found some article on Huffington Post and decided to share it with people. One way to do it is to share a link through Facebook or Twitter. But if you only do that, HuffPo will have no idea who was sending them the traffic because all they will see in their analytics is that those clicks came from “Twitter” or “Facebook.” (Yes, you can tag them in the links – and you should – but they still won’t know exactly how many clicks you sent them)
But every click to the HuffPo site from your personal website will show that it came from your website and will essentially be “introducing” you to the HuffPo editors, or whoever is monitoring their traffic. Does that mean anything will ultimately come from it? Not necessarily, but at least it gets you on their radar.
4. It Creates An Opportunity To Capture An Email Address Or Promote Something Else
When you share something in a social media post, the only thing the person sees is what’s in that individual post. That means you don’t really have the opportunity to introduce that person to anything else you do or to capitalize on them enjoying what you shared by getting them to join your email list.
But when somebody experiences a piece of content on your website, it’s easy to incorporate plugs for your email list (like you’ll see I do at the bottom of this post) or whatever else you want them to see. Plus, people are way more likely to click around to your other content within your site, than they are with content that lives solely on a social platform.
5. It Allows You To Easily Repurpose Content And Maximize Its Value
Let’s say that each week you tweet jokes about Game of Thrones while you watch it. That’s great, and people who are watching the show and following hashtags may find your stuff. But, those jokes are only living on your Twitter feed they disappear almost as fast as you created them. You’ve limited their value.
Now imagine if after each episode you took those jokes and posted them in a blog post on your site – something like “The 10 Most WTF Moments In Game Of Thrones Last Night.” Suddenly, you’ve created a “new” piece of content that makes more of your existing work and can exist on its own. (Plus, notice how something like that could also be found in Google searches related to Game of Thrones as well)
Now take it a step further. Imagine if at the end of the season you compiled each week’s writeup into an overall season blog post titled “The 100 Most WTF Moments In Game Of Thrones This Season.” Now you’ve got an amazing piece of content that would appeal to a lot of different people and it really hasn’t taken you any additional work to create it!
All you’ve done is repurpose and maximize the value you’re getting out of something you were already doing on social media.
6. It Ensures It Will Always Be There
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again – most social networks ultimately fail and disappear. Remember all that stuff you posted on MySpace? Well, that wound up being pretty useless in the long run, right?
Just because Facebook and Twitter seem solid today, that doesn’t mean they’re going to be around tomorrow. If they are the sole resting place of your content then you’re risking having that content disappear one day, or at a minimum facing a situation where importing it to whatever the new social network of the moment is will be a nightmare.
But a website you own and control will always be there. And so will the content you put on it.
7. There’s No Reason Not To Do This
If you’re still not convinced that it makes sense to use your website to house content as much as you do your social channels, here’s my final plea – there’s no reason not to try it. The only potential downside of doing this is that it might take you a couple extra minutes to add that photo, or joke, or whatever to your site in addition to posting it on social.
But that’s really a pretty minor thing considering all the potential value you might be able to get from it.