If you are a creative — a photographer, artist, musician, writer, anyone that makes something — you need your own independent platform. As temping and easy as it is to use Facebook and Instagram, those platforms are not made for you. They don’t have your best interests at heart. They are in the business to use your content to capture eyeballs for themselves. And, you have no control over what they do.
We all know what happened to MySpace, right? Or maybe not; perhaps you’ve never heard of them. MySpace was the big platform before Facebook and it’s effectively dead. How about Google+? Surely such a big company like Google will be around for a while. Yes, Google is around but not Google+. With over two billion users, Facebook is here to stay, right? Perhaps, but just in a couple of years, the once invincible Facebook doesn’t look nearly as solid, facing attacks from multiple sides. Most of their issues were self-inflicted, by the way.
Even if Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook) is around for the long haul, they can change the rules at any time. Their job is not to promote your content, they promote theirs. Use to be, when you posted content to those places, all your followers saw it. Not any more. Their AI algorithm selects just a subset of posts to be shown to a subset of users.
What you need is a home of your own. Your own website or blog. Use WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix, if you like. Photographers can use Smugmug and other photo hosting sites too. I use WordPress.com for this blog and Smugmug to host my photos. WordPress.com even has a free tier, if you can live with the limitations, which are quite reasonable, actually. I pay $5 a month which gives me a custom domain and removes ads from my site.
WordPress is good for another reason. It’s open source. While WordPress.com is a service which runs the WordPress blogging software, WordPress.org is an open source organization which writes the software that you can run on your own machine for free. So, in theory, if WordPress.com ever stops their service, I can download my entire blog contents and run it on my machine or a 3rd party hosting service using the free WordPress.org software.
The point is, use social media to promote your content, but you need your own internet home for your creations.
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