Personal Websites

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Question of the day by Stephen Dubner and James Altucher. The show revolves around one single question and always has fun questions. Plus it’s short averaging around 15 minutes.

On this episode, they had a guest ask the question and it was, “Are personal websites still necessary?”. More specifically, if starting today would you create a personal website or use an existing hub like Medium?

Here is the full show if you’d like to listen to it:

I asked this question to myself and much like the show I couldn’t come up with a definite answer. Depending on the context of the person I thought about, my decision would lean a different way.

I think it comes down to the question of why do you write? To share and to be read–with a side effect of gaining exposure.

The exposure is how you build a true following and, for me at least, Medium doesn’t do that. Everything looks the same and it lacks any personality.

As an example, in a weeks time if I come across two articles by the same person, if it’s on their personal website the site design is huge part of the experience and makes that second visit more memorable. If I come across an author twice on Medium I hardly notice their name.

What I ended up deciding is that the best way for people of any skill level is to do what I’m doing on this site. Set up a blog on wordpress.com and use it as your own landing page. Then push out the posts to all your social media channels and cross post to Medium.

I feel like publishing on your own and then cross posting gives you the best of both worlds. A theme and design of your choice on your personal site. Then the automated push notifications and email from Medium.

But I will say I’ve noticed the posts on my own site have more visits than what I get on Medium. Which is backwards to what I’ve read from other people. So that means either I am an anomaly, my writing sucks, or Medium knows it’s a cross post and buries it? #tinfoilhat