8 No-Bullshit Reasons Everyone Should Have A Personal Website
I was having a conversation with a client recently and they mentioned that until a couple months ago they never really considered having a personal blog. Now that client has a personal website and they can’t believe it took them so long to actually get started. Within a month, their blog has become absolutely essential to their professional success.
I think many of us are in the same boat, we think that if we don’t have a company, then why the hell should we have a website?
My goal today is to convince you that no matter who you are, you should have a personal website/blog. Even if you’re retired and have absolutely no financial incentive to have a website, I think that there are good reasons to start a website.
If you’re a professional, regardless of your field, I think you definitely should have a personal website, and the sooner you do, the better off you will be.
I actually just started mine recently, and I wish I would have started years ago when someone first told me it would be a good idea. I’m kicking myself for not getting started sooner. I actually sat on my registered domain for over a year because I didn’t think that I had a “good reason” to start my website. I figured that a website was really only useful to me if I was in some way monetizing my blog- I could not have been more wrong.
I think delaying the decision to start a personal website is a common problem, even for people that are aware that they should be investing in their digital presence. I now look at having a personal website/blog as a digital asset. Investing in a personal website is similar to investing in property. A website will require a little bit of maintenance and upkeep, but if it’s done correctly, it can substantially increase your earning potential.
If you’re not sold on having a personal blog/website yet, I hope these additional reasons listen below will convince you.
Here are 8 no-bullshit reasons I think you should have a personal website:
When someone finds you on social media, or searches your name for a potential job/gig, you want to be seen as having authority in your field. If you’re extremely passionate about one-of-a-kind custom toy train cars (I met someone that did this for a living- seriously), then when someone looks at your website, you want them to think you are the best in the biz! The best way to do that is by investing in your digital assets- your website and social media presence.
2) SEO — Search Engine Optimization
When someone searches your name, what would you rather them find as the first option? Your personal website? Or, your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram profile? I don’t know about you, but I would rather see the higher quality content that I’ve created on my website rather than fun/interesting stuff I’ve posted on Social Media. This also gives people a chance to see what I’m working on and what I’m knowledgeable in FIRST.
In addition to your website (hopefully) being the first thing that comes up, you want people to discover your website on Google when they type in keywords that relate to your website content.
So, If you’re a badass photographer in San Francisco that specializes in professional portraits, you want to be the first option that comes up when someone searches for “Professional headshots in San Francisco”. Now, this is going to be next to impossible to rank for in SF initially, but this is the idea. You are much more likely to initially rank for more obscure Keywords like, “awesome-professional-creative-headshots-SF”. These searches will happen very rarely, but when they do, you want to be the one that comes up! The best way to do that is by “investing” in your digital assets by creating a website and occasionally, or frequently, uploading your content with keywords that relate to your work.
3) Showcasing Knowledge
This is similar to authority, but it’s a little deeper. If someone in your industry is looking at your work, and is knowledgeable about what you do, then your digital assets should showcase your prowess. If you’re a photographer, then they will be able to see HOW badass you are- If you’re a writer, then they will be able to see HOW good your work is. If you claim to be a one of the top graphic designers in the Bay Area, then your website is where you SHOW them that you’re the best.
Having a personal website, is similar to a social media account, in the way that it’s great for connection. Someone sees your work online, then they go to your site to see more of your work, and then they can reach out to you directly if they would like to connect. Or, you see someone else’s work that you really like, and would like to connect or collaborate, you shoot them a link to your site and see what comes of it. The difference with a site and social media for this purpose is that all of the “interactions” are building your “worth” on the internet, and you’re in control of the platform. The more you connect through the website that you control, the more of an asset your website will become for you.
5) Building a long-term network
This is also very similar to social media and connection, in that it’s about connecting and building a long-term network. One of the ways that this is unique with a website is that people can sign up for your mailing list, or can sign up for your RSS feed (less common these days). This way, if someone really likes your work, they will get your information and you can contact with them whenever you think it’s relevant.This direct connection is an exceptionally good thing if you make money from your website directly. If you sell products or services to your network through your website, a solid mailing list can be a HUGE asset. Your website is also a good way to leverage your authority to build strong industry connections. An example of this would be featuring someone in your industry that does work you appreciate- this helps them out, and they might to the same for you.
6) Improved Communication Skills
Regardless of what we do for a living, I think it’s hard to argue that improving our communication skills is a bad idea. A personal website helps us refine our communication skills. When we do anything on a regular basis, we will become better at it. So, if we’re writing or speaking to our audience through our website on a regular basis, we are improving our communication skills. In addition to improving our communication skills, it will help us more thoroughly communicate what we’re already knowledgeable in. One of the best ways to deepen our understanding of a topic is by teaching it to others- it forces us to really think about the topic logically and systematically.
7) Sharing Knowledge
This is similar to authority and showcasing knowledge, but it’s done with a different intention- giving back. Let’s say you LOVE cooking, and you have a bunch of old family recipes, this would be a great way to share them with the world. The old way of doing it is to pass it along verbally to friends and family, or maybe write them down and potentially get them published in a cookbook. Now you can write them out on a website and people can find/use/share them for as long as long as the website is live- maybe even longer.
Or, let’s say you’re a professional that is very passionate and knowledgeable about marketing. You think that your marketing knowledge can be of help to a lot of people that can’t afford to pay for services like yours, so you decide to share your knowledge for free. If someone is willing to put in the time and effort to learn what you’re able to teach, and you like sharing the information, why wouldn’t you publish it online? It’s giving back and building your authority in the industry.
8) The Decentralized Workforce
The workforce is becoming decentralized very quickly and people care less about the more traditional ways of measuring your worth. In 5–10 years, I think it will only be very select professions that stick to the standard form of employment (medical, governments, etc). Most jobs seem to be going the way of contract gigs, and with this, traditional resumes will become less important, if not completely nonexistent. If resumes do in fact become extinct, then what will potential employers look at? Potential employers and clients will look at your actual work. Potential clients will be able to look at your work, your grasp of material and your authority by looking at your personal website and social media presence. So, taking this as a general assumption, wouldn’t you want to start investing in your digital assets now?
So, these the main reasons I think that everyone reading this should have a website.
But, are there reasons that someone should not have a personal website?
The best argument I heard against EVERYONE having a blog is that age might play a factor.
So, let’s say someone is 65, they are retired, and really have nothing to gain financially from establishing themselves online. I STILL think they should blog! A blog is a great way to share the perspective they have gained from 65 years of life on this planet.
What have they learned about people?
What have they learned professionally?
What can they share about their culture?
Or, think about that older person in your life that has unbelievable stories that will never be shared with the world. I have met people that I WISHED would write down their stories. I count myself as lucky to have met some very interesting people in life, and I’ve heard many interesting and uniques perspectives that seem to be absent from the blogging community.
I also think that maintaining a personal website is a great way to leave a legacy of ideas. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave this planet with something that can potentially outlast a lifetime, or multiple lifetimes and potentially help people for generations to come- a personal blog might be one of the ways to do this.
If this blog has in any way inspired you to start a personal website but don’t know where/how to start one, I highly recommend checking out Squarespace.com. I am in no way affiliated with their company, but I think they have the best platform to get started on. Their service is only $8 per month for a basic website, and it’s extremely easy to use- if you can use Facebook, you can use Squarespace.
If you have any questions or comments on this post please feel free to shoot me a message or ask a question in the comments below!