You’re living in the digital world, and exploring your passions is easier than it ever was. Learning to play the guitar is a click away—you can start by watching the countless YouTube tutorials whenever you feel like it. Heck, if you want to combine outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt, you can go for Extreme Ironing (it’s a real thing).
The sky’s the limit.
For some of you, the way you want to channel your creativity and share it with the world is by inspiring others through writing.
Maybe you want to write about your eating habits or your fashion sense. Whatever the case, there are many ways you can showcase your talents in the digital realm. And this is what this article is all about. Showing you the places that can host your stories and help you make the best out of the adult life we all craved so deeply.
Where to share your written stories
It’s never been easier to tell your story through writing. But finding where and how exactly you can start doing it is a bit more complicated. Don’t worry, that’s why I’m here for.
Let’s dive into the best places to go if you want to write:
Writing on Facebook
The easiest way to write content is to post an update, just like any other. You can see it as a place to practice and get feedback from your friends.
If you want to go a bit fancier, you can post Facebook Notes to give your thoughts a blog-like feel. To do that, you can go to https://www.facebook.com/YOUR-USERNAME/notes (replace with your own username) and click “Add Note.”
UPDATE: Facebook has discontinued its notes feature on the 31st of October 2020, which further proves some of the things I’m pointing out later in the article. Keep reading.
Publishing on LinkedIn
This is also a great way, especially if you want to write about business-related topics. You can treat it just like a blog, and all you have to do is click on “Write an article.” That simple.
Bill Gates constantly writes on LinkedIn and has an audience of over 34 mil followers. No one says your biggest passion can’t also be something you do at work, not to mention that people who work in the same field as you are always looking for knowledge and inspiration. I know I do.
Creating your own website
As you might have noticed, all the social media channels trying to get people into sharing their stories have some downsides, such as privacy or sudden changes to the features they offer. Publishing there means that you are at their mercy and can suddenly find yourself stripped away of years of hard work (like it happened with Facebook).
Another downside is the fact that you don’t have access to people outside of their network. Plus, search engine optimization (being discovered in Google) is almost non-existing on social.
So why not bypass the system altogether and create a website from the start?
Why sharing your stories on your website is the best way
No constraints on what you publish
Having a website allows you to post different types of content, alternate between images, videos, text, color variations, you name it, with no hustle, giving your story a one-of-a-kind look. This way, people can truly understand your personality, and you can tell your story in a way that represents you.
Steve Chapman, writer on canscorpionssmoke.com, TEDx speaker, and customer of ours, says:
“The blog was my way of writing stuff and seeing what people thought of it and it evolved from there. As I look back at some of the early posts it seems like a different person has written them. This is great as it shows me that the blog has been a very important and helpful way of honing my writing and influencing what I am interested in.” (source)
Build a community around your stories
Once you have your own place where you can freely express yourself, you can attract like-minded people around you, becoming their source of inspiration. Besides, your audience will help you improve your work by providing feedback and reactions to what you write, offering you a deeper understanding of what works or not.
Daniel, our customer who runs the food blog dicedandspiced.com says:
“I think we really do know our audience, in no small part because they’re very like us. Like us, they are people of differing levels of experience in the kitchen. Some of them (like us) want to know how to substitute meat or animal products in their favourite dishes. Some of them (like us) are parents who want to find new ways of getting their kids to eat their veggies.” (read his story)
Increase your authority
Having a significant following is a big validation that you are doing things right and that others believe in your work. Your website can act as a resume on nitrous.
Soon enough, you’ll see doors open, collaboration opportunities, and recognition in the niche you are active. It will start to grab the right kind of attention from the right type of people who will be more prone to buy your products, services or act as ambassadors.
Ana, the owner of thesheapproach.com, shares her two cents on this one:
”I guess I started putting a price on my strategies (while still delivering free content in the same time) when I realized that what I’ve learned and experienced with growing my own website was not common knowledge, but valuable information that was (and is) worth paying for.” (read the interview)
Have total control
Social media channels are known for changing the way you can do things by limiting your organic reach or removing features all together—as Facebook did with their notes feature. Having total control over your content is essential, and a website can give you that.
How can you start a website to share your stories?
Google-ing “How to start a new website” gets you about 21 million results. Not even kidding. But to summarize it, you need to:
Figure out what you want to write about and what are your goals
Are you passionate about fashion and what to share your insights? Do you like to cook and want to get your recipes out in the world? Or maybe you like building things on your own and getting your hand glued together while doing it (or is it just me?).
People need to come to your website knowing what to expect.
At the same time, you need to set your priorities straight regarding the outcomes. If you want to make money from it, you need to consider selling products or services, creating brand deals, ambassadorship programs, or displaying ads on your website.
You can’t expect to make a living out of your website if you’re not making the necessary steps towards that goal.
Choose a site building solution
One of the main things to keep in mind when choosing a website-creation platform is who has control over what I’m sharing.
What does this mean? If you want to be in total control over your content and express yourself however you want, you need a platform that doesn’t have many constraints.
Squarespace or Wix have constraints that you should consider right from the start. These platforms were not created for writers but for those looking to create presentation websites (to showcase their work, business, services).
On the other hand, WordPress is a reliable and growing CMS (content management system) that powers more than 40% of the Internet.
There are plenty of perks if you choose to use this CMS, but a few come to the surface easily. First, its initial purpose was to allow people to start blogs and publish their stories.
Second, it has a powerful community that keeps WordPress up and kicking by creating plugins that expand its functionality (for things like email marketing, e-commerce, etc.) and themes that add styling and structure to the content.
Another advantage is the fact that WordPress is open source which means there are a lot of free tools that you can use alongside it. WordPress is free, and there A LOT of free WordPress themes and plugins you can use at no additional cost. All you need to pay at the beginning is the hosting service and the domain name (the name of your www).
No matter what you want to share with the world, the best thing is to start doing it. As Daniel, one of our beloved customers puts it, your first post “doesn’t need to be all things to all people, and after overcoming the hurdle of making the first article, it will be a lot easier to make the second, and third, and so on.”
Once you’re out there, the wheels start turning.