Own Your Platform is an online resource aimed toward those who are growing uneasy at substantial portions of their income being delivered by companies like YouTube and Patreon, and want to mitigate the risk by creating their own self-hosted membership and ecommerce businesses.
We provide guides that take you step-by-step through the website creation process. From choosing a domain name, to setting up web hosting, to installing an open-source CMS like WordPress, to ultimately publishing content on the web.
And if you don’t want to do it yourself, for whatever reason (like being busy creating content and serving your audience), we can handle it for you.
The OYP Mantra
The OYP mantra is comprised of two simple parts:
- Don’t build your platform on rented land (also known as “digital sharecropping”)
- Avoid proprietary, hosted website builders (i.e. SquareSpace, Wix).
Let us explain.
Don’t build your platform on rented land
When you build your business on rented land, your landlord can exert inordinate control over it. The landlord can raise rents to unsustainable levels, or just straight up evict you.
The same concept applies to the web.
Let’s say you make YouTube videos, and live off the ad revenue for a living. But your videos become demonetized. You have to scramble to figure out some other way to monetize your passionate audience.
You might be thinking, “but I’m not controversial so that wouldn’t happen to me.”
But you’re still at risk.
Your ad revenues are still liable to precipitously drop, without any rhyme or reason.
You still need predictable levels of income to effectively plan your financial future.
Avoid proprietary, hosted website builders
This rules out SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly, Strikingly, and others. You are locked into their feature set and subject to unexpected price changes. Also, it can be difficult to export your content.
Similar to large corporations like Google and Facebook, their interests are first-and-foremost aligned with their investors. Not you.
Key word is “proprietary.” Hosted platforms like WordPress.com and Ghost (Pro) would be fine because equivalent open-source software is available to recreate the experience on any web server.
Own Your Platform is edited by Leland Fiegel, a web developer and consultant with over 10 years of experience.
He aims to pour out all the knowledge he’s amassed over the years for the benefit of OYP readers, and also acts as the lead developer on any OYP client projects.
Leland runs a WordPress theme shop called Themetry, which sells premium WordPress themes on marketplaces like WordPress.com and StudioPress.