In order to own your platform, you must follow these three core tenets.
Run your platform from your own domain name
Your platform should be run on your own domain name.
This means building your platform on URLs similar to the following…
…would be a grave mistake. Should you ever decide to move your platform to your own domain at a later time, you either have to pay up (if that’s even an option) or lose that traffic forever.
Domain names cost like $10 per year, so there’s no excuse for not buying one. If you have no idea how to find a good domain name, we have some articles on this site covering that.
With that said, third-party platforms should not be ignored, and should be utilized for syndication while you can.
Use freely-licensed open-source software
With freely-licensed open-source software, a single corporation cannot legally compel you to cease using it.
With freely-licensed open source software, people are free to build data export processes that allow you to migrate to another piece of freely-licensed open source software, should the need arise.
Our weapon of choice is WordPress.
Out of the box, it is perfect for running a blog. Free plugins can allow you to paid memberships, digital downloads, and online courses.
Build an email list
This is your most valuable asset.
You own your email list. You do not own YouTube subscribers or Facebook likers.
You can use your email list to communicate directly to your audience without algorithmic interference.
For example, Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm may suppress content that you have not paid them to promote, even to people who like your page and want to see your content.
Every YouTube video you create, for example, should have a call to action to sign up to your email list in addition to subscribing to your YouTube channel.
If you do not have an email list, you should change that immediately.
Should YouTube decide to delete your account, for whatever reason, they can take away your YouTube subscribers, but they can’t take away your email list subscribers.
We can’t stress the importance of this enough.