You Don't Need a Website, You Need a Solution
Lately, I'm having many requests for website design even tho the web-design is the industry that comes to an end if talk about it in a vacuum. But probably it's a wrong statement, and it's better to say that it transitions to something more than just a website for personal or company needs.
You don't need a website, you need a solution.
That's a time when every Wordpress blogs are similar to hundreds of other Wordpress blogs. Things were kinda automated and simplified with Wordpress. There are a lot of guides, tutorials, videos and blogs on this topic. People say that you can easily set up your blog within a couple of hours and start spreading your word on the internet. It sounds cool, isn't it? However, I think that it's good only for a start and to properly build a website that will have a great SEO, subscribe forms, social buttons and all necessary marketing tools you need a bunch of plugins and a knowledge of how to implement it. So in most of the time, people need to hire a web developer or a marketer who will do that for them.
Anyway, the end goal of this is to build a marketing tool for your brand or your business. Nobody needs a website just because. Well, there is a percentage of people who want it, but we'll not cover this case here.
I'm not a web designer anymore in some sense. Since focusing more on user interfaces and most importantly on the user experience of digital products. But I still help people with the web part for their products. My current products as the book and financial app also require having at least a landing page for each one. So people could check that out and get an idea of what it is and how it can be useful for them. These are the pages that are talking to people while I'm sleeping. These mini websites are marketing tools for products I have and future products.
I do not realize that in the nearest future we'll have everything on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. Those are the places where all the buzz happens these days. People addicted to them because of other people. But there is no solution yet to consume content in a way you want, and each day it's harder and harder to break through the noise and make people interested in your product, build trust and eventually have a base of true fans. The social media world is crazy and chaotic these days, but still, it's the way of doing marketing, and you can get millions of traffic on specific circumstances.
As I said earlier, people go for other people. Not companies, portals, platforms or apps. Such companies as Apple understand this. They don't have an aggressive strategy on social media, their the most active account is on YouTube, and they passively post vids about their products. You can notice that there is not even a way to leave a comment since it's disabled. As for Instagram, I noticed like a lot of people sharing photos of Apple products from different angles and different combinations, use cases, etc. They build products that are cool to share with other people, even if they do not ask for it.
I'm not suggesting to ignore marketing and focus on the quality of your products. It really doesn't make sense when you build your first MVP.
Such companies as Apple have a lot of marketing. Even tho we don't feel it as marketing. Moreover, I'm not a professional marketer. I have experience in it and sharing my thoughts on the practical side of the things.
You definitely can find a lot of marketing gurus on the Internet, but the pattern I noticed in this kind of research is that it's hard to distinguish a marketer who is experienced in this area from people who want to share thoughts on it. Most commonly those thoughts can be delusional. That's where we have a problem. We can't distinct signal from noise and understand what actions are better to do mainly in our case. So it takes more and more time to distill the essentials of any knowledge. However, there is still a way to break through the noise and build your audience. One of them is a blog.
Even if it sounds like an old-fashioned way to share your thoughts and some of the blogging, microblogging platforms are loosing to media giants like YouTube.
It's the way to have a party that you want and as you want it. By having your place on the Internet, you're willing to build whatever brand you want, talk people in a way you want, develop the platform as you want. No limitations, rules of sharing content, crazy algorithms that show tons of ads above the content you share with people. And guess what, you can have your own ads there totally free.
There is huge a downside to building your blog or platform. It takes time and a lot of efforts. People get known and having millions of active users per month after a couple of years of consistent blogging, a couple of hundreds plus of articles, concentration on one topic and relevant niches. This is not an easy job. It's way harder than creating an account in one of social media channels, start sharing pieces of content and get hundreds of views and likes right on the first day.
I'm not entirely against social media. I just see it as a way to meet new people, have a chat with them and invite them to your platform to have more detailed conversations about topics you're interested in. But I don't see it as the only place where we need to put all of our content and then fight with terms and algorithms each time a platform decides to change them.
Back to blogs and meaning of having your website. There are a lot of debates on the topic of having a personal brand vs. company. I'd say it depends on your case. I've tried to build both, and right at this point, I think personal brand works for me better. I can experiment with different ideas, host all of my products at one place and be responsible for everything I do. So right now I'm focusing my attention on my website and in parallel building a platform for it.
It's also a question of trends. In 2018 people are more willing to deal with other people or small groups of people instead of big corporations. Simply because it's easier to trust other people than big companies these days.
If you're a group of committed to a single product or topic people, then a company website or platform will work for you very well. But if you are an indie maker, designer, developer, writer or consultant you'd better start with a personal blog and then scale it in the best way possible.