I’ve always wondered why many website owners allow other sites to control their content. Years ago this was understandable do to technical reasons. It took a serious amount of knowledge and code to run audio and video content. This obstacle has been mostly removed for awhile now.
Yet many website owners still farm out their valuable content to other sites. The typical answer to why would be this is what they were shown to do. It’s easier to do this than figure out how to set things up on their own. This is the method they were told would get them the most traffic to their content.
In reality all you are doing is helping another website make money off your users. All those viewing your content never go to YOUR website – they stay were you’re hosting your content. That means those users only see advertising and promotional items for the website doing the hosting. These people never leave your chosen host so they give no traffic to your site.
This is a key reason you should always host any type of content on your website only. Any other website you use should be used as a promotional tool guiding views to your website – not keeping these people engaged on some other site. Unfortunately many large corporations and small site owners can’t seem to grasp this. They seem to think YouTube and Facebook are their websites. When in fact they are NOT!! All this does is keep your users wrapped up in another corporations box. These companies and many others are making money off content you give them for free.
Most people would argue this is a give an take situation. That the large user base of these websites gets more eyeballs on the content. Others would argue that it’s expected you have a presence on these sites. All of these are valid points – but you should be using these sites as tools to bring views to your OWN website. A good majority of companies, small businesses and website owners aren’t doing this.
Even if you are a non profit website your message gets diluted when not sending viewers to your site. If you take donations you can also lose out on opportunities to monetize content viewers by leaving them on some other website not controlled by you.
Facebook, Google, Twitter and many others are great promotional tools. But you should never mistake that these are your website. They should always be used as promotional tools to lead viewers to a website you control. Honestly nowadays if your not hosting your content it makes you look lazy and like you don’t take your business seriously.
With WordPress and use of it’s plugin capabilities you can with just a slight learning curve reliably host your own content. Granted for some of us the learning curve is steeper than for others. But it can be done without a lot of the frustrations and technical knowledge needed in the past.
You should always do your best to CONTROL YOUR CONTENT. I’m not saying wrap it up in digital rights management garbage. I’m not saying to lock it down and not share if others are willing to share alike. But you should host your content and get those eyeballs on YOUR site not one run by someone else. You should control your brand and message not allow it to sit on a website that doesn’t maximize the value to you.
If you can’t get views for content you are hosting then maybe you aren’t doing something right with promotion methods. Or maybe your content isn’t interesting enough to attract attention. The major content hosting sites need your work more than you need them. Without your work they have no content to host. Stop giving them the opportunity they want – use them as a step to your site – it’s never smart to leave your viewers lingering on another website that isn’t yours.