There are many people who want to start using content to grow a business. It is the most efficient, cost effective way to build authority, strengthen relationships, and increase revenue… so it’s no wonder.
And while I strongly suggest that everyone own and maintain your own website, I understand that it’s not always possible when you’re just starting out. That, however, shouldn’t be a reason to not create content and share it with your audience.
In Content Made Simple I provide you with my content planning worksheet that helps organize your content from title to social shares, even before you have a website of your own. If you’re not a student of mine, I recommend you set up a system that will allow you to craft your content to share now, and keep well organized so you can easily post it on your website when you get yours up and running.
If your primary platform is YouTube, YouTube itself will provide you with a place to store your videos that you can direct people to. That makes it easy to get started without a website. And while the description area on YouTube does give you a place to share details about your video, it’s not a great place to share a full blog post.
Check out this description from Nancy Taylor of Beyond Teaching Online. She gives a brief teaser of the video and clickable timestamps so you can jump to specific points in the video (not required for beginners), but there’s no written summary.
Similarly, with a podcast, your podcast host will typically provide you with a “website” to host your podcast on. You can typically use these pages to share a full blog post, sometimes called show notes, for your podcast, but because they don’t generally appear in search results, it’s not the same as having your own website.
However, not every podcast app allows for full show notes to be shown to listeners. Apple podcasts, for example, will only show a small excerpt or blurb about your episode, as shown here.
For those who want to have a blog, it’s not quite as easy. A blog sort of requires a website. But if that’s not in the cards right now, there are some things you can do in the meantime. And these can also be done with your podcast or video show.
Linked In. Linked In publishing allows you to post 110,000 character blog posts on its platform. You can also link to those posts on social media and readers do not need to be members to read them. With Linked In you need to keep in mind the audience. As it’s a professional networking site, posts need to be appropriate for business professionals and generally should have a more formal tone.
Third-Party Sites. Some websites, like Medium.com allow virtually anyone to post content on their site. You can share your blog posts there and direct people to your sub-page to engage.
Facebook. As social media channels go, Facebook is the best platform for posting long-form content, like a blog post, since it has a character limit of 63,206, which is far greater than the next closest network, Instagram, with 2,200 characters.
Regardless of how you choose to share your content, you will need to actively promote it on social media and via email. Drop links on social to wherever your content is posted throughout the week to remind people about your new post, episode, or video, and be sure to email your list to notify them, too.
Remember, you ultimately should own your own website and publish your content there. Other people’s websites, whether it be Linked In, Medium, or Facebook, aren’t yours and, to be perfectly frank, they don’t have your best interests at heart. Their goal is to keep people on their site and engaging, but not necessarily your content.
That said, these options are far better than the alternative of NOT creating content at all. Your blog, podcast, or video show is the fastest way to grow your audience and authority, so it’s best to start getting it out to the world as soon as possible.
Here’s what I recommend if you’re starting to create content without your own website:
- For each new piece of content you create – no matter the platform – open a new Google doc.
- In the doc include the title of your content and a brief blurb about it that you can share on social media.
- If your primary platform is a blog, use the document to write the draft. If your platform is a podcast or video show, use this space to outline your content and to draft your show notes or accompanying blog post. Your written portion should be at least 300 words.
- If you want to be a gold star student you can also use this document to craft your social media shares to use.
- File each of these documents in a folder so that, when you get your website, you can easily copy and paste everything in it.
The bottom line is that, while sharing your content on your own website is best, getting started is the most important thing. People can’t find you if you don’t put yourself out there, so find a place and start hitting publish.
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