Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Importance Of Owning Your Own Online Content As An Online Seller

Hopefully you are reading this post at a time when holiday sales, product completion and pre-holiday shipping is all out of the way. With the new year upon us, I thought I'd focus my new series of blog posts on ideas to help you be more successful online for the coming year. I have a series of topics in mind, so be sure to check back regularly, but today I want to focus on one very basic and very important topic

The Importance Of Owning Your Own Content

If you are like most online sellers you probably have you information spread out over multiple social media sites and selling platforms. This includes having an online shop with sites like Etsy and Artfire, and having a personal site or blog with a free service such as Blogger/Blogspot.com or Wordpress.com. These are common practices and ideal for the beginner online seller. 

Regardless of how popular or well known you are on these sites, there is one concept that you cannot forget. YOU DO NOT OWN YOUR CONTENT OR INFORMATION. If a third party website is hosting your information, they may decide one day that 'hey, we don't want you anymore' and your entire website, with all your hard work on content creation will disappear, JUST LIKE THAT!!

I'm sure you've heard the stories of someone's Etsy shop getting flagged or shut down without a proper explanation. One day they are a well-known and respected seller, and the next day they are gone, just like that! We've also heard of blogs and free-hosted websites disappearing for a wide variety and equally BS reasons. 

If your entire online efforts were focused around these sites, you have probably lost a major if not sole income stream. And even if you can take the time to rebuild, you have already lost out on hours, weeks, even months of efforts building your online presence. 

Many artists start out using a free service like blogger or wordpress.com. These platforms are ideal for someone just starting out as the information is all set up for you, and you can create blog posts and webpages with a few clicks of your mouse and inputs on your keyboard.

But I mentioned this is ideal for when you are just starting out. Remember, you don't own the information on these sites. And if your site is flagged or banned for any reason, your information may disappear just like that.

Let's assume for a moment, that you are honest and down to earth. You only share relevant information on your website that is designed to build a relationship with your buyers and attract loyal fans. They should have no reason to ban your site, right?

WRONG! If you do your job well enough, meaning you create a website that does such a good job attracting an audience of loyal followers, your traffic will start to eat up the bandwidth allowed for a free website. Your free blog/site host provider may decide that your site generates too much traffic which in turn is slowing down other websites hosted on the same free server. So in essence they punish you not for being bad, but for being too good.

And now what happens? You have just lost an entire website along with your list of loyal followers and subscribers. As you see your site and followers start to grow, I recommend you take every effort to ensure that you do not risk losing these fans. And this of course leads to the idea of owning your own website. By owning your own site I mean getting a custom URL and private hosting. Depending on the hosting package that you purchase you will know how much space you have for content and traffic. And hey, If you realize that you need more space due to a large loyal following, then by all means, UPGRADE. At this point we'll assume that your loyal following is made up of customers who help you earn enough of a profit to justify this upgrade.

To avoid information overload i will hold off on the ideas of private hosting and custom URLs for a future post. I just wanted to take this time to make you aware of what can happen if you get to be 'too good' in the hopes that you will take this information into consideration as you plan for a successful coming year for your online business

This post was brought to you by Leah from MagicByLeah
Leah is a sculptor of fantasy creatures and sock monkey trinkets, you can view them in her Etsy shop HERE


  1. Great information Leah, and it is VERY TRUE, I caution anyone with a lot of content and/or followers to consider getting their own private hosting. I know I did, and it isn't as hard to do as most think :)

  2. Thanks for all the useful information... something to really think about.

    Look forward to future posts.

  3. Fantastic post, Leah. Great information for beginners like myself - definitely food for thought.
    Thank you!