For Writers: If Facebook shuts down tomorrow, will you be able to cope?
One of the first things I did when I decided I was going to do this writing thing for real — my initial plan was to just finish writing one story on Wattpad and then go on with my life — was register my author web domain. Ansela Corsino is a pen name and honestly, I did not put much thought when I came up with it. Luckily, there didn't seem to be anyone else using that name and anselacorsino.com was available.

Of course I also signed up on Twitter for the account @anselacorsino and set up my Facebook page with the URL Facebook.com/anselacorsino . But really it was the website domain anselacorsino.com that I knew was absolutely vital.

Why? Because I knew that very few things on the internet that are forever or at least lasted longer than a decade. Remember MySpace? That is used to be the most popular social platform until Facebook came along. Twitter and Facebook are useful now, but there's always the possibility they'll go in the way of MySpace. Websites, however, will probably stay around and remain relevant for as long as the internet exists. So will email (which is why I have a mailing list— but I'll talk about that another day).

I didn't want to wake up one day and find out that the platform I've worked hard to cultivate and get followers to is suddenly gone and there was no way my readers could find me. Twitter and Facebook and Wattpad are owned by companies — we have no control over their business decisions. But my website? I have control over that. It's self-hosted (i.e. sitting on a web server on space I pay for, as opposed to, say on Blogger or Tumblr) so that means so long as I pay my web hosting bills and pay to renew the domain registration every year, I have full control over it.

That doesn't mean i don't take my Twitter or Wattpad platforms seriously. They're important too. After all, I found most of my audience on Wattpad. It's just that I don't entirely depend on any one social media platform to reach out and interact with my readers. If Facebook or Twitter closes shop tomorrow, it won't be the end of the world. If Wattpad shuts down (oh please god no), it will be painful but I'll somehow manage to still get my work out there — another reason why I publish my work on platforms outside WP, to minimize my dependency on it. It's really about (1) not putting all my (publishing and social media) eggs in one basket; and (2) having at least one platform I have complete control over (i.e., my website at anselacorsino.com).

This is why I'm always campaigning for my author friends to grab their web domains as soon as possible. And why I'm begging you, if you're a writer, to work on building your author platform now. Grab your author web domain now. Even if you have to get hosting from a free third-party platform like Blogger or Tumblr. You can always get a self-hosted site later, at least you have a domain URL your readers can always find you at.

While you're at it, set up your mailing list too. I'll tell you all about why your mailing list is super important in the next post.
Tier Benefits
Recent Posts