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Transitioning from Building an Audience to Building Your Platform: Digital Presence Spectrum Part 2
Episode 2218th September 2023 • Podcasting Resources Guide • Juergen Berkessel
00:00:00 00:15:56

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In today's episode, we'll continue with part 2 of our series about "The Digital Presence Spectrum" — which consists of three stages: Building an Audience, Building Your Platform, and Scaling Your Platform; So today , we'll focus the importance of owning your platform to prevent loss of audience and income; and ways to avoid digital sharecropping, a concept we'll explore in a minute.

  • 00:00:42 - Digital Presence Spectrum Recap ()
  • 00:02:30 - Digital Sharecropping on Platforms you don't own. ()
  • 00:06:51 - How to Avoid Digital Sharecropping ()
  • 00:08:48 - Building a Platform ()
  • 00:12:26 - Migrating Content From 3rd Party Platforms ()
  • 00:15:12 - Links and Resources ()


Welcome to the Podcasting Resources Guide, the companion podcast to our popular app. In this podcast, we take a deeper dive into our reviews and offer our insights on the latest podcasting platforms, tools, and techniques. In today's episode, we'll continue with part 2 of our series about "The Digital Presence Spectrum" — which consists of three stages: Building an Audience, Building Your Platform, and Scaling Your Platform;

So today , we'll focus the importance of owning your platform to prevent loss of audience and income; and ways to avoid digital sharecropping, a concept we'll explore in a minute.

So, in our last episode here at Polymash, we started an exciting journey with our newly conceived concept called "The Digital Presence Spectrum." This spectrum is like our trusty compass, guiding us through the process of cultivating and expanding our digital influence. It's divided into three defining stages: Building an Audience, Building Your Platform, and Scaling Your Platform.

We kicked things off by emphasizing the importance of Building an Audience. We stressed that before even thinking about getting your platform off the ground, you need to gather a crowd. We debunked the myth of "build it and they will come," because without an audience, your platform will be as deserted as a wild-west ghost town, with nothing but the sound of chirping crickets. And let me tell you, in the podcasting world, hearing 'cricket' sounds is definitely not what you want!

Next, we delved into the potential pitfalls of focusing on building a platform too early. We shared the wisdom of looking beyond just having a website and embracing platforms that are designed for discoverability and audience growth, like Medium and Substack.

So, let's assume you've successfully built a considerable and loyal audience in stage one. Now it's time to move on to the next phase: Building Your Platform. In our upcoming episodes, we'll explore the nitty-gritty details of platform scaling and development. But this is not a "How To" Podcast - instead we focus on how best to transition from stage one to stage two — and provide tips on streamlining your plan to ensure future platform success.

So get ready, because there's a lot of valuable information coming your way!

"Digital sharecropping" can be a risky endeavor for content creators and businesses. When you build your digital presence on platforms you don't own, like social media or third-party websites, you expose yourself to potential issues. We've written about this in the past, links in the show notes. But the point is — Social Media platforms can change their rules or algorithms, causing you to lose your content or audience reach. Let's take a look at some examples that demonstrate these risks.

to its News Feed algorithm in:

is YouTube's "Adpocalypse" in:

Twitter, or X as it is sadly having to be referred to these days, is no exception to the risks of digital sharecropping. Under Elon Musk's erratic leadership, the platform has been known to suspend accounts or remove verified status for various reasons, including violations of their terms of service or changes in their verification policies. This can lead to a significant loss of followers and credibility for content creators who have built their audience solely on Twitter. Oh, sorry I meant to say "X".

These examples clearly demonstrate the risks associated with relying solely on platforms you don't own or control. It's crucial for content creators and businesses to diversify their digital presence and invest in building their own platforms to avoid such pitfalls.

ng Elon and Twitter. In April:

One content creator who we personally know, experienced the consequences of these policy changes — let's call her Jane Smith (a pseudonym). Jane had successfully built a Twitter account focused on environmental activism and amassed a large following. Her account was not only a way to express her passion but also her primary source of income. Jane had dedicated significant time and effort into creating engaging content that resonated with her audience.

However, as the policy changes were introduced, Jane's account took a significant hit. Her reach and engagement dropped drastically, leaving her struggling to maintain her audience and income. This sudden blow was devastating because Jane had built her entire digital presence on Twitter, and now the platform's policy changes were threatening her livelihood.

Faced with this challenge, Jane had to act quickly. She started exploring other platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, to reach a wider audience and reduce her reliance on Twitter. Additionally, Jane began diversifying her digital presence by creating content for other platforms and investing in building her very own website. Ultimately Mark Z. , or China, or Elon present the same impetus for us: ... "WE NEED TO OWN OUR PLATFORM !!!"

Jane's story serves as a cautionary tale for content creators and businesses. It highlights the risks associated with relying solely on platforms you don't own or control. By diversifying their digital presence and investing in building their own platforms, content creators can avoid the pitfalls of digital sharecropping. It's important to learn from Jane's experience and take proactive steps to protect your digital presence and livelihood.

Alright, fellow podcasters, let's talk about how to avoid digital sharecropping and build a platform that you actually own. Trust me, it's important to take control of your brand and content in this vast digital world.

First things first, let's start with the basics. The very first step is to purchase a domain name. Think of it as claiming your own little corner of the digital universe. Having your own domain gives you the reins of your brand and provides a sense of permanence in the ever-changing online landscape.

Imagine this: without a domain name, your brand is like an uninvited guest at someone else's party. Sure, you might enjoy the music and free drinks for a while, but eventually, the party ends. And there you stand, holding your precious content, on the curb of a platform that might change its rules, algorithms, or worse, shut down.

But with a domain name, oh boy, you're not just at the party. You are the party! You're in control, setting the rules and calling the shots. Your content isn't just floating around on someone else's platform. No way! Your domain is your virtual home, where your podcast lives, thrives, and grooves, regardless of what's happening out there in the wild social media platform world. And if you are using a website provided by your podcast host, or podcast website builders like Podpage, then it is especially important to connect your domain — in what is often called a "custom domain" setup... So in the end you build up SEO rank for your domain, and not theirs.

Before we move on, I just want to point out that we have recently added some very cool AI-assisted domain search tools on the Podcasting Resources Guide. We also have some case studies around tips and tricks to pick an SEO-friendly domain name that can be on the top of the search-results in just weeks or months, driving organic traffic to your website. So be sure to visit the show notes for this episode for links to these resources.

When you hear the term "platform", your mind might instantly picture a website. However, we believe it's time to broaden that perspective. We view a "platform" as a dynamic fusion of where you have a public presence. It's not just about the web, but also about thriving content hubs such as Medium and establishing a robust social media footprint. It's about also about being a guest on other podcasts, or being featured on TV or news media. It's a strategy that embraces all these elements, not one over the other. But for this particular discussion, we're going to focus on the traditional interpretation of the term. So let's dive into the art of crafting a compelling website.

You need to select a platform that gives you full control over your content and design, as well as future feature upgrades. The most popular choice is WordPress, and for good reason. Let me break down the advantages of using WordPress for you.

First off, WordPress powers over 43% of all websites on the internet. That's right, it's the most popular content management system out there. It's open-source, which means it's free to use, modify, and distribute. And because it's open-source, a massive community of developers contribute to its growth and improvement, ensuring it stays up-to-date with the latest web technologies and trends.

This is also why WordPress offers endless customization options. There are thousands of themes and plugins at your disposal, allowing you to tailor your website to suit your exact needs. Imagine the possibilities! With over 58,000 plugins and 8,000 themes available in the WordPress repository, you can add functionality and style to your heart's desire.

And if that wasn't enough, for us the most important consideration is that WordPress is SEO-friendly. It comes loaded with features that help improve your search engine rankings. Plus, it supports various SEO plugins like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack, enabling you to optimize your website even further for those search engines. We have never yet found any other website builder with better organic traffic growth. Certainly not the free ones provided by your podcast host.

Eventually you may be looking to sell products or services directly from your website, and WordPress is here to save the day. It supports tons of e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce, turning your website into an online store for products, services and even complex subscriptions and membership features. You can make transactions, showcase your products or services, all while maintaining complete control.

Now, let's not forget about podcasting specific aspects. There are several podcast-specific plugins like PowerPress and Seriously Simple Podcasting that make managing and publishing your podcast episodes a breeze.

And don't worry, if you're concerned about the cons of using WordPress, like the need to keep it updated, those can be easily managed through automations and regular maintenance. Trust me, the pros of using WordPress far outweigh the cons. It's the ideal choice for building a platform and establishing a strong digital presence.

By now, you should be well-versed in the art of "platform building", yes? Of course, your go-to guide is none other than our comprehensive Podcasting Resources Guide. This treasure trove features everything from podcast website builders to Wordpress themes and indispensable website design tips. To make your life even easier, I'll personally handpick and curate the most relevant resources, providing direct links in the show notes for this episode.

Moving on to the next step - migrating content from third-party platforms. If you've been publishing your content on platforms like Medium or social media, it's time to bring it home. By migrating your content to your own website, you retain complete control over it. Plus, it helps generate SEO value that can benefit your website in the long run. So don't hesitate, bring your content home and let it flourish under your own domain.

Imagine, for instance, you've crafted some truly captivating Facebook posts, YouTube videos, or Tik-Tok clips. Don't merely let them linger on these platforms. Transform them into compelling blog posts!

Now, let's talk about building domain authority. It's crucial to invest in creating high-quality content and implementing SEO best practices to increase your website's domain authority. This not only improves your search engine rankings but also drives organic traffic to your site. So focus on delivering valuable and engaging content that appeals to your target audience. Become an authority in your niche and watch your website thrive.

While having your own platform is essential, it's also important to diversify your content distribution. Don't limit yourself to just one channel. Maintain a presence on social media, content hubs like Medium, and other content distribution channels.

What I mean is, at this point in the digital presence journey, you should change your approach. Don't start by writing and posting articles on Medium. Instead, create content exclusively for your blog. Change your podcast episodes into detailed, SEO-friendly show notes. Begin with your own website. After that, you can reuse, repost, and share your content on platforms like Medium.

This allows you to reach a wider audience and drive traffic back to your website. Think of it as casting a wider net to catch more fish. So spread your content far and wide, but always make sure your website remains the heart of your digital presence.

Last but not least, create an email list. Building an email list keeps you directly connected with your audience and ensures you have control over your relationship with them. With an email list, you can communicate directly, share exclusive content, and keep your audience engaged. This becomes particularly valuable if social media platforms change their algorithms or policies. So don't underestimate the power of email marketing in maintaining a strong and loyal audience. Again, Wordpress easily provides lots of ways to capture emails and sends them to your favorite email platform like MailChimp or Active Campaign.

By following these initial steps, you're on your way to building a platform that you truly own and control. Digital sharecropping will be a thing of the past, and the long-term success of your digital presence will be secured. So take charge, my fellow podcasters, and let your digital party begin!

To recap today's episode, we explored stage 2 of the digital presence spectrum, emphasizing the importance of building a platform you'll own for the future. One where building domain authority, diversifying content distribution, and creating an email list becomes part of your owned content. Next time we will complete this series with how to scale your platform and accelerate your podcast and business growth. Thanks as always for tuning in. We'd love to hear from you, especially because a short form podcast like this cannot possibly answer all questions. So reach out and ask us anything, we personally answer each email and question we receive. See you next time!



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