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My friend Alonzo Pichardo and I filmed a video explaining the dangers of using social media alone to build your online business.

Check it out here:

You know I am a stickler for branding.

One look at my blog shows you I am clear on making my blog and online real estate all about my brand. This is obvious.

I even wrote an eBook on branding tips for confused bloggers.

It goes deeper than just branding though. By focusing heavily on the idea of branding all that I do on my blog I take full advantage of the freedoms I have by owning my online real estate.

When Alonzo and I chatted about the social media boo boo with your online business we uncovered one common mistake that could totally destroy any one of your entrepreneurial ventures. This error is all too common: building your business solely on social media.

Why It’s Bad

You own nothing on social media.

The social media big boys set the rules.

You can be booted from social media sites at any time for any reason. Algorithms on social media may change overnight.

Imagine building a 200,000 Fan Facebook Page during the days of generous organic reach, only to see your organic reach vanish when Facebook went to the premium aka boost model? Heart breaking. 200,000 fans – some of whom were highly engaged – instantly believed your Fan Page disappeared. When your updates did not pop up in their main stream, you were forgotten.

As for branding, can you get your Facebook Page to look anything remotely like this?

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Of course not.

Social media brands social media. You cannot customize your social media sites like you can tailor a self-hosted WordPress site to your brand message.

The Alternative

Own your online real estate.

Buy a domain and hosting. Get on WordPress. Start your business site.

Build your blog and website up first, placing a heavy emphasis on branding each piece of online real estate.

You own the site. You own the blog. You make the rules. No shake outs. No overnight changes that wipe out your business.

Your organic reach will be your organic reach. Sounds good, right?

Add social media as a means to connect with interested readers and customers and clients but build your business and share content primarily through your blog and website.

Own Your Home

Own your home.

You have no real rights on social media sites. All the followers and friends are the property of social media. Friends may appear to be yours, as do your social media updates, Likes, RTs, comments and private messages, but social media owns everything you do on social.

Do not build your home on rented cyber land.

Own your home.

Buy your domain and hosting. Start a self-hosted WordPress blog. Build a website.

Funnel everything back to the blog and website.

If you own your home you can do whatever you want there. No social media algo changes shaking you out, and no death of organic reach and no blind-siding when you build your online business primarily through blogging and owning your website.

Use social media as a secondary marketing channel but always direct traffic back to your blog.

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Grow your email list. Guest post on top blogs in your niche. Comment on top blogs in your niche.

Do the prime amount of your creating on owned real estate. Don’t build your brand and online business on a house of cards. Don’t try to make money online on a foundation of quick sand.

Your Turn

Have you made this mistake in the past?

Did a social media shakeout flip you out?

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