Why Your Self-Hosted Blog is More Valuable than Your Facebook Page

Posted By Guest Blogger 22nd of April 2011 Social Media 0 Comments

This guest post is by Marcie Hill of The Write Design Company .

Facebook has taken the Web by storm in a very short period.  In addition to being the highest ranking social networking site, it is the second most visited site in the world according to Alexa, the popular blog measuring tool.  Facebook’s popularity is so great that it unseated Google as the king of the Web one day in 2010.

Even though Facebook offer relationships, fun, and exposure, following are five reasons why I think your self-hosted blog is more valuable than your Facebook Page.

1. You can control your own media and space

You have limited control on Facebook. You have access to the profiles and pages you create, but having access isn’t the same as ownership.  And your design options are minimal. Your blog, on the other hand, is your space to do what you want, when you want, how you want.  From design to set up to content.

I recall a time when Facebook sent a message to their millions of members information them of content ownership.  Apparently, anything shared on Facebook belonged to them.  After loads of protests and opposition, the social networking giant backed down. I am not convinced.  Generally speaking, if you do not own something, you cannot control it.  If Facebook shuts down or suspends your account, you will not have access to the content you entered.  Thus, your self-hosted site is definitely a better option for media creation.

2. You can reach a very targeted group

People who sign up to receive your blog updates tend to be most interested in the content you provide.  It is more likely that this group will convert to loyal followers. You can have all the fans you want on Facebook, but if those people are not taking interest in what you share on your blog, all you have is a big remote fan base on someone else’s site.

3. You have the chance to get paid for advertisements

On Facebook, you have to pay to get your message to your targeted group.  On your blog, people have to pay you to get their message across to your audience.  Because you control the site, you determine the type of ads you want, how long you are going to let them run and how much they should cost.

4. You can rank high on Google

If someone conducts a Google search on your name or company, your Facebook pages may appear within the top five search results.  That’s impressive.  However, if you blog quality content consistently, your site will also rank within the top five—or at least on the first page.  Even if your self-hosted site appears below your Facebook page in the search results, at least you own the site.

5. Everybody is not on Facebook

Some people may never join Facebook; others are leaving.  Even with these transitions, people will always have access to your blog.  You don’t want to alienate people who are likely to support you just because they’re not on Facebook.

Above are five reasons why I think your self-hosted blog is better than your Facebook Page. Use Facebook as a means to an end—not as an end in itself. Use it to make contacts and drive traffic back to the site you own and control.  Remember, if you don’t own it, you can’t control.  And you will never own Facebook.

Marcie Hill is the Founder & President of The Write Design Company help clients develop creative conversations that will lead to long-term online and offline relationships.  She also shares information on culture, education, employment, health and youth programs and activities on her community site, Shorty: Your Chicago South Side Resource.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
Comments
  1. Hi Marcie, great post. I agree with your points. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Thank you. I was waiting for someone to say that. Bloggers today tend to spend most of their day on facebook. Some of them are spending more time on FB than on their own blog. This will article will help them to set their priorities straight.

    I love the last point. 600 million is big number, but that doesn’t mean that everyone on earth is on facebook. Besides, your content gets locked inside facebook. They can be moved elsewhere if you are on a self hosted blog. I think that can be point number 6.

    • Rison, I was hoping that I wouldn’t get shunned by my fellow bloggers with this article. Like you said, many of them spend so much time on Facebook, which is great for publicity and branding, but not always so for customers.

  3. Best thing abou Self hosting is we have control over it.Thats good idea and i agree with your post. Self hosting is help to website good rank in search. And most think we have total control over. Facebook realy rocks now. Most people in world spend time in facebook.

    • I did have a thought after I read this story: What if self-hosting providers disappeared? Should that ever happen, we still have the databases with our content; thus, leaving us in control for the most part.

  4. A self hosted blog is also more valuable than a blog on free hosts like WordPress.com and Blogger.com as well. When you don’t have ownership of the domain, you are at the mercy of the networks who, at any time, could decide that your blog violates their policies somehow and no longer can reside on their network.

    • Amen to that. Putting your business at the mercy of someone else – Google, Facebook, WordPress, Ebay, Clickbank – is like putting all your eggs in one basket. All it takes is a random policy change and everything you’ve built is useless. I think the larger point (beyond just Facebook) is that every blogger needs to be building a business and a brand that they can control.

    • I agree with all points. But unless each individual blogger cares enough about creating and working to maintain a Google, Facebook, Ebay, etc., we will always be at the mercy of someone else. But in the meantime, we have to pick the lesser of all evils for our purposes. And if those options are FREE or as close to as free as possible and we have control, let’s use the.

  5. I have found, that since I started my self-hosted blog, my Google ranking has placed me in the top 5. The points in this article can’t be stressed enough if you want to get your own message out and not be confined by the rules and regulations of a hosted site. Plus, you have a lot more visibility that if you stay with Facebook.
    Speaking from personal experience, if you’ve done your homework and set everything up right, Google your name and be proud that you are all over the top 10 results. (If you are branding yourself).

  6. Hi Marcie, really great and nice post. we are agree with your points. thanks for share a very nice post :) ya my blog is much better then facebook :)

  7. Great post being finding a way to tell the world about the usefulness of one’s on thing than something borrowed from others

  8. I agree. My own post on Facebook vs. a self-hosted blog concluded, “Like a bar, Facebook is a useful hub for social contact, but it’s no place to call home.”

  9. Hi Marcie,

    A self-hosted blog is a place where we have total control. We can control anything and everything in the regime. But Facebook page is still someone else’s place.

    Apart from the fact that we will be paid for advertising, we can also control spam. I am too fed up with Facebook spam; it adopts opt out policy and not opt in policy. We are not asked to confirm whether we wish to join a group/application/game. But we need to apply for opting out.

    In my opinion my blog is my territory and I have total control. That is enough for me.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

  10. Speaking to point #1, are you aware that in March Facebook changed its code for Facebook pages to use iframes? Now you have pretty much complete control of your space. Iframes calls an entire website and serves it inside Facebook’s chrome. Its true that your space is only 520 pixels wide, but you can do pretty much anything with it.

  11. Hello Marcie,
    I myself, am a huge Facebook fan, and I think there is value in having a Facebook fan page. However, I like the points that you made and they make perfect sense to me. A blog is a space where a brand can give knowledge and opinion, and allows them to show their worth to their audience in a much greater way than Facebook. As this is what, you’re saying, I totally agree, and bravo!

    • Whooo, I thought you are about tear my story apart with your opening. I think there is a big huge value in a Facebook fan page, and I encourage any business owner to get one if they have time to manage it. However, Facebook is forever changing their tunes about content control which is disturbing.

  12. Excellent points Marcie. I do believe that your blog can bring in more business and visibility when compared to a Facebook page. However, I recently read in the local newspaper that people in Singapore or Malaysia do prefer to use Facebook fan page vs a blog. What is your take on that?

    • I think everything is based on personal preference, and a Facebook page may be easier for them to manage And it’s free.

      Personally, I think managing a self-hosted blog is very time-consuming and costly. I do it because I love blogging and understand the benefits of doing it. So, it’s all about preference.

  13. This post was a let-down. I thought you were going to bring up some really great points, but each point you brought up seemed under-inflated and unsupported.

    Just when you almost proved a point, you use a phrase like “Even if your self-hosted site appears below your Facebook page in the search results, at least you own the site.”

    This is more of a comparison demonstrating the differences in what facebook offers versus what your own blog offers.

    It’s not showing that either one is better.

    Sorry. Nice article, but I’m not convinced and this didn’t change the way I will do anything.

    Best Regards.

  14. We don’t need another Google that will control our business, don’t blog in Facebook groups, it’s a suicide :)

  15. That is so true. One would never build their house on someone else’s property. Don’t build your business there either.

    I often see people on Etsy and similar sites say, ” I don’t need a website. I have Etsy. Or I have Facebook.” And it makes me cringe.

    A lot of people tried to use 1000Markets as their own site and webstore. And when it was sold to Bonanza, they all had to start over with their marketing.

    • It also just looks unprofessional. If Target’s only place on the web was target.blogspot.com, I would not see them as an established business. Now, if you’re just a personal blogger, fine. (Though I still think you should have your own domain, so that no one can tell you what you can and can’t publish. It’s the main reason I left LiveJournal several years ago. I figured, sure, I’m not posting the stuff that they are banning, but what’s next? They add swearing to their list of TOS violations? I’d be screwed!)

      • Elizabeth, I like your comment about adding swearing to their TOS violations. Most bloggers would be out of commission. And your Target example was great!

    • Andy, I would encourage Facebook Fan Pages and Etsy as starting points due to time, money and convenience. They do come in handy. But to not have a space that you own is ridiculous to me.

  16. I found that my Facebook business page was working against me. Most of my “fans” had also friended me so they were getting duplicate contect. Being inundated by ME started to turn people off so I deleted my fan page after inviting people to send me a friend request if they haven’t done so already. This has worked out beautifully.

    What I’ve found is that people who aren’t really into photography are now reading my blog, because they’ve connected with me on Facebook. That lesson taught me to put more energy and effort into my blog and to leave social networking as a tool instead of the main machine.

    Great post!

  17. Great points. I never really thought of this as much of a debate though. Have your own space on the internet is almost always better than relying on someone else’s platform to get your message out.

    These are good reminders though reasons why we should be focusing on our own sites.

    • Nick- I just made the Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from your blog last night. Yumm.

      • Nick, it’s just amazing to me the number of people who rely on other people and sites as main sources. And the fact that you never thought about it means that you are more of a creator than a consumer – very impressive!

  18. FB Page is NOT an alternative to your self hosted blog but they do complement your blog :)

  19. Very nice article and good points. In addition to this, Facebook is extremely limited in what you can do in terms of style and design. With your own self-hosted blog, you have a greater flexibility for a unique and impacting site for viewers. No matter how popular it is, Facebook is still Facebook, and you have to work within the confines of what they provide you.

    For an individual attempting to establish a brand, Facebook doesn’t fill the void a custom-designed blog does. Granted that the design and site work well for the readership, it really is a better solution. Thanks for the article!

    • Thomas, thanks for highlighting style and design. Those are two of the main things that bloggers can control.

  20. We agree that it is important for one to start a self-hosted blog. However, google hosted blog such as blogger is almost the same for that matter.

    Regards,
    Mukesh

    • Blogger is good for SEO but there are limitations in design, widgets and functionality. Nothing beats having your own.

      • Agreed. It’s quick though and easier to set up than your own blog. First time bloggers can start with professional setups and then move to their own.

  21. I have been thinking this for some time now. One time I published a post and posted the link on Facebook. Somebody actually told me they wouldn’t come to my site because I should just post stuff on Facebook.

    This aggregated me. One of my goals is to make money with my blog. I can’t make any money by putting tiny updates (or any updates) on Facebook.

    I am not a big Facebook fan. It is to connect with a few friends (10 or less in my case) and for self-promotion for my self-hosted site.

    Great article!

    • It aggravates me when I post a status on Facebook linking to a post I wrote on my site, and people comment on the Facebook status instead of the post. I thought about adding some kind of Facebook commenting plugin to my blogs, but I don’t know if that would just fuel the fire. Sigh.

      • What annoys me are the people who live on Facebook with very little about everything else going on in the world. That’s why we have our self-hosted blogs so we can remove ourselves from the noise and focus on those things that are most relevant.

  22. Great post, Marcie. I’m baffled as I watch businesses move almost entirely onto Facebook, a platform with which they have little control over their ultimate destiny. It is a great tool, but when you cede control to a company that is looking out for their own ultimate interests as opposed to your own, you’re taking a large risk, IMO.

    • Yeah, like the companies that use their Facebook URLs in commercials instead of their actual websites… As a social marketing consultant, this baffles me. Send people to your site! Use Facebook to send traffic to your site, not as your web presence.

      • Elizabeth, have you written a story about your comment above? If not, I think it’s a great topic. If you have, send me a link and I’ll post it on my blog.

  23. I couldn’t agree with you more on this one Marcie. When it’s your own self-hosted site you control the look, you control the pageviews, you control the advertising….the keyword here being YOU, not someone else. I have been telling people to stay away from Facebook comments as well. I am glad to see that the PRO has not handed his comments over to FB!

    Great post!

    • I just posted a comment above mentioning how I’ve considered adding a Facebook comment plugin to my blogs. I’ve seen blogs allow Facebook comments as well as the regular WordPress comments. I was thinking that it might solve the annoying problem of people commenting on the Facebook status instead of the blog post, but like I said, I worry that it might just fuel the fire and people would still only comment on the status. Have you tried this? What do you think?

  24. Hey Marcie,

    I can’t agree more! Facebook is a great tool if you use it right – right means to suite your purpose.
    Your blog is your home. This is where you hang out, meet friends and family, you control it and you can do whatever you want.

    Facebook is the club you go to to socialize and meet new people. You might also have great conversations on there. But than, the people you really mean to connect with on a deeper level, you take back home with you – to your own site.

    I often see pages and bloggers trying to drive traffic from there site to other accounts scattered around the net. Why would you want to do that. If it great if people connect with an author at Facebook but once you have them as readers on your blog you don’t want to send them any place else.

    Appreciate the post – it needed to be put out there!

    – Philipp

  25. I’ve opted to forego a Facebook fan page (or business Facebook page). I feel better about that decision now after reading this article. Thank you for this post!

    • Also, check out Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Photography Blog comment above. She had a great story about her Facebook Page not working for her.

  26. I absolutely agree. My Facebook Page is a minor addition to my site, not the main focus. I like having it available for those who prefer it, but it’s not mine.

    • Stephanie, has a been a good addition? Do you people actually visit? I only have 70 fans on mine and I’m not really concerned. I use it as a tool to get my posts to more people.

  27. This is a good post to bring back bloggers, me included, to their blogs instead of putting all their precious time in facebook :)

  28. Touche’ Marcie.

    I think we have to start reinforce the principles of Social Networks – they provide us with options to network with consumers. They are not meant to replace traditional online services.

    I’m fine with having an presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other Social Networks. And I focus on educate my niche market about the principles of networking.

    And with ownership of your own self-hosted domain you bring back the entrepreneur in entrepreneurship. And I am in control of my own path.

    Cheers.. Are

  29. Self hosted me ans it is or own kingdom can do anything as we want .that is all .

  30. Facebook is a tool, but people often get sucked into it and it becomes part of their identity. I think a blog is a better place to do this because, as you say, you have more control and get to really present who you are without constrictions.

  31. One good thing about Facebook (and Twitter): I think it’s soaked up a lot of people who weren’t serious about blogging.

    • You know what, Michael? That’s true. I attend blogger and social media Meetups and I see both sides of the spectrum. The bloggers love blogging and the social media enthusiasts actually love Twitter. I hear a few people mention their Facebook pages, but everyone asks for a Twitter handle. It’s all very interesting.

  32. Hey Marcie, I wrote a post exactly on this topic on SocialBizNow 5 days ago…

    http://www.socialbiznow.com/2011/04/top-4-compelling-reasons-for-a-website-even-if-youre-on-facebook/ ….

  33. I occasionally post on FB and Twitter. But I’ve resisted spending much time on either, for all the reasons, I now see, that you’ve posted here. I’ve followed people on FB who after that first contact I never see again, and same for Twitter. I now use Twitter mostly to get information that I’m looking for re: writing, publishing, agents, etc.

    I’m glad I read this today. It’s just what I needed to “hear.” Blogging is King!!

    • And it’s becoming more mainstream. If we continue to use it for the media content that we create and control, I do believe that there is a possibility that our self-hosted blogs will take our brands further than we expected.

  34. Facebook also limits the number of friends to 5000. Which is a worry because I’m approaching the 5000 mark. What am I supposed to do to promote growth after 5000 is reached?

  35. yea very nicely explain why self hosting hosting is better than facebook page.But i think people go where every one goes. So its not that every one will follow your blog and you cannot get all the members of facebook on your blog so facebook page is also good in its own way.

  36. I have separate purposes for my blog and my Facebook fan page. The blog is more in-depth and revealing of my perspectives on life. I spend a lot of time polishing and editing photos before I hit Publish. The business page is just that—quick bursts of attention-grabbing updates that have to do with my shop or other-generated content that I found inspiring. It seems easier/less intimidating for people to comment on Facebook, and I’ve been “found” by other Facebook users who might otherwise not have heard of my blog. I made sure to link my fan page to my blog, my blog to my shop and Flickr photos, and my shop to both the blog and fan page. It’s like a web I spun to capture readers!

    • Honestly, I think many people hang on Facebook because they don’t either know what blogs are or how they work. And, even if when we try to send them to the blogs, they may not go which makes the Facebook page a good complementary tool.

  37. I can’t argue with any of those points. It’s always desirable to control your own site, and the content and ads on it. Facebook pages are still a great way to get traffic, but there’s always a certain percentage of people in your niche who don’t go there. They need to find you another way(Google).
    For those who need more guidance, there is a real hand-holding 90 day marketing success group that is gaining popularity out there.

  38. @Elizabeth Kaylene—Hi, ElizabethThere are plug-ins that can cross platform between facebok and your WordPress blog. One that I use in one of my blog is a plug in called wordbooker. It cross platforms all your comments visa versa. Facebook comments will also be visilbe in your wordpress blog and the comments on wordpress will also be visibl in your facebook for that particular blog.

  39. I’m one of those that don’t use social media sites. I don’t tell my visitors to join any of them.

    • Good for you! Although I frequent many of the social sites, I find that they use huge amounts of time and energy that could be spent on more productive projects – like a self-hosted blog.

  40. Great post Marcie! Facebook is a tool, and not the only one you need to grow a business! I’ll be sharing!

    Thanks,
    Tami

  41. its true everybody is not on facebook i agree with you admin :)

  42. Great article and makes alot of sense. I need to spend more time on my blog and less on Facebook!

  43. i spend alot of hours, days, months, years for my blog on facebook but too bad result so facebook is not important i think… 9ice post

  44. These points are excellent and spot on. I started my blog not too long ago, and about to move it to a self hosted platform. You are so right about content being yours. That is the reason why I’ll use facebook to keep in contact with friends / family, but use my blog to promote my message.

  45. 100% agree with your post. Social networking sites are not suitable for hosting blogs. However, they are great places to promote your blog and increasing internet footprint.

  46. Another great article.

    I like to spend time working on my own blogs – I am building my own little pieces of internet real estate!

  47. Amen! And again, I say, Amen! Producing content on Facebook (or any other network) versus your own hosted site is akin to renting versus owning. When the lease is up (or when the network changes), your investment is wasted.

  48. Marcie,

    OMG! I have been waiting for a big blog to post this article topic – Thank you Darren and Marcie.

    I am not on FB, quite frankly the darn thing just frustrates me to know end with it’s un-user friendliness (I have set up accounts for clients). I have been going back and forth with the idea of setting up an account for myself (thinking it might help from a business standpoint) and now you have helped me to make a decision and saved me hours of unnecessary work. Thank you!!

    I think the push for business bloggers to be on FB is because so many people are and you don’t want to miss the boat, so to speak. However, if you concentrate on creating quality content on your own real estate and market your business, your target market will find you.

    Thank you again for saying it out loud! When so many of us are obviously thinking it.

    Have a great day! – Theresa

  49. Great Post, Marcie! I’m waiting for the final touches to my self hosted blog as I post :) Nothing beats having your own domain. I’ve loved the freedom of wordpress.com for 4 years, but, I’m more serious about my brand and that means it’s time to move on!

    Facebook has never been a motivating factor for me, other than networking for BIZ purposes…

    Clara.

  50. Marcie,

    Great write, I preach this all the time to my network- use your tools and resources to build your brand- not use your brand to build someone else’s brand- unless of course they are paying you an arm and leg:)

    Facebook is a resource- mind you- I love what FB has done for my brand- but if they turned into myspace, or black planet overnight- I wouldn’t be out of business!

    Great Write!!!