How Do I Avoid Platform Risk?

how to avoid platform risk

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In the realm of online businesses,  platform risk comes from having a business model with an over-reliance on a particular online marketing or publishing platform.

Major online marketing and publishing platforms include Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Medium… This oligopoly controls the majority of the web.

Indeed, these platforms control so much of our attention online that they are almost impossible to ignore.

They have massive audiences and their business models revolve around convincing you that the more time you invest in them, the more successful and well-connected you could be.

As such, many entrepreneurs and bloggers become addicted to them.

But like any addict, they are focused on the short term gains… And seemingly blind to the symptoms of platform risk and long term costs.

While any new business may ignore the large platforms at their peril, an over-reliance on one particular platform can be catastrophic to a business because it does not control the platform it is built on.

Perhaps the most talked about online publishing platform today is Medium… Tens of thousands of writers are filling Medium with their writing, thereby primarily helping Medium.

Luckily for authors, both Medium and LinkedIn support cross domain rel-canonicals… But for how long?

Even something as simple as an SEO strategy focusing heavily on Google can turn out to be an epic blunder… Just ask anyone who’s had a site that’s been hurt by a Google algorithm update.

Changing Algorithms Are Like Earthquakes

Just as you wouldn’t build a home on sand in an earthquake zone, you shouldn’t build your business with a foundation that can be changed on the whim of millennial billionaires.

But this is what happens when you build a business on Facebook, Medium, Twitter or even Google.

When will people learn…? SEO tricks work for only so long… Facebook will let you promote yourself in feeds abundantly for only so long.

In an instant, Google made the decision that the days of using a generic keyword based domain name as an SEO strategy are over.

Today you are better off building a unique name for yourself… And seek to have people search for you by name.

Then, once people have found your site, you can start a relationship with them in various ways, such as by asking them to follow you or to ask them to sign up for your email list.

Building an organic email list is a great way to establish a relationship with your readers.

While he’s a unicorn, Seth Godin succeeded by building an ethical, organic email subscriber list comprised of people who look forward to reading his daily blog posts and would miss him if he was gone.

While he’s failed many times, he’s succeeded without being reliant on any one platform… If you search for “Seth”, almost nothing Google does will affect him.

As a fan, you know exactly where you want to end up.