Why you don’t need a website in 2023

person writing on a notebook beside macbook

A few people have asked, so here’s what I’d recommend for blogging in 2023.

If I was to start blogging again, Substack and medium.com is probably all I’d use. And maybe Ulysses or something for the writing experience, although these two apps have a pretty good interface.

Which is to say, you don’t really need a website. Especially not in the beginning stages at least. You can build up a pretty decent presence on both of these services, and what’s more, I doesn’t cost you a cent.

I still clearly remember the day I found my url hadn’t already be claimed. I took it straight away, sorry to piss off all the other Tim Buntings out there. I’m still going to keep the website, I love it for the customization available, especially for my mountains blog posts.

In saying that, Medium.com can give you good reach. Plus, it even provides income after 100 followers. It’s also a really good source of content to boot.

The real superstar though is Substack. If I had known about Substack when it started (I believe it was 2017), I would have been straight on that bandwagon.

Substack is free to use, and you get to keep the email addresses of people who subscribe. This is worth more than its weight in gold, even if you have zero plans of monetizing. A much better alternative to mailchimp, and also ghost.org who have a bit too high of a barrier to entry.

Substack though, you can monetize it straight off the bat, which I’d recommend. Start building free and premium content right from the start. For every free piece or so, chuck in a paid one.

That way when you do reach the (frankly ridiculous and completely unnecessary) psychological barrier of 1,000 subscribers and you do decide to pull the trigger, you’ve already built up a library of content for people to peruse. Plus, this also means you can start earning even before you get to this psychological barrier, which is its own form of reward.

Substack only makes money if you do. This is huge. It means they want you to do well, and they do all they can to support you too. Substack is really good at cross pollination, meaning they essentially give you followers. This is much better than any other service I have used before.

The only potential downside with Substack I can see, despite the cut they take (well worth it in my opinion) is that you don’t get your own url. But as I’ve tried to say, it’s not really a problem these days. You can have your own website and just use Substack for emails, this is certainly a valid option.

So there you have it. If you’re wondering whether you need a website in 2023, I’d say only if you really want one, or if you need the customization beyond that medium.com and Substack offers. For everything else, you’re pretty much covered with these too.

Lastly, a few hints

A few hints though. Be sure to put out content regularly so that you do ensure that all-important growth. Also, read and comment on other writer’s work. It is really encouraging to hear that your ideas are resonating, however small the ripple may be!

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

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