In a previous post, I wrote about the rise of the creator platform. I know. It's overwhelming, and it's challenging to know which one to use. It's more critical for newbies like me to practice my skills before worrying too much about choosing what to call home. From sign up to onboarding to experimenting, I'm ready to share my thoughts and explain why I made the choice I did. Also, I looked at how creators that I follow use different platforms.
My primary use-case is focused on blogging, writing tutorials, and sharing some code from time to time. The secondary use-case is recorded tutorials and live streaming. The essential attributes for me are simplicity, flexibility (themes, integrations), having a clean look and feel, guest authors, and member newsletters. Most if not all platforms support some amount of embedding. Including the URL (or small embed code) to content hosted on other platforms, like YouTube and GitHub.
TL;DR (👻 + ☕️)
Although I am not a daily coder, I do have a technical background, and after looking at many platforms, I decided to host my own Ghost blog. The hosted plan is too steep for me, so I maintain my server for a few dollars per month. Also, I will keep using Buy me a coffee.
Scroll down for details and chart comparing seven of many-more-than-seven platforms available.
For Blogging and Writing
My top three choices are Medium, Substack, and Buy me a coffee.
🏆 Medium has been around since 2012 and has a significant market and mind share. A couple of years back, I used it to share a few Amazon Sumerian tutorials. The web-based editor is top-notch, and you can receive a payment if you join the partner program and have lots of readers. Medium is free. However, once you start using it, you will want to purchase a subscription ($5/month or $50/year). The subscription helps support creators, and you get an ad-free experience and unlimited reading.
The best ideas can change who we are. Medium is where those ideas take shape, take off, and spark powerful conversations. We’re an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Our purpose is to spread these ideas and deepen understanding of the world.
🏆 Substack launched in 2018 and focused on news and newsletters. This year, they have grown quickly and now have many well-known writers using the platform for their full-time livelihood. For example, Casey Newton, who wrote for The Verge, now has his own company/brand called Platformer. He writes four newsletters a week primarily focused on social media platforms. You can subscribe to his newsletter and receive it once a week, but you receive every newsletter if you are a paid subscriber ($10/month).
When readers pay writers directly, writers can focus on doing the work they care about most. A few hundred paying subscribers can support a livelihood. A few thousand makes it lucrative.
🏆 Buy me a coffee is a small company helping creators to get paid for their work. They founded in January 2018. Initially, they provided a widget that you embed on your website (assuming you have permissions) to provide a simple way for fans to offer some support. They have expanded their platform to include a dedicated creator blog and photo site, along with paid memberships. You can help feed my coffee habit by clicking the link in the bottom right or having a look at my page: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/kirbyshabaga
We believe almost everyone will work for themselves in the future—our mission is to empower individuals to achieve that.
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