Thank you Ali Abdaal
I just started a person website after watching this YouTube by Ali Abdaal. His sharing is crisp, concise and effective. This website is a direct result of just following the steps he spoke about in his YouTube, which I have included here for convenience.
Benefits of having your own personal website
He share six benefits of having your own personal website. As I am starting out, I won't know how much of this will eventually happen but hey no harm trying and see what comes out of this. The six benefits are:
- It helps you develop your own ideas - Become a better writer and communicating your ideas
- It helps your professional life - Interview panels google your name and talks about your interests
- It leads to connections - people all over the world may reach out to you
- You expose yourself to interesting opportunities
- You can have a lot more impact - having an internet presence improves your networking (moving out of your village), massively impact your area of work which is far more than sitting in your village engaging one-on-one
- You can monetise it - it acts as a serendipity vehicle that even while you are sleeping your work is doing its work
How do you create your website?
He also shared about the process of creating your website and well it works. If not you will not be seeing this. You need 2 things, first you need a platform and then you need a domain. I used his recommendation of Google Domain and Ghost.
In his video he spoke about 3 platforms as well as the pros and cons of using them. The 3 platforms are Substack, SqaureSpace and Ghost. Don't overthink. No one cares which platform it is on. The whole point is to get started easily.
With paid domain you can do something like "https://kuaiserleng.com" which looks more professional than "https://some-name.ghost.io". It is also easier for people to remember. Getting a paid domain is cheap, it is like the cost of Starbucks every 4 months if you get from Google domain. Ali mentioned that if you are a student, you can get a free one from namecheap.
How to make your website good?
I am following his step to create this by having an About page, a Contact page and a Blog page. Then write blog post every week.
What do you write about?
The only bar he set was "Could this blog be potentially useful to at least one other person in the world?". Such as :
- Insights from a book you read, a podcast you listened to, the there are 3 things that stuck in your mine. Write about it.
- Your learning journey. Document it down. It may help others embarking on that journey. Share your experience. A nice quote from Gary Vaynerchuk "Document, dont create". Explore any kind of topic you enjoy.
In a similar way, this is my documentation of what I learnt from Ali.
"Document, don't create" - Gary Vaynerchuk
How will my stuff be seen?
Publish the article and then tell your friends about it. Share it on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook or whereever you have social media. Post a link or a screenshot on those social media platforms. Through those people who read, someone who resonate with it may share with other people.
No worry about it, it takes time. Just make sure you are sharing it on social media making it easy for people to find.
Frequently-Ask-Questions (aka Don't worry about it)
Interestingly, "Don't worry about it" was his answer to all these FAQs and the answers are good. Essentially, the focus should be on the content.
- How do I make my website look pretty? - Don't worry about it, the default templates from the platforms are sufficient. The design does not matter, People care about the content, ideas and writing. It is all about the writing. Focus on the content.
- How about Search Engine Optimisation? - Don't worry about it. It is unlikely your personal website will generate that kind of traffic to worry about SEO. Worry about 3 or 4 years down the line'
- How do I monetize my website? - Don't worry about it. Unless you have been writing weekly for at least one or two years, you don't need to worry about it.
- What if I am scared to put myself out there? - Don't worry about it, you don't need to be an expert. Embrace being a beginner, just document your learning. No one cares that you have your own domain. Nobody judges someone documenting a learning journey.