Write on your own website

I’ll share two stories.

I was speaking at a conference and after my talk I was approached by someone who said, “I had to think for a while, but weren’t you the one who wrote that Medium post about avoiding the word ‘just’?” Now, I’ve never written anything on Medium. They were referring to the (fantastic) Pastry Box Project where I originally published the post. The design of both Medium and the Pastry Box are pretty minimal (white background, black serif text) which led to the person confusing the two.

One time I was at the dog park, and only one other dog and owner were there. We struck up a conversation (the owners, not the dogs), which inevitably led to the big question of “so what do you do?” The guy said that he was a web developer, which obviously led to both of us explaining a bit more about what type of web stuff we do. I mentioned how I tend to focus on patterns and design systems, and he interrupted with, “oh, are you the guy with the orange website?”

“Why, yes I am.”

Writing on your own website associates your thoughts and ideas with you as a person. Having a distinct website design helps strengthen that association. Writing for another publication you get a little circular avatar at the beginning of the post and a brief bio at the end of the post, and that’s about it. People will remember the publication, but probably not your name.

I won’t cover the ton of other great reasons to create your own website and write on it. I’ll just say “oh, are you the guy with the orange website?” has stuck with me for years and continues to make me smile.