No matter what you finish that question with, the answer to “do I really need a website?” is probably yes. Some of the endings I have heard include Tumblr page, Facebook page or profile, Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat/[insert latest new social media network here].
Here’s the thing about all of those — you don’t own them. I know you think you do because you created your account and uploaded all your content and have been using for a really long time (or not). But the companies behind all of those platforms own those profiles and pages.
In most cases, you’ve granted them a licence to display the content (and sometimes to use for other purposes). You should be sure to check out the terms and conditions you agreed to without reading (we all do it). But one thing is for sure, they pretty much all reserve the right to delete accounts.
That’s right! Your account with all your posts/images/videos/brilliance, GONE!
Think it can’t happen to you? Dennis Cooper, an artist, who had been writing on Blogger for over 10 years, woke up one day to find all his artwork, research, photographs, writings, gone. Google, who owns Blogger, had seemingly deleted his entire blog without notice. Now Cooper does have his own website, but his blog remained on an external hosted platform, and out of his control.
So yes, you should definitely have your own website. You can push your content out to those other platforms if they work better for your audience, but make sure that your website is the center of your online presence.
I’ll go into more detail in the future about some of the available options for presenting your content on your WordPress website (e.g. replacing Issuu for magazines and publications). But the biggest tip I can give you is make sure to back up your work, no matter where you’re sharing it.