This story came about because I have a lot of new writers come to me and tell me that everyone is telling them they have to start a blog, for the exact reasons you laid out when all they want to do is improve their writing and grow an audience.
What I am saying is that a blog is not a necessity. There are always going to be platform changes and algorithm tweaks, even on Google, which most self-hosted blogs rely on. We are all at the mercy of platforms.
The best advice I can give is to make sure you back up your work, stay ahead of platform changes, and be flexible as much as possible.
There will always be other platforms, and if you look at your work as a changing, living thing, you will see that having a blog is not necessary.
IF someone wants to put in the effort, that is great, I’ve had many. The last point I was trying to make was, as a creative, there are far better things to do with your time other than tweaking SEO and doing all the thousand little things you must do when you have a self-hosted blog.
MY life got far easier when I stop splitting my efforts between a blog and a platform like Medium. I spent 20+ years building blogs that have done nothing for me but take from my wallet and fill up my days with busywork.
Now, I focus on Medium and work every day to improve my writing, and things are happening for me.
IN the small chance that Medium goes under or becomes toxic, I will take all my work and start building on another platform.
Anyway, I am rambling. You and I may never see eye to eye on this, but that is okay. I am no guru, I can only speak from my own experience.
Times are changing. Blogs are becoming “nice to have.”