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Why You Need a Platform-Independent Audience in 2024

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Imagine this scenario:

You’ve built a massive following, raking in thousands of views and a nice income month after month.

Then, without warning, you get banned from the platform. Just like that, your audience and revenue stream disappears.

This devastating situation is exactly what happened to me a couple of years ago. It was a harsh wake-up call that made three things crystal clear to me:

  1. Have multiple income streams to stay safe
  2. Utilize multiple platforms to diversify your presence
  3. Most crucially, grow an audience independent of any single platform

Let me share the full backstory and why building a platform-independent audience, is an absolute must in 2024.

My YouTube ban

For three years, I had been growing several faceless YouTube channels focused on various niches.

The early days were an uphill battle as I studied advice from all the “YouTube money-making gurus” I could find.

Eventually, their tips seemed to work. 🤯

One channel started gaining traction—more views rolling in, acceptance into the YouTube Partner Program, and finally, those first monetization dollars trickling in. From just a few bucks to hundreds per month, it was an exciting trajectory.

Then one day, a dreaded email arrived: “Your channel is no longer eligible for earnings.”

Just like that, my monthly YouTube income evaporated.

While this particular story centers on YouTube, the lesson applies universally.

What if you got banned from Medium tomorrow? Or X next week?

It’s a risk every creator faces.

Thankfully, before that devastating email, I had already started diversifying with other faceless channels, writing projects, and digital product sales.

But the experience was the wake-up call I needed to realize the importance of nurturing a platform-independent audience.

The immense value of email lists

Initially, I’ll admit, I didn’t grasp the value of email lists. Maybe you’re in the same boat, unsure of why they matter.

The value proposition is straightforward:

An email list is an audience you own, one you can take with you from platform to platform. It’s your safety net, ensuring you don’t lose everything if disaster strikes on a third-party site.

On social media, you may amass a vast following, but if you’re banned, those followers vanish. That has happened multiple times to friends of mine.

While social platforms provide access to massive audience pools, making growth easier, there’s an inherent risk.

Get banned, and that hard-earned following disappears into the ether.

That’s why building an email list is so crucial, not just for writers but for all creators.

When somebody asked me why YouTubers don’t prioritize email lists like bloggers and writers, my answer is simple: Many savvy YouTubers do recognize the value of platform independence.

They have newsletters or email list signups and they encourage their followers to do so.

Their viewers may prefer visual over written content, but smart creators understand the necessity of owning a portable audience they can take with them wherever they go, whether leaving one platform or expanding to new ones.

The landscape of 2024

As if the classic arguments for email lists weren’t compelling enough, 2024’s digital landscape adds new layers of importance.

Substack is doing podcasts, X is trying to be everything, each major social media platforms includes new content formats, even their own subscribers layers or email signups.

Email is everything.

Not because of the email. But because of the portable audience.

The bottom line

Let’s be honest—hearing repeatedly about newsletter best practices and list-building strategies can start to feel stale.

We get it; the messaging is ubiquitous.

But stepping back, growing an email list (or any truly platform-independent audience) is a priceless safety net and asset.

Social media bans, fickle algorithms, and unexpected platform downfalls are constant risks.

What if Elon Musk suddenly charges for X access? Not just premium plans, but in general?

Or Meta’s perpetual product roadmap drives Facebook into oblivion? Or Medium disappears tomorrow?

With an email list, you’re good.

That audience is yours to keep, move, and monetize as you see fit, no matter what turbulence rocks the social technology landscape.

Medium recognized this need for audience ownership, adding email subscription tools specifically to counter Substack’s growth. But true independence means maintaining your subscribers away from any single provider’s walled garden.

Regularly back up your email list, treating it like the precious asset it is. (I’ve created a handy Notion template for streamlined subscriber backups.)

In 2024, a portable audience isn’t just nice to have—it’s an absolute necessity for any creator pursuing long-term, future-proof success.

Tell me I’m wrong…

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