Digital foundations – 3 basic principles of digital marketing

Here are a number of principles that are important to business in a digital world – I think of them as digital foundations. Most are principles I’ve followed for a long time, but it seems not many people know of them, or why they’re important.

So this page is a collection of articles by smart people, on topics that I consider foundational to digital marketing. Feel free to share this page with the important people in your life.

The list of digital foundations

  1. Homebase and outposts
  2. Avoid digital sharecropping
  3. Core principle of SEO

Homebase and outposts

I first heard of this concept from Daren Rowse of Problogger.

A home base is a place online that you own, that is your online ‘home’…Outposts are places that you have an online presence out in other parts of the web that you might not ‘own’…Outposts will mean different things to different people and businesses…most of my ‘outposts’ are social media sites – however for others an outpost could also include forums, other community sites and even the comments sections of other blogs.

Darren Rowse, Home Bases and Outposts – How I use Social Media in My Blogging,

Build a website to act as your homebase

Fundementally that means buy a domain name and pay to host a website or pay for a service such as Then add a link from all of your social media profiles to your domain name.

Sure it costs more than a free social profile or website builder, but it gives you more control and security.

Why is it important?

Avoid digital sharecropping

In 2015 Sonia Simone, of Copyblogger fame, wrote an article about digital sharecropping. It told the story of a great independent bookshop that had to close its doors. Not because of the pressure from Amazon or the economy, but because the shop’s landlord tripled its rent when the lease ran out.

It’s a cautionary tale of building on land owned by someone else, in the case of websites that might be a Facebook page, Medium account or a free Wix website.

…anyone can create content on sites like Facebook, but that content effectively belongs to Facebook. The more content we create for free, the more valuable Facebook becomes. We do the work, they reap the profit.

Sonia Simone, Digital Sharecropping,

Core principle of SEO

Ok, so this is something I’ve written. But it’s based on experienced gained over many years, talking to senior management in a number of companies about SEO.

One of the scaiest things every MD, FD or director has expressed about SEO is that ‘it’s always changing’ and they don’t know which agency to believe or spend their money with.

There is a truth to this, because SEO does change, but I believe it’s always changing with a single goal in mind. So the Core principle of SEO is something I’ve written to help non-SEOs sift through the bog of information and sales pitches.


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