Missy Ward

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The idea that your blog is safe and secure because it lives on a popular site is a complete fallacy. The truth is that unless you are backing up every last piece of your content, one day it could disappear. And, as internet consultant and Harvard faculty member Nicco Mele points out, there is no phone number to call, there is no office to visit.

All you have is a form to fill out and an often false sense of hope.

Blogging Disasters Prevention and Damage Control

So the question is, if the unthinkable happens, what would be your recourse? How much content would be lost? How would your followers find you again? Here’s your crash course on what to do if your blog crashes, and what you can do now to mitigate your risk and minimize your loss.

Protect Your Customers

If your blog has any kind of e-commerce plugin, your first concern is the safety of your customer’s financial information. If you can’t yet afford a dedicated server, or don’t have the traffic to justify it, you’ll want to invest in encrypting sensitive data as well as malware hacking detection services. While working on making your blog profitable, it’s important to keep your overhead low. But it’s also important to keep in mind that existing customers are your best source of income, so protecting them is essentially protecting your own profitability — not to mention it’s the ethical thing to do.

Back Up, Back Up, Back Up

Two is one and one is none: that’s the mantra that professional bloggers use when it comes to backing up their content. What would happen if your external hard drive was damaged? What would happen if the cloud crashed? It’s important to hope for the best and plan for the worst when it comes to your blog content. Everything from mailing lists to blog posts is a monetizable commodity. You’ve got to have them stored in multiple locations to protect yourself and your investment of time in building your blog. Invest in a comprehensive cloud system that not only backs up your devices and blog but also makes sure your blog stays online if the server crashes.

Also, pay attention to your uptime statistics on your chosen server to prevent server crashes. This is especially relevant to be aware of before you run a big promotion or have any other reason to expect your blog to have a sudden influx of viewership that could crash the server. Nothing stings more than pouring your time and money into a promo that successfully drives tons of traffic to your site, only to have the server crash.

Be Transparent

In the event of a disaster, reach out to your followers and customers immediately. Let them know the situation and that you’re there to answer any questions they may have. It’s crucial for your reputation that you address the issue as soon as possible to prevent customers, followers or colleagues from assuming the worst.

This is also an excellent example of the importance of utilizing multiple platforms to promote your brand. For instance, if your blog crashes, you can use Twitter and Facebook to explain what happened and when you’ll be back up and running.

Know the differences between advertising and marketing. Don't be 'that company'.Click To Tweet


LinkedIn has nearly half a billion users, with two new members joining every second, according to Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn.

Because of its unique user demographic, smart companies and businesses are seeing the increased potential of using LinkedIn as a marketing tool. But like any social network, there are rules to be followed and others to be ignored as you navigate the space.

Mind the Gap 7 Essential LinkedIn Do's and Don'ts

Remember the Platform

First and foremost, LinkedIn is a business-oriented network. Professionalism and commerce are two of the social platform’s fundamental philosophies, so anything your business posts needs to fit within this paradigm. One example of a company that blends business with a human touch is Amway. Amway’s LinkedIn page doesn’t let you forget it has earned the designation of a Forbes top-30 private company, while still keeping true to its business pedigree in human capital.

Know Your Brand Identity

LinkedIn does not exist in a bubble. In fact, it’s part of the larger, greater world of social media. Despite showing a unique face and publishing varied content across different social media platforms, experts say your true brand identity must remain consistent. Denny’s is a perfect example of a company showing its quirky human side across social media.

Connect Judiciously With Your Audience

Because of LinkedIn’s business philosophy, the way you connect with your audience — customers, clients and prospects alike — is important to your image. Posting unauthentic and impersonal content will make your company look like it’s simply posting for the sake of posting to gain a marketing edge. The connections you make to the world must be personal, which can be tricky when promoting a business. Post content true to your brand identity and stay away from pre-written text (which can make your LinkedIn page look unnatural or dishonest.)

Don’t Do Anything Canned

Everything you post on your LinkedIn page should be polished but not boilerplate. Most importantly, it needs to be original. The world of social media is becoming a battleground for copyright infringement violations and litigation. Because many companies allow employees to post on social media, make sure they adhere to the policies you set forth.

Always Maintain Relevancy

As a business site, LinkedIn has a reputation for being, at least partially, educational in nature. The content you post should shy away from fluff and instead opt toward instructive. This could help make your company become a thought leader in the space in which you occupy.

Know the Differences Between Advertising and Marketing

Let’s face it: Whether it’s your company, a competitor or even one you hold near and dear, there’s no greater turn off than seeing advertorial LinkedIn posts. In essence, you don’t want to be sold something every time you visit a company’s page. You want your marketing message to be clear and resonate with different audiences, but it cannot and should not sound like an ad. This will erode your company’s image of honesty and authenticity — and your customers, clients, and prospects may start to ignore you altogether. Don’t be that company.

Think Like a Web Designer

Whether your content creation team is tech savvy or not, all the rules of Web design still apply when presenting yourself and posting on LinkedIn. Your posts need to be created with responsive web technology in mind. Understand that images, text and videos may appear wonky or just plain differently, depending on the devices your audience uses. Thus, it’s imperative you publish content geared toward users of desktop and laptop computers, as well as smartphones and tablets, so your message doesn’t get lost in translation.

Although I’ve yet to be tested, all signs indicate that I’ve inherited the wanderlust gene. I’m not quite sure who I acquired it from, as my parents are perfectly happy staying within a 15-minute driving distance from their home. Monotony gives them comfort.

But for me, something different is what excites me. I crave new places to explore, and other than having a return flight booked; I prefer to travel without plans. It nearly always leads to more enjoyment.

Take my last trip, for example. I just got back from Toronto, where my business partner, Shawn Collins, and I hosted a Performance Marketing Summit. The last time I visited Toronto was back in 1987 with a bunch of friends from SUNY Buffalo. We piled into my buddy’s car, filled the trunk with an assortment of cheap beer, and took the quick drive across the border. This time, I decided to stay an extra day to explore the city as a grown up. I figured that whatever time I woke up was when said exploration would commence.

Well, that extra day in Toronto was spent visiting two Ontario wineries, having an incredible vineyard lunch, and witnessing Mother Nature at her best, when she produced an amazing rainbow over Niagara Falls for our entire group to behold.

Niagra Falls Photo Credit: Ilya BLT

As I sat on the plane looking through the photos of the places I visited in Toronto; I couldn’t stop thinking about my upcoming trip to Spain. Sometimes it seems as though my thirst for travel may never be quenched, no matter how many destinations I visit. It turns out; there is a scientific explanation.

In 1993, a study by Jay B. Lichter et al. attributed the DRD4 gene to controlling dopamine levels in the brain and linked them to motivation and behavior. In 2010, the first genome sequence from an extinct human became available, indicating that humans and Neanderthals interbred about 37,000 years ago, and a new gene in the human genome was formed, DRD4-7R. It was also around that time that humanity started to create and sustain large civilizations. A 2011 study (Schilling, Walsh, and Yun) indicated that 20% of humans carry the DRD4-7R (aka wanderlust gene), which is linked to risk-taking, sensation-seeking and novelty-seeking, and correlated with openness to new experiences, intolerance to monotony, and exploratory behavior. It was also tied to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; a disorder that I’ve been diagnosed with.

I guess I can blame DRD4-7R for my business success (and failures), my impulsivity, and my hunger to learn and see new things. I can also blame it for my inability to stay on a healthy track when I travel. Wanderlust nearly always trumps my best intentions, which remain in my suitcase, along with my sneakers and work-out clothes.

But, at least now I have a real excuse to give my husband when I ask for another hall pass to travel. Babe, it’s in my DNA since before I even existed.

Is wanderlust in your DNA?