Blogging Disasters: Prevention and Damage Control
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.
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.
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.