Blogging successfully takes consistency. That’s why you have to think ahead to any situations that might cause you to miss publishing a post…or more than one post…on schedule. Today, freelance writer Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB) offers tips on how to plan for the types of things that cause your stream of posts to get interrupted. Of course, that might bring your blogged book to a halt, too. And you don’t want that to happen.
In the world of project management, you’re often told to hope for the best while preparing for the worst. The same philosophy applies to any business, and it’s time to face the fact that blogging is a business. Publishing, also, is a business, and you are not only a blogger but a published or aspiring author. Thus, you, too, need to plan for the worst.
Optimism is a beautiful character trait, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid planning for the future or preparing for unforeseen challenges. Here are some great tips on how to hope for the best while preparing for the unexpected.
What if You Get Sick?
We hope you take good care of yourself and are always healthy, but what if you’re not? What would happen to your business if you were involved in a severe accident, suddenly became extremely ill, or even had an extended bout of the flu? What if you were incapacitated for a time and couldn’t write your posts or manage your business?
You have a couple of options. The first, and cheapest solution, is to partner with another writer and agree to step up and help each other in the event of a major sickness or accident. Assuming it is someone you trust, show one another how to access the other’s accounts and discuss the details of the arrangement as well as expectations.
The other option is to see if you qualify for a disability insurance policy on yourself, which means you would receive some income during a period when you were unable to work. You can use the money for income or put it towards hiring a virtual assistant to help with your blog.
What if Your Internet is Down for an Extended Period?
It seems like the Internet always fails at the worst possible times, like when you have a looming deadline or near the end of formatting your post and right before you publish. Typically we either wait, or go off to find an Internet connection somewhere else, but what would you do if it was down for an extended period? What if you were in the middle of nowhere and couldn’t get an Internet connection? What would you do then?
Having your own hot spot or dongle available as a back up is the best plan B for reliable Internet. Of course, if you can’t always get reception, so you might want to have a few posts lined up and a friend or virtual assistant who is a phone call away that can post something for you if necessary.
What if You Get Hacked?
If you’ve ever been hacked, you know that gut-wrenching feeling of having lost all control of your website. All of your precious hard work is highjacked, and sometimes even held for ransom. Fortunately, improving security on your site is generally something you do have control over. Many useful tips can help keep your data safe, like regularly changing your password and using long unique passwords with lots of different characters.
But what would you do if you did get hacked? Do you do regular backups? If you are self-hosted it much easier to recover as most website hosting companies do consistent backups. Retrieval of old data isn’t too complicated, so they usually can get you up and running again pretty quickly. If you’re not currently on a self-hosting platform, it might be time to look into it. There are also many good plug-ins that can keep your site safe. As a last resort, you can hire someone that specializes in online security.
What Will You Do About Unexpected Competition?
One thing that many businesses often don’t anticipate is emerging competition. So, you think you’re safe as the only blogger with a niche about organic chinchilla farming or underwater basket weaving? Imitation might be the ultimate compliment, but it also can reduce your audience. You’re not the only fish in the pond. Sharks are everywhere, so plan accordingly. The best thing you can do to stay on top of your competition is to keep your content fresh, continually build your platform, and research your competition to see what they’re up to. The best defense is always a strong offense.
How Will You Take Time Off for a Vacation?
Everyone needs a digital detox now and then, and it’s better to plan one, rather than have it happen accidentally, like if you lose your phone or your laptop crashes. It’s healthy to get away from technology for a time and recharge your mind, body, and spirit, but how can do it in a way that doesn’t jeopardize your business? One way to do it is to schedule your posts ahead of time so that they will publish on a future date. That way you can be out lying on the beach when your next article posts.
There is nothing wrong with planning for the unanticipated challenges of life. In fact, it’s a proactive business practice that can save you a lot of grief in the future. These tips will help you hope for the best while planning for the unexpected.
How do you prepare for the unexpected…while continuing to hope for the best? Tell me in a comment below.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.
Photo courtesy of Thor Jorgen Udvang|123rf.com