Internet Marketers – Have You Done All Your Backups Recently?
©2009 Doug Champigny. All Rights Reserved.
There’s a new decade looming, and if the past 10 years is any indication, Internet marketing, affiliate marketing, niche marketing and blogging will create new millionaires before the new decade ends… There have been so many new advances in online marketing in the last 10 years that the industry doesn’t even resemble it’s former self these days. Blogging, social bookmarking, Web 2.0 sites, the rise of Google, Bing and Yahoo! have all helped to define the current state of this business, and more people are getting into affiliate marketing and related work-at-home businesses than ever before!
Are you ready for the new decade? For all the reasons I posted on my Internet marketing blog you should be planning out the decade, not just the new year… Be sure the pursuit of your goals and your dreams is on track – you have to know where you’re headed to ever get there, right? Know the path you want to follow over the next decade, then focus on what that means for the new year.
But as marketers, most of us focus just on making sales, letting the maintenance tasks fall by the wayside – is that true for you too? If so, this is an important chance to get some of it done and protect our online business as we head into the new decade. Allot one day during the holidays to this vastly important task…
Protect Your Online Business – Back Everything Up Now!
There are so many ways that a ‘data failure’ can cause a catastrophe in your Internet marketing or affiliate marketing business – failing to have backup copies of ALL data crucial to our online business can at least set you WAY back, if not knock you right out of the game… Don’t think you need to back up your hard drive? Ever had (or even heard of) a hard drive crash? What if you woke up tomorrow and couldn’t access ANY of the programs, products or information currently residing only on your computer? Would that affect your bottom line in 2010?
What if you went to log into your autoresponder tomorrow to send out your e-zine, only to find the company whose services you use had gone belly-up? Could you survive financially while you started building your mailing list from the bottom up once again? The financial crash in the US in 2008-2009 and the DotCom bubble burst early in the last decade both demonstrate that even huge companies with millions in funding can disappear overnight – so how secure is your list if your autoresponder company has the only copy?
Is your blog one of your main sources of traffic generation to our Internet marketing, niche marketing and affiliate marketing opportunities? How long would it take you to get it back up and running if some shmuck attacked it tomorrow and messed it all up for you – or worse yet hijacked it and pointed it toward banned materials? Really want to lose the benefits you have built up from all those links, all those pages indexed in the search engines?
Each of those is a scary scenario, isn’t it? It’s easy to forget our entire livelihood as Internet marketers is based on electrons that can be wiped out in seconds… But we don’t need to be defenseless – we can go a long way towards protecting our online businesses with very little time and money invested in it. Here’s a few suggestions…
Backing Up Hard Drives
Schedule a day THIS WEEK to do your backups. Start by getting an external drive, 1 TB or larger, and hooking it up to your computers and/or laptops via USB. Use the included software or a program like GoodSync to copy all your files from each of your machines onto the backup drive, creating one folder for each machine so you don’t overwrite any important info that’s on each machine. Once they’re all backed up, disconnect the drive and turn it off – don’t leave it connected where a virus or hacker might access it!
Backing Up Mailing Lists
Most reputable autoresponder services have an ‘Export’ function, though you may have to hunt a bit for it. Before using it though, read the docs or contact their customer service to be sure it merely gives you a backup copy as opposed to also removing them from your list there. While you should be fine, some of the early companies had it set to use the link as a ‘remove to a file’ function – I don’t think any of today’s autoresponder services are set up that way, but better safe than sorry, right? Again, once you have the backup list of subscribers, turn on your external drive and ad a copy there, remembering to turn it off and disconnect it immediately afterward.
Backing Up Blogs
I know there are WordPress plugins for this now, but I can’t comment on how well they work or even which ones work best as I’ve never used them – anything this important I prefer to do manually to make sure everything’s right. I start by making a new folder for the backup and using FTP software to download the entire blog folder or site. This ensures I have a clean copy of all the WordPress files including any customizations I’ve done to the theme, and any graphics, videos, etc. that I’ve uploaded to the site over time.
Understand, though, that unlike backing up a web site, merely FTPing down the files on your site ISN’T a complete backup – your posts aren’t included in those files! To get those, in your WordPress Dashboard, choose Tools from the left column, then click the ‘Export’ link and follow along. For ultimate safety, next go to your site’s Control Panel and do a backup on your blog’s database as well. Once again, be sure to back these all up to your external USB drive.
Backing Up E-Mails, Contacts, Etc.
Depending on what technologies you use that are crucial to your day-to-day operations, there are still a few more backups to do before you’re done. Go into whichever e-mail program you use and back up both your contacts and your e-mail folders. Each does this in a different process, so use the Help menu if you’re not familiar with the process. Next, backup your contacts in Skype, Yahoo & MSN messengers if you use them – again, use the help feature if you don’t know the process.
Backing Up Passwords, Logins, ID’s
Every day you visit certain sites you’re connected with or services you’re using – this is especially true in affiliate marketing, but also in Internet marketing, niche marketing and blogging. And a great many of those require special login URLs, user or affiliate ID’s, passwords, etc. For these I recommend a totally different type of backup – a hard copy!
I will not now, nor never have advocated people storing their passwords, especially a list of ID’s and passwords, on their computer. To me, it’s just too insecure and nothing more than bait to unsavory types. Pick up a hardcover book of blank lined pages at the dollar store and record them in that. JUST BE SURE to store the book in the safest location you can, to prevent anyone grabbing it, copying it, or spilling anything on it!
There are further steps you can take, like storing the backup drive and password book in a fireproof safe, keeping copies of both at an offsite location – even renting a safety deposit box to keep them in. Only YOU can decide what lengths you want (a can afford) to go to to protect your information and your business…
As to ongoing protection for your data, be sure to use a reputable virus scanner/protection program, a spyware blocker like SpyBot & TeaTimer, and check your blogs regularly with a plugin like exploit-scanner. The small time and financial investment in a full-protection system is far less than what it could cost you to recover your Internet marketing, niche marketing or affiliate marketing business after an attack on your unprotected data and programs!
Secure your work-at-home business now following the steps above, and sail into the new decade ready to skyrocket your lifestyle knowing you’ve done what you can to protect your online income!
About The Author…
Doug Champigny is a world-famous Internet Marketing mentor & speaker and a recognized super-affiliate who has been online full-time since 1996. Be sure to visit his DougChampigny.com Internet Marketing Blog, his Captain-Affiliate.com Affiliate Training Blog and to follow Doug on Twitter!
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