If blogging is your business like it is mine, you understand the importance of being up and running at all times. That means when a superstorm like Hurricane Sandy rolls in or life deals you an unexpected blow, your blog doesn’t miss a beat. As a successful freelance blogger, I can’t afford to let outside factors take money out of my pocket.
After 10 days without power, I learned some valuable blogging lessons. There were several things I did well and other things that I would be sure to implement in the future.
1) Having my NetZero 4G wireless hotspot fully charged and ready to go was a lifesaver. When the phones and the internet went down, this little device kept me connected to the world, allowing me to keep all of my blogs in business, my ecommerce stores open, and able to connect with clients, friends and family.
My old thinking that free WiFi is widely available in the New York area went away with the realization that a loss of power can be so widespread. Even the places that were open were packed to the gills. The hot spot allowed me to enjoy the internet in the convenience of my own (powerless) home.
2) With almost 10 years of blogging experience, I learned a long time ago that it is imperative to work ahead. Sometimes I will have blog posts scheduled as far as two months in advance. Having a stockpile of content gives me the flexibility that my professional and family life demands. I’ve seen this come in handy time and time again, but this time around, I really appreciated being able to “step away” for 10 days and have things (mostly) on autopilot.
Each year, I use the time around the holidays, when other areas of my life slow down a bit, to work ahead to build up content. It sets a great tone for the coming year. Plus, you never know when the next disaster is around the corner.
3) Here’s something I haven’t done previously but plan to implement. I am going to give “the keys” to my blog to a trusted friend in another area of the country. This comes in handy in several ways. If you are unable to get to your blog and have scheduled content that could make you look bad, this person can easily “stop the presses.” Additionally, you are out of commission for some time, this person can go in and populate your blog. Whether they are writing fresh content or simply populating your blog with a relevant link or two, it’s a good idea to give someone you trust access to your online assets in case you are otherwise engaged. Missing a post or two is not going to change anything in the grand scheme of things, but being out of commission for days or even weeks definitely can.
4) I would like to take this opportunity to send a shout out to Squarespace, my blog platform provider since 2007. Despite the fact that many of their servers are located in downtown Manhattan, which was seriously impacted by the storm, their uptime and communication was impressive. It is not a free service, but in this case, well worth the price. In case the server where your blog is housed does go down, it is more important than ever to have other ways to communicate with your readers. I realize 99.9 percent of you will already have a Facebook and/or Twitter presence, but in case your blog goes down, it becomes imperative to have one for your blog as well. Quite frankly, I was touched by the number of readers that reached out to me, making sure that I was okay during the storm. You don't blog in a black hole, so consider letting your readers know what geographic area you’re in.
Did the recent hurricane teach you anything about keeping your business up and running?