The notion of ownership in the digital world is ephemeral.
Think about it. You rely on search engines and abide by their rules to secure consistent traffic to your blog. Social media platforms roll out new algorithms all the time. You seem to own the content you post there…but if you have a closer look at their terms and conditions page, you may realize this is not completely true.
While we call all of this “owned media”, the truth is – it’s your blog that you have the most control over. It’s the place where you can make your brand shine, control all the communication and content, and also the way you are seen by others.
Yet, there are still important mishaps you should account for to protect your blogging business and your personal brand online and we’ve broken them down for you!
UNDERSTAND HOW YOUR WEBSITE EXISTS ON THE WEB
You should remember this quick web development ABC:
- Your blog can be self-hosted (through a hosting provider) or created on a free/paid blogging platform.
- Blogging platforms such as WordPress.com, Blogger and Squarespace come pre-packed with hosting…and a number of clauses telling you what you can/can not do and in what cases your account can be terminated. You give up certain control over your blog in return for pre-made templates, lovely designs and so on.
- Self-hosted websites (WordPress.org) don’t abide by the rules created by 3rd party platform owners. This gives you complete control over your site in terms of personalization, branding and perception, and growth. Self-hosted sites are also dependant on hosting providers.
Hosting providers store billions of websites on special computers, called servers, and make them accessible to Internet users according to the indicated conditions such as:
- Bandwidth speed – how fast your websites will be loaded.
- Website space – how much data you can store and display online.
- Backup space – how large your backup files can be.
- Downtime – the periods of time when your blog is inaccessible.
And the truth is this – choosing a reputable hosting company (excelling in all those areas and more) can be a total nightmare. You may need to go on some blind dates and meet some weirdoes before you find a trustworthy partner. Team CD has you covered here. Go check these posts:
- 4 Things You Should Consider When Choosing Your New Hosting
- WordPress Hosting: The Good, The Great and The Ugly
Next, monitor your hosting plan as you grow. The basic plan you have chosen in the beginning might not be sufficient to sustain the current surge of readers. Your blog needs to stay accessible and load fast at all times. That’s why scaling your hosting in advance is highly important!
STAY ON TOP OF YOUR DOMAIN
Your blog name is your business name. You don’t want to lose it or get nicked by some scammers, right?
That’s why you should set calendar reminders for the next things:
- Domain expiry and renewal dates. If your domain expires, your blog goes down and the domain goes on the auction, meaning someone can grab it and charge you a heap of money to get it back. The best option is to renew your domain for 5+ years at a time. Often long-term renewal is also cheaper.
- Payment plan. Make sure you have enough cash on your card when the hosting payment is due. Otherwise, your blog may go down without further notice.
P.S Don’t forget about timely payments for the hosting too!
Own Your Google Analytics. Use it and even abuse it to take your blogging business to the next level! The CD blog has plenty of resources to teach you some advanced tricks.
OWN YOUR PERSONAL CREDENTIALS
Finally, this may come as a no-brainer…but let’s put this in writing once again – login and password credentials are sacred.
- Do not use a generic login name (admin) or a simple password that could be hacked.
- Always own your credentials. Do not use the details provided by someone else (auto-generated passwords/user names).
- Enable two-factor authentication as an extra security layer.
- Use your own credit card and email for your domain (don’t ask the family or a friend for this).
- Use your main email for all things related to your blog (domain, hosting, payments). If anything goes wrong, you should have access to the information immediately and take action fast.
Don’t neglect these small precautions as they can easily cost you your brand!
To finish on a positive note – own your awesomeness and keep growing your blogging business! And CD team is always here to have your back and cheer with you!
Are you a CD Babe? Take note and let’s discuss on Slack!