This is the kick off to our annual January Blog Challenge: 31 Days To Clean Up Your Blog. What better time than January to sit down and review your blog? Over the 31 days we'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to deal with all those pesky maintenance tasks, take steps to grow in the new year and make blogging easier. This is Day 15.
Today's challenge is about future proofing your blog - especially if it's your full-time or part time business.
Nobody likes to think about these things but... what would happen to your blog if something happened to you? Hopefully you've done Day 1 of the challenge and you have things like a backup already sorted out.
What if you wound up in the hospital for an extended stay, or your child became very ill or... something even worse. What would happen to your blog or business?
A lot of you would continue to earn passive ad revenue as it's extremely unlikely your site traffic would stop or even taper off immediately - especially if you've been doing good SEO work in the background.
But, where does that revenue go and can anyone from your family access it if something happens to you?
These are all things you need to think about:
- how would your family access incoming revenue - especially if goes into a PayPal account?
- how would your taxes get paid?
- who would look after paying any outstanding invoices or incoming bills?
- who would pay your contractors or employees if you have them and they're continuing to work to keep things running until you're back on your feet?
- what would happen to your social media accounts? Do you have content scheduled? For how long? Or would your social feeds simply come to a screeching halt?
- can anyone besides you access your blog's back end?
- do you have products that you've created or a course you run? What would happen if you suddenly disappeared and couldn't provide promised coaching or support?
If the worst case scenario were to happen and you were to pass away unexpectedly, what are your wishes for your blog? If you've been blogging for a long time you are the owner of a very significant piece of intellectual property. Even more so if you've got products, books and programs that you earn a living from. Do you understand the copyright ramifications of that? Do you want your family to continue to earn an income from your work?
These are all big things to think about and they can happen (and have happened). But you can make things easier by being prepared.
Creating An Emergency Blog Binder
Take a few days this month to create an Emergency Blog Binder. It doesn't have to be complicated - even a few hours of preparation can make a world of difference if something should happen that has you indisposed for a while. What you include will vary depending on the structure of your blog - is it a hobby, a self-proprietorship or are you incorporated? Here's a few things to include (but you should add in anything you think would be important):
- important passwords to your computer, website, hosting account and social media and social media tools
- contact information for your web developer
- bank account, credit card and pay pal information
- contact info for your bookkeeper or accountant and your lawyer
- access to your bookkeeping system so people can see what's owed or who owes you
- tax information - this is even more important if you don't have a bookkeeper or an accountant who can provide information to your partner or kids on what you owe or when your next scheduled installment payment is due
- additional contact information for your hosting company, your ad network, your insurance company, any third party websites that you use to run your business like Gumroad, E-junkie, Teachable
- contact information for your employees or contractors like your VA
- information on how anyone who works for you gets paid
What you include will vary widely from blog to blog but a good rule of thumb to get started is to look at who pays you and who you pay. You'll want to include their information for sure.
Physical or Electronic Binder?
We're calling it a binder but whether or not it's a physical or electronic binder is up to you. What's important is that somebody who you implicitly trust, like your partner/spouse, knows how to access it if something should happen.
If it's a physical binder, keep it somewhere safe and secure, like a fireproof safe with very limited access. If it's electronic, keep it in a secure location and make sure you have a back up of it. If possible, keep that backup off site.
Updating Your Emergency Blog Binder
Update your binder at least once a year. January is always a great time to do this.
Ideally though, you should update it once a quarter. Some information will rarely change but things like passwords and a list of current clients/projects should be updated more frequently - especially if you don't have a bookkeeper who can run reports for whoever is managing things for you while you're laid up.