There are many tasks to be done in running a blog; these tasks include: writing, marketing, advertising, hosting, design and much more. Time and effort all go into making your blog the best it can be. What would you do if one day all that work disappeared? What would you do if your database became corrupted or you lost all the changes you made to your theme?
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One task that every blogger should practice is – backup their blog. Why wouldn’t you backup all that work you invest so much of yourself in creating? Many will say, “The hosting company backs up my data”. This is true; however, it is always a good practice to have your own backup, just in case.
For this installment, we will concentrate on basic steps for backup of the WordPress platform.
One question often asked, “How often should I backup my blog?” The answer is, “it depends”. If you make changes frequently, then backup your blog as frequently as you make changes.
When you make changes to your theme, modify plugins or link in other files, you should backup your blog. Put simply, if you make a change, back it up.
Whether changes are made often or not, at a minimum, a backup should be performed at least once every other week. This will insure you have at least a few revisions of your blog backed up for use if the need ever surfaces. When you have multiple revisions of your blog, you have more flexibility in your restore options.
When you log into the WordPress dashboard, on the left-hand panel, under tools, there is the option to export. Selecting this option will export your WordPress blog into an XML file; the XML file can easily import back into WordPress via the import option on the dashboard.
This option will export out the comments, custom fields, categories and tags of your blog; this option will also export the page and post content. The export will not export the WordPress theme or any plugins that were installed or modified.
This option is available on the self-hosted version of WordPress along with the managed version at WordPress.com.
The database is an essential component to your WordPress blog; it is imperative to have a backup of it. Depending on your hosting provider, you can have different options on how you backup this data.
If you have direct access to the database with an interface like PHPMyAdmin, the database can be exported out into a dump file. With this exported file, you have a complete backup of your WordPress database.
With no access to the database directly, you can utilize a WordPress plugin; this plugin is called: WordPress Database Backup. With the use of this plugin, you can backup the database into a dump file. The file will automatically compress itself on download; this will give you a smaller file to download and store.
This plugin has the option to manually choose the database tables to export. This is good if you want to discard any database tables for plugins; it is good to discard tables for spam and statistics as these can increase the size of the download.
Now that you have your database backup, store it on something other then your hard drive; the use of an external drive, CD, DVD or other backup media is recommended. If possible, store the data offsite.
You now have your database exported and stored; the next backup will consist of the rest of your WordPress framework. The remaining information to backup are the WordPress theme, plugins and any physical files related to your site.
You can download this information by using an FTP client. I prefer to use Filezilla FTP client for my file transfers. Connect to your FTP site, and then download the needed files. In this download, include the wp-content directory; this directory contains WordPress themes as well as plugins. Be sure to include other files that your site depends on such as images, videos, audio files, etc.
After all the files are transferred, organize and compress them into a format you are comfortable with; store the files on some form of backup media such as external drive, CD, DVD, etc. Again, if possible, store this data offsite with your database backup.
Just as having a backup for your computer, having a backup of your blog will make all the difference when something unexpected comes your way. Like the saying goes, “It is better to be safe, then sorry”.
If you have other ways to perform backups for your blog, I would be interested in hearing them.
What Is the Most Powerful Key for Turning a Blog into a Business?
Get comfortable with receiving money.
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It IS that simple.
But I cannot lie; getting comfortable with receiving money is uncomfortable for most of us. I, like many bloggers, grew up with many money limiting beliefs in mind. I vibed from scarcity. I did not vibe from abundance. I saw folks in my life work hard at jobs to receive a minimum amount of money. I made many weird correlations between money and service. I figured you just worked hard, made enough money to survive and decided my life would progress along these lines.
Eventually, I woke up, owned these limiting beliefs and freed myself of these mind viruses to build my blog into a business.
Forget Practical Advice
Bloggers may advise you on practical tips for turning a blog into a business like:
- build an email list
- begin affiliate marketing
- open consulting services
- build passive income through courses and eBooks
None of these practical tips help you turn your blog into a business if you are allergic to money, or if you cling to many limiting beliefs and fears concerning money. Why? You follow advice to lose money if you fear losing money and ignore advice to make money if you fear losing money.
Get comfortable receiving money. This is the best advice for turning your blog into a full time business.
Getting comfortable receiving money moves you into abundant, prospering actions. You become more generous. You become more prolific. You begin opening income streams without attaching to any one stream. You also build your friend network generously, promoting other bloggers and expecting nothing.
All prior steps lead to increased blogging income. All prior steps came about because you became comfortable receiving money.
I speak to many bloggers who fear monetizing their blogs. Said bloggers fear readers used to free, selling-free content will head for the hills or complain the moment income streams enter the fray. You cannot turn a blog into a business unless you open blogging income streams.
Get comfortable with:
- receiving money
- releasing fear-filled bloggers who whine about you receiving money
Only broke, poverty conscious, unhappy, unclear or jealous bloggers have a problem with you turning your blog into a business. Have you ever complained about someone who works a job to receive money? Of course not; no sane person complains about another human who works a job to make money. We all have that right. Why then would a sane person complain about you receiving money for service rendered on your blog? Let go these unhappy, unclear, folks. Get comfortable receiving money. Build a business through your blog.
It Is Just Money
It is only money.
Money is just a neutral means of exchange. Add no emotional charge to a neutral means of exchange; no big deal.
I promote my premium offerings through virtually every piece of content I create. I am comfortable with receiving money. I am comfortable building a business through my blog. If I can help people and receive money – in a world where money is the prime means of exchange – I help people and receive money. I am comfortable with it.
Do not be shy. Be clear.
Avoid doing the affiliate walk of shame, begging and pleading for enough money to buy a stick of gum each time you disclose your affiliate offering.
Be clear. Share how you make money through the sale of something on your blog.
Check out my blog disclosure statement. Does that make your head explode? I basically say I make money through all images and links on my blog. I cover myself and feel comfortable with receiving money.
Build your blog into a business.
eCommerce: 3 Simple Ways to Increase Traffic, Sales and Revenue
For most people blogging is used as a fun and easy way to share their lifestyle or write about their passion. But for some this hobby had become their profession.
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Nowadays there are many options to make money with a blog – for example by getting paid for advertising products. Another way is to add your own eCommerce to the blog and sell the products that you are passionate about in your own web store. Creating an online shop can be the first step into your life as a digital nomad or simply being your own boss.
A few years ago, it was necessary to work with a professional developer to integrate an online store to your website. Especially for small manufacturers, this meant a huge investment before they could even start selling their products. Nowadays setting up a web store has become a lot easier and cheaper: Platforms like Shopify can easily be integrated in existing domains and therefore help makers and crafters to start their own eCommerce without professional help. Once you have set up your own Shopify store it is all about increasing the traffic. A bigger reach will eventually lead to a higher number of sales and more revenue.
So, let’s have a look at three simple steps to do so:
1 – Turn your small business into a smart business…
…by adding automation and product management to your website. When launching your business, it might be fine to keep track of the orders in an Excel spreadsheet at first. But since you expect your business to grow it will become one of the most important things to have a management platform in place that allows you to process orders and handle inventory professionally. Therefore, it can be handy to add a production planning and scheduling software as integration to your existing web store. An easy-to-use solution for Shopify-users is the Shopify inventory integration that adds products to your website, manages inventory or tracks shipments.
2 – Make your products sound and look good…
…by adding high-quality images and longer product descriptions to your page. Not only will this make your eCommerce look more professional, but it is also a great way to increase your traffic by reaching a higher rank in the search results. If you are not able to create these yourself, you can outsource writing or graphic design work to freelancers on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
3 – Don’t stop blogging…
…or get it started if you haven’t done so yet. While it is exciting to start your own business it also takes a lot of time and energy to set everything up. Anyhow, this should not lead to giving up on your blog. Why? Because a growing eCommerce site and an active blog go hand in hand. And remember: The content of your blog should be interesting to your targeted audience and contain at least one thousand words in order to effectively rank in the search results. Here are some examples of the top eCommerce blogs for inspiration.
…and that is it!
You are now almost ready to start your own eCommerce! In addition to following these three steps, it is always good to keep an eye on your ecommerce competitors. Do not steal their idea but have a look at what is working for them and aim to go beyond that. As long as you focus on your product, the content of your site and a growing search ranking you will successfully manage to increase your traffic, the sales and the revenue of your business.
Should You Answer that Blogging Question Again?
“Ryan, how do I increase blog traffic?”
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“Ryan, how do I make money blogging?”
If I had a dime for every blogger who asked me each question I’d have quite a few dimes. Toss in all the times I observe bloggers asking each question via Quora and various Facebook Groups and you have as many dimes as grains of sand in the Sahara Desert.
I know what you are thinking; should you answer the same question for the 2nd time, 10th time or 100th time? Confusing. One part of you wishes to be generous. Another part of you fears missing an opportunity to help someone who can be a potential client or customer. Another part of you feels annoyed at being asked the question again. Another part of you feels annoyed at embracing and releasing the guilt of ignoring the question.
Should you answer these common blogging questions again and again?
Of course not.
Answering the same, common question more than 1 or 2 times is:
- an inefficient use of your time
- amateur hour stuff
Here’s what I do to:
- answer questions quickly and easily
- open myself up to more potential blogging business through possible clients and customers
- be calm, cool, collected and at peace despite being asked the same question many times
Are you ready?
Write a blog post!
Or write and self-publish an eBook.
If someone asks me how to drive more traffic to my blog I send them this link:
Or I send ’em a link from any one of my myriad blog traffic driving posts on Blogging From Paradise.
If someone asks about specific income streams for making money through their blogs I send them a link to my eBook:
Or if someone asks how to make money through guest posting I send them this link from my guest post on the blog of the awesome Enstine Muki:
What an easy, simple, efficient, effective way to:
- answer a common question many times
- answer a common question in 1-2 seconds
- drive traffic to my blog
- increase my blogging profits
- help people, and be helped by people through their prospering of me
- avoid anger
- avoid annoyance
- avoid judging people who have no idea how to blog
Fools complain about new bloggers asking the same, old questions. Why does a new blogger ask a question? They have no idea how to blog! Duh. Why anger at their ignorance? Why get annoyed that you need to answer the question again? Write a blog post answering the question. Send the blog post to anybody who asks the question. Seize opportunities to help people and to drive traffic and profits to your blog.
Do you own Gmail? I do not. Since I do not own Gmail it’d be foolish for me to answer questions via Gmail when I can be answering the same question on my self-hosted blog. I own Blogging From Paradise. I own that online real estate. Answer questions on your owned cyber real estate. Brand you. Grow your business. Increase your traffic. Keep the ball in your court. Have posture.
If I spend 10 minutes answering a question for 1 human I am a fool when I could spend 45 minutes answering the question for 100, or 10,000 or 1,000,000 humans, by writing a helpful blog post answering the question and sending the blog post link to all future folks who ask the question. Plus; when the post goes live, I answer common questions passively, said common questions no doubt in the minds of thousands of bloggers out there.
Leverage. Write a blog post. Do not help one person. Help 10,000 people. Save your time and energy. Make more money.
Matthew Loomis at Build Your Own Blog is a smart guy. Peep his home page. He lays out clear, concise steps for building your blog via his sidebar. You just know how many people asked him the common, pressing, basic blogging questions that he skillfully answered through those clear steps.
He leveraged his knowledge. He answered common questions BEFORE people asked him common blogging questions. Smart! Help a ton of folks quickly and easily. Drive blog traffic. Increase blogging profits. Lower your bounce rate. Improve the amount of time people spend on your blog.
Write a blog post. Send the blog post link to anybody who asks the common blogging question.
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