At the start of September they had a nine game lead over the Tampa Rays for the final playoff spot. And on the last night of regular series they lost their final game; thereby eliminating themselves from the playoffs.
Sidebar: Okay I know some people don’t watch baseball (or have it their country.) So here’s an article that described what happened. Sorry to my overseas friends. I couldn’t think of a football, cricket, or rugby analogy
The “Red Sox Collapse” will become legendary because they’re a really good team. They have excellent hitting. A great closer. And an okay starting rotation.
In other words, there should be no reason why they missed the playoffs with one month to go.
But it happened.
What’s my point?
With an Internet business you could experience the same thing. One day you’re making a solid income with a loyal group of followers. And then suddenly you get hit with a disaster – Something that destroys part (or all) of your livelihood.
You can minimize disasters that happen to your online business. In fact, there a number of ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. My advice is to always have a “worst-case scenario” for when something goes wrong in your business.
Today I’d like to talk about five different disasters that can happen with an Internet business. In addition, I’ll provide some ideas on what to do in case YOU experience it yourself.
Disaster: “My only source of INCOME has completely disappeared!”
You can quickly lose a source of income. Sometimes overnight. I’ve seen it happen to countless people; countless times.
Just imagine if you live in California and make money by promoting Amazon.com products. Then one day Amazon decides it will no longer pay affiliates from California. So in a single day this income is GONE. The scary thing is this is something that happened a few months back.
Memorize these simple three words:
Diversify. Diversify. DIVERSIFY!!!
Never have one source of Internet income. This is a disaster waiting to happen. I recommend building a network of different revenue sources:
- Small affiliate marketing niche sites
- Running a main authority site (like a blog) with a large readership
- Creating an information product with a solid affiliate program
- Promoting recurring revenue offers that pay every month
Sometimes you can’t control when an income source will dry up. What you can do is build multiple sources of revenue. That way, when the inevitable happens you’ll still have a leg to stand on.
Disaster: “My only source of TRAFFIC has completely disappeared!”
This disaster is sometimes directly related to an income source. We all rely on web traffic for the growth of our Internet business. And often this traffic can go away as quick as a flick of a switch.
Just ask anyone who relies on Google for 100% of their traffic. Seriously; Google doesn’t care about your business. They don’t like something about your site? Presto! It’s gone from their search engine listings.
Are you scared yet? You should be…
Again…you should diversify traffic. Never rely on one website to promote an Internet business. This is called a single point of failure. One thing goes wrong and your income is toast.
Definition: A single point of failure (SPOF) is a part of a system that, if it fails, will stop the entire system from working. They are undesirable in any system with a goal of high availability, be it a network, software application or other industrial system.
At the bare minimum, you should get traffic from these sources:
- Creating a loyal readership by engaging with your audience
- Building a responsive email list where you’re NOT just promoting products
- Using search engine optimization (SEO) to rank on a variety of keywords
- Participating in social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+
- Creating a multimedia channel like a podcast or a YouTube channel
- Writing content on satellite sites like EzineArticles.com, Squidoo.com, and HubPages.com
Having lots of traffic sources is the best emergency plan around! It’s the best way to avoid something catastrophic from happening.
Disaster: “My _____ account has been deleted!”
This is similar to losing a source of traffic…but a LOT worse. We all use sites like YouTube.com, EzineArticles.com, and Aweber.com to grow our online businesses.
Unfortunately it’s easy to forget that we don’t control these properties. These sites don’t like something about your account? It’s gone! And if you don’t have saved copies; then these are gone as well.
Always maintain a copy of any content you’ve created. Keep these in a well organized folder which you can access at a moment’s notice. In fact, keep a separate copy in a back-up disc or thumb drive.
If have you an email marketing program like Awber you should also save a copy of your lists at least once a month.
Backing up a list is easy to do. Simply go to the subscribers section and find the search option. Then select Stop Status is Subscribed. Finally; select the Export CSV option and save it into a folder:
If your Internet business relies on content or a database; then these things need to be saved into a secure location.
Disaster: “My blog is gone because the Word Press database crashed!”
Blogs run off a database. If something happens to that database then you risk losing your entire blog. That can be a terrifying thought if you’ve built up a large audience.
The simplest solution is to regularly back up your database. I use the WordPress Database Backup Plugin.
Once uploaded and installed on a blog; you’ll go to Tools menu and select the Backup option. From there you can choose to save this file to a server, email account or to a computer. My suggestion is to do TWO of the three options. Preferably have one copy stored online in ‘the cloud.’ And another stored on your computer:
Do this at least once a week.
Disaster: “I’m Being Sued!”
Yes, you can get sued with an Internet business. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong. Someone doesn’t like something you’re doing online? They’ll sue you!
Sad to say; that’s the world we live in.
Bottom line… Your entire online business should be structured through a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC.) An LLC is a the best way to legally protect both you and your assets.
I won’t pretend to be an authority on this subject. That’s why I recommend this in-depth free podcast that talks about this subject.
This will NEVER Happen to Me…
Don’t think these things can happen to you? Well, I’ve experienced EACH of these disasters during the last seven years. Stay online long enough and you’ll probably experience the same.
At the start of this post, I mentioned the recent collapse of the Boston Red Sox. Let’s pretend that one month ago they could look into the future. I imagine they would have prepared for this disaster and made a plan to prevent it.
It’s time to make your emergency plan!
My advice is to take a hard look at each part of your Internet business. Like your blog, web traffic, or source of income. Ask yourself a simple question: “What would I do if I woke up tomorrow and it was gone?” Then take action to prevent or minimize this situation.
As Benjamin Franklin once said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
In other words, it’s always best to prepare for the worst case scenario. On a long enough timeline; something will happen. So be prepared!Take Action. Get Results.