2 Step Verification: Why You Need It & How To Get It

flay desktop with title text with white background

 

Over the last few weeks, one of my clients and I have been lost in cyber hell. The lovely Vintage Contessa who glamourized your Instagram feed for the last few years had her account hacked and then hijacked. You may remember her from the Women In Biz features last year she was the first! She went to sign in to her account and nothing. Her account was gone along with years of time, hard work, and 13k followers.

 

Now, in 2020 you would think that this would be a simple matter of contacting Instagram or its daddy Facebook and they would swoop in and save her account from the clutches of these villainous assholes. Immediately went on a search for a contact email or some kind of support. I spent hours just trying to track down an email address, but the many rabbit trails I went down led to nothing. I tried every one I could think of, we filled out a troubleshooting problem forms daily for several weeks and not one attempt was made to contact us back.

 

When you use a free platform you do it with the understanding that nothing there is yours and they reserve the right to basically do what they want while not offering anything in return. Facebook makes billions from its users but they can’t offer a support line to fix issues like this? It’s not fair, but that is the way it is. Although by far the worst is Facebook/Instagram.

 

Today, I’m going to show you how to protect your accounts

 

What Is 2 Step Verification &
How Does It Work?

 

Wikipedia definition: Multi-factor authentication is an electronic authentication method in which a computer user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism: knowledge, possession, and inherence. In plain old English, it means you need to take 2 steps to sign on so that if someone kidnaps your email they still can’t get into your account because they won’t be able to complete the necessary second step (a text message to your phone, an Application Authenticator APP that you download to your cellphone).

 

How Do You Set 2-Step Verification Up?

 

It depends on what platform you’re using, but I’m going to show you how to set up on a few different areas and from there you’ll know the basic steps to set it up in the places that you need them.

Since we were discussing the Contessa’s Instagram account we’ll start there:

 

Instagram Profile setting screenshot

 

 

 

2-step verification setup for Instagram

 

 

Very easy to do even for a novice! The same principle applies to all of your other social media platforms start at your profile and find the security section.

 

For Your Email Service Provider (Of course, we’re using Mailchimp.
Bonus: If you set up a 2-step verification you get a small discount on your monthly subscription).

 

 

 

screenshot from a Mailchimp

 

And finally your WordPress website:

The first thing you need it to download the 2 Factor Plugin 

This plugin is easy to set up. After uploading and activating your plugin you’re going to go to USERS>> scroll down until you see the 2 step verification settings. The easiest way to do is to check the email box (see images below).

screenshot of active plugins page

 

screenshot of 2 step verification set up

You Also Want To Add These Authenticator APPS to your Android or iPhone account.

screenshot of authenticator apps

 

 

screenshot of the Google Authenticator app

Bonus Tip:

I love tech all kinds of it, but it can be overwhelming and confusing when you’re trying to keep it all together. I use things like LastPass and ways of keeping track and Trello being another. CAVEAT: I also go old-school and keep things written down. I found an old fashion recipe box and I bought a pack of index cards. Each account gets its own card with the information needed to get into an account in the case of a computer crash or such.

Other Resources:

HOW ANY INSTAGRAM CAN BE HACKED IN 10 MINUTES – Security Boulevard

HERE’S WHY HACKERS WANT YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT:- ABC News 7

HACKING STATISTICS TO GIVE YOU NIGHTMARES  – Dataport

 

 

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Google Analytics Part 1: The Setup

flatlay desktop pink notebook, pen, flower and a bowl of paperclips

Google analytics can be so confusing and then just when you get it figured out they change it! I hear this all of the time and you’re right. I think the whole system is harder than it has to be, but my brain isn’t big enough to figure out a better way so I’ll just leave it to Google and try to keep up.

Today, I’m going to show you some basic tips to set up your GA account so that you can understand the analytics that you’re looking at and know where to get the information needed to work with other companies.

What Is It?

First, of course, Google Analytics is a system set up to allow you to track statistics on your website. These statistics can help you improve your message, build your business or a bigger audience. 

This blogpost HERE is a list of all of the important analytics terms that you need to understand before going into your analytics account. 

How Do I Get It?

If you don’t already have an account you can go HERE and sign up for a free account. Once you have your account you need to connect it to your website. The easiest way to do this is to download a plugin. I recommend the MonsterInsights plugin but there are a lot of them. Make sure it has been updated recently, is compatible with your theme, and is being used by others.

You Can Have Analytics In Lot’s Of Places

Google Analytics is no longer just a website thing. You can GA to your MailChimp account (and I’m sure even more companies have this, but I’m a MC girl). You can also connect to your FB shop! But, today, we’re going to concentrate on the website – GA connection.

If you don’t want to use a plugin to connect your website you can do that as well. The plugin would be easier, but I am of the theory that less is more so the least amount of plugins I have to use the better. Most website problems come from plugin conflicts. I’m going to show you both ways.

Manually Connecting Your Google Analytics Account

You’re going to go into your GA account, but you should be signed into both your website and your GA account to make it easier. You need a code and to find that you need to:

  1. Look on the left side of your dashboard at the very bottom and choose *ADMIN*.
  2. You will see several columns of tabs. In the middle column it says *PROPERTY*. 
  3. The 3rd choice says *TRACKING INFORMATION* Click on that.
  4. Click on *TRACKING CODE*
  5. You will see the code towards the bottom on the right. COPY CODE.
  6. Go back to your website and go to the head section of your website. You can usually find this under *THEME SETTING* or DIVI theme options or you may have to look it up for your particular theme. Save and you’ve done it! Check the images out below.

Using A Plugin

If you’d rather use a plugin I completely understand and I use MonsterInsights all of the time on websites. Go to PLUGINS>>ADD NEW in the search bar type in MonsterInsights. Hit INSTALL>>ACTIVATE.

Go to MonsterInsights on your dashboard and you will see a button that says SETUP WIZARD. Click the button and it will walk you through step by step with very simple instructions!

Whichever method you use, however, you get your statistics you need to know where to look and what you’re looking at. Next week, we’ll do just that!

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How To Add Or Re-authenticate Your Instagram Feed On Your WordPress Website

flat lay desktop How To Add Or Reauthtenicate Your Instagram Feed On Your WordPress website

Adding An Instagram Feed To Your Website

Instagram is a visual smorgasbord that is an. immediate eye-catcher. If you are an active Instagram user you’d probably like to show your feed to the readers on your website. It’s very easy to set up and in the video below you’ll see how to set up your own Instagram feed on your website.

Re-Authenticate Your Instagram Feed

Did your feed disappear from your site? It happens often I’ve found as Instagram works to keep our accounts safer it requires us to re-authenticate about every 60 to 90 days. It’s a simple process to re-authenticate and the video below will also show you how to do that. Just one button!

You’re probably wondering why I just don’t do that for you while I’m doing the maintenance and there’s a really good reason why I don’t. To add your Instagram feed or even to re-authenticate you have to sign into your Insta account. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but I have found that when I go in and out of other people’s Instagram accounts it affects the two accounts that I have:

I end up getting locked out of my own accounts because they think I’ve a hacker or something. The last time I did this I was locked out of my account for 3 weeks and because it’s so simple I know that you can do this on your own!

This video not only tells you how to do it

but also how to style in all in 5 minutes!

Do you want to learn even more about blogging & online business? EnticeHQ.com created this amazing post with 21 courses to help you become a professional blogger or entrepreneur

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Two Google Analytics Filters Everyone Entrepreneur Should Know About

Every blogger knows just how difficult it is to build a successful blog. There are so many things that you have to learn about that most people don’t even consider. Things like:

  • Creating graphics
  • Understanding email marketing
  • Social media
  • Branding

and that list goes on and on and on. You know the old joke:

How many hats does an entrepreneur where? ANSWER: All of them!

One thing that isn’t often talked about but is definitely a necessity is analytics. If you do affiliate marketing, sponsored posts or make money off of your site in any way you need to know the stats behind it.

Things like pageviews, unique visitors, bounce rates. Terms like this usually invoke either 1. Your eyes glaze over and you skim the rest of the article or 2. Confusion about what it all means.

Today, I’m going to show you two Google Analytic filters that every blogger should be using as well.

Filters are a way of weeding out the events that you don’t want in your final counts. The first of which is the IP filter. What does this mean? You need to be filtering out your own IP address so that you are not counted along with your other stats. Why you ask? Because without this particular filter you won’t get an accurate picture of how your site is doing.

So, together we’re going to set up an IP filter. It’s really simple so don’t panic!

The next filter we’re going to set up is to keep your analytics from being hijacked. In the video below I show you exactly how to set up both filters.

How can someone hijack your analytics? Well, there’s a little known way of finding out anyone’s GA code. It’s very simple.

  1. Go to your website.
  2. Right-click your mouse.
  3. Choose “Page Source”.
  4. Hit CTRL + F for the find command and type in GA.
  5. Scroll down and you’ll see your own GA code.

There isn’t a way to hide them from this view so the only thing you can do is to add a filter that will keep your GA code safe from hijacking.

Go into your GA account, click on ADMIN>>Filters. Add a new filter and then choose “CREATE NEW FILTER” and give it a name that you will remember.

Scroll down and hit “CUSTOM” and then check the “Include” button. In the dropdown choose HOSTNAME and in the box below type in YOURDOMAINNAME.COM & click save! It’s that easy.

Need a little more help? Try this video I made to show you how to quickly filter out your IP address and including only your own hostname.

Have questions? Let me know in the comments below!

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Step-by-Step Sales Funnel Planning

 

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of setting up your sales funnel? You’re not alone. Many online business owners fail to properly plan out their funnel, and it shows.

They have an opt-in incentive that doesn’t appeal to their audience.

Their follow-up emails don’t flow naturally from the opt-in.

Messages are unbalanced—either too many sales pitches or not enough. Even worse, the offers don’t match the market.

Making these mistakes is common, so if you recognize yourself here, don’t feel bad. The good news? There’s an easy fix.

Step 1: Survey your market

All too often we think we know what our readers and potential buyers want, but in reality, we’re simply guessing. We make the mistake of believing that we are our market, but that usually is not the case.

The only way to know for sure what your market truly wants and needs is to ask them. Set up a simple survey (even a Google form will work) and ask your blog readers, social media followers, and email list to give their opinion.

Do this right, and you’ll know exactly what you should be offering your audience, plus, you’ll know that language to use on your opt-in page.

Step 2: Create your opt-in

Now that you know what your market needs, it’s time to create your opt-in incentive. Keep in mind that readers today seem to prefer simple, easy-to-digest offers rather than 200-page eBooks or 7-part video series. This makes your job a bit easier, too.

Some popular choices for opt-in incentives include:

  • Checklists
  • Worksheets
  • Resource guides
  • Video training
  • Webinars
  • Audio downloads

 

Step 3: Map out your autoresponder

Every good opt-in incentive should be followed up with a series of emails that build on the material. If you’ve offered a resource guide, for example, then your follow-up emails might include usage tips for each of the resources, or case studies that show how others have benefited from using the tools.

Step 4: Make an offer

Arguably the most important part of your funnel, your offer must be the logical next step for readers to take. They’ve worked through your opt-in incentive, read and acted on your emails, and they’re hungry for more. Time to make your offer.

Just like the other pieces of your funnel, your coaching offer needs to be the answer to your readers’ most burning questions. If you consider your opt-in and follow-up series to be the “lite” version, then your coaching offer is the premium package. Bigger, beefier, and the perfect next step.

Before you post your first opt-in code, take some time to map out your funnel according to these steps, and you’ll not only fill your funnel faster, but you’ll close more sales along the way.

 

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Top Tools For Building Your Sales Funnel

Ready to start building out your sales funnels? There are just a few things you need before you can get started. Here are some of the most popular options when it comes to putting together both free and paid funnels: 

Lead Pages—when it comes to building opt-in pages, LeadPages.net is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. They’ve tracked and tested a variety of page styles to determine which ones convert best, and they make it easy for you to build similar pages for your funnel.

It does come with a monthly fee, though, so before investing, you’ll want to be sure you can recoup your investment.

Instabuilder—similar to LeadPages, but without the monthly investment. Instabuilder is a plugin for WordPress that allows you to create your own funnels. It includes several funnel templates and a drag-and-drop page builder that makes it easy to get just the look you want.

AWeber—Probably the easiest email manager on the market today, AWeber is the choice for many small business owners, not only because it’s simple to use, but because it’s also economical. Starting at less than $20 per month for up to 500 subscribers, AWeber offers both autoresponders and broadcast emails, list automation, and segmenting, so you can send emails exactly when—and to whom—you want.

AW Pro Tools—an add-on to AWeber, AW Pro Tools gives you added control over your list management by automatically removing unsubscribes, moving subscribers from one list to another based on the link they click, and other useful automations. 

PayPal—The simplest of all payment processors, PayPal allows you to take payments online for a very reasonable fee. It will also act as a simple shopping cart.

Ontraport—Another email manager, Ontraport offers shopping cart functionality as well, so you can create powerful funnels that are fully integrated with your sales process. The benefit here is that you don’t have to try to synch your cart with your email system, since it’s completely self-contained. 

Infusionsoft—Probably the top tool for any business model, Infusionsoft is an all-in-one solution for customer management, funnel setup, mailing list, and even membership sites. It’s priced at the high end, but if you can (and will) use all its power, then Infusionsoft is well worth the investment.

You can see that you have a lot of options when it comes to building out your sales funnels, but what are the must-have items? At the most basic level, you must have:

A way to create web pages. A simple WordPress website will fill this need, with a little bit of work. LeadPages or Instabuilder are nice to have, but not essential, especially if you’re just getting started.

A way to capture email addresses. AWeber is definitely the top choice here, but others include MailChimp, Constant Contact, and iContact.

A shopping cart. PayPal is as easy as it gets when it comes to shopping carts, but other options include 1 Shopping Cart, Woo Commerce, Infusionsoft, and aMember.

 

I recommend you start small. Build the funnel framework as simply as you can, using tools that don’t cost a fortune. Once you have a few funnels up and running, you will be able to see where they can use improvement, and how the tools available to you can help make your funnels convert better and work more efficiently.

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Are You Ready to Give Up on Email Marketing? Read This First

Are you so frustrated with the results of your email marketing campaign that you’re ready to throw in the towel? Don’t worry about it – we’ve all been there. Email marketing seems like a simple way to boost sales.

And it can be, provided that you can get your subscriber to open the email in the first place. After all, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing message is if no one ever reads it, does it?

In the busy world that we live in, you need to time the email perfectly so that they get it when they have time to open it. Is there any point in sending it through late on Friday afternoon when everyone’s getting ready to go home, for example?

Security awareness training is another thing that you’ll have to consider when crafting your email. Many companies have software that allows them to remove any suspicious messages and spam before they get delivered to their servers.

There are a good few more, but these will be dealt with in the EveryCloud infographic that we’ve published below. You’ll learn:

·         Why email marketing is still the best thing since sliced bread

·         How people use emails and whether or not they view them on their mobile phones

·         What might make people consider your email spam

·         When the best spending times are

·         And a whole lot of other interesting facts

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How Is Voice Search Functionality Used In Modern Technology?

How Is Voice Search Functionality Used In Modern Technology?

Voice search technology has developed rapidly in the last 5 years. In ages past, the technology was limited and the underlying speech recognition software was rudimentary. This meant that the devices struggled to interpret what we were saying, and using such technology was mostly a waste of time.

 

Fast forward to today and the same technology now works beautifully! The speech recognition software has been drastically improved and voice search functionality is now something that can truly enhance our lives. Young people are especially partial to the advantages of voice search, and according to Harsha from SEO Tribunal, an entire 35.8% of millennials use it on a regular basis.

 

The following are some of the ways in which this technology is being used.

 

Mobile Phone Navigation / Searching

 

One of the most prominent ways that voice search technology is used is through mobile phones. Most modern smartphones have voice search functionality. Apple’s iPhone, for example, has the speech recognition AI technology known as Siri, and Android and Google phones have Google Assistant which works in a similar way. Consumers can use this technology to search the phone or to search the internet for practically anything they want.

 

Automobile Central Console Navigation

 

Practically every modern vehicle now has a central console that provides functions such as navigation, entertainment, and other settings. Some of these consoles can actually be controlled by voice search/speech recognition technology.

 

You can activate the voice search function by pressing a button (usually on the steering wheel) and then speak to your car to change radio stations or even use your in-car hands’ free system for your phone.

 

Smart Speakers

 

Finally, we have smart speakers. You will have undoubtedly heard of devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home Bot. These speakers are home assistants that you can speak to and perform searches to find out information on the web.

 

Furthermore, you can use speech recognition to add items to your calendar, create appointments and reminders, and even play music or create playlists.

 

 

As you can see, voice search technology really has taken off in a great way and we should only see an increase in its usage in the future as developers create new and interesting ways to utilize speech recognition.

How Is Voice Search Functionality Used In Modern Technology?

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How To Turn A Dream Into A Workable Plan

 

How To Turn A Dream Into A Workable Plan

As a coach or consultant, it can be difficult to watch the lack of progress of so many promising entrepreneurs. They’ve dreamed for so long about creating a solid, sustainable business, and yet, all they do is dream.

You know the people I’m talking about. They attend conferences, sign up for free webinars, buy paid training, and sometimes even work with a coach or two. And yet week after week, month after month, year after year, they fail to make any progress toward their dreams.

Are they just lazy? No. It’s something worse. They don’t know how to move from a dream to a plan and they’re stuck.

Start With the Long-Term

If you’ve ever been on a job interview and were asked, “Where do you want to be five years from now,” you might have thought it an odd question. But as a business owner, that might just be the most important consideration you can have.

Without knowing where you’re headed in the long term, it’s impossible to create a map to get there. You need to know what your destination is, so that every day, week, month, and year you can check your progress to be sure you’re still headed in the right direction.

Create Milestones

Once you know your ultimate destination, you can draft a plan for getting there, and create the interim goals that will help you stay on track.

For example, if in five years you want to be free to travel for 8 weeks every year, then you need to have a few pieces in place before that can happen:

  • Enough income to cover travel costs
  • Passive income to sustain your business while you’re not working
  • A staff who can manage the business while you’re away

With this list, you can then work backwards from your five-year goal, and create milestones along the way. If you know you’ll need to earn $150,000 annually in order to fund your travel plans, and right now you’re earning $60,000, then reasonable milestones might look like this:

  • Year 1: $70,000
  • Year 2: $85,000
  • Year 3: $105,000
  • Year 4: $125,000
  • Year 5: $150,000

With these milestones in place, it’s much easier to figure out exactly what you need to do to achieve them, by setting monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

Create Small Goals

If you say to someone, you need to move from $60,000 to $150,000 in five years, that’s a pretty overwhelming task. After all, it’s a $90,000 increase and most people will look at that and immediately dismiss it as impossible.

But when you break it down as we have above, and then again into smaller steps, it suddenly doesn’t look so daunting.

In the first year of the plan we have outlined here, your income needs to increase only by $10,000. That’s less than $1000 per month! Surely that’s easy enough to accomplish!

You can further break that down by week: $1000 per month is just $250 per week. If you sell just one more group coaching package or five more of a $50 training program, you’ve already reached your milestone.

That might mean sending one more email to your list, or investing an additional $20 per month in Facebook ads, or perhaps reaching out to one more JV partner. The point is, reaching this much smaller goal is far easier than thinking about that five-year plan.

So what’s your big dream? How can you deconstruct it into achievable milestones, workable goals, and finally, daily and weekly tasks? If you can do this (and you definitely can) then you can achieve anything in business and in life.

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Understanding Your Google Analytics Account

 

Google analytics…when I mention those two little words I usually get one of two reactions.

  • Fear, you start sweating immediately, chewing your nails like a ten-year-old who didn’t do their homework.
  • Yawning, your eyes glaze over and all you hear is womp, womp, womp.

I am a geek, I admit it, I love looking at my Google analytics account. There are so many stories to be told in the middle of the bars, graphs and pie charts. You just have to learn to speak the language first. Dimensions, metrics, properties they all mean something in GA and over the next month I’m going to show you how to track your own success in Google analytics.

The three things that make GA so popular

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s easy
  3. It’s powerful

Google Analytics helps you find answers, but it isn’t THE answer. It’s only a tool. You’re using analytics data to tell a story.

How can we use analytics?

  • To generate ideas.
  • To understand what is working.
  • To fix things that are not working.
  • To improve results.
  • Tells our customer story.
  • Calculate our value.
  • To justify & encourage investment.
  • To see into the future.

First steps:

  1. Send data to Google’s servers.
  2. Make sure our data is clean.
  3. Define our success points.

SEND DATA TO GOOGLE’S SERVERS

  1. Create a free Google analytics account. If it’s your first time consider using Google’s Tag Manager. It’s very easy.
  2. Add your unique tracking code to the <HEAD> section on your website.
  3. Decide whether you are tracking a website or an APP.
  4. Learn about your audience.

CLEAN DATA

  1. DO NOT TRACK YOURSELF. It is very important that you do not track yourself as this will skew the view you get. The first step is figuring out your own IP address. It’s very simple, Google, “what’s my IP address?” and it will give it to you. Write it down somewhere. Go into your analytics account under administration. (Gear symbol at the bottom of the dashboard).  Under the VIEW section go down to FILTERS. You want to ADD A NEW FILTER and then you’re going to go to the first box and hit the EXCLUDE button, to the second section that says TRAFFIC FROM IP ADDRESSES which will open a box underneath. This is where you put the IP address that you wrote down from your Google search. In the third box you must decide if it should be EQUAL TO, STARTS WITH, ENDS WITH, OR THAT CONTAIN. Choose equal to in this situation. Your analytics will no longer count the times that you go to your website. If you have employees then each IP address should be added separately.

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What is the purpose of your website?

Once you decide on the purpose of the website break it down into the things that directly generate income (MACRO GOALS) and the positive activities that don’t directly produce revenue (MICRO GOALS). You can have up to 20 goals.

What can be tracked?

  • Content performance – Answers the question – What content is performing best?
  • Custom dashboards – Create your own or upload from the Analytics Solutions Gallery.
  • Advanced Segments – Track performance by visitor segments.
  • Social Value Reports – Measure the value of social traffic.
  • Track mobile, websites, and APPS.
  • Offline marketing.
  • Video plays.
  • Phone calls.
  • CRM integrations.
  • Demographics.
  • Cross-device tracking
  • Remarketing
  • Benchmarking.

Pretty much any marketing activity can be tracked within Google  Analytics.

Last month, I became a Certified Google Analysist after many months of studying culminating with a huge test to get my certification. I now offer those kinds of services here at The Blogging 911! If you’re interested in checking out my services visit the Analytics page.

 

 

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Do You Have An Emergency Plan For Your Business?

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you were to become incapacitated in some way? Maybe you’ve gotten sick or been in an accident whatever the reason, what would happen to your online business, Facebook groups, or your website?

Would all of your hard work go down the drain within weeks, leaving your readers wondering what in the world happened to you? Sponsored posts have gone unwritten, affiliate earnings abandoned, subscriptions canceled for non-payment and the list goes on.

The effects could be felt for months, even years to come. As a caregiver, I have to worry about these kinds of things all of the time. Not my website, but my life in general. Who can take over in case I can no longer do it. What happens if I get sick or hurt? 

There has to be a safety net in place long before that emergency happens or everything you’ve worked for could just disappear. Believe me, I know this first hand. If you haven’t read my story check out my About Page In my personal & business life I use a book called Cellphones Don’t Work In Heaven written by Mark C. Pope & Beverly R. Thompson. It’s a wonderful book and talk about a story! Whew, watch this video! The book covers every aspect of your life, but as a blogger or online business owner, we have another layer of need that just isn’t covered.

So the first step is to make a plan & I’m here to help!

    1. What Is Considered Critical Website Information?
    1. How To Gather Your Information
    1. Picking The Right Person
    1. Instructions
  1. Free Downloadable Critical Website Information Guide
  1. What Is Considered Critical Website Information?

I define this as anything needed to keep your website/business up and running. Everything from your website login credentials to the course you bought. Everything on the list may not be critical, but it’s nice to keep track of everything in one (two, or ten different places). I keep one online and one in my file cabinet.

    • Website Url and login credentials
    • Email (Gmail, Outlook, etc.)
    • Email service provider (Mailchimp, ConvertKit, etc.)
    • Web hosting
    • Media storage
    • Scheduling tools
    • Analytics
    • Affiliates
    • Your social media platforms
    • Creative Subscriptions
    • Premium plugins or extras that will need to be renewed
    • Posting Schedule
  • Instructions
  1.  How To Gather Your Information

Make a list, make several in fact, but start off with sections such as:

Your website, Social Media, Advertising & Analytics, Scheduling, and Other. You can use any system that works, but remember to include EVERYTHING so it may take you several days/weeks to get it all together. For instance, media storage would include things like Dropbox or Google Drive, but also Evernote, Onedrive, etc. A little bit here, and here, and there. It adds up.

Are you like me and get hit with shiny object syndrome sometimes? I’ll admit this, but only to you. I sometimes all the time sign up for great services or cheap offers *shush don’t tell my husband!* with all of the greatest  intentions in the world and then after chasing two-year-olds, following mom around shutting doors and turning off appliances, working on my clients work, working on my own business goals, plus cooking, laundry, bills most of the time I’ve forgotten by bedtime. Wait, bedtime what’s that? I have courses I’ve bought and never had time to open them up. Tomorrow never comes and pretty soon your inbox rivals your local library in quantity.

I also have two pretty cool tips that can help you keep control of the number of companies allowed into the prime real estate that is your email. The first one is a website called deseat.me. Enter your email address and you will see a list populate with every company that you’ve given your email address to and some that you may not have. Then it gives you a link to go in and delete the account if you choose.

As you can probably guess my email can sometimes get overwhelming. Trying to keep up with several different threads at once confuses my poor damaged brain. (I think that’s why I struggle so much with Facebook! My brain can’t keep up with it.) My friend Nesha from NeshaWoolery.com asked a question in her Facebook Group the Shelancers if we had a plan if something happened to us. It got me thinking about it A LOT I mean face it “we aren’t spring chickens anymore”. She also gave me another hot tip when she shared the tool unroll.me

It will change your life! You sign up for a free account and it will gather every single thing that you are subscribed to. Seriously, every newsletter, every subscription, and roll it up into one big newspaper or magazine. You have the opportunity to unsubscribe from multiple accounts, keep the ones that you want, and have the rest rolled up into one email delivered once a day or even once a week at whatever time you choose! How awesome is that!

My inbox is now full of the people who should be there…my clients. I can still get the newsletters I want. It just keeps them from coming one after another and creating that overwhelmed feeling I mentioned earlier.

    

  1.  Picking The Right Person

Picking the right person is a trickier matter. You need someone who is both trustworthy & tech-savvy. Maybe you already have a webmaster or V.A. and that would be the perfect option. They already have all of the information right at their fingertips. They should still have a contingency plan in place or you will be playing catch up from the very beginning.

If you don’t have access to an admin or web tech then you are going to have to train someone to literally be you in case of an emergency. I chose my daughter not only because of the top two reasons above but she’s the only one close enough to me that even knows how to turn a computer on and log in! I kid you not! My husband can operate two computers; an ATM and the self-checkout at Walmart.

Keep in mind that they are going to probably be flying blind so hitting them with everything that has to be done in your everyday online business life will most likely have them throwing up their hands in sheer brain overload.

Think of it this way. When an ambulance gets to a wreck they triage the situation. Who is in the most danger or hurt worse. So figure out the bare minimum that can be done to maintain your space and all of your hard work. Teach them starting with the most important and work your way down. At first, I would keep it to your top 5 most important things. Do it for a week at a time and have an alternative. You can always add more in small doses if you have someone willing to go above and beyond. You will owe them big time when all is back to normal for sure!

Just remember THE BARE MINIMUM, they will go back to the real world eventually. Teach them to maintain it, keep it safe, and keep it from having that abandoned feeling some sites whose creator has just ghosted…

 

  1.  Instructions

Not only should you leave a detailed list of exactly what needs to be done, but you should also schedule some time to show them step by step how to maintain the basics of your website and your business. Use visuals such as calendars or even maps. Blog post→ → Facebook → → Instagram. Whatever works!

Keep your content scheduled AT LEAST a week in advance. I’m not always successful at this, but I do try. I’ve started using “batch days”. I’m sure you’ve seen or heard these words in the last few months. If not, it means to set aside a certain day every month or week to create. One day for content, one day for graphics, or one day for scheduling social media. That way you can stay ahead of the game and if you use the same day every month or week you will never run out!

My problem is trying to think of things that will bring you true value. I know how valuable your time and inbox are and I want you to feel that it was worth it every single time you click that button!

Speaking of value, (see how I did that?)

I’ve done the hard part for you! I’ve created the 13-page download

to create your very own

Critical Information Guide

 A place to keep all of that new found knowledge in one simple place.

Print it out, but it in a binder, and keep it in a safe place.

It not only gives you peace of mind, but it feels like a fresh start. Clearing out the old and making room for the new. I want to add that I keep a paper copy of the Critical Information Guide, but I also keep an online version as well. I use LastPass, if you haven’t tried it check it out. Sometimes you just need to see the password, but it’s locked deep in our computer’s memory banks and all we get are ***************. It’s easy with LastPass, also free! It’s a Chrome extension so it’s simple to set up! If you struggle coming up with strong passwords try this free tool by TheBestVPN.com. You can generate strong, unique passwords by simply clicking a button and it’s also free!

 

That’s it for now!

*This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a small commission of the Cell Phones Don’t Work In Heaven.

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Why You Could Be Playing Russian Roulette With Your Website

Say the words “Blog Maintenance” and you will get a “nervous roll of the eyes” from most bloggers!

I understand it’s not as glamorous as hanging out on Facebook or writing those awesome viral posts. I get it, maintenance isn’t fun…but it is a necessary evil that all bloggers have to bite the bullet, so to speak, and get the shit done!

Why you should be maintaining your blog?

  • To keep out hackers.
  • To have it running quickly and correctly.
  • To make sure you’re running the latest plugins, themes, and WordPress.
  • Keeping your spam comments emptied.
  • Make sure that your links aren’t broken.
  • That you don’t have any malware
  • Saves space which in turn saves money.
  • The list goes on and on!

If you don’t maintain your blog all kinds of horrible problems can develop and they can happen pretty quickly.

So, if you’re here then you must want to know how to maintain your blog like a boss! Pull up a chair, grab a glass of wine, and get ready for me to drop some knowledge on you!

 

Have you ever gone to a slow site with broken links?

Bet you didn’t stay there long. It’s so annoying to go to a site that takes FOREVER to load! I click right off and I bet you do too!

What about those sites that make McAfee sit up and beg?

You know if they start with a WHOA!!!!!!!!!! You don’t want to go in there. Then it whispers quietly, “you might get a browser STD! Sssshhhh, don’t tell anyone!”

You’ll also keep your web hosting pricing down because the less garbage you have on your site the less storage it’s going to take therefore SAVINGS!

When a Brand comes looking at your website in consideration for sponsored posts or influencer jobs or even a product ambassador they want their product to be shown in the very best light so it behooves them to check sites out before they hire someone. If your site is not running quickly, looking its best, or you have links that are broken they are going to give you a big fat NO THANK YOU

I don’t want that to happen to you! Last night, I created a brand new PDF that entails my own monthly maintenance plan. Everything from: What I do, What I use, and How I do it is included. That’s right, everything that I do for my maintenance plan clients & my own personal sites I’m going to share with you. Why because I sincerely want you to put your best foot forward and shine!

On the other hand, maybe you’ll realize how crazy busy your life is or maybe you’ll think about the last time you actually did maintain your site and you’ll realize how much easier it is just to pay me the $149 FOR A WHOLE YEAR which by the way comes to about $12.50 a month and you’ll never have to think about maintenance again, but if not, it’s okay! We’ll still be friends…my blog will just look better than yours! Just kidding…kind of.

So let’s get down to it and if you want the downloadable version sign up right over here ⇒ & then you’ll get a password for The Blogging 911 Resource Library where this and a whole lot of other resources are housed!

BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING TO YOUR WEBSITE YOU MUST MAKE A BACKUP!!

I really can’t stress that first point enough! Backup, Backup, Backup!

For this, I use the Updraft Plus backup plugin or the WP-Backup plugin depending on the theme you are running. Updraft is my first choice because with all of my sites I like that I can connect with Dropbox and all of my backups are just a click away when I need them.

My next step is updating and with everything else, there is a system. I always start by updating WordPress first, followed by themes and finally plugins. The reasoning behind this is that everything runs off of WordPress so if it needs an update everything else will follow. Think of it as a hierarchy.

Next on the list is optimizing the database and the plugins I use are the Optimize Database While Deleting Revisions plugin or the WP-Optimize plugin.

Have you ever written a blog post and as soon as you got it all set up you see a misspelled word? Then you went back in and fixed your mistake saved your work only to realize you forgot to put an important link in?

Each one of these instances has created a new revision and those revisions can add up quickly. That’s why optimizing your database is so important. These revisions bloat your site, slow it down and also cost you more money because it makes your site larger when it doesn’t have to be.

Now you have backed up your site, updated it, optimized your database next you want to scan for malware. For this, I use the Wordfence plugin.

The next thing I do is check for broken links (on some sites). I no longer offer this service because the tool I used to use no longer exists. There is a broken link plugin, but I’m not going to recommend it because it can really slow down your website.

After all of this, I like to go to the front end and check things out. Updating can sometimes make unwanted changes to your site and you may have to make a couple of adjustments.

The very final thing I do is to go to an outside source called GT Metrix and do a site speed test. Anything that comes in above 5 seconds needs to investigated to try to make it faster. REMEMBER THIS THOUGH: Site speeds can change just from the time of day you check, the server it uses to perform the test or even something simple as what day you check. Take this speed with a grain of salt and try to go in at different times and check the speed. This will give you a good average.

That is website maintenance in a nutshell and if you’re not doing this at least once a month then you’re playing Russian Roulette with your website.

Don’t forget to get your copy of the maintenance log I created!

 

 

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