Discover how easy it is to make a Plan B for running your site during unexpected disruptions, both short and long-term.
And see how to set up a contingency plan if you are no longer able to run your site.
The 4 Plan Bs You Need
One contingency plan will not work for all life situations.
So you need more than one Plan B.
We’ll cover disruptions for:
- Short-term – where you unable to work online for a day or two
- Mid-term – where you are unable to work for a week to a month
- Long-term – where you are unable to work for an extended time of 6 months or more
- Shut down – where it becomes necessary to permanently cease your online endeavors
Short-Term Plan B
Loss of internet, electricity goes out, fender benders, the list goes on of the kinds of things that are minor disruptions for the day.
You may not be able to use your computer for 12-48 hours.
While some site owners can step away unexpectedly for a couple of days without issue, disruptive stuff tends to happen at the least opportune time and you may need to at least make some temporary notifications or get out an important post or email or such.
Having a Plan B in place would allow you to continue to work in your business, even if it is on a limited basis.
Access from your phone
The four most critically important access points to your business are:
Internet access – ensure your phone has enough of a data plan, or one that you can temporarily expand, if you need to use it for the entire day.
And find the instructions for how to expand or add to your data plan now.
Put those instructions into some type of note you can access from your phone.
Email access – ensure you can access the following email services from your phone:
- Domain-related email – whether through your host or GSuites
- Personal Gmail account – if you have or use that too
Instructions – If you have a Gmail/GSuites account, then you also have Google Docs. That’s a great place to store your notes for your short-term access plan B.
Go ahead and set up that connection with the Google Docs app and ensure you can access it now.
An alternative is to put all of your instructions in an email and star or highlight it in some way so you can easily find it again.
Website – there are apps that allow you to log into your site. But, I don’t know that all of them are as secure as they should be. But then, I haven’t tested any of them in a while.
However, you can bring up a browser on your phone. Just ensure that you have your login available.
TIP If you store logins on your phone, or use an app, what happens if your phone is lost or stolen? Now someone has access to your site. Make arrangements to secure your site access doc on any mobile device.
Get a VPN
If you have a temporary loss of internet service, you may be tempted to camp out on the wi-fi of your nearest coffee shop.
That’s a bad idea.
It’s pretty easy for a hacker to get control of the wi-fi router in that place. They don’t even have to be there. They could be halfway across the world.
And they can spy on every internet connection you make.
That includes lifting your logins and emails and any other data you send online.
The best way to protect yourself is with a VPN service (Virtual Private Network).
If you travel a lot, you need a VPN service anyway.
There are free ones, but I don’t know that I would trust them.
Do a little research and ask in your blogger groups for the one that is the best fit for your needs, even if it’s just for a few days.
It’s way cheaper to pay for a month of VPN service and only need it for a day than to spend weeks repairing the hack damage done from a man-in-the-middle attack over free wi-fi.
Mid-Term Plan B
Accidents, illness, and weather events can disrupt your life for weeks, or even a month or more.
You need a plan that allows you to turn over your site and online life to someone else for a little while or a plan that makes it possible for you to carry on your work from another location for an extended period.
Assign a Designated Online Driver
Is there someone who can step in for you and do critically important things for your site or business?
Most of our family members and friends have zero idea what we do.
Even if they understand the what, they certainly wouldn’t have a clue as to the how.
Would a blogger buddy be a more appropriate choice as your go-to person for this?
Consider what you may need them to do:
- Reply to emails
- Tend to any automation you may have running for posting anywhere
- Make a social media post
- Keep your site updated, especially if there is a critical security issue or such
Have a chat now with who you think would be the best person to take things over for you for a few weeks to a month.
NOTE: Lack of updates is the #1 way sites get hacked.
You can’t just put this part of your online world on ignore. It could cost you everything.
Make a simple set of instructions
Ensure you have a very basic set of instructions for your designated person on how to access at least your:
- Most important social media platform – to let others know what has become of you, if needed
To be absolutely sure you didn’t leave anything out of those instructions, ask them to go through a trial run with zero help from you.
And ensure those instructions are in a place they can easily access without your help too.
Accidents and Illness Happens
An arm injury is not life-threatening.
But it will certainly take you out of commission for dealing with any kind of keyboard for a while.
Or a loved one becomes critically ill and you have to go out of town unexpectedly for a few days and don’t have a spare minute to check online for anything.
Think through what you would need someone to do for you in this case and put those instructions in your Mid-Term Plan B.
Weather Events Happen
Extreme weather events like tornadoes, fires, and hurricanes can cause extended disruptions to your life and business.
Loss of power for a week is more than a minor inconvenience.
Or, total loss of a place to live could happen due to evacuation or destruction.
Consider Cloud Storage
This is where keeping some data in a cloud storage can be super beneficial.
I run my whole back-office on Google Drive via my GSuites account.
I can access email and docs from any device, including my iPad, iPhone, or Chromebook.
I can also access it from any computer.
So, even if my devices get destroyed, as long as I know my login, I can use any other computer, laptop, or device available that has internet access.
If you have to live with friends or family for a while, maybe you can use or borrow one of their computers. With your most critical stuff in the cloud, you can still work.
Use Phone as a Hotspot
So, let’s say you have a laptop, but no internet access.
Find out now how to use your phone as a hotspot to provide wi-fi access to your laptop or Chromebook.
Store those directions in a note in your phone too.
And run through doing it at least once to ensure you understand the directions.
Long-Term Plan B
Life changing events happen.
What if you need to walk away from your site for 6 months to a year?
While you can simply stop blogging, you can’t just put your site tech on ignore.
As mentioned previously, lack of updates is the #1 way sites get hacked.
Beyond the stress of dealing with something like that, if you let updates go for too long, when you do return, your update gap will be so wide that things could break.
Make plans for these 2 long-term scenarios:
- You are well and can do your own site tasks
- You are debilitated and cannot do your own site tasks
If you are able, then make a plan to log into your site at least every 2 weeks and keep up with the updates, or assign a designated online driver to do this task for you.
If you are unable to manage your site in any way, assign this task to your designated person.
And seriously consider setting some money aside to pay them for maintenance, at least.
It’s a job, and they deserve to be paid to take on this responsibility.
Closing Down Your Site and Business
I know this is something you probably don’t want to think about and have put off taking any action on.
But permanent debilitation or death does come for everyone.
Do your loved ones a favor and make it super simple for them to close all of your online accounts.
Denial of access, no matter what
Did you know that there is no social media platform that will give your loved ones access to your site, even in the event of death?
Your host, domain registrar, and other online entities won’t either.
This is precisely why you MUST make a final contingency plan, even if you have POA (Power of Attorney) papers.
Your loved ones wouldn’t even know where to begin with knowing which of your online accounts to keep and which to shut down.
TIP: While you are at it, make this type of contingency plan for your children’s social media accounts too. Those platforms will not give you access to the account, even for a minor. You need to know where those login credentials are. This goes for your adult children as well. If they are unmarried, have them assign you as their POA and tell you where the list of instructions is for their phone and account access.
Consider Cloud Storage for Instructions
I have all of my business info in an online vault. It is super protected.
And my POA has the access to the info that would let her into that vault. (And no, I’m not going to tell you how I have that setup. Just know that all of the info is not in the same place or identifiable as to what it is.)
Because my POA has zero idea of how my online business is run, in that vault is a set of instructions of who to contact to help with taking some parts of the business over temporarily and/or shutting it down.
To be honest, having a trusted, knowledgeable 3rd party available to help during a time of crisis is the most loving thing you can do for your POA. I doubt they will have the mindset to deal with any of it should something happen to you.
Make Your Wishes Clearly Known
There are steps to shutting down an online existence properly.
You need to know what they are and convey your wishes in your instructions.
For instance, I’ve made arrangements for my sites to stay live for as long as the content is relevant and helpful.
I’ve also made arrangements for the domains to be renewed for at least 10 years, even if the sites come down. I would not want anyone else profiting from the good brand name I built.
The same is true of social media accounts. And the good thing is that you can hold on to those forever, as they are free. (Some may check for inactivity every few years, so be sure to make arrangements for that too.)
Keep Your Docs Updated
I hope you are rotating your passwords for all online accounts regularly.
Be sure to keep your contingency plan docs up to date.
Have you changed hosts or other vendors? Update that info!
I suggest reviewing your contingency docs annually, along with updating your passwords and take care of both simultaneously.
Set Aside Money
Paying for hosting and domains and specialty plugins like backups and such takes money.
Ensure you have a stash set aside for this.
Also ensure that you have instructions in your will for how much money should be set aside for these expenses, as well as paying the person who will help make it all happen. Don’t let there be any squabbling about this. Put it in writing.
This is not something I advertise, but I am available to help shut down your online presence if needed. And I will do it at a reduced rate. But, I do not wish to be assigned as your first go-to person. I’m offering to work with whoever has the legal right to your accounts.
Get Peace of Mind Today
I hope you’ve found this post helpful.
Beyond that, I hope it has moved you to take action on it right now.
You never know what’s around the corner in life.
And there is no time like the present.
Make it happen.
Get it done.
And have peace of mind for yourself, your followers, and your loved ones.