Beware Free Services That Can Suck the Lifeblood Out of Your Business

12 replies
Many newbies decide to create a free Blogger (or Wordpress.com) blog. If they mention it here they are warned about the potential consequences if anyone with any sense sees the post.

However, many don't seem to get why it is bad even after an explanation simply because the service is free or easier to set up than one on your own hosting.

Stories like this one are all too familiar: Google takes down man's blog, erasing 14 years of work | Fox News

That is why you don't put all your marbles in one basket if you can avoid it. The same goes for all free blog services.

Facebook is another example of something to be careful with. More and more "how to succeed online" training products are pushing people to set up pages and groups on FB. FB groups are replacing some forums and some folks don't even have a website because they rely totally on FB groups or pages.

Currently, there is no way (outside paid resources) from what I understand to back up an FB group.

Of course, you can use FB pages or groups - I do. But you'd be wise to figure out a way to back up your data and keep it safe. This applies even to resources on your own hosting.

So no matter if you rely on Blogger, Wordpress.com, or FB pages/groups, when you wake up one morning to discover it's all gone bye bye, you only have yourself to blame. Think twice before you wind up like the guy in the news article.

Which free service have you given too much control over your business?

Mark
#bloggercom #users #warning
  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Really tough to feel sorry for that guy whose Blog got deleted by Google after 14 years.

    The idiot even was writing a full Novel and did not bother to Back it up.

    That's his own fault.

    In the article it also mentions another critic saying "I think this is definitely censorship.

    Uhmm.. let's see Google is giving you free bandwith to write a personal Blog on. They own it and have made it clear from the git go that they own it and spell out the Rules if you choose to use their FREE service.

    They have EVERY right to Censor anything they want
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
      Originally Posted by discrat View Post

      Really tough to feel sorry for that guy whose Blog got deleted by Google after 14 years.

      The idiot even was writing a full Novel and did not bother to Back it up.

      That's his own fault.
      Yep. I agree.

      In the article it also mentions another critic saying "I think this is definitely censorship.

      Uhmm.. let's see Google is giving you free bandwith to write a personal Blog on. They own it and have made it clear from the git go that they own it and spell out the Rules if you choose to use their FREE service.

      They have EVERY right to Censor anything they want
      I was always of the opinion that a not for profit blog might be safer than something a typical WF member may put up with affiliate links and all that. But I guess all are potentially at risk.

      I know of a guy that has a church/spiritual blog he's been doing on Blogger for 12 years that I follow. He has tons of research and posts he's made during this time. When I first saw his blog was on Blogger I wondered if he knew the dangers or just ass-u-med that Google had his back with their free service.

      Then I saw this article that mentioned censorship and I can see some people maybe wanting to suppress certain things in this religious blog. Hopefully, he has a backup!

      I'm not against these free services. I'm for being safe, controlling what you can, not relying too much on anything.

      Even paid services such as Aweber or GR could shut you down. Do you have a list backup? Google could ban you. FB could say you can no longer run ads. Youtube may say they don't ever want to see your videos again. Even hosted squeeze pages have dangers that don't exist if you control your own page. On and on.

      Mark
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      • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
        Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

        Even paid services such as Aweber or GR could shut you down. Do you have a list backup? Google could ban you. FB could say you can no longer run ads. Youtube may say they don't ever want to see your videos again. Even hosted squeeze pages have dangers that don't exist if you control your own page. On and on.

        Mark
        Backup of any kind is pretty limited once you get into long term and large files.

        Think of something like video content.

        There are some serious costs if you are going to save it in the cloud somewhere even just upload bandwidth costs.

        Even just the time to upload large files.

        If you want to save on something that might prove most reliable...solid state hard drives or Blue Ray Discs.

        It all adds up.

        Just having your own paid services is not really enough.

        The longer you go on and the bigger your business becomes the more vital the back-up on multiple media becomes..

        Building a business on someone else's platform is an issue.

        Just backing up your own business even when you think you have it covered is not that simple nor cheap.

        Best regards,

        Ozi
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    There are some simple methods of backup that I still use today. Every blog post I make I just make a copy in notepad and save in a file on my harddrive. Any videos I make are on my harddrive same with audio. Like Ozzi said you can back this info up on a separate harddrive and these can be had for less than $100.00

    As far as censorship goes, well only the government can censor private citizens and companies can basically do what they want regarding speech and content

    al
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

      There are some simple methods of backup that I still use today. Every blog post I make I just make a copy in notepad and save in a file on my harddrive.

      al
      This is good, Al. But with recent permanent crashes with my own Harddrives and invaluable content lost, I have found it beneficial to also save it on outside properties and have a back to a backup lol( like here at WF with their Notepad. Really great to use that and encourage others to take advantage of it . I will also email stuff to my Yahoo email and have it on their Servers as well and recently am saving stuff on San Disk Flash Drive )


      - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
        Thanks for the tip about the Notepad. I have seen it but never considered using it as you do.

        Mark

        Originally Posted by discrat View Post

        This is good, Al. But with recent permanent crashes with my own Harddrives and invaluable content lost, I have found it beneficial to also save it on outside properties and have a back to a backup lol( like here at WF with their Notepad. Really great to use that and encourage others to take advantage of it . I will also email stuff to my Yahoo email and have it on their Servers as well and recently am saving stuff on San Disk Flash Drive )


        - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
        Originally Posted by discrat View Post

        This is good, Al. But with recent permanent crashes with my own Harddrives and invaluable content lost, I have found it beneficial to also save it on outside properties and have a back to a backup lol( like here at WF with their Notepad. Really great to use that and encourage others to take advantage of it . I will also email stuff to my Yahoo email and have it on their Servers as well and recently am saving stuff on San Disk Flash Drive )


        - Robert Andrew
        That's why I suggested solid state and Blue rays.

        If you are using normal hard-drives just one drop and it could do the damage.

        Solid state is more reliable but also expensive.

        You can get Blue ray that holds 50gig and cost like $2.50 or so. 30mins to burn and no bandwidth costs - what does it cost you to upload 50gig?

        HDD costs maybe 5 cents a gig and SDD around 20 cents gig but SDD is more reliable.

        Decent Samsung SSD are for us in Oz maybe $500 a TB yet Blue ray costs like $50 for the same.

        Not to discount the other hard-drive and cloud options but my business generates at least a 4TB of just video content annually let alone other graphics, audio etc and to look at bandwidth use for uploading to cloud storage or even normal external hard drives, which we do already, is not enough....nor reliable enough.

        For now the *additional* back-up solution we use is blue ray. Doesn't scratch and we can store in a small space cheaply.

        Not our sole back-up but part of a larger plan so we don't lose years of work.

        When something better and more economical is available we will add that to our mix.

        Best regards,

        Ozi
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  • Here's my learning from it..

    FREE & CHEAP SUCK.

    Not suck, however, it's often better, in the long term, to make investments in the important infrastructure elements of your business.. in IM things like List Management/Autoresponder software, website hosting, link tracking, etc.

    Thoughts?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
      I don't feel that all free and cheap things suck. I think Blogger, FB, Twitter, LI, Google SEO, etc. all provide good services. It's true that if you want to run ads on those sites you have to pay but there is a lot of traffic generated through some of these free services.

      And some free services, such as Amazon Kindle, don't really have an upgraded version available so it's as good as it's going to get.

      The problems aren't so much about free or cheap but about:
      • Relying on another company's good will for business purposes. I know folks, for example, whose entire business is Amazon Kindle. They have tens or even hundreds of books there and are only one flick of a switch from being out of business without the proper setup. Yes, they could sell their books elsewhere or even on their own site, but how long would it take to get things going after a complete ban by Amazon?
      • Not having the right backup system in place. Some don't have copies of their email lists - they trust the autoresponder or web hosting company to do it for them.
      • Besides backup, not having other business continuity systems in place. Going with the Kindle example, many of those authors haven't tied their books into their own website, haven't collected email addresses, etc. so if they were banned from Amazon, they would have no way to contact their previously loyal customers.
      • Not diversifying. All their ads are on Bing or only on FB. While a person could spread themselves too thin, we at least need to know our options, preferably have accounts with other similar sites, etc. For example, if FB went dark with 3 days notice, how many IMers would be hurt badly? Many of those that rely on FB, don't have an email address because they think - "hey I can just contact them through FB!". If FB isn't around anymore, that isn't going to work out very well.
      Mark


      Originally Posted by selfdisciplineacademy View Post

      Here's my learning from it..

      FREE & CHEAP SUCK.

      Not suck, however, it's often better, in the long term, to make investments in the important infrastructure elements of your business.. in IM things like List Management/Autoresponder software, website hosting, link tracking, etc.

      Thoughts?
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  • Profile picture of the author George Schwab
    "Which free service have you given too much control over your business?"

    i would say : none

    except if we include the extensions of "free services" i have to mention: 'google'

    that was a bad idea, they wipe out 15 years of work, and you will be poor overnight.

    don't do it!

    google doesnt work for you, you work for them.

    we discovered all profitable niches for them, now they move in and
    now THEY are an affiliate in many big markets. well they paid us
    well for 10 years, now they have all our keywords and they make
    millions with it. its ok, its just strange that so many people still
    love them religiously as if they would be the biggest thing since
    scrambled eggs with bacon. no mate, they are small ads sellers
    that operate an ads engine that also shows some non-paid complimentary organic results.
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    and some free tools make all the difference

    case in point

    viralcontentbuzz.com

    and

    sumome.com
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  • Profile picture of the author MrFume
    You make a highly significant point, the tendency to work from Facebook in particular is strong - you can create any number of free web pages and groups, however it is always basic good policy to outright OWN your assets, which means building a hosted website where you can direct people to from your 'free resources' - always use your own premises to store and create new content, then simply present this as you choose on your Facebook/free places. I am a great believer in having control over your own intellectual property!
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    The whole basis of what we do as human beings is based on Communication, nothing would be possible otherwise. I work with communication, publishing on the Web, digital media.
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