Issue #375

Good Time To Be A Digital Prepper

I don’t have to tell you, but… there’s a lot going on in the world right now. And seeing as the internet itself has become THE medium for most communications and commerce, that means we have to prepare for an internet with… speed bumps.

In this recent war in Ukraine, there have been calls to shut Russia off from the internet. Even reports that Russia is already planning to do so in a matter of days. I have no idea if that’s true or not.

We see finance being weaponized around the world. People’s bank accounts getting frozen… whether it be because you happen to live in Russia, or because you might have had something to do with unapproved activities in Canada. Even here in the US, there have been many cases of people being financially de-platformed.

There’s also the risk of the internet itself becoming a war medium. The notion of cyber-war is very real. In fact, there were recently war games played on how to deal with a “cyber pandemic”. I have a feeling that’s coming soon.

All this to say…

This is a good time to be a digital prepper. To spend some time on assessing your own preparedness for some of the systems and services you may be used to not being there for a little while.

All you’ve gotta do is watch how much of the internet is affected when Amazon has a service outage to see the problem with being overly reliant on third parties.

I’ve talked about digital sovereignty for awhile. It is something I believe in strongly. It has also been one of several different factors that led me to reorganize my tech stack for my business and bring things “in house” rather than using a ton of outside subscription services.

Not only did these moves make my business more self-reliant and help ensure I have all the data, but it also had the nice side effect of reducing my expenses because I didn’t have all the monthly subscription fees (like for email hosting).

In my article about the 6 Points Of Online Business Self-Reliance And Digital Sovereignty, I say…

For our online businesses, digital sovereignty means that you have control and ownership of the data, the records and the software that make your business work. And that your setup is such that another company could not remove that from you.

#1 on this list is to own your own platform. In my case, I most definitely use and advocate Wordpress. Nearly every component of your business can be run right from inside Wordpress.

  • No need for a hosted shopping cart when you can use WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, or many others. You could put something like Cartflows on there and have full sales funnels and every bell and whistle you want… all without paying a 3rd-party shopping cart.
  • No need for expensive, hosted email lists when you can self-host using FluentCRM and be exempt from the monthly bill.
  • No need for a paid helpdesk when you can use Fluent Support

The list goes on. Depending on what you need, chances are it can be done in-house.

But, when you build it in-house, it means you own and control the data. It means when you back up your site, you get ALL OF IT. There’s no need to trust some corporation that they’re doing proper backups. You’re in control. You can even drop your site backups onto your own computer and archive them however you please.

work with many clients to create their own OWNED platform. One client I’m working with right now is heavily ingrained into Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) and paying them hundreds of dollars per month. He has no control over it. When I’m done with his project (which is honestly way bigger than most), he’ll not only have far more control over his business, be able to understand it better because it will have less moving parts, but he’s going to shave hundreds of dollars in expenses.

When you own your own platform, it doesn’t even matter if your hosting cuts you off. It’d be inconvenient, of course. But, you could restore your whole platform anywhere else and be off to the races.

Case in point, I recently had to rescue a client site which had hacked badly on Bluehost. Couldn’t even access it properly via Bluehost control panel. It was a mess. But, luckily, he had the whole site backed up using UpdraftPlus. So, I was able to restore his entire site up to Cloudways. Imagine having that kind of flexibility with your entire platform… because it is all in-house.

I think it goes even beyond just owning your own platform. The idea here is the ability to be as self-reliant as possible and not be enslaved by big tech or expensive external services. Other things to consider are:

  • Not relying on Google. I personally use alternative search engines, have moved all my email off Gmail, and basically made Google completely optional to me.
  • Not building communities solely on platforms like Facebook. You don’t own that. They can take it away or change the rules anytime.
  • Building financial reserves outside the banks. Most people don’t realize that their “money” isn’t really their’s. Inflation is robbing you of it’s value. And just wait for the bank bail-ins to happen. I think having buying power outside the system makes sense. Think Bitcoin, gold, or other commodities.

Obviously, this is a subject that could go on and on. And there are multiple ways to go about it. I won’t go into every aspect of it here. But, I’ll leave you with this…

This is something you owe it to yourself to think about. For multiple reasons.

You don’t own what you’ve built online if you don’t have possession of it or are reliant on third-party services. And with everything going on in the world and online, it makes sense to take stock in how you manage things and be intentional about it… rather than having your head in the sand and just trust nothing will ever change and those big, long terms of service you blindly agreed to had your best interests in mind.

BTW, want my help assessing your site’s infrastructure and building a platform you truly own? I can help. You can book a strategy call with me to discuss a solid game plan for you…. or engage my services to get in there and just get it done.

Here’s How I Can Help…

  • ConciergeI’ll be your “web guy”, helping to maintain your site for you do you don’t have to think about it. Also includes access to my agency plugin licenses, site analytics, and a massive discount on any potential project work on your site.
  • WP Speed Fix. Get the performance scores and core web vitals for your website fixed. Let me deal with the nerdy stuff. And let’s make your site purr like a kitten.
  • I’ll Do It For You: Via my technical services, I can dive into your site and take care of the complex stuff for you. Whether it be just some tweaks… or building out a full membership site and marketing automation funnel, I can ensure your WordPress site is working for you and not the other way around.
  • Book A Call Anytime. Via a private one-on-one call, I’ll make your business… my business. Easy peasy.
  • ONEPass – All Access Pass To Every Course In The Library. For one small one-time purchase, you can unlock every course in the Blog Marketing Academy library. For life.