In the past week and a half I have been dealing with something that is every internet entrepreneurs nightmare which I have called the “techpocalypse”.
In this blog post we will cover:
It started last week when the condo association of the building I live in decided to do an “internet upgrade” which would double the download/upload speeds. Sounds great, right? Well, it sounded great to me too, so you can imagine how I felt when I got home that night to fire up my computer and POOF…..no internet connection.
After waiting a solid two days they came and fixed it, bad splitters they said, so then I was back in business, right? Wrong!
For some reason, my computer went haywire and I basically had to start it with factory settings and lose ALL of my installed programs.
On Tuesday, I was finally able to get it back in working order and went to write a post and then, not surprisingly, my internet went out again. I did a speed test and saw that the speed was at .25 mbps. By comparison, 56k dial up from 1998 is faster than this.
After angrily discussing the situation with my condo association, I was able to come to the conclusion that the provider the building we picked seems to have been chosen almost strictly based on price. For those who don’t know, when you live in a condo like mine which is in a high-rise in the middle of downtown Chicago, you kind of get stuck with whatever Internet provider your building decides to sign a contract with.
Of course you always have the opportunity of getting an independent Internet provider, but the problem with that is that you’re already paying for Internet in your condo association fee so it’s tough to pay an extra $300 to $500 a year when you already have Internet that supposed to be functioning correctly.
Anyway, the good news is that the Internet seems to be stable now so I’m able to write about what occurred and reflect on the entire experience.
As you can imagine, one of the absolute worst things about being an Internet entrepreneur is that sometimes you have to rely on technology to get the job done. Although I was aware of this, I didn’t have to negative experience in the past it and now that I have, I’m hoping it never happens again. Let’s examine some of the technological negatives of being an Internet entrepreneur.
1) Internet entrepreneurs are at the mercy of the technology which they use: If your Internet goes out, all you can do is find a different Wi-Fi spot, tether from your phone, or work off-line until you can find the Internet again. Although this isn’t much of a problem in the U.S. because we seem to have free Wi-Fi on every corner, I can only imagine how frustrating it has to be when you’re working overseas and visit a country that doesn’t have reliable Internet service built into the country’s infrastructure.
Sure, I suppose that you could try to schedule your post and social media comments ahead of time while traveling, but I think that we all realize that real-time engagement is the key to keeping your audience happy and engaged.
2) Technology can stop all progress: I’m not going to lie, although I haven’t been making a ton of money recently with the website, I have been getting significant traction in the form of blog comments (thank you everyone, I’m flattered), email questions, social media follows, and yes, even some purchases of the affiliate products that I recommend. In almost all cases, traffic is coming into my website to view my blog articles and then website visitors end up clicking around to learn more about what I’m doing.
The reason why I started to make this progress is simply because I’ve been blogging on a regular basis. If you haven’t realized it by now, my current goal each week is to create a motivational Monday post, have a video quick tip on Wednesday, and have an in-depth blog post on Friday of each week. This is going to leave me with three posts every single week which will equate to 156 posts over an entire year.
However, I realized that when technology breaks down, your entire business pretty much comes to a halt. Sure, I could’ve gone to a friends house and created blog posts or videos, but I kind of have my set up how I like it at my condo and I don’t like working in other places because it’s less efficient.
3) Can’t stay connected with your audience: I’ve come to realize that one of the biggest things which makes an Internet entrepreneur successful is connecting with people. It isn’t about making money or growing your ego, but instead it’s really the focus of trying to help people and show them value which will help you create personal and professional relationships that may or may not benefit you in the future.
Unfortunately, when technology fails you, there is absolutely no way to stay connected with your audience. Lucky for me, I still work a full-time job and was able to check on blog comments and analytics over my lunch break, but if that wasn’t the case I would’ve had to go to a friends house just to respond to my audience. I suppose that this is okay temporarily, but if this was more of a permanent fixture it could definitely be a problem.
With all this being said, being Internet entrepreneur definitely isn’t all gloom and doom. There are obviously numerous positives and now I’m going to review three of the main benefits from a technological perspective.
1) The website kept going: Here’s some interesting data for you. Even though I had done very minimal work from last Sunday to today, the website still had 335 sessions, 597 page views, and 12 people who joined created a free account and joined my email list (If you haven’t done this yet, you should now. It gets you 433 free high quality photos to use on your own website and access to my internet marketing 101 course).
In other words, even though I was barely present in the business, they were still a lot of things that took place which benefited my brand. This is probably one of the coolest things and really illustrates how you don’t have to always be present for your website business to continue to grow. Even though I was partially disconnected, many of the most important metrics that I have were still being impacted in a positive way.
Sure, I think that I could have had these numbers grow a little more if I would’ve been involved with the business, but the fact that I was out of the picture and things continued to grow is definitely a positive.
2) You can travel: I recently wrote about how my vacation to Spain and Italy ended up convincing me to stop pursuing my doctoral degree and focus exclusively on OneHourProfessor.com. You can go and check that article out, but to simplify it, basically I made $10 while I was across the world and I came to the realization that the idea of making income passively is possible.
One of the coolest things about the Internet entrepreneur lifestyle is that you can technically traveled to anywhere in the world and continue to run your business as long as you have access to a computer and the internet. I experienced this first hand when I was visiting Europe and find that type of lifestyle very endearing.
3) It’s almost all available in the cloud: Not everyone understands what I mean when I say that the website is almost entirely “in the cloud”. To put things simply, my website and many of the things associated with it are all hosted on a server which is run by Hostgator.
This is important because it means that if my computer and Internet completely blew up overnight, all I would need to do is get access to another computer and the Internet to continue to work.
This is obviously a positive because sometimes, as I learned in the last week and a half, technology is going to fail you and if I really had to continue to work on my website I could have easily found a way to get it done.
As nice as it is to have most of my website in the “cloud”, unfortunately I don’t have everything there. Because of this, when my computer decided to freak out last week and breakdown, I had to restore it to factory settings. While doing so, I lost a lot of the programs which I use on a regular basis.
As frustrating as this was, it made me look at all of the things I have installed on the computer and realize that I only needed to reinstall my critical programs in order to get things done. With that being said, I thought it might make sense to list some of the things that I have which are installed on my computer that I consider absolutely essential in order to successfully work on my projects.
1) Long Tail Pro: Odds are that you are doing keyword research incorrectly. If you are just using the Google keyword research tool, you arent actually check on competitiveness from an SEO perspective. I explain more about keyword research here, but if you want to do keyword research correctly you should try the free 10-day trial.
2) Dragon Naturally Speaking: I hate typing, it;’s incredibly slow and takes forever to complete. This software is ridiculously accurate and let’s you speak into a microphone while it types on the screen. I have found that I can complete blog posts about 3x faster than before.
Well, that’s it for this one. I hope you enjoyed the read. Have you ever dealt with your own “techpocalypse”? How did you cope? Tell me in the comments below!