What happens when your blog shows only blank pages?

You planned well, used your creative skills, used your knowledge of making money online or whatever, and built up a blog or site over a long period of time. And you were successful, either from the point of view of making big money from blogging or nearing perfection in your other goals.

And on a fine morning, or night, you find that your site opens up to show only blank pages, no posts, no images, nothing at all!

If this happens to you what will be your first reaction?

Unless you are a master of codex, html, and all other bits and pieces of things like MySQL, PHP, other software and database requirements and software technologies, your first reaction will be: NOTHING! Or simply put, your mind also goes blank, as your WebPages are.

Let this not happen to you. And let this not happen to any other blogger or webmaster who took blogging or doing anything online as a serious business. But what if it happens? And if you are not good at troubleshooting in case of such problems, what will you do?

I am writing this after solving one such problem that happened to me, and the affected blog is DollarsTips.com, this blog that you are reading.

First, I could not log in, though the site was running alright. As I was busy with so many other things, I could not find time when it happened. I thought let me finish some other important things before doing the needful. But months passed.

In the meanwhile, I started getting messages at my page at Google Webmaster Tools that my site could be facing security and malware threats if I do not update my WordPress version. And I thought it is a signal of imminent danger of getting a Google ban or other problems.

So, yesterday, I started work to restore the missing login form and to do the other updating work.

The reason for getting blank pages or your site going offline can be many, including not updating software, outdated or poorly built themes and web templates, plugins, or you simply messed up everything by editing the core scripts, CSS, php files, etc.

And the inevitable happened.

What next? I did not panic. I know the work. But if things are more complicated, I may end up losing everything. So, I thought of seeking the opinion of experts at WordPress support forum and other sources. But the advice I got was almost similar everywhere and I already knew what they told me to do. Though the experts gave the correct advice, it was not so easy to implement. And I was about to do the same things before going to the forums.

Maybe, I could have easily fixed the problem. Or, any other expert could have done it easily.

A flash of my hosting company’s support staff’s assistance crossed my mind. And I thought that I will try that first before doing anything.

So, I chatted with the HostGator’s technical staff, and I just provided the answers they asked for. It took almost an hour for the person to fix the problem, and I have the site up and running without going off even for a moment.

And you are reading this post just because of the great customer support from HostGator, the web hosting company for this site.

I will continue the story in my next post and tell you in detail about what (all) happened and why should you avoid such problems.

Building Affiliate Marketing Websites The Easy Way

There are some myths in affiliate marketing, which attract a lot of people to it believing they are true. First is they think managing an online business is easy and second, they think that one can make a fortune through online marketing in an instant. Probably not even 10% of those who are into affiliate marketing became rich overnight. There may be some who fortunately achieved overwhelming success in just a short span of time after setting up an affiliate program, but not a majority of them can confidently say they only had luck. Anyone who is successful in this kind of business would say he worked hard to get to where he is right now. Success in affiliate marketing takes time and hard work, but it’s worth it.

If you are planning to start an affiliate program, one of the things you have to consider is having your own website, not just an ordinary website but a professional looking one. How do you build an affiliate marketing website? What are the easy steps to build one? First, you must have already decided on the theme or niche of your website. It would be better if you already have an idea what products or services to promote as this would help you plan the design and lay-out of your web pages. The next thing to do is to choose a domain name and get it hosted. The domain name is a unique name used to label the actual address of your website on the Internet. In deciding what domain name to register, look into the type of products you are endorsing and the theme of your site. Having the right keywords in your domain name would give you better chances of drawing more visitors to your website. Also, choose a top level domain or extension, such as .com because it is more popular. In selecting your web host, consider the security of servers and up time guarantees.

Now, you can start creating your webpages. Don’t be disheartened when you know a little in this field. There are page generation tools and fast launch sites available online; you just have to search for them. Countless online sources could help you build an affiliate marketing website, though you might need time to study and learn the whole process. This is one of the reasons why your site or the products you are going to promote must match your interest. Building your marketing website for the first time would be a lot more fun if you know very well the theme of your site. If you don’t have time to make your own website, you can use templates or purchase readily available websites. The latter, however, is a more expensive option. Creating an affiliate website on your own would be cheaper and more interesting. In the process of building your website, you may also increase your knowledge in Information Technology and the use of computers, softwares and the Internet. As you educate yourself in these fields, you are increasing your advantage against other affiliate marketers. It helps a lot, though, if you already know the basics in web page development like programming languages and graphics softwares because you can make your site extra corporate-looking, more convenient to use or easier to navigate. Furthermore, if you are knowledgeable and skillful in this area, you can already concentrate more on the content of the page rather than the design.

The key to draw visitors to your website is to have high quality content; thus, the next thing you must pay attention to in building your marketing website is this. There may be several other factors that contribute to the success of your affiliate marketing site, but a good content tops the list. This is precisely the reason why users choose to enter your site. They want to get information and so when they don’t find it, they would definitely go elsewhere. Write interesting articles related to your theme as this would make them frequent your site. If you have already looked for affiliate programs that complement your site, add links to the business sites and other very good informative sites. Links contribute to how well you will be listed in major search engines as well. Also, create pages for the products you are endorsing, but don’t just promote the products by putting hyped-up ads. Keep your readers interested by injecting lots of relevant and useful information. This would make them click the link to the business site and buy the product. Remember that no good content means no frequent visitors, no sales and ultimately, no commission.

Make your site simple yet not without a touch of class in order to make it appear more of a business website rather than a personal website. This would be pleasing to the eyes and more interesting to browse. To help you with the design, you can check some successful online stores to get an idea on how you can make your site look better. Make sure you don’t place too many banner ads since these could distract some site users; and thus, instead of clicking your ad, they might just leave your site and look for other interesting websites. After all, banner ads are not the only means of advertising your products. Now your website is complete, submit its URL to major search engines to increase your traffic.

Grow from where you started. Learn about use of keywords for search engine optimization and apply them in your content. Update your site regularly or add new webpages. Make sure to inform your prospects about the latest updates in your site. You can use newsletters to accomplish this. The Internet offers a huge source of information about just anything, make use of it. Continue to educate yourself on how to improve your website and soon you’ll find yourself successful in affiliate marketing.