The fateful day started with a morning that marked a month since the launch of my new blog. A blog that had ten posts and few visits per day.
On that morning I woke up and went on to sit in front of my laptop. This is my usual routine. I check all the updates, reply to comments (if there are any), and so on. Everybody knows how much there is to be done in the initial days of a blog’s life.
Phase 1: disaster!
On that day I started my laptop, clicked on the shortcut, and bang!
I was greeted by a white box on a big red screen, shouting “Warning!” in big, bold letters. A small description indicated that Google had detected counter-WordPress malware on my blog.
Distributing malware? I hadn’t even been distributing ebooks!
That was enough to start the morning. I closed the browser and called my office to inform them that they weren’t going to see me that day.
I took a deep breath and a morning tea with the newspaper. After that, I started googling the malware, and searching for a process to clean it from my site. I found a lot of information on Google, along with a few helpful threads on WordPress support forums. I collected all the information and went about the process of cleaning my blog, which took around seven hours of hard work.
I was able to clean my site and store it to its original state, though I admit a lack of activity on my blog at the time also helped in my case. This was the worst day of my blog in its short life. But it didn’t end there…
Phase 2: giving back
I was feeling pretty angry about what happened, and I had only a handful of posts on my new blog—there were plenty of others who had much more at stake, and were going through the same process.
Once my blog was clean, I dug into it further, to check the source of the attack, and what scripts had been run on my blog. I shared details on the WordPress support forum.
Inspired, I decided to help other people like me. I created a guide explaining the process for removing the malware on my blog. Then I went back to WordPress support forum to help people.
As it happened, that guide ended up ranking number three on Google for some crucial keywords, right after the WordPress support forum threads. It brought a lot of new people to my blog. That guide is still a good source of traffic for me, and varies between third and eighth rank on Google. I’ve also been able to create few other posts to which I drive traffic from that post.
So at the end of the day, because I refused to quit, and showed an urge to help others, I gained a lot from my blog’s worst day:
- A post that’s appearing on the first page of Google.
- A couple of post to which I am able to drive traffic more deeply into my blog.
- A handful of email subscriptions—a good thing for a starter blog!
- A few backlinks to my blog from other sources.
And on top of these benefits, I have this post on ProBlogger only because of that day.
So if you keep yourself calm and keep your eyes on opportunities, you can end up converting your worst day to a great day for your blog.
What have you got from your worst day as a blogger? Share with us through the comments.
Sanjeev currently owns two blogs and writes to make the Web world a better place, and help others to use it and get something out of it. You can check his blog Make Web World or get his RSS feed here.