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Freelance Writers Need A Backup Strategy For Everything – Guest Post

websites and blogs for freelance writersA guest post by Wes Burns

Experienced freelancers probably already understand the importance of backing up their work, but newbies in the game should take note. It is absolutely vital that you back up all your work. And when I say all your work, I mean ALL of it. Don’t just back up your latest documents or half-finished articles. You need to keep copies of everything forever.

First of all, it’s just the professional thing to do. For example, I did a bunch of work for a client back in 2007 and thought nothing of it. Two years later, that client e-mailed me asking if I had copies of those old documents. That client had lost everything and was hoping against hope that I backed everything up.

And you know what – I did. I had everything stored in my Dropbox folder and was able to recover those files for that client in minutes. That client was pleasantly surprised and loved me to death for keeping such thorough backups. This situation gave me a good chance to showcase my professionalism.

Another good reason to back up your work is for protection. If there is ever a dispute down the line regarding payment, content theft or anything along those lines, you have copies that you can recover for proof. The more backups you have, the easier it is to make your case.

Additionally, long term backups give you a chance to showcase your talent down the road. You might not think about these things right now, but careers do change. If you ever get into some other writing gig or would just like to show off your skills, you can bring up old content that you wrote years ago. This is especially important for ghost writers who don’t get credited for their work.

How to Back Up Your Work

I’m a big fan of online file storage as a backup method. It’s a simple method to back up your files because it works automatically in the background. It’s also secure because it creates physical distance between your original files and the backup copies.

There are two services in particular that stand out for their simplicity and cost:

Dropbox: Dropbox is a cool program that syncs your files between multiple computers while also keeping a copy of your files stored on the cloud. You can link multiple computers to your Dropbox account and every file that you save in your special Dropbox folder will be synced across every computer that you own.

Free Dropbox accounts give you 2 GB of storage space and paid accounts start out at $9.99 per month for 50 GB. You don’t get much storage space for the money, but the file syncing does come in handy. If you need more space, you might want to consider Carbonite instead.

Learn more here

Carbonite: Carbonite is a simpler and much cheaper backup solution. Carbonite does not provide file syncing, but it does give you unlimited storage space for a flat $59 per year. Just install the Carbonite software on your computer and it will automatically back up everything on your hard drive on a regular schedule.

The nice thing about Carbonite is that it backs up everything on your computer. You don’t have to store your files in special folders like you do with Dropbox. This solution is cheap and effective. It’s not as feature-rich as Dropbox, but it’s simple, cheap and effective.

Learn more here

I would also recommend you make occasional local backups of your documents. Get an external hard drive or USB flash drive and copy your files over once every few weeks. That way, you have an additional copy of your backups that you control at home. This combination of online and offline backup provides maximum protection for all your work.

How do you back up? I love Carbonite and you’ll find a banner square for it on the right below the fold.

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Besides listening to Music on an MP3 Player, or to Teleseminar Replay’s a lot of such Player’s can also be used as a Portable Harddisk where you can store a lot of data on.

    That’s also the reason that on several of my Blogs I (pre) sell them.
    HP van Duuren recently posted..What Do You Think About My Book Review?My Profile

  • Brandon C

    The info you give is a great reminder to backup everything correctly. I don’t want to be picky but some of your terminology, layout and usage of links shows, to me, that you don’t have a good grasp of how to write articles.

    I was out after the first sentence “Experienced freelancers probably already understand the importance of backing up their work, but newbies in the game should take note”

  • Michael Davis

    One benefit of saving your files on Dropbox though is that you can revert to previous versions that have been stored in their servers up to a maximum of 30 days. What’s more, if you upgrade to a paid version of Dropbox, that limit will be waived. That means you can perform an unlimited number of “undos” until you find the version you want to revert to.
    Michael Davis recently posted..מחשוב ענן 2My Profile

  • I use an external hard drive. I thought about using an online program, but I wasn’t sure about the security. Then again, I guess that’s a moot point if I use social media websites, email, etc.
    Amandah recently posted..How to Hire the Right Ghost Writer for Your Projects by Asking Simple QuestionsMy Profile

    • I’m not sure there’s anything online that’s secure… but Carbonite seems to do a decent job… I lean on Leo Laporte – http://techguylabs.com/ – for recommendations. I listen to him often on the weekends

  • I have a host of different backup solutions I have used over the years. Norton 360 includes some backup space (2GB, I believe). I use that for personal files.

    I have emailed myself copies of files and used Google Docs, SkyDrive, and Dropbox.

    The one thing I never thought to backup was my email. When my site was hacked recently, we had to go back 2 months to get a clean copy of the site. But, that meant everything was gone — email, site changes, and so on. Since then, I set an automatic forwarder for my email. It goes to a Gmail account so I can have easy access if anything ever happens to my site again. Of course, this is why many people keep their email and site hosting separate in the first place…
    Jennifer Roland recently posted..Get More, Higher-Paying Writing Gigs by Taking Good Care of Your SourcesMy Profile

    • Two months! Ouch! Sounds like you’ve got a decent solution working now.

  • Shannon Brock

    You are absolutely right. Saving copies on backup folder is essential for every freelance writer. Its very important for them. Also its very important to me. I think Dropbox is great to store backup folders. I want to use Dropbox. Thanks for this great post.
    Shannon Brock recently posted..http://www.elinformedavid.comMy Profile

    • The reason I like Carbonite so much is it does the backup automatically… I don’t have to remember to back up.

  • This is such an important point. I recently had a house fire and lost two computers and a flash drive, but I did have an online backup service through Mozy so I was able to recover a lot of my files.
    Valerie recently posted..How Do You Become a Perfect Website Content Writer?My Profile

    • I understand Mozy works well too. Sorry about your house!

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