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Post image for As a Blogger or Brand, Why is Continuity Important?

Having just completed my 7th year of blogging, I have learned quite a lot. What started for me as simply a way to both help people and provide insights on a variety of topics, now has become part of my life and my persona. As my website has matured, I have uncovered nuances and patterns along the way, but I always seem to circle back to a few key words or phrases that drive my passion and my content: be helpful, be insightful, be humorous and be consistent. Some of these things I do better than others, but I do believe that it is important to adhere to goals and guidelines to drive your success personally or professionally.

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But there is also another critical word that drives my writing passion and that propels me to move my website beyond being “just a blog” to being a business and a lifestyle: continuity. And there are two sides to this one word. There is the side that I’m directly in control of and responsible for and there is the side that is fairly dependent on external forces.

As a parent of 3 girls, I have learned that the 4 phrases I mentioned earlier (helpful, insightful, humorous and consistency) govern much of my parenting. As parents, one of our primary goals is to ensure that our children are prepared to tackle a (hopefully) wonderful world of opportunities in front of them. We do this through education, activities and love. One of the most critical things that my father outlined to me long ago as I embarked on being a parent, was to be consistent. There is nothing harder to understand as a child (or even and adult) than someone or something that is inconsistent. This is very different than change. Change is good when the timing is appropriate and when the opportunity is right. Consistency, however, directly affects confidence and inner strength and you want to adhere to providing your children a leveled playing field when they are developing.

When it comes to writing a blog or producing content in general, consistency plays right along with developing your theme or passion or niche. If you are passionate about writing articles about knitting sweaters for cats, do your best to consistently write about that. Sure, it’s fine to deviate occasionally or expand your subject mater. But remember your audience as well as they are like your children. Don’t throw curve balls unless you are willing to weave it all back into your general content strategy (if you actually have one).

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Post image for Ice for Xmas, Kid Failure, Modern Holiday Songs, Santa Believer, Holiday Spam List, 12 Gifts Not to Give & More from Babble.com

As I mentioned earlier, I’m now doing a daily article on Babble.com’s new “Dadding” site. Since I feel that there is actually some of my better humorous content over there, I thought it would make sense to share the content with my HighTechDad readers.

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I’m going to start these regular weekly recaps with a full monthly summary of all of my posts. From here forward, it will most likely just be a weekly recap. Below is a list from newest to oldest. If there are any that you particularly like, let me know and be sure to share them on Facebook, Twitter or Google+!

Here are the article titles and a quick summary:

I’m Giving My Kids “Nothing” for Christmas!
The best gift or present that you can give this Holiday Season is Nothing!

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As I mentioned in my last article, I have started doing some writing for Man of the House (MotH), a “real man’s magazine”. While I don’t have a regular schedule of when content is pushed to the site, I wanted to do a post that summarizes my first articles there. Moving forward, I will periodically have some more updates on content over there.

Do you want to learn more about Man of the House? Take a look at their About page.

Man of the House is the real man’s magazine, a guide for the jack of all trades trying to be better – at work and at home, as a father and as a husband. Men’s roles have changed in a generation. Fatherhood is different. Marriage is different. Careers and finances are different. Even the oil your dad taught you to change is different. Man of the House is about men helping other men become better men. We’re here for the man who wears a dozen hats and worries about losing his hair.

There are well over 30 featured contributors providing a wide range of content. Please spend some time over there. It’ll be worth it. [click to continue…]

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htd_wordpress_jailRecently, some high-profile blogs that are running WordPress have been hacked or hijacked by malicious users (e.g., TechCrunch). The worst thing is having to try to recover from such an event, you not only have to repair your site, but also your reputation. So, spending a little bit of time trying to prevent or at least make it a bit more difficult for a hacker to take over your WordPress blog is time worth investing.

I have had my fair share of my blogs (both work and personal) getting attacked (denial of service attack, hidden iFrames in my code, SQL injections and my server repeatedly being hit with brute force SSH login attempts from overseas). I have learned a lot from over 5 years of blogging, however I am by far no expert in the security field. But, what I can do is provide a growing list of tricks and tips as well as plugs that you can use to make your WordPress blog a bit more secure. This is not an exhaustive list nor have I personally implemented everything that is on here. I simply wanted to provide a list of items that you can do that may make your blog a bit more difficult to crack. Some security is better than no security, in my opinion. If a bot or hacker spends too much time trying to get in, they will hopefully move on to find something different and easier.

A Word of Warning: Do note, having many plugins running will degrade the performance of your WordPress blog. Some of the plugins run only on demand while others are present and running all of the time, so your mileage may vary. Also, some of these plugins might not work well together. Lastly, a few of the items below require you to have SSH access to your WordPress environment or server. You may have restrictions in place by your hosting provider as well.

The List of WordPress Blog Security Measures

  1. Do Regular Backups – back up not only your database regularly but also be sure to take a full copy of your entire WordPress directory. A great WP Database backup plugin is “WP-DBManager“. What I do is run a DB backup and then do a complete file backup since the DB backup is within your WP directory and will be copied when you download.
  2. Scan Your Files for Oddities – I wrote a post on how you can scan a local copy of your WordPress files to find code injections or iFrame. There are also some plugins that can help with that like “WordPress Exploit Scanner” or “AntiVirus“.
  3. Change Your Password – make it something difficult to figure out. Don’t use numbers in place of letters because everybody does that. Use special characters.
  4. Rename Your Admin User – there are a couple of ways to do this. You can do some MySQL commands to do it or you can use a plugin to do it for you. Either go into a MySQL manager like phpMyAdmin and rename the user “admin” to something else, or run a command like:
    update tableprefix_users set user_login='newuser' where user_login='admin';

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Announcing the New HighTechDad iPhone Application

December 29, 2009

A few weeks ago, a friend pointed out a new site to me called MotherApp. They claimed to take the pain and time lag out of creating applications for mobile devices. The MotherApp site lists three different services that they provide: Client Services – where they claim to be able to develop custom applications in […]

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Blog Optimization…it’s WAY too SLOW!

December 27, 2007

I use a couple of 3rd party monitoring sites including site24x7.com and mon.itor.us to check to ensure my blog is up and running. Over the past few days, I have only had a 94% uptime on my blog (according to site24x7.com) and this concerns me. I had personally experienced issues (e.g., not being able to […]

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Anniversary: 2 years of Blogging!

November 2, 2007

I can’t believe that I have been blogging for (only) two years. Tomorrow will be the 2 year anniversary of this incredibly information-filled post. I think that I have progressed a lot with the quality of my posts. Blogging has really become a passion for me, as I tried to quickly articulate on Blog Action […]

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