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Dig a Hole, Bury Your Bones!

By Sean Wu
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2005

As you may have heard, "The Money is in the List." It has been a widely accepted fact that in order to be successful online, you've got to have your own opt-in mailing list.

While the subject of successfully building a mailing list has been widely covered and discussed, it is surprising that very few ever mention about how to protect your hard-earned list.

Anyone who has been building a responsive mailing list for sometime will definitely recognize the time and effort that must be sacrificed in order to obtain thousands of subscribers. For new list builders, sometimes getting a few hundred subscribers means weeks of late nights and consistent promotional efforts.

Why then, do I always hear news about successful list owners losing their entire subscriber base due to a crash on the servers hosting their lists?

Recently, I've heard news of a successful list builder who have been building his list for over 5 years that lost his entire 10,000+ subscriber base due to an unrecoverable crash on the server his list was hosted on.

While the idea of losing 10,000+ subscribers almost overnight sends a spine tingling shiver through the backs of most list builders, I rarely observe list owners making constant efforts to backup their lists. In most cases, it is only when they've heard about other people's tragedy that they run out and utilize the "backup" function on their listservers.

A targeted, highly-responsive mailing list can be the most valuable asset for anybody's online business. Hence, I would expect successful list owners to guard their lists like a dog guarding its bone.

Dogs often dig holes in the ground and bury their treasured bones to keep them safe. Similarly, we list owners should also constantly utilize the backup function on our listservers (or manually backup on our own if such a function is unavailable) to retrieve our valuable list of emails and bury them somewhere safe.

This goes for ALL important data, including your website, articles that you have written, important passwords, and anything of value that you don't want to lose.

If you have an extra hard drive, a CD-writer, or one of those not-so-popular 100 MB disk drives, now is your chance to put it to use! Provided that your backup device has not already rusted or rotted from ages of dust, having a backup in hand is always better than nothing.

Backup your important files as frequently as possible as you will never know when something terrible will happen to your treasured mailing list, website, or hard drive. As lazy as I am, I do it AT LEAST once every two weeks.

Don't count on your webhost or list hosting company to backup your data for you; do it for your own peace of mind.

To be successful online (and that includes being a good mailing list builder), we must learn to be a BIG DOG. And BIG DOGS always bury their bones in the safest of places.

About the Author:
Sean Wu is the founder of, a newly launched website aimed at helping people make money online. To check out his site that's JAM-PACKED with incredible online money-making tips, FREE E-books, and profitable secrets, visit:



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