If you're still googling "what happened to Linda Ikeji Blog", don't stress yourself. It was deleted on 8th of October, 2014 by Google; owner of www.blogger.com / www.blogspot.com; the free blogging platform she was using for the blog before it disappeared from the web.
There were rumors everywhere that LIB was deleted by Google because of copyright infringements. I read at different sites that one @MrAyeDee and some other brands filed DCMA complaints against her which might have triggered the Blogger's Spam-prevention robot to delete the blog.
Good news is that, the blog has been restored after a manual review, just 24hours after it was deleted. Although it's back online but there are lessons I hope Bloggers will learn from this.
1. Don't Use Other People Content Without Permission
Be it an article, image, music etc, do not post it on your blog without seeking permission from the owner. If you've been doing that, please STOP.
Google can delete your Blogger blog, disable your Adsense account, delist your blog from Google search if found guilty. If your blog is on WordPress, your host can suspend or delete your account too. You can even be sued. +Sisi Yemmie recently shared on her blog, how she almost got sued for not crediting the source of a photo she used on her blog. So, say NO to plagiarism (intellectual theft).
As you can see from the screenshot below, Linda has learnt her lesson and promised not to use images without giving credit.
2. Always Back Up Your Blog
Whether your blog is hosted on Blogger or WordPress, always back up your blog. Anything can happen to your blog anytime.
Nairaland lost alot of content when attacked recently because the owner didn't have an up to date back up. When my blog was deleted by Blogger last year October, I couldn't instantly move to WordPress because I didn't have an up to date back up too but have learnt my lesson since then.
If you are on Blogger and you have an up to date back up, you can easily restore your content on a new blog if Blogger deletes your blog. If on WordPress and hackers strike or host suspends you, you can restore your blog easily too on another host if you have a back up.
3. Get A Custom Domain For Your Blogspot Blog
If you're serious with your blogspot blog and hope to make it big, ensure you get a custom domain for the blog as soon as possible. If you wait till it gets popular, the sharp guys out there might have purchased the good names you can use before you know whatz up.
Cyber-squatters are everywhere these days. You might have to break the bank to get the domain names of your choice from them if they register them before you do, something you might have done with less than $15.
LIB is a victim of cyber-squatting. Even though I registered Ogbongeblog.com for Ogbongeblog.blogspot.com, I ensured I also registered www.jideogunsanya.com before the sharp guys get it done for me.
If you check TechCabal's list of squatters who own Linda ikeji domain names, you might be wondering why she hasn't acquire at least one of those names before those squatters acquired them.
If you have set up a custom domain for your blogspot blog and blogger deletes your blog, you can use the domain name for a new blog and your readers will still be able to find you. This won't be possible if you are using a .blogspot address by the time the blog gets deleted because you don't have any control over the .blogspot address.
If you have a custom domain in place, you can make visitors to the blog see an "under construction" page. Even if you don't do that, readers will see a 404 page like the screenshot below:
instead of this:
So, wise up.
You can change from .blogspot to .com here.
4. Don't Ignore Warnings
If you receive complaints via email, On Facebook, Twitter etc about some copied content on your blog, please, do not ignore. You don't know who is who.
In as much as you know that you got the content somewhere, even if not from the site of the person that contacted you, delete the content or link back if that's what the person wants. Never wait till Google or your host do the needful. You might not be lucky as Linda Ikeji.
5. Never Stop Learning
Just because your blog is growing fast or you are making alot of money from it doesn't mean you should stop learning. No one knows it all. Relate with fellow Bloggers, join groups like Bloggerslab and don't ignore blogging tips been shared across the web.
I was surprised when I discovered that Linda didn't back up her blog even at a time she was under threat of DCMA complaints. Bloggers like me would have advised her to do so if she seek for advice at Bloggerslab or other online communities for bloggers.
Another top Nigerian gossip blog was hacked last year because the owner fell for a phishing scam. Many still fall for it and there is no way such bloggers will fall for those cheap tricks if they are have been following online discussions about phishing tricks.
So, instead of using all the time you've got to be combing the web for gossips, spend part of it to learn. Just my two cents.
6. Don't Ignore TOS
Every online service has terms to abide with. Pls, always stick to the rules. Just because Blogger A is posting nasty things without his/her blog been deleted doesn't mean yours cannot be deleted. You might not be lucky. Be guided.
Well, these are the lessons I can come up with for now. If you have contributions to make, kindly share via comments.
Please, share this with friends.