Sharing all things about pet-friendly travels and full-time work from home setup

Changed my domain to mariaronabeltran dot com!

This will be the most “emotional” post I have had so far. I feel like a part of me died. I am like a kid who is crying nonstop because her favorite toy was taken away from her. My blog domain that I’ve been using for years now belongs to somebody else. My traffic is back to zero. My blog posts that are ranking one and two in google are not visible anymore. These posts are priceless to me because these are reasons that give life to my blog. I mean what is the use of a blog without readers? One of the posts also fueled me to start offering a local tour package after receiving a growing number of email inquiries. I have already attended a one day seminar on how to set- up this kind of business even in the early stages of having this registered legally. My visit to Vigan this Nov 6 – 9 will also be meeting with my partner tour guide to get to make all things clear professional-wise aside from attending an international conference on cultural tourism. I have so much, so much more plans for this blog and now I feel like all things freeze for a while!

Was my blog hacked? 
Saturday night in the office, I typed my old domain (I rather not mention now that it is not mine anymore) in the URL dropdown box of Google Chrome and a jersey online shirt based in the US showed up. At first I did not took seriously what I saw. Maybe it is just some temporary internet glitch. I opened it again after a few hours in different browsers Mozilla and IE. Same thing showed up. Sh*t! My blog was hacked! I need to contact my brother who has been responsible with all the technical stuff ever since this blog started. But it is two in the morning and he is in Malaysia! So I grabbed my smartphone and looked for any means of communication I can get hold of him : Twitter, Facebook, Gtalk, Whatsapp etc…

What really happened?
Monday I finally get hold of my brother through Gtalk. He told me to send an inquiry to Customer Support of Godaddy which is the host of where I registered my domain. Then I sent a follow up by tweeting them. They responded very prompt. The usual waiting time of 5 hours indicated in their website only took me about 20 minutes. Thanks to social media! The reason according to the email is I FAILED TO UDPATE MY CC INFO THAT JUST EXPIRED and the EMAIL under their file is I am not using anymore. I WAS NOT INFORMED AT ALL. I totally forgot about renewing this. I did not knew that for the last months my blog has been on sale without me knowing it!

Did I just let it go that fast?
I sent an email to the new owner according to the WHOIS database. Received a reply very fast but he won’t let me buy it back. He said he already bought it in a high price (did not disclose how much) and even if he agrees to sell it to me I am sure he will triple the price. I know there is nothing more I can do to get it back. Time is running I have to get my blog up. I don’t want to waste a second blaming myself or any shortcoming of the other party. So I asked my brother he said buy another domain and this time use Google Apps to host my new domain registration.

So is this the end of my blog’s traffic?
Certainly not! I am sure my blog’s new domain will take some time to be recognized by Google to start sending traffic again but I am up to the challenge. 

Any lessons learned?
I’ll be dumb if none. It is such a shame that I am holder of a 4 – year degree in Computer Science plus a 2 – year diploma in Computer Studies but I could not even run my own blog! I have been reflecting lately what could have been my life had I followed the path that I finished after college. I might be like my brother in abroad as a programmer and if you notice my previous posts are all about these reflections.

Now what?
Since this blog is now named after me, there will be changes that I am excited to blend soon. Of course the topic about our country’s heritage, culture and tourism will never be taken out from here. I will add more that I am also interested with like social media,, internet marketing, startups, freeware and any act of positive collaboration. Most of all entrepreneurship – anything that promotes anyone to setup their own business or freelancing etc. I want to feature businesses and services of those unknown people that is full of potential to be marketed to a large audience especially those that are into Filipino arts and crafts. I have been meeting and knowing a lot of entrepreneurs (most of them are foreigners) that can work location independent. I am working in the same company for seven years that requires me to work on holidays. At first I am happy I am getting paid double but lately I realize spending time with my loved ones and taking rest is priceless. I could have gained more friends, built quality relationships/professional networks and giving back through volunteering services. I have been also finding ways to get opportunities that would lead me back to anything related to my college degree. And yeah I just took a first step by joining a team of a tech website and will be very eager to tell more about it in my coming posts.

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