From comments, emails and from a list I had started earlier, here are some of the options as a Blogger you could consider for backing up your blog’s content:
The Wayback Machine at Archive.org is an amazing web feature. The idea is websites are crawled and pages that change are archived for future reference.
It is unclear if Archive.org will crawl & archive all webhosts. As far as I know WordPress.com and Blogger don’t allow services like Archive.org to crawl their main sites, under the premise that it is not possible to tell a “good Web Bot” from a bad one.
You should be able to use the service on many other hosts and if you self-host.
Though while you can Archive webpages for Free (through Archive.Org) remember it takes 6 to 8 week before it starts, always lags some months behind. Most material is not available to search for six-months from date of crawl.
URL is http://www.archive.org
Mirror Sites (Parallel Blogs)
Numerous bloggers regularly port their blog content to a fresh “storage blog” either on the same service or if possible on another service. Often they mark the new blog as not-indexed or even private.
Check your present host and potential destination hosts’ FAQs or Help files on Export/Import and Moving Your Blog for more information.
This is a fairly labor intensive process, often images & media does not move with the export, and few bloggers do this often. But it does have some use and might be part of your once-every-six-months portion of your back-up plan as another option.
Own the Server & Self-backup
Many bloggers buy hosting space, or even put you their own physical server at some point in time.
Once you have your own server the backup options are numerous – RAID hard drive setups, Tape/Cartridge Backups, Mirror Sites – many options that deserve more detail than this overview of options.
Talk with the system admins if a hosted space, and pick your own poison if your are physically going to run a server for your blog.
RSS Feed & Store
A variation of the “Email to Self” method of backing up information, several bloggers wrote that they locally archive the RSS full feeds for their blogs and periodically dump those archives onto storage media (CD ROM or Flash Drives mostly).
The plus to this system is it can be fairly automatic. The downside is most RSS feeds are not configured to pass on the images and media for your blog. It is also a “bits & pieces” collection, rather than a true restore from this database backup.
“Donate a Copy” to a Webmetrics but Persistent Archive (Google)
A variation on the RSS Feed & Store, some bloggers apparently direct their RSS to a persistent email account, like Google’s GMail, or save copies in Google Docs.
These types of “free storage” opportunities have a could shortcomings – your data is open to their webmetric indexing as part of your agreement, you have to just “trust them” that your data will remain online, and if you go dormant for a period they may stop retaining your data.
Paid-For Archival Service (Carbonite , Bloggled)
A number of emails & comments mention pay-services to back up your blog. The on-line archival options, like the popular Carbonite, focus on doing file or disk backup, and as far as their on-line documentation showed, they do not have any back-up options tailored to blogs.
New are a few blog back-up services. Blogger Blogs can be backed up up Bloggled and there has been an on-again/off-again demo of an archival service for WordPress hosted blogs.
Laize Faire & Burn the Fields
Several Bloggers regularly erase & start again, considering their blogs as transient writings, rather than as material suitable for archiving.
One wonders if that is really what they are saying, as most do seem to keep backups of their work, periodically reissuing and/or recycling the best of their work.
They do gain an opportunity to disappear their worst writing, touch up the stuff in the middle, and promote their finest, by cleaning out their on-line presentation periodically.
If it Isn’t in Print, It simply Isn’t
One correspondent wrote that unless it is printed out on paper and stored in his file cabinet, that in his mind it was “temporary” information.
Not certain how he indexes his saved work, and it certainly isn’t really a backup if you would have to retype every letter & word.
But he will have a copy if the net is down and if the power is out.
A variation on this theme is some of the backup services are offering a print-to-book, where they help you move your blog content into a printed book.
There is a part of almost every one of these ideas that appeals, and a different risk-mitigation provided by each one.
It would seem a strong tailor combination of strategies would very much protect your blog.
Please email or leave comments with more ideas, and check back in the next days for a list of backup ideas for the reader’s of blogs.