What should you do to create a successful website?
I’m sure a lot of corporate big wigs will say, their brand will sell. True, but what about the small time freelancer and work at home mom? You know you need a website to improve your brand, but what to do. After all, this make money online thing is only for the techie guys.
I’m here to confess that I have no idea how computers work. I started typing way after I had left the university of Nairobi……..long long ago. Most of the successful blog owners I know don’t have a clue about coding or computers. I promise you that 90% of your clients on iWriter and Freelancer only know how to move a mouse and type on a keyboard. So tuko pamoja (we are equal).
But they build regular incomes and massive incomes too. So how do they do it?
- Perform Good Keyword Research
- Get a Domain name
- Get hosting
- Set up the Website
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO ??????
- Social Media marketing
- Rank and Earn
Just incase you are of the mindset that this only works for freelancers and bloggers in Kenya. Take a sit. These steps are more important if you already have a website and are the IT specialist in your company.
Unfortunately the bigger you get, the more of this process you have to perform and I’ll explain that to members of my newsletter.
#1 KEYWORD RESEARCH
I know it may come as a surprise to you, but this is step 1. You never want to start anything before you know where you are going. It’s like leaving your house in the morning. When you get to the bus stop, you would look very silly if you were asked where you were going, and you answered “sijui” (I don’t know).
Keyword research can be very basic or extremely convoluted. It all depends on your market and the stage of your website. If your site is new, you should take a week doing this before you start getting overly excited about making money online.
If your website is older and you have some rankings, then its a bit easier to leverage on the statistics you have. However, if its already over 1 year and you have had no income from it, its a lot tougher than someone who started out.
Keyword research is also never ending. Unless…..
What you are looking to do is:
- Find search terms that have a lot of visitors
- Find search terms that have low competition
It’s really that simple. How you take advantage of these results depends on whether you want make money from advertising or you are trying to dominate your market online.
Word of advise: If you only find 5 keywords to work with, you need to work just a little harder.
STEP #2 BUY A DOMAIN NAME
Only when you have finished your keyword research should you move to getting a domain name.
Ok I know you have already bought your domain name and it has your company brand. That’s ok. But trust me, if you want to compete online, you will need more domains…..pssst Google doesn’t want you to know that. But its true and all the big American Brands do it. So should you.
Now, if you have your domain name on wordpress.com or blogspot.com or tumblr.com please copy this and save it
GET YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME
If you had the money to build your own house, would you go and build it in your neighbors plot or yours?
Every time you put an article on blogspot or wordpress eg alexmaina.wordpress.com, you are making money for them. Not you. Did you know that at any time you can wake up and find that website gone. And there is no Hague for websites.
A domain name costs about ksh. 1000 – ksh. 1500 yearly. If you are serious about internet marketing, don’t buy that beer end month. But your domain name.
You have two choices when buying it:
- Buy a branded domain name – eg Google, Yahoo, Rupu, Jumia. Please if your company name is wangari waithero otoyo and family brothers limited, that will not sound very nice online. You will have to buy two domain names for your internet marketing campaigns.
- Buy a keyword based domain name – They say it is no longer a good thing. I say, search for masai mara and tell me who’s on top.
If your goal is to make money online in Kenya, you will be buying domain names often. You will buy both types of domains. If you are an SEO company, you had better be a genius at buying domain names for your clients. If you haven’t, then start looking for another career as some other SEO guys will find out and they will beat your client.
STEP #3 HOSTING YOUR WEBSITE
We have dedicated a full 12 hours in our online training program on website setup and hosting. There is a reason for this.
Many business fail online because of going for cheap hosting. The first way you know that you have poor quality hosting is someone telling you, they have unlimited anything.
I hate to burst your bubble, the only thing that is unlimited on this earth is the love of God.
That is a gimmick which should make you keep away from it. Now on a personal note. I don’t say bad things about businesses. But if I’m running a website for the purposes of marketing my business, I would never buy Godaddy Hosting. You can email me and I’ll tell you why. But if you are attracted by sumptous women on the front page, to everyone their own.
If you are on wordpress.com or blogspot.com, again let me spell it out for you
Move Your Hosting to Your Own
It doesn’t matter if you already have your website on those two sites. Move now or forever leave the make money online business alone. If the only reason you are not moving is because you don’t have the funds, I’m going to make you an offer.
If you buy your domain name, I will move your current WordPress or blogspot to your new hosting company FREE.
If the hosting is too expensive, Nairobihost has agreed to host our newsletter members 6 months FREE. All you have to do is pay for the first 6 months.
Now my services for moving all your content are FREE to you. I’m in a good mood.
Just join the newsletter below and find out how over the weekend.
STEP #4 BUILD YOUR WEBSITE
I know a lot of websites are built using Joomla in Kenya. That’s just fine. However, I’m here to state with certainty that WordPress is better for the internet marketer. Why? I don’t have time on this post.
Learn how to setup your own website. I know you think it is rocket science. It isn’t. It’s the easiest thing you have ever done. I can tell you that I have trained women over the age of 60yrs to build their websites in Kenya. I have also seen someone who has never used a computer go buy a laptop and build his own site within 3 days. These are true stories.
And yes, their websites rank for their keywords.
So get that fear out of your head. Creating a website takes all of 5 minutes.
STEP #5: GOOD ON-PAGE SEO
This is what separates you from every other “I want to be rich” type. After you create your website, and you have good keywords, you have finished half this step. If you jump to this step last, you will have to repeat everything else above. Sad but true.
On-page SEO is also easy to learn. A good website with good seo can out rank anyone worldwide. As I have said before, always start with the easy stuff. As your website grows and your appetite grows with it, you will learn more powerful methods of internet marketing.
This is especially important for the many freelancers who have created their own websites for article writing and other services. You need to learn how to bring people to your site not always having to go to compete for jobs on freelancer with the $1 Indian writer.
To help you understand how difficult your market is, I’ve attached the quick keyword analysis I did below. Use the previous article on keyword research to get an understanding of this market.
What the results are saying for you is. I with all the knowledge I have in SEO, would find it hard to rank for those keywords. The keyword difficulty for all those keywords is above 50. That is a no go zone for me. Now what makes you think that your 3 page blog on WordPress from the eBook you bought is going to help you?
The knowledge of basic SEO is recommended. So that if you decide to outsource that to someone, you at least have a clue of what is going on.
STEP #6 OFF-PAGE SEO
No one can live without friends. Your friends introduce you to better opportunities. That is when they take time off from talking behind your back.
Off-page SEO is all about getting your website noticed. Why do people do it. Because it works. The good news for you is, if you do the first 5 steps religiously, this step is not all that necessary. I just said that to avoid manual reviews by Google employees.
The problem with most off-page SEO gurus is that, they get links like this.
This is a real example of a company with a website that is ranking in page 1 in the farming niche in Kenya. So for a quick explanation this is what off-page seo is about.
If your friends are the sort that go drink on Friday and come back on Monday just before office hours, you will have a problem trying to get married in a God fearing family. Link building is the same. If you get links from bad websites, then we shall all think you are as bad or even worse.
In the case above, the link building that was done here is to a farming website. But look at the column that says, anchor texts. Their anchor texts are telling search engines that their website is about 3B payday loans, mold remediation, mold removal companies etc.
I did not want to tell them that come December, the money they are paying for SEO would have been put to better use helping Kim Kardashian buy a new dress.
On a side note. Yes a good SEO company can spy on the links of the competitors. You should too. haha.
STEP # 7 SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
No. Not the customer service type. That you leave to PR firms. Social Media marketing for ranking and authority building purposes. I actually created my first Facebook account in 2012. I just couldn’t understand it. Why would I care about my pics online. I love privacy more.
Now I have a number. Purely for the sake of driving traffic to projects I’m thinking about doing 6 months from now. Again concentrating on Facebook and being a member of #KOT, must serve a purpose. Did you know that you can drive more targeted traffic to your website through Pinterest and Tumblr than Facebook and Twitter combined? Did you know that if you are a marketer, G+ is mandatory? Did you know that if you are branding, your first point of call should be LinkedIn and not Facebook?
Those are the challenges when deciding which route to take to market your blog or online business. Choose one or two and stick to them. You choose the one that has the profile of the people you would like to see your products.
For example, if I’m in the news business, Twitter is perfect. If I’m in the wedding or cakes niche, Pinterest is absolutely essential. If I’m in the photos and adult business, Tumblr is mandatory. If I’m in the business of just entertaining people for the sake of it, Facebook is perfect. Ok, the last one was a joke.
Choose wisely and market aggressively. In many instances the choice of your social media network can bring you more traffic than pure SEO. And that’s a good thing.
STEP #8 RANK AND EARN
You should have known before you started how you were going to monetize the traffic that came to your site. There are many ways to monetize your website. Adsense, Traffic networks, advertising space, selling products, selling services. The list is endless.
I know you didn’t start your online business journey just to wear a T-Shirt that says, “I know Internet. He’s my friend”. You wanted to make an income. So monetize aggressively.
The best monetisation comes when you are ranking for keywords. Trust me, its a sweet feeling to get a cheque from a website you forgot existed. Very sweet feeling. It’s so sweet you want to do it again. That’s where we move to step 9
STEP #9 REPEAT
For every keyword, take it through this process. For every website, the same process. Repeat again and again. That is how people earn $200 a day from their sites 1 year after starting them. They repeat the good stuff and avoid repeating mistakes.
Anyone who ever told you that you just wake up and earn money online was lying to you. The people online probably work harder than anyone else. But the rewards are endless. Once your website hits the $10 a day stage, the rest becomes simply maintaining and scaling on your idea.
Wow. Can’t believe I’ve written all that.
But that’s the truth and the whole truth about starting your website online. You can decide to follow the above or you can join the ones who say, hii mambo ya internet ni scam. (internet marketing is a scam).
If you have already started and need some more tips, just write to me and I’ll try and help you out. Or join the newsletter below. We shall be taking a real website and a real case study and following it for the next 12 months. From start to finish. We shall compare it to owning a cow after the 12 months. haha.