The Power of Understanding and Solving Problems

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post: Find A Small Problem, Provide A Simple Solution.

Many have made money and built reputations by solving problems. Doctors cure the suffering of illness, psychiatrists help heal the troubled mind, lawyers protect names from being tarnished, consultants offer marketing advice and a dazzling array of products help to remove any inconvenience you might possibly encounter in your daily life.

Many people are solving problems. They’re all offering solutions to people who need them. Some are giving them away for free. Others are selling them for a price. When problem and solution is a perfect fit, a relationship of trust is built between two parties. If this helps me now, it might help me again. If this solves my problem, it might solve my friend’s problem too.

There’s a connection. The problem solver becomes more popular as more problems are solved for more people. Every time you solve a problem in a way that’s better than others, you add undeniable value to the person in need. After performing a search engine query on a topic, what pages do you bookmark? The ones that offer you the best possible solution.

As a business or website owner, you have to face the challenge of getting people to consume what you’re offering, be it free content on your blog, a piece of merchandise or premium service. You’ll have compete with other problem solvers in the market. Other blogs, other companies in the same field, other service providers. All offering different solutions.

For instance, there are many different products to solve the problem of dirty dishes. A plethora of different washing fluids, sponges, machines and racks. In most scenarios, there are more solutions than there are problems. Solutions themselves become problems to be solved.

Most of the time problem-solvers are already engaging your target audience but that doesn’t mean you should stay away. There’s always room for another solution, especially when its one that addresses the problem with more elegance, more force, more precision or more style.

First, identify the problems facing your target audience. Go deep into the user-generated recesses of the web: monitor forums, social networking websites, blogs and places where people interact and talk online. Understand the problem more deeply than your competitor. Go after nuance. Absorb feedback on current solutions. Know what they want but isn’t available.

Then, create a solution that builds on the flaws of other solutions. Or one that completely circumvents the existing paradigm by addressing the problem from a different angle, using different methodology or a combination of existing solutions. Be daring and creative.

Try going wider for broader appeal or swim in narrower channels to reach hardcore fans in order to gain a support base. The same applies to online publications like blogs on specific topics. What problems do your readers have? How are you solving them with your content? If solutions already exist elsewhere, how can you do better so you’ll be the go-to site?

Nobody is able to constantly solve problems in the best possible way to please every single person. All solutions have flaws because consumers evolve. People are also going to look elsewhere because of boredom. But understanding exactly what problems and solutions are out there, allows you to better score points or gain favor with any audience.

Source: DoshDosh.

Find A Small Problem, Provide A Simple Solution

Here’s the story of a young guy in Mexico who started his own small business immediately after college and has now moved from his bedroom to his own office, bought furniture, computers and has a substantial amount saved up.

He studied mechanical engineering in uni and after graduating, he decided to start a small business since he had some experience building websites. He noticed that small business owners wanted to do online marketing but they had little idea of how to do it. So he started offering a very simple service of charging companies to handle their Google Adsense (Google’s advertising product). In as little as 4 months, he had achieved impressive sales.

Sounds nice and simple, eh? That’s the moral of the story. Sometimes we try to think up these elegant and complex business ideas when all we need to do is find a small problem and provide a simple solution.

Come on, this is something you can do, right now. What are you waiting for?

If you want to get rich, stop joking around

This is an article adapted from If you want to get rich, stop being a fucking joker.

99% of people you interact with in life are jokers. You’re used to joker behavior.

We’re all middle class. That sucks. We should be wealthy. But to be wealthy, we need to NOT BE JOKERS.

What’s a joker? A joker is someone who says they’re going to do something, and then doesn’t. A joker always has excuses. “Oh well, I tried…” -> No, I don’t care that you tried. Did you do it or not?

DID YOU DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU’D DO OR NOT?

If not, you’re a joker.

We will find a way. Or make one.” – Hannibal Barca, 247 BC – 182 BC

That’s my favorite quote. Hannibal is one of my greatest heroes.

He almost conquered Rome. He could have, actually, if he’d been willing to have all his men die to do so, but he loved his men too much so he didn’t do it. Think about that! The man almost conquered Rome!

There’s so many stories of him doing the impossible. Breaking out of ambushes, setting crazy fires, marching elephants through the Alps to invade the Italian Peninsula… dude, he took ELEPHANTS from Africa and MARCHED THEM THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS INTO ROME.

The Romans thought Hannibal had the FORCES OF HELL ON HIS SIDE. Why? Because of that quote: “We will find a way. Or make one.”

Look. When something doesn’t get done, there’s always a good reason. Yeah, you’ve got your job. Or you’ve got to go some class. Or the server crashed. Or whatever!

I don’t care. No one does. You need to get your part done. FIND A WAY. OR MAKE ONE.

An Experiment in Kenyan Movies Part 2 – SEO

You guys remember our very recent project in Kenyan movies? We thought we’d share everything that we’re doing for the site – it will be more fun that away, ama? Also, hopefully one of our Like Chapaa readers can learn something. What follows, therefore, is a discussion on how we’re trying to market the site through search engine optimization.

Now, one of the best ways to get visitors to your website is to ensure that when people search on Google, they find you. For us, we want people to find us when they google “Kenyan movies”.

The SEO Strategy
Step one was to estimate the expected traffic using the Google Adwords Keyword tool. This tool gives an estimate of how many people search for a particular word/phrase on Google every month. It can be used to estimate how many people you can expect to be searching for your website. The tool also gives you ideas on other key words and phrases that are related and which you should/could also target.

We found that about 8,100 people search for “Kenyan movies” on Google every month. Now, this is an extremely small number. This could mean that very few people are interested in Kenyan movies (which is probably true). This is just sad for our movies industry. Sigh.

However, this can be viewed more positively a such: it is probably going to be quite easy (relatively) to dominate this keyword on Google and get to the number one spot in the search results pages.

Also, there are other related keywords/phrases such as free kenyan movies online, kenyan movie stars, kenyan movies online, kenya tv, kenya video and so on. Collectively these push the number of monthly searches to well over 50,000. A good figure – yes?

So the strategy for us would be to dominate search results for “Kenyan Movies” and then target the other keywords one by one.

What happens when you are at number one in the search results pages? It is important to be number one because the site listed at number on in Google search results usually gets upwards of 90% of the people who search. For example, if we rise to number one for “Kenyan Movies” we should expect 16,200 visitors (90% of 18,000) to our website every month. If we rise to number one in the search results pages for multiple keywords/phrases then our site’s visitors increase dramatically. For free. This is, indeed, the power of SEO (search engine optimization) for your website. You can get tens of thousands of targeted, relevant visitors to your website for free.

The Situation So Far
We launched the website www.spaceyangu.com on October 2, 2011. Today is October 5, 2011. Before October 2, if you searched for “Kenyan Movies” you would have no hope to find SpaceYangu because, well, we did not exist.

We’re happy to announce that if you search for “Kenyan Movies” today, you will find us on page 8 of the search results. This puts our website at Number 76 out of 5,310,000 others. Of course our strategy is to get to number one but getting to 76 out of 5 million is pretty good for three days’ work, I think. Here’s a screenshot for proof:

Kenyan movies - Google Search

Kenyan movies - Google Search (click for larger)

Along the way, we found a competitor! Sinema.co.ke is a website that is also about Kenyan movies as well as other forms of Kenyan entertainment. It is always good to find competitors as it validates what you are trying to do. We’re confident that through SEO alone, we can outdo sinema.co.ke. 🙂 Actually, in fact, at Number 76 in the search results, we’re already better than this site. (I say this full of respect for them, of course).

Some of you may be wondering how we improved our SEO so fast. We’re honestly not quite sure ourselves. I think it is because this is not a very competitive search term. What we did, though, is fully documented here. Please read that. You will learn that SEO is all about relevance and authority. So, for us, the strategy is 1)to make sure that our websites is as relevant to “Kenyan Movies” as possible and 2) to get as many other websites to link to SpaceYangu.com as possible. It is going well so far. Let us see how long it will take to get to Number 1. Wish us luck!!

We intend to document everything we can about how we’re building up SpaceYangu. If there is anything specific that you want to know, please leave a comment below.

PS: You can Hire Us if you want us to do SEO for your own website.

An Experiment in Kenyan Movies

Ok, let’s start from the beginning: do you even like Kenyan movies?

Up until yesterday, I did not like them. This was mostly because I knew next to nothing about them. Then my good friend came over and we watched some… they were pretty good!! Much much much better than I would have thought. In fact, I think they may be better than Nigerian movies. Who agrees? Have a look at the following trailer to get a taste of what I mean:

So anyway, after my friend had left and I was all alone at home, I felt like watching some more so I quickly thought I’d google and find where I can buy Kenyan movies online. Guess what? Not only could I not find a place to buy Kenyan movies online but I could actually not find any one site which focused on Kenyan movies. This is just sad, ama?

So, I decided to do something about it. I gave my friend (mentioned earlier) reigns over SpaceYangu to turn it into a Kenyan movies hub. Perhaps in the future we can actually also sell movies on there. What do you think of the site?

www.spaceyangu.com

This is an experiment in what we can do with such a site. We’ll keep you posted on how it goes. Sawa?

For now, you can like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/spaceyangu

Cheers!

We Buy Websites

The internet is a curious thing. Not only can your website make some great money for you while you run it, it can also make money when you decide to sell. Just like physical properties, web properties can fetch quite a bit of cash during the resale process, and we’d be happy to take a look at yours to see if it’s something that may be of interest to us.

Wondering what people look for when they go to buy a site like yours that’s for sale? There are several factors. One of the first major factors we consider is the size of your site. A larger site tends to be quite a bit more valuable than a one paged placeholder, but that’s not always the case. Another major factor we take a look at is your niche. Sure, there are thousands of websites that sell the same affiliate product, but very few of them sell insects for human consumption. The more unique and popular your niche, the more valuable your site is. The age of the site also factors into the overall price. The older the site, the more established it is, and that can prove a better deal for you. In fact, many companies won’t buy sites that are less than a year old. Your traffic numbers also factor into the price you’ll get for your site. Obviously with more visitors comes more profit, and that can make your site a bit more valuable to buyers like us. Finally, the nature of your site may make it more valuable. Business sites are, naturally, more profitable than informational sites, but there are always a few exceptions to that rule.

While the type of sites we buy vary extensively, the idea I want to leave you with is that we buy quality websites, and we’re looking to add to our list right now. If you’re making any money from your site or you have some traffic numbers, please let us know. We’re not looking for absolute junk here, we’d like a respectable business or information-based site, but if you need cash fast, we’re here to help you out. Take a moment to contact us today for an evaluation of your site. We’ve bought many sites in the past, so if you’re looking for a level of professionalism and experience, you can rest assured that you’ll get it with us. Ready to get started? Drop us an e-mail today.

chapaa[at]likechapaa.com

Interesting in investing in websites? If you want to get into this but have no idea how to search for, value, evaluate and manage a website, give us a call. We’ll work something out.

Using StarCraft to Boost Your Tours & Travel Business

No idea if this can work but…..

Let me paint you a picture. Imagine your organization at the centre of an exciting online event that generates passionate conversation all over the Internet: on news websites, on Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube, and on other websites. Imagine your organization featuring prominently on YouTube videos viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. Imagine reaching up to 15 million people through one marketing campaign. Now imagine these people passionately applauding your organization.

What am I talking about? Too good to be true – you say?

StarCraft 2 is a computer game published by Blizzard Entertainment and which is played primarily online by millions of players. StarCraft is one of the best-selling computer games in history. In South Korea, it is a national sport whose matches are televised and whose players are national celebrities.

StarCraft 2 has spawned immensely popular online tournaments throughout the world. The tournaments are followed by millions of people worldwide. The companies that sponsor these tournaments include: Microsoft, Intel, Nvidia, Samsung and many others – and this is just a selection of the biggest names. Needless to say, these companies benefit greatly for tapping into an exploding “e sports” industry. How exactly do they benefit?

  1. Tournaments are almost entirely played online and so they generate passionate activity and discussion from fans on many websites including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Tournament sponsors are usually prominent in these discussions.
  2. Tournament videos are created and posted to YouTube and similar websites. They are often viewed by hundreds of thousands of people during the tournament itself and by many others afterwards. These videos usually prominently feature tournament sponsors.
  3. E sports is relatively new. As such, video game players are very appreciative of anyone who supports it.
  4. Everything that is put on the Internet is still going to be there years later.

Now, we all know that there are probably hundreds of Kenyan tours and travel businesses out there. Indeed, with the Internet it is extremely easy to start such a business. But how easy is it to profit from one? I put it to you that actually making a decent amount is much more difficult than most people think it is. In my opinion, this is mostly due to two reasons:

  • There is a great amount of competition
  • How does a small Kenyan company market to Europeans, Americans, etc in a cost-effective way?

StarCraft 2 and “e sports” can make the second problem go away. I see this as an incredibly accessible marketing channel. How so? What if your organisation organised (or partnered with these guys) a successful StarCraft 2 online tournament? What would you get out of it?

  1. You would get your name out there amongst possibly hundreds of thousands potential tourists
  2. Your investment would reap continual benefits as long as you exist – two years from now, people will still be able to watch YouTube videos of the tournament in which you featured

I do not know about you, but I think that this is something worth thinking about…