What if I want to make money right now? What do I do?

Ever since we launched Like Chapaa, I’ve got numerous people walk up to me and ask me “How do I start making money online?” or “What if I want to make money right now? What do I do?” This question has always been a bit difficult for me to answer because there are so many things one could do to make money online. However, if you asked me these questions today, I’ll be quick to answer: start a simple blog business.

What is a simple blog business? As the name suggests it is a really simple way of earning good income from a simple blog. If you can spare five to ten hours a week to work on this, I am sure you can earn at least 7,000/- per month from doing very very little work. If you can spare more time..well, the possibilities are endless. AND it costs exactly zero shillings to get started.

But please understand that this is not a get-rich-overnight scheme, it takes time and commitment. You may not make even a shilling on the first day; or the first month but if you stick with the plan (which I will explain in detail) then the shillings will come. Many shillings. Just stick with it until you make it. Sawa?

Good. Let’s get started. I didn’t call it a simple blog business for nothing. We’re going to start a blog. What is a blog? A web log, which is usually shortened as blog, is a type of website in which entries are made much as in a journal or diary and displayed in chronological order. But that’s just the technical mumbo-jumbo. A blog can be anything you want it to be. Your diary, your magazine, your newspaper, your photo album, whatever.

For the simple blog business, you’ll need to start a blog which is more text than anything else so please polish up your writing – you’re going to be writing a lot!

As we mentioned elsewhere, any online business generally must follow these principles:

1. A niche Market of People that require a product or service.
2. A Product or service That Fills Their Need
3. An outlet Where They Can Find the Product or Service (Your Website)
4. A Way of Letting That Market Know You Have The Product
5. An Offer
6. A Way to Deliver the Product
7. A Way For Your To Get Paid.

What you’re going to do is to start a very simple blog in a specific niche in which you will have already established a need for your service (your blog). You will then spend time promoting your blog using simple and free methods. If you follow everything that we shall be going through, in a while your new blog will have enough traffic for you to get a tidy sum in the bank every month.

First things first, take time to think about what kinds of topics you’d be comfortable writing about. Trust me, you want to be comfortable writing about the topic that you shall choose – you’ll spend lots of time working on your blog so you should at least be able to write frequently about that topic. If you choose a topic that you have little interest in, boredom will quickly set in and your simple blog business will fail.

Nearly every single topic can earn you money – don’t worry about that. So go ahead and think about what you can really write on. Go on, make a list. I’ll wait. A really easy way to find out if you have enough interest in a topic is to ask yourself: can I write several letters about this topic? Think this through carefully and make a list of topics that may interest you.

The next installment in this series comes up very shortly. Subscribe to receive free email updates so that you don’t miss a thing!

Sunny Bindra’s Sunwords.com – What It Can Be

So I’ve been poring over Sunny Bindra’s articles really heavily recently. I love his writing and he makes excellent business sense every time he writes. I always, always end up comparing his ideas to those of Seth Godin. In all honesty, they think quite alike on how a business should be properly run. Don’t take my word for it, have a look at their websites and decide for yourself. For those who don’t know, Sunny Bindra writes in the Sunday Nation. Seth Godin is based in the USA and is a renown best-selling author.

So, did you have a look at the two authors’ sites? What do you think? I’ve followed both writers for some years now but it was only recently that I noticed that sunwords.com is, in my view, not all that well developed. I say this with all due respect to Sunny Bindra – I don’t mean to bash him in any way! However, I am an avid reader of his writings and I just wonder, why isn’t his online presence as big as it could be?

Just think about it. How many people LOVE his Sunday articles? I bet a whole lot of people love and respect his work. This is his introductory blog post. See that? 46 comments on day one! However, the rest of his 100+ entries (all beautifully written) have just a handful or no comments. Contrast this with bloggers such as Shiko or Mama whose comment count goes into double digits regularly.

Okay, okay one could argue that Sunwords.com gets a lot of visitors but very few leave comments. That would explain things, right? I thought so too, until I had a look at sunword’s visitor stats. According to Statbrain (hint: Statbrain is really useful to carry out e surveillance on other sites), Sunwords gets 320 visitors a day. Now, I’m nowhere near as popular as Sunny Bindra but Like Chapaa gets 570 visitors a day.

Now, I don’t know about you but I think that Sunwords should be a lot more successful than it is. I have my own thoughts on how to build a successful website but I bet Sunny has access to people much much better than I am at doing this. The big question in my mind is this: why isn’t Sunny doing more with his website? I do not know. There are probably very valid reasons for this. I would, however, like to point out some reasons why it may be of benefit to make Sunwords.com more successful.

Sunny Bindra is already very very successful by any means. However, more success won’t hurt, surely. Ama? Let’s take a look at Om Malik. Om Malik, in my view, is a classic example of the opportunities that the internet can bring. I’m no authority on this but Om Malik has been a writer for a long time. At some point, he set up a website and grew it. Then he set up another, and another……now he owns GigaOm, which is among the top 50 blogs worldwide by Technorati Rank, and is part of CNet‘s 100 Most Influential Blogs. And what about Seth Godin? I believe that, over the years, his blog has been one of the key, if not the key, ‘things’ that sell his books so widely. One of his books is even based on his blog’s writings.

I believe in Sunny Bindra’s wisdom so much that I know he can do something similar. He is already popular, all that’s needed is a little more focus to build an online brand. The possibilities would then be endless. What do you think?

Picture by arturodante.

Case Study: Alice & Kev (Make Money Blogging)

About a month ago, I wrote about an interesting blog: Alice and Kev. Alice and Kev is a blog about life in the fictional world of “The Sims 3” game. Basically, the writer (Robin Burkinshaw) is playing The Sims 3 and then writing about his gaming experience. Pretty simple, right? Well, Robin is a master storyteller and his blog has become wildly successful. So much so that that each “installment” of Alex and Kev has more than 100 comments (this is rare for even the most successful blogs) and it enjoys a very very passionate readership.

Note that this particular blog started out low key as a personal project of Robin’s but because it was just too damn good, it exploded onto the scene and is now very popular. That’s how you build a successful blog: you offer something that is just too damn good; something that is remarkable.

As I’ve always said (to anyone who cares to listen 😛 ), once your website or blog has a dedicated group of people that actively visit/read it, then you can make money with that site/blog. Alice & Kev has a huge number of people who actively and passionately follow it. Therefore, of course, the blog’s owner is making money off it.

How does Alice & Kev make money?
The writer of this blog never intended it to be a commercial money maker and so has not really tried to make as much money off it as he can.

Since the blog is about The Sims 3, Robin has set up a system in which he earns a commission if anyone buys The Sims 3 game after reading Alice & Kev. He’s done this through Amazon’s affiliate program – you help Amazon make sales and they give you a cut of what the buyer pays – this is called affiliate marketing and it is how Alice & Kev makes money.

With his thousands of readers, I’m sure Robin has made some good money. Can you do something similar and earn money too?

How To Make Money With A Blog

I once wrote elsewhere, “What is a blog? A web log, which is usually shortened as blog, is a type of website in which entries are made much as in a journal or diary and displayed in chronological order. But that’s just the technical mumbo-jumbo. A blog can be anything you want it to be. Your diary, your magazine, your newspaper, your photo album, whatever.”

Three years later, the definition of a blog hasn’t changed much. Enough with definitions, though – I’m sure many people don’t know (or don’t care) what a blog is. The more important question is, how do you make money from a blog? There are lots of ways to do it, and I shall talk about a few today.

Before you even think of earning from your blog, you have to think of how you will attract visitors to your blog. If no one ever reads/views your blog, then you can be certain that you will not make even a single shilling from it. Got it? Good. On the internet, traffic is key.

Please have a look at this: How to build a successful website.

So, how do you make the chapaa?
I shall assume that you have somehow managed to build a successful blog, and that a reasonable number of people visit it everyday. Also, I shall assume that your blog is filled with content (words, videos, pictures, etc) that people find interesting or useful.

Here’s how you make money from such a blog:

Advertising – The obvious way to earn from a blog is by selling advertising space. Look at it this way, you have a good number of readers who visit you everyday – advertisers will be interested in pay to reach those visitors.

There are two ways to earn from advertising:
1. Self served Ads – basically, ou approach a company and tell them that they can advertise on your blog. If they agree, well, you get paid.

2. Advertisement networks – if you don’t want to go through the trouble of approach companies directly to advertise with you, you can join an advertising network where they approach the companies themselves and all you do is display the adverts and earn. This is a very popular way of making money online and thousands of websites (including blogs) survive and thrive on this model. Normally, you are paid a few cents (US $) when someone clicks on an advert. If you have many visitors then you can earn millions.

RSS Advertising – all blogs have an RSS feature. (What is RSS?). The idea is basically the same as above – place adverts in your RSS feed. Feedburner is a popular RSS advertising service.

Sponsorship – You know how Project Fame is sponsored by Tusker? The same thing could happen on your blog and is already happening at a lot of other blogs.

Consulting and Speaking – So you’ve built a really successful blog and it is widely read. This means people will start viewing you as an authority in the topic in which you write about. For example, if you write extensively on relationship advice, you may one day get the opportunity to be a paid get speaker at some event somewhere. Another example: even though Like Chapaa is young, we’re getting offers to act as consultants guiding new internet business owners. The returns are gooood.

Merchandising – In my own opinion, this one is tricky to pull off but it is possible. Suppose that you built such a wildly successful and popular blog named “Example Blog”. Maybe some people would buy and proudly wear Tshirts and other merchandise bearing your blog’s name and logo. Cafepress is powering an increasing number of bloggers to earn in this way.

Digital Assets – Increasing numbers of bloggers have been developing other digital assets to support and add revenue streams to their blogs. By this I mean that I’m increasingly seeing e-books, e-courses and e-seminars being run by bloggers.

Affiliate Programs – basically, this is using your blog to sell other people’s goods and services for a commission. It is one of the most popular ways of earning on any website (not just blogs). Where do you find these goods and services that you can sell at a commission? try: Clickbank, or CJ.

Blog Network Opportunities – Blog Networks are groups of blogs which work together to attract visitors and earn incomes. Blog networks these days are high profile and popular. Joinging such a network could be lucrative. It may not be easy, though. Why should you join a blog network?

Business Blog Opportunities – many companies (internationally, not sure about Kenya) are now starting blogs. (Because blogs are too important to ignore). Some companies use their existing staff to write their blogs. But an increasing number are hiring specialist bloggers to run their blogs for them.

Writing Opportunities – When you have a popular blog, people notice you. They know how good you are at writing on the subject matter of your blog. It is therefore not uncommon for bloggers to get jobs or freelance gigs at magazines and newspapers. (For example: I’ve been approached several times to have things I write on Like Chapaa printed elsewhere).

Flipping Blogs – Build a big beautiful blog and sell it for huge profits. This actually happened with NBB.

Donations – put out the tip jar and ask your readers to support you. It’s a simple concept 😛 Kottke.org is the only example I could find of a blog doing this well.

I realise that just mentioning the above is not good enough. I shall therefore follow up with case studies of each or most of the above methods being successfully used. Stay tuned! Subscribe to my RSS feed (free) or sign up for free email updates so that you don’t miss a thing!

How Does A Website Work?

Lately I’ve been talking to a lot of people trying to explain this “make money online” thing and I’ve slowly come to realise that many of those people have very little knowledge of what makes a website work, knowledge that I take for granted. Having a website is vital when you are trying to make it online so I think it is important that I attempt to explain how a site works in simple English. I will strive to steer well clear of any technical jargon.

As far as the creation of a website is concerned, there are three main things that are involved.

1. Web Design

Someone, ideally a web designer, has to sit down and actually make the website – design its look, feel, and any other needed functionality. Making a basic website is a pretty simple affair but the websites of today….are pretty challenging to make.

2. Domain Name
We learnt about domain names recently. For your website to be visible to the public, you have to get a domain name. This is so that when people type in your website in their browser, e.g www.example.com, they will be able to find your website.

3. Web Hosting
So you know, a website is made up of pictures and words and sometimes video and sounds. These have to be stored on a computer somewhere so that when people visit your website, they load and the visitors see all your cool stuff. The pictures, words, videos, and sounds that make up a website are stored on special computers called servers. A server that contains your website’s files and makes them available when people visit your domain name is your web host.

So, that’s why a website works. Someone designs it, you register a domain name for it, and it gets hosted somewhere so that it is available for the general public to see and use.

Can Your Mom Also Work From Home?

More and more moms are now starting their own home-based businesses and we say – good for them!

As the Internet unifies the world, as geographical boundaries disappear,
online money making ideas for work at home moms or WAHMs are on the rise. If you are an educated, talented, experienced professional mother, with at least basic knowledge of using the computer, the Internet is your playground! As more and more women in Kenya open up to the idea of being financially independent, becoming a mother may dampen their plans, albeit temporarily. Staying at home to take care of your child can be a tough decision and one that could have had damaging effects on your career. But now all you mothers can start your own business from the comfort of your home. After all, there are plenty of money making choices for work at home moms online now-a-days.

Online Money making ideas for WAHMs
Freelance Writing – A fantastic way to sell your skills and experience when you want, how you want, and without too much stress. Yes, whether you are good at storytelling, writing informative, research-based content, or simply have a way with word, you can sell your writing skills to people who require them. You can demand your price, choose your delivery period and start earning money. A great place to start is GetAFreelancer, Guru or Elance.

Selling Something? – Do you make crafty things like kiondos, carvings and suchlike? Or do you know where you can get them cheap? Why not sell them online? There’s nothing to lose, you don’t need to be a computer whiz to set up shop. Try etsy .

Graphic Design – Every business require well crafted graphics for promoting and representing their product/service from time to time. Not even businesses, kawa people need posters hata! If you are a skilled hand with graphic designing then this is your best online money making idea. A great
place to start is GetAFreelancer, Guru or Elance.

Virtual Assistant – You used to be a secretary, or receptionist, or personal assistant? Or can you do everyday office administration duties (like filing, reading and responding to emails, etc). How about data entry? You can do it online by becoming a virtual assistant. Have a look
at this site virtualassistants.

Teaching – Are you really good at something? Anything..like singing, dancing, designing, etc, this is the best time to fulfill this dream and then use it to make money online! Yes, if you sing like a nightingale why not start your own singing classes? How about teaching dance to kids and other moms in your neighborhood? Simply send out flyers and advertise in the local media to get started. Better yet, get a website at Nickel Pro and offer online classes – just make a video of yourself teaching and re-use it (read re-sell it) hundreds of times.

It’s important for you to understand that you may make mistakes initially. Don’t get disheartened by these mistakes. However, once you have decided what you want to do, make sure that you organize your life and time accordingly so that you are able to reduce stress and have a more productiveday. After all, planning, organizing, and managing are the 3 cornerstones to any good business and you already know this because you are a smart, intelligent and experience professional woman.

How To Make 3,000,000+ a Month

Here’s a video that details how internet mogul John Chow makes $40,000 per month from his blog. He really exposes his business model in an inspiring talk.

“ John did a great job itemizing his method; detailing his steps. He broke down the process into easy to understand reasons and answered all questions; in short , he shared his secret to success. He made online success seem like a real possibility. Get a product, do the work, get results. My take: like anything else….Once one is willing to administer the effort, treat it like a business, own it like a business and be business like about it, a real business will ensue. Thank you John Chow, very well done! ” – Jos