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 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! 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 🙂 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 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.

How to Become an Expert in Your Customer’s Eyes

One of the founders of this website ( is a trained accountant. When we started Like Chapaa, it was very much (and still is) a for-profit venture. Along with wanting to help people, we wanted to make money with this site. Now, none of us was what you call a “computer” or “Internet”, or even “business” expert. But we believed in ourselves and we believed that we know how to do things with computers and the Internet that make business sense. The problem was how to convince people – our customers – that we really did know our stuff.

Are you faced with this problem? How do you become an expert in your customer’s eyes? How do you become the person the customer most wants to work with? How do you then increase prices 300% (which we have done) and still have customers wanting to work with you?

I mean, think about it. Would you hire a boring old accountant to do your website or even just improve it? Would you hire an accountant for anything other than accounting? That’s the kind of challenge that we faced. No one knew us as experts. Now, it didn’t matter how many times we looked in the mirror and called ourselves experts. We still were not getting any respect, let alone money in the bank. And it drove us crazy.

(For the record, I would personally not hire an accountant for anything but accounting!)

Interestingly, that is precisely why Like Chapaa was born. We thought that the easiest, fastest way to convince the world that we knew what we talked about was to start a site and write about the content of our brains. We started Like Chapaa to show the world what we knew. So yeah, we started pole pole but surely. We wrote articles. We used to get 7 visitors a day but we continued writing articles. Day after day, week after week. It was hard, extremely hard – and we had few, if any, successes right away.

Then it all changed. We suddenly started getting emails and calls. Emails and calls from people who wanted us to work on their websites, their Internet strategy, their projects, and so on. We had planned for this, but the success of our little plan shocks even us.

A lot of people struggle with marketing their business, and we did too. But we figured we could either go nuts calling people and walking the hard roads of Nairobi, or we could sit at our computers and write an article. And have a customer call. (Ooh, I did like the sound of that phone ringing). That is the power of the Internet, if you ask me.

Information is expertise – just ask any author; any consultant; any trainer. Just ask us.

The thing is, anyone can do this. You do not need any special qualifications; all you need is creativity, imagination and time. You have all three so go for it!

If you need any help you can always hire us to help you, you know?

How To Increase Your Site’s Visitors by 60%

Over the last two months or so, the number of people who visit Like Chapaa per day has increased by roughly 60%. This increase has resulted in more business for us and we are, naturally, incredibly happy at the fruits of our labor. Today, I wanted to share the things we did to make this increase a reality. (We hope that it is the things listed here that the actually resulted in our site-visitor surge but it may well have been caused by factors beyond our control).

How we increased our site’s visitor numbers
1. We invested in social media
We built a Twitter Application and a Facebook Application. This has resulted in increased numbers of people from those social networks coming to Like Chapaa. See, normally, people wanting to grow in social media just create quick profiles in Facebook and Twitter and start getting friends, etc. We realised we did not have that kind of time so we chose to build applications so as to automate things a little bit (everyone should do this!). This resulted in us being able to do some really cool things: for example, you can leave comments on this site using your Twitter/Facebook profile, among other things.

Twitter and Facebook combined now send us about 30% of the visitors to this website.

2. Continuous SEO
Our strong point, of course, is search engine optimisation and making sure everything that we do earns us favorably as far as SEO goes is a priority.

I must say we have done pretty well as far as this goes. For example, when you search for “make money in Kenya“, our website dominates the Google search results pages. Search engines, and Google in particular, send us 60+% of all the people who view our site.

If you are looking to grow your site, please do not forget Google. Social media may be sexy but you just cannot afford to ignore Google!

3. Uniqueness/Creativity
I do not know how to fully explain this. It seems that the Internet “rewards” you for uniqueness and creativity. Like Chapaa is, strictly speaking, a blog. You would not expect us to create or be involved in projects such as DukaPress, yet we are. The “side projects” have earned us both money, and countless new visitors to our websites. Two examples:

  1. Our involvement in DukaPress has “side-effects” that just never cease to amaze. We get hundreds of people who come to use by searching for “DukaPress” on Google or directly from
  2. Also of note is Biashara30. For a project that has largely failed, there are still lots of people who first come to Like Chapaa looking for information regarding Biashara30.

4. Getting Like Chapaa on other websites
Well, perhaps surprisingly, Like Chapaa is now listed at both Mashada and KenyaMoja. It seems that these two sites get quite a lot of traffic because they send us quite a lot of visitors. We were only recently listed on Mashada and that resulted in a visible bump in the number of people who come to Like Chapaa. Like Chapaa has also found its way onto Wazua, Kenya Unlimited, several Kenyan blogs and other smaller sites. The traffic that these nice websites send to us is significant!

I would not say that this is our doing because we did not ask anyone to include Like Chapaa on their sites. I would put it down to “if you create good and useful content, people will notice you”.

5. Email Marketing
Perhaps not many know this: Like Chapaa has a self-grown email marketing list of about 800 people. We do not send newsletters out often but all the articles published by Like Chapaa end up in the inboxes of our subscribers. Most of them always click back to Like Chapaa. This is a steady and stable source of website visitors for us.

The story of how we have grown Like Chapaa should inspire you. We have never ever spent any money to market this website and we started very quiety and, for months, got about seven visitors a day. But we persevered and, now, it is almost on autopilot – we just grow bigger. I put most of it down to luck and good fortune but here are some tips that may help you:

  1. The number one priority for your website should be your site’s content. Invest all your resources in this. It is what will distinguish you and win over your first few visitors. Always remember this: people already have favorite websites and things like Facebook which eat up their time – they do not want to visit your site unless you compel them to do so. Only your content can do this. Amazing content will make your site memorable and will make people want to talk about you, even include your site’s stuff on their sites. Do not mess this up.
  2. Social media is tricky. You typically need to invest a lot of time into it for it to pay off. However, we have proven it to be that you do not have to follow the grain (what others are doing) for it to work. My advice would be for you to pick your own social media strategy that will work to your strengths instead of just slapping on Twitter and Facebook like everyone else does. Also, 99% of Kenyan social media “gurus” are crap and are learning, just like you. Be hesitant to hire anyone.
  3. Search engine optimisation is easy if you know what you are doing and need not be expensive. But it is a very slow and gradual process. Do invest into it, heavily. It will pay off eventually.
  4. They say email is dying. We say that email is still the first place that Kenyans go online. If you can get your stuff inside people’s inboxes, you win.
  5. Lastly, keep in mind that there are billions of websites today. many of these websites are absolutely amazing. Therefore, the competition for website visitors is the stiffest kind of competition that has ever been known. It may not be enough to just create good content. You have to be creative and unique – do not just do what everyone else is doing; make your own mark on this Internet; think outside the box.

Good luck with building your site. 🙂

PS, Incase you do not know, you can hire us if you want help to grow your website.

Interesting Kenyan Sites #8

This week has more flops than any other! 😛 – I love the look and feel of this site. It feels…authentic, somehow. I love the fact that the language on the site is sheng! Good job here, kudos to the people behind that site. (Though they should fix some of the broken links).

Flops O.o
Sikika – I have wanted to write about this big huge flop for a long, long time. Sikika is supposed to be the of Kenya; a place where all Kenyans can get blogs on a more local domain, you know? Instead of using or, we’d all use!! But the execution, by KDN no less, has been extremely poor at best. runs on the freely available and world-class WordPress Software (which has thousands of extremely qualified experts who know it inside out) yes KDN was unable to make it work. Just look at the site now, pathetic – full of spam. Does anyone even bother to look after it? The odd thing is that for people who know their stuff, it is extremely easy (and cheap!) to manage this site and make Kenyan bloggers proud. Give the site to WordPress experts (like us) and the sky is not even a limit for this site. KDN, this is a huge fail for you. I hope you know that. Fix it!

Classic 105 Blog – why would such a large and successful organisation have their blog still hosted at Integrating this on their main website is easy as abc and would actually improve the SEO (and other) value of their main website… Oddly enough, I cannot find their “main” site as Classic 105. So perhaps they do not have a site at all?? Why, oh why? Update: doesn’t look to be owned by Classis 105 FM, which doesn’t seem to have its own website.

COTU – for such a large organisation and one that is always on the news, you’d think they would have a really nice attractive site, eh? Not so, sadly. I would say that the design of the site overall is not bad. I categorise this as a failure for two reasons:

  1. Their blog (the one they link to officially) is not hosted on their site but on I do not understand why. Not to mention the blog has never, ever, been used.
  2. If you look closely, most – if not all – of the links on the site seem to be leading to This means that is actually redirecting to This is VERY bad for SEO for COTU’s main site. I do not understand why they did this. Probably another case of a bad web developer, or web host in this case

What do you think of today’s batch of sites, and flops?

Rich Man, Poor Man

working less will help your business grow

Over the years, we’ve worked with very many people and many, many small businesses. I it’s always interesting to see how a small business is run and how the owner approaches it. I was thinking about this today, and I realised there are two types of small business owners: hard workers, and smart workers.

Comparing these two is very eye-opening. Take two businesses in the same industry with the same amount of experience and you will get drastically different results depending on the owner’s approach to business. I am going to just say it: – some people work too much, which hurts the growth of their business.

I know a smart guy who only works a few hours a day on his business compared to the 12-15 hour days that other owners work each day (and a few hours each weekend). Based on my real rough estimates, I believe that his business also made about 5x as much as the other owners (in the same industry). Imagine that – you work a quarter of the time and your business makes five times as much money. Or to look at it another way, you are 20 times more productive with the time spent managing the business.

Both types of owners probably make a very comfortable income but even if I made the same amount of money, I would take the business that requires a quarter of my time. I could use that time to do whatever I wanted or I could use it to grow my business or start new businesses.

What is the Difference?
Smart business owners are incredibly gifted at creating a process oriented business. It’s a very educational experience every time we work with them or visit their offices. Everything such an owner does has to be broken down into repeatable systems and processes. If it can’t, he’s not interested in it. He could easily take on new business if he wanted, but the work would be ad hoc, and would not scale well. If it isn’t something that he can scale, he won’t do it. It might cost him 2 or 3 customers a month, but if he is spending his time creating systems to bring in 10 other customers on his terms, which one do you think is a better deal?

The other type of owner is very detail oriented. He believes very strongly in personal service and is involved in every step along the way, from marketing, to sales, to operations. Instead of delegating work to other employees, he does everything himself. Instead of creating a product that he can sell over and over again, he customizes everything for his clients.

Remember, this owner is very successful and he would be correct if he said he’s been successful for a long time doing it in his style, so I don’t want to say that hard work isn’t the right way to grow. But if he had just relinquished some control and created systems and processes so that other people could execute them, I bet his business would be a lot bigger than it is now. If he decided to put in just 1/2 the time each day that he is used to, he would be been forced to create systems that other people can execute.

When Hard Work is Required
When you are starting your own business, you need to spend a lot of time in the business, growing it. If you don’t do it, no one will. But instead of doing everything yourself, you need to start creating systems and processes so that other people can start operating the business. If you sell some sort of product, don’t be the salesperson, customer service, and operations manager.

Start out by creating systems to outsource some of the work and then continue to move away from each part of the business. Otherwise, you will be working too much and you will end up hurting the growth potential of your own business.

How To Make Money Online In Kenya, 2010 is currently valued at $15 BILLION! That makes the young founder, mark Zuckerberg an extremely wealthy man at such a young age. What about you? How are your finances doing? You could seethe with envy at Mark, or you could try your own hand at making money online!

Last year, we wrote one of the most popular articles on this website: How to make money online in Kenya. The gist of that article was that advertising as a source of online income may not be the best way to go….that was way back in 2009, though. This is 2010! How does one make money online in Kenya?

This time, we’re going to do it a little different: since last year, we’ve come across countless numbers of Kenyan who are already making money online! So this article will talk about how those people are doing it in hopes of inspiring you to start making money online in Kenya!

1.How we make money online in Kenya

We run and a number of other websites. Of course one of the main goals of running all these sites is for us to make money online. How do we do it?

  • Advertisements – Like Chapaa has these adverts on the side (you see them?). They make us peanuts. Honestly.
  • Consulting – as it happens, a lot of the people who read Like Chapaa tend to email us asking for help in setting up online. We make a tidy some from this. How can you do this? It is not a hard concept: just pick out a topic that you are interested in and know a lot about then start a website to talk about that topic and set yourself up as a “consultant”. It works, trust us.
  • E-commerce – this is unbelievable even to us. DESPITE not having an online shop yet, we do sell a few books from our site Jua More. The lesson here seems to be if you have a website talking about a certain product that people want, then you can probably sell this product to those people. Jua More is a book review site which is still very small yet it already makes some money. Can you replicate this with a site of your own and another product? I bet you can! Just pick out something you have passion talking about (and marketing). I’m thinking things like movies and music, clothing and other such stuff can do pretty well! We even built DukaPress for you so this is super easy to do with no technical skills whatsoever!
  • Web Design – Wambere, one of the founders of Like Chapaa, also runs Nickel Pro which is a web design and development company. Like Chapaa drives a whole lot of customers her way. How can you do this? This is all about marketing, if you offer a service and want to make money online from it, you need to find somewhere (online) where the people who would buy your service hang out and then talk to these people and subtly showcase your skills and experience. They’ll buy.
  • Referrals (Affiliate income) – incidentally, most of the things we recommend you use – akina, AlertPay, etc – have affiliate programs. This means that if you sign up to those sites after reading about it on Like Chapaa, we get paid. How to do this: this is pretty easy, in my view. You shouldn’t start the process by looking for companies that offer affiliate programs. Instead, look for what interests you. If you love shoes and want to start a website about shoes, you will come to find there are tons of sites out there that will pay you good money to drive people to them. Affiliate programs exist for almost everything under the sun – just find something you love, start a blog/site around it, and voila!

Also see: How to make Money With A Blog.

2. How Other People make Money Online

We realise that we aren’t the only Kenyans making money online (hehe) and so this section is dedicated to everyone else that we have come across this past year.

A. Advertising
Like Chapaa sucks at making money from advertising but these sites do it amazingly well:

  1. Career Point Kenya – this is one of the most visited sites in Kenya and, rightly so, they make a lot of money from Google’s Adsense program. This means that whenever any of the hundreds of thousands of people who visit Career Point Kenya every day click on the Google Ads, the guys running that site get paid. Sweet! To replicate this you just need to build a website that gets huge, HUGE, numbers of visitors and you’ll get paid like you won’t believe. This is not as easy as it sounds, though, and I would caution against betting on advertising as your sole means of earning online.
  2. Bankelele – the ever popular Kenyan blog. I think this is one of the oldest blogs in Kenya. It has only survived this long because the guy who runs it is a master at what he does. Unlike Career Point Kenya, Bankele makes advertising money by selling his own ads at his own price (you get this luxury when you have a site as good as his). Here’s how to do this on your own site!

B. Selling Stuff
Jua More, mentioned above, is just a lucky occurrence. If you want to really make money by selling something tangible (or digital), then you need to look at, and learn from, the guys below:

  • Mama Mikes – Mama Mikes is one of the first e-commerce sites to serve Kenyans. It is a site that excels at selling Kenyan stuff to Kenyans who do not live in Kenya. For example, you can pay power bills for your family in Kenya while living in Spain – or buy them gifts and groceries. Brilliant idea, eh? I think so too. Mama Mikes found a niche market very early on in the game and took it over.
  • Fab Guru – a fascinating business run by a lady off her Nairobi apartment. This is the face of “make money from home”. Fab Guru sells ladies shoes, bags and other items. She particularly excels at marketing her wares on Facebook where she has a large following of “fans”. Fab Guru makes quite a lot and the ingredients seem to be: a)find something to sell (preferably something that you love) and b)find a group of people who love what you have to offer (in this case, Fab Guru didn’t find those people, she built a place for them to come to).
  • Career Point Kenya – these guys have written a book that resonates well with the people who visit their site. I’m not sure of the sales figures, but I’d bet they do very well.

Do you see a trend here? If you want to make money online by selling things, then you need to first find a good product (or products) – something you love working with and which is likely to have a market large enough to support you. Then you need to find, or build, a place where people who would be willing to buy your product(s) can be found. If you manage to do that, you’ll be home free!

C. Freelancing
Of all the ways people make money online, this is the one way used by most of the people we have come across. Quite simply, this is nothing but being a hired hand. That is, being paid to do something for someone because of your expertise, experience or both. Here are examples of Kenyans who are already doing this: Wuogard, Linda Cherotich, Maria Maina and our very own Crystal.

How do you do this? Well, first off you need to be able to do something better than most people can do it. It can be anything, from writing to art, to web design.

Next, you need to build out your portfolio and then try your hand at finding jobs/gigs at some of the more popular freelancer sites such as

To put it in a way that it is more easy to relate to, I’ll give the example of Kenyan Freelancer. She’s a brilliant writer. She set up to do business online the smart way: she set up Smurt Notes which is her ‘business profile’ used to ‘seal the deal’ – but that’s not all – she also has a somewhat less formal site, Kenyan Freelancer, which I would say does more of the ‘marketing’. A nice little one-two punch to get her clients.

Seems very do-able, eh? Good luck!

See also: Interviews with Maria Maina, Kenyan Freelancer, and Crystal.

In my personal experience, and as seen and proven above, you can make money online in Kenya by:

  1. Selling adverts on your site
  2. Consulting
  3. Selling other people’s stuff (affiliate marketing)
  4. E-commerce (selling your own things)
  5. Freelancing

I am sure there are more ways through which people are actually making money in Kenya, but the above are what I have actually seen proven. What about you? Are you making money online? No? Need help?

Good luck, and God bless you!

Photo by timbrauhn.

Business Sense In 8 Easy Steps

Common business sense suggests that you should give the customer what they want. After all, they’re always right, and unless you’re a shrink, nobody is going to pay you for telling them they’re wrong.

So what happens when what the customer wants is bad for them? Well, you get smart.

Case in point. For quite a while now, I’ve wanted a haircut. Several hairdressers refused to oblige me, mostly because it is considered sacrilege to chop off such cultured hair; I’ve been growing my dreadlocks for years.

But I am quite stubborn, and each time the guy or girl in question denied me scissors, I started looking for someone else.

Yesterday, I finally found someone to cut my hair. She didn’t want to, and she whined the entire time, but she cut the hair.

It looks … well … I like it … but I’m definitely not doing it again.

In doing what I wanted, Fatuma earned herself – and her salon – a lifetime customer. It will be difficult to pry me away with Exposé.

That hairdressing session has taught me a few key lessons about business.

One, always give the customer what they want; but do it well. Cutting my hair was not the best idea, and Fatuma knew it. But she used her skill to make a bad idea look pretty. Fatuma is already established as an expert – I went to her on a direct commendation from another satisfied customer. She proved herself, and now she has one more client giving her free advertising.

Two, build your team. When I walked into the salon, I asked for Fatuma by name. But she was busy, so she politely offered to let someone else do my hair. I was quite happy with the person she gave me. She could have hogged the limelight, made me wait for her, and maybe earned a commission for having more clients. Instead, she boosted her workmate’s experience, earned her trust [and mine], and showed me that good as she is, her colleagues are equally skilled.

Three, know your specialties … and your limits. The lady who was assigned to do my hair was great at twisting – not so good at cutting, so she asked Fatuma to do the scissor-work while she handled the rest. Result being my hair was not messed, my hairdresser’s ego was not damaged, and everybody ended the day smiling.

Four, good work sells. Exposé is a new salon; so new that they don’t have the sign up yet. The person that sent me there asked me to “Go to the new Bishop Magua building and look for the salon on the ground floor. It doesn’t have a name.” A name is good, but a reputation is better.

Five, develop your brand. When I got to the building, I asked at the reception and was told there were two salons, but if I knew the hairdresser’s name, then they could show me where she worked. I knew the hairdresser’s name – and so did they. Make sure people know who you are.

Six, be damn good at what you do. There must be hundreds, thousands, [millions?] of hairdressers around. There are five in my building alone. But only one agreed to do what I wanted, and only one took a potentially distastrous idea and made it work. Anyone can wield a pair of scissors, but it took Fatuma to effortlessly give me the exact look I wanted. While I will certainly not be cutting the hair again, she has earned my respect and trust. I will let her work on my hair, swear by anyone she recommends, and next time she tells me it’s a bad idea, I’ll salute and say ‘Yes Ma’am, what works better? … surprise me.’

Seven, gimmick gimmick gimmick. I noticed something about the salon. I saw this lady there – she might be the owner; she had this air of authority about her. At first I wasn’t sure if she was white or just light, and I stared at her for a while trying to figure it out. She had her daughter with her, and the girl was even more interesting. She must have been five or six years old, very bubbly, and had the cutest way off tossing her hair.

I noticed two things about the little girl. One, her hair looked exactly like her mother’s – brown shoulder length, pretty and shiny. And two, she had no accent. Or rather, she had a Kenyan accent.

I later realised that while the girl was quite caucasian, her mum wasn’t any specific race, and had a beatifully planted weave on her head – more props to the salon. She’s also warm and friendly. This mum-and-baby are the perfect stage prop.

The final lesson I learnt is that all customers are equal and should be treated equal. Customer care goes a long, long way. I walked in with faded jeans, a scruffy look, and a pink acrylic handbag, but I was treated like a diva. I was received politely, offered coffee and a newspaper, and felt generally pampered. I don’t get that often.

Fatuma didn’t even ask who recommended me until after my hair was done. Her reaction suggested the recommender is VIP, but because the question came late, I felt special just for me.

Lessons worth noting if you want to make money in Kenya…

Crystal Ading’ is a professional author, editor, rock lover and mother. Her work is available through