You Don’t need to Compete with Anyone but Yourself to Blog Better

“I am competitive with myself. I always try to push past my own borders…”

What a marvelous sentence quoted by Tyra Banks that defines the whole crux of the title!

If we relate this to the highly competitive field of blogging, the same can be said:  the only person that you need to compete against if you want to blog better, is you.

Nowadays, blogging has become so common that everyone strives to make big money through it.  It has become a cutthroat competition and every blogger wants to excel in this field.

This severe competition has created an unhealthy atmosphere of envy in the minds of bloggers.

The main purpose of blogging should be to educate the customers and people around the world about different things and that can only be done if someone is creative and broad-minded.  You can’t do that if your judgment is always clouded by envy.

When competition becomes fierce to become a better blogger, you don’t need to compete with others, but only you.

Here’s two reasons why you should compete only with yourself:

First, when you compete with other bloggers, you only push yourself to match their level of content.  Sometimes, you’ll have much more potential to rise above and to improve your writing skills, but because you’re only focusing on competing, you only end up doing just enough to get by.   Potential is wasted because you could have done so much more.

Secondly, the emotions of jealousy and envy distract your mind and prevent you from producing better content.

There are a lot of bloggers all around the world.  You cannot always figure out what your competitors are doing or what can you do to beat them.

In this situation, what you need to do is to compete with yourself.

Analyze your previous writings in your mind and set your own targets to exceed the quality of content you produced previously.

Set your own milestones. For this purpose, bloggers should study various books and exchange ideas with experts to enhance their knowledge and creativity for coming up with something extraordinary.

Bloggers should realize their inner capabilities and set their own standards against them. They should have faith in themselves and should feel a sense of independence and individuality to come up with content that exceeds the quality of what they’ve previously written.

Competing with yourself in blogging brings success to you in two ways:

  • Your regular readers get a feel that they are getting something better than before and they feel more inclined to visit your blog frequently.
  • The continuous improvement in your content and blogging style attracts even more readers to your blog.

Therefore, if you want to blog better and become successful, then stopping competing with everyone else – focus on yourself.

How do you feel about this?  Do you constantly find yourself comparing your progress to others?  Are you secretly competing with other bloggers?  Are you satisfied with the results?

2

Get off the Internet and Write!

Oh, I’m not yelling at you – I’m yelling at myself.)

Every day procrastination threatens to steal my dreams and erase any hope of ever achieving my goals.

I know this, but regardless of that knowledge there are still times when I’ll sit down to work on accomplishing goals and then the next thing I know, hours have passed and so many things are still left undone. How do I still manage to let the time slip away?

When I need to write, it seems like everything else is begging for my attention. I don’t know what it is, but everything else seems so much more interesting than using my brain to write a new blog post.

Seems like that’s the only time I actually feel like emptying out my inbox after months of letting both read and unread messages accumulate to an astronomical number. It’s terrible, I know. It makes no sense.

When mindless activities like checking my email spam folder or compulsive stat checking become more interesting than writing, I know it’s time to do something.

At this point, you’re probably thinking…”therapy” or at least some other psycho analysis to prove that I’m safe to be around children, but I assure you, it’s just the evil procrastination demon trying to steal my success.

Well, I’ve got news for him, I’m not going to surrender that easily. I refuse to let the tempting allure of the internet keep me from the most important thing I must do for my blog. Yes, it’s time to get off of the internet, exit out of the Reader, Twitter, Facebook and yes…exit out of the internet browser entirely.

When nothing else works to curb meaningless distractions that threaten to kill my blog, I have to totally shut down Firefox, Google Chrome or whatever other browser I might be using at the moment to avoid the temptation to check my email every time I get a notification.

I have to stop myself from rushing to respond to every tweet I see. Sometimes I have to slap my own hand whenever I get the urge to start reading every new blog update that pops into my reader (they always seem urgent until you read them).

It’s strange how the very activities that help me support my blog can become the very activities that threaten its survival. Social networking is wonderful, but if social networking and promotional activities are allowed to get out of control, they’ll devour your whole day. It’s easy lose track of time and totally forget to write something new to promote. It can become a vicious cycle.

So until I get my writing for the day done, I’m sorry, but I’ll have to shut this thing down-…!

So what do you do to force yourself to stay productive? How do you filter out all of the distractions?

Who Needs an MBA (or any Degree) When You Have Hustle?

This post isn’t just about MBAs (master of business administration), it’s about higher education in general.

Some folks don’t have access to it; it’s expensive, exclusive and the Kenyan system isn’t built for everyone to have the opportunity.

It’s my hope that after this post, the attitude around what a degree means changes in relation to one’s success, specifically for those who don’t have one…because I don’t think anyone needs a MBA (or any degree) if they have hustle.

I used to think that the more advanced the degree, the better job, and naturally, the better the pay. The reason my attitude has changed is because over the past few years, many of my colleagues have had MBA’s…and I don’t have one. So not only do I play at the same park, I’ve done so without the same credential.

The Reality

Before I get too deep into this subject, I want to make it clear that for certain technical and industry-specific fields, degrees matter.

You can’t become a lawyer without going to law school.

You can’t become a physician without going to medical school.

There’s no way around this reality.

Most would agree that there should be strict regulations and educational requirements for highly complex and sensitive industries.  But in my eyes, everything else is wide open for the rest of us.

The Black Belt Concept

Anyone can get a black belt if they dedicate themselves to doing so (I’m not insinuating that it’s easy…just saying that it’s not out of reach.)

A person who reaches such a milestone will certainly know how to throw a perfect punch – at the air, and a perfect kick – at the air…but in the heat of the moment, they may not have what it takes to truly defend themselves outside the Dojo.

Let’s apply the black belt to a college degree.

Most people, given the opportunity, have the intellectual ability to get a college degree. It’s not THAT hard. And just because a person has a degree, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be good at any job.

I took a number of speech classes in college (hated them by the way), got good grades, but I left campus being pretty bad at public speaking. My grades said I was excellent, but my practical skills proved the opposite. Doing it in the real world is what helped me develop and get better at it.

Just because someone has a black belt doesn’t mean they’re ready for battle. It means that they have a high theoretical understanding of their discipline. You can learn all about swords, understand the dynamics of a sword fight, and have perfect form. That doesn’t mean you’re ready to sword fight.

Organizations are starting to view candidates in this light (Read the Ernst and Young Case). This is part of the reason why GPA’s don’t matter as much as it did in years past. They want people who can drive results; not people who can recite business definitions.

I got A’s in each speech class that I took – and I was pretty bad at the time. If organizations looked at my A, they would think I was a great public speaker…the fact is, there’s no accurate correlation [generally speaking] between grades and real life ability. Same thing goes for degrees.

Hustle is My MBA

I have absolutely no plan to go back to college to get an advanced degree.

Why?

Well because I KNOW that it would have minimal impact on me professionally, as it does for most that do so. I’m not trying to down play the major accomplishment – just saying that in the reality of my world – it wouldn’t do much to serve me.

My colleagues that have a MBA’s did receive some positive impact on their career.  Which is great. I’ve done the same – without the financial burden (MBA = avg. $80k) or time investment (avg. 2-3 years). Their MBAs helped get them to the position they are in…I used another method to get to the same position.

The Alternative

I’ve educated myself by being present and aware; by extending my learning in areas that directly contribute to my ability to do my job. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and taken on projects that have expanded my business intelligence. I’ve maximized on-the-job training. I take complete ownership of my role and responsibilities.

This approach has helped me become the standard in positions that I’ve taken. When you’re the standard, you become the point that others are judged from. It’s a position sure to help progress your career over what any degree can do – in my experience.

If you feel disadvantaged because you can’t fill up the Education part of your resume – don’t fear.

Showcase your skill sets, accomplishments and willingness to self-educate outside of traditional study. Be willing to work harder than everyone else, which will naturally place you on the stage of being the standard. Before you know it, you’ll be working in the same peer group as those who pay thousands of dollars each month to cover student loan payments that they wish they would have done without.

I’m an Advocate of Education

From where this post has gone, you might think that I was against education. But in reality, I’m the biggest advocate of education that I know. I just try not to get caught up in academia and the prestige behind where he or she got a degree (only because it really doesn’t matter and most people don’t care).

A few months ago in a post called Street Smarts Reigns Supreme, I shared that schools such as Yale and MIT offer free online courses open to the public. I actually take courses offered by these institutions based on subjects that I have interests in and that will help me be better at my job.

I have a lot of respect for those who have made the commitment to complete college; under graduate and graduate level. I have a friend who has his PhD and I think it’s the coolest thing in the world. But also I have a great deal of respect for those who didn’t have the opportunity to go to college – because I think they can make just as big of a splash as the next person.

Conclusion

I have a bachelor’s degree. Having it served a good purpose at one point in my career. That purpose being that it satisfied a requirement to get a certain level of job when I graduated. That’s it.

75% (maybe more) of the courses that I took were pointless in the scheme of my life today. Who in the world needs a Matrices class if they don’t care one lick about rocks (I hated that classes).

How in the world can you make a Chinese Dynasty class a prerequisite, but fail to teach young adults how to manage money? The system seems a little twisted.

It’s getting a little too expensive…and frankly, having a degree is more of a formality than a means for preparation.

For those of you who don’t or didn’t have the opportunity to go to college – I think you’ll be okay if you’re willing to hustle. But for those who aren’t so willing to work hard, college degree or not, I’m not sure if higher ed will do a thing for you.

Just because a person has a degree doesn’t mean that life’s any easier…hard work is the requirement under all job descriptions.

To those with a college degree, don’t think you’re “black belt” is all that you need if you want to be successful…it’s not enough. Before my attitude changed, I was stuck in regular run-of-the-mill jobs that paid average wages and it sucked my energy dry.

Bottom line, college degree or not – you own your results…not some piece of paper, no abbreviations or letters after your name, not the state of the economy and surely not any of your excuses. If you want to win – then go do something about it…and win.

I’m not advocating that anyone should pass on the opportunity to go to college. If you can go – don’t let the opportunity pass you by. But if you can’t…you know what to do.

DISCUSSION

I said a lot here and didn’t cover the bulk of my thoughts. College seems like it’s a racket now days; all about hiking up the costs but not truly preparing young adults for the real world.

What are your thoughts on this?

If you have an MBA – do you think it gives you an edge over high achievers? And finally, share anything you’d like on this subject that may offer additional value to the community.

1

Personal Branding, Self Promotion and the Art of Marketing Yourself

How do you feel about marketing yourself?

Does it feel too self-focused, conceited or arrogant?

Whenever I write about personal branding, self-promotion or anything along those lines – I feel like I’m coming off a bit shallow.

But marketing is a powerful tool for a reason.

Corporations spend millions and millions of dollars on marketing efforts to create a brand, distribute the awareness of their brand, and of course to promote products and services. It’s a natural and essential part of business. Today I’m going to talk about the human side of the marketing coin – marketing yourself.

Self Promotion: The Road to Getting Known

To me, self promotion is a bit awkward at times. But no matter how we slice it, everything we do shapes our personal brand in one way or another. It’s a matter of us owning the promotion ourselves or allowing others to define who we are from their own perceptions or misconceptions of us.

If we don’t own it, we risk being labeled in a light that doesn’t accurately represent who we are.

If you want people to know who you are and to recognize you for a particular skill-set, qualification or interest – then you have to create a lasting awareness. The best way to do this is by sharing your personal stories that make you who you are.

Stories create lasting memories.

A couple of weeks ago I posted 10 of the most commonly asked questions (along with my answers) that I receive via email in an article entitled Why I Hustle. I recently read through the 100+ comments (including my replies) and discovered that I shared my discomfort with publishing the article a number of times…I thought it was a bit too self promotional, although that wasn’t a part of my plan.

The overall reader-reaction to the article was great. It was one of the most viewed articles I’ve ever published…and during its week of sitting at the top of this blog, it yielded a 16% increase in subscribers. I share the numbers to make a point that even though it may feel a bit uncomfortable to share your personal stories, in the name of establishing a name for yourself – most people appreciate learning about you.

People respect, appreciate and want access to “who you are” because:

  • It answers naturally formed questions – helping to build a relationship with people you don’t even know.
  • People are instinctively curious and want to know why you are the way you are, and why you do what you do.
  • You get to clear up misconceptions that may have been formed about you…turning a negative light into a positive one.

Check out Srini of The Skool of Life. He chronicles [what I refer to as] his saga of living abroad as an avid surfer and entrepreneur. Not only is he living is dream, but he’s making a name for himself in the process…such as his upcoming speaking engagement at  Blogworld New York in the coming weeks. Whenever I see or think of surfing, I think of Srini and all that he represents.

How to Promote your Personal Brand

Let’s start with an Example…

When I start a new blog, I also start a new personal branding campaign. To a degree, we all do this. I take the opportunity to meet new people and tell them about myself. This is generally (hopefully) before people have the chance to form any lasting/negative misconception about me.

There are three things that I like to get out as quickly as possible. These things define what I want others to know about me and what is authentically accurate about me:

  1. I’m a family man. It’s my first earthly priority and work never trumps family.
  2. I look to work in an efficient environment. I want to work really hard, for as few hours as possible each day…so I can get home to my family.
  3. I’m interested in being a high performer and getting optimal results. My aim is to be ‘of the best’ consistently with the purpose of maximizing my compensation…but never at the sacrifice of my family time.

This is how I initiate my personal brand campaign. The drift is all centered around performance, and lead by my priorities. I make it clear that I never-ever put work first…but I always give always my best effort towards my job related responsibilities.

All of this takes time…it’s not a 1 week formula. But having actions that consistently match your messaging, and performance that detects that you’re the “real deal” – conditions (not in a bad way) people to identify you in the light you want to be projected in. So sure, I probably work less than 40 hours per week, but people don’t identify me by that, they identify my performance.

Another Example…

Check out Frank Jennings’ About Page (ASparkStarts.com). On it, you’ll find a powerful personal story that captures the complete essence of his personal brand. It’s crafted in a story-like format which you’ll be sure to remember after reading it.

How to Frame Your Messaging…

It all comes down to being real. If you speak on something, but never deliver – the void will always sit in the back of people’s head about you. So it’s not a matter of saying what sounds good, but it’s a matter of projecting what’s real.

Faking it until you make it wont get you far. In time, the truth will catch up with you and you’ll be exposed.

A few tips to consider:

  • Don’t be someone else, just be you. It’s really simple and even natural if you’re honest.
  • Don’t go over the top, it gets a negative effect.
  • Let it happen, don’t force it. It’s a thin line to walk between… and a line that you don’t want to crossover. It’s like the difference between old-school outbound marketing, and the new inbound marketing model.

Marketing is a Skill. Marketing Yourself is an Art

(honestly, marketing in general is an art…but that header sounded soooo good!)

See, it’s not so bad is it. It’s taking the ranks into your own hand and marketing your business (yourself) in a deliberate fashion; in a light that you want to be seen in.

It allows you to control the perception that others form, all while creating a name for yourself and in the very image that accurately and honestly portrays who you are.

The reason I’m so passionate about this topic is because if you market yourself well enough, eventually others will do it for you. Three of my last job offers have come as direct word-of-mouth-referrals; each advancing my career and extending my ability to take care of my family on a financial level. How cool is that!

Discussion
Now for the fun part…

  • Do you make lasting impressions…how so or why not?
  • What do people think of when your name comes up in a conversation?
  • Has your personal brand benefited you in a tangible way?

*Bonus – For those of you who I know well enough, I will share what your brand represents to me, in my reply to your comment.

1

Why Talking About Yourself is Bad Networking

“It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges. Your book is going to impress, but in the end it is people that are going to hire you.” – Mike Davidson

If there is ever something that could elevate you to the next level or send you crashing down into the pit of failure, it’s networking.

People place a lot of value on networking, on who to talk to and what kind of deals can be struck. Networking is where the magic happens in business, it’s where you could walk into a crowded room with nothing but a brilliant idea, and leave with enough contacts to make that idea a reality. 

Most of us agree – if you network well, you’ll do well in your business. And yet many of us don’t. We don’t make full use out of the potential that connecting with other like-minded individuals can offer us. Heck, we know we should be getting ahead of the pack here, but we don’t. Why is this?

There’s one huge mistake that a lot of people make when they go into networking events. It could be down to nerves, or ignorance, or a sheer bloody-mindedness to focus entirely on themselves rather than the people they’re talking to. The mistake that people make is that they make the occasion all about themselves.

Our Differences

Other people don’t want to hear about who you are and what you like. They want to hear about what they like.

If there’s only one line that you take away from this post, then I’d suggest it’s this one.

Everybody is different, therefore each of us will have our own likes and preferences, and our own dislikes and pet peeves.

Some of us will like helping small businesses whilst others will like being a part of a bigger brand. Some prefer yard sales whilst others prefer major corporate events.

What this also means is that no-one will have exactly the same preferences and tastes that you do. Sure, there will be some who share your fondness for Twitter, and there will be others will share your dislike for the Alexa ranking. But overall, no-one else on this planet will have the same opinions as you and the same ideas as you.

A Typical Networking Example

Despite this fact of life, there are still plenty of people who attend networking events and talk only about themselves and what they can offer. They seem to think that the more they mention themselves and their amazing benefits, the more chance eavesdroppers will listen in and spread their good name.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this.

If two people both adopt this approach and talk about themselves to the other person, then all that happens is a clash of noises. Nothing gets done, no new deals are struck, and there’s every chance one or both of these people will get annoyed with the whole thing and walk away. A lot of potential is lost when this occurs.

In this example, what happened is that both people put themselves first. They didn’t want to stop and listen to the other person go on about their achievements and credentials, so they made sure this didn’t happen by going on about their own achievements and credentials. I’d venture to say this happens a lot during networking events, and yet we rarely stop and ask ourselves how we can do things differently.

There’s one solid way which we can do it another way – focus on what you can offer the other person.

THEY Come First In Networking

Putting others first is a concept that nearly all of us have heard of, yet so few of us actually do it.

How can we put others first when the overall aim is to gain business advantages for ourselves? It’s a good question, but there’s a way to solve this dilemma effectively. You can put others first and still leave the event thinking it was a success. And if you want to know how to do this, there’s a clue in the wording.

Look again at that sentence in italics. Notice that I said “put others first” and “leave the event”. The trick is to do it in that order – focus the emphasis on others first, and then get your reward afterwards.

Other people are used to talking about themselves – it’s been said that one of our favourite sounds is the sound of our own voice. Granted, that applies to you too, but the next time you attend a networking opportunity, stop yourself from revealing what you are all about and listen to what they say instead.

Wonders happen once you start listening without waiting for your turn to speak. By listening, you immediately gain more information about who they are and what they do. You can learn what their goals are and where they’d like to see themselves. So far, so good.

But this can only go so far, and this is where the key is. At some point in the conversation, ask them what their problems are.

What you could gain from this question could be the knowledge you need to make a serious impression. By identifying what their problems are, and letting them explain in some depth, you then know what they want. Believe me, knowing what a potential client wants is an important ingredient in the recipe for success.

Once you know, you can then begin to talk about what you can offer, but with a twist. You can now tailor what you’ve got to suit their needs. If you offer something to them which can solve their problems and ease their worries, you’ve then got a major advantage over someone else who is going in blind with their ideas. A tailored fit will always be better than a ‘one-size-fits-all’.

This is why putting others first works – you understand their situation and problems, then go in with your idea as a ‘tailored solution’.

Even if they aren’t interested in your idea, you can still move onto the next potential client and use the same approach. As mentioned earlier, everyone’s different, and everyone will have their own problems. Sooner or later, your idea will be the perfect answer to someone’s problems.

The chances of you gaining business will increase if you use this approach, because you’re taking the time to put them first rather than yourself first. They’ll appreciate you standing down and letting them speak, as well as the tailored solution that you can offer them.

In other words, everyone’s a winner.

Should You Fake It To Make It?

It wasn’t the best chat up line.

Or one of my finest moments.

But it got the dance and the girl.

I mean, who can resist, “You may have seen me playing tennis at Wimbledon”?

Kind of true, mostly not.

Some would call it nerve, others bare face cheeked, the girl soon discovered it was a fake but hung on in there for a dance or two. Actually the writing was on the wall because the music we swayed along to was by Milli Vanilli, an Eighties band that famously faked singing on their records using unknown backing singers and taking all the glory themselves.

Guess no harm was done even though I wasn’t being quite honest or accurate in what I was saying.

Thing is it was a nightclub and pretty much everyone else was doing the very same (how do I know if she worked at an undertaker’s or not?) and also I wasn’t misrepresenting myself in the outside world to gain an advantage which is what the modern faker is very adept at doing.

People aren’t self-made anymore, they are self-termed.

This is me…NOT!

Perhaps you use social media like me.

I have a personal page and pages on Twitter and Facebook.

As I’ve been operating for a good few years now I attract friend requests most days. A while ago they seemed to be made up of everyday folks with usual day jobs and various interests and a small range of normal business people and those in my sphere.

Then it changed. Around a year ago normal went out of the window.

Now everyone has a self-styled specialist title or role.

Fair enough, so have I in a way, but I make no boasts or predictions of who I will be. I tell everyone just what I do.

The thing is that what appears to be active like a once dormant volcano is to artificially (and inaccurately) elevate your status with a term that can’t be true or even possible yet.

In the last three days for example I did an experiment and checked out the statements of those seeking to befriend me.

One was a ‘best selling author’, one was a ‘visionary, another a ‘famous energy master’ and then there was the usual ream of ‘Internet blog kings’ and ‘world renowned Internet marketer’ declarations.

Was it true? No!

Why be false?

I chose a small selection of names and did some research.

If they were indeed as they stated, best selling or famous, surely there would be a lot of coverage on the net, be featured on numerous sites and articles, have a large number of references to their work, and I would expect their own site to come up, read testimonials, see peer respect, and even video of them in action or some trail of mentions as proof of their status.

Guess what? Nothing!

Of eight I picked out at random none had any profile to speak of bar their existing social media ones with a hundred or so (or less) followers.

In short, they faked their achievements.

Why do this?

I think you know the answer; it’s a sad part of modern life.

Faking it before making it

Faking is a contemporary con that’s become widespread.

Call yourself something you’re not (yet) because it elevates who you are, meaning you can earn more money or get money in the first place. In the early days many people employed this tactic to gain an (unfair) foot in the door and since it worked for a lucky few everyone jumped on the band wagon.

It’s like the heyday of every restaurant advertising ‘homemade food’ or ‘made from fresh ingredients’ or ‘great atmosphere’, thinking they were the only ones saying it, but they were all copying.

These establishments may have been right as they had plenty of customers who could testify that their food was delicious but the modern human faker generally can’t. They made it up.

They may want your money, or want to sound important, or to create the persona they dream of being and are pretending they are that soul already to get in the skin of their future success, or they could just be full of self-importance or plain fibbing through their teeth.

They’ve not earned it or justified it, they are faking it before making it like a good chancer does.

Should YOU fake it too?

Again you will guess my response to this.

Absolutely not!!!

Have some dignity and self-respect and a large does of integrity.

There’s more to quick money (if it actually ever brings any your way) or being noticed for some lovely label you put on yourself.

There’s earning your ‘guru’ status or ‘ inspirational speaker much in demand’ quote after many years of hard graft and demonstrated experience rather than ten seconds of typing on a computer.

And there’s letting the world decide how good or big or popular you are because when you’re found out it’s your reputation that goes down the pan and with it the ‘friends’ you told you were a leader of tomorrow who will soon disappear today.

If you fake you don’t have enough self-belief and worth to simply be you and share those amazing talents and abilities you have in abundance.

You think you have to make people believe who you are because you don’t believe who you really are underneath.

THAT PERSON is never a fake!

They are talented, and special, and wanted and needed and have a major contribution to this world leaving a legacy by being themselves wherever they go.

You never have to fake it to make it – you make this world by being you and being here.

And that’s the biggest truth no-one can ever change!

How many fakers have you come across online or in person? How do you feel about the fake-it-to-make-it ideology? Is it ever justified or do you think we can all see through the false people among us? Let me hear your thoughts on this subject!

How One Simple Idea Could Change Your Life And Everyone Else’s

One of the best ideas of all time started with a walk.

In 1948 George de Mestral was on a trip in Switzerland when he went out with his dog for an afternoon outdoor hike.

While out he accidentally brushed up against some cocklebur plants and on getting back discovered his woollen trousers (and his dog’s coat) were covered in scores of round, spiky burr seeds.

He noticed how they contained a series of hooks which attached and held themselves to anything they came in contact with.

An idea took root and quitting his job he set about creating Velcro.

An idea that among other things has gone on to be used in clothing straps, flaps on training shoes, floor mats, diapers, briefcases and suitcases, by NASA on space shuttle’s, and to even hold a human heart together during heart surgery.

It was a simply observed idea that has made over $5billion since it was launched and one that revolutionised the clothing and accessory industry.

Ideas that are simple make big differences.

Ones that are right in front of our eyes every day.

Simple works

History has proved that the simpler an idea (and thus more easily adopted and used by more people), the greater the success it tends to be.

In 1970 Spencer Silver was working on developing a new strong adhesive for industrial use but couldn’t quite manufacture the desired strength. He held onto the idea and four years later came his, ‘Eureka’ moment.

Another colleague was singing in the church choir but couldn’t keep his page marker in place in his hymn sheet. He decided to use Silver’s invention to help out and noticed how it enabled him to move the markers without damaging the paper or losing it’s adhesive quality.

The Post It Note was born. A small colourful piece of sticky paper that has become an integral part of work, business and office culture the world over. Children today are as familiar with it as they are Coca Cola or Microsoft.

Simple ideas work even if their intended use becomes altered. The idea is still golden, the fine tuning makes it platinum.

What’s your idea?

The best ideas come from everyday people, not industrialists or development teams. Everyday folk who spot an unmet need or simple function those locked in big offices never get to witness. People like you.

They are at the heart of how the planet works, interacts, and connects but also what’s missing or required to make these easier, save time, save money, or improve quality of life. The true inventors are you and me, our eyes, our instincts, and our own lives and what we need to make them smoother.

What does our head in, or we would love to have to help us out, is most likely what everyone else wants too.

So, when an idea pops into your head (what the business world calls ‘a gap in the market’), it is a brilliant one because there are millions of others who would use or benefit from it.

  • What could you do with? What would uncomplicate your life? Or your friends? Or people like you i.e. other busy mothers or injury prone exercise junkies? What you do is your clue
  • Look for the uba simple. Forget the big invention or the mega product. If you see something so basic that no-one else has, go with it. Most small ideas never develop because they are thought too simple. Simple is what we all want
  • Keep you eyes peeled. Like George de Mestral. Would you have seen an idea like he did or moaned at how your clothes are covered in some ridiculous plant? An open mind is a goldmine
  • Don’t dismiss anything. Keep a journal and when you are out and about as ideas pop into your mind jot them down. On reflection later one or two may seem highly attractive. It only takes one to work
  • They don’t cost the earth. Perception is you need millions to make millions. A simple product or service worth a few dollars/pounds could be what millions of people have long wanted and will happily pay for it. A small amount to start can grow into a large fund in no time. Small ideas can have small budgets but huge implications
  • Why you? You may just see yourself as an ordinary guy/gal and nothing special, so why or how can you create the big idea? Well, why not you? Why pay for something that a big corporation has decided you could use or really need? You are on this planet for a reason and that could be to change lives by simply creating something that changes yours. But everyone else decides it can do the same for theirs. One person can come up with one idea for every body

Ideas are No.1

Ideas are what changes lives. They are No.1 in the hit parade of improving life on Earth in some way, vital or otherwise, saving time, money, hassle, space, peace of mind and energy.

Ideas change the world

They are the preserve of every person in any location of any age or circumstance or background.

Millions of people get ideas all the time and never do anything about them. Everyday wonderful possibilities never come magically to life as someone talks themselves out of a simple idea that could sweep the globe. People who think it wouldn’t matter and that they don’t matter.

You matter! And any idea you have matters. It’s meant to!

And the secret is this – the simpler it is the more powerful it will turn out.

Please, for all our sakes, never walk away from an idea that could change your life and everyone else’s.

If you have an idea or spot one make today the day you ‘Post It’ to the world! Don’t delay, get started. NOW is the time.

Your spark starts right here.

Have you had an idea you never developed? Or would you love to but something is stopping you? Or do you love ideas but not had that jackpot one yet? Let me know and let’s get that ball rolling.

1

Have You Found The Two Great Treasures Of Blogging?

“A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” – Henrik Ibsen

Why do we blog?

Why do we push ourselves to churn out posts that we sometimes doubt? Why do we stay up until the early hours of the morning to finish up a guest post? Why do we constantly read more and more blogging material when we could be out there in the real world playing in the sunshine?

It’s because we love to blog, and because we love the two great treasures that blogging provides.

The Treasure Chest

When it came to blogging, I was at first clueless. I didn’t really know what I was doing, what needed to be done, or what would really get me to where I wanted to be.

I’d only checked out a few blogs before I got started myself, and of those, most of them hadn’t been specifically about blogging – they were about football (soccer) or great books, or some other offline passion of mine. Which was great, but it wasn’t going to help me blog.

So instead of finding out more about blogging, and learning from the great experts like Darren Rowse or Brian Clark, I decided to do it myself and go it alone.

This, on reflection, wasn’t a good idea.

Sure, I’d checked out ViperChill and ProBlogger’s, Secrets for Blogging (affiliate link), and followed the advice in there, but that was only one point of information. To take my blog to the next level, I needed to step up my hunt for the treasure chest.

I needed to stop moping around my own blog’s dashboard and actually make an effort to be successful!

So I scooped up my hunting gear, girded my blogging ship for new shores, and like good ol’ Captain Jack Sparrow I set out for the elusive treasure chest that only comes to those who seek it. It won’t come to those who sit around their blogs all day and wish the world would do them a favor!

I hunted through new blogs, new lands, new voices, until I finally reached that treasure chest, cracked it open, and discovered two beautiful treasures inside. At first, I didn’t know what I had in my hands, but then I recognized. I recognized the treasures for what they were.

The two great treasures of blogging. Community. And Conversation.

Community

How to make money with a blogWhen I think of community, I have a tendency to think like a literature professor and split it into it’s two components – ‘commune’ and ‘unity’.

What does this mean?

I think it means ‘unity in communing’, or better yet, ‘unity in communication’. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Unity in communication.

If you’ve followed me at all recently, you’ll know I’ve been vouching for the value of community. I regularly visit community-driven sites such as The Sales Lion and Conversion XL. These blogs largely discuss what community means and it’s impact on blogging. In a nutshell, I think community’s pretty darn important.

Why?

Because this is where the magic of blogging happens!

This is where you connect with the myriad of human beings out there, and learn and laugh so much.

I love the community that I’ve become a part of, as it’s enabled me to not only meet up with dozens of amazing bloggers, but I’ve also had the pleasure of reading great material, commenting on that great material, connecting with the blogger about that great material (and more), and retaining that connection with that blogger.

To put in simply, you could imagine the community of blogging as one big networking event, where everybody has a name badge with their name and blog title, and they mingle around checking out each others work whilst striking up some amazing connections.

Community is great. And I advise anyone who hasn’t started to cultivate their community to do so, immediately. There’s a whole world out there, so what are you waiting for?

Conversation

A conversation, like community, can be broken down into two distinct components – ‘converse’ and ‘situation/location’. This means ‘a location or situation where people are conversing’.

Community is great on it’s own, but without a decent conversation, how can you have that connection with others?

The danger of reaching out to others is that it becomes a business-like transaction, where you don’t really talk with the other blogger but you do mindlessly comment and re-tweet their work in the hopes that you’ll get some form of payback.

There’s no conversation there, no real connection. And that’s not good. It’s not fun. And it’s definitely not worth your time in the long run.

Sound simple?

And yet, it isn’t quite as simple for some bloggers to understand, who prefer to do their own thing and avoid any conversations with other bloggers.

Why do they do this, why do they avoid the conversation?

I can’t vouch for them, but my best guess is that they just don’t see the value in having an awesome conversation, and they’d prefer to work on their own blogs in the hopes that someone big will notice them.

If you want to gain a successful and thriving network of a blog, then this approach won’t work. Having a great conversation means you reaching out to someone and engaging them in topics of mutual interest.

As you’ll both have blogs, then ‘blogging’ automatically becomes a mutual interest, and you can talk about blogging to your heart’s content. Then, the conversation may change to the topics that your blogs are about, but in other guises – personal development bloggers may talk about self-help books, and social media bloggers may talk about Twitter or StumbleUpon.

The point is, if you don’t make an attempt with a conversation, you won’t have that connection, and you won’t get to know another human being. Because they’re more than just a blog that you see on your screen – they’re also living, breathing, free-thinking human beings. And they’ve got a lot to say.

Have You Found The Treasure Chest?

Every single blogger in the world today has a treasure chest, their own container of riches. Some haven’t found it yet.

Some aren’t even looking for it.

And yet some have it and haven’t paid much attention to the two great treasures. Others still have studied the great treasures, and are putting them to good use. A fifth group have begun to master the great treasures, and are truly reaping the rewards.

How about you?

1

Blogging is for life, Not Just for Christmas

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” – Wayne Dyer

There are millions and millions of blogs in the world today, but how many of them are worth it?

How many of these blogs are generating any income for the blogger, or providing the blogger with some form of satisfaction in their life, or even still active?

Unfortunately, the majority of blogs don’t fill these categories. The majority of blogs are left by the wayside, too time-consuming for the once-enthusiastic blogger who dreamed of making thousands from blogging.

Although there are an increasing number of blogs out there who are generating enough income and ‘life satisfaction’ for the blogger to thrive on, the current trend is that blogging isn’t a ‘safe’ option for a career.

In fact, blogging isn’t really touted as the answer to anything these days. It’s not a consistent high-earner, it’s too time-consuming to be a hobby, and it’s too technical and cold for those who prefer to connect with people away from clicking ‘Like’ and ‘Tweet’ buttons.

So why do people blog?

Why People Blog

There are a wide variety of blogs today, from cooking recipes to social media gurus, and from funny-looking cats to psychology. But these blogs generally have one thing in common – their reason for existence. The reason why so many people set up a blog in the first place falls within a very small circle:

  1. They want to connect with people around the world and meet new friends
  2. They want to share what they’ve learned about their chosen topic with others
  3. They want to make a lot of money
  4. They want to help others in ways they wouldn’t be able to otherwise

Look at this list now and ask yourself: which reason best describes me?

To help you out, I’ll use myself as an example.

My Love Affair With Blogging

I first set up my very first blog because I wanted to connect with loads of different people. I also had been a member of a few self-help forums and spiritual forums, and wanted to learn more about this ‘online community’ buzz that was repeatedly drawing me in, especially as I enjoyed the conversations with like-minded people.

So I read a couple of blogs to get me started. After a short period of time I came across an eBook called ‘Cloud Living’ by Glen Allsopp. In this book, Glen explained how to set up a website and a blog, and described why they were worth the time and effort to do so.

I decided that this was something I wanted to do, and opted to try this thing called ‘blogging’ first. I figured a blog would be the perfect place to journal my thoughts, connect with new faces, and have a little fun.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any fun to begin with. My initial ‘niche’ was actually three niches – writing, learning, and personal development. I thought if I wrote a post on each, people would appreciate the diversity and versatility of my blog and come rushing back to read more. I thought wrong.

After a while, I realised that what I was doing wasn’t going to get me anywhere I wanted to be, so I changed my tactics and slowly began to build Akenyan Blogger into what it is today. But instead of regaling you with ‘that’ story, I want to point out my initial reason for starting a blog – connecting with others around the world.

The Frustrations That We Experience

Over the past few weeks, I have witnessed a recurrent theme – bloggers quitting blogging.

Everybody will have their own individual reasons. But the feeling of frustration seems to be the same. Bloggers want to feel like all of their time and effort is producing some form of result.

If a result is being reached, such as a thriving community or at least a trickle of money, then that’s good and the blogger can feel like their work isn’t in vain. But if nothing is happening for them, and/or their blogs are starting to feel like a chore, then severe frustration can kick in. This can then lead to the dawning realization that blogging just isn’t for them.

It’s a shame to see more and more bloggers reaching this conclusion. There are good bloggers out there, who are also good people, and their lives are suffering because of their blogs. Where once a blog was a nice hobby or an attempt at financial freedom, it has morphed into a time-sucking nightmare.

If Blogging Is To Work, It Must Fit In

So what happens when you reach this realization that blogging is no longer all it’s cracked up to be? Well, first I believe you should take stock of all that is in your life right now. Is it worth spending all those hours on that blog anymore? Do you think blogging is no longer worth it?

After you’ve thought on this, I reckon that leaves you with two choices:

  • Quit blogging, or
  • Decide on what your blog truly means to you and pursue it

You see, if blogging is to work out for you, it must be a part of your life. It must fit in with your life, not around your life. If you have too much going on right now, and you can barely spend an hour with your blog, then I recommend you stop worrying about it so much and focus on what needs to be done with the rest of your life. Step away from the blog and re-think things through.

Those who have turned their blogs into a success are those who have treated it as an important part of their life. They haven’t left it on the side – they’ve embraced it, spent whatever spare time they had on it, and figured out a business model that would eventually lead them to where they are today. It’s worked for them because they put in the work.

Your Decision

By this point, I want you to reach a decision. If you decide that you don’t want, or can’t put in the time on your fledgling blog, then that’s fine. It’s a responsible and respectable decision, and I wish you the best with your journey.

But if you decide that you want to make your blog work and turn it into a success, then come jump on the spaceship, grab a seat next to me, and let’s turn this into something incredible.

7

How I do Keyword Research for My Niche Websites

Niche research means all the difference between making money and, well, wasting a lot of time. It is not something that you pick off the tips of your fingers. Whenever I am starting a new niche blog, I spend about 8-12 hours doing systematic niche research.

We will be using Chrome. You first need to install an extension called MozBar. You will also need to sign up for a trial of SemRush here www.semrush.com/sem/?ref=15077161.

Great. Now we are ready for work.  So, what do we look for in a niche?

  1. We want a niche that has traffic
  2. A niche that has little competition
  3. And a niche that has products that we can sell

Amazon Bestsellers Categories

The easiest way to tell whether a niche has both traffic and products to sell is to head over to Amazon.com’s bestselling products page. Kindly go here http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers/zgbs.

Blogging in kenya money

After you get here, there is no magic formula to tell which niche you should pick. This is where I spend most of my time… browsing through the different categories (Menu on the Left). If I find a product that is in the bestselling categories and it spikes my curiosity, I mark it down for further analysis.

The further analysis involves verifying how many people are searching for information on that niche, and how many bloggers are writing about this niche. Generally, I want the niche to have traffic of about 5000+.

Use SEMRush to Get Overview of Google Search Volume

So, I go to SeMrush, and type a random keyword associated with the product

From the industrial and Scientific category, for instance, I can pick the keyword protective eyewear and go search it in SemRush. This will give me the organic search volumes for the keyword, which in this case is 880 (too low).

But SemRush also gives you related keywords. So, I will look at the suggested related keywords. In this case I can see ‘safety glasses’ is quite popular at 27,100 searches.

I click on it.

Now, I have a keyword with a decent search volume on Google…. but I am certainly not the only one who’s noticed the numbers. I need to see how many other bloggers have decided to build their businesses around the keyword.

Weighing and Analyzing Niche Competition

At this time, I’ll head over to Chrome and search for ‘safety glasses.’

With MozBar installed, I can get both the Page Authority (PA) and the Domain Authority (DA) of the guys who are ranking on the first page of Google. I can also see the of number links that the ranking pages are getting.

make money blogging in Kenya

The higher these metrics are, the harder it will be to compete with them. Any result that has a PA of 30 and above should dissuade me from entering into that niche. From the screen shot above, I can see that the the first result for ‘safety glasses’ has a PA of 68 and 908 total links. The second result has a PA of 48 and 3,504 backlinks.

At 78 and 40, the Domain Authorities (DA) for these websites is quite strong.

Those numbers are quite impressive and it will take a lot of grit and hard work to rank a niche blog using the keyword ‘safety glasses.’

So, from the results of ‘safety glasses’ on Google, I can see the competition is quite stiff. There is no way I will ever be able to dethrone these guys from the first spots on Google results… Although safety glasses are among the bestselling items on Amazon, and the search volume is awesome, it is not a niche that I will just get into. The competition is a Goliath!

But, if this is a niche that I really want to get into, I will go back to SeMrush and find a way to sneak myself into.

I will be trying to find other keywords related to ‘safety glasses’ that are not as competitive as ‘Safety glasses.”

I will actually be spying on my competitors to see which keywords are driving traffic to their website, but they have not optimized to rank for them. But of course, this will be another tutorial.

2

Rank & Bank: Week Two Niche Site Update

Today marks the end of the second week of my rank and bank blogging challenge. In case you are wondering what the rank and bank challenge is, kindly see more information about it on the first post I made.

I’ll also do a quick recap here as things have changed a little bit since I started the challenge. I also like to keep my goals in sight. So, I might be repeating the goals of the projects in every Ranks & Bank update that I make.

Goals and Timeline of the Project

Can you make money blogging in Kenya? It is a question that a lot of people ask me. But instead of giving a blanket yes or no answer, I like setting the example.

I have been making some of my income from blogging for the past two or three years, albeit in the service industry. But I understand that no everyone can start a blog in the service industry, especially if you are in high school or college.

But everyone can make a niche website that is monetized through affiliate programs and products and make it big. You could also create a niche website targeting a high CPC keyword and monetize it using Google Adsense (though I really wouldn’t recommend this especially if you don’t have a Google Adsense account already.)

So, for this particular project, I am building two brand new websites, and aiming to be making at least $500K from each one of them by the end of one and a half years. That’s about 1M Kenya shillings in total.

The blogs will be primarily monetized via the Amazon Associates program.

Here is what I have managed to do so far:

  1. In week one, I registered domain names for the two niche blogs
  2. I hired two writers to write content for the two websites. I initially hired 3 but one ended up bailing out as she was totally new to the writing industry
  3. One blog has 3 posts as of today. The only one has just one post.
  4. I have not done any SEO for the blogs. Although I did create a Twitter account for one of them.

Google Indexing

Should you or should you not submit your blog to Google Webmaster console?

It is a question that I have seen raised elsewhere by SEOs. So, I did an interesting quick case study. I submitted one of the blogs to the webmaster console, and didn’t submit the other. Guess what happened? The submitted blog was being indexed while the other one was nowhere to be found in Google using the ‘site:’ search parameter.

Rank and Bank Blogging Challenge

Lesson: Don’t believe every bit of information you read from internet marketers. Some of them want you to be an epic flop. Some of them have never started a successful niche blog in their entire IM careers. Always take everything you hear with a pinch of doubt.

Goals for Next Week

I am excited about next week.

  1. Create social media accounts for all the blogs (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I might also consider LinkedIn)
  2. Add 5 posts to each of the blogs (I am doing long posts 2000 words and above)
  3. Start creating backlinks for the projects.
Challenges

Chase Bank went down.

Seriously.

It was my only bank and I liked the fact that I could shuffle money back and forth from the bank account to Mpesa. It made hiring online so much easy.

What am I gonna do about it? Open a bank account with Cooperative bank. It is the first thing I’ll be doing tomorrow morning.

3

My $10K Challenge

If you are reading this post, you are one of the few persons that will witness my crazy blogging journey.

I have set a crazy challenge for myself.

Starting April 2016, I will be attempting to build a new blog from scratch and looking forward to selling it for more than 10 Million Kenya shillings in one and half years.

As of right now, I have bought a brandable domain name, and I have a vague idea of how I intend to grow the blog.

Content Creation

For the first few weeks, I have set $160 for content creation. With this amount, I intend to get about 20 articles, each one of them about 2000 words.

I expect the first phase of content creation to take about 2 weeks. Most of the content in the first phase will be product reviews for products on Amazon in my niche.

The fact that I am setting a budget for this project goes to show how serious I am about it. I could have chosen to write the articles by myself, but that would be self-defeating.

I know myself.

I am lazy AF.

And paying a writer $8.00 to write a 2000 words blog post is a jackpot. But isn’t that so damn cheap? No. It is not. But I am not getting into that debate right now.

Later on, I expect to create more content about the industry to drive traffic.

Content Promotion

I am expecting some major love from Google on this project. I expect a third of my traffic to come from Google… but I am not stopping there.

Only a fool believe that if he builds it they will come.

So, what’s my strategy?

Social media promotion will play a key role in driving traffic. I will also be doing a few guest posts on related websites. Reddit also have a very dedicated to this niche.

I will also be hunting the internet for niche forums.

8

Don’t Waste Your Life Working for a Boss. Here is How you Can Make $$$ Working Online

You are just about to uncover a goldmine.

All those questions that you’ve been having about working and making money online in Kenya will be answered in this one monstrous post.

I will start with the most basic:

1.Can you make money working online in Kenya?

Hell yeah! I do it all the time.

I know of 1001 other guys who sit in their comfy houses the whole day, working online, making dollars with every tick of the clock. These guys never have to worry about beating traffic in the morning, getting to work late or answering insidious questions from their supervisors.

But please note, making money online, especially in Kenya, is not as simple as many people make it sound. If you do not have a tough skin, please continue dropping your C.V. in offices.

2. How much money can you make working online?

If you’ve not started working online, you probably think that working online is for those desperate college leavers who are waiting to get into mainstream jobs.

You could never be more wrong. Working online is the way to go if you want to start making big bank as soon as you graduate or even before you’ve graduated.

Many entry level jobs in Kenya will pay you between 20K-50K per month. Trust me, getting to this level of income when working online will take you less than 6 months, and from there, this sum quickly builds up.

If you are diligent and hardworking enough, you will be making 6-figure income after your first year. I am not saying that it is easy, but it can be done. And the best thing is that there is no cap on how much you can make working online!

3. What kind of jobs can you do online?

Almost any type of white-collar job that you can do in an office can be done online. The most common online jobs include:

  • freelance writing (academic writing, article writing, e-book etc)
  • website design
  • Graphic and logo design
  • Social media marketing
  • data entry jobs
  • transcription
  • among many others.

4. How do I get started?

This is the one-million-dollar question. Almost everyone seems to know that they can make money working online in Kenya, but they don’t know how to start. I am going to steal you into a few secrets about how you go about building an online career.

  1. Identify what you can do best: Hopefully, you’ve been through education and you’ve passion for crafts such as writing or web design. Passion is the keyword here. You can monetize whichever passion you have. You only need a certain level of tactfulness. For instance, if you love cooking, you could search for online jobs that involve writing recipe books (this is huge!). If you love weight lifting, find for clients who are looking for articles in the health and fitness niche. Writing is, however, not the only thing that you can do. Be tactful.
  2. Google is your best friend. Please, do everyone a big favor. Use Google. Read as much as you can on what you think you can do. There is so much information available on the internet.
  3. Get a trainer/mentor: It is important that you get a mentor to hold your hand even as you use Google to research the hassle. A trainer helps you narrow down on the information you get online. Yes, a lot of trainers will want that you pay them. Who has time to give away for free? If you expect someone will train you for free, you clearly don’t value their time nor yours.

5. Where do I get online jobs in Kenya?

Depending on the type of online work that you’ve settled on, there are different places to get jobs from.

  1. Upwork: Upwork is one of the most popular marketplaces for freelance talent. On Upwork, you can get almost any type of work ranging from freelance writing, data entry jobs, website design jobs, data entry jobs and many others. Creating an account on Upwork is free, and it takes less than 30 minutes to get started.
  2. Iwriter: iWriter is another great freelance marketplace, but one that only posts article writing jobs. Some people swear by the moon and the stars that it is one of the best places to launch your online career. Unlike in Upwork,you do not have to bid for jobs on iWriter. The process is simple: clients post jobs, you pick a writing task that appeals to you, complete it, and send it to the client for approval. The only slight is that some clients can be cheapskates. They will reject your articles for no reason, give you low ratings and cause your account to be banned. I have written a good post on how to make it on iWriter. Read it here.
  3. TranscribeMe, Speechpad, Rev & Scribie: All these accounts specialize in transcription jobs. Unfortunately, I do not have first hand experience with any of these accounts or transcription jobs. If you’d like to try your hand on transcription a Facebook Group, Awesome Transcribers Kenya, offers incredible tips and advice.

Taking it Past Working for Someone Else

If you critically scrutinize the information provided above, you’ll realize that the options I have given involve being employed by someone. You’ll still be answering to your clients, albeit online. Although these jobs are a good launchpad for your online career, you don’t want to be stuck working for other people forever.

There are a few disadvantages of working online using the model illustrated above:

  1. You are not your own boss. You are still relying on clients to give you jobs
  2. If you don’t spend time banging on your keyboard, you do not earn.
  3. If you stop working, you go broke, and might be forced to go back to the dreaded pursuit of employment

The Better Approach to Working Online

There is a better model of working online that does not involve working for clients.

Disclaimer: The models I am about to illustrate require more commitment from you!

I strongly advise about starting your own online business. Having your online business puts you on the drivers seat. It gives you freedom and allows you to make money even when you are not actively engaged in working!

Although you will need to put up some time (and possibly capital) to get your online business going, the reward are well worth it.

What online businesses can I start?

1. Start your own freelancing agency:

Seriously. Instead of working on all the jobs that you get, consider outsourcing some of the work to other freelancers. If you have a good account that gets frequent jobs, you can even hire an account manager to manage your account and freelancers. This frees you to concentrate on other income-generating activities.

2. Create an Online Training Course

Everyone has something that they can teach. Just the other day, I created a website for a friend who is teaching Kenyans how to speak French! I also have a training, the Kindle Bestsellers Program, which is the best online course on how to make money online in Kenya.

Creating an online training course is easier than you might think, but this will be a post for another day. For now, I’d recommend that you read this article on how to create info products that sell!

3. Start a PayPal-Mpesa Transfer Business

As long as online jobs exist, and this is fast becoming the norm rather than the exception, there will always be need for online workers to transfer their earnings from PayPal to Mpesa in a fast, efficient and reliable manner.

If you build a name for yourself as a reliable and honest dealer, you will make a very lucrative business for yourself. PayPal -Mpesa transfer agents charge a commission on every transfer that they make. Sometimes the commissions are as high as 10%, which means if you transfer $1000 in a day, $100 (or 8K) will be yours to keep!

4. Become a self-published author

Do you know that you can write a book in less than 7 days and have it published within the same time? What’s more, your book can become a bestselling book, and you’d receive money from the sale of your book for as long as that book remains in publication, which is… forever!

Becoming a self-published author is one of the best ways to make money online. It is actually what I have been doing since 2014. I still earn from the sale of books that I published back then. Last month, my earnings from the sale of my books neared 200K.

To become a self-published author, you only need to open an account on Kindle Direct Publishing, write a book, and post it there!

5. Start a niche blog/website

A niche website is a website that is dedicated to publishing content on one specific topic only. With such a website, you make money through affiliate marketing or by showing ads on your blog.

Conclusion

I could go on and on and on about how you can make money online in Kenya, but I won’t. At least not until you’ve implemented the above.

If you’ve any questions, I’d like to hear from you. Drop a comment below, and let’s continue this discussion there.

19

Meet the Crop of Young Graduates Who Are Turning Their Backs on Corporate Employment

They are young, full of life, and egotistical. But what really sets them apart from the youth of yesteryears is their indifference to corporate employment. While their parents went to school so that they could later find a good job that would pay them an average salary till they retired at 65 or 70, the Y Generation seems to have a totally different perspective on education and its co-relationship with careers.

“I cannot stomach the thought of working for someone from 9-5,” says a newly graduated 22-years old Mercy Njoki.

Mercy’s words are an incredible contrast to every young person (or parent) who cannot stop howling about the government’s failure to create employment opportunities for the youth. It is a story that is in direct contradiction with the more popular Hakuna Kazi version. Hers is the other side of the story that is rarely told; a story of young graduates who, for the love of their lives, cannot imagine spending the remaining quota of their productive lives locked in an office cubicle or chasing story leads in the field.

Mercy’s story is not an isolated one. Droves of young graduates, many with outstanding academic qualifications, are turning their backs on corporate employment. Some cite the low salaries paid by employers while others are concerned about losing the freedom of how they spend their time.

According to Mary Muchemi, a leading recruiter and headhunter in Nairobi, more and more young people are shying away from the perpetual pursuit of corporate employment, opting for the less traveled paths of self-employment and freelancing.

Mary says that a number of factors are responsible for this new crop of graduates.

“Most of them witness the struggle which their elder peers go through as their try to land jobs. Psychologically, they have already given up on the notion of landing corporate jobs even before they’ve graduated,” says Mary.

“Others want to feel that they have total control over their lives and how they spend their time. They do not want to answer to anyone but themselves, something which makes them an automatic mismatch for jobs in the corporate sector,” she adds.

Finding Joy Working Online in Kenya

So, where does this breed of corporate-employment-shunning fresh graduates go, and what do they want to do with their time?

Most of the young graduates who have shunned corporate employment are finding solace in online freelancing. It is the new way to find work and get employed, and, according to Mercy Njoki, if you you have not tried online freelancing, you are seriously missing out.

“I seriously get perplexed by guys that constantly cry ‘hakuna kazi’. There is so much work online. There is so much that you can do. You don’t need anyone to employ you, make you report to the office at 8, underpay you, and treat you like you are under their mercy,” Mercy rants.

Mercy, who works as a freelance writer with an online marketplace she identifies as Upwork, says that there are jobs for everyone online, and the best thing of them all is that the employers in these places do not concern themselves with your qualifications. You might be a form four dropout but as long as you can get the job done, you will get hired.

In Kenya, the idea of working online started a few years ago, but the information remained a reserve of a select few.

However, over the past two years, thanks to the wide penetration of low-cost internet and online social communities that are generous with information, the notion has gradually caught momentum and it looks as if there is no stopping it. Young undergraduates are being recruited into the movement years before they graduate. Apparently, there is a large market for their services in overseas countries where startups cannot afford to employ full-time staff. The startups turn to countries like India and Kenya for ‘cheap labor’.

However, what is cheap in overseas countries is a jackpot in Kenya where the cost of living is relatively low. Working online, Mercy pockets between Ksh. 90,000-150,000 per month. The lowest she has ever earned was 30K, and that was when she was young in the industry and still learning the hoops and crannies of the industry. On a good day, she makes about 5000/=, working for only 6 hours.

However, while the romanticism of working online is definitely attractive, HR professionals are afraid that the trend could shove the country into a labor crisis. Mary says that the country faces a possible worker-shortage problem.

“With the prospects that young people are finding online, it will soon be difficult to find qualified employees who are willing to work at the current salary rates in Kenya. Employers will either have to up their game or also resort to hiring online,” Mary explains.

The online jobs market also poses a nightmare for the revenue authorities in Kenya. While every individual is supposed to accurately file tax returns annually, many freelancers do not bother themselves doing so, and are, in fact, proud of flaunting the mantra ‘tax-free income’ to anyone who cares to listen. The government could be losing a substantial amount of revenue in terms of undeclared income.

7 Reasons Why I Will Continue Working Online in 2016

The year was 2014, during the cold month of July, and a decision was finally made that the corporate lifestyle was not designed for me.

Being tied in the office for hours on end, playing Candy Crush and Tweefing using the company’s free WiFi was not what I went to campus for. It was killing me inside out. I’d leave the office feeling guilty that I had not accomplished much.

I had to do something or I’d end up an automaton like some other colleagues that I used to see reporting into the office just because they were supposed to do so. It is as if their lives had lost meaning. They didn’t have purpose or direction. The little that they did by way of work was meant to keep their supervisor’s from their necks.

At the end of August in 2014, I handed in my resignation letter, to the surprise of my supervisor. Why was I leaving the job? She asked. Wasn’t the salary enough?

While it is true the salary was not enough, and even though I was promised a raise if stayed, my mind was already made up. I didn’t want to be locked up in the office browsing Facebook for the better part of the day.

I didn’t know whether I had what it takes to work online in Kenya and never look back to the dreaded pursuit of corporate employment and the constraining office cubicle. It was a leap of faith.

It is now one year and 4 months since I quit my job, and you know what? I cannot regret that I chose to work online over being employed. True there are times when the going is tough. Jobs go missing or my self-discipline lapses and I find myself losing important contracts, but I made up my mind to never go back to the dreaded pursuit of employment. I made a commitment to myself that I either had to make it through online jobs or die trying.

It is now 2016, and I still love working online. Here are my top 10 reasons why I still love working online in Kenya:

1. I am an Introvert

I’ll admit it now. I don’t know how to deal with people on a one-on-one basis. My brain processes instructions so slowly that one-on-one conversations become a nightmare to me. The internet and working online save me from this.

If a client sends me an email or message in Upwork, I’ll have my 5 minutes to think over the response I should give, and make sure that it is well-worded to avoid sounding awkward.

2. I am my own boss

Being your own boss is probably the greatest advantage of working online. But, please, beware. This is a double-edged sword. If you lack self-drive, motivation and discipline, this will bring your online career tumbling down before it’s even started.

Working online means that you’ve to set your own schedules. You have to push yourself to complete projects within their stipulated deadlines, and it is your sole responsibility to ensure the satisfaction of your clients.

In essence, you are the chief whip of your empire, and the Big Boss never sleeps. The biggest mistake that many online job seekers in Kenya make is thinking that working online affords them the opportunity to be lax. Woe unto you if you start working online with such a mentality.

3. I Decide How Much I want to Earn

I will steal you into a little secret. There is no other job in the world that will let you decide how much you want to earn, and how frequently you should get a pay rise… But working online does!

Normally, when you go for an interview, you’ll be asked what your salary expectations are. The wise employee will have already done background research on how much the company pays, and will simply echo their findings (whether or not it is what they are comfortable being paid). This predetermined salary is unlikely to change, regardless of how hard you work your a$$.

This rapidly changes when you start working online. You can change your monthly earnings in so many levels:

  • You can decide that you do not want to work for clients who pay below a certain wage range or

  • You can decide to increase the number of projects that you work on in a month, which translates into more monthly income

Putting more hours into your online biz means that you earn more. If you work your a$$ hard enough, and you are diligent in your dealings with clients, you’ll soon be earning top bucks for your services.

4. My Dress, My Choice a.k.a Work in My Boxers

One of the agonies that casual-loving employees have to go through is being forced to adopt a formal dress code. I was lucky that my former job had less stringent rules on dressing.

But come to think of it, it must have been awkward going to the office in t-shirt, jeans and sneakers (and there I was, always wondering why my salary was a big joke and no promotion was forthcoming!)

With online jobs, I can negotiate a $1000 project with the CEO or president of a small banana nation in my boxers, and I wouldn’t feel awkward.

I don’t have to dress to impress when I am working online. I can survive with my outdated wardrobe for close to two years, and I’d never feel as if I was falling behind on anything. Take a look at the guys who work in offices in Nairobi. Most of them have expensive designer suits that you can tell is above their means.

5. No office politics

Have you ever worked in an office? I know a few people who do, and when they complain about their jobs, they rarely cite the meager salary or complexity of the job as the main source of their agony; most of them point their fingers at office politics.

Your work at the office can be what you’ve always wanted to do, the salary could be on the same range with what Bob Collymore earns, but if the people around have a repulsive energy, trust me, you won’t love waking up to that job.

I am a poor politician, and I thank God that I don’t have to deal with office politics. I’d die, if I had to!

6. No traffic jams to beat

I hate traffic jams with a passion. If I was in a personal car, and I got caught up in the mad Nairobi traffic jam, I’d simply abandon my car for the Kanjo to tow. That’s how impatient I am, and it is the other reason why I will continue working online in 2016.

P.S. I usually give the excuse of traffic jams as the reason why I prefer to live in the diaspora (Nakuru!)

7. Working Online=Working Anywhere in the World

Although we often refer to our online hustle as working from home, the truth is that you can work from anywhere in the world. There are so many advantages of this including the ability to choose in which town you’d like to live in. Working online has given me the freedom to choose where I work from. I can go on a two-week vacation in Watamu or Mombasa, but with my laptop, I’d still be making dollars on a daily basis.

There goes my 7 reasons why I will continue working online in 2016. Now, up to you. Why would you love to work online in 2016? Leave your comment below.

1

Becoming a better designer

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It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English.

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

SEO from Media

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English.

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

3

Introducing: Dr. Deniz Zeynep

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English.

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

1

LMS WordPress plugin

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English.

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Admin earns scholarship

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English.

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Forensic team earns several

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English.

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Starting an Online Business Like Steve Jobs Would Do

Statistics collected by Bloomberg indicate that 8 out of every ten startups end up collapsing before the start of their third year. That is a whopping 80% of startups that crash and burn when they are still in their infancy.

As entrepreneurs, we should be asking ourselves why so many startup businesses fail. If you wish to turn your next startup into a flourishing success, you should be learning from the amount of failing startups.

What do these businesses do or fail to do that contributes to their untimely closure?

In this article, I share the five common pitfalls that are usually the death knell of many startups:

Failing to keep in touch with their customers

What usually happens when a businessman has a brilliant idea that he or she thinks is the next big thing in the enterprise world?

Many entrepreneurs retreat into a shell. They hibernate in their work caves and get busy implementing their ideas.

This is the wrong approach to business.

You need to get out there and talk to your potential customers. Not through 140 character tweets but a sincere dialogue that seeks to understand what your customers’ passions, fears and strengths are.

Holding a dialogue with your customers is the first key to business success.

Lacking real differentiation in the market

How unique is your business idea?

One of the reasons why your startup will fail is if you are trying to do what everyone else in the market is doing.

Since most of the business do not have real value that they are adding to the market, they end up closing their doors and wondering what went amiss.

Failure to communicate your unique value proposition clearly

Communication is an art and science. Unfortunately, if you do not know how to communicate your business goals and mission clearly, it doesn’t matter how brilliant your business idea is, it will end up with the 80% that never celebrate their third year anniversary.

The above three mark the most common pitfalls that lead to the crumble of many startups. Now that you know the reasons why businesses fail, I trust that you can come up with ways to salvage yours from joining the colossal statistics.

5

A Morning in Nakuru, and Why You Need to Work Online

It is a beautiful morning in Nakuru. The sky is partly cloudy, partly blue.

Like a young lad trying to breakthrough into the heart of resisting lass, the sun is trying hard to break through the grey clouds. Yesterday’s rain has whetted down the dust, and it is just the perfect morning for a morning stroll.

It feels good to be out here. I miss my morning routines. I forgot what it feels like to step out to the embrace of the morning weather. I guess that’s what happens when you work online. You barricade yourself indoors from early morning to the time you go to bed late into the night. You repeat the same routine tomorrow, and you slowly forget what it feels like to be in the ‘real’ world. To rub shoulders with strangers and get amazed by what other people do. What is it they are rushing to this early in the morning; a draconian boss? A business that demands they be there before the world has fully roused itself from sleep?

There is a danger in this kind of a lifestyle, the internet lifestyle. It can make you settle into a rutty comfort zone. There is only yourself to challenge. You write a few words per day, and you think you are working hard. You wake up at 9 a.m. because you have no boss to answer to, and forget other people woke up at 5 a.m. so that they will be at their desks in time to avoid their employer’s stern look. You spend the whole day doing nothing just because you can, and forget there is a guy who’s been sweating on a mkokoteni from dawn to dusk.

Today, the morning air has that freshness that follows a night of heavy downpour; crisp and clean, as if it has never been polluted. You can almost smell the earth and the mist. And the sun. Nothing beats the morning sun in Nakuru! I think that is why flamingoes love Nakuru J!

There is one more reason why I love taking morning walks. They remind me that I am part of the workforce that contributes to nation building. When I watch the populace rush to wherever they are going, I see people trying hard to make ends meet. I see people who have no option than to report to jobs that they hate, and I remind myself that I am lucky to be doing something that I am really passionate about. As I watch vehicles speeding down the street, I am reminded that I have a goal to work towards.

As I slowly take in random things on my leisure walk, my mind kicks into gear. I see people for who they really are. The beauty of it all is that all of them are so engaged in whatever they are doing to notice that they are being observed.

There is a lady hurrying down the street. She is so absent-minded that she almost walked into an electricity pole. She probably works in a local store. Her salary is probably half of what I earn in a day working online, and this being the last week of the month, she’s probably used all of it. That’s why she is walking to town. The walk gives her enough time to budget this month’s salary, which will be due in a few days’ time.

Or she’s probably given up on the calculations and decided to simply survive from one end month to the other, for no matter how hard she tries to stretch the paycheck, it is never long enough to make her live her dreams. The only way she lives her dreams is in her mind.

AdManage Review- Does it Pay or is it Another CPC Scam?

For the past few days, I have been setting up quite a number of blogs and mini websites with the intention of monetizing them using Cost per Click (CPC) ad networks. These are sites that I put up very hurriedly, I do not spend as much time on them as I spend on my main websites but they still bring in cash at the end of the day, mostly by using CPC ad networks.

With the increase in my niche websites, I have also been doing something else that I believe is absolutely necessary. I have been hunting for new ad networks. I already use InfoLinks and Bidvertiser, which you really have to check out. In the process of hunting for a juicier ad network, I came across adManage and thought that I have hit gold… Not so fast though.

What is AdManage?

AdManage is a cost per click (CPC) advertising network that Charlo Barbosa founded in 2008. According to a profile on Angel.co, Charlo is also the founder of other online businesses including NativeAds and Poker.com. Now, this is where according to my extrapolation, which might be wrong but is usually right, things get murkier.

NativeAds was founded 10 months ago and Admanage’s domain is going to expire in 4 month’s time. Do you read something here?

CPC networks are advertising networks that will pay you whenever someone clicks on adverts that the network has placed on your website/blog through a code that you install. Other popular CPC networks that you might want to check include Google Adsense, Chitika and Bidvertiser.Admanage Review Scam or Legit

 

AdManage Review

As I always do, and advise you to do, you really have to do due diligence before you decide to invest your time, space or energy in anything. I queried Mr. Google to show me all the intricate details and reviews of adManage, and this is where things started becoming fuzzy.

  1. I discovered this forum post in Digital Point Forums of a publisher complaining of delayed payments and arbitrarily changed payment terms
  2. A comment on a wiki page about the ad network being a ‘big scam’
  3. There was this ripoff report that had been filed in ripoffreports.com. This report was however withdrawn after Charlo Barbosa, the founder of Admanage filed a complaint.
  4. Scamaudit.com report has Admanage in its list of ‘suspicious’ websites (see the image above)

 My Verdict

There is no much of an uproar about AdManage being a scam but there are enough red flags to keep me away from the CPC network. What’s your opinion?

How to add/integrate PesaPal Payment Gateway to WHMCS

For the past few days, I have been cooking something spicy on Blogscheme. Bit by bit, ingredient by ingredient, I have proceeded to build the only web hosting company that will allow you to scale your business at no extra charges on you.

The process has been painstaking and has gone on for close to one week now.

I first had to shop for a VPS server that will be lighting fast, which reminds me I need to write that article about shopping for VPS servers.

After finding the VPS hosting that suits my business model and making the initial payments, I had to choose a billing management software. Among the many client management systems available on the internet, I settled on WHMCS. It is the popular choice among web hosting companies, and a quick demo test drive assured me that this is what I needed.

With everything set up and ready to go, it has come to a point where I need to add a payment gateway for the web hosting services, and I have had to weigh my options.

Researching the Best Payment Processor for WHMCS

A client/billing management software is used to automate billing. With such a software, you can easily set up accounts for your web hosting clients and go for a vacation to the moon without worrying that you are not there to bill or set up accounts for your customers.

There are several client management software available on the internet including WHMCS (which is what I am using on Blogscheme Web Hosting), BoxBilling, Clientexec among others.

However, no matter how robust a client management system is, it still needs to work with a payment gateway/payment processor.

Since I have opted to use WHMCS as my client management software, I have to choose between these three payment gateways:

  1. 2Checkout
  2. PayPal, and
  3. Skrill/Moneybookers [sic]
  4. PesaPal

Of course there are other payment gateways available out there, but depending on who I anticipate my clients to be, I opted for the above 3.

However, I had to cancel out Skrill/Moneybookers from the list very fast. Apparently, a Skrill Merchant account is a pain in the umentionable. This does not mean that you cannot use Skrill to receive payments from your freelance gigs. SkrilliT makes that side of thing all-so-awesome.

I also had to cancel out PayPal from my list of prospective payment processors. The way I see it, most of my clients are newbie in online commerce and are unlikely to have any money on their PayPal accounts. I might still decide to use PayPal at a later date when I have done thorough analysis of the market.

I have managed to narrow down the payment processors to two: PesaPal and 2Checkout. There are two great payment processors. Although I have heard some nasty things about 2Checkout on the Web Hosting Talk Forums, that is what ultimately leads me to choose PesaPal over it.

  • PesaPal has lower transaction costs than 2Checkout
  • PesaPal has a local ring on it. This might end up working to my advantage since I am mostly targeting upcoming Kenyan bloggers with my web hosting services.
  • Arghh. The registration process on 2Checkout was the last nail that bang-shut that coffin. I understand that the process is necessary, more so since 2Checkout is global. Add Eastern Europe and Nigerian Hackers in the equation and I totally understand the long registration process
  • I already use PesaPal to sell some products on Blogscheme, which means no learning curve for me here.

Using the PesaPal Module for WHMCS?

How did I even know that PesaPal has an addon/module for WHMCS?

I still smile when I remember how I came across this useful bit of information. I was researching other companies that offer web hosting services in Kenya when I came across the nugget.

Before I venture into any business, I like to do a thorough competitor analysis. I want to know who I am against. I want to see what my competitors’ Goliath and their Heel of Achilles is. I want to test out every system that they are using, and see how they fair against what I have. It was in the process of this research that I came across a web hosting company that is using WHMCS and accepting payments via PesaPal. That was my Eureka! moment. Google took care of everything else from there.

Installing the PesaPal WHMCS Module

In my rush to have PesaPal’s WHMCS payment gateway up and running as fast as I could, I made a mistake that took me a few minutes to diagnose. Instead of uploading the unzipped file to the Modules/Gateways directory of my WHMCS directory, I uploaded it in the Modules/Addons directory. I spent a few minutes wondering why I couldn’t see the option to activate it. After a few minutes of ruthless head-scratching and feeling completely useless, I went back and read the ReadMe file that comes with PesaPal WHMCS addon. Don’t repeat the same mistake.

Here is the proper way to install PesaPal WHMCS addon:

  1. Download the package from WHMCS Appstore or from PesaPal’s Official Extensions Directory
  2. Unzip the package to a folder in your computer. This step will unzip the main folder ‘PesaPal WHMCS’. You will upload the contents of this folder separately via your FTP software.
  3. Grab the PesaPal folder (this is a sub-folder inside the main PesaPal WHMCS folder) and the pesapal.php file and upload them in the WHMCS modules/gateways directory.
  4. Grab the PesaPal.php file from the callback folder and upload it into Modules/gateways/callbacks directory of your main WHMCS installation
  5. Open the templates folder of your downloaded/unzipped package. Grab the pesapal_callback.tpl and pesapla_iframe.tpl and upload them into your WHMCS templates directory.
  6. Head over to setup-payments-payments gateway on admin section of your WHMCS installation and enable PesaPal. It will probably be at the bottom of the list. Enter your WHMCS username and the Consumer Secret and API key from PesaPal and click save.

You have eaten the largest part of the pie. Don’t forget to try payments on a demo account before you roll it out on a live account. PesaPal provides sandbox to test payments before you take it live. Open your demo account here.

Don’t forget to replace your API credentials with your live account details when you are done with testing on the demo account.

I am still running tests with the PesaPal WHMCS addon, and closing my fingers that everything works out right.

Till next time. I am still yours faithfully, Patoh.

Income Tribe (incometribe.com) Scam-No Money Made. Just Sweat

I have identified so many of these online scams that I have gotten tired of the whole drill.

I hope that Income Tribe is the last one in this family that I will write about.

If you want to join/compare/explore the other scams in the family of Income Tribe, you can try these:

  1. YouthDollar.com
  2. Earn4Youth.Com
  3. Payfunda.biz
  4. MonthlyYouth.Com
  5. Among the others that are still to be born.

If you visit the websites of all these fast-money-online opportunities, you will notice one thing. They are a replica of each other. Talk of scammers running out of creativity to scam you. This is the first clue that should convince you that IncomeTribe.com is a scam.

There are other clues along the way.

  • Like the lack of contacts on the website.
  • The fact that you cannot edit your profile to add your payment details (where are they sending your 300$)
  • The fact that they can’t get the dollar symbol placement right
  • And the fact that Income Tribe is a scam

How is IncomeTribe.com Taking Advantage of You

If you have registered at IncomeTribe.com, you are at risk of falling prey to even more online scammers. They  might come back and try to hack your email account in order to steal vital information like your bank details and social media accounts passwords. Or they might start sending you spam emails.

I would advise you to change your email’s password and make it a strong one.

The other common route that scammers such as IncomeTribe.com try to get the best of you is through the adverts that they display on their websites. You will notice that when you click some of these ads, you get a warning of your browser being out of date or a video plugin that you need to install. Anything you download from these sites could be a malware that records every keystroke you make on your keyboard with an intent of stealing passwords or credit card numbers.

If you installed any of the software recommendations on IncomeTribe.com, you need to scan your computer for malware infections. Download this antimalware software and do a thorough scan of your computer.

Finally,if you would really like to make money online like I do, join my blogging mentorship program here. It is free and will always be free.

if you found this article useful, don’t forget to share it on your favorite social media channel.

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Beware: YouthDollar.Com is More of a Youth Scammer

I have written about these online scams till my fingers have gotten blistered but I won’t stop spreading the message. I won’t simply watch as you enter into the devil’s lair, get scammed and start shouting to anyone who cares to listen how you cannot make money online.

FYI: I make all my money online. I do not have a daytime job and I do not do these get-rich quick scams. You can join my mentorship program to learn of the genuine ways that I use to make money online.

 

Back to Youth Dollar and related scams:

All these opportunities that promise to pay you $5-$10 for sharing a link on your Facebook, Twitter and other social network channels are nothing but scams.

The ones that I have already written about are Earn4Youth.com and PayFunda.Biz. The last one to join my list of shame is YouthDollar.Com.

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What is YouthDollar.com?

If you choose to trust the information  on their website, YouthDollar is a revolutionary work-at-home opportunity that will pay you thousands of dollars simply for copying and pasting a dubious affiliate link on your Facebook and Instagram wall.

How Do I know that Youth Dollar is a Scam?

  1. For the past few weeks that I have been monitoring the Youth Dollar scam David Bekham, CaralBoxer and some few other individuals have been paid the same constant amount everyday. This is despite the website claiming that payments are made between the 24th and 30th of every month. How comes David Bekham is being paid everyday?
  2. I am made to understand that I will be paid via Western Union, cheque or money order. Great! But where will Youth Dollar send these paper payments? I was not asked for my post office or other relevant details that would enable ‘the company’ to process my payments. And there is no place to edit my account to include these details. Right. Lets assume that you will still be paid but only in your imaginary online account. Congratulations on becoming the next internet millionaire and good luck with withdrawing your earnings from YouthDollar.com!
  3. How can I contact YouthDollar.com in case I have problems with my account? Surprise! You will never get your hands on the contacts details of Youth Dollar, simply because ‘the company’ does not exist. Hint: Every genuine company provides its web visitors with a contact us page.
  4. The bad grammar on the website is a complete turn off. Have you noticed how Earn4Youth, Monthly Youth, PayFunda and YouthDollar can never seem to get the placement of the dollar symbol right? Have you also noticed how poor the grammar on these websites is? This is a common characteristic of all online scams. The next time someone tries to lure you into one of these scams, tell them to invest in a good English Dictionary with the money they would have used to pay you.
  5. No advertiser is going to pay $5 or $10 for just visiting their website. Seriously, even Google Adsense, which charges more expensively for advertisements does not pay out this much to bloggers. I will repeat it for the umpteenth time. There is no easy way yo make money online. If you are looking for one, try gambling.
  6. What do I do if I had already joined Youth Dollar? You need to thoroughly scan your computer for malwares that the website might have planted on your computer. To scan and clean your computer, download this anti-malware software.

What is the Aim of the YouthDollar.com Scam?

I hope we have established beyond any reasonable doubt that YouthDollar.com is a scam. I will now explain to you how these online scams play on you.

First of All, scams in the league of YouthDollar are often after your email address. They use the email address to send you other offers of how you have can make money online just by doing some simple tasks. They lure you into more and more scams with a goal of three major things.

  • Increase traffic to their websites and earn more from the advertisements displayed
  • Lure you into buying ‘products’ that promise you to make an internet millionaire.
  • Harvest thousands of emails and sell them to third-party scammers.

Do you have any thoughts on the YouthDollar.com scam? Leave your comment below.

3

Payfunda.Biz is a Scam- You Can’t Withdraw Your Money

I wish I could do some kind of magic to undo the hours you have wasted sharing your PayFunda.Biz affiliate link. The truth is that PayFunda is fake. It is not real. It is a scam and there is no way you will ever manage to withdraw your money from the account. You will only watch it accumulate to hundreds of dollars but any attempt to make a withdrawal will be met by a thousand number of excuses.

I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. So, let us go through this step-by-step. I hope that by the time you are through reading this article, you will have learned to differentiate the real work from home opportunities from the fake ones.

What is PayFunda.Biz?

According to the definition on the website, PayFunda.Biz is a revolutionary online job site that pays you for completing different online tasks. The website claims to make you earn 1500$ (the placement of the dollar symbol is theirs not mine) working from home.

Additionally, PayFunda promises to reward you with a cool 25$ (their dollar symbol placement. Again) just for signing up. How cool!

Don’t fool yourself. Neither of the above is true and I will show you why. Payfunda is a scam akin to the Earn4Youth Scam that I wrote about a few days ago.

Let us Create an Account in PayFunda.Biz

For this part, I used imaginary account details. I put in a fake username that I can’t even remember. I entered puust@puust.net as my email address, my name is Sttuuuput and the country of origin is Nicaragua. 🙂

At this point, any genuine work from home opportunity would have sent me an email address with an activation link. This is the protocol, and you should be very wary of opportunities that do not send you an email to activate your account.

In normal cases, I wouldn’t have been able to login to the account until I had verified my email address…. but PayFunda.Biz can’t wait to let me in. I am redirected to my dashboard where I have already been credited with $25 (they got the symbol right) for signing up.

Also Read: Having the Right Mentality for Working Online

Getting to Work, Like a Mule

My first task in PayFunda.Biz is to click a Facebook Share button for which I will be paid a handsome 5$! {::Who said that making money online is hard!?::}

There is also a constant task that requires me to share a referral link for which I will get paid 5-10$. This is getting easier. Except that it is not. You are being taken for a ride.

But how do you know that PayFunda is a scam without having tested it. Shouldn’t you give it the benefit of doubt.

No. You shouldn’t. Like we always say, the writing is on the wall. Here are a few clear indicators that should send you scampering from the website.

1.  The numerous grammatical mistakes

I would expect that a company that is ready to pay me like a CEO, should have enough cash to hire a copywriter who doesn’t make careless grammatical errors on every sentence s/he writes.

I didn’t care to count the number of errors on the Payfunda.biz website, but they are too many to go unnoticed. This is usually the first sign that things are fishy. If a website that claims to make you rich has a lot of grammatical errors, kindly tell them to first invest in a good Oxford English Dictionary before they pay you.

And what is with all those dollar signs placed wrongly. Seriously? Maybe that is why you do not get paid since their is no money that is called 1500$!

2. You Can’t edit your profile

I have already mentioned that every genuine work from home opportunity should only allow you in once you have verified your email address. Once in, you should be able to edit your details. Probably choose where your payments will be sent and the like.

Before you begin working on any of these online job sites, you should be sure of where your payment will be made. Fullstop.

3. What is the minimum payout on Payfunda.biz?

Almost every work at home opportunity that I know of has a low payout requirement- sometimes as low as $10 or $25.

Very few opportunities require you to accumulate earning in the hundreds of dollars to pay you. Please be wary of such opportunities.

What raises a redder red flag with PayFunda.Biz is the fact that they are not even sure how much the minimum payout should be. At one time, it is $300 at another instance it is $200… Which is which?

$300 minimum payout for Payfunda.bizPayFunda.biz minimum payout4. There is no easy money online

Last but not least. No one is going to pay you $25 just by signing up to their website. What value are you adding to their operations to deserve that.

Can the business afford to pay millions of eager money makers who flock to join the site daily?

Be wise and learn to analyze opportunities before you rush to commit your time and money in them.

5.  Frequently Asked Questions about Payfunda.biz

  • How do I get my money from Payfunda

You cannot withdraw money from Payfunda. Their system has not been designed to allow you to make withdrawals. Remember you didn’t supply any solid payment details on registration and you cannot edit your profile. Just accept that you have been scammed and move on.

  • How do I cancel my registration with Payfunda

Unfortunately, you cannot cancel your Payfunda registration. The best thing is to forget that such a thing ever existed and pray hard that they do not hack into your email account to steal important info about you.

  • What can I do to make money online

There is a lot of money to be made online. And there are thousands of things you can do to make money online.

  1. You can work as a freelance writer/designer/transcriptionist etc
  2. You can do online surveys that will make pay you some change to use in campus
  3. You can start a blog and learn how to monetize it

Unfortunately, without investing in training, you will only stumble, fall and waste a lot of money chasing an illusion. You can either pay for my premium training or you can join the Wealthy Affiliate Program, which is absolutely free until you decide to invest in their premium training.

 

3

Earn4Youth: Scam or a Mega Online Money Opportunity?

You are on your way to becoming a millionaire… Just get 30 people to click on your Earn4Youth referral link and you pocket a cool $300! You can surely get 30 clicks in one day…. A cool 24K on a fckuing daily basis.

You are surely a genius!

No, you are not 🙂

The above reminds me of one of my favorite movies: Now You See Me, Now You Don’t. I am tempted to include several anecdotes from the award-winning Movie here. They will probably jolt you back to reality.

There is no way you are going to earn $10 just by having a stranger click on a dubious referral link. You should slap yourself across the face for believing that you can make online money so easily.

Movies and the sarcasm aside. I seriously pity you if you have been suckered into the Earn4Youth Scam.

If you are busy sharing Earn4Youth referral links, you are wasting a good chunk of your time that you could be using to write bestselling Kindle Ebooks. Worse still, you are making your Facebook and Twitter friends waste their time (and the costly internet data bundles) following your links to the scam. In doing so, you are also eroding a very crucial component of social media friendships, trust and reliability.

  • But I am not being asked to pay anything to join Earn4Youth. How then can it be a scam?

That’s my very point. Earn4Youth.com is worse than the likes of SocialBizConnect(SBC) and Internet Marketing Africa that ask you to pay a monthly contribution of 4K. At least, with SBC and IMA, you are guaranteed to get some morsels off Kimathi Kamundeh’s high table if you do his dirty bidding.

In Earn4Youth, you will only see your money pile into the dubious account to the highly anticipated $300, but you will never manage to withdraw any of it. That’s when it hits you, “I have been scammed“…

BTW, I didn’t say that you can join SBC and IMA… Do it at your own risk!

What’s their Goal?

The more you look, the less you see.

Ahh ^^ there goes a quote from the movie…

I am sure you must ask yourself this question from time to time, especially if you have been drawn into these referral link scams.

  1. They do not seem to steal money from you.
  2. They do not require any of your bank details to pull a heist on you when you least expect it.
  3. So, what is the goal of the scam?
  4. Are they a clique of Macho sadists who enjoy to see you waste loads of time sharing links on Facebook and track how low you can go to earn your first online dollar?

I wish they were this but they are not.

Whoever is behind the Earn4Youth scam is a scheming online entrepreneur who earns money from the traffic that you drive to his/her website. In fact, this seems to be the only goal of the Earn4Youth scam and other scams (PayFunda, Monthly Youth, Youth2Payment among others) that are replicas of it.

Here is how you are making the owner of the website richer, and comprising your identity and computer.

  • Adverts-There is an ad on the immediate homepage of the Earn4Youth website. There are two other advertisements on your supposed dashboard. Whenever you view/click on this ad, the owner gets a few pennies from the advertisers.

If you bring 30 friends to the website, who bring their 30 friends who also bring their 3o friends who view/click the adverts on the scammy website, the owners of Earn4Youth get paid by the advertisers! Wherever he is, he must be stinking rich and laughing himself all the way to the bank.

  • Completing surveys– ‘Members’ who have worked through their first $300 report of a requirement to complete online surveys in order to get paid! Someone is getting paid for every online survey that you complete… but it is obviously not you. Guess who?

And here is how you are compromising your online security and your computer.

  • Installing Malware on your computer– This has to be the saddest part of the Earn4Youth scam. Most of the ads displayed on the website will install malware on your computer when you click on them. Once installed, the Malware has the capability to do hundreds of nasty things in your computer including but not limited to recording the keystrokes you make on your keyboard, stealing your passwords, and serving you pornography!
  • Giving your information on an insecure page-Here is a little tip I will steal for you.

If a website does not have an SSL certificate on their login or registration pages, run for the mountains!

Websites with SLL certificates display their address on the address bar of your browser as https://blogscheme.com. If I didn’t have an SSL certificate, you would see my website as http://blogscheme.com.

Any data you send on the internet without an SSL certificate is insecure. It can be hijacked by anyone including the malware you already have on your computer!

Never enter any sensitive information such as your PayPal Email address or credit card information on  a website that does not use an SSL certificate.

  • Giving your information to third parties-Apart from making money from the traffic you send to their website, scams such as Earn4Youth also make money from selling your contact details to third party advertises, most of whom also happen to be scammers. If you receive emails about having won money online or named as one of the heirs to a posh estate, please ignore it.

Earn4Youth: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I already gave my details to Earn4Youth. How can I remove them? Unfortunately, you cannot retrieve your details from Earn4Youth. The best you can hope for is that they don’t pull a hat out of a rabbit on you!
  2. But I saw proof of payments on the website? Any Dick, Tom and Harry who has access to a computer and Photoshop can make screenshots of the alluded payouts. Never believe everything you read on the internet.
  3. Where can I report this scam? The scam has already been reported on ScamAdviser. The best that you can do right now is to share this post on social media and help other people who might have fallen prey to the same.

When a magician waves his hand and says, “This is where the magic is happening.” The real trick is happening somewhere else. Misdirection.

As we always do, comments on this website are very welcome. Don’t leave before you have made your comment. TIA.

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