Why are Nigerians avoiding .NG domains?

Yes! This is a very interesting question that is begging to be answered or maybe it is simply me making assumptions on the use of .ng domains?

Frankly, it is quite amazing that a country with close to a 100 million or more (depending on whose data you choose to use) Internet users has sold less than 100,000 .ng domains to both local and international owners. Yes, it is a somewhat interesting irony especially when I look at the number of .co.za domains that South Africa has been able to push out to the world.

Again, I ask why do you think Nigerians have simply refused to use .ng domains? Who is to blame or is that we believe .ng is not good enough or we don’t just understand its importance to our national brand or we probably need some sort of Government policy to make it somewhat compulsory?

Forgive me for asking too many questions at the same time, I am simply looking for answers.

Yes, I am a .ng ambassador ordained by NiRA – the association responsible for managing the string and part of my National service is to get more Nigerians to use this domain string. Yes, I get to convince some to switch but a majority of people give me all sorts of reason, why they won’t use .ng domains and some of these reasons are simply based on assumptions or hearsay and not facts.

So, if you are reading this post and you have a domain, I’d like you to share why it is not a .ng brand?

Again, let me stress like I stated in my post on Who is to blame for pay on delivery? the foundation of any proper and sustainable development especially in the knowledge economy is the enactment and enforcement of policies.

Imagine, if we had a policy that states that every registered company in Nigeria must use .ng domains? We know this is not an impossible feat, after all the UK and a few other countries are enforcing such policies whether covertly or overtly.

Here are some reasons I believe you should use .ng domains:

1. It is a matter of Nation Pride

Nigeria as a Nation is blessed with this unique domain string known as .ng and we ought be proud of this gift of nature. However, we should not stop at just appreciating it but owning one at the very least.

2. Foreign Exchange is Scarce

I used to be happy paying for my VPS server but not anymore because of the ever-increasing exchange rate and the same goes for .com domain names that I own.

Using the .ng range of domains will contribute to saving our scarce FX.

3.  SEO/Speed/Reduced Latency

Why do you think that Google would rather serve you results using google.com.ng when you search for stuff within Nigeria and if you travel to say Ghana and use the same device it will go ahead and serve you results via google.com.gh?

What is even interesting is that in the case of Nigeria, Google has both com.ng as well as .ng domains, an example of a forward looking company.

4. Local Content Development

We must develop local content by supporting what is ours, imagine what will happen if only 1% of the reported 170 million+ Nigerians decide to own domains that fly the Nigerian colour online, that will be over 1 Million domain names that would eventually serve as the foundation for businesses, ventures and causes on the world-wide web. Would that not further strengthen the Nigerian brand and dignify her on the Internet?

I must commend Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) for a good job and here is a call for more advocacy and education in order to get more Nigerians to appreciate what is ours and get Government to lead the way and let others follow.

The reality is that if Government at any level still uses .com or .org domains, why should average small business owners, who obviously do not have as much resources as Government be urged to switch?

I’ve switched my blog from www.techwithcfa.com to www.techsmart.ng in support of .ng and I am super excited to have made the move.

If you are not using .ng domain yet, I’d like to know why. Some say cost others say security but I like to hear from you.

Parents Stop Being Lazy: Protect Your Children

As a parent I honestly get disturbed when I consider how polluted and negative our society have become and even though I do my best toprovide a godly, controlled environment for my children to thrive, I still get to notice certain strange actions exhibited by them which are likely picked up elsewhere such as school or social gatherings.

Kid yourself not, today’s children are the real digital natives which makes them far more complicated and advanced than you were while their age. But unfortunately everywhere I turn I see ongoing assault against these digital natives both physically and spiritually.

In my opinion, the greatest challenges confronting children and youths today is the Internet on one hand and entertainment on the other hand. By now you should know that the Internet has a two-edged sword, one is the positive while the other is the negative side. Unfortunately, many parents are still treating the latter with kids glove lightly – they are probably under the illusion that the Internet is all positives so they allow their wards have unmonitored access, how wrong?

I often ask parents who allow their kids unfettered access to the Internet to mention five Internet slangs and they have no clue whatsoever what I am referring to? So, if someone is threatening their children using strange languages, how would they know?

OK, lets move to entertainment and my question to folks who thinktheir is nothing wrong with the brand of music being aired today is simply: what will likely be in the mind of a young teenage boy who is constantly shown images of “supposedly”good looking girls dancing in a tempting way all in the name of entertainment? Itwon’t be long before the fellow would want to explore what is in a girl or if you flip the coin, many young girls would rather want fame or glamour of being a beauty queen or hanging with super stars as their screen babes than go to school to study medicine for 6 years. A teacher told me that some kids in her school of between 6 – 9 years know what sex is all about and if you give them a computer with Internet access they can find their way to pornographic website and show you men and women in the very act. This is not a case of sex education, they learnt it out of curiosity with the aid of the Internet according to her.

Truth is that parents have become extremely busy all in the bid to meet up with the rising cost of living while in many cases leaving the home front exposed. My advice to parent is stop being lazy about raising up your children properly while working hard, day and night to build a career. If you have decided to be a parent then you have to properly manage every aspect of your life.

Some Tips from CFA

I may not be the number one parent in the world but I have made up my mind to create a controlled, godly environment for my children. I refuse to allow just anything be thrown at them by the demands of modern society, so that I can render account before God of how I brought up the gifts he handed over to me.

So, I am nowhere being a counsellor but here are some tips based on personal experience:

  1. Monitor the activities of your children on the Internet and restrict unfettered access to ALL websites.
  2. Protect them from unnecessary vices around our entertainment industry and prevent the pollution of their minds except for songs   and music videos that you consider safe for them.
  3. Turn on child protection on your decoder especially when you are not around. Why allow your child access to E! or MTV or other channels that will expose them? Wait until they come of age, then they can decide.
  4. Password your phone if you have sensitive stuff in there, at least I once met a father of 3 who had all sorts on his phone and he actually told me how he can’t do without watching “blue film” almost every night. He actually told me that their was nothing negative with the act and even when I brought in the spiritual angle,  he reminded me that he was also a Christian. All I could do,  is pray that God should have mercy. Honestly, who do you think is the bigger loser after watching porno? The actors or those watching?
  5. Ensure that your children are surrounded by the right kind of influence, if you have to go to their school to meet their friends then do, remember we are leaving in a digital, highly advanced society today.

Even as an adult, I literally have to “flee” from things I consider tempting talk less of a child. So for example, I don’t visit any site showing half naked women not to talk of a porno site. I also don’t watch musical videos that want to get me to imagine the attractiveness of what is being dangled on the screen and believe it or not, everyday I say the Lords prayers and particularly I stress “lead us not into temptation.” You’ve got to guard your heart jealously!

So, what do you think?

Using any Google Services? Watch out anything can happen o!

Hate or like Google, on the Internet you just cannot do without them, they have so taken over the Internet that one begins to wonder what would life online be without a company like Google? Let me say without any benefit of doubt, Google is one company I have a lot of respect for because they are always ahead of the game. However, I am mindful when I use Google services and the simple reason is that anything can happen with our without reason.

google services
R.I.P Google Reader

Earlier in the year, I received a mail from Google that one of my email accounts (coachcfa@gmail.com) has been blockedin violation of Google’s terms and services which were never explained in detail even when I tried to find out; all my pleas fell on deaf ears and my account was never restored. Now do you know why that was quite painful because that is the email connected to my affiliate paypal account which had close to $200 worth of affiliate payouts and that is now history.

Recently, Jide Ogunsanya of Ogbonge Blog and I were on the same panel at the Digital Marketing Nigeria Summit where we both argued for and against using Blogger and WordPress CMS – he is a fan of blogger while I am that of wordpress and our lines of argument made our points clear.

But on that very day, I got back to my work desk and saw this email:

Dear business owner,

At Google, we want businesses like yours to get the most from the web, and we hope that your Get Nigerian Business Online website cfagbata.gnbo.com.ng has helped you to connect with more customers.

We are announcing that Business Sitebuilder websites within the Get Nigerian Business Online Program will no longer be accessible from December 31 2014, but there are some great alternatives available to you.

Earlier this year, we introduced Google My Business to connect you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+.

You also have the option to move your existing website to our trusted partner, Hostgator, an international provider of cloud-based web presence solutions with over 15 years of experience helping small businesses succeed online. Their family of brands, through parent company Endurance International Group, serve over 3.7 million subscribers worldwide.

Moving your website to the Hostgator platform lets you continue with your website, and also allows you to access a range of powerful business features, including eCommerce, website security, backup and restore, and 24 hour support. Learn more at africa.hostgator.com/nigeriagetonline.

Remaining online is a huge asset for your business, and you can do so by independently signing up for Google My Business, or filling out this online form for assistance. The team of experts at Hostgator can then guide you through the process of signing up for Google My Business, transferring your current website, or creating a new one.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

The Get Nigerian Business Online Team


The first comment I made after reading this simply here is another reason to be mindful of any Google services one uses. Imagine how many small business owners will become websiteless because of this decision? Besides this point, I remember supporting this project with everything I had and wrote repeatedly about it on various blog – don’t take my work for it, just Google “GNBO Nigeria” and you’d certainly find at least one article written by me in support of the project.

For Google, it is usually a policy or business decision so I do not exactly blame them afterall it is their company, they have pulled down a number of services in the past that hurt me personally such as Google reader but I am happy to have found a very cool alternative by the name Feedly, so life goes on 🙂

I love Google and I’d continue to use some of their services but I’d not hesitate to switch to an equally good alternative so I can at least spread my risks because just like this physical world is important, the digital world is also quite important.

I heard about what happened to Linda Ikeji from wife and my only comment was another silly mistake: “How can you grow this big and not decide it was time to move onto a more permanent platform such as wordpress?”

I am not big on gossip, infact I really do not want to know what is happening in other people’s lives so Linda Ikeji’s blog is not where I would readily visit except I happen to land there through research or something but I am conscious to quickly move on because I don’t want to get used to sensational stories which by the way is very addictive.

Linda Ikeji's Blog
Deleted Page of Linda Ikeji’s Blog

That said, Linda is arguably one of Nigeria’s most successful bloggers and her experience with Google simply lays credence to the fact that when using any of Google’s services have it at the back of your mind that anything can happen o!

If you are serious about blogging then wordpress is your best bet. Need help setting a wordpress blog? Get in touch!

CFA’s ICT Predictions of 2014 – Part 2

CFA’s ICT Predictions of 2014 – Part 2

Continued from Part 1

4. Blackberry will either grow or remain steady in developing countries.

Blackberry has been in the news of recent, while a some analysts abroad believe their end have come, I beg to differ, I see them waxing strong or at least remaining stable in developing economies like ours. The major reason for my statement is that access to the Internet through a blackberry device is a lot cheaper when compared to a data guzzler like android. I recently complained to a friend how my android is consuming data like its drinking water, he only laughed and said that is the advantage of blackberry and at that point, I agreed.

John Chen, the interim CEO of Blackberry, understands restructuring and has what it takes to turn around the fortunes of the ailing giant. If his recent move to make low budget Smartphones by way of partnership is anything to go by, then it means they might just be on their way to competitiveness once more, at least in developing countries like South Africa, Indonesia etc. Generally, I expect to see some sort of come-back for Blackberry in 2014.

CFA’s ICT Predictions of 2014 – Part 2

5. More changes in the SEO world 

The SEO industry has changed tremendously looking at where it is now and when I first joined in 2009. One company that has been at heart of the disruption being experienced is Google, which is natural because they control over 60% of all searches. It was a very busy year for the Google team but I predict that 2014 will be a busier year. As a webmaster, I know for certain that you can hardly predict what Big G would come up with next. They have often been accused of trying to kill SEO and grow PPC (Google Adwords), simply because they earn more revenue from PPC. Of course they have denied that, but the reality is that when you do a search today, you would find many more adverts above the fold unlike back in the days when it is more of organic results.

6. Rise & rise of Voice and Video

Voice and video will continue to rise, especially in 2014. I find it interesting that many people are beginning to talk to their phones like they would talk to friends. For example, the last major Google update tagged ‘Hummingbird’ focused on conversational searches – they want users to be able to perform searches simply by talking rather than typing. It does not just start and end with them, Apple also has Siri, which is a dedicated assistant for their users. I see the voice trend growing in Nigeria.

Also, Nigerians are video lovers. Sadly, we have been accused of not reading and I hope it does become a reality in this age of Internet and technology? I however know that we love videos so this has great potentials in Nigeria. One of the factors affecting the use of video negatively is poor service which I believe would improve significantly. With the improvement in service, many more people will be inclined to watching videos more than ever before.

On a final note, 2014 will be a pretty eventful year for the ICT industry in Nigeria. I expect to see more startups and also some of the existing ones would likely get more funding. I have always canvassed for more hubs where budding techies, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs can get together and learn about the necessary skills needed to take their ideas to the market.

Please permit me to use this medium to wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year ahead!

Creative Commons: infocux Technologies

CFA's ICT Predictions of 2014 - Part 1

CFA’s ICT Predictions of 2014 – Part 1

What an eventful year 2013 has been for the Information and Communications Technology industry, not just in Nigeria, but across the world. Let me set the records straight that although this piece has to do with predictions, it has nothing to do with spirituality.

My views in this piece are based on my knowledge of the industry as well as the opinions of experts and journalists across the world. That means that I am fully aware of the fact that some of these predictions may not come to pass but I am glad I used the work prediction instead of prophesy. That said, I will attempt to predict what I believe would be some of the events we should expect in 2014.

1. More Investments In ICT

This is probably obvious, but I just have to make it my very first prediction. We are most likely going to witness more massive investments, both in the local and foreign scene of ICT. Countries are investing heaving in LTE & 4G networks, some companies are laying sub-marine cables and connecting some countries. So, I expect that there will be massive investments in broadband infrastructure and devices, more techpreneurs will seek to raise funds for their projects, the local content policy guidelines recently released by the Ministry of Communication Technology and National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), would really begin to come into effect in 2014 and as long as these guidelines are implemented to the letter, we can then be sure that more business and revenue will flow into our local ICT industry. So, watch out for Nigerian-built or designed phones, gadgets and devices in the coming year and make sure your support our own.

2. Increased Internet Penetration

Does this sound like a prediction or a statement of fact? However it may sound, the fact remains that as broadband becomes more readily available and cheaper, so will more people especially in the rural community access to the Internet. These people will definitely patronize it for their personal and business purposes.

I believe that Nigeria will cross the 60 million Internet-user mark in 2014 based on the official figures, I have a feeling that we may have crossed that mark this year, unofficially.

The last NCC report showed that there was significant increase in the number of Internet users, but I believe that next year will be more eventful for the industry. As a previous employee of a telecommunications company, I learnt that at some point, voice would peak and then data will take over. This was about a decade ago and today we are seeing the telcos waging an on-going data war already.

CFA's ICT Predictions of 2014 - Part 1

Truth is that we need to get more Nigerians on the Internet and not just get them there for the sake of it, but also educate them on how they can use it positively. I expect to see more Government support in this regards. 

3. Commercialization of ‘unusual’ techy devices

Yes. I believe more people across the world will invest in various techy devices which include mobile devices, Google glass, secret cameras, pen recorders, etc. Some of these devices are already in the market but they need to be commercialized and be made more affordable and readily available for the mass market. For example, Google glass is likely to cost you up to $2,000, depending on where you are buying it from. It is likely that a few Nigerians might have it already but it is really isn’t for the mass market yet.

As for me, I want to see these devices become readily available and I’d strive to use this column to educate people on how these devices can be used for the common good, especially considering the fact that they can easily be connected to the Internet. For the ladies, you need to get ready for smart eyelashes and finger-nails. No, this is not a prediction. I was impressed to read about it on Mashable.com. A PHD student named Katia Vega is already working on these innovations. She’s focusing on two main branches of the project so far: fingernails and conductive makeup.

Well, this is just to give us an idea of what to expect in the nearest future. Watch what you say or do because someone might just be recording every action with one ‘unusual’ device.

I pray that 2014 be the year to really put some of these devices to use in Nigeria especially using to fight corruption and extortion on the streets of our cities.

To be Continued…Part 2

Image Credit: Ayadipro-Marketing

5 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs to Focus on Internet Marketing

Wednesday is guest post day here at CFAgbata.com and today’s guest is Sara Crawford – Enjoy and Share!

If you run a small business, you should be spending the majority of your marketing resources on internet marketing. As the internet grows, other forms of marketing and advertising are becoming less and less effective. People are using the internet to find businesses, products, and services they need, and the best way to attract more customers or clients to your business is to make sure you are visible on the internet.

It used to be that radio and television advertising as well as print marketing were enough to market and advertise your business. Nowadays, though, most people get their information from the internet. People are less likely to watch commercials on the television, especially with Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming services. With Pandora and Spotify, people are less likely to listen to conventional radio stations as well. The readership of newspapers and magazines has certainly declined also as the majority of people are turning to the internet for news, entertainment, and interesting articles.

Having a visible web presence has never been more essential for small businesses. It is important that your potential customers be able to find you on search engines, social media, and local search. Inbound Marketing Agency London, Hubspot Platinum Partner can be of service to your small business on web presence and visibility.

Here are five reasons you need to ramp up your internet presence in 2014. 

1. 89% of Customers Turn to Search Engines Before Making Online Purchases 

Fleishman-Hillard conducted a study that found that the vast majority of customers are researching products and services on Google, Bing, and Yahoo before they make purchases. If your business is not showing up on the first page of search engine results, you may be missing out on quite a bit of potential customers. Optimizing your website so that it will have a visible presence on search engine results pages is essential.

2. Social Media is the #1 Online Activity We Participate In

If you have been dragging your feet about getting your business on social media, now is the time to change that. According to Buffer, social media is now the #1 activity that individuals participate in online. Connecting with your customers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and more has never been more important. Not only is this a great way to connect with existing customers, but this is also an excellent way to reach out to new customers and market your business in general.

One good thing to do is to focus most of your efforts on the social media site that is best for your business. For example, if your business is very visual in nature (jewelry, fashion, etc.), Pinterest may be a great page for you. Check out the different social media pages to find the one you should focus on.

3. Companies Who Blog More than Once Per Day are More Likely to Gain Customers 

In 2012, HubSpotState of Inbound Marketing found that 92% of companies that published a blog multiple times a day increased their web traffic and their customers via their blog. It’s important to have an interesting blog that people will want to read and link to. This is a great way to gain more exposure and more web traffic, which will only lead to more business for you.

 

4. More Web Content Means More Leads and Customers For Your Business

HubSpot found that webpages that had 30 or more landing pages tended to generate 7 times more leads than those that had fewer than 10 landing pages. Try to expand your website out and create more content that is engaging to internet users. This is a great way to optimize your website for search engines as well. For example, if your business has more than one location, consider expanding your website out and creating unique pages for every location. This will make you more visible on the web.

5. Local Search is Essential For Small Businesses

LocalVox found that, “88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.” If your business is not showing up in local search and you are a restaurant, retail store, or another brick-and-mortar business, you are definitely missing out on potential customers. Boost your local search efforts, and encourage all of your customers to leave reviews on Google+, Yelp, etc. You might also try offering specials on Yelp and Foursquare to encourage people to “check in” to your business and spread the word via their own social network.

These are only a few of the reasons it is smart to devote the majority of your marketing resources to internet marketing. You will find that if you spend a lot of time and energy on increasing your web presence, it will only mean more web traffic, more customers, and more growth for your business.

Sara Crawford is a writer and blogger from Atlanta, Georgia. She often blogs for InjectedSEO, an SEO company in Atlanta.

Image Credit: jobatlearn

Marketing Plan for Your Blog

Marketing Plan for Your Blog

After writing a great blog, it is just as vital that you market it within a couple of days at the most, especially if you wish to ensure that the presence of your blog is in effect fully maximised, along with the overall effect it will assuredly have on your website, as a matter of fact.

A conception much popular among most website owners is that it is largely imperative to blog on a regular basis. This will ensure the effort you have energetically put in raising your blog helps it simultaneously to climb page rankings as well as get widely noticed by your viewers.

Yet, in factual effect, it’s probably just as noteworthy, or arguably even more significant, that your great blog post has a far extended reach, when compared to a large number of superfluous posts on the same blog which gloomily is believed by some to be the correct approach.

Marketing Plan for Your Blog

If you expect your website to achieve a higher ranking, search engines need to recognise your blog. Marketing a blog is never thought to be a process that can be quickly accomplished. That’s also the main reason why experts tend to be convinced that it is particularly essential to create a blog post which is sufficiently suitable for marketing across the Internet on a wider scale.

An excellent way of achieving that end is to have an ideal Marketing Plan for your Blog Post, which should suit each and every blog you intend to post. This must moreover be relevant to the targeted purpose of your website. Thus, if you have a thoroughly worked marketing plan, there is no reason why you should not succeed in gaining a much higher ranking for your website.

If you are for any justifiable reason overly encumbered by time constraints, which by the way owners of most websites are persistently scowling about, it will be easier for you to work on a marketing plan for your blog post which you have no difficulty in pursuing.

To be honest, it is a lot better to have a far smaller number of blog posts. You should preferably concentrate on having posts which are informative and intensely marketed, instead of a higher number of posts which no one is likely to ever hit upon.

You will be better off spending 3 hours hard work in marketing your deserved blog post, rather than straining for many more hours attempting to produce a few additional blogs that you intend posting on one and the same website, over and over again. Even if you were to produce 2 blog posts every week, and chose to remain loyal to a workable marketing plan; it would not be very long before a visible difference in presence and the visit count of your website starts becoming distinguishable.

Because, by virtue, a marketing plan imposes several indispensable steps, it is equally necessary to go over each step at a time. Before completing your marketing plan, you will need to carry out some additional research so that you can land on the one that suits your blog post best.

Creative Commons Courtesymkhmarketing

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CFA’s Interview with Encomium Magazine on the Internet and Making Money Online – Part 1

Encomium: Can we meet you sir?

CFA: I am CFA – meaning Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. & Conditioned for Accomplishments, I am an internet and SEO expert. Simply put, I live and dine on the internet as it were. I am possibly among the few Nigerians making a living via the internet.

Encomium: What businesses are you linked to?

CFA: First and foremost, I am a blogger. A blogger means that I run a number of information based websites. And then also during the course of blogging, I found that a number of customers needed what I want to do. Someone would approach me to help with their internet presence, so from being a blogger, I transited into becoming an internet consultant, then from being an internet consultant, I transited to be a Search Engine Optimization Expert (SEO). From then also, I became also a Social Media Marketer (SMM). So basically, if you look it and put them altogether, simply call me a web consultant.

Encomium: In Online businesses, usually how does one venture into it fully?

CFA: Online businesses in Nigeria have a number of challenges. So it is not as mature as it is outside Nigeria. And so the challenge for everybody who wants to make money online is typically, how do I get started? For me, I usually encourage people that one of the first ways for you to make money in the internet is to create a product or service that people are willing to pay for. If people are not willing to pay for your product or services, then stop deceiving yourself. Because the truth about the internet is that you must meet a need and then people can exchange the value of the needs that you tend to meet, then they give you cash or whatever, but at least you must meet a need. So if you are venturing into an online business, you must think of what you can offer people that they need. Now when you have decided what that would be, you need to now seek knowledge or find people who can help you make it happen. That truth of the matter is that online business is not wishful thinking. There is nothing like Get Rich Quick Scheme Online, everything online is a process, a step-by-step process. And for you to make money online, you must follow the process.

Encomium: How can an already successful business make money online?

CFA: Well again, for a business that is already succeeding, for you to make money online, you must think of, how do I move the customers that I have now to the internet? And how do I get more customers from the internet? For every business, it starts with the business having a website. The website is critical. Then you must decide, should my website be an e-commerce business website or just a website? An e-commerce website is a website where people can buy, shop, and pay directly on your website without having to come to you or go to your bank to pay. You know, but again, Nigerians still have their issues with online payment, and this has not made Internet Marketing to blossom the way it should. But we are getting there, and with the advent of mobile payment; it will also help business to get online. So every business must answer; do I have a user-friendly website? Do I have a search engine optimised website? What is my social media presence like? Is it professional enough? These are all the factors you put together as a business to begin making money online. Because the truth of the matter is that any business that does not think of making money online might end up being extinct in no time, because the truth of the matter is that your competition who are younger are coming straight at you from the ICT and internet point of view. And if you do nothing about that, you will be shocked that in 3, 4, 5, 10 years, they would overtake you. It is critical for businesses to also access the internet.

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Encomium: In abroad there some pay-per-click site, when you visit the website, you can get money from it through online, is there anything like that in Nigeria?

CFA: Now, we must understand that there are a lot of fraudulent things going on. But if you want to earn money in a pay-per-click arrangement for example, you need what is called Google AdSense. Google AdSense is, for example a website that allows you to participate in Google’s advertising program, or rather it is a service that allows you to participate in Google’s advertising program. So you simply register yourself and your site on this advertising platform, then you place a set of codes on your website, and then each time visitors visit your website, Google displays the various websites of its customers who have paid to advertise on your website. And then when visitors come to your website they can click on them – that is why it is called pay-per-click, the person who advertises gets charged. Google splits the profit between them and you, the owner of the website. So yes, you can earn money from pay-per-click- system. But it is not still as easy as anyone thinks, you need to first of all have a good website; a user-friendly website that would attract visitors. The challenge is, after the website, you need to also drive visitors to your website, for people to respond, and otherwise it will have no use.

Encomium: How do you get sponsors to advertise on your blog or your website?

CFA: The very first thing is, why would I want to advertise on a blog that has no visitors or that has no presence? So the first thing for you to get people to advertize on you blog, your blog has to be cool. It has to have traffic, it has to be user-friendly, and it has to be good looking. People have got to mention and rave about your blog. If your blog is nothing of that, getting people to advertise on it will be difficult. But you must understand that the same way you market offline, in the real world, is the same way you market online. You have to send out proposals, increase your statistics, show people the number of visitors you had on website your website day to day. You can actually have statistics of peoples who are visiting your website, what page they like, and how many are visiting from one country.  Print out those statistics and send them out to companies and let them decide. So you have got to perform some activities to get people to advertise on your blog, same way that it is done on the real world.

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Encomium: What is the fastest way to generate more traffic on your blog or your website?

CFA: The fastest way to generate more traffic is to develop high, interesting content. I mean on the internet, we say content is king. You just need to generate content. If you are somebody who is busy copying content and then your website has no originality. Now when you generate content you must now think about all the other strategies that you are going to use to drive you traffic. So you can look at social media sites, social bookmarking sites, search engines, you can also look at forums and other blogs. These are all the strategies you put together that will help you grow also not just from the social media site but also from the search engines. For everyone starting out their business through online, you must have a small budget for advertising. The internet is so competitive today; you have over 1 billion other websites. It is not back in the days where you would just wake up and start a site and the site will just boom. Today’s sites are extremely competitive. You must understand that every niche you want to play in already has players.

Now let me just say this, the internet levels the playing ground. What it simply means that a business in Japan can now prospect new customers in Nigeria. A business in Nigeria can prospect new customers outside of Africa. It levels the ground. It simply means that, no matter what your business is today, you have at least a hundred thousand to a million people who are in that business worldwide, so you have got to be competitive. That is just the principle, you have got to be competitive, if you are not competitive, then you cannot drive traffic.

To be Continued Part 2

Goodbye to Google Reader, Sign-up to my email list today!

Goodbye to Google Reader, Sign-up to my email list today!

Let me start by appreciating every single subscriber and visitor who has made this blog a reality – thank you for visiting this blog every now and then. I’ll like to ask whether you have already signed-up to my list via email or are you one of those who access this site through Google Reader?

The purpose of my post today is to let you know that Google Reader will be shut down by Google in the next few days and I would not like you to miss any of my life changing (future) posts. What I would like you to do now is enter your details in the form above so that you can join the list of those who receive all my updates. I honestly don’t want to lose any subscriber.

Google Reader is one of the most used Internet tool for anyone who calls himself an Internet consultant or online marketer, but come July 1st that will be no more. How sad! What this experience means for me is that I have to be very careful when I think about using any Google service. I use a number of their services and this simply means that going forward I have to start thinking of alternatives just in case they decide to kill that product. I remember when Google Drive was launched, I loved it due to the bigger Gigabytes it offered.

This is a very sad development not just for me but for millions of Google Reader users out there, it has been really helpful for those who need to follow multiple blogs and websites. Google is a great company in my opinion but I am getting weary of the company because they are fond of suddenly killing products that people have come to love.

So, to every internet marketer out there, my suggestion and my advice “don’t be evil, be careful with big G” because you never can tell, Google might wake up and kill the product(s) that you have come to rely on so dearly. So for me my new stance and position is, if the product is good, I’m ready to pay for it and use it rather than rely on free Google products that gets killed tomorrow but the good news is that a lot of companies have taken up that challenge to build a better reader for internet users and top of the company is DIGGGoodbye to Google Reader, Sign-up to my email list today!

DIGG has promised to give us what they calls the best and the most interactive RSS reader tool on the planet today and I can’t wait for it. On the model of the business, well they are looking at making it a freemium model but also with a paid version. Let me also introduce to another reader known as Feedly – I am presently trying this out and it seems a good replacement for google reader! Now lets stop this idea that everything on the internet is going to be free, everything cannot be free. If you are using a good product that is free today. Find a way to upgrade so that the company can sustain it.

Today, I use a premium LinkedIn account (add me on Linkedin) because I love this social network with a passion and I also want to support them to grow and keep innovating. Note that if we keep up with this idea of free stuff for everything on the internet, then I assure that we can only just but kill the Internet. So if you are out there and using a product that is good, I suggest you pay and contribute to the growth of the company. Remember, Google Reader will be off soon and I want you to please register by entering your details in the form above, so that you will always hear from the CFAgbata team.

4 Undemanding SEO Tips for Your Business

SEO is a very straightforward abbreviation of the term “Search Engine Optimisation”, while the phrase: “SEO strategies” encompasses such actions as are taken by you to ascertain that your website has what it takes to be effortlessly found on what is known as SERP, or the search engine result page, when keywords relevant to your website’s content are searched for.

Your Social SEO

Social SEO on the other hand refers to a distinct conception that your social media interaction and links play a substantial role in search rankings of the website. This sounds confusing, and to some extent it may even be so, though as ground reality SEO is in fact more about optimisation of content. So, regardless of whether it really concerns your own website or deals with content on a separate platform of some other social media site, the aim doubtlessly remains striving to achieve higher rankings on popular search engines.

Below are some undemanding SEO tips that you can start implementing, starting right now.

1. Optimising Your Profile on Social Media

Your prime key to SEO friendly profile on social media lies in being as descriptive as you possibly can. Always make it a point to fill out every detail requested on the ‘Information’ and ‘About’ sections of every social media site that you opt to register with. Make befitting use of keywords and key phrases that particularly serve in describing your business in specific detail and which are also likely to be commonly used by an individual who is prone to use these terms when searching for a business that is similar to the one you generally operate. 

For instance, to effectively optimise your page on Facebook for a local search, it will be equally essential to add your address in full. Always remember to include your social channel links back to the website hosted by your business and vice versa.

Insider Tip: As a commonly observable trait, a lot of people tend to frequently overlook the field marked ‘Category’ on their Facebook Page, though it is quite significant for mobile searches on Facebook. Therefore, always ensure that you have listed your business according to the correct category when editing the basic information of your account on Facebook.

2. Optimising Your Content/Updates on Social Media

For proper optimisation of your social media content, it is always wise to include several search keywords that were previously determined as relevant to your business on the Facebook updates, pin descriptions, tweets, and so forth. It’s worth bearing in mind that sharing content posted on your blog or website gives your social SEO a great boost as well. Sharing all fresh content posted by you on Twitter helps Google in indexing such content a lot faster. In this reference, indexing implies addition of this URL to the database of Google.

Insider Tip: Carry the name of your business on every or most social post you raise. This specially helps Google in associating the name of your business with keywords used by you in describing it.

3. Building Links through Shareable Content

A significantly vital factor in social SEO involves building of good links. Put in plain words, it simply implies maintaining excellent relationship between websites by using links. When your own website is linked to a bigger number of quality inbound sites and you too are likewise linked to a number of other similar quality outbound websites, the more reliable and authoritative your website will then be determined by Google. Here, more authoritative reflects a correspondingly higher rank on SERP.

Retweets, repins, +1s, comments, likes, etc., each helps to add its own individual weight to the cumulative strength of your link. Hence, if people desire to share the content created by you that should in turn help you in creating addition inbound links. Your content need not always be as intricate as your whitepaper or blog post, as content may also be referred to as Facebook posts or tweets. Moreover, you can improve the value of your social SEO by posting content on social media that is engaging for your audience. In review, quality content spells more shares which spells more links and which then in turn spells greater SEO value. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Insider Tip: A further advanced manner of increasing social sharing involves addition of share button option to pieces of individual content posted on your blog or website.

4. Making Effective Use of Pinterest

A far simpler method of creating content that’s easily sharable includes effective use of Pinterest. The site offers a considerably high potential both for improvement of keyword strategy as well as link building. Pages from websites that display heavier traffic and higher rating on SERP are indexed faster by Google. The visibility of your content can thus be enhanced in SEPRs through addition of keywords apparent within a Pinterest board title as well as description of the board. Additionally, you are also allowed to use as many as 500 characters for describing individual pins which offers you the extra benefit of adding more keywords here as well.

Furthermore, you may customise the link of a pin to revert people towards your blog or website, thereby enhancing your content’s potential to a higher SERP ranking. Viewed typically from the perspective of SEO, Pinterest facilitates you in doing a couple of things that most other social networks seldom do. Hence, it’s entirely up to you to make the most of this opportunity.

Insider Tip: Images bearing high resolution are Google’s favourite. So, wherever permissible, remember to use good quality images while pinning on Pinterest.

I hope these tips would help you come to terms with SEO as it connects with Social Media? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below.