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.
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