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Details of Mohammad's Nationwide Interview On Radio FM 94

As most of you might remember, we went live on-air in September last year when Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai, on behalf of the  STC  Network , g...

Mohammad's nationwide radio interview

As most of you might remember, we went live on-air in September last year when Mohammad Mustafa Ahmedzai, on behalf of the STC Network, gave an interview to Radio Planet FM 94. The three-hour long show mixed some fun and music into talks about entrepreneurship, and covered topics from blogging, making money online, and skill development. Today, we're going to do a recap of the event for those of you who joined in late, and do not know of this interview.

These are very useful tips that everyone should read!


Some of out dedicated readers might know our story already, But for others, this blog was started by Mohammad back in 2008 with a motivation to share tutorials on Blogger with other Blogger users. Over time, it evolved from a simple online diary containing articles to a full-fledged blog with content optimized for search engine and usability, making most of its revenue through offering services and of course online advertisements.

The primary motive? The tagline says it all; "Turning bloggers into entrepreneurs." More than 2.2 Billion people use the internet everyday, 30 Million of whom are from Pakistan. 8 Million Pakistanis use Facebook, 2 Million Twitter, and 1.5 Million YouTube. These are all internet power-users - people who can spend their time on better activities than surfing Facebook. So the aim of the radio show - and indeed of setting up this blog - was to motivate people to spend their time on productivity and earn something out of it.

Social networks - a business!

One of the first few topics brought up during the interview was, how social media has grown. Websites like Facebook and Twitter have now grown into large corporations, and people are now using them for every aspect of their lives, from sharing personal moments (images, videos etc) to expressing their political views and debating about hot topics etc. These websites now earn millions of dollars in revenue.

What's amazing about these companies is, they weren't started by large corporations as products. They were college projects created by students who utilized their skills and marketing techniques to target investors, and earn big. If there's anything to be learnt it's this; if a teenager from England can sell his Summly app for $30 Million, you can do it too. It's all a matter of developing the right skills at the right time.

1. How to make money online - is it legit?

One of the questions asked by a caller Sarmad (Isb) was, how to make money online - it is legit? Well, to be able to make money online, you have to sell something - your services, your products, your experience, your skill. You need to develop some skills and market them before you can make money online. This will be made easy if you build social links.

2. Are there fake schemes out there?

People fake their stories all the time to grow their fan-base. Some schemes promise instant riches to anyone who subscribe. Well, let us tell you that most of such schemes are a fraud! While a lot of the business online is legit, a lot isn't. There's no such thing as over-night success. It takes a lot of hard work and effort, and a lot more time to build something. So do not pay heed to anyone who promises 'instant' rewards or 'guaranteed' success quickly!

A lot of people will also use robots to inflate statistics. For example, bots can be used to buy a fan-base on Facebook, youtube and Twitter. People often fall for this trap too. The faking of numbers to people is illegal and morally and ethically wrong (Haram). You can generally tell such schemes by the lack of interaction on their social pages.

3. How much can a person earn per month by working online?

As Mohammad said, 'it's not a matter of months or weeks, it's a matter of minutes.' If you have developed the rights skills, you could be earning by the minute.

4. Defending against Google algorithm changes and increasing PageRank

Another caller, Rafay Baloch from Karachi, referred to the Google Panda and Penguin penalties being inflicted, and was seeking a solution for recovery. Techniques like creating very high quality content, getting rid of bad SEO such as bad inbound links, and making use of good SEO practices will help in keeping your website's rank.

PageRank is a scale of 0-10 that Google uses to rank websites. Ahmad (MIT Graduate)  from New York asked how to increase your site's PageRank. Although there are literally hundreds of ways to improve your PageRank, the best way is to build quality backlinks to your website by writing articles on neighboring blogs, i.e. blogs in the same niche as yours, and publicizing your content on social networking and social bookmarking sites.

5. What are the pre-requisites for blogging?

The first requirement is Common Sense! Because without it, you'll always remain confused on how to generate traffic through search engines or through social media, and you'll always continue misusing this resource - the blogging platform.

Another requirement is having a well-designed website. A good website design attracts more and more visitors, because it engages your readers more. You also need good CSS and HTML designing skills, because you'll need these skills for further development and extension of your website or its content, and for optimization. You'll need to understand the requirements of search engine optimization as well, as this will help you rank your blog well in search engines.

You also need to have a good grasp on the English language (if your blog is in English). It is not a requirement, but certainly a recommended pre-requisite. Without English, how can you express yourself effectively to your readers?

6. Can we continue to rely upon Blogger?

During the course of the interview, the RJ asked a few questions of his own too. One of them was, can we continue to rely on Google Blogger to create blogs and make money online? Well, the short answer is, no. Never ever keep all your eggs in the same basket, and pin all your hopes on free blogging. These days, inspired by the prowess of others, many more people have started blogging. not all of these people are creating quality content, however, and the internet is now literally cluttered with spam. As a result, the average Return on Investment is decreasing, and there may come a time when the business is no longer lucrative.

So what would people looking for sources of income online do?

The solution

The solution lies in learning skills that would last. Skill building comes naturally when you start orienting your mindset towards entrepreneurship, and stop thinking about getting a job after graduation - working for another company - and living happily for ever after.

Take the example of Justin Bieber, for example. He was just an ordinary YouTuber. But after a producer saw his skills, he went to on to become a sensation. He know how to market his skills, so that is very important too. Being able to market, to socialize and connect with people and customers, that is the key to your success.

Today, we have everything available on our fingertips. Search engines are much more advanced now than they were some 8-10 years ago. you can get infinite tutorials and guides that will help you build your skills. Invest your time, and your hard work, and trust me, you'll get very fruitful results!

7. What skills are worth learning?

An important part of entrepreneurship is knowing when certain skills are useful, and when they've become obsolete. Take the example of Steve Jobs. He introduced the iPhone at a time when touch-screen phones were unheard of. He knew what the market needed, and used his skills accordingly. When this blog was started, blogging and web development weren't very common. It was a growing trend, and so we adopted it. However, it is no longer trendy. A lot of internet users have blogs, and the market is flooded by web developers.

Right now, mobile app development is 'hot'. I'll quote the Summly App example again here. And more recently, the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook for $19 Billion has shocked everyone. Did you know, that WhatsApp was an individual project as well, and not something cooked up by a corporation. So app development holds a place in the trends these days, especially Windows / Windows Phone development, since the Android and iOS markets are already saturated. Educate yourself and build the next WhatsApp! If someone did it once, you can do it again.

8. Can you be an entrepreneur without having specific skills?

Obviously Not everyone can be a coder or may develop mobile apps or websites. That's quite all right. You don't need to have exceptional skills to start a business. Internet is not a place where only developers and programmers can make money through a website. Others can too by hiring professional help. If you don' have development skills, you can always pay someone to develop a website for you. No exceptional skills required. You just need a vision, and an open mind, along with a willingness to invest initially in your business.

Of course, if you're a blogger, then you will need certain skills specific to this domain. For example, you need programming skills and web-development skills in order to carry forward your idea to the next level. This was a question from Kulwant Nagi from India, who asked whether a blogger needs to have programming skills. If you can program, and like programming, then you should consider yourself very lucky, and you can use this interest of yours to reach higher levels of success.

9. How to manage your time between personal and social life?

Good question asked by Kashif from Karachi. Managing time is a major concern among people. But truth be told, the life of an entrepreneur is far different from a professional working under a supervisor. An entrepreneur is a free spirit, and has the option when to open his office, and when to close it. So some concerns of people might be born out of misconceptions - being an entrepreneur doesn't mean you can't dedicate time to your friends and family. It's rather a lot fun!

If you have any questions that you would wish to ask Mohammad then please post them below. :)



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Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups: Details of Mohammad's Nationwide Interview On Radio FM 94
Details of Mohammad's Nationwide Interview On Radio FM 94
Experience Lab - Online business creation and development guide for bloggers and startups
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