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Reader’s mail: My advice on a site like mount-kinabalu-borneo.com

I received an email from one of our readers. A.M. from India emailed me on how to proceed on creating a website like mount-kinabalu-borneo.com. I felt very honored to answer his questions, as I think there are numerous people around the net that could answer him better than I am…

Dear Dr Ruhaizad Daud

I happened to bump into your site after one of my friends trekked to Mt Kinabalu and I looked it up on Google.

The reason why I am writing to you is to get some advice from you. I am a keen trekker from India. In our Himalayas and elsewhere my friends and I are always trekking and climbing.

This passion is slowly forming into an idea that we can use our experience to build a website for some of the treks that we have done. We notice that getting information is difficult and getting them in one place is next to impossible. However, we have a lot of information about the various locations that we have trekked in, and we would like to make a website for at least one such location. And then see if we can carry it forward to other locations. We found your website really well made with links and information in the right places.

As an experienced person, can you give us some ideas or advice on how to go about creating the website or what not to do? We have already taken a domain name for one such trek. We were lucky and we got a dot com domain for the exact name of the trek.

I also realise that it takes quite a bit of money to make and develop websites. Apart from donations, is there any way we can earn some money to maintain the website?

A. M.
Bangalore, India

And this was my answer, (the exact email)…

Hi A,
Thank you for your nice email. I am glad that you asked me about how to start a website like mine, although there are a lot of other places that you can ask for.

Anyway, I love to share with you my personal experiences. You are where I was 3 years ago, few times after trekking Kinabalu, I found out that information on climbing the majestic mountain of Borneo were scattered around the net. There were no specific website that could teach a novice climber on how to go about climbing Kinabalu, from A to Z.

There was a voice inside my head, suggesting that I should do something to promote Kinabalu better on the net, and at the same time, monetize the website so that it can pay itself without having me to pay for the webhosting.

Honestly speaking, I learn how to and how NOT to create website from Ken Evoy’s SiteSell website creation system, SBI. Although I don’t use their services as it was a bit expensive to me during those days (I am a cheapskate), I found that their free ebooks are resourceful. Read very carefully the C-T-P-M system. It has helped me a lot…

I downloaded almost all their free ebooks, learn a little bit of HTML using Kompozer (it’s a what you see is what you get HTML generator) and learn the hard way of website creation and management (FTP, PHP, advertising, etc). Yes, I learned the hard way, as I like to keep the cost as minimal as possible. Although I spent more time learning how to make a presence on the net, it was really an exciting journey.

In the other han, if you can afford it, I suggest that you take their SBI system. It will shortened your learning curve, and could spend more time concentrating on creating a good website content. I highly recommend it.

Monetizing the website will only comes second, after you have created the best information website that you could ever create. I monetize with Google Adsense and it has become the primary income generator for the website. Google never fails to pay me every month for the past 2+ years. Affiliate is the other way of monetizing your website.

I suggest that you create a blog for your insider’s update, any upcoming issues and promotion, as it will become like an update thread for the website. The blog can be a good compliment for your website, but it will need updates from your own perspective.

Here are the links to the tools that I used:
1. SBI! http://buildit.sitesell.com/mountkin1.html (my affiliate link)
2. Kompozer, WYSIWYG HTML generator http://kompozer.net
3. Blogging platform http://wordpress.org

WordPress For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))

Good luck on your quest on the website. Drop me an email if you need any more help.

Warmest Regards,