If you have been surfing on how to start a website for a business, you probably know by now that having an internet access and a know-how of designing a web page does not automatically make one a mass communicator. If my site is not reachable by the search engine, even if I had the best resource, made the most compelling statement about honey as an intelligent food, I am communicating to none. Site Build It!, a website design cum hosting cum marketing system, has provided me with a platform that allows me to systematically start a website and effectively reach out to a global audience and pointed to me the different strategies on how to drive traffic to my site 24/7 (yes even when I am sleeping)!
Being able to start a website on honey wins hands-down against having to talk face-to-face and one-on-one and rave about the golden liquid at the wrong time and at the wrong place! I mean, who expects others to be thinking about honey or what sweetener to use all the time right? And having an existence in a country where there is hardly any bee around, where beekeeping is illegal (or I should say it's a totally remote and unimaginable occupation or hobby) makes talking to people about bees and honey even harder. Here, the hum of a bee colony can generate much genuine hysteria and panic attack, fear-mongering reports that miscast bees as being aggressive and dangerous are not helpful in allaying the public's disabling fear of these pollinators, and a swarm or beehive once sighted is immediately removed and destroyed by the pest control specialists. (Yes, seriously, I mean people from the PEST control company) I'm not sure if the kids in our schools actually learn beyond the fact that honeybees are insects and insects are typically marked by a head, six legs, and a thorax, and sometimes I wonder if they ever suspect that honey is not manufactured in the factory.
I describe my experience with Site Build It! as "slow but steady like the tortoise", which is Solo Build It!'s most famous motto and deeply-held principle in web living. So, if you cannot relish the idea of "slowness"
or would feel shamed by adopting such a belief, perhaps Site Build It! is not for you to start a website. But, this mentality sets Site Build It! apart from the rest of competition in a market where everyone seems to be operating on the mode of instant gratification and success. While researching on how to start a website for a business, I'm sure you've encountered barrages of emails on how to start a website that turns in cash immediately, Get-Rich-Quick promises from so-called highly sought after internet marketing gurus and videos hard-selling e-books that reveal massive traffic driving secrets, etc, etc. Oh, yes, yes (sheepishly) I had been bought into those stuff a few times and each time I would end up feeling terribly cheated and wonder why I could be cajoled into believing those spluttering lies more than once. And now as I see the mushrooming of websites that have been shamelessly churned out by robots and filled with absolutely incomprehensible chatter, gibberish contents, nonsensical YouTube video links, I have even more respect for a business like Site Build It! that is real, transparent, and consistently honors quality content in web creation.
I cannot imagine how painful life would be to work outside of the Solo Build It! system, with no Solo Build It!'s reliable and assuring support on step-by-step building tools to start a website, web design templates, newsletter system, forms and surveys templates, and traffic statistics. Today, thanks to Solo Build It!, Benefits of Honey has become one of my strongest platforms for marketing my books, How to Effectively Use Honey as Medicine and Darling, Honey is Good for You! and the Number One Ranked site for many honey related keywords in many search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing. And the number of visitors to the site has not stopped climbing steadily by the month.
As they always say, "the first steps are the hardest." During the initial years of my start-up, it was a dread exchanging links with other sites. Many requests went unanswered. They said my site was too new and had too little traffic, so exchanging links would not be
fair mutually rewarding. I began to enjoy some good traffic only after about two years of building my site. Creating a web site wasn't always a bed of roses. There were times when I felt throwing in the towel was an attractive option. I had taken breathers of a couple of months before just to brace myself for the next step. Then I would take pick up from where I left and take deep breath before going for another deep dive. There have been many daunting moments - plagiarism of all sorts by others, taking pages and pages from my site to start a website of their own, emotional outbursts from people who are allergic to honey, hate angry mails from visitors who were offended to read that honey was being lauded as a more superior alternative form of sugar, blatant demands for health answers, etc. These were a test of my passion, but a strengthening of my resolve to start a website and make it work. One thing kept putting things into perspective - the desire to help change the perception of honey, the frenetic belief that it should be differentiated from other sugars and its health benefits must become common sense.
While I have met very
nasty hostile characters who hid themselves behind the anonymity of the WWW, there are also very amazing, inspiring personalities out there that God has so graciously placed along my way. I've been pleasantly surprised by good souls from Sitesell forum who so willingly wrote lengthy emails to suggest how my website could be improved. One of the biggest rewards of a web information owner, as you would realize, is meeting like-minded people online, directing people to the uses of honey, cultivating friendships, exchanging notes, informing others on the dangers of some very popular sweeteners, discussing honey floral varietals and how honey has been amazingly used as a medicine.
"There's enough for everyone. If you believe it, if you can see it, if you act from it, it will show up for you. That's the truth" ~ Michael Beckwith
Years ago, a web owner fell off his chair (well, I didn't actually see that in our virtual exchange but at least his tone of writing was enough to let me run my own imagination) and told me in a forum that a few thousands of unique visitors daily for a
cold niche topic like honey, it was already a steal and I should feel humbled by it. I was urged to wake up be realistic and look at my keywords demand and be mindful that since many people were searching for "benefits of honey", I should not expect that much traffic. I thought, gee, so many still don't know that honey is more than just sugar. They need to see it for the sake of the next generations... honey might now be puny in the eyes of many, but I'm going to put in double the effort to make people see honey beyond a confectionary or ingredient or a remedy for sore throat. New studies on its role in cerebral energy and sleep, metabolism would all help push towards this cause. There was an addictive satisfaction in it, and the more I write, the deeper my conviction became and the more I felt I could help others discover honey as well. That earnestness propelled me forward and I saw my labour slowly bearing fruits.
I dream that one day I would not be just a lover of honey but a keeper of bees. I will be out there donned in a bee suit, peeking into the hives to discover the secret life of the bees. After all I have enjoyed a liquid as good as gold, how can I be not grateful to its giver - the honeybees, the silent hero in pollinating over 75% of our flowering plants and crops while enjoying my chocolate, coffee, tea, almonds, apples, and cherries, how can I not salute these pollinators and remember that without them, much of the food that we lay on the table every meal would cease to exist and we would be living on a diet akin to "bread and water."
My friendship with beekeepers in the virtual world has opened my eyes to see the amazing work of the honey bees in the real world. I dream that one day my country would facilitate designated vicinities in the keeping of bees (just like how New York has again allowed urban beekeeping. How do they do it, how does Hong Kong do it? In fact we have the marvellous advantage of weather; the combs will be flowing and dripping with honey all year round). As we live in a society marked by ultimate modernisation, the dire need to build the strongest economy, the best education system, produce the most intelligent and scholarly students, most talented and productive workforce, most advanced technologies, could we not slow down and stop to ponder how we can move one step closer to Mother Nature and stop to exploit every single bit of land for commercial development?
I dream that one day the blooms of the rainforest and the tropical blossoms of lemon, coffee and rambutan will be visited by the buzzing creatures and that we would find a little space to embrace what has been given to us from the beginning of times, muse and revel in the simple pleasures of interacting with the ecosystem, let out a smile of gratitude for the soil we step on, the scent of the flowers we breathe in, the little crawlies we see treading on your child's hand, and of course, marvel at the tiny insects that have visited thousands of flowers for nectar to just give us each glob of the super food.
Jeffrey Archer says "while there may not be a book in every one of us, there is so often a damned good short story". And this could be a lifestyle, hobby, a cause; a mission, a belief, a passion, or even a cure that you feel others should also know or even try it. With the help of Solo Build it!, not only was I only able to start a website but am now making a living out my passion in the web and I believe with Solo Build It!, you can too!
Founder and Author of Benefits of Honey
24 January 2017 (Updated)