"Did you seriously build that Bolivia website all by yourself?" I get this question a lot and it's usually followed by "how?" You'd never believe that I had absolutely NO internet skills when I started. That's right, absolutely none. However, I did have great motivation and a real passion for something: breaking down incorrect stereotypes about Bolivia. I've spent my entire life fielding questions like these:
"Bolivia! Oh, that’s in Africa, right?" - "Do you ride a donkey to school?" - "Are there buildings in Bolivia?" - "Are there toilets in Bolivia?" - "Are there cars in Bolivia?" - "How many coca leaves does it take to make cocaine?" Um... I should know???
Then one day a famous President (never mind which one, it's too embarrassing) told the world how glad he was he had studied Latin in school so he could speak with the people of Latin America (???) and followed up by saying he was so happy to be visiting Bolivia. Only he wasn't in Bolivia (where we speak Spanish), he was in Brazil (where they speak Portuguese). And that's when I decided I had to get Bolivia on the map!
I use SBI (Solo Build It) to build this site. Now, most people build a site to promote their business but I didn't have a business. I just had information and a desire to reach as many people as I possibly could with it because I feel so passionate about ensuring people learn about the REAL Bolivia. I knew that in order to do that I had to go top-notch all the way. No use building a site if no one sees it! I also wanted to do it myself (ouch). You can read about exactly how SBI is helping me accomplish that, below.
Now BoliviaBella is the number one English website about Bolivia and what began as a hobby has evolved into a business. Why? Because by its 10th month online BoliviaBella had risen to the top 1% of all websites in the world and today is visited by thousands of people every day. People make life-changing decisions (like the decision to leave everything and move to Bolivia) based on the information they find here.
That's an enormous responsibility and one I take extremely seriously. It takes enormous amounts of time and effort so now I'm spending more and more time doing what I love (building this site for you) and less and less time on "that other job I sometimes do". But BoliviaBella doesn't succeed by coincidence. It is what it is because of the tools I use. So... here's
How I Build this Bolivia Website for You
BoliviaBella, which began as a little Bolivia website hobby, is now the top searched, most trusted Bolivia website in English. But that didn't just happen all by itself.
Just how much information was lacking about Bolivia? Suffice it to say that anytime Hollywood needs a synonym for "the remote unknown" they write Bolivia into their scripts. Have you noticed? So just how did BoliviaBella become the most searched English website about Bolivia? It's because so many Bolivia websites don't provide the answers people need that they turn to BoliviaBella.
First of all, the fact that we provide all first-hand facts and information is only the second reason for our success. The first? It's all in the tools I use. No website in the world, no matter how expensive or fancy or well-designed or attractive, will ever by seen by anyone if it doesn't show up in the responses you get from Yahoo, Bing, Google, and other search engines when you're researching Bolivia online.
And if it doesn't provide the information YOU are looking for, then it's useless to you anyway. So when I decided to build a Bolivia website I took things seriously from the beginning, even though I started out doing this purely as a hobby! I invested in the proven best website building system and here's what has made it all worthwhile: people like yourself are finding the site and the answers you need.
My Passion Accidentally Became a Business
The other day I got a message from someone. It said "Dear Bella: thanks for all the great information on your site. You're like the Dear Abby of Bolivia." Wow, that was like the ultimate compliment.
Although it was an amusing message I really took it to heart. Although the numbers motivate me (after all, my goal was to build a site people would actually see and now thousands of people like yourself see the site every day) what really keeps me going is the knowledge that people appreciate and TRUST the information and are beginning to view Bolivia in a more positive light. And that's exactly what my desire was when I started. That's been my mission statement since 2007.
I initially considered blogging. I had absolutely no intention or thought of building a whole Bolivia website and I am not a "techy" person at all. But when I began to research how to do this, I realized that blogging is just a long list of chronological entries like an online diary of sorts and that just didn't appeal to me a good way to organize information. I found SBI by accident and loved it right away. Here's a super simple explanation of how it works:
Over the years my hobby of informing people resulted in hundreds of people contacting me for personalized information and requests for me to help them obtain their residency when they arrived. Responding to them and helping them with Immigration and paperwork was all voluntary at first, I never charged a cent, and I spent hours and hours a day answering questions. But it eventually began to take up so much of my time that I found it necessary to partner with an immigration lawyer and together we established my company Bolivia Expat Services. We have helped dozens of individuals and families start a new life in Bolivia.
For those of you who are interested in how I build my Bolivia website because you are considering building a website of your own, I say go for it. It's easy, you'll find it enjoyable, and you'll never again need to hire someone to build your website pages or update them every time you need to change or add something new. It has been one of the most positive things I ever did for myself and others.
Building a website is something I can take with me and do from anywhere I go. I can spend as little or as much time on it as I want. I can love being a mom and spending time with my family and friends and I don't have a boss. I don't have to beg for vacation time when I need it. I find myself capable every day of doing things I never believed myself capable of (like building a website). And most importantly, I LOVE WHAT I DO!
But I'm not alone really! Through our forums MANY site visitors and other people who live and work in Bolivia have also contributed pages to this site. Did you know anyone can add a page to BoliviaBella? You can add your own Bolivia Travel Stories from any computer, anywhere in the world.
Actual website visitors like yourself help build this site into what it is today - a trustworthy website filled with first-hand facts, information and experiences. And there's nothing people want more than to hear about REAL experiences from REAL people. That's what made this the number one Bolivia website people turn to for reliable answers. Have a passion? You can turn your passion into a business or something helpful for others too: