20 Tips on How to Successfully Start a Blog in Kenya and Make Money
Blogging is not just something you could wake up to start without applying your critical thinking skills and be ready to work hard smartly in the first few years in order to make money online or for a successful Blogging business in future.
A Kenyan can follow two broad lines namely: blogging for Kenyans or blogging for the world and each has advantages and disadvantages. The difference is that blogging using none local keywords is very competitive and it also limits your audience but the more you blog one increases the ability to balance.
A solo blogger should have someone to motivate and encourage him/her to be passionate because without that one can easily give up. About 90% of bloggers give up within the first three months.
However, a new blogger should be patient enough because it can take up to 6 month to get his/her first paycheck. In order to have a successful blogging business in Kenya one should; be ready to work hard, passionate or motivated, ceaselessly learn every day and Invest in your blog.
Critical and Creative Thinking
One needs to think deeply because blogging is a life-changing decision as it might transform your life. One can blog about the endless topics in the universe, but to succeed in blogging and really earn money online, it is advisable to narrow down to a few or one topic.
A blogger can start by choosing a niche: A niche refers to a specific target market e.g. website targets two complementary niches, university students and youths. This is probably the most integral step for securing a successful blogging business in Kenya.
15000 websites are created and over 10 million blog posts are published, that means you should write helpful content of high quality to stay relevant. This can be done by focusing on one niche and be a master in it. Also a blogger should have a target audience who will read your content and feel grateful. Define your niche and make it as more specific you to ensure lesser the competition.
How to choose a niche as a newbie:
It can be done by choosing what to blog on or what you are passionate about. Passion is essential in blogging because you cannot seat for hours doing something you don’t like and also choosing a profitable niche. If you blog on a topic based on its profitability, you might lack the energy without passion too. So you need both passion and profit. You can do this by following the steps below:
a.) Make a list of 10 topics you like
b.) Research on ‘profitable niches’
c.) Relate your passion niches with profitable niches and try to settle on a balanced niche
d.) Brainstorm your brand name with a creative name because a good brand name is essential.
It is wise to invest in a good brand name which should be:
- Unique and distinctive
- It should be memorable.
- Suggestive and Reflect your niche
- Simple, short and/or easy to pronounce
- The brand name should be a positive one
- Protectable with no legal regulatory restriction – so if your brand becomes a big deal, you can trademark it without anybody suing you.
Before settling a brand name one should consider the following:
a.) Purchase a domain name
A domain name is the internet address that will the consumers will use to access your articles.
Though, it is not all domain names can be purchased because someone else beat you to them. You should also brainstorm while checking the availability of your domain name to avoid spending a whole day brainstorming the name for your brand only to find out later that its domain name is unavailable.
Domain names are bought through registry companies which are mostly also the hosting companies. Some of the international hosting companies include: Blue host, HostGator and GoDaddy while some top Kenyan registrars include KenyaWebExperts, Sasahost, and Truehost.
When you use one of these registrars, you will access the domain registration dashboard where you will type in your choice of brand name followed by a domain extension that you want. A domain extension explains the classification of your domain by global location/sector.
There are some types of domains which include: Top-Level Domain (Global Site), Country code TLD (Country Specific Site), Generic TLD (Purpose), Second Level and Third Level.
Mostly, Top Level Domain and country codeTLD are the best to choose from especially for newbies. To target the globe, go with a choice of (.com, .net, .biz, or .org.) because they can be bought from any registrars all over the world. If you want to target Kenyan audience, choose .co.ke or .ke. Country-based domains are mostly availed by local registrars like Truehost and KenyaWebExperts. A domain name cost ranges from Ksh1, 000 to Ksh1, 500 annually while others can be much more expensive.
b.) Choosing Hosting Services.
It should be done together with the previous step so as to save on costs. In the first year some registrars even offer a free domain name registration.
Hosting is the service of hiring storage for your website content at a fee which one can do annually or monthly. Thus, considering having a good capital to start with is important. With as little as Kshs.3200, a newbies can register a domain and get quality hosting for your first year through KenyaWebExperts.
The main types of hosting include:
Shared Hosting- Many websites are located in one server and it is the cheapest with the smallest capabilities.
Cloud Hosting- several servers working together to act as on server which houses ones site.
Virtual Private Server Hosting- it is a single physical server acting like multiple servers
Dedicated Hosting- One entire physical server for your website which is the most expensive and it is most powerful.
However, a new blogger can use shared hosting. Take time to settle on one package for example basic plan offered by KenyaWebExperts at a cheap price if you are a starter because you can always upgrade later.
c.) Launch your Website
Firstly, you can code a site from scratch. This is writing the actual code using software development applications, integrating them with hosting frameworks, launching sites and maintaining code for optimum performance.
This work is reserved for software engineers, coding professionals, and enthusiasts. Secondly, you can use content management systems (CMS) which enable you to launch websites without any codding and worry of maintenance.
These programs are engineered to build the site for you so your only work is to add articles or photos.
The most popular CMS is known as WordPress and it powers almost 30% of the entire internet which is loved for its simplicity and complexity. You also choose other CMSs including; Joomla, Drupal, Medium, and Blogger. You can now Install WordPress.
In the hosting environment, there is a software known as cPanel which is a popular software used by most hosting companies in managing websites.
The cPanel is accessed by logging into your webmaster dashboard and looking for a clickable link written “cPanel Login” or “Log into cPanel”. Once you’re in the cPanel, scroll down until you see “Launch WordPress Website” then on clicking on the link you will be directed to a new page with a form where you need to fill details about your site. Complete the form and then install.
After that procedure, your website will have been launched at this point and you should access it through typing your domain address. In case you are stuck while launching your blog, your hosting company has a page where it provides the guidelines for all these procedures. You should check and follow the procedures.
d.) How to publish your first Article.
Choose a general topic surrounding your niche and write a 300-500 word article. Assuming by now you already have a couple of articles dealing with your niche typed on a word document and saved in your computer.
First if your article is ready, log back into your blog.
Navigate to Posts (Add New and a new page with an editing dashboard will open).
Create a title or copy-paste your title on the title box
Copy-paste your article on the main text editor box, or below your title in
Add a featured image and another image within the article if necessary
Lastly add a category (broad group) and tags (niche descriptions).
e.) Publish your article
Click on “View Article” so as to view your article.
Moreover because you want to launch a potentially successful blog, you need to optimize the website from the very beginning. To optimize your Kenyan blog you should:
Configure Settings, General Settings, Hover over Settings, Select General in the General Settings page, then you can choose to Edit the site title to your blog name and the tagline to your mantra (Optional), Edit the email address to your preferred email address, then save and Permalinks Settings.
Again, head to settings and select Permalinks at the bottom of the list. Permalinks are static links, which lead a browser to a particular post or page. In the permalinks scroll down and select Post Name as your preferred link structure.
Permalink structure is a ranking factor used by Google. An optimized link contains the keywords of a post, which are found in the title, and hence using the title/post name optimizes your URL.
f.) Install Plugins
One of the reasons why WordPress is so simple yet so powerful is because of plugins. Plugins are extensions that add functionalities to a website. Moreover, plugins can improve your blog too and there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of plugins available for free or for a cost.
Yet if you start installing every piece of plugin out there, your blog will be bloated. There is a list of recommended plugins, which are essential for a new site. To install them, hover over Plugins on the navigation sidebar and select add new then search. Below are examples of plugins;
· Kismet will protect your blog from spam
· Yoast is for site engine optimization. Follow its easy set up and check to configure.
· Updraft is used to back up your site to Google Drive.
· W3 Total Cache is used to speed up your site (Speed is another big factor in Google ranking)
· Word fence will act like an antivirus for your website and provides security.
g.) Set up Analytics.
Google Analytics is the ultimate tool for showing where your traffic is coming from in order to strategize. It shows you where traffic is coming from, how long people are staying on your site, which pages are performing well.
Jetpack is also a tool that can be used. It is has one advantage over google analytic because it is packed with more than 20 other features besides offering analytics right at your dashboard.
Therefore, setting up analytics tool will set off the pace for you since it informs you of your progress and helps you make strategic plans for your blog to be successful
After doing the set up analytics, you will have gone through almost every essential step to set up your new blog. The site is online and ready to roar. It is not over yet, just like any other business, blogging requires essential practices for success.
The one thing businesses have all have in common is the fact in common is that they are aimed at creating value for customers. However, you should be a business-minded person to blog successfully in Kenya, as it a country with one of the highest internet penetration in the world.
h.) Get a good premium theme
It all comes down to how many zeros you can make and to do this in blogging, you need to prepare your site to make money. We have already done two of the 3 essential things required to start making money blogging.
The third is getting a premium theme. A premium theme offers a lot of customization features that will enable your blog design to stand out.
i.) Making your blog successful.
As a blogger you can order to design your content for your customers. Keyword research is a whole sector of its own and in the recent years it is quite likely the single most powerful strategy that guarantees success in blogging.
You should consider investing in keyword tools such as Ahrefs, KWFinder, and Moz but if you have a limited budget, you can use free tools such as UberSuggest, Google Trends, and Google Search Suggestions.
j.) Site Engine Optimization.
Site Engine Optimization will enable your articles to appear on the first page of Google Search Results which assures you of traffic. Fundamentally, it involves making your articles appeal to the Googlebot and hence rank for your keywords.
You can’t exhaust all that SEO has to offer because it’s too wide but with regular learning, you can become a master like Neil Patel. Not forgetting that this is a multi-billionaire industry.
One of the plugins to install was Yoast because it can provide you with a good foundation for your SEO journey since it’s backed by a whole team of professionals who regularly update the plugin and provide tips through an email Newsletter that you want to subscribe.
k.) Join Google AdSense
Google AdSense is the ultimate ads distribution platform in the world. The ad distribution platform is the easiest to join but be patient because it takes time before a new blog is approved.
That is Google inspectors have to investigate your site to ensure it meets certain conditions before you are accepted.
They qualify you if write quality and helpful content and get traffic. That means, promoting explicit content such as drugs and porn will earn you a total disqualification so don’t even think about it.
l.) Hire Writers and professionals
The best thing about blogging is that you can do everything alone, anywhere at any time. Although still it’s tiring to do it alone since if want a business it is advisable to hire writers to get things done faster as we say “two minds are better than on”.
However, since you are thinking of your blog more than just a personal blog and rather a business. A smart business person would spare some money and hire competent writers to help create quality content for a shorter period than when alone since this work can be time consuming.
As a matter of fact very few blogs are updated once a week although regular updates encourage Google to rank you higher.
m.) Market your content
You don’t expect to sit down and wait for people to come to your blog especially when you just started a new blog.
A newbie should make a step to get your articles out there and share articles on social media platforms, send to friends and humbly request them to share further, start email marketing in order to start pocketing a good sum of cash.
You should also be ready to spend a few bucks on Facebook Marketing, which when done well and correctly can earn you some good cash. Make sure you promote your content every day.