Start a blog in Kenya? Huh? That is not a bad idea.
You look around and see blogs that are doing very well and wish that you owned one! You are in these safe hands, for in this guide I am going to take you through a step by step process that can that will help you set up a blog and have it running.
In fact, you can have a business blog running in minutes if you follow this guide.
I have been blogging for a while and I did set up this blog in just two weeks. As of writing this article, this blog was just two month old and already receiving 500 visits a day.
The short answer is;
1. Register a good domain name.
2. Find a good host and pay for hosting.
3. Get a good theme.
4. Write your first post and connect to the world.
But how do I get started? This question is probably disturbing you at this minute. Just take a cup of coffee and let us begin this journey. Here is the long answer.
Differences between a Blog and a Website.
But before we look at how to start a blog in Kenya, let us answer one question, what is a blog? And how is it different from a website?
A blog, also known as a weblog is an online journal or informational website displaying information in the reverse chronological order, with latest posts appearing first. It is a platform where a writer or even a group of writers share their views on an individual subject.
Techweez.com, tech-ish.com or even this site are examples blogs.
Individuals such as Victor Matara, Nyakundi and Robert Alai are very well known bloggers in Kenya. What they own are blogs.
A website on the other hand is a collection of publicly accessible, interlinked Web pages that share a single domain name. Websites can be created and maintained by an individual, group, business or organization to serve a variety of purposes.
Think of sites such as safaricom.co.ke or jumia.co.ke, these are examples of websites. Website nowadays have blogs on them that give information periodically.
Why should you start a blog in Kenya in 2019?
There may be many reasons to this. Some for leisure, others to share information but to some, create a means of earning some money.
Whichever the case, starting a blog can keep you busy and at the same time sharpen your writing skills.
I always wrote articles in high school for the press club, though I was not very good in English. I found out that I would write article in books and diaries. When I discovered that, I could share these articles online, the idea to start this blog was born.
But it was not as easy as I thought, I failed so many times. If you want to start a blog in Kenya and succeed immediately, you are in for a rough ride.
From my experiences, I bring you the beginner’s guide to start a blog in Kenya in 2019.
To start a successful blog in Kenya, you need to build a solid foundation. Blogs that are built in rush usually fail to make any impact.
In fact most blogs unless build as a hobby and for leisure, usually fail within a year of launching.
I have been on that route I know.
So how do you prepare?
Follow these steps below.
- Brainstorm Ideas to write about.
- Write at least 10 articles.
- Have a functional credit card.
What do I mean by this? Let us get deeper into this.
1.Brainstorm Ideas to write about.
A blogger who writes about anything and everything is no blogger. Therefore, you have to find your rhythm and find a topic that you are going to write about. For you to start a blog in Kenya, you have to brainstorm.
Researching on topics which is commonly referred as to a niche in blogging circles, is what I call brainstorming.
As a rule, look for a topic which you are conversant with, a topic with good traffic (people are likely going to read it) and not too wide.
What do I mean by too wide? Let us say you want to write about sports. For starters, this is a very wide topic. There are literally hundreds of sports out there. Unless you are Nation Media House, you will not make any impact.
So if I were you, would look at it this way;
Sports˃ football˃ Kenya premier league.
So I will write about the Kenya premier league, which would not be too wide.
But again, it would be a bad idea about to write about Kenya Premier league, for you will have to contend with heavy weights such as Nation Media House, the Standard Media Group or Royal Media Services who have established sites that will give you a run for your money.
Unless off course you just to create a blog that no one cares about.
Therefore, if I were you I would write about how to prepare tasty Kenyan meals. This niche would be not very competitive and you may just have audience who what to learn about that.
Moreover, choosing a niche that is not so wide brings you out as a professional in field.
This step is very important if you want to start a successful blog in Kenya.
Unless you just want to have fun, this is a must do!
This should take you a few minutes to even a week.
2. Write good articles ( blog posts).
Once you have settled on a topic to write about, write about 10 good keyword rich articles. You articles should be informative and focused on a single topic.
More importantly, you should be original, no copy pasting. If you are thinking going that route, you would spend your energy elsewhere. You are bound to fail if you go that route.
I would recommend writing blog posts that are about 800 words long.
3. Have a credit card.
Unless you want to use free platforms ( I will be explaining that in a while) where no one will ever find you, you would better have some money to buy some services.
To begin this blog, I had about Ksh. 10000.00(US$100.00)
How to start a blog in Kenya in 5 steps.
Listed below are 5 steps you will need to follow to make your blog dream a reality. The beauty of these all is that if you have prepared yourself as discussed above, this will take a few hours.
Here are the steps.
1. Choose a blogging platform.
2. Choose a web host.
3. Set up a blog on you domain.
4. Design you blog.
5. Add your content.
6. Useful resources for your blog.
Let us look at this one by one and start a blog in Kenya; you would better fill your cup with more coffee.
1. Choose a blogging platform.
A blogging platform is where you want to build your blog. There are over 10 blogging platforms to build your blog on.
But shouldn’t I just tell you which one to use? I will, but learn a few things first.
Here are some of the blogging platforms.
- WordPress-Self Hosted
- WordPress- Hosted
Now if you have not heard of about WordPress, then I do not know what to tell you.
I may just need to tell you that it is the most popular blogging platform. Over 100 million blogs are hosted on WordPress.
Numbers do not lie. Have a look below.
This is the blogging platform to use. However, there are two options, hosted and self-hosted. We go with self-hosted.
Here is why we choose WordPress.
- Super easy set-up and is free to use.
- Millions of free themes and layouts.
- There is a massive support forum in case you are stuck(you will not, but it is nice to have it there if you need it).
- Your blog will be insanely fast and it will look functionality and form – perfect!
- People can interact with you easily. Your content can be shared, commented on, and much more.
2. Choose a web host.
A web host is a company that will give you space to store your files. Your blog files need to be stores on servers where the information can be retrieved when users look for it.
But the big question is do you use free alternative or of self hosted?
Let us look at the two.
All of us like free things. But as they say, cheap is expensive. Most blogging platforms such as WordPress, Blog spot or Tumblr have free options.
Here are the down side of free alternative.
1. You do not own the domain
Your domain will look like this
This does not look good I can tell you and a blog will not be easily found on search engines.
Just google any term and see if you will see a domain that looks that way.
2. You have limits
When something is free, you have limitations. If you looking to create a great blog you will have so many limitations on a free platforms.
3. You do not own your blog.
This might shock you but you do not own your blog. You might wake up one morning and find it gone.
If you are seriously considering creating a super blog, this is the route to go. Here is what you have with self-hosted option.
1. You have a custom domain.
2. You have flexibility. You can create a blog to your taste.
3. The blog belongs to you. You own i and can even sell it.
Now that we settled on self-hosting, you will need to choose a web host. There are tens of good hosting companies out there to choose from. Companies such as Bluehost, Hostgator, Siteground, Hostinger, iPage and many more offer hosting services.
In most cases, hosting cost anything from US$10.00 to US$ 100.00 per year. Choose what suits you. Though you may need to do some research about this.
If you do not have time to do that, I would recommend using Bluehost or Siteground.
Read about how to choose a web host here.
You will have to pay for this with your credit card and once done, you are on you way to setting up your blog.
There are also companies in Kenya that offer hosting services, however I have not tried them and am not sure they will stand your demands are your blog grows.
Choose a domain name.
One more thing, you will need a domain name. A domain name is the address where internet users can access your website.
The good news is that most web hosting companies will give you a free domain name. If they do not offer one, domain names are cheap and cost about US$10 per year.
A good domain name should;
- Reflect what your blog is all about.
- Short. (Though most short names names are taken, try to keep is as short as possible)
- Avoid hyphen between the words. Have something like shopinkenya.com and not shop-in-kenya.com
- Use a .com extension, it is the commonly used most people will add it to words to try to guess a domain. However, there is no harm in using .co.ke extension.
3. Set up a blog on your domain.
Having paid for hosting and a domain name, it is time to set up your blog on your domain.
This is how you do it.
Sign into your hosting account. Here you will see many files but take time to learn about each. You should also be very careful about changing stuff, which could cause problems.
Here you will have to install WordPress files. Most web hosts offer once click installation. Should you have any problems, the hosting company support should assist.
But remember you have to point your domain to your blog.
Once you have installed Word press, all you have to do to start blogging is go to your WP-Admin page usually www.yourblognamehere.com/wp-admin and start writing by adding a new post.
At first things will not be looking good, do not worry you have time to make the changes you want.
4. Design you blog.
The design of a blog matters a lot. As you go through WordPress, you will discover that you can change the way your blog looks by changing the theme of your blog.
There are free themes you can start with. On WordPress there are literally thousands of these.
You can play around with this and find a good theme that meets your needs.
If you do not get one, you can consider buying a premium theme at Themeforest. Premium themes give you the flexibility you need besides giving your blog a stunning look.
A good premium theme should cost you anything between US$ 40 TO US$ 100.
If you are creating a blog in Kenya with little capital, you can overlook this and instead use a free theme.
You will realize that after getting your preferred theme, whether free or premium, the look of your blog will significantly improve.
Other things you will need to do is add pages, such as Home, About, Private Policy and others. You can look at this blog to give you an idea.
Create your Menu, that is how your content is arranged and lastly design your widgets.
If you came to learn how to start a blog in Kenya, I know you may be overwhelmed, but worry not, all of us bloggers began there.
5. Add your content.
If you are happy with the look of your blog, add the blog posts you wrote earlier. You can do this on you dashboard, but clicking add post.
I recommend adding two posts per day.
But why did you write them in advance. From experience, if you are new with WordPress, you may spend days trying to figure out how it works. This leaves you with no time to write more blog posts.
As you learn how it works, you have some post to add for at least 5 days. However, you may need to add a blog post at least once a week and stick to that schedule.
6. Useful resources for your blog.
In the blogging world, it hard to succeed alone. It is important to network with other bloggers. Here are things you need to do to keep the flame burning.
- Read other blogs, it makes you learn how to write your own blog articles.
- Find something to motivate you to continue writing.
- Learn, blogging means learning every day. You will discover that you will beginning improving your blog from learning from fellow bloggers.
- If you are Kenyan, consider joining the bloggers association of Kenya. Here you have a family that will share in your success.
- If you get a few visitors a day, you can begin placing ads such as adsense on your blog.
That is it.
If you came to learn how to start a blog in Kenya, congratulations for coming this far.
However, beginning a blog is the easier thing to do. Your need to get consistent readers and followers to your blog.
To do this;
- Produces high quality content. Content that people will appreciate and share.
- Ensure Search Engines know about your blog. Sitemaps will help you achieve this.
- Always share your blog articles on Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and others.
- Write consistently.
If you do this, you could be the next Robert Alai in Kenya.
If you learned how to start a blog in Kenya using this guide, let me know.