5 misconceptions stopping more Kenyans from starting blogs

Call them lies or misconceptions, in this part of how to start a blog in Kenya series we look at some of the things that are stopping more Kenyans from starting their own blogs.

So, below are some things people have read on other websites or been told by someone they asked about blogging – its benefits and how to get started.

That starting a blog in Kenya is expensive?

A friend told me they heard and always thought that starting a blog cost 16,000 Kenyan Shillings.

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May be the person who told her this was talking about a specific hosting plan from a particular web hosting company they came across…because as it so happens many hosting companies package their plans differently – resulting in the variations in pricing.

Truth is, you don’t need that much money to get started.

Many web hosting companies in Kenya have very cheap yet reliable hosting plans.

They don’t charge you a fortune to register a domain name either.

In fact, some of the prominent hosting companies in Kenya like Kenya Website Experts have web hosting plans that go for Kenya Shillings 1,000 a year – or less.

Niabusiness also helps bloggers, businesses, writers, professionals, organisations and freelancers in Kenya to start their own blogs and websites.

Available to prospective clients are three hosting plans to choose from. And detailed guides on how to go about choosing a hosting company, WordPress hosting, and a few important details to pay attention to from the onset – all meant to help anyone who wants to start their own blog or website to make buying decisions in line with the budget they have set aside to go towards creating their own site.

So, if you have a little money, you can still afford to pay for a domain name and have your own self-hosted WordPress blog, with your content available to anyone with internet access.

As time goes by and you get more readers, you’ll upgrade your hosting plan to one that offers much more superior features – more disk space to store your blog’s files and databases and a larger bandwidth allocation – to handle the increased traffic to your blog.

But now that you are just starting out, you don’t necessarily have to worry about getting more resources – for a new blog that is yet to even get its first few visitors.

See also  Should you start your blog on Blogger.com (Blogspot)?

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Find decent hosting, create content, publish it on your blog, promote the content, build your email list. And do this consistently. That’s how you’ll grow momentum.

Your blog can even pay for itself down the road, if you decide to create a product / offer a service and sell it on your site or monetize the content you publish with Google Adsense ads, other ad network you fancy or affiliate marketing.

That making money blogging, just writing and publishing articles, is easy

It’s easy once you get into the flow of writing consistently, on a daily basis, even if you don’t publish new articles to your blog every day.

But it takes a lot of effort when you are just starting out; especially when you are starting a new blog that has no authority and receives little to no organic traffic from search engines.

It takes effort to consistently look at new blank pages every day and to fill them.

It takes effort to re-read what you have written.

It takes effort to polish it before you release it to the public by publishing it on your blog.

But once you embrace the grind and commit to building a successful blog, one day at a time, you will increase your chances of making money with your blog:

In fact, if you don’t want to promote any affiliate products or create and sell your own products or services, you can still earn decent money with display ads as long as your blog gets lots of traffic.

But most blog owners test different monetization methods and make their money from different sources (a combination of ads, affiliate marketing, membership site section, sales of products and services, subscriptions or even proceeds from donations).

If you put in the work and write hundreds or thousands of great articles and promote them well, making money blogging by just writing and publishing articles will be ‘easy’ – because at that point you will have put in a lot of work into your blog and embraced working hard every day to grow it into the best blog you can possibly build.

You can also just publish a handful of posts then focus most of your attention in promoting them and getting lots of people to read them – and still make a tidy sum.

It’s easy, if you embrace the work – and consistently work on improving and growing your blog. Just remember that embracing the hard work is not an easy thing to do for many people.

That starting a blog, installing WordPress and setting up everything, blog design and all, is complicated

If you’ve read up a little bit on WordPress, the process isn’t complicated at all.

There are lots of tutorials on the web you can read, lots of how-to videos on YouTube you can watch – so that you set up everything correctly.

In fact, Niabusiness.com has this ebook and online course with step by step instructions on how to setup your blog, that you can get from the online shop section of the site and pay for via PayPal, VISA, MasterCard or Safaricom M-PESA.

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From registering a domain name, getting web hosting, installing WordPress, installing plugins, installing a theme and setting up everything to work correctly, paying attention to the instructions in the various screens you’ll be looking at, in the various websites you visit – like that of the hosting  company you choose, will be all you need to setup your blog.

You don’t need technical know-how to run a blog. You can always get help when you are stuck. To query search engines or check WordPress resources published on this section of Niabusiness.com blog, for example.

After all, most of these setups are a one-time thing.

That blogs are fads and that bloggers in Kenya are not taken seriously

Blogs are not fads.

Look at blogs as books or bookshelves or magazines or newspapers – with great content for those whom such content can benefit.

Bloggers are publishers – only restricted by the amount of knowledge, stories and posts they can share with their readers.

There will be people who won’t take you seriously as a blogger.

That doesn’t mean that their presence therefore means that there won’t be people who will like your content – and be thankful for coming across your blog – and reading your posts.

There are some bloggers that give others a bad rep – telling lies on their sites – like the rotten apple that spoils the rest. But then the same thing happens in many other niches and industries.

All you have to do is write and publish the best content possible. Then promote it. Some will like what you put out there. Some won’t. Just keep writing.

As long as you help even one person, that still means a lot – to you and the person you help. No need to stress about whether everyone who comes across your blog will like you or not.

That one needs a lot of authority and expertise to write on a topic to get people to even listen to them

Authority matters.

Being an expert on a topic you want to blog about is also a good thing.

But you are not writing a book – and even if you plan on writing one in the future, I’m trying to make the point that you should see your blog as an outlet where you share your stories, tips, advice and ideas with a friend.

Approach blogging this way instead of worrying about expertise too much.

When you talk to a friend, advising them, what you do is giving them accurate information.

To tell them the truth.

To not mislead them.

To point them to other resources they might find useful – when it is necessary to do so.

You usually don’t care if you have a Master’s degree or a PhD in the subject matter.

Treat the people who come to your blog the same way – like a friend.

Post content that is truthful. Articles that gives them what they are looking for.

You can even make the articles you produce more in-depth by doing research, interviewing experts in the niche, industry or professional field your blog operates in…then sharing all the great info and stories you gather with the public through the posts you publish.

See also  8 types of popular blogs in Kenya: general and niche focused

Whenever there is something you want to write about that may need an expert to chime in, just narrow down on a few and email them your questions.

Most people approached by bloggers for interviews usually say yes.

They realize that the knowledge they share will go towards helping readers who come to your blog.

Of course some will say no, but then that’s life.

If someone doesn’t have the time to answer your question for one reason or another, you can always find someone else to say yes.

You can also get more involved in your niche by reading other blogs, taking classes and online courses, getting a mentor in your field, borrowing books from the library, reading biographies and autobiographies of prominent people in your niche, buying and reading books and ebooks or even going through research papers you find on the internet and offline.

And then you can teach, gauge the feedback you get from your readers and peers, then make the necessary changes.

The truth about how to create your own self-hosted WordPress blog in Kenya

There are many Kenyans who started humbly when it comes to blogging and have over the years grown really popular and profitable blogs.

I did an interview with Walter Akolo where he shared a lot of tips you can use when you decide to create your own blog.

You can easily register a .co.ke or .com domain, get web hosting and begin publishing articles.

You have an equal opportunity to build a great a blog as any other Kenyan or citizens of other countries.

If you have access to the internet, even if from a cyber cafe, can type (or get someone to do it for you), edit your content and do this consistently, you are good to go.

Read this interview I did with Marcus Sheridan to learn how over a year of consistent blogging (publishing 3 -4 articles a week) your blog can grow – and start bringing in the results you expected.

And once you are done reading the two interviews I’ve linked to above, read the post Reasons to start a blog – because it pays to have a strong foundation for which your blog is built upon.

This is important now that you are considering giving blogging a go.

But it will be even more important in the slow days when quitting blogging feels like the right thing to do – even if you know in your heart that you should stay at it and continue building your blog.

Once you have the money to pay for registering a domain name and web hosting, read this post to see how I can help you start your own blog.

If you want to work with a different hosting company, in or outside Kenya, you are also welcome to do so.

Pay for the domain, get web hosting, set up your blog and start publishing quality in-depth content to it (some short blog posts and some long form content).

In Conclusion

If you have read this far and still want to start your own blog despite the monumental tasks ahead, then you are ready to have your own blog.

Go through the blogging resources and interviews I’ve published to learn more from other successful bloggers.

And also remind yourself that it will take a lot of consistent work over the long haul to build your blog to be what you desire it to be.

If there is something in the post that you’d like me to clarify, please let me know in the comments below. You can also share your stories, questions or blogging successes and failures in the comments section as well.

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