An interview with Kenya’s Harriet Ocharo of SavvyKenya.com on starting a blog, getting more traffic and making money blogging

Contents

Today we have the Kenyan blogger Harriet Ocharo of SavvyKenya.com. I am glad she took the time to answer a few questions I sent her – her answers making this interview possible.An interview with Kenya's Harriet Ocharo of SavvyKenya.com on starting a blog, getting more traffic and making money blogging

She’s been blogging in Kenya for a long time and has gathered a lot of experience along the way. What she does below is share them with you – her dos and don’ts, her opinions, tips and observations.

So, if you are thinking of starting a blog in Kenya soon or simply want to hear from someone who’s been blogging for a long time (for encouragement) read on.

 Note that Niabusiness has linked to some of the resources on this page (some listed below) using affiliate links. When you click on something and purchase it, Niabusiness will receive a commission from every successful sale / referral, at no extra cost to you. 

Find tips to help you build a great blog, one that you work hard to  improve, never letting it wither away like the millions of blogs started every day that end up being abandoned by their owners a few months down the road.

1. Why did you get into blogging and decided to start your own blog?

When I started blogging, it was as a hobby because I liked writing.

Over time, as the number of readers grew, I decided to focus and write more about what people wanted to read; rather than the stories in my life, which is what my earlier blog was all about.

2. How long have you been blogging, on what topics – why? (share your story)

I’ve been blogging for about 7 years. My first blog was called “The Diary of a Mad Teenager” and was a little immature.

My next blog was “The Diary of a Kenyan Campus Girl” in which I detailed campus experiences that anyone who has been to university could relate to.

But then I finished campus and that was when I started writing Savvykenya.com, which tends to focus on mobile technology, but I also do other topics such as book reviews, and life in Nairobi in general.

3. How are things going so far? Have you been able to achieve the goals you set out when you first started?

I had no specific goals when I started, of course, because it was a hobby.

But as my readership has grown, I have thought of the possibility of blogging full time, rather than something I just do on the side.

Although I am earning a little money from the blog, it is not enough to sustain me, so there is still that goal to be achieved.

I have not really decided what direction I want my blog to take, but for now I will just keep blogging my experiences.

4. Here’s what most people ask themselves when their blogs still get little traffic: How do I get more? What do you tell such people? What can they learn from your story growing your site?

Be patient. It took me time to grow the number of visitors to my site.

You need to be persistent in what you blog about, have a specific topic and be good at it.

Share the link to your friends on social media circles and soon people will share the story to their friends and friends of friends.. and it goes from there.

5. How many hours do you spend blogging every week, today, a month ago, a year ago, and what are your reasons for spending that amount of time on your blog?

I am on my blog every single day, checking and responding to comments, or the tab is just open, even if I am doing nothing on it.

I do like 2-3 blog posts a week, because I also work full time.

If I was just blogging full time, I’d do 2-3 blog posts a day! So, it depends on what you want to achieve. So, I’d say I spend 1-2 hours daily on my blog.

6. What’s your definition of great content? How do you go about creating great content yourself?

Great content is original, informative, interesting.

It will depend on what you are writing about, but try to make it interesting and less formal, but still good grammar.

To get content for my blog, I simply draw inspiration from life around me.

I will review a book I just read or a phone I am currently using.

7. Networking is said to be a good thing. What have you done, or do today, to connect with other bloggers, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners in your niche and other niches?

The best decision I ever did was to join BAKE: Bloggers Association of Kenya.

I get informed of campaigns, events, and other related happenings that could be beneficial to my blog.

Through the events, you meet other bloggers and entrepreneurs in the same space as you.

8. What’s the one thing you’d spend most of your time doing if you started a new blog today? Where would your focus be? (do share your reasons please)

My biggest focus would be on generating great and relevant content.

Make every visit to your site worth it for your reader. Provide useful, informative and interesting content.

Then after I have the content, I’d start publicizing the blog.

9. What can one do to create a blog that says what’s been said over a thousand times differently and still manage to attract readers and get their content shared?

It’s adding that personal touch. Sharing your experience on a topic that maybe has been written elsewhere, but the main point is, you are sharing the content from your own perspective.

10. People are obsessed with getting more traffic, money, comments, followers…Tell me, what should they really focus on when they start worrying over the numbers – for example how they only have a few followers and people come to their site after working really hard on their site for months?

Blogging is just like any other field, a lot of passion is needed.

If your main aim is making money but you have no passion for blogging, you will not make it.

You need to realize that once you have passion, content generation for your blog will be easy and of course, after content, everything else comes later.

So, know why you are starting your blog, and even if people don’t read, your content is out there and someday someone will stumble on it, and who knows?

11. What’s your advice for someone who starts a blog because they simply want to make money online – and they think that blogging is the best way to achieve this goal?

As discussed in #10 above.

12. How much effort did you put in your blog before you made your first USD 100 from it – and how did you make the one hundred dollars?

Honestly, I didn’t put that much effort. The first $100 I made was probably from a Nokia phone I was given to review, back when I was in campus. The Nokia C3, I think.

13. What steps did you take to go from someone that doesn’t make money blogging to someone who makes money blogging?

Focus on content generation. Once you have good content, then brands will want to be associated with you.

You could get products for review or get paid to write sponsored blog posts.

14. What are some non-blogging things you had to deal with in your life in order to keep growing your blog into what it has become today?

Avoid negative people who wonder why you are wasting time blogging, or who think blogging is not a serious thing.

If it’s your passion do it.

I also have to invest in a good internet connection in order to keep up to date with the blogosphere.

You have to be always online when you’re a blogger, it’s not a touch-and-go situation, always thinking about next ideas for blogging.

Every time you are out there, everything you do, interact with, you ask yourself how this can be put up into a blog post.

15. What is the best advice you received that has helped you stay with your blog and continue improving it? (If you remember where the advice came from, mention names please)

Honestly, blogging motivation has always come from within for me.

However, the encouragement of Kachwanya, who is the chairman of BAKE, Martin Gicheru of Techweez.com and others in the BAKE community have really encouraged me not to slack off my blogging game.

16. Any ebooks, courses, products or services that you highly recommend other blog owners to get now?

I don’t really have any ebooks or courses to recommend, except that I like WordPress for hosting blogs. It’s been awesome so far.

What have you learnt as someone who thinks of blogging in Kenya – as a hobby or to make money? What are you thinking now that you’ve gone through the interview? Let me know in the comments below.

To learn more about Harriet and her blog, Savvy Kenya, click here.

And don’t forget to pick something from this interview and actually use it. implement what you’ve learnt. See what happens. It never hurts to put into practice something great you’ve learnt.

Niabusiness Recommendations – Tools, Resources

Book Recommendations – Buy & start reading these ebooks on your device now

  1. The Miracle Equation: You Are Only Two Decisions Away From Everything You Want by Hal Elrod
  2. The Art of War: Complete Texts and Commentaries by Sun Tzu, Thomas Cleary
  3. Secrets of Self-Mastery by Mitch Horowitz
  4. Master Your Emotions: A Practical Guide to Overcome Negativity and Better Manage Your Feelings (Mastery Series Book 1) by Thibaut Meurisse, Kerry J Donovan
  5. Coleman’s Laws: Twelve essential medical secrets which could save your life by Dr Vernon Coleman
  6. The Elements of Moral Philosophy by James Rachels
  7. Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away: Real Help for Desperate Hearts in Difficult Marriages by Gary Chapman
  8. Renovating Your Marriage Room by Room by Dr. Johnny C. Parker, Jr
  9. The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune by Conor O’Clery
  10. Here’s The Deal: Everything You Wish a Lawyer Would Tell You About Buying a Small Business by Joel Ankney
  11. Buy Then Build: How Acquisition Entrepreneurs Outsmart the Startup Game by Walker Deibel
  12. The Art & Science of Respect: A Memoir by James Prince by James Prince, Jasmine Waters
  13. #BreakIntoVC: How to Break Into Venture Capital And Think Like an Investor Whether You’re a Student, Entrepreneur or Working Professional (Venture Capital Guidebook Book 1) by Bradley Miles, Carol Tietsworth
  14. Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The Real Secret to Success by David A. Livermore
  15. 101 So Bad, They’re Good Dad Jokes by Elias Hill, Katherine Hogan
  16. The Sleep Solution: why your sleep is broken and how to fix it by W. Chris Winter
  17. Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups—Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000 by Jason Calacanis
  18. Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, Vashti Harrison
  19. Ruthless: A Memoir by Jerry Heller, Gil Reavill
  20. The Upside of Stress: Why stress is good for you (and how to get good at it) by Kelly McGonigal
  21. How to Be a Great Boss by Gino Wickman, René Boer
  22. Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson
  23. Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, 10th-Anniversary Edition by Bo Burlingham
  24. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Exposed and Explained by the World’s Two by Al Ries, Jack Trout
  25. My Favourite Dictators: The Strange Lives of Tyrants by Chris Mikul, Glenn Smith
  26. Influence – Science and Practice – The Comic by Robert B. Cialdini, Nathan Lueth
  27. What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People by Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins
  28. The Dynamics of Conflict: A Guide to Engagement and Intervention by Bernard S. Mayer
  29. The Time Trap: The Classic Book on Time Management by Pat Nickerson, Alec Mackenzie
  30. Choose Yourself! by James Altucher, Dick Costolo
  31. Get a F*cking Grip: How to Get Your Life Back on Track by Matthew Kimberley
  32. You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar, 2nd Edition: Sandler Training’s 7-Step System for Successful Selling by David H. Sandler
  33. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  34. How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It by Mark Cuban
  35. The Greenhouse Approach: Cultivating Intrapreneurship in Companies and Organizations by Chitra Anand
  36. DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online by Russell Brunson, Dan Kennedy

Domain registrars – get your own domain name

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Web hosting companies – get hosting for your blog or website

  1. KenyaWebExperts – starting at KSh 2,100 / year.
  2. HostGator – starting at $3.95/mo if paid annually.
  3. Bluehost
  4. Namecheap
  5. Namesilo
  6. WPEngine
  7. Garanntor Kenya

Plugins for your WordPress site

  1. MonsterInsights
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  3. WPForms

Hire freelancers to help with tasks you’d rather outsource

Check Niabusiness Classifieds. Place an ad for free. See categories you can outsource tasks in.

For more recommendations, check Niabusiness Tools & Resources page.

2 thoughts on “An interview with Kenya’s Harriet Ocharo of SavvyKenya.com on starting a blog, getting more traffic and making money blogging

    1. That’s good Opiyo.

      I believe your readers are going to get more good stuff from you – as you continue with your blogging journey.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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