How to start a business blog in Kenya: a site for entrepreneurs

Ever wanted to know how to start a blog in Kenya that shares business and entrepreneurship tips? If you are a Kenyan entrepreneur, successful business owner, business coach or consultant chances are there are a lot of things you know that the young people of Kenya, chama  (investment group) members and the owners of small, micro and medium enterprises in Kenya can learn from you and use to grow their own businesses.How to start a business blog in Kenya: a site for entrepreneurs

It doesn’t matter if your business is making millions or billions of Kenya Shillings in profits every year.

What matters is the kind of expertise you have that when shared can benefit more people – making the Kenyan economy even better.

More and more young people in Kenya are embracing entrepreneurship – doing their best to solve the problems of their fellow citizens.

You can show them how to do this profitably, by sharing your business lessons with them.

Continuing with the how to start a blog in Kenya series, let’s look at…

Why start a business blog in Kenya?

For many reasons really. Some of these reasons include:

Start a blog to share tips with those who want to start their own businesses or those with young businesses

To help those who have started their own businesses sell more of their products and services, you can share, on your newly created blog, marketing and sales tactics (strategies) that have worked for you.

You can share why you narrowed down on these tactics & strategies and not others.

You can share how you stumbled upon these strategies, how you executed them, the challenges you faced when implementing your business plan, the tweaks you made and the results you got from all your effort and hard work.

Many people who venture into businesses, even the social entrepreneurs in Kenya struggle with sales.

And patience – growing slowly if you will.

And sticking to one business idea instead of trying to do many things at once – juggling business idea after business idea that end up failing a few short months after they’ve come to birth.

Many business owners also struggle with carving out a niche for their products in the highly competitive markets in Kenya and around the world where consumers have lots of options to choose from.

Share your strategies.

Show others how you go about getting people interested in what you offer, how you go about warming up leads, how you build relationship with them, how you present your offers, what guarantees you make, what benefits you sell to them.

Show others how you ensure consumers know you take your responsibilities as a business owner seriously.

Show them how you close sales and what you do next to ensure the people that buy from you become loyal and repeat customers, buying more from you and recommending you to their circle of friends.

Show them what you do when a client is disgruntled and they either want their money back or need a replacement of whatever it is they bought from you.

Start your blog and show others how you’ve built your brand. How you’ve set goals and beat your own deadlines.

Show others, in your articles, how you’ve been able to overcome all the challenges you’ve faced and continued to grow.

Show others how God your Creator has been instrumental in both your personal life and business growth.

Show others how the relationships you maintain have helped you grow as a person and business owner.

Share stories of role models, leaders, CEOs, founders and other business owners that have inspired you to keep working hard to cater to the needs and wants of your clients.

Share leadership and management tips – some you’ve learned the hard way and the ones you’ve learned the easy way – if there ever is such a thing in your worldview.

Share the lessons you have learnt about recruiting, hiring personnel, outsourcing, sniffing for talent, staffing, payroll and taxation tips.

When you write and publish articles on these areas, soon your blog will become a great resource for many people. Your blog will become a place people stop by to get ideas to grow their businesses.

Your blog will become a place people get value for every internet bundle they pay for – and end up spending reading your posts.

Your blog will not be for everyone interested in business. Some will read your posts and then do nothing thereafter with the great advice they get from you.

But some will take your words, find ways to use them to grow their ventures and take massive action.

In a way this (you sharing business tips on your blog) aligns with the reminder to always be your brother’s keeper. To share now, when you can. And not wait. For no one knows the mysteries of tomorrow.

While sharing your successes, failures and struggles, you can also publish articles sharing the success stories of other Kenyan entrepreneurs and business owners as well.

Start a blog to recommend books, ebooks, courses, coaching, lawyers, advocates, software, products, various services and consulting that has been beneficial to you in starting and growing your business

On your search for the best talent, advice, labour, hardware, software, apps, tips and even machinery to use in running your business operations, you’ve come across many great things and people that other Kenyans new to the business world haven’t come across.

You can write posts sharing, with your readers, all these great resources you have come across online and offline.

Tell them about the great people you have come across in networking events, seminars, conferences and summits you have been to.

Tell them about investors you’ve come across.

Tell them about the great advice you’ve received from the staff of the institutions you bank with.

Tell them about some of the great tips your attorney has shared with you.

Tell them about the great feedback you have received from your customers that have helped you reinvent yourself and continue building a strong business brand.

Tell them about great books and ebooks you’ve read.

Tell them about online courses and classes you’ve taken and how they’ve benefitted you.

Tell them about the apps you use to deal with repeated tasks, schedule appointment, improve communication between you and the employees and between your team and the customers.

Some will appreciate you writing articles of this nature. And you won’t run out of ideas for new articles to publish on your blog.

Who are you targeting with your business blog?

Given the different types of businesses people start in Kenya, it’s good to be clear about your blog’s ideal reader – the person your posts will serve best.

It’s good to know them. To know where they are starting from.

To know the things they are struggling with.

To know what they are trying to accomplish.

And then giving them content that speaks to their needs.

You can therefore decide to:

Start a business blog that targets everybody interested in starting and running their own business

The people reading your blog will be coming from different industries and niches – and they’ll have different motivations for coming to your blog.

Employees will visit your blog to learn more about what founders want.

Managers may visit your blog to learn more about how to delegate efficiently.

Founders may come to your blog to read the stories of other founders, to read your story or to read the kind of feedback some of your posts elicits in the comments section.

Suppliers may come to your blog to learn how to deal with vendors – to learn about the dos and don’ts of working with retail businesses, with shops and mall space dedicated to them and those that have internet-only presence like some online shops, classifieds websites and auction marketplaces.

Start a business blog targeted at those starting their ventures

In a blog like this, you can share your own story starting out.

You can write posts about the struggles you had to face and the lessons you’ve learnt.

You can share how you dealt with issues of capital, bank loans, packaging and selling of your products and services, sales, book keeping, registering a company website / blog, limited liability company registration with Kenya’s registrar of companies, tax issues and employee benefits issues…

Start a blog targeting those who have started and have established businesses

Established businesses often have some challenges that are different from the ones faced by new businesses.

You can start a blog that publishes articles to help these businesses overcome their challenges.

Publish articles to help these businesses simplify their processes – in the interest of their owners and the customers they serve.

If you go this route, you’ll publish articles showing these businesses how to grow with less bloat.

You’ll also publish articles to help these businesses stay true to the promises they make to their customers.

Articles that champion wise spending – and strategies that help them grow their brands and expand without their profits taking a hit in a way that would lead to sudden demise.

You’ll also publish articles to help these businesses remain innovative in everything they do without rolling their eyes to the already good strategies and processes they have in place.

You’ll also publish articles to help these businesses hire the right people – articles that will show these business owners what to do to get more out of the contributions of their employees while treating them cordially and respectfully.

In a blog like this, you’ll also be free to share stories from other companies that highlight their successes and some stories that act as cautionary tales to business owners who want to move too fast (or too slow):

  • in growing their businesses
  • in aligning themselves with current trends and what their competitors are doing
  • in selling more of their products to their customers
  • in capturing new markets
  • in reinventing themselves.

Start a blog targeting people who run online businesses

If you are knowledgeable – and have success with internet service businesses – by running your own SEO agency, digital marketing agency, content marketing agency, or a virtual staffing and outsourcing business, write posts that tell your story and publish them on your blog.

You can also highlight the stories of other business owners who have built profitable businesses in this space.

If you have launched and run a profitable app or SaaS business (software as a service), share your story.

Share your tips, tactics, strategies and the challenges you have overcome (and how you executed your plan) to build a profitable business in this area.

If you are good at building content businesses  (online media companies) either by creating profitable authority sites or niche blogs that you have monetized with ads like AdSense, affiliate programs like Amazon or your own products, services, membership site section, share your tips on your blog.

People interested in businesses like these will thank you for sharing your story, answering their questions and for highlighting the success of others doing similar things.

The same goes for people who have started other types of internet businesses. Start a blog – and share your story. Show others how you overcame the challenges that cropped up in front of you to build a successful business in your space.

Start a blog targeting foreigners who want to invest their money in Kenya by starting businesses in the country

If you are an expatriate running a business in Kenya, others could benefit from your knowledge on how you got started – and how you’ve kept going.

How you’ve dealt with visa (work permit) issues.

The occasional bureaucracy and the crippling feeling that almost made you give up on working on your business and turning it into a profitable business that serve the Kenyan people.

You can also publish articles highlighting the struggles businesses in your niche or industry are facing on a daily basis.

Set up your own blog and share your story.

Share your failures and successes.

Share your tips to closing sales and keeping your business growing.

Share your story about how you went about registering your business in Kenya or other countries, how you raised the initial capital and how you work, together with your staff (and others who have a stake in your business like suppliers – even the national and county governments), to build a business that is profitable, socially responsible, ethical in its dealings and innovative in its space.

Choose the topics you want to write about from the ideas I’ve shared above and then decide whether to also include

Business news. How? By writing commentaries from what you read in Kenya’s daily newspapers and other business and investment journals and news outlets from around the world.

Interviews of other entrepreneurs, government officials, people you meet while networking, business authors, Kenyan leaders of various capacities and all the clients doing business with you.

Business regulations in Kenya. Bring to the attention of your readers new laws that have been passed by the national assembly and county assemblies. Laws that have been amended. Laws that have been repealed…and even opinion pieces whenever necessary – for example the effects these laws have had on your business.

Content related to what other business blogs in Kenya are writing about. Visit other blogs in this space and study them. See what you can learn from them – and use your new inspiration for new articles to publish on your own blog.

Register a domain name, get web hosting for your blog and publish content

When you are ready to carve out a space for yourself on the internet where you share your ideas, stories and tips, register a domain name for your blog, pay for web hosting and then start publishing and promoting your content.

Niabusiness.com can help you with domain registration and hosting, if you want to. Learn more here.

With the help of Niabusiness.com you’ll have more time to spend creating content to publish on your site instead of spending hours upon hours tinkering with WordPress, plugins, themes and any other services you decide to use on your blog.

If you want to choose a web hosting company on your own and setup your blog by yourself check the post things to consider before paying your money to any of the best web hosting companies in Kenya.

In Conclusion

Your blog can include all the above mentioned ideas if you are up to publishing a lot of articles every week.

Just make sure that your plan going forward includes only ideas that align with the reasons you want to start a blog in the first place.

If you are pressed for time, you can just start writing and publishing a series of posts on one topic you know about, then cast your nets wider, to cover more topics, as time goes by.

Running a business blog of your own will benefit your readers a lot.

On the flip-side, you’ll also benefit from the interactions that take place between you and your blog visitors.

You’ll also learn some interesting things when you look at your analytics to see the search terms people type in search engines before arriving on your blog.

The search terms section of your WordPress powered blog will also be a great trove for ideas for new post, products and services.

You’ll also learn a lot from the emails people leave you via your blog’s contact form or in response to newsletters you send your email subscribers.

To start your blog, know what you want to write about, register a domain name, get web hosting, setup your blog and start publishing articles to it.

If you have a question, tip or story you’d like to share with me and other readers, leave a comment below.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Gossip blog (website) in Kenya: How to start one on WordPress

There are many gossip blogs in Kenya – popular with young people. Call them entertainment blogs or gossip blogs, Kenyans flock to these sites to get recent news on celebrities from Kenya and those visiting the country for shows and live performances.

This post, part of the how to start a blog in Kenya series – a series filled with lots of ideas for people who want to start successful blogs of their own, will show you how you can go about creating your own entertainment blog.

Which people do gossip / entertainment blogs in Kenya write about?

Mostly public figures. People with influence. People with fans. Celebrities.

Think musicians. Singers. MCs. Rappers. Actors. Actresses. Athletes. Politicians. Sports personalities like footballers. Comedians. Up-and-coming artistes. Business people. DJs. TV show hosts and news anchors. Radio presenters. And those in the circle of the popular showbiz personalities.

When starting your blog, it’s important to know this.

For this knowledge will come in handy when you are doing your daily research on what to write about, deciding who to follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Or when you are deciding where to look for (sources) your own stories, or looking up trends for opportunities to quickly capitalize.

Or even when you go out there looking for persons to sponsor your blog – for example by buying advertising space on your site or sending you sponsored posts to publish on your blog.

Why start a gossip blog (site) in Kenya?

For one, they are popular. Not all of them, but many of them. If you put in the hard work, your blog will grow.

Two, it is easy to get what to write about if you know where to look for stories and are willing to work hard and publish multiple articles, photos, videos and interviews throughout the week.

Three, running these types of sites can be very lucrative. If you publish credible stories on your site consistently, you’ll get readers – and then you can leverage your platform for joint ventures (JV).

You can do this with artistes, recording studios, establishments like restaurants and hotels, telcos like Safaricom, Airtel and Orange, county governments, online shops and various businesses, foundations and non-governmental organizations that can benefit from sharing their message with your blog visitors.

You can also supplement moneys coming from the JVs by using display ads from ad networks like Google Adsense and others. Or even monetize your blog using affiliate marketing and direct ad sales.

Four, you don’t have to work on your blog full-time especially when you are just starting out and have other commitments – like working your job or going to class.

If you can quickly study trends, see hot stories before every site writes about them, quickly create content and promote it (with or without paid advertising), you can run your blog on 1 to 3 hours a day – since most articles in this niche are short.

What can you learn from the top gossip websites in Kenya – that you can copy?

Here are a few things to look at, to learn from, and then make work for your blog and schedule.

Frequency of articles published on these blogs

Popular entertainment blogs in Kenya are updated at least once a day.

The most popular ones are updated multiple times a day.

Some publish 10 articles every day.

Others publish between 10 and 15 blog posts per day. Yet others publish 20, 25 (or even 30 on occasion) posts per day.

You can do with less especially if you are a one man / woman operation. But shooting for a higher number of published posts is a good thing if you want to build a great blog in this niche.

The more content you publish, the more posts there will be for readers to look at.

The more posts are published, the more shares these sites get on social networking sites and messaging apps.

Google and Bing search engines also crawl these sites more, ranking them in positions where they are able to draw in more organic search traffic.

The headlines used in these blogs spark curiosity

Think click-bait.

Not all the time. But most of the time.

In this niche, some of the popular blogs use curiosity-inducing post titles to get people to click and read (or skim read) their articles.

And at the end (and sometimes inside the articles themselves) are links to other related articles where the same headline techniques are used, resulting in more pageviews, more shares and more ad revenue.

Study how these blogs write their headlines.

Check the titles of their posts that get a lot of pageviews. Learn how they craft their titles and content. Then apply your knowledge to your own blog.

The type and length of posts they publish

Most posts published in these blogs are about things happening in the lives of celebrities. Mostly recent news, opinion pieces and posts that leave readers guessing and wondering.

They are short and accompanied by one or more photos / video embeds, with the occasional in-depth posts gracing their homepages.

The posts are based on other sources. Like what the writer heard in a TV or radio interview concerning the person they are writing about.

Or something the public figure posted on their social media accounts.

Or something they read on another blog or one of the major newspapers / news sites in Kenya.

Or something another celebrity said about another – whether it is something nice or bad – motivated by on-going beef / rivalry.

Or something inspired by new releases (music, TV shows or movies) they’ve come across.

So, you’ll have to listen to / read these, base your post titles on something intriguing you hear or read, come up with a few paragraphs and publish your post.

Some of these sites interview celebrities then publish such interviews as blog posts – or sometimes use quotes from such interviews (done via email, phone, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook or in person) when writing new articles.

This is mostly how the writers of these blogs get the topics / gossip to write about.

As someone who wants to start a blog in this space, it is therefore important to know the best sources to find content that will inspire your own articles.

Mostly other blogs, interviews in FM radio stations, breakfast shows in different radio stations, TV shows built around trends and Kenyan music.

And like some of the prolific writers in this niche, know how to quickly pounce on breaking news – and being among the first few blogs to cover a story.

Listen frequently to celeb interviews on radio and TV shows then write and publish posts that resonate well with your readers.

Know what your readers want.

Check the feedback you get via phone calls, email, on Twitter, WhatsApp, text and Facebook comments.

Also be sure to check your blog’s analytics to see what keywords people type in search engines before they land on your blog.

Doing this will fill your head with great ideas for new posts.

The demographics these blogs target

Mostly they target the youth.

The people who want to hear more about their favourite musicians, upcoming tours, shows, collaborations, new endorsements, new releases, challenges various personalities are facing, celeb marriages, celeb relationships, breakups, flings, stories of their favourite artistes’ childhood and life growing up.

Or a celeb’s side of the story whenever there is a claim / allegation / controversy in the public domain that they deny and deem to be a lie spearheaded by persons with ill-intent, projects their favourite celebrities are working on currently…and so on.

Most of the people reading these blogs are in high school, polytechnics, colleges and universities.

Some are young professionals.

Then there are older folks who visit these sites once in a while to see what’s going on in Kenya’s entertainment scene.

Do you want to specialize and write gossip news posts or write blog posts on anything you want?

To create more content that your readers like, you may decide to write on other topics as well; publishing, on your blog, articles on lifestyle, gadget reviews, restaurant / hotel reviews, life in campus, investing and business tips among other topics – some of which are mentioned in the post How to start a county news blog in Kenya.

You may even decide to niche down and cover only what’s going in the gospel scene, write articles on Kenyan rappers only, or even focus your blog on Kenyan actors / actresses and the TV series and films they are cast in.

To make your gossip website popular with your readers are you going to lie and spin tales in your blog posts?

There have been bloggers who have written posts claiming some famous Kenyan was dead when in truth the person they wrote about was alive and well.

Some bloggers do this to court controversy. Hoping that their blog will be noticed – and become widely read.

Just goes to show you the levels some people have sunk for fame and attention.

Some do this because they read somewhere that controversy is good for getting more people to your site, paying attention to your words, what you have to say.

But in their tests, sometimes they end up doing some things that are outrageous in the name of building a brand where readers flock to for their entertainment news.

I don’t know about you, but don’t you think it’s better to just be reasonable when writing and publishing, to tell the truth, to report facts, to get in touch with the people you write about (or other people who serve as credible sources) before publishing any mean-spirited articles?

Other questions to ask yourself before creating your gossip / entertainment blog

  • What do I think of the lives of these people I’m writing about – and what do I think of their rights to privacy – and litigations / law suits that may arise out of me invading their private life and getting all in their affairs and daily activities paparazzi-style?
  • Do I just go ahead and hurt others for profit in the name of building a great gossip site? What’s the point? Is there a way to be involved in the showbiz industry writing a blog that just doesn’t see the people it writes about as a way to up the unique visitors / pageviews / ad clicks / ad revenue numbers?
  • Do I add to my blog and publish adult content like leaked photos of celebs totally nude or almost naked whenever I get my hands on such content? Most people would consider that an opportunity to drive even more traffic and revenue to their blogs, but what about me? Do I want to go down this road?
  • Will I be going to parties, concerts and big events in different Kenyan cities and towns to get entertainment news for my blog readers or not? If yes, why? And how will I conduct myself when out there mingling with others, watching and talking with people I meet… ferreting for stories?

When you ask yourself all these questions, consider the ideas I have shared with you above, read the post Reasons to start a blog, study the already popular gossip / entertainment blogs in Kenya, write a few sample posts, it is time to create your own entertainment blog. You are ready.

Register a domain name for your new entertainment blog, get web hosting and start publishing and promoting articles

Register a short and memorable domain name and get hosting for your blog.

Use WordPress as the content management system to power your blog.

Learn more about WordPress hosting in Kenya.

Also check this post. It will give you a few pointers on what to pay attention to when deciding which web hosting company to work with.

Once your blog is up, publish and share your posts on social networking sites.

Also encourage sharing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and WhatsApp by adding sharing buttons at the top and bottom of the articles you publish on your blog.

In Conclusion

It is up to you what type of entertainment site you want to run.

A clean one or one marred with controversies.

It’s up to you whether you want to use your internet access to spin tales, to be out there stabbing people in the stomach with every post you publish.

Or to publish stories that plug into the curious nature of human beings while at the same time edifying them.

Defamation and libel. Cause and effect. Action and reaction. Supply and demand. Choices and consequences. Remember this line at all times.

For the step by step instruction on how to buy web hosting, register a domain and install WordPress script for your blog, read this post.

If you have any questions, experiences, failures, successes or tips you’d like to share, post them in the comments section below.

Google AdSense: Why bloggers in Kenya like using it to make money online with their blogs

Google Adsense, the ad network by Google, is a popular way for bloggers in Kenya and around the world to make money online with their blogs.

It is popular with online media companies and bloggers around the world. It’s no doubt Kenyan bloggers like it as well. As part of the how to start a blog in Kenya series, today we look at ….

Why Kenyan bloggers like using Google AdSense to monetize their blog content

They don’t need much content and web traffic to start monetizing their blogs with Adsense

Once you start your own blog and have some content published and some traffic flowing to your blog, just use your Gmail account to apply for an Adsense account.

If your website meets the requirements set out by Google for publishers, your account will be approved and you will be able to start adding Adsense ad blocks to your site – and making money from your blog depending on how much traffic you get per day and the number of clicks you get.

Also note that once your Adsense account is approved, you can use the ads on other blogs you own as well. Meaning you can monetize multiple blogs with ads from your Adsense account.

How did my Adsense account get approved

This was many years ago. Before I ever had my first self-hosted WordPress blog, I had a Blogspot blog (Blogger.com) – another service by Google for people who want to create free blogs.Google AdSense: Why bloggers in Kenya like using it to make money online with their blogs

I had less than 15 articles on that blog if I remember correctly. In the admin dashboard area, there was this section where I was prompted to apply for Adsense so I could show ads from the ad network on my Blogspot blog.

Soon after, my Adsense account was approved – and I added some ad blocks on the Blogspot block. Later on when I started different self-hosted WordPress blogs over the years (some failed and I never renewed their domain names once they expired) I just got different ad dimensions from my Adsense account and added them to my blogs – inside the content area and the sidebars.

The Adsense ads being displayed on this blog are all from that account. So, the good thing with Adsense is that once your account is approved, and you are running multiple blogs, you can add Adsense ads on one, two or all of your blogs / apps or YouTube channel – without need to be approved every time you plan on setting up a new blog where you plan on using Google Adsense as a monetization method.

Adsense payments are guaranteed so long as you adhere to the ad network’s ToS and have enough traffic

All you need to get paid and receive your cheque every month from Google for you Adsense earnings is running your site in adherence to their terms of service.

Of course you must have enough traffic to make any money. The more traffic your site gets the more people will click your ads – earning you more.

Remember you can’t click your own ads or tell your friends (coerce or give incentive to your site visitors) to click your ads. Doing this is grounds for your Adsense account getting banned.

Kenyan bloggers like Adsense because they know they will get their money as long as they keep publishing awesome content that gets traffic, draws in readers who leave satisfied with the information they find – and most importantly adhere to Adsense policies.

Readers coming to their blogs just have to click on ads for them to get paid

With Adsense every time someone clicks ads on your blog, Google keeps a portion and a percentage goes to you as the publisher whose blog the ads are displayed.

The more valid ad clicks you get on your blog, the more your earnings from Adsense will be. Different niches attract different amounts per click and sites that focus their content to audiences in countries like the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom may earn more per click – depending on the niche one is operating in.

But this doesn’t mean that blogs that publish content for audiences in other countries – like Kenya – can’t earn decent money with Adsense, though it bears repeating that to earn decent amounts with Adsense you need to attract lots of traffic to your blog from search engines and social networks (if you are at the point where you can ramp up the number of people you send to your blog on a daily basis using Facebook advertising and the like).

You only need to reach US$ 100 in your Google AdSense account to get your money sent to you

The minimum amount your AdSense account needs to reach for you to receive your money via Western Union is 100 US dollars.

Most bloggers in Kenya, consistently putting out good content, do that. That is why making money with Adsense is enticing to many bloggers.

Bloggers know that every month they hit the 100 dollar pay out limit Google will be sending them a cheque – in the mail.

How quickly one reaches or even goes beyond the 100-dollar limit is largely influenced by the topic they cover, ad placement, blog design, the source of their traffic, the number of valid clicks, adherence to Adsense ToS and the amount of traffic their blog gets.

You can easily increase how much you earn with Google AdSense by publishing more blog posts

To earn more income with Google Adsense a blogger can publish more articles to their blog, consistently. Doing this results in more traffic – and therefore a likelihood of earning more money per thousand views (revenue per mille – RPM).

All things being equal, the blogger that gets 350,000 pageviews per month is likely to earn more with Adsense compared to one that only gets 50,000 pageviews per month.

So, one way bloggers in Kenya have been able to earn more is to publish more content to their blog. Some blogs put out at least one blog post per day. The really mega blogs in Kenya put out something like 2 to 25 blog posts per day. Granted some are short posts. But they do know how to get people to their sites – and then get those people to spend even more time on their site looking at more and more webpages, increasing the likelihood of their site visitors clicking on more ads.

Publishing more articles also means that one has more content they can promote for free or via paid advertising – which results in more traffic (and, in occasion, virality), more pageviews, more shares on social networks, email and messaging apps like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, more ad clicks = more income.

Google Adsense has a variety of ads to show on the different niche topics a blogger may choose to write on

Many advertisers use Google Adwords to place ads on search engine results pages – so that people using Google to search for things related to what they are advertising can see their ads – and decide to click them and check out what they are offering.

Some of the advertisers, using Adwords, decide to display their ads on websites that are part of the Adsense networks (content publishers – website, app and blog owners that have been approved by Adsense and allowed to display ads and earn from clicks / RPMs).

There are a lot of advertisers using Adwords – advertisers selling lots of different things. Meaning that whatever topic you write about, there is someone using Adwords to place ads that are related to the content you are publishing.

As a publisher, there will be relevant ads displayed to your readers by Adsense. That’s why bloggers in Kenya publishing content in different niches use Adsense to monetize their sites.

Even if there are no relevant ads suited to the readers in the niche you blog about, Google will try to display ads on your blog that are related to your readers’ interests – using their browsing behaviour as a guide (hint) to show ads that are relevant to them.

So, in most cases, regardless of a niche you operate your blog in, there are always relevant ads to show your readers – and earn you an income.

You can easily tweak your blog design, Adsense ad sizes, types and layouts to increase your income

The reporting feature in Adsense dashboard makes tweaking ads easier. The reporting feature tells you how your ads are performing – and occasionally Adsense offers tips to optimize your ads to increase your earnings.

Bloggers in Kenya like Adsense because there are a variety of ad dimensions (medium rectangle, responsive ads, large rectangle, link units, larger skyscraper among others) to choose from – with the ability to display text ads, rich media or a mix of both.

Bloggers can change the colours of their ads, colours of the font used in their ads – and make the relevant changes that work well with their WordPress theme to ensure more revenue from ads displayed on every webpage on their blog.

You can also exclude ads from certain niches and categories from showing on your blog – if you don’t want your readers to see them.

And I bet many bloggers find this feature handy, because there are some dark ads that one must block in their Adsense account – however much such ads may earn them when curious readers click to see what’s on the other end.

It’s easy to start earning with Google Adsense once your blog gets good traffic

Adding Adsense to a blog is as simple as copying the ad code from your Adsense account and adding it to your blog (for example adding the large skyscraper ad to your sidebar by dragging the Text widget to your blog’s sidebar and pasting the ad code in the Appearance > Text widgets section of your blog).

There are many WordPress Adsense plugins to add Adsense ads to your blog, some with the ability to exclude certain ads from showing on specific posts, post types, pages, categories and tags. These plugins include Ad Inserter (which I use to add Adsense ad code inside post content and float them left or align them to the right, while excluding the ads from displaying on my WooCommerce product pages), Quick Adsense, Google Adsense official plugin among others.

There are also great WordPress Adsense themes – some free and some premium – that makes it easy to add Adsense ads to your blog and blend them well with the content you publish. Some of these themes have a Theme Settings / Options / Customize section to quickly add the Adsense ads in the top of the fold area, in the content area and sidebar section of your website.

These themes include but are not limited to Eleven40 Pro theme (works with the Genesis Theme Framework), Newspaper magazine theme by Mythemeshop and SuperAds by ThemeCountry.

The variety and ease that comes with these plugins and themes makes using Adsense even more enticing for different bloggers – the ones with low traffic and the ones whose blogs receive lots of traffic on a daily basis.

With AdSense you can add up to 3 ads to your blog template [NOTE: now you can add more than 3 Google AdSense ads in a web page]

This, as many bloggers have found, gives readers more chances to see and click on your ads. One can easily add different Adsense ads – one at the top of the post, another in the middle / end of the post and one more in their blog’s sidebar area.

For the Kenyan bloggers who have put a priority in making money with ads (Adsense in this case) and not other online money making methods like affiliate marketing, selling of products and services, collecting leads / building email list, selling ebooks, selling online courses, selling coaching or consulting, selling apps / software, selling physical products, flipping blogs / websites / houses / cars / online businesses, this works well for them – three ads spread out in different sections of their sites to increase clicks and total earnings.

Google Adsense ads can be displayed on tablets, smartphones, desktop computers including laptops and netbooks

Adsense ads display well on the variety of devices people use to access the internet – desktop PCs, tablets, laptops, smart TVs even some feature phones.

Bloggers who use Adsense therefore can increase the amount of money they make across different types of electronic devices people use to access their blogs.

Whether the same readers check one’s blog with the various gadgets they own, they still are presented with a chance to see ads relevant to them – which some click on earning the blog owner more from the content they publish.

Some bloggers in Kenya use Google Adsense in conjunction with other blog monetization methods and Google is OK with that

…as long as blog owners going this route stick to Adsense policies, they are free to bring other monetization methods into the mix.

Publishers can use affiliate marketing to increase the amount of money they make from their blogs.

They can use ads from alternative ad networks (like Outbrain, RevContent, PropellerAds, BuySellAds, Media.net, Chitika and others) to supplement the income they get from Adsense.

Google has no qualms with that as long as you stick to their terms of service and give readers a good experience every time they visit your site. So, your site shouldn’t just be loaded with ads. It should have great content, load fast and give readers what they want.

You can use Adsense and also sell your own products by linking to them in whatever online marketplace you are selling them. Or sell your products right from your blog using WordPress ecommerce plugins like Easy Digital Downloads plugin or WooCommerce.

You can sell your own services – and get paid to your Safaricom M-PESA mobile money wallet, bank account, Skrill or PayPal. For example, any freelance service you decide to offer online will earn you some money, on top of your Adsense income.

You might even be surprised that you earn more from the work you put in as an online freelancer. Or even earn more from the sales of your own products or products and services you promote as an affiliate.

Bloggers in Kenya, love this, because it gives them room to test different blog monetization methods, to see the ones they like, the ones that work for them, their readers – and fits in well with their short and long term plan for their blog.

More and more companies and businesses in Kenya are using Google Adwords (either through digital marketing agencies or their marketing arms) to advertise their products and services online

Meaning that Kenyan bloggers that publish content for Kenyans (inside the country and in the diaspora) and those interested in Kenya (citizens of other countries) now have more and more ads by local brands Kenyans are familiar with showing on their blogs – increasing the likelihood of readers clicking the ads, which results in more earnings.

In Conclusion

Bloggers like Adsense because of all the reasons mentioned above – among many other reasons. Once you publish content and promote it, most people see their ad earnings as passive income. Which they like.

Some bloggers make a full time income from Adsense. Others make hundreds of dollars a month and growing, soon to reach their first ever one thousand dollar payout.

With all the advantages it should also be noted that there are some bloggers who don’t like Adsense as a monetization method. These are bloggers who say the earnings from Adsense are too little.

That Adsense requires a lot of traffic to make any decent amounts of money monthly. And that Google can ban one’s account on a whim, with all the accrued but not yet cashed out earnings gone just like that.

And they are right.

Different strokes for different people.

There are bloggers who prefer making money online via affiliate marketing.

Some like selling their own online courses, seminars and ebooks.

Others like making money doing freelance jobs – work they prospect for on sites like Upwork, Textbroker, Fiverr, iWriter among other sites – or those they get from direct clients that land on their blogs.

So, if you want to use Adsense on your site, weigh your options, know the reason why you are starting your blog, test the different monetization methods – and if you settle on Adsense work on your site to increase your income.

Also realize that you can use these other monetization methods in conjunction with Adsense.

To you: Have any questions, tips, stories or relevant info you’d like to share with me and other readers concerning Adsense and the other blog monetization methods mentioned in this post? Share them in the comments section below.

How to start a county news blog in Kenya

As part of the how to start a blog in Kenya series, we’ll look at how to start a county news blog in this post today.

Kenya has 47 counties – devolved governments separate from the national government – with a lot of activities in each of them.

Meaning you can start a blog targeting any of the counties – and find lots of news stories to share with the residents of the county you choose to focus on.

The counties include Lamu, Nairobi, Kisumu, Garissa, Nyandarua, Samburu, Nyamira, Migori, Kirinyaga, Kisii, Mombasa, Uasin Gishu, Meru, Turkana, Homa Bay, Kwale, Kilifi, Kajiado, Tana River, Nyeri, Taita-Taveta, Makueni, West Pokot, Kakamega, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Busia, Kitui, Murang’a, Trans-Nzoia, Nandi, Laikipia, Nakuru, Narok, Kericho, Embu, Bomet, Vihiga, Bungoma, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Siaya, Kiambu, Machakos, Wajir, Tharaka-Nithi and Baringo.

So, here are some things to consider if you want to start a county blog.

Do you want to start a blog covering news and commentaries from all counties in Kenya or just one?

For anyone who wants to take on this venture, it is important to be sure about the locations (counties) you want to write about on your blog.

There is a lot happening every day in each and every country. Meaning that the more counties you cover, the more labour (and other resources) you’ll need for original reporting, reviews, news commentaries, profiles of leaders and more.

You can start your blog covering events taking place in the county you currently reside in.

As you get in the flow publishing more posts and your blog getting noticed, you can choose to start casting your eyes farther. To also publish articles on events taking place in neighbouring counties.

If you don’t want to mix things, you can register a different domain name and have another blog dedicated to the events taking place in any other county you decide to cover.

Be realistic about how much energy you’ll need daily to produce enough articles covering the locations you set your eyes on.

Don’t take too much hay on your fork.

The best thing you can do is just to blog about one county at the beginning. Just like business ideas, if you have more than one, start with a single idea.

Start with one county. Or even a single location in your county.

Over many months you’ll be able to figure out if expanding and casting your nets wider is the best move.

What can you learn from other popular websites and blogs targeting counties in Kenya?

There are some county blogs that pay for content, for example Kenya Shillings 100 to 500 for an article with a minimum word count of 200 words.

This way they can afford to have a lean staff and still have lots of content published on their site for their readers every week.

These sites usually solicit content from their readers and pay for original reporting, news commentaries and opinion pieces.

Then there are sites that allow others to write for them in exchange for exposure. No money exchanges hands in these cases. But still they land some great content from their readers. Call it user generated content or citizen journalism, but some websites get great content from their readers.

Even online versions of the big daily newspapers in Kenya have sections on their websites where users can submit their own content for consideration and eventual publication (as long as the submitted content meets the criteria and editorial standards set up by these sites).

Then there are some county blogs with one or two writers. Most if these blogs just publish content on one or two counties. This is likely the path you’ll take as you start your own site.

It is a smart move. Starting with one county – and growing slowly over months and years – funnelling traffic back to your blog using Facebook advertising and growing organic traffic from search engines with every new article you publish on your blog.

It will take time – and a lot of content promotion – to grow your county news blog. Most of these sites take time to become popular – and widely read.

You therefore have to, like the owners of these sites, take a long term view when you start your own news site. If you are not in it for the long haul, you’ll be just wasting your time.

If you want things to move quickly, to become popular quickly, to get tens or hundreds of unique visitors (and millions of pageviews per month) per day without a budget (i.e. money to spend on ads online and offline), spare yourself the headache and rethink your plan or move to something else.

There are after all a lot of online ventures you can start and profit from.

At the onset it’s good to focus your blog and news on one county.

Apart from the news, commentaries and other opinion pieces you publish, you can also like some of these blogs do, publish articles on lifestyle, sports, relationships and tips to help your readers develop themselves into better persons.

You can also publish reviews of products and services – to bring in more revenue and profits to run your operations – instead of entirely depending on money from ad networks like Google Adsense and Media.net.

Why start a county blog?

People living in the various counties need resources where they can learn more about what’s happening in their counties.

The mainstream news sites in Kenya put more emphasis in covering everything happening in Kenya worthy of their attention. Which means that sometimes they don’t spend more resources on one particular place. Meaning that there is a lot happening in these places that don’t get featured on these mainstream sites.

You can see the truth in this if you watch vernacular TV stations in Kenya (or listen to vernacular FM radio stations).

Your county blog can go deeper. Write more about what’s happening in your county. Put more resources in place to get original reporting on things that might not otherwise even be considered newsworthy by the major newspapers and news sites.

As counties grow, more and more people (residents and people from other counties) will be interested in what’s happening in the town, cities and villages in your county.

And your county blog will help them learn more (about your county) and make better decisions. Decisions to invest in your county. To move to your county. To buy property in your county. To help development projects in your county. To trade with farmers and other business owners in your county.

Your site can become a great resource – where people come to learn – from you, from people you feature in your stories and from each other – in the comments section.

Your site can be a place where people come to share their ideas, knowledge, opinions and feedback. Which is a great way to bring people together, to promote culture, champion family values, Kenya’s Vision 2030 and more.

Your site can facilitate trade between people living in and outside your county. How? You can set a marketplace, an online shop or classifieds section on your site where people can sell and buy items – from common fast moving consumer goods, property like land, vehicles, farm produce, machinery, electronics, services and more.

What can you cover in the blog posts you publish apart from the news stories you feature on your site?

  • Interviews. There are many leaders and professionals from the county you are hailing from. Most of them have great things to share – and are willing to accept interview requests. Your work is to approach them. To learn more about them. To send them your questions and get back detailed responses to publish on your blog.
  • County assembly news. You can interview your governor, Members of County Assemblies and publish articles based on whatever is brewing in your county. Debunk controversies. Publish posts on new legislation. Publish posts on battles between MCAs and other officials working in your county – and even stories on a few things the public doesn’t understand well.
  • Business tips. You can get the tips by interviewing and writing profiles of business owners and entrepreneurs from your county. These tips are great for owners of small businesses, youths who want to venture in agribusiness or select courses at university that they can use to help the residents of your county – before and after graduation.
  • Contributions from local residents. Invite people to write articles for you and publish them on your site. Interview some on current events and publish their views on your blog either as several answers from different people (to one question) in one blog post or series of posts. Interview the doctors, the nurses, the court clerks, auditors, police officers, hawkers, hoteliers, teachers, professors, drivers, motorbike riders, musicians, priests, writers, vendors in your county…even your neighbours.
  • Write about tourism spots in your county and what makes them delightful. Writing in-depth reviews of these places is a good way to start. You can also do joint ventures with hotels and businesses in these places and get coupon codes / discounts for your readers so they can visit these places without breaking the bank. The owners of the hotels / businesses will appreciate the publicity and your blog visitors will appreciate you going an extra mile to make it possible for them to visit these spots at a discount.
  • Write about projects in the county initiated by the county government, local and foreign investors, charities, NGOs and foundations. Write about the advantages and disadvantages of such projects. Whether the people undertaking them are following the law. Also mention how they impact the county residents and how the residents can take advantage of such projects.
  • Write posts that touch on the accountability of county leaders. Show your fellow residents how the money allocated to your county government from the treasury is being used.

There is a lot to write about.

Consistency is the key here.

You’ll have more ideas every day for new posts.

Keep writing and publish at least 2 to 3 articles a day – or even more posts if you intend to write more short articles than you do long-form content.

Apart from the ideas above, also make sure to check the post How to start a news blog in Kenya for more ideas on things you can cover on your blog.

Have a mixture of news articles and evergreen content that accrue in value.

Register a domain for your blog, get web hosting and start blogging

When ready, it is time to come up with a name for your county news blog, register a .co.ke or .com domain, get web hosting for your WordPress blog and start publishing new articles.

I’ve written many posts on how to do this before, so I’m not going to repeat the same here. Check this article on domain registration (extensions and costs involved), this article on web hosting costs and finally this article on how Niabusiness.com can help you with the process of domain registration and web hosting.

If you have any question you’d like to ask me, share it in the comments section below.

How writers and authors can start blogs, reach more readers and sell more books in Kenya

Writers in Kenya are some of the people with great ideas to share with their fellow citizens – given the fact that they are already familiar with the process of putting ideas down on paper and sharing them with others – to inspire, educate, provoke thought, teach, edify or rebuke.

Most Kenyan authors, the well-known ones, have books with their name on the covers.

Some of them are published by the mainstream book publishers in the country.

Others have gone the self-publishing route, taking care of the cost of formatting their books, hiring an editor and proof-reader, buying ISBN codes, finding a book printer, marketing and selling their own books on the internet and offline.

Some have also embraced digital distribution of their books by publishing ebooks that they sell on other third party websites including their own blogs.

In this part of the how to start a blog in Kenya series, we look at how writers in Kenya can embrace the internet, increase their online presence via their own blogs and earn a living from their works – making sales of their books, ebooks, consulting and speaking via their own sites.

First, let’s deal with some of the questions Kenyan writers ask when it comes to blogging.

Should I just focus only on writing my books and get a publishing contract with the big local book publishers

Some authors see blogging as a distraction from writing their first, second or even fiftieth book. And some regard self-publishing of books with the same mindset.

As such it’s easy to focus on just writing a book and then working hard to secure a contract with one of the big book publishers in Kenya.

It’s been a dream of many writers to get a deal with the book publishers. To have a deal with them. To have them around helping in distributing copies of their books. To have them deal with buyers and collecting money for them.

And this method has worked for some authors so well, even with the low royalties most book publishers give writers in Kenya and around the world.

One truth most people don’t want to hear is the fact that getting a deal with these big publishers at times don’t turn out as expected.

There are writers with the backing of some of these big publishing companies in Kenya who are unhappy with the royalties they get.

Their books don’t sell much.

And when it comes to sales, some publishers don’t push some titles hard.

Selling rights to your works also becomes a problem when you want to do things that deviate from what you agreed on with your publisher.

Getting a deal with the big publishers is good – especially if your novel or novella or short story is selected to be used as a set text in secondary schools / colleges or universities…or you are commissioned to write a revision text book.

So, as much as just writing and waiting to clinch a deal with the big publishers is enticing, you should, as a writer with access to the internet, be open to other avenues and ideas that can help you get your work in more hands.

In this post for example, I’m proposing starting and using your own blog to promote your work, especially if you publish more non-fiction than fiction works.

Meaning you should be open to the idea of writing articles, publishing them on your blog, promoting them and getting email subscribers (from the readers that come to your blog from search engines, messaging apps and social networking websites) that you can then sell printed and digital copies of your book, consulting / coaching, audio files, videos, online courses among other things.

If this is something that speaks to you, I highly recommend you read the article Reasons to start a blog.

You will find lots of ideas that you can put into great use when creating your own blog on WordPress or any other platform you choose to power your site.

Where will I get the time to both write books and publish articles in the blog I start

If you already know the advantages of blogging, you will find the time to blog.

At the beginning you may need to put in a lot of time by the way because most of the time will be spent on creating content for your blog and promoting the content.

You can do this with just one to two hours a day Monday to Friday – and scale up (or down) the hours you spend working on your blog as times goes by.

Check this interview to learn how you can just publish 3 to 4 articles a week on your chosen blog niche to get the momentum going.

You can also find the time to both write your books and blog posts by rising early in the morning, watching less TV or simply squeezing a few minutes here and there throughout the day to write and spruce up your posts before you publish them on your blog.

Come up with the titles for you articles, outline them and then write. This makes writing articles easier for many writers. It could also work well for you.

Just be careful, organized and ensure that as you embrace blogging you will do your best not to let your blog stop you from writing and publishing your books. Also set deadlines for the articles and books you are working on.

Learn how setting deadlines can help you achieve your writing goals much faster.

If I write many blog posts and publish them on my blog, where will I get more great ideas for my books

Blogging is great and many times you will be compelled to give away your best content for free.

The more posts you’ll write and publish the more it will seem like you are giving away everything for free.

And then wonder if your blog is just depleting your ideas bank – a euphemism for thinking that the more content your blog gets the fewer the number of great books you publish will get.

So, on the surface it looks like having a blog can help you promote your books. But on the flip-side it looks like your blog, and all the content in it, is a death sentence of sorts for future titles you hope to release.

But don’t worry.

Many writers have pulled this off. They have blogged and still continued to release great books.

Here’s the thing. The ideas bank when nurtured well never runs out of great ideas. There will be plenty of ideas to go around. Some for your blog and some for your books.

Besides blogs just work as a net…to draw in readers and give them whatever they want (a solution to their problem, instructions, expert tips, laughter, stories). Your posts work as teasers that get your blog visitors engaged with your work more.

Some of these readers will be satisfied just reading your posts – and leave – while some of them will go an extra step and buy your books.

The ones that just read your blog posts also serve you well even if they never buy your books.

They still read and leave feedback – which is essential to you as a writer. Some of them will share your articles online with their friends and family – drawing in more eyeballs and potential readers your way.

So, both the blog and books you publish work to draw people to you – to your work – regardless of whether they pay for a copy of your novel, memoir, collection of short stories / poems or just read your free content.

But the level of engagement your blog gets once someone lands on your site goes a long way in helping both you the author and your readers.

In fact, the more blog posts you write the more ideas you’ll come up with for future book releases.

These ideas will come from the feedback you get from readers, content you come across when doing your research or the occasional great idea that strikes when you are reading your own material.

How can a blog help me in my career as a writer / author in Kenya

Some of the advantages, I’ve already mentioned in the previous section above and also in this article.

A blog, if you decide to write consistently, will help you improve the quality of your writing.

The more writing you put out of your head / heart the more you’ll find that you come up with a handful of gems.

Besides this, your typing speed will improve.

Also you’ll learn how to engage more with readers online & offline on your blog, social networks and messaging apps.

Your knowledge of sales will get better and you won’t be afraid to ask for the sale whenever appropriate.

Your blog will also help you seek out fellow writers and network with them.

With your growing network, you’ll be able to share ideas, critique each other’s work or promote each other’s work.

Your blog will also be a place where you can share your story, your journey, your triumphs and struggles all in one place accessible with any device in the possession of anyone with internet access – some who will become potential readers over months and years of you consistently working on both your blog, books and ebooks.

You can even use advertising (for example Facebook ads and Google Adwords) to drive Kenyans, in masses, to your dedicated landing pages on your blog where you can ask for their email addresses and phone number so you can send them periodic updates – and once in a while send them to the shopping cart section of your blog to purchase your books or online courses and pay via Safaricom M-PESA, Airtel Money, Orange Money, Equitel, VISA, MasterCard or American Express credit and debit cards.

You can also, on your WordPress powered blog, chat live with the people who visit your blog, get to know them and build stronger writer-reader relationships.

Can I use a combination of blogging and self-publishing to build a successful career without help from traditional publishers

It’s up to you.

Some writers in Kenya have discovered they do a better job selling their own books than the publishers ever do, however tiring this may be.

Whether you want to be a part of this group of authors who have decided to self-publish books (in print and digital format) is a personal choice.

You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of going this route then decide if self-publishing is for you or not.

If you decide to self-publish, use blogging to produce and publish articles on your chosen niche topic.

Then monetize the content by creating and selling print or digital ebooks on your blog (and Kenya’s eKitabu.com, Jumia.co.ke and Amazon Kindle) that offer much needed solutions to the people that make up the niche you are targeting as a writer with your blog content.

You can also work with a traditional publisher but self-publish some of your works and use your blog to promote them all. After all, most publishers, don’t publish that many titles every year.

Besides rejection slips, sometimes you have to wait for months before your accepted manuscript / typescript gets published and released to the market. Your decision, though, shouldn’t be based on these – or even piracy.

Know what works for you, for your situation, then take the necessary steps to spread word about your books.

To start your blog, choose a topic you want to blog about and determine how frequently you want to blog

Blogs take time to grow, especially if you’ll be relying more on organic search traffic and not advertising to get people to your blog.

So, it’s wise to have a plan and a way to implement it.

Settle on a niche.

Determine how many times a week you want to publish new articles on your blog.

Come up with a list of possible blog titles and get to work writing in-depth posts for your readers.

Register a domain name, get web hosting, install WordPress and start publishing content on your blog

There are many web hosting companies in Kenya (that double up as domain registrars) where you can register a .com or .co.ke domain name for your blog for a yearly fee and get a web hosting plan (where your site’s files will be stored).

If you need help with any of these, learn how Niabusiness.com can help you register a domain name, get web hosting, install WordPress for you and have your blog ready for the content you write and the readers that will be coming to read it.

Once your new blog is up and running, it’s now just a matter of writing, publishing content to it and promoting the content to get more people to notice what you have to offer.

You can then entice these people with freebies and send them regular updates (so that they keep coming back to your blog to check your recent articles and books) once they join your email list.

If you are a writer in Kenya and want to start a blog to promote your work, I encourage you to do so.

But only if you are willing to put in the work to create great content consistently for your blog. Content that will keep accruing in value over time.

If you won’t be putting consistent content on your blog and promoting the content for at least 8 months, I highly discourage you from starting a blog. It will just drain your energy and leave you frustrated. And you really don’t want to be a frustrated writer.

If you are ready to put in the work, then your blog can be another platform (one you own) where you share your ideas, promote your work and meet awesome people.

Again, take some time to read the article: Reasons to start a blog.

If you have any questions, stories, experiences, successes, or tips you’d like to share with me and other writers, do so in the comments section below.

If you have questions on how you can start your own blog to promote your books and ebooks use the comments section to ask.

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

Many bloggers in Kenya have come up with different types of blogs in various niches in recent years – managing to build popular blogs catered to different segments of the Kenyan population.

As part of the how to start a blog in Kenya series, today we look at the categories most of the popular blogs in Kenya fall under.

Popular blogs in Kenya: News sites

These blogs mostly feature commentaries on Kenyan politics – with posts dedicated to recent news, breaking news, news on developments in the 47 counties, news touching on cabinet secretaries, governors, senators, MPs, MCAs, senate, the judiciary, national assembly, private sector, public sector and general news items touching on the top concerns of Kenyans – like health, corruption, Kenya’s relations with other countries, security within and outside Kenya, the economy, tribalism and a few trending issues that have Kenyans talking on social media.

Some of the news sites can be categorized as general news site covering many topics in one single blog while some are more niche publishing posts on a few select topics.

Some even lean to opposition parties like CORD / NASA while some, pro-government news sites, lean more towards the Jubilee Party.

Featured in some of these sites are also news happening in neighbouring countries like Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and even countries like South Sudan, Burundi, United Kingdom and the United States.

Popular blogs in Kenya: Sports blogs

These blogs publish articles covering games in Kenya and other countries. There are many blogs dedicated to Kenyan football teams, players and managers.

Some of the blogs also publish posts on English Premier League, Champions League, Bundesliga, La Liga and more football news from other leagues around the world.

Also shared on these sites are stories, tips and news related to sports betting in Kenya.

Like the popular news websites in Kenya (online versions of Nation newspaper, Standard newspaper, The Star newspaper, The People Daily and others) some of the sports blogs in the country also publish news stories on athletics, motor sports, basketball, baseball, golf, hockey and other sports.

Some of these blogs also publish articles sharing information on what is going on in the lives of top players, managers and club owners.

Occasionally, they publish profiles of athletes and share quotes from top players around the world.

There are also lots of opinion posts on what certain players, managers, teams and clubs can do to improve their odds at winning trophies and giving the best they’ve got to their teams and fans around the globe.

Popular blogs in Kenya: Personal blogs

Many Kenyans who have started their own blogs have opted to go the route of personal blogging.

Blogs like these publish posts on whatever it is the owner wants to share with their readers at the moment.

There is a lot of strong opinions shared on such blogs.

Sometimes there are commentaries on things happening in Kenya and around the world.

Some posts touch on the lifestyle of Kenyans.

Others also share tips on various products and services Kenyans use. Detailed how-to posts and reviews Kenyans can use to help them better exercise their consumer rights are published by some bloggers – helping fellow citizens make the right buying decisions whenever they are out there shopping online, in shops, chemists, showrooms, malls or supermarkets.

Some of these blogs also publish articles inspired by a blogger’s own life, successes, failures, struggles and current projects they are working on.

Most of these blogs cover a lot of topics that appeal to different people – all under one domain name. The variety and choice to be had with such blogs makes them appealing to more Kenyans starting their own blogs.

Popular blogs in Kenya: Fashion blogs

Popular with women, fashion blogs in Kenya, share tips to help Kenyan ladies look their best.

There are many of them – with make-up tips, with latest news on fashion trends, with how to posts, with reviews of various items of clothing (shoes, hand bags, dresses, skirts, tops, casual wear, official wear, hair products, nail products) and most important of all lots of photos of beautiful and pretty young ladies showing other Kenyan ladies how to dress their best.

Such blogs also share the price of the various items they review and where to buy them online or offline.

Some promote African-inspired fashion as well. Some bloggers behind these blogs also come up with their own designs (some inspired by the culture of the different tribes in Kenya) which they turn into clothes they sell online on their blogs.

Popular blogs in Kenya: Food blogs

Food and cooking blogs in Kenya mostly share recipes for Kenyan dishes and cuisines from other countries and cultures.

Most posts are dedicated to sharing tips on how to prepare different types of dishes. There is a lot of these types of posts to suit meals and different occasions one may have in mind.

There are tips on how to prepare breakfast, lunch or supper – or even prepare food for picnics.

Some bloggers behind these blogs prepare the dishes themselves, share how they prepared them – and even accompany their instructions with great looking photos and videos to ensure whoever is reading their blog or watching their embedded videos makes great dishes for themselves, friends or family.

Popular blogs in Kenya: Entertainment blogs

They are many here in Kenya. And most entertainment blogs cover a lot of topics. From recent news concerning Kenyan celebrities, the latest music releases in Kenya in various genres, the latest shows, opinions and commentaries, lifestyle tips, some celeb gossip, news on Kenyan actors and actresses, labels, managers and more.

Posts in most of these blogs usually consist of some photos accompanied with short text.

Occasionally they include videos or strong opinions that don’t sit well with all their readers. But then some like to court a little controversy – to get read more and increase sharing of their content by their readers on social networking sites and messaging apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Popular blogs in Kenya: Business and freelancing blogs

These blogs target business owners and freelancers in Kenya.

With the unemployment rates in Kenya on the high, these blogs have sprouted to help Kenyans start and grow their own business.

They share tips to help Kenyans get started as entrepreneurs.

Sharing lots of tips to help them run profitable businesses online or offline.

Most of these blogs cover everything business and freelancing.

Some of them have niched down a bit and only cover freelancing topics – some even going deeper to focus only in any one of the following areas: virtual assistants and business outsourcing, freelance writing, transcription services.

Some only promote agriculture among the young and old in Kenya by focus mainly on topics to do with agribusiness.

They publish tutorial-type of posts, success stories of people who decided to do agribusiness, posts on which breeds to buy, where, how to take care of plants & animals… and where to find market for one’s livestock.

Some only share tips for those who want to go into the matatu business and become part of the ever growing public transportation sector in Kenya.

From these blogs, Kenyans get lots of tips to help them grow their small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by bootstrapping their operations, getting loans they use wisely to grow their business or by bringing local and foreign investors on-board to expand their operations and capture more market share in and outside Kenya.

Some of these blogs also share, with business owners, tips on accounting, payroll, banking, insurance, nurturing leads and KRA taxation matters.

The freelancing blogs in Kenya also offer a path to those who want to make money online in Kenya, money that they can then use as capital to start their own limited liability companies here in Kenya.

A lot of these sites also share motivational and inspirational stories for the aspiring entrepreneurs ready to put in the hard work to build great businesses that solve problems for Kenyans and citizens from other countries.

Popular blogs in Kenya: Technology blogs

There are many popular blogs in Kenya in the tech niche.

Mostly published on these sites are articles on the technology sector, news on start-ups here in Kenya and beyond our borders, app reviews, profiles of investors, entrepreneurs and various leaders in the IT and tech space, gadget reviews, tutorials for different software and hardware (smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop PCs, smart home gadgets, smartwatches, accessories for the various devices and more).

Also published on these sites are opinions touching on developments in the telco and tech space in and outside Kenya and reviews that share the prices of items reviewed and how to get them online or offline.

In conclusion

Most blogs getting lots of unique visitors and pageviews every day fall in the categories listed above.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t well-liked and widely-read local blogs that don’t fall in the above categories.

There are some great blogs on relationships, love, weddings and marriage, health, motoring, photography, literature (poetry, short stories, writing and publishing – of fiction and non-fiction), travel, lifestyle and Christianity.

Some blogs cover city or town specific content with reviews of establishments in the towns and profiles of leaders living in the specific towns or cities targeted by such blogs.

I have seen some blogs that only write about one of these places: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nyeri, Thika and Kisii. I bet there are more of this type of blog, besides the county-type blogs.

Most of the blogs in Kenya also run on WordPress (the self-hosted version) though there are some blogs that are powered by the free WordPress.com and Blogspot (Blogger.com) by Google.

To you now. The popular blogs by Kenyan bloggers you visit a lot do they fall in any of the above categories? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Also do share your thoughts, in the comments section, on why some blogs in Kenya are popular – whether they fall in any of the categories above or not.

WordPress web hosting in Kenya for you

If you want to start a website or blog in Kenya, and are reading this article, you are now at the point where you are looking to go one step further with your plans to setup your site.

Probably you’ve looked at domain registration costs and web hosting plans offered by various hosting companies in Kenya.

You are also wondering which CMS – Content Management System – you should use to power your site – or if using WordPress as a CMS is a better option for your soon to be launched website – or an existing site you want to make changes to.

Meaning you have a lot of questions – considering there are many hosting companies that make it easy for their clients to install WordPress on their domains, subdomains or subfolders – usually with auto script installers like Softaculous, Quick Install or Fantastico Deluxe.

Should you use WordPress to start your website / blog in Kenya

Yes. WordPress is simple, powerful and extendable – and widely used by persons running small, medium and big websites – some getting a couple dozen visitors a day while others getting hundreds of thousands to millions of visitors per day.

WordPress – the self-hosted version – offers a lot of functionality for individuals, businesses, schools, churches, writers, bloggers, authors and churches that want to start their own websites – with static home pages or blogs – where recent articles posted on the site can be shown organized in a chronological order mostly in the home page but sometimes also in  a dedicated page in a website with a title like ‘Blog’ that is displayed in the main navigation of the website for easy access by visitors.

WordPress, which is free by the way and only requires you to register a domain name and pay for hosting package – where your site’s files are stored, works well with hosting companies that have Linux servers, support PHP and MySQL databases – which most do.

Meaning getting started with it is easy.

More and more people are using it.

Compared to other content management systems like Joomla and Drupal it’s getting widely adopted. And if you are unhappy with a hosting company you are using, you can easily move your WordPress powered site to another hosting company.

WordPress is easy to install and setup.

You can also add more functionality to your site using any number of free and premium plugins and themes that are available for quick install.

It is easy to create pages and posts on WordPress. You can customize your site’s design, add images, add audio files, embed videos and do a lot more.

Also if you are busy with other things and don’t want to spend a lot of time working on your site, you can just create content, upload it to your site and schedule it to publish on a date and time you specify.

As a business owner, you can also add online shopping functionality to your site for example using WooCommerce, enable the use of testimonials, sell digital and physical products on your site, add tables of content, get feedback from your readers / customers and even make your site as good looking as you want.

What do the best WordPress web hosting companies in Kenya offer

Most hosting companies offer different hosting packages suited to the needs of various site owners depending on the number of visitors their sites get every day / month.

Apart from this they provide a secure environment for storing your site’s files – in servers that enable good functioning of the WordPress script that powers your website / blog.

They also offer support and guidance from the initial stage when you set out to build your site – and all along as your site grows.

They will help sort site errors, send you email updates with recent tips to ensure your site is secure from hackers, help you manage various aspects of your site via your cPanel admin area and also offer tips to grow your site and draw more of the right people to it from social networks, offline and search engines.

Most hosts in Kenya are also reachable via their website (through support tickets and contact us pages), phone numbers, live chat and email addresses.

Meaning they are fine with a little hand holding whenever there is something you need to change or add to your site.

They also are able to advice on various things concerning WordPress: like plugins, themes and a few coding tweaks you may need.

What to look for when choosing a WordPress host in Kenya

Choose a hosting company or business that understands what it is you want to achieve with your site.

Choose a host that will offer the support you need to ensure your site is available on the internet, functioning as you intended.

Of course a hosting company, even the best ones, won’t do everything for you. You also have to play your part.

There are some mundane tasks – like ensuring your plugins and themes are up to date – that most companies won’t and don’t do – given the huge number of clients they have.

Of course these are tasks that require a click here a click there and they are done.

Same applies to the content published on your site. If you want more quality pages and article published to your new blog or website to increase your search engine rankings, organic traffic and leads, you have to create it yourself or with your staff or business partner or simply hire a freelance writer to create the content for you.

Read this article: 7 things to consider before paying your money to any of the best web hosting companies in Kenya.

The cost of WordPress web hosting in Kenya

The cost depends on the domain name extension you choose (learn more here), the hosting package you pay for and whether you factor in other costs like premium themes and plugins you buy, a content writer you hire, advertising you pay to promote your website (using Google Adwords or Facebook ads, for example) or a website designer you commission to design your website or blog.

Most people are good to go with just registering a domain name, paying for web hosting, installing WordPress (WP), publishing content on the site and promoting their site.

The cost to register a .com or .co.ke domain is 1,000 Kenyan Shillings or less. The cost for most starter hosting ranges from 1,000 Kenyan Shillings to even 15,000 Kenyan Shillings a year depending on whom you are hosting with.

Some cheapest web hosting plans in Kenya go for as little as Kenya Shillings 600 a year.

These cheaper plans (suited for beginner sites with little traffic) often have fewer resources allocated to them; which means that the more your site traffic grows the more you’ll have no option but to upgrade to bigger hosting plan that offer more disk quota and bandwidth. Which cost more.

It should be noted though that there is more that goes into building a site. The cost is not only in terms of money.

Websites and blogs need time to grow. So, you should look at that as well. Check these hosting questions and answers to learn more. They’ll help you weigh if you are ready to commit to starting and growing your website or blog.

Why host your WordPress blog / website with Niabusiness.com Hosting Kenya

As explained in this article, Niabusiness.com helps individuals and small businesses start WordPress sites.

Niabusiness.com helps with domain registration, web hosting, WordPress installation, theme and plugin installation and setup among other things (listed here, here and here) to help you quickly get started and have your site available on the internet ready for readers, leads and customers.

The WordPress questions and problems you may have, Niabusiness Hosting helps you solve. This ensures that you have more time on your hands to focus on your business or other activities. You get support managing your site since Niabusiness.com is well versed in WordPress sites.

With your free time you can create more quality content to be published on your site. You won’t have to learn everything WordPress when you are stuck – because Niabusiness.com will be there. Meaning fewer distractions from your work and other pursuits outside work.

Niabusiness.com installs WordPress and sets up everything for you. Niabusiness.com, when launching your blog or website, even adds the content you have – text and images and creates social media profiles, verifies your site with search engines and creates emails with your domain name in them e.g. yourname@yourdomain.com. Learn more here.

Your next step in building your website

If you’ve checked some of the articles linked to above, especially this one, this and this last one, get in touch with Niabusiness.com via the contact form here to get your WordPress website / blog started.

For any questions, use the comments section below to ask.