Blogging has been in existence since the beginning of the internet ages ago. While blogging may be a relatively new thing to most Kenyans, it is fast growing in the country and currently, there are around 15000 actively updated blogs. In this post, I will guide you on how to get started blogging in Kenya and make your first money online.
What is blogging?
This is what most people in Kenya take wrongly. I once asked someone what a blog is and they said that it’s posting tons of content in facebook groups and getting tons of comments. That’s absolute crap. In fact, the majority of Kenyan top bloggers are not even famous, because they don’t like being in the public. They prefer staying behind keyboards to going out. Well, blogging is simply the creation of useful content and publishing them through a website online. Blogging in Kenya is the product of what you see in sites like bikenya.com or standardmedia.co.ke.
Is blogging in Kenya worth it?
This actually depends on how you want to blog. There are blogs that make over Ksh1 million per month. Such blogs are very popular among Kenyans and they have interesting content. A good example is Tuko.co.ke, although it’s not owned by Kenyans.
Blogging, just like any other job, needs a lot of work for it to reward the blogger. It is not a quick way to make money in Kenya. I have seen several blogs being set up and the next day they are shut down. Why? Because these blogs can’t make enough money to pay for their existence. What is trying to say is, you need a lot of hard work and patience before starting to earn from blogging in Kenya.
How to create a blog in Kenya
There are a couple of steps that one needs to follow before starting a live blog. It starts from buying a domain name to hosting the blog itself. Now, let’s break this down for you.
1. Choose a suitable domain Name
A domain name is an entrance to your blog. What is a domain name? This is simply something like example.com. For instance, this blog has a domain name of bikenya.com. You get it. That is the very first step to setting up your blog. There are various domain name extensions and I will briefly talk about it below.
Types of domain names
A domain name can take many forms depending on your platform of blogging( WordPress, self-hosting, blogger etc) For instance, if you blog using blogger.com, you will get a domain name which ends with a .blogspot.com. If you are using free wordpress then you will get something like example.wordpress.com.
A blog domain can also have different domain extensions such as .com .net .co.ke. This depends on your preference. I, however, suggest using a domain name that ends with a .com.
2. Select a blogging platform
Also known as a content management system(CMS) is a platform where your blog will be hosted. This includes WordPress, blogger, Joomla, Sharepoint, etc. For a beginner without the capital to buy a self-hosted WordPress blog, I would recommend using blogger.com to get started. You will get a free domain( with .blogspot.com extension like I mentioned earlier). Blogspot is completely free to use and you can customize your blog according to your preferences. Another free platform is wordpress.com.
The reason I don’t suggest this for beginners is that it has Advertisements. This can make a poor user experience for your readers. The worst part is you don’t get paid from these ads. They are for wordpress.com company.
If you have some cash to spare, let’s say Ksh500 per month, then I strongly suggest going for a self-hosted WordPress blog. Why am I suggesting this? You will get thousands of free themes, it’s good for SEO and your blog will get visitors from google fast( Am trying to use the simplest language possible, forgive me if you are an expert blogger).
Another benefit of a self-hosted WordPress blog is you will be able to do almost anything without the need for coding. There are thousands of free plugins that will help you do anything on there.
3. Select a hosting company
This step is for those who opted for a self-hosted WordPress blog. If you want to use a free blog, that’s’ fine, jump this section and read the next section below.
a hosting company will help you make your self hosted blog online. They basically provide the basic infrastructure for a blog to get online. Read about Top best web hosting companies in Kenya here.
Reasons to consider before choosing a hosting company
Affordability: go for a hosting company with plans that are pocket-friendly to beginners
Customer support: Choose a hosting company that will be able to assist you on every step of setting up and running your blog
Amount of traffic: For beginners, this should not be an issue but the moment your blog starts to grow, you will need more bandwidth and speed.
Server type: not applicable to beginners 😉
That’s all for setting up a blog. Please feel free to ask me if you have any questions or if you need help. Now, let’s move down to the next step. Monetizing and earning money from your blog.
How to make money from blogging in Kenya
You have set up your blog. Now how do I earn? This is a question that most beginners will ask. I have to tell you something. A new blog won’t earn instantly because of several factors; you need traffic and good content. This will take some time to build.
The recommended time to set up great content and building organic traffic is 6 months. This will work differently for different niches. Now, let’s assume it is 6 months later and now you want to make some $$ signs.
1. Using Affiliate marketing
Blogging in Kenya using Affiliate marketing is where you bring a customer to someone and they pay you a commission out of the sales made.
In affiliate marketing method of monetization, the blogger places affiliate banners and special links in their websites intentionally to attract customers to specific retailer sites. If the person eventually buys a product from the target site hosted by the merchant, the blogger earns a percentage of commission which amounts to his or her total earnings. Some advertising networks give bloggers a specific amount of money on every click or referral made successfully.
Popular affiliate marketing channels in Kenya are Jumia and Kilimall. They can pay you up to 11% of the total sale as the commission. So if you can get constant sales, let’ say a commission of Ksh500 per day, that would be good money for the start.
2. Using Adsense
This is a popular way of monetizing blogs worldwide and works even with blogging in Kenya. Adsense is a product owned by Google and they pay you for advertising on your blog. With a good amount of traffic, you can earn over 30K per month with your Kenyan blog. However, AdSense is extremely difficult to get into. There is a review process upon application and your blog may be rejected if it doesn’t meet their standards. An alternative to Adsense is Mgid. Mgid pays you for every impression made on your blog. The downside of this company is that you need a lot of traffic to earn decent cash flow.
3. Selling Digital products
Selling digital products is a fulfilling activity that comes with sufficient rewards to a blogger in Kenya. This is so since digital products require minimal expenses when compared to physical products like hard books. E-book blogging is an excellent example of a digital blog that can make good money. Selling e-book is an increasingly thriving venture that draws long term investment ventures.
A book that was written decades ago may still be trading at a higher rate even toward the future with little involvement in real-time. Unlike physical books, the e-books do not cost to print or distribute, making them extra versatile. Blogging with digital e-books is one of the most inspiring ventures that one might think to try. To get started, distinguish an area you do well and then publish a good rating ebook. By writing a book and then blogging it in an e-book store, you will be sure to make passive income constantly for years to come.
4. Sponsored Posts
This type of blogging actively draws sponsored posts and executive requests. A blogger should be keen on connections with high ranking websites and people to upper their search engine ranking. Some bloggers in this section are paid up to Ksh500000 to cover material in their page or just mention specific adverts. Marketing opportunities will just present in your contact mail inbox if you do it cleanly and inspire others to grow their businesses. It is very important to stay supportive of others in order for you to get deeply floored in blogging. It is reasonable to offer some free assistance even as you monetize others when developing a blog. This is essential in creating goodwill that will attract more customers.
To become a consultant website, you need to understand how to address a particular difficulty affecting your target audience. For example, you may consider operating a consultancy blog about entrepreneurship and small startups. You will be more inclined to succeed if you have appropriate experience in the area and are well educated in that subject. Giving details on the topic will attract the attention of more clients on your expertise.
The more professional like and authoritative your website is, the more you are destined to receive more customers for professional advise and inquiries. There are several organizations in need of expert consultancy services and are ready to pay some considerable lump sum to the highest rating bidder.
A properly designed blog is resourceful in touch with the target audience. Some people give a variety of services on one website while others prefer to concentrate on their niche. In all circumstances, it is a good practice to concentrate on the service you are good at and can perform at best.
6. Creating a job Board
This category of blogging in Kenya is not easy to monetize at first. You will need a good chunk of visitors for you to attract employers who will pay to get the right employees. A good example is the brighter Monday website. They get a good amount of money from this mode of monetization among other means.
7. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a very powerful blogging plan that involves list building tools such as AWeber. By creating and building an active mailing list, the blogger will be able to increase their targeted traffic. Huge blog traffic is necessary, especially when starting a product and make important updates in the blog.
Email marketing strategy has been adopted by several firms interested in growing their customer base. The blogger will begin by attracting more active email subscribers and the amount of sales. It is necessary to set simple goals when handling this type of bluffing monetization strategies as opposed to some meaningless and complex metrics out there. To get started with this, offer an appropriate solution to the underlying difficulty, focus of quality and draw large email subscriber volume, and then concentrate on making sales.
The downside of this method of monetization is the cost. Once your mailing list expands, you may be required to pay in order to add more subscribers. So for you to thrive and expand, you need to ensure that the mailing list brings enough profit to pay for the extra expenses.
Problems Faced when starting a blog in Kenya
As I mentioned earlier, blogging is not easy. There are challenges and especially when getting started. Some are easy to overcome while others are not. Now, let’s take a look at some problems that you may face.
Hosting a blog may be costly when starting out. You may not have the recurrent fee to pay for your monthly hosting plans. To overcome this, you can identify hosting companies with offers which may extend for a year. This way you can focus on building your blog to get the hosting money.
You read that right. Many people are lazy. I will be honest with you. Blogging doesn’t blend so well with this issue called laziness. You will need to update your blog at least once a week so your readers can get something fresh to read every time they visit your blog. Personally, I update this blog whenever I feel like but as a beginner you need to have a timetable to set you on the course.
3. Monetization dilemma
This is when you can’t really decide how to make money from your blog. For this challenge, I can only say that you need to write more content and get more traffic. Monetization options will then come knocking at your door.
4. Topics to write about
You may not know what you want to blog about. Some people end up blogging about what they don’t know well and this has a negative impact in the long run. Always have a clear focus on what you really want. Be it sports, cycling, etc.
Common mistakes made by new bloggers in Kenya
I have already highlighted the challenges that you may face. Now, what are the mistakes you may make when getting started?
This will make you lazy and think that you are getting good traffic. You need to focus on getting traffic from google search too. I am not saying that traffic from Facebook or Ig is bad, but what if you are unable to post for some time? You won’t get traffic.
2. Writing bullshit
When this blog started, there were frequent news and entertainment stuff. I am not saying that they are bad. The problem with this kind of content is it doesn’t pay and you also need to write frequently and get those breaking news.
I hope you loved reading this guide on blogging in Kenya. You can follow these steps carefully and also ask questions from the contact us page or comment section below if you have any doubts.