How to Start a blog in Nigeria
Are you wondering how to start a blog in Nigeria or you have no idea what this blogging of a thing really means and you want to know?
This is all you need to know about Blogging.
A lot of people are jumping into it without knowing about it, a lot don’t know where to start from, a lot have started and are lost in the overwhelming process and many don’t even know what blogging.
Don’t worry; this is all the answers to your questions about Blogging.
This is a very long post and detailed post about Blogging, but I am going to break it down to 5 parts, so you won’t feel overloaded. This one of the most comprehensive blog posts you will ever find, containing most of the things you ever need to know about Blogging.
So, get a cup of coffee and tag along.
So much fuss about it. Ever since the breaking viral news of Linda Ikeji, Blogging has been a new rave and a bandwagon for Nigerians. Many youths with laptops and internet were (and are still) rushing into Blogging.
The truth is a lot of people do not even know what Blogging is all about neither do they really understand the true purpose. But since it’s a rave, everyone wants to join, just to get a sip or gulp of the internet juice. Most people end up disappointed and earning nothing.
Just like most things, rushing into things without knowing what it’s all about is a way to fail. Because some people are doing it and succeeding doesn’t mean it’s meant for everyone or everyone will succeed in it.
How to Start a Blog in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world and be successful.
- Set up your Blog
- Write contents that get lots of traffic
- Convert visitors into email subscribers
- Send those subscribers contents that build trust
- Sell products or services your audience wants.
That’s all? Then why is everyone not earning massively with their blogs?
It’s because it’s easy on the surface, but each step is complicated and stressful.
On that note, shall we start learning about Blogging?
What is Blogging?
Blogging is simply an art of starting and maintaining a blog.
Now, what is a Blog?
According to Agrawal of shout me loud, A blog is basically a weblog that a blogger makes use for a chronological listing of blog posts. A blog has the most recent content shown first followed by the previously updated content. A blog can be easily started with services like WordPress, Blogger, etc. and do not need you to start something from scratch, providing you with the entire system including design templates. A blog thrives on new content and more updated it is, the more attention it will get.
Blogging started as a medium to share thoughts and information to people on the internet. As time went on and the internet became globally used, it became a huge deal. It’s no more what it used to be.
Now, blogging entails sharing information, getting many people to read and use the information, and at the end, money or authority can be earned.
How is a Blog different from a website?
A website is any site with the page(s) built on the internet using any language, be it HTML, CSS, PHP, JS or whatever. Whenever you type an address on a browser and it shows a site no matter what’s on it, it’s a website as the name implies “Web-site”. That means even a Blog is a Website.
What makes a Blog different from a website is the fact that a Blog consists of a number of information listed on different pages. When you consistently share an idea, write about a subject matter, providing and updating information, and engaging people through comments, you are already Blogging.
Note! All Blogs are Websites but not all Websites are Blogs.
When you click on the Blog section, you can see a series of posts, teaching about something or passing information. Without the Blog section, it’s purely a website where services are being rendered. As you can notice, the home page, the services, contact and a login section for members.
However, some websites are entirely Blogs. This means no services are rendered on those websites. The entire purpose of the website is to write posts, share ideas and engage people in discussions. These are Blogs.
I hope this settles the Website vs Blog issue once and for all.
Why is Blogging important?
Whether you think of having a website where you can render some services or sell whatever products or just want “do the normal Blogging people are talking about”, It’s important to have a Blog section where you share valuable information and engage people.
Having a website is a must for all businesses no matter how small or big. But it doesn’t end there. Blogging (a Blog section on your website or an entire Blog) is also very crucial.
Everyone should be a Blogger (or pay people to do write their blog posts for them if too busy).
First Case Scenario: Blogging within a Website.
If you have a website, let’s say an Agricultural website where you want people to hire you as a professional Oil palm consultant for their livestock production or buy Oil palm related products from you, this is how Blogging will help you tremendously.
- Blogging enforces your Brand as an Expert in a field.
If you want people to hire you as an expert, then you must let them see that you are an expert. Having a good looking website is great but won’t do it all. By blogging and giving out extremely valuable information, tips, tricks and salient advice about things in the field, people can easily trust you to be an Expert. For instance, if you or your company is into oil palm production and consulting, keep blogging about Oil palm pest attacks and prevention, Oil palm diseases, control and prevention, Best Fertilizer application methods, Oil palm Planting seasons, Oil palm best seeds and seedlings, Oil palm maintenance Practices and everything about Oil palm. It’s very easy for people to look up to you as an expert in Oil palm production. Whenever your readers want to invest in oil palm production or need to buy good oil palm seedlings or have some challenges with their Oil palm plantations, they will approach you easily because they already know and trust you to be an expert.
- Blogging improves your website’s SEO. With Blogging, SEO becomes more feasible. Having a few Website pages and counting on them to rank on a search engine is very difficult unless you want to invest huge amounts in SEM. With Blogging, you can rank several posts for different long tail keywords and bring huge traffic to your website. The more the traffic you get to your website, the better the chances of getting hired or selling your products.
Second Case Scenario: Entire Blogging.
You have no products, no services to render but you want to start a Blog, let’s say a Travel Blog or a Tech Blog or a Religious Blog. In the actual sense, you don’t own any product neither do you render any service. Yet, you want to provide very helpful information on a particular niche. How does it benefit you?
- You can easily become an authority. Harsh Agrawal, a favorite Blogger (Internet Marketer to be precise) of mine blogs on shout-me-loud. He is a successful Indian Blogger. He only blogs about Blogging which means the purpose of his blog is to teach people how to blog successfully. Right now, he is an authority and whenever his name is mentioned, everyone thinks of internet marketing or Blogging. When you blog well about a subject, you become an authority on that subject and this has a huge impact on your career.
- It can serve as a good source of income. This is one of the reasons (if not the only reason) that people now consider going into blogging. As said earlier, Blogging has changed tremendously as it’s now a huge source of income for successful bloggers. According to Tarun Garg, Arianna Huffington of Huffington posts earns up to 2.3million dollars a month, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch earns up to 800 thousand dollars in a month, and Pete Cashmore of Mashable earns up to 600 thousand dollars a month from their blogs. These are huge amounts of money. This is to prove that blogs can be huge sources of income and not mere breadcrumbs
Getting Started with Blogging
Blogging starts with having/creating/opening a website for yourself and updating it with valuable information.
Having a website is nowadays quite easy with the advent of CMS. People now use CMSs like Wix, Squarespace, Blogger, and WordPress to create their own websites. I recommend WordPress because it’s the most popular and most flexible CMS in the world.
But before we jump into creating a blog, you have to know what exactly you want to blog about. What exactly is the purpose of your blog? Why do you want to Blog? Is there any chance that my blog would be successful?
Too many people jump into Starting a Blog and abandon them after a while when they realize they are going nowhere. This is due to a lack of preparation and research before creating it. It’s a common rookie mistake and you shouldn’t make that mistake too.
Things you should completely resolve before starting a blog.
- Am I ready for the hard work? A lot of people make blogging seem as easy as just writing a few posts and it will miraculously turn into thousands of dollars. That’s in no way true. Earning from blogging is difficult. It requires hard work, consistency, and patience. Are you ready to go through a series of learning, testing, trying and trying? Even if you are being tutored directly by Neil Patel or Mathew Woodward or Pat Flynn, you still have to work very hard to break through.
- What’s the purpose of starting the Blog? Yes, I know you want to make money and probably be a celebrity like Seun Osewa or Jide Ogunsanya, but that’s not what I am talking about. Whatever the reason is, just keep it to yourself. If the purpose of starting the blog is not to share very valuable information, then you have no reason yet. If you decide to start a scholarship blog, you must strive to provide the latest and most promising scholarship opportunities and help as many people as possible to secure them. That is the true value.
- What skill do you have and feel comfortable doing and talking about? There are many Nigerians who love cooking and started Food Blogs. There are people who love business and entrepreneurship and started Business Blogs. After creating lots of great contents, they have earned a lot of readers and followers in their communities. What do you love doing?I love to be on the internet, I love writing, I love creating things, and I love teaching and explaining things to people. These led me to start a blog like the Quality Nigeria Blog (Now expired and the contents moved here)
Do people need what you want to offer? Don’t ever think you can start a blog on just anything you wish to. For example, if you are a physicist or micro-biologist and you are so passionate about physics and love to talk about it. Starting a physics blog where you talk about nothing but physics theories would lead you nowhere because people don’t GO ONLINE to read about it. Whatever your passion is, check out if people are interested in it. This would determine how profitable it is.
How do you know what people are interested in?
The answer is niche/keyword research.
For example, if you are a good Graphics designer and you want to start a graphics blog, targeting the Nigerian audience. You can use the Google Keyword Planner to find out how many people are interested in graphics design. As seen in the screenshot below, we have 10k-100k people, searching for graphics design. The more people are searching, the better your chances of getting an audience and making money from it.
Do not start a blog without doing proper niche proper keyword research.
A lot of people have been reading about how to blog for a long time but still, haven’t started. No matter how much you read about blogging, you will never truly learn to blog until you start.
You will make mistakes, learn more from it, get tired, and probably get overwhelmed because of the stress. But that’s how to grow and you can’t learn to blog without having a blog.
Most of the successful people today started out as confused as you are right now. They have failed several times before they finally hit the jackpot. But if they never started, they could never have made it.
Stop thinking about it and start right now.
Let’s build a blog right now.
Decide on a domain name.
A domain name is basically the URL of your blog/ website. E.g, the domain of this website is www.jedun.com.ng. If you want to start a fashion website, you can choose something like www.primefashion.com or www.debbyclothing.com or something of that nature.
- Choose a hosting plan.You have to host your website on a server. Every website is hosted on a server and there are different companies that provide servers for a website.It’s very important to choose a good host because it will affect your site’s productivity. I recommend these three Hosts because they are very reliable.
Starting from the Most expensive;
- Hostgator : This costs $72 (about 29 thousand naira ) the first year. You also get to register a domain for free for the first month. Hostgator is one of the most popular and reliable hosting companies in the world.
- iPage : iPage is definitely our recommendation because it’s not as expensive as many others and it’s equally as reliable as any other top hosting company. It costs about $35 for a year. This is less than 15 thousand naira the first year and you get choose a register a domain name for free.
- Namecheap : This is the cheapest, yet reliable host. If you do not have much at hand, just go for this. It costs about $20 for the first year. That is less than 8 thousand naira.Some try to go for extremely cheap or free hosts but you have to be careful about extremely cheap or free hosting. If you are thinking of how to create a free blog in Nigeria, drop that thought.
- Set up your Blog by installing WordPress and design the Blog.After you successfully pay for hosting and already registered a domain, the host provider will send c-panel details/information. Login to your c-panel and install WordPress. Then, login to your WordPress and install a good theme, customize it and start posting. It’s very easy.
Design and Customize your Blog.
After Installing and setting up the blog, you are set to publish your first blog post. But the Blog is most likely look very dry and unattractive. You do not want to create a bad first impression. You need to install a great theme, create a free logo at canva or me to get a solid professional Logo, and customize the website it to give it a great brand look. You also have to set up an autoresponder for your mailing list. Mailchimp is probably the most suitable for beginners because it’s free for the first 2,000 subscribers. That’s a great deal.
If this looks impossible for you to do all these things, you can hire our me to design your blog, set everything up properly and make it look very professional. Our services are professional and affordable.
Creating a good blog is a necessity.
Now that your Blog is well designed and all set, it’s time to publish our posts.
Publishing your first Post
In the world of Blogging today, things are very intense. There are too many people in the game and you have to stand out. You just have to strive to be the best. From the onset, set yourself apart. Although, it’s impossible to get it all right from the beginning, it’s possible to be in the right direction from the beginning. These are the things you should do before publishing your first post and do with all other posts you publish after then.
Publishing your first Post
- Unless you are writing a short list or quick guide or solution, target a minimum of 1,000 words for comprehensive articles. This is because longer articles are more likely to be more valuable. It also helps in SEO.
Brian Dean of Backlinko always advised posting at least 1,900 words for each content you publish.
Note! Make sure each of the words count. Don’t saturate the content with ordinary fillers just to hit the 1000word mark.
- Make it as informative as possible. It’s not the length that matters per se, but a quality of the content. Are you providing a lot of information in the content? Make sure the content is loaded with useful information that wow’s the readers.
- Use a DIY approach method. With this, anyone who can read and understand Basic English language can follow the instructions and get the result. Your content should be able to solve people’s questions. Syed Bahlki of wpBegginers is one of my favorite Bloggers. He ingeniously neatly and carefully arranges his contents which makes them so easy to follow.
- Use Pictures, Graphics or Info-graphics. Ensure you have a few Pictures, Graphics or screenshots to be sprinkled on your posts. This makes your posts more user-friendly and engaging. Do not use images on Google as it may lead you into trouble. You can get free images from www.pixabay.com or www.pexels.com or www.unsplash.com. You can also use canva to create flyers, or infographics for free.
- Read, research, and Read again before writing. With this, you can be 100% sure of what you are writing and have more contents to write. The rule of thumb is to read about 5-7 blogs, that has written about the same topic. The more blogs you read about the topic, the better your own content. I read about more 10 blogs before I write mine. It’s easier writing your own idea and perception. But when you want to write and link authorities, it’s a different deal. You can’t write great contents within one to two hours. It could take you 5-10 hours to craft out a master content. It is better having an ever-green content than having 10 crappy ones.
- Optimize your content for Search Engines. Search Engines are the best source of Organic Traffic. But published posts don’t just show up on Google by chance or luck. The posts have to be optimized for a particular keyword(s) for them to show up on search engines. Brian Dean wrote this exclusive on-page SEO Guide. It’s a must-read article. Never ever publish a post without proper on-page SEO.
- Create a killer headline. Headlines matter a lot. No matter how great your content is, without an attractive headline, it won’t be clicked as much. Don’t deceive your audience with the headline, it’ll have a negative effect on your integrity.
- Proofread. It’s near impossible to write a full article without making one or two grammatical blunders. While it is difficult to be 100% error free, making a lot of grammar mistakes and spelling errors isn’t what you want. While some of your readers wouldn’t care, others would. Spend time, reading your article over and over to search for those errors. An important tool you must have is the Grammarly tool. Download the extension on your browser and it will track your grammar and spelling errors.
- Never ever copy and paste. This is the beginning of failure. This is obviously what many hungry and lazy bloggers do. They lack creativity and passion for success. They have nothing to offer, yet they need to fill up their filthy blogs with contents by all means. They go all around, stealing contents and publishing as their own. Well, that is a way to get on Google’s radar. It also speaks ill of you and your blog when people start accusing you of plagiarism and intellectual theft. Create your own contents. Just read and use your own brain.
After you hit publish.
- Publish more posts. Many times, people have published their first post and start publishing on social media and sharing with everybody they can. This is not the best. There is no absolute or strict rule about the number of posts you must have before launching but it’s good to have a few posts. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger spoke extensively on this topic.
- After having a few contents already published, start sharing on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and any other social online gathering. With a new site, social media and social bookmarking sites are probably the best sources of traffic.
- Join communities and participate. Getting organic links from Google is very difficult in the first instance. No matter the on-page SEO strategies you use it won’t work in time. The alternative source of traffic is the Social media and communities. Join as many sites and communities that are relevant to your website’s theme. Be active and participate in those communities. You easily become noticed and when you share your links, a can get traffic. The more the traffic, the more the that hits your website, the more the chances your articles are bring shared and back-links. Luckily, JeduNigeria community is a community of great minds from all over the country, in different niches. Join as many groups as possible, participate actively, create a group and start providing values.
Don’t publish and article, sit down and wait for traffic to come. The truth is; it won’t come until you share it with people. Remember, don’t spam people.
From the onset, set up a subscription channel that can make you grab emails. This is because emails are so important in our daily lives. Each day, we go through our mailboxes and check new emails. That is a perfect avenue to send any information you want to send and bring your visitors back to your website over and over again.
Unless your website is very popular or has so much information that people are going to need very often, it’s likely that a person will visit your site once and after that, may never visit again. With that, the way you can convert a one-time visitor to a consistent visitor is through emails.
Repeated visitors are likely to patronize your services. That’s the more reason why you need to get people’s email address. The money is in the list.
But people are not going to drop their emails just because you tell them to. You have to force(entice) them.
How do you force people to drop their emails?
Give out a very valuable item for free and tell them to drop their emails for them to get it. It’s that easy.
The item could be anything and you have to be creative about it. Most likely, it’s a digital item. So, it could be an Ebook, a tutorial video download link, a design source file, information or anything related to your website’s theme. Just make sure it’s something valuable that people can hardly reject.
An autoresponder is all you need to do set it up. You can use mailmunch which is a third party website to create landing pages where the free goodie is embedded.
Note, you have to integrate Mailmunch with your Autoresponder which I suggested Mailchimp as a starter.
Your website Designer is meant to set all these things up for you if you can’t figure it out yourself. That’s the more reason you need to hire an experienced Website designer.
What to do with the emails?
Autoresponders make it easy to send emails to as many people as you want and whenever. You can automate it to send a message automatically as people subscribe and at intervals from then.
As soon as they subscribe, send them a welcome message (automated) and from there, start communicating with them by sharing the latest post you posted on your blog, just a greeting message, information about something, a reminder message and so on.
Once in a while, introduce products they might need and include your affiliate link in it or refer them to your personal products or services.
Note, do not spam your subscribers with affiliate products because you’ll end up in their spam folders or they unsubscribe from your list.
Monetizing your Blog
Surely, there is no point going through all the stress and hard-work if there was no money involved. It would make no sense.
Right now, you are prepared to go through the length of buying a domain, a hosting plan, hiring a website designer, spending hours reading, writing and creating contents, more hours getting traffic and how do you then make money from the blog you’ve invested so much in.
These are the different ways you can make money from your blog.
- CPC Ads. They are the easiest ways to make money on your blog, provided that you already have consistent traffic. All you do is place those ads anywhere on your blog and you earn an amount for each visitor that clicks on those ads. To best way to get started is to sign up for Google adsense. Infolinks and media.net are great substitutes for Google adsense. Note! You need a lot of traffic to earn anything reasonable from CPC ads.
- CPI/CPM Ads. With these type of ads, you are paid per 1000 views of those ads and it doesn’t matter if the click on the ads or not. The great thing about this is, as soon as a visitor lands on your website, he already sees the ads and that counts as an impression. The downside is, you need a huge traffic to be able to register and earn from this kind of ads. Google adsense, infolinks, media.net, popads, propellerads and a whole bunch of others.
There is also CPA ads which pay you when your visitors complete an action on your blog.
Too many Ads make websites look distracting. You can surely use them, but don’t plaster all your website with ads. Be strategic about it.
- Selling eBooks or other digital products. Writing and selling eBooks is one of the most popular ways people make money on their blogs. Write a very attractive and problem-solving book and put it up for sale on your blog. You can publish on amazon.com and share the link your blog. As a Nigerian, it’s very easy to upload the eBook on www.selar.co and share the link on your Blog.Before you release your book, ensure the eBook is filled with so much value. Then, design a very professional eBook cover. You can design an eBook cover page for free with canva and turn it to a 3d cover using Adazing.But if you want a more customized design, get a professional graphics designer to do that for you using Photoshop. It might be expensive but it much better.
Most people judge a book by it’s cover.
- Sell your own products. Products such as software, licensed images, themes, plugins, online courses and workshops, webinars, music, video or anything you wish to sell. It could be digital or even physical.
- Premium Membership. Several Websites, like JeduNigeria, have premium memberships which you have to pay a monthly, yearly or one-time payment to access their contents. If you can provide a few free contents and people love and adore it, they will be willing to upgrade to a premium account to enjoy better contents.You have to make sure that the premium contents and offers are top notches if you want people to people to sign up for them.
- Sponsored Posts. As the traffic on your website increases, you’ll start getting requests from other brands to post their contents on your blog. With that, you can charge them as much as you want. Depending on traffic, you could charge from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of naira just to put up their contents for a month on your blog. Why do people pay to put their contents on your blog? It’s because they want your traffic to see those contents, notice their brands and get some customers from your traffic.Warning!As your blog grows in traffic, lots of offers pop up in your email about putting their contents on your blog. It might be tempting when you consider the money but don’t accept offers that stray away from the purpose of your blog. If you have a photography blog, you have no business accepting a sponsored post from a food company. Your traffic came to learn about photography, they are interested in photography. Anything else will put them off.
- Freelancing and writing for other Blogs. Many brands need Writers that can put up massive contents on their blogs. You can reach out to them and freelance on their blogs. They can also reach out to you if they see that you are good at what you do. It’s a great way to make money.
- Affiliate Marketing. Most of the great Internet Marketers make a bulk of their online income through affiliate marketing. This is probably the best passive income system. All you have to do is to refer your readers to buy a product and you earn a commission for each people who buy the product using the link you shared.It’s very easy. Register as an affiliate for a product. Look for a product your readers would likely buy. Generate an affiliate link for that product and paste it on your blog. When a reader clicks on the link and buys the product, you are credited with a commission. It’s as easy as that. Well, not very easy because you have to know to attract traffic, know what your audience love, look for a product that solves their problems and convince them to buy it.These things are not easy to do and it might take a lot of time to get good at it. But this is a system that lots of internet marketers are using to rake thousands of dollars a month.To get started, sign up for huge affiliate sites like amazon, shareasale and commission junction, look for products, generate affiliate links and start promoting those links in your contents or as banners.
Growing your own Brand and Following
You’ve got your own uniqueness and creativity. Be yourself and let people know you.
This starts by creating a great “About me” page. Let people know and interact you like a human. People love to interact with real humans and you have to create that real human interaction on your blog. Tell a story, let them know what you love, what you do and how passionate you are. People respond to emotions from a real person.
Whatever you love to do, let people know it. Not everyone would love you for that. No matter what you do, not everyone will love you. So, don’t bother trying to please everyone.
Create a Contact Page. Let people be able to contact you through a form or put up your contact information. Include your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram handle on your contact page. Be accessible. Anyone might want to connect with you anytime.
Oladokun Oladapo, otherwise known as Mr. Jedu, is a digital enthusiast with a deep love for the internet and creativity. He loves to write, think, research and create. A Wordsmith, Graphics Designer Wordpress designer, and Front-end Developer. He puts so much effort to make a difference.
For your Website and Graphic design projects, contact me at [email protected] or DM at any of the social media handles below.