This is the story of how I began my wonderful journey of blogging in Kenya with nothing but just 2K and a zeal to succeed.
I will show you exactly how I did it with the hope to inspire you to chase your passion as well and stop waiting for things to fall in your lap.
Ever since I can remember, I have always had a passion for business.
Ask any of my high school buddies who know me, they will tell you ‘Business turns on Kevin🤣.’
Well, not to sound weird, but it is true.
I eat, sleep, dream, and drink business.
But after discovering the internet, it changed how I saw business.
I use to think that getting into business is an uphill task and only reserved for those with deep pockets.
But then I got to hear stories of people bringing in thousands of shillings per month with just nothing but a simple website like this one.
To say the least, I was hooked.
I started immersing myself on anything I could get as long as it was talking about online business.
All night, I would go from article to article on this website called Entrepreneur.com.
I credit all of my enlightenment to this website.
How I got my first website
So every time I read something new, I’d head back to Google to try and find more information concerning the same.
That is how I came to know of digital marketing before it was a thing here in Kenya.
Don’t believe me?
Check my first ever website here, had named it Cyberspacenerd.com.
Actually, I didn’t spend anything to acquire it, it was a free website after winning a contest.
Where is it now?
Well, let’s just say things didn’t go well.
And I neglected it for a whole year.
Now it is offline, hoping to revive it someday.
Here is why my first website failed and what you can learn from it
As mentioned, my first website was called Cyberspacenerd.com.
Just from its name, you can already guess what it was all about.
In there, I intended to talk about all-things internet.
At that time, that seemed like a really great idea and I could already see money flowing in, after all, I was going to write about a topic people were looking for.
Well, looking back now, that was the dumbest thing ever.
See, at that time, the internet was already with us.
Only that, it was well known here in Kenya, but I missed that bit.
So, instead of getting a specific topic to talk about, I went for a general topic.
And since it had so much competition (a lot of blogs were already covering the same), I struggled to get readers.
Also, I remember having some relationship articles in there.
As I said, I was going to cover everything under the sun🤣.
That is a big mistake; starting a blog about everything. Stick around for more on this.
Another reason I failed is having unrealistic expectations.
See, throughout my entire research on blogging, I met all kinds of tantalizing stories and case studies of people making money with websites around the world.
When I started mine, I had this expectation that I’d get the same results.
After all, a blog is a blog, or so I thought!
I cringe whenever I flashback to dem days!
Truth is, no two blogs are the same even if they are talking about the same thing.
One may be bringing in a lot of money, while the other is earning zero shillings!
Here is why all blogs are not the same?
There are a lot of factors at play and we will cover most of them in this guide for blogging in Kenya.
Just to get you a taste, here is why two blogs can’t be the same even with same topics.
There is what we call audience engagement.
This is a measure of how readers behave once they land on your site.
In short, if they are more engaged, you have more chances of making more money.
But if they land and get off (bounce) as fast as they came, you will struggle to earn.
How I started blogging in Kenya
After my first website failed, I went back to the trenches for a while.
I went back to assess the situation and reconfigure my expectations.
While away, I kept hearing the calling of getting back online. But I couldn’t just heed to it without a plan.
At that time, I had reviewed my steps and understood where I went wrong.
Doing so came both as a curse and a blessing.
A blessing in the sense that I figured the loopholes and identified mistakes so I couldn’t repeat them.
But in the process, I found myself stuck and not getting anywhere.
Here is why;
- I knew that starting a successful blog in Kenya required more than just a site, I had to pick a topic
- The topic/niche has to be something people are interested in and can actually bring me money.
This brings me to my first step of starting blogging in Kenya.
Step #1 – Picking a topic/niche
Through my past mistakes, I had learned a valuable lesson;
To succeed in blogging in Kenya, you need to have a niche.
Quickly, a niche is a specific topic that is of interest to a specific group of people.
Think of it this way;
Not everyone likes the same things as you.
But, there are some who will.
And when you are together, you form a niche (people with the same interests).
By now, I was struggling to get on my feet because I couldn’t settle on the right niche to pursue.
To tell you the truth, the whole process and thought of ‘focusing’ on specific people is scary.
I felt like I was going to miss out now, you know, now that I was going to ignore most people and look for specific ones who are interested in a specific topic.
Looking back now, I am grateful I did that.
Here is why;
- Having a niche meant I could now have humble time to write more faster
- It is easier to write persuasive and valuable guides when you know exactly who you are writing for
- I can now do in-depth research into who I want my guide to help and why. This way, I can write faster
- The competition got smaller
I won’t delve much into why you need this but just get this;
In order to have a shot at succeeding as a blogger in Kenya, you need to narrow down your niche.
If you are interested in blogging about digital marketing, there are a ton of sub-topics under it.
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
You name it.
From here, you can still narrow down.
If you pick social media marketing, you can decide to pursue Facebook Ads.
You can have a narrow niche.
Again, it helps you get motivated readers who are more engaged.
I mean, if you write about Facebook ads in Kenya, you are sure that those reading your article understands and are interested in what you have to say.
Now, to make it easier for you, here is a list of some of the most popular blogging niches in Kenya.
- Dating and Relationships.
- Wealth Building Through Investing.
- Make Money on the Internet.
- Gadgets and Technology.
- Personal Finance.
Step #2 – Pick a website name
After settling a niche to write about, my next step was to pick a website name (domain name).
A domain name is the special address people type into their browsers to access your site.
To access Facebook, you often type Facebook.com.
There are two things I need to learn from this;
- ‘facebook’ is a domain name
- .com is a domain extension.
Let me cover each in brief.
How to pick the best website name in Kenya
To pick the best website name;
- Make sure it is short
- Easy to pronounce
- Avoid using hyphens, for example, face-book.com
- Avoid using numbers as well, for instance, Facebook2020.com
More importantly, make sure it communicates what the website is all about.
When you hear techandbutter.com, what comes into your mind?
The easiest way to pick a domain name
Here is the easiest way to pick the best website name in Kenya;
Using a domain name generator.
These are tools that can help you generate tens or even hundreds of website names in seconds.
I like this one, BizNameWiz.com.
All you have to do is input a single keyword here and hit search.
And then the tool will give you a list of names.
Go through it and pick the one you like and follow the tips we mentioned about the best domain name.
Step #3 – Register the website name
After picking the name for my new blog, I go ahead and register it.
This is where part of your 2K comes in.
What is the cost of a domain name?
Well, that depends on the domain extension and the registrar.
A domain registrar is a company tasked with keeping the website name records on the web.
I have already introduced you to what a domain extension is (the last part of every domain).
What you don’t know is that there are 3 types of domain extensions;
Here is a quick overview;
- Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) – the most popular domains, and include .com, .net, .org, etc.
- nTLDs – this category brings together some of the new entrants into the domain market. Domain extensions like .voyage, .pizza, .cool, etc. Such domains are geared toward establishing brand recognition. For example, if you are a canpizza joint in town, you would acquire a .pizza domain name
- Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLDs) – these are extensions reserved for a specific country. For example, .co.ke is reserved for Kenya, .in for India, .co.uk for the United Kingdom, etc.
As mentioned, the cost of the domain will vary depending on the type of extension.
Here is the pricing of domains on Truehost Cloud.
And here is one from Hostpinnacle.
Both are recognized domain registrars in Kenya.
Watch the video below to see how to register a domain on Truehost Kenya.
Step #4 – Get a web hosting account
Web hosting is the process of storing website files (articles, images, videos, code, etc) on a web server.
Think of it this way;
Web hosting is storing a website and making it available online.
Available means that anyone with your domain name (website name) is able to access the site by just typing the domain name and click enter.
To get web hosting, pick a provider.
These are companies who put websites online.
Again, web hosting in Kenya costs anything from Ksh 1500 to Ksh 15K depending on the hosting provider and the resources.
I will give you two examples and use one as a tutorial on how to get hosting in Kenya.
Here are hosting packages from Truehost Kenya.
And here are the web hosting packages from KenyaWebExperts.com, another popular hosting provider in Kenya.
I will now show you how to get hosting on Truehost.
In fact, I recommend you get your hosting from these guys. I host all of my sites with them and they are the best.
Besides offering the best customer service, they are affordable.
How to get hosting on Truehost Kenya.
Watch the video below or continue reading if you prefer a written guide.
#1. Pick hosting package
First, go to the Truehost website
And click on Hosting then web hosting.
That takes you to a page showing web hosting packages.
Pick the Silver Hosting one, going for KES 1499 per year.
This means that every year, you will be paying KES 1499.
The package comes with;
- Can host up to 3 websites
- Comes with a free SSL certificate (to keep your site secure).
- Gives you 30GB of storage space
- Unlimited bandwidth
We will talk about what that means in another article.
Go ahead and click Buy Now button.
#2. Register domain
The next step is to choose a domain name.
We have already talked about how to pick the best name for your blog in Kenya.
So just type the name into the search box and choose .co.ke and then click check.
If you get this error;
It means someone has already registered that name. Just pick another one from your list.
If you get this message;
It means no one has registered it, yet.
What you just did is a domain name search.
More about that in this article.
Click continue to proceed.
The next step is configurations.
Here, you are making sure your hosting account has everything you need to start blogging in Kenya.
Leave everything as is and click continue.
The next step is domain configuration.
Here, tick the DNS and Email forwarding boxes.
They are free addons.
As you can see, your cart contains both the website name and the hosting account.
Next, create an account.
Provide your details to get an account.
Make sure to use a valid email address because that is where you will get login details to your hosting account.
Pick payment method.
Tick this box
Finally, click Checkout.
Pay your invoice and wait for login details to be sent through email.
This is what the email looks like.
Inside you will get the details to access your hosting account.
Go ahead and log into your cPanel.
Step #5 – Install WordPress
The next step is installing WP.
WordPress is software you will use to manage your blog.
It is used by over 70% of bloggers around the world, one, because it is free, and two, it is the best.
So let’s install it.
Scroll down to find this app called Softaculous.
We will use it to install WordPress CMS on your domain.
It can also be used to install other scripts.
From the list, pick WordPress.
Choose the domain here.
And leave the Directory box empty (Delete WP).
Give your website a name and brief description.
Pick a username and set a password.
Remember to provide an admin email.
You can use your Gmail account and later on change to a professional email like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leave everything else as is and click on Install.
The software will take some time to install the WP on your domain.
Once its done, you will get a congratulations message plus details on how to access your blog dashboard.
Click on the Admin URL to access your site.
It should look something like; example.com/wp-admin
To login, use the username and password you created earlier on.
This is what your dashboard should look like.
To your left is the admin panel.
You can find settings and tools to customize your site from here.
Think of it as the control room to your website.
Step #6 – Install Theme and plugins
Publish your first post
To be continued