Blogging is one of the ways through which you can sell your products/services to people interested. A lot of people have demeaned blogging to be a place for catching fun. Every business oriented person should know that blogging is one of the fastest ways to gain new customers to their business.
I have already explained the questions you need to ask yourself before starting your online business, and you will see that there is a place to choose the platform to monetize your product/services.
The terms, “blog”, “blogging”, and “blogger” have now become very popular in Nigeria — for good and bad reasons.
The success stories of Linda Ikeji and others who are making a killing from the blogging profession have motivated more-than-countable Nigerians to go into blogging — to get their own share of the “blogosphere cake”. On the other hand, some mischievous elements have made bloggers infamous for publishing false news and malicious information.
No doubt, blogging can be very lucrative.
As with any other business that seems lucrative, blogging is a widely sought-after venture in Nigeria today — for obvious reasons. Who doesn’t like to be at home full-time, sitting behind a laptop for just a few hours a day, and making cool cash doing just that?
Unfortunately, most Nigerians who hop on the bandwagon of blogging abandon their blogs within few months. The reason? Isn’t blogging as easy as and straightforward as most people think? And blogging these days is far more difficult than what obtained 10 years ago.
What most people do is simply set up a free-hosted blog on Blogger, churn out a number of posts over days or weeks, and sit back while expecting an avalanche of traffic and a boom in their bank accounts. But that has never worked for anyone, not even in those days when blogging was far easier.
In this post, I’ll be explaining the steps involved in starting a blog — here in Nigeria. If you’re looking to start your blogging career without making any mistakes, then this post is for you. Sit back, relax, and read on;
Starting a Blog: Step 1 — Get the required tools
[emaillocker]As with any other venture, your first steps towards blogging is to gather all the tools you’ll need. These include a laptop or desktop computer, reliable Internet connection, good writing skills, and a good amount of time.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked if a smartphone or tablet can be used for blogging instead of a PC. And here’s my usual answer: “Yes, but get ready for a lot of hitches.”
There’s a lot more to blogging than crafting posts. As you progress in your journey as a blogger, you’ll need to master tools like the Google Keyword Planner and probably some other web-based and desktop programs that might not run well on mobile devices — that’s if they run at all.
Aside from their technical handicap, mobile devices have much smaller screens, which will be a disadvantage when you’re trying to accomplish certain tasks that blogging also entails.
So, your best bet is to get a laptop or desktop PC. But if all you have for now is a smartphone or tablet, you can make do with that — don’t expect a smooth sail over the long term, though.
As for Internet connection, it goes without saying that you’ll need one. Without Internet access, you can’t research for information
meant for your blog posts, you can’t access your blog, and you can’t publish posts. In fact, you can’t do anything!
In addition, to become a successful blogger you must be a good writer. And you must be ready to write regularly. There are no shortcuts!
Oh well, the only way around this is to hire a good writer to craft your posts for you. And I’m telling you, that could be very, very expensive if you’re looking for top quality posts. This is what I do tell people: “If you’re not a good writer, blogging isn’t for you!”
Oh, did I just scare you? I didn’t mean to. Don’t be scared. I didn’t mean you must be another Shakespeare or Soyinka. All you need is the ability to write in clear English that is free from obvious grammar, style, spelling or typographical errors. If you think you’ll pull through that, then you’re good to go. If you’re not sure, a good tip is to write a sample post and ask other people — good writers, I mean — to vet your writing skills.
Finally, you need to devote some time to blogging. You should be willing to set aside at least 2-3 hours of your day to it, especially when you’re just starting out.
You might be wondering why you need that much time. But the truth is, blogging entails more than writing and publishing blog posts. Promoting your blog requires even more time and effort. Get that clearly!
So, if you can’t devote 2-3 hours of your day to blogging, then starting a blog is not an option you should consider. What this means is that blogging isn’t for you if you run a day job that leaves you so tired at the end of each workday that the only thing you do on getting home sleeps off.
Starting a Blog: Step 2 — Decide on your niche
This is no doubt the most important part of this post … because it explains the most important concept you need to understand when starting out as a blogger. So, I want you to read this section with increased attention.
Blogging is becoming more and more competitive by the day. Several thousands of blogs spring up every day to compete for people’s attention, yet the number of available readers isn’t increasing at anything close to that rate.
You have to look out for the product or service you intend to sell, and blog around that niche. If you are a medical practitioner, and you decide to go into real estate, it is clear that you will have a hard time succeeding. If you are into selling of spare parts, and you decide to blog about literature, it is clear you don’t have a focus.
While it might seem like a smart idea to appeal to as many people as possible by blogging on a wide range of topics, the opposite is actually what works for most bloggers. It’s much better and much easier to appeal to some people than to try to appeal to everyone and end up appealing to no one. In short, it’s better to choose a niche for your blog.
Choosing a niche is one of your most important first steps towards starting a blog. Go about it the wrong way, and rest assured that your blog would wind up as a failure. In fact, opting for the wrong niche is one of the commonest reasons why people fail at blogging. So, by understanding how to make the right choice, you’d be able to avoid one of the biggest pitfalls lurking in your path.
Now, let’s get into the business.
What exactly is a niche?
In the context of blogging, the word “niche” refers to the subject or topic that your blog centres on as well as the specific audience you’re trying to entertain or help with your blog content. Your niche could comprise one topic or subject or multiple ones and could be targeted at categories of people based on geographical location, interests, or occupation.
For example, Linda Ikeji’s blog features entertainment news and updates, gossips about celebrities, and related stuff that would interest Nigerians. So, it’s correct to say her niche is “Nigerian” entertainment and celebrity news updates”. Here are other examples of popular Nigerian blogs and their respective niches:
Bella Naija (Entertainment and lifestyle — for Nigerians in general)
TechCabal (Technology — for Nigerian tech enthusiasts)
Web Income Plus (Tips on making money online — in Nigeria)
Zikoko.com (Interesting and shareable stuff — for Nigerians)
Omojuwa.com (Political analysis — for Nigerians)
So, in other words, a niche comprises the topic(s) that a blog stands for as well as the blog’s ideal readers. Majority of blogs have their own clearly-defined specific niches, although there are few popular blogs that feature posts on a wide range of topics (but if you dig deeper, you’d still find that they tilt more towards certain topics than others).
Most blogs you’ll find have specific subjects and target readers. However, it’s not a must to define your niche with both specific topics and specific readers in mind. Some blogs have niches that comprise only a specific topic without any geography-based or interest-based bias. A good example is a health blog targeted at a global audience.
To Be Continued… Click Next Page to continue