How to start a blog in South Africa
So you want to start a blog in South Africa but you don’t know where to start? You are reading the right post. Is not hard to start a blog, I started my first blog in 2012, and I have started a few blogs since then. So I think I’m the right person to teach you about starting a blog.
Firstly there are many reasons why you would want to start a blog. The common reason is to make money with a blog.
But I want to be real with you. Is possible to start a blog that makes money. You have to be realistic about it, set yourself time, put some effort in everything I’m gonna share with you.
If possible, invest some money in some of the things and let people help you with your blog.
And yes it is possible to make money with a blog in South Africa or anywhere in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people are doing it and you can too.
I can say in my few years doing blogging, I’ve been able to make a few bucks through blogging and other making money online strategies. Is not something to write home about but is something worth sharing to anyone who’s interested in blogging.
Let me tell you, there are a lot of opportunities to make money online or online business ideas you can start today, especially in Africa. If you want to build passive income then you should try doing it online.
But you should know you can make as much money as you want with a blog. So I will also show you some of the best ways you make money with your blog in South Africa.
It actually takes a few steps to start a blog, all of them can be completed in one day but it could take some time for you to start seeing results.
I want to get this out of the way. Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme, or a fast pace method to make money, but is a marathon. It takes time to build a blog, create content and to get traffic.
Yes you can make a lot of money blogging but it is gonna happen in 7 days. You should at least give yourself six months to a year to start earning some good money with your blog. In fact most bloggers don’t make money within their first year of blogging.
But here is some good news, once your blog starts getting consistent traffic you stand a good chance to earn passive income. We’ll talk about getting traffic and monetizing your blog.
For now let’s focus on starting a blog in South Africa or anywhere for that matter.
The steps to Start a blog include:
- Choose a niche/topic
- Start writing content
- Choosing a blogging platform
- Go to Bluehost and click on Get Started
- Choose a domain name
- Get a web hosting account
- Install a blogging platform
- Choose and install a theme
- Install plugins
- Create pages
- Continue blogging
Step 1: Choose a niche/topic
A niche is a topic that you can blog about, choosing a topic will give you a sense of direction. It will also help your readers know what your blog is about. Writing about a certain topic makes you become an authority.
So, for example you can aim to blog about body fitness, fashion for women or mental health or whatever. It means you will teach people about body fitness, teach others how to keep their body fit or keeping up to date with the latest fashion trends.
You then write different topics related to body fitness or whatever niche that you have chosen. You can find simple tips that most people need in that niche, while breaking the articles into 500 to 3000 words long. You need to know how to pick a niche and plan ahead on which topics you will cover.
These are my topics you can choose from, it is always wise to pick one that interests you so that you don’t run out of ideas. The most important thing is to keep producing content and keep your readers asking for more.
So there you have it, the first step is to pick a niche, if you don’t know how to click here and read how you can pick a niche then come back to this article.
Step 2: Start writing content
Here’s one thing that most people get wrong, they want to launch a blog without having a single article in their blog. The reason why you start a blog in the first place is to produce content.
So if you really want to start a blog, start creating content that you will publish in your blog from the day you launch.
After choosing a niche, start writing articles. You can start by writing 15 to 20 articles so that when your blog goes live you are already fifteen posts ahead.
Trust me it will work great for you, I actually launched this blog with forty five plus blog posts. And I can tell you, it felt good knowing that when I start getting a few readers I already have some posts on my blog. So use this advice and start writing articles.
You just need to make sure that most of your posts target certain keywords and are long enough so that they can perform well on search engines. Learn about keyword research just to get a clear understanding of what type of keywords you should target.
Step 3: Choose a blogging platform
The third step is to choose a blogging platform. A blogging platform is a tool that you can use to publish your articles. It allows you to write text content, upload images and edit your posts when you want to.
There’s quite a lot of free blogging platforms that you can use and they all have their pros and cons. You can either use Blogger, WordPress but no matter what choose WordPress. WordPress is the only blogging platform that has all the features you will need to publish articles.
Please Note: There are two types of WordPress, there’s WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com gives you free hosting and a free domain.
While WordPress.org allows you to download the WordPress software so that you can use it in another web hosting company.
The one we are looking for is WordPress.org, that’s the one you should use. You can download the software or you can find a hosting company that lets you install it with a few clicks.
You will need to take some time to learn how to use WordPress but it is easy to use so it won’t take you that long. You don’t need a high level of intelligence to use it, anyone one can use it. With WordPress you can choose a theme design you want and also make your site look professional.
Step 4: Choosing a domain name
Now that you know what topic your blog will be about, you need to choose a unique domain name for your blog. A domain name is the url address that your readers find you by, a unique address that your blog will be known as.
Is very cheap to register a domain, it costs roughly R70 to R350 annually. This will depend on whether you want to use a .co.za or .com domain and the hosting company you choose.
You get a free domain name for a year if you choose to use Bluehost as your web hosting company. Or you could pay $11 on Namecheap, but remember I only recommend Namecheap for those who have issues with PayPal and want to use Bitcoin. Bluehost is my number recommended web hosting company, the only difference is that it does not accept Bitcoin. Or you can learn how to choose a web hosting company yourself.
It could be something like yourname dot com(yourname.com) or your name dot co dot za(yourname.co.za).
There’s no perfect domain name but it is wise to choose a domain name that is related to what your blog is about. For example bodyfitnesssa dot co dot za or dot com something similar
When it comes to domain name registration most people often get confused whether to choose a dot com or a dot co dot za. I can tell you a dot com domain is the best domain.
A dot com domain name can reach the whole world. Is what most people will start with when trying to access a website through the address bar in case they forgot the extension.
Choose a dot co dot za(.co.za) as the second or third option even if you want to start a blog in South Africa.
The second best domain name is a dot net domain, while the .co.za is the third. A dot com domain name is best when it comes to blogging because it is not restricted to South Africa.
It will be easy for your blog to rank high in other countries and you can compete with the best in the world. But if your target market is in South Africa and you are not planning to go beyond SA then stick to .co.za. Never use a free domain name.
You should avoid using a free domain name by all means. Free domain names don’t do well on the internet. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo won’t rank your site high, they will choose a professional domain over yours.
Lastly, most people will not take you seriously if you use a free domain name even if you provide value. That said register a unique professional domain name with a dot com extension.
Step 5: Get a web hosting account
A web hosting account is where you will store your blog files. For that you need a self hosted web hosting.
Choosing a wrong hosting company can cause problems for your blog. You have to choose a reliable hosting company that provides 24/7 support. Some of the features include Disk Space, easy WordPress installation, bandwidth, cPanel and more.
Is possible for you to register a domain from one company but host your blog files on another hosting company. That can be done by changing the Domain Name Server(DNS).
You can do that only if you find a cheap domain somewhere while there’s reliable hosting somewhere else. But you should avoid that at all cost, to avoid complications.
Use the same company for domain name registration and web hosting. That will save you a lot of trouble. You can learn how to choose a web hosting company so that you make the right decision from the get go.
Free web hosting is a NO!, NO!
Similar to domain name registration, you should choose a professional web hosting account. The free hosting accounts have a lot of disadvantages, there are certain things you won’t be able to do with them.
For example, monetizing your blog will be one of the hardest things to do since most of them don’t allow affiliate links or placing ads on your blog.
You will also struggle to add more features to your blog, like changing a theme or adding plugins to make your site faster. Adding extra security will also be a problem so you will have to rely on their security which can be limited.
Step 6: Installing a blogging platform
Since we already spoke about free hosting which I said is a NO! NO!, you have to choose a self hosted blog.
When I say a self hosted blog I mean a WordPress blog that you install yourself.
Don’t say because you start a blog in South Africa then you will go with a free blogging platform, that could cost you.
A self hosted WordPress blog gives your many options, you will be able to add or remove anything you want on your blog. You will also be able to monetize your blog.
Web hosting and domain name registration go hand in hand. When you choose a domain name you should also choose where you’ll host your blog.
In your case you could be installing WordPress on your Bluehost account or Namecheap account.
So now you have to install WordPress on your chosen domain name
Step 7: Choosing and installing a theme
A theme is a design, it contains files that make your site look the way you want. You can get a there from StudioPress