This article is the most sincere guide to anyone who intends to successfully start a blog in Nigeria. Having had about 2-3 years of learning and blogging experience, this post will serve as an eye opener into the intricacies of blogging that no one might ever tell you.
Blogging in this part of the world – Nigeria is a lucrative business. You can earn as much as 100K monthly for a start. However, that is not the case for all bloggers. I initially thought of concealing this post because it contains an valuable information from experience that only experience can give.
Truth is, blogging can be a herculean task if you do not do it correctly and also you might never get anything from your blog. The mistakes and ways to succeed is what I will outline in this post.
At the end of this post, you must have understood:
- How to set up a blog in Nigeria on your own
- How much it costs to start a blog in Nigeria
- Major Plugins/ settings / platforms to put in place before making your first post
- How to make your blog successful i.e What makes blogging an easy ride
- Common Mistakes of newbies that makes blogging a violent tussle and hustle
If you are looking into getting an unbiased eye into the blogosphere, read on.
How to set up a blog in Nigeria on your own
Setting up a blog is relatively easy. To do that successfully, you need the following.
- Domain name – unique identifier of your name (i.e yourwebsite.com, your website.org) See how to purchase a domain name and get.com for N360 a year.
- Web hosting – This is like the server where your website is stored, i.e the computer that holds your website files.
Getting a domain name
Before I proceed, I would love to point out something very important. In choosing your domain name, first decide where are your major audience coming from. If you are building a Nigerian based website where your target audience are Nigerians, use a .com.ng domain extension, you will prosper faster and more than the individual that used a .com domain.
Google is the chief search engine here, (infact some people use google to check if their internet is working) and their search algorithm has been recently modeled to favor local businesses. For instance if you are searching for something, preference is given to websites with a .com.ng domain extension that offers same services than a .com domain. See how you can get a .com domain extension for NGN360 a year.
Choosing your webhost
Careful consideration must be given to this step because failure to get a good web hosting will drain you of energy. I have used a couple of Nigerian web hosts and I currently use Qservers, their services are awesome and reliable. I have not heard a downtime unlike smartweb where you stand a chance of being hacked.
Qservers offers appreciable SEO (Search Engine Optimization ) support and you will get amazing backlinks from google. Their plans start at NGN350 *month with free domain name and free ssl. So how much does it cost to host a blog? From 3.5K a year. If you want to buy from Qservers, use this link and get some discounts
Setting up the Blog
Major hosting companies provide you with a cpanel – An administrative application that enables you manage your site. In the cpanel, scroll down to softaculous app installer or locate the wordpress icon.
Use the steps below to install wordpress blogging cms
- Double click on the softaculous or locate the wordpress icon
- Fill up the fields, Enter your administrative email and password
- Click install
See the short video on how to do this below.
Putting things in place
Now that you have installed wordpress, the first mistake newbies make is starting to publish immediately after installing the blogging software i.e adding posts. And that’s what every blog post out there says, you know to make people feel fulfilled but there are little things to do first. I will outline them in the order of importance.
- Select a website template
- Install a Spam Protect Plugin
- Set up Google Search Console
- Install a SEO plugin
- Install a social sharing plugin
- Install a mail marketing plugin
- Set up Google Analytics
- Change your permalinks structure
- Customize your design
Very few people will tell you this, but believe me, blogging will be a herculean task for you if lack any of the above mentioned pre-requisites.
Selecting a website template
Selecting a website template is a very important step and you can change it later, Note that your template is the first thing and the first impression your users get. It should have the following features:
- Fast loading
- Responsive – able to scale through various browser sizes
- Compatible with major/all browsers
- Be enough for your needs, i.e it should have provisions for all you need
Install a Spam Protect Plugin
This is very important because, you will be shocked after two days to see 225 comments without any views. This is because wordpress CMS is a very popular blogging platform that powers over 20% of the internet. Bots and Scripts are written to automatically submit requests to the comment processing scripts.
For this blog, I use Anti Spam plugin. You can download it from the WordPress plugins directory.
Install a social sharing Plugin
The social media is a huge addition to the internet and its impact on your website cannot be over emphasized. Various social networks have their advantages and disadvantages.
Facebook and twitter are good platforms if you are building an information based site.
You can use SOCIAL NETWORKS AUTO POSTER plugin to set up automatic syndication of your social media handles. What this entails is that once you publish, all your social media outlets will get updated on their own.
Set up Google’s Search Console
Proceed to google’s search console, choose a verification method – get your verification code because you will need it in the next step.
Get an SEO plugin
What is SEO? SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It is a technique of optimizing, formatting your contents so that they will appear on Search Engine Result Pages – SERPS. Of course you know not all websites are seen on the first page of google search results.
To get your website up and running, you need to optimize it for SEO, setting links rel to canonical, configuring your meta tags, adding rel =nofollow on some links, configuring your robots.txt and sitemap files etc.
These headaches can be prevented by using an SEO plugin. For this blog, I use yoast SEO plugin. You can download it from the plugins directory and set it up using the wizard, just complete the set up process. You might need to insert your googles verification code along the way.
Install a mail marketing plugin.
You might want to start gathering your audience from your first day. The mail subscription forms you see scattered all over this blog is just what I am talking about. Install a good mail plugin. I recommend mail poet and mailchimp, you can follow their set up guide to get it running. It is very easy to do.
Set up Google Analytics
Googles Analytics is a tool used by web freaks to properly analyse and see what is going on in their site. Bounce rate, users demography, session duration, landing pages, exit pages etc with a powerful A.I insights.
Go to Googles analytics and add your site url. You will be given a script tag insert into the bottom of your web page using insert headers and footers plugin.
Change your perma-links structure
For your site to do well, you need to have friendly urls. Proceed to the settings tab in your websites dashboard.
Go to permalinks. I recommend using urwebsite.com/post name. Although that is not what is being implemented on this website. But it is too late to change, because there will be lot of broken links and redirects.
Ok great, now you have gotten all things ready, go ahead and start publishing your content.
How to make your blog successful and earn money
A successful blog is measured by its traffic. How much traffic are you pulling? Getting rich contents is not enough though they form an integral part of the equation.
I started off mbscholars January this year, armed with loads of information about the blogosphere, training and workshops after failing three times previously. I knew I was a lazy blogger (I am more of a book worm), I just needed the fastest means to get traffic without hustling. I focused on SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Got my posts on googles results and boom! traffic started hitting thousands. By January, Mbscholars should hit 5,000 daily views. That is the goal and we have plans to actualize it.
I will list out the ingredients you need to explore if your blog must be successful.
What makes blogging an easy ride?
- Free Content
- Guess Posting
- Quality and Rich Contents
- Social media
- Email Notifications
Read more about this on ultimate guide to building a high traffic blog.
Common Mistakes of new Bloggers that makes blogging a hustle
You can actually make money daily even while sleeping with a good blog. However, there are some common mistakes which new bloggers make and this costs them so much especially when starting up their blog.
- Mindless copying
- Low Link architecture
- Approving Spam comments
- Inefficient blogging knowledge
- Lack of proper market information
- Ignorance on niche selection
- Poor knowledge about audience – location and how to find them.
I will show you how to avoid these mistakes and solve the problems later. Stay updated fill any mail notification forms to stay connected.
I will be motivated to invest more in this article and put up the remaining contents if I receive some encouragements…#winks. It is not easy to type 1600 words.