The ultimate guide to starting your own profitable blog in Nigeria
Are you considering starting a profitable blog in Nigeria, either as a side hustle or a main business?
This guide will put you through all you need to know to kickstart your blog. We have put together 10 easy and explicit steps that we have used to grow our website blog with astonishing results.
Let’s get started!
What is a blog?
It is pertinent that we first and foremost understand what the term blog means as this will help you meet your goals and also get the most out of this article.
A blog is an online journal or informational website displaying information in the reverse chronological order, with the latest post appearing first, at the top.
It is a platform where a writer or a group of writers share their views on an individual subject. The content of a blog is known as a blogpost.
A blogpost can cover any range of topics imaginable. Oftentimes, bloggers write from a personal perspective or professional line of thoughts. A blog involves you interacting with your readers, hence the presence of a comment section in a blog.
The comment section in every blog is an avenue to build a deeper connection with your readers. Your readers can express their thoughts and views on the content of your blog post.
Starting a blog is not limited to professional writers only. Almost anyone can start a blog in Nigeria. You don’t have to be a professional in the subject of your blog.
A blog is a written version or format of a conversation, therefore the tone is colloquial and friendly. For example,you don’t have to be a professional chef to start a food blog, the beauty of a blog post is that your readers can engage with all aspects of your personal experience or knowledge, including the flaws and mistakes.
All you need to start a blog is your passion and enthusiasm. In as much as you are writing about things you are really interested in, your passion will attract your readers and keep them interested.
A blog is also an easy way to launch your business. We will discuss further on the niche of your blog as we look into the steps to starting your blog.
How to start a profitable blog in Nigeria?
Create your blog with these steps
- Discover your niche
- Choose a domain name
- Pick a good blogging platform web hosting company
- Choose a WordPress theme
- Install WordPress plugins
- Set up google analytics
- Set up your email list
- Create your content and pick a writing pace
- Promote your blog
- Monetize your blog
STEP 1: Discover your niche
Your niche is the general topic or subject of your blog. Your niche serves as the template or blueprint for the content of your blog. The content of your blog is focused on whatever you choose as your niche.
Your niche determines what you will write about, the information you convey and even the tone of your blog.
There are four elements that can help you when settling for your general subject. First, what are you interested in? The nature of a blog allows for you to share your personal experience and view on any subject matter.
So carefully look at that aspect of life that peaks your interest. It could be travel & tours, food, sport, fashion, technology or what may be.
Secondly, what do you know best? Writing about your interest may not be enough, if you want to run a successful and profitable blog in Nigeria. Writing what you know will put you a step ahead of other bloggers in your line of subject.
A good quality blogpost is not achieved just by interest. Having knowledge of your niche will help you produce good content for your blog. Good content will ultimately help your readers solve a problem or make a decision.
Thirdly, what are others interested in? The subject of your blog should be what your readers can easily relate with. You also want to attract readers with your highly informative yet entertaining content.
Remember that your niche is like the foundation on which you build your entire blog.
Lastly, keyword planner can be used to generate new ideas for your niche. With Google keyword planner, you can enter in your broad topic that will generate other topic clusters that can help you pin down what you would have as your niche.
Get started by collating a list of 5-10 topics, then streamline these topics to your top interest and skills.
STEP 2: choose a domain name
A domain name is what your readers type into the address bar to locate you on the web. Your domain name is more than a tool for locating you, it is your online identity.
It is a feasible way for users to access your website online without having to deal with your website’s IP address.
Choosing the best domain name for your blog is one of the principal decisions you will make and also the most challenging. You must consider your brand as well as your visitors stand point when picking your domain name.
A good domain name doesn’t just help users easily locate you but also it tells a search engine what your blog is about. Therefore, it should be creative and indelible.
Here are necessary Tips to consider when choosing a domain name
Keep it short:
The length of your domain name should be kept short, precise and easy to remember. A general recommendation for the length of your domain name is 14-15 characters long.
With longer domain names, people are likely to fall into spelling or typo error ultimately resulting in loss of traffic to your blog.
Stick with dot com:
It is most advisable to use .com as your domain name extension. There are several new extensions available for use today, ranging from .net, .org, .co.za, .blog.
Though they may seem convenient and easy to use, .com still remains the most credible and easiest to remember.
Use keywords in your domain name search:
Having keywords in your domain name helps your blog rank higher in search engine result pages. You also must remember to keep it short, so one keyword is all you need in your domain name.
Get creative by using words that best describe what your blog is about. This could be an obscure phrase or an existing word. Keywords are a bonus for search engine optimization.
Make it easy to spell and pronounce:
You want to be able to share your domain name verbally as well as in writing. Also if you want to use your domain name to create your professional email address, then it should be easy to pronounce and spell.
Make it unique and brandable:
Own your blog name. Your domain name should be exclusive to you, this makes your blog stand out in the midst of other blogs in your niche. You can run research to discover the domain names that are already in use.
Avoid hyphens in your domain name:
Hyphens are known to be indicators for spam. Domain names that contain hyphens are also prone to typo errors, leading to the loss of readers.
Leave room to expand:
Use a domain name that is related to your industry or niche. This is why it is usually not advisable to use your personal name as your domain name. Using personal names reduces your chances of generating cash. It also makes it difficult to expand your blog beyond your personal identity.
Research your domain name:
Research here is important because the best domain names are already taken. A Trademark search or Google search can help you check if the domain name you want to use is already existing or there is one similar to it.
Use domain name generators:
If after you find out that your intended domain name has already been taken, don’t be perturbed. Domain name generators can help you generate a new domain name or give inspiration to what you could use as your domain name.
Use a domain registrar:
A domain name registrar is a company that handles the reservation of domain names as well as IP address for those domain names. They allow you to purchase and register domain names.
There are several domain registrars, and you might be a bit confused when trying to choose the company to use. When choosing a company, consider their pricing and registration period, domain transfers, domain expiration policies and Add-on services.
Domain.com, Bluehost, Hostgator, GoDaddy, Wix are examples of top domain registrars that come highly recommended.
STEP 3: Pick a good blogging platform and web hosting company
The next step in starting your blog is to create an online presence. You need two things to get your website online, a web host and blogging platform. Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the internet.
A web host provides server space for your website and makes it accessible to people when they type in your URL on the internet.
A blogging platform is a software or broadcast communication service used to manage and enable authors to publish opinions, articles and posts delivered through social networks.
Choosing a blogging platform can be a tough choice to make because of the various platforms available.
What a beginner should do!
As a beginner, you want a blogging platform that is easy to navigate around and does not require any coding skills.
Choose a platform that is flexible, a platform that leaves space for growth and alteration in the long run. Here is a list of blogging platforms you can choose from
This is the world most popular and most recommended blogging platform. It outperforms all the other platforms because of its flexibility. It allows you to grow your blog as well as additional features such as forums, online stores and paid membership.
It also provides thousands of free themes that can help you create an alluring website, as well as access to a lot of free plugins.
WordPress is a very flexible platform for any beginner to use. With WordPress, the best web host that goes seamlessly well is Bluehost. We run our blog using WordPress, which makes it our top recommendation for anyone wanting to start a blog.
We have a whole guide to put you through WordPress on our blog, WordPress design guide.
Gator is a website builder and blogging platform created by HostGator. Gator builders should not be mistaken with HostGator web host. The HostGator is a web host service provider and can be used to also run the WordPress blog.
Like Wix, gator offers the drag and drop tool that can be used to customize your blog and website design. It provides an all-in-one blog platform and hosting solution.
It also provides a free domain and SSL certificate along with backups, performance and security handled by HostGator. Gator unlike others doesn’t have a free plan, but why have a 45-day money-back guarantee. They also have a limited number of apps and extensions.
Like most blogging platforms, Wix is a platform where anyone can build a website without coding knowledge. With Wix, you can use several templates and third-party apps to customize your site.
You can also build your site with the drag and drop editor. The Wix blog manager comes with analytics and SEO. it also allows you to add basic features such as social tools, likes, comments, subscriber forms and hashtags.
Wix blogs have an automatic email subscription feature and a social media bar beneath each article for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and more. The downside is that the free account is limited and a subscription fee is needed to access all the benefits. Also, you will be limited to using only Wix’s themes and tools.
Now you’ve decided on the platform to build your blog, here are the top web hosting providers that can host your site
Bluehost is one of the oldest and best choices for web hosting. When it comes to WordPress hosting, Bluehost is the official recommended brand. They offer great hosting with amazing prices.
They are known for their exemplary customer support service with their 24/7 support by phone and live chat. Bluehost offers analytics and SEO tools to better optimize your site and track the performance of your site in keyword ranking.
With Bluehost, you have no worries with regards to the speed of your website even when there is a lot of traffic.
They are rated No 1. In web hosting for small businesses. They also allow for expansion of your site in the long run.
Blue host covers all you need from a web host which makes them the most preferred.
Hostgator is another popular web host in the industry with over 8 million domains. It is cheap and easy to use with a 1-click WordPress installation, 24/7 live chat support and 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Hostgator offers windows hosting in addition to Linux, as well as several options to upgrade including cloud hosting, VPS hosting, managed WordPress and a dedicated server.
Dreamhost is another one of WordPress’s recommended web hosts, they host over 600,000 thousand WordPress sites and blogs.
Dreamhost offers a custom control panel to manage your website, 1-click WordPress install automatic WordPress updates, unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth and free SSDs that makes your site run faster.
Dreamhost comes with free domain, low-cost upgrades to VPS and cloud hosting.
They have one of the lowest hosting prices alongside their amazing plans for nonprofits: one free Unlimited shared hosting plan (which includes unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited sites, and email hosting) for 501(c)(3) organizations, plus a 35% discount on the souped-up DreamPress-managed WordPress hosting.
WP Engine is also one of the best known wordpress hosts and highly recommended for pro users. They offer excellent products but at a more expensive price.
With WP Engine, your site runs fast regardless of traffic, maintenance tasks are automatically taken care of and there is almost no website hiccup. Customer service is a 24/7 live chat with highly competent support staff.
STEP 4: Choose a wordpress theme
Now that we have covered the crucial and technical steps to starting your blog, let’s discuss the look, style and layout of your website. Your theme covers color scheme, layout, style elements.
Your theme has a direct influence on how your readers interact with your website. There are thousands of wordpress themes you can use for your design and layout.
With wordpress, you can change the entire look of your blog with a few clicks, while leaving your content intact.
All you need to do is login to your wordpress administrator area and click on the appearance tab on the menu at the left side. Appearance > Themes > Add New Theme > Popular.
There are several options to choose from and they come highly recommended. If none of the themes appeal to your desired design for your blog, you can use the add new theme option on the appearance tab by purchasing a theme.
You’ll have to upload the theme files to WordPress and activate the theme from within WordPress.
Here are a list of favorite wordpress themes according to Quicksprout:
- Vixen Blog
STEP 5: Install wordpress plugins
WordPress plugins are software containing a group of functions, features and extensions that can be added to your website.
They let you track your website performance, optimize images and so on. As important as plugins are to your blog, you don’t want to go overboard with it.
Plugins are amazing in themselves but when you have too many of them they become a problem for each other and ultimately your blog.
There are over 57000 WordPress plugins, we will help you pin them down to the ones that will be beneficial to your blog.
This is the most highly recommended SEO plugin. It offers the most comprehensive solution that you need to improve your on-page SEO.
It helps you add meta tags, generate sitemaps, connect your site to Google Search Console, optimize it for social media, and more.
This is a user contact form plugin for wordpress. It helps your readers easily be in touch with you. This form allows you to easily drag & drop email subscription forms, online order forms, contact forms and all types of online forms for your blog.
This plugin helps you manage your comment section. The comment section of your blog can be a bit overwhelming with tons of comments from your readers. You can use akismet to reduce spam on your website.
With Constant Contact, you can create effective email marketing and other online marketing campaigns to meet your business goals. Email marketing is the most effective form of marketing.you can build an email list and send beautiful email newsletters to your subscribers.
MemberPress will help you confidently create, manage and track membership subscriptions and sell digital download products.
In addition to these features, MemberPress will allow you to manage your members by granting and revoking their access to posts, pages, videos, categories, tags, feeds, communities, digital files, and more based on what memberships they belong to.
UpdraftPlus is the most popular WordPress backup plugin on the market. It allows you to set up automatic backups and safely store them on a remote location like Google Drive, Dropbox, S3, Rackspace, FTP, email, and more.
STEP 6: Set up google analytics
Google analytics is one of the most popular digital analytics software. It brings you into a comprehensive knowledge of visitors on your website.
Google analytics reveals the amount of people that visit your site along with their demographic information, it also shows you which blog post and pages receive the most visits. You can install google analytics with five easy steps:
Step 1: log in to google analytics
Step 2: create your google analytics account
Step 3: choose what you want to measure
Step 4: fill in property details
Step 5: copy and paste tracking code unto your site
You can also refer to google help centre.
STEP 7: Set up your email list
If you will be making money from your blog, then you need a good email strategy. Building an email list helps with leads generation for your blog.
80% of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention. (Emarsys, 2018). Email lists so far have been recorded as the best content marketing tool. Here are methods to setting up your email list:
Choose an email marketing service:
Email software makes it easy for you to collect, manage, and contact your subscribers since you won’t be sending out individual mails. They also keep you informed on things like Open rates, bounce rates, spam rates, CTR and unsubscribes.
Create an opt-in form:
have landing pages for email subscribers. This could either be on your home page or on your blog posts. You can also use a sticky bar instead of the opt-in form. A sticky bar remains in place no matter where your readers scroll to on your blog. It is an inconspicuous way to collect email addresses.
Add an incentive:
Give your readers a reason to subscribe. Not everyone will be willing to opt-in to your subscription list. You should be able to entice them with something, it could be an e-book.
STEP 8: Create your content and Pick a writing pace
Now we have covered all the technicalities with starting your blog. The next step is to go straight into blogging. That is creating content and having a writing frequency that helps to grow and keep your audience.
You already know what your niche is and who your target audience are, so creating proper content shouldn’t be such a hassle. You want to create content that is unique enough to grab your reader’s attention, because your niche is not new to your readers.
There are about 70 million posts being published each month by WordPress users. How do you then attract your readers? First, compose attractive headlines for each of your blog posts.
Your topic is the first point of interaction between your blog post and your readers. Second, it is not just enough to attract your readers with your topic.
Further grab their attention with your introduction. In addition, share meaningful advice, include subheading and bullet points for easy survey. Also add a call to action. Lastly, it is advisable to post at least once every week and post meaningful content. This shows how serious you are.
STEP 9: Promote your blog
At this point you want to push yourself out there. You must put deliberate effort into promoting your blog. Here are ways to promote your blog:
- By word of mouth: this is by far the most underestimated means of promoting your blog. Nevertheless, informing your friends, family, colleagues and even neighbours is a first step to create awareness. You can encourage them to read your post, share, like and comment.
- Use social media: yes, the most preferred and most used. Almost everyone has a social media account, you can virtually find people that are interested in your topic. Make sure you are socially present, that is you have an account on most if not all the social media platforms, then post links to your blogpost.
- Comment on other blogs: leave useful and engaging comments on blogs around your community. You can do an introduction on yourself and also leave links to your blog. But note that you must not abuse this method by leaving just any kind of comment. You comment should be relatable with the blog, don’t just drop your link and leave.
- Engage your readers: dont ignore comments that your readers make on your blog. Respond to them, let them feel a sense of connection with you as a blogger.
Action: Grow your audience
STEP 10: Monetize your blog
There are several ways you can make money from your blog, but we will list out four of them. They are:
1. Online courses:
You have the skills, knowledge and experience that people need and are ready to pay for. All you have to do is package these ideas into online courses. They can run for as long as you want.
Create a curriculum and cover it all. Online courses are now easily accepted in the Nigerian society. People are now willing to pay for something tangible.
E-books are a great way to generate revenue on your blog. Your readers want to leave your site with something or some may not be able to read your blogpost at a go. E-book is a good way to solve the issue.
Convert your blogspot into a well designed ebook and place a price on it.
You are likely to make more money as a beginner through freelancing than any other method. You could be a freelance writer, designer, marketing or any other service along your skillset.
Let your blog serve as a strong pitch to land a freelance client. Once you can land your first client, then you are on the journey to success.
4. Affiliate marketing:
This is recommending products and services of other companies that are helpful to your audience in exchange for commission. You receive commissions based on every product your audience purchases from your site.
Are you ready to take up the challenge of starting your blog?
You want to share your thoughts and opinions with the world as well as educate and make profit. Starting your blog the right way, using the right tools is the first step towards your achieving your goal. We are ready to guide you through each of the listed steps.