So the question on your mind is How To Start A Profitable Blog in Nigeria? I presume you want to start and grow your blog into a business and start making money right away, right? It sounds quite easy and candidly it is; but in the easiness lies the problem! Starting a blog can be too easy. As a matter of fact, there is the easy way to blog and there’s the right way.
Taking a survey of millions of existing blogs online right now, only a few are actually making money. Reason being, they felt the way to blog is to install any blogging platform or WordPress and that’s it. They start carrying the “blogger” title. I guess that is your notion too….
Sorry to disappoint you. Starting a blog goes way more than platform or theme installation. There are several important but simple steps you MUST go through and complete when setting up your blog.
In this article, I am going to take you through these steps as simply as possible.
If you are a business owner or professional, starting a blog can have remarkable impact on your success online. Blogging helps you drive traffic, communicate and deliver your business’ message, you can sell affiliate products or your own product. All these require you doing it the right way.
According to Wikipedia, A blog (a truncation of the expression “weblog”) is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (“posts”). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page.
My own definition of a blog: it’s a frequently updated online personal diary or journal. It is a place to express yourself to the world, share your passions and your thoughts. To be frank, it’s anything you want it to be.
NOTE: This is a pretty long post. You can make use of the table of contents to jump to specific sections. I have also prepared and included a downloadable PDF version of the post for your personal usage.
Now let’s move on to how to start a profitable blog in Nigeria…
How to Start a Profitable Blog in Nigeria: The Ultimate Step by Step Guide
I have broken the whole process of starting a blog into 13 simple steps. Just follow this step by step guide and you will have your blog up and running right about now. With this guide, you can’t go wrong.
Pick A Niche
Why Do I Want To Blog: Let’s consider your purpose for starting a blog. What is your “Why”? A clear view of your ‘Why” will help you keep focus, remain motivated and ultimately influence your blogging plans.
For instance, the idea of STBI was birthed from the passion to help people harness the Internet to the maximum financially. So you need to know ‘Why’ you are blogging.
What Do I Want to Blog About: Similar to knowing your “Why” for starting a blog, you must equally know “What” you want to blog about. I get asked this question in virtually every seminar or training I anchor… “What Should I Blog About?” I find it difficult to give a clear-cut answer to this question because the “what” list is limitless.
However, this is the answer I usually give when it comes to discovering what you should blog about:
Identify Your Area of Interest (AOI)
I would say the best way to go in determining what to blog about is; what I call Area of Interest (AOI). The process of identifying your Area Of Interest is not hard, if you want to start a blog for your business, then you AOI should wrap around your business products/service or the cause you promote.
As an individual, you have more flexibility on topics to choose from. But the important pointers should be:
- Blog about something you love or enjoy doing. If you start a blog on a topic you don’t care or care less about, blogging successfully on such topics would be stressful, frustrating and unfruitful. And please tell me why readers would be interested if you as the blogger is not?
- Blog about something with plenty of room for conversation. Blogging requires a lot of content to remain interesting and successful. Since you’ll be doing this for a while and for profit, make sure you have plenty to talk about.
- Choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority. There is every possibility you may not be the first person to blog about the topic, but don’t worry, as long as you have the drive to make your blog better, you will succeed. For example this particular content is not the first article written on how to start a blog, but I sure did my best to make it better than what is already out there.
After figuring out your AOI, now very quickly, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I ready to learn new things?
- Can I write about my topic without getting bored?
- Can I write for 6 months without worrying about income from my blog?
- Do I have enough knowledge about my topic?
- Do I have enough passion about my topic?
- Is there any audience for my topic?
- Where do I see myself 5 years from now?
- Will my blog's tone be powerful enough to captivate my audience?
The above steps will help you get started the right way and give you results without delay.
Let me also point out that you don't have to be an expert. All you need do is, do your thing. Talk about your passion, be engaging and build your blog into a profitable business.
As stated above, you can start a blog about anything and everything. Start a crocheting blog, parenting blog, product review blog and so on. While some blogs will become profitable via advertising or affiliate marketing, others will sell digital products (online courses, ebooks) or physical products.
The long and short of the whole story is, it MUST be something you want and what you enjoy doing even when the chips are down.
Passion and consistency are major ingredients
to having a successful blog.
Idea Validation: Will My Idea Fly?
Determining if a blog idea is worth the stress can be difficult. As much as being passionate is a recipe to a successful and profitable blog, you need other people who are equally passionate in the niche.
What I recommend based on what works for me in this area is creating a Facebook page. I usually create a Facebook page along my blog to determine if my idea has enough people interested in it.
Using the Facebook Audience Insight tool, I can gauge the interest level and estimate the number of people in that niche. Other tools at your disposal include Google Keyword Planner, SemRush, KWFinder, Ahref, KeywordKeg and more.
These tools will give insight into your niche’s popularity, income possibilities and so on. Just make use of the data to your advantage.
Build A Better Blog: How To Start A Blog That Yields 5 – 6 Figures Monthly
Let me give you a heads up: While validating your blog idea, you will find a lot of other existing and established blogs or businesses, Don’t Relent. Competition in any niche is a sign of passion and interest by people and ultimately, such niche holds a lot of potential for you to make a lot of money.
To round this section up, choosing and validating a niche/blog idea you are passionate about is a key factor to starting a successful and profitable blog.
How to Start a Profitable Blog in Nigeria – The Process
Select Domain Name – How To Select A Domain Name
A domain name is always unique, it’s what people type into their web browser to get to your website. A domain name is the name of your website/blog. For example Google.com, Yahoo.com, SmallTipsBigIncome.com, WikiPedia.com are all domain names.
You should ensure that the domain name you choose is related to what your blog centers on. It should fit the brand you intend creating. Give your brand uniqueness by choosing a name that be easily remembered.
When it comes to domain registration, there are several extensions to pick from; .com, .org, .net, .info, .io and so on. I always advise you go for a dot com domain. If this is not available, look for .net or .org. Just choose something you believe your audience can easily relate with.
To buy your domain name, there are several domain registrars you can choose from. The popular and trustworthy ones include, Namecheap, Qservers etc. I have been using Namecheap for almost 10years, so I can vouch for them.
However, you are free to use any registrar of your choice. Just ensure they can be trusted before pitching your tent with them.
The Secret Power of Expired Domains
Aside from purchasing a fresh domain name, you can go with expired domains.
Expired domains are domains that have been registered by individuals, businesses but are not renewed after expiration or were deliberately terminated. This makes them available for re-registration.
Expired or aged domains are attractive due to the SEO factors associated with existing backlink profile, Domain Authority and Page Authority. All these factors play a huge part in Google ranking.
Re-registering an expired domain will help jump start your new blog. If you can get one that matches your brand, has good authority and without any encumbrances (Google penalties); your site and blog posts will be indexed by Google and rank higher more quickly.
Google being a bit of an ageist in terms of ranking websites or blogs. They consider any blog newly launched (less than 6 months) as new. Due to this policy, such new sites will enjoy traffic in trickles until after 6 months before they start to see better traffic coming in. So, securing an expired or aged domain will help you beat the Google Sandbox.
Where To Find Expired/Aged Domains
I use them regularly each time I want to launch a new blog. Finding expired domains on this site is easy and you will surely get quality expired domains. After choosing an expired/aged domain that matches your brand or niche, you need to ensure that such domain doesn’t have issues with Google (blacklist etc).
Finally on this note, your domain name cannot be changed, so choosing the right one is important. Also, do not waste too much time looking for a domain name. Simply follow the steps above and you should be fine.
Now that you’ve selected your domain name, the next question is where are you going to save your website data/files online? This is where web hosting comes in.
A hosting server is simply an online server where you to store your blog data/files.
Choosing the right web hosting company for your blog is something you can’t take with levity. It is a critical element of your online business because your website data is your blog. The importance of this aspect to your blogging or business success cannot be over-emphasized. Pick the wrong hosting and you and your business face the consequence.
Choosing A Good Web Host
The question is what makes a good web hosting provider? A good web host is one that helps you focus more on building and running your blog by offering you best of services.
A bad web host is one that will bring you ceaseless problems on a regular basis. Issues such as server crash, data/file loss, no backups, security breaches etc) are signals of a bad web host. In essence, if you spend more time battling hosting issues rather than focusing on building your business that is definitely a bad web host.
Things to consider before Choosing a Web Host
Reliability: You cannot afford your website to be down for any period of time. Every time your blog is down, traffic and number of visitors to your blog also drops. Losing visitors is equal to audience, reputation and ultimately losing. Checking customer reviews will help determine if the web host is one you can go with. You can also do a search on Google using “web host name + reviews”.
Speed: We all like to lay hold of what we want right about now, in fact, if possible as early as yesterday. Ensure your web host is lightning fast. If your website is draggy or takes forever to load, visitors will be turned off and be left with no option than to look elsewhere. In addition, ensure you optimize your blog for speed.
Space: Get the right space that will accommodate all you want to do with your blog. Look out for web host that offers unlimited space.
Substantial Bandwidth: Bandwidth helps you accommodate traffic as it comes. Go for web host that allows you increase your website bandwidth as the need arises. You don’t want to be choked!
Support: Walking into a restaurant without a waiter or waitress to take your order could be frustrating. In this pursuit, you will need to access support at one point or another. Your web host should be readily available to promptly help when you call. Look out for support hours, phone numbers etc.
Technology and Features: Make sure your web host have all the options you’ll need. Look out for features such as number of emails, database, sub-domains allowed, available scripting language and the platform; Unix or Windows.
Pricing and Payment Plans: Stay clear of web host that entice you with low entry price in exchange for extra features that are required for the smooth running of your website. As much as you are trying to cut your expenses, don’t compromise quality.
My recommended web hosting companies include; Namecheap, Bluehost, Siteground, Dreamhost. These web host comes with different software such as WordPress and offers a One-Click Installation. In Nigeria – Qservers, Whogohost.
Get a Free SSL Certificate
When setting up your hosting account, ensure SSL Certificate is part of what you setup for enhanced security. The hosting companies I recommended come with free SSL options. Maximize it.
However, Let’s Encrypt offers a free SSL Certificate in case your web host doesn’t offer a free one. You can make use of this option via your cPanel.
Note: Starting a blog on platforms you don’t own and have 100% control is not the way to go. For example; On WordPress.com platform; you get an address like this: name.WordPress.com. Using a free hosting doesn’t portray you as someone ready for serious business. Don’t even think about it.
A self-hosted website and custom domain name is like www.SmallTipsBigIncome.com, is the best track to follow for optimal results.
Install Your Blog
Beginners are more likely to make lots of mistake when starting out, one of such mistake is choosing the wrong blogging platform. Thankfully you’re here, so you won’t be making that mistake.
There are many blogging platforms out there, and people have different opinions about each of them. Some of the available platforms include; WordPress, Blogger, Medium etc.
From here, our recommendation is WordPress.
WordPress is one of the top Content Management Systems (CMS) in the world powering over 32.3% of all websites on the internet. It started as a blogging tool, and has evolved over the years into a powerful, robust website builder and content management system (CMS).
From experience, WordPress is the best blogging platform for building a blog. You can also build robust websites such as membership sites, business websites, photo galleries, online stores, listing/directory sites and so on. With WordPress, you are your own limitation.
Why We Recommend WordPress
- It is free
- User friendly
- Flexibility/Extensibility (plugins & themes)
- You have Absolute Control (own domain)
- Available Technical Support
- SEO friendly
To start using WordPress for blogging, you need to install it on your server. There are different ways to install WordPress. Some web host offer a One-Click Installation. The One-Click Installation feature makes installing WordPress extremely easy. Just follow the on-screen instructions and your blog will be live within minutes effortlessly.
If your web host doesn’t offer this feature, you will need to install WordPress manually. The manual process requires you setting up a database and install WordPress via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The manual process could be a bit technical if you are new to the world of WordPress, Server, FTP etc.
However, I have put together a comprehensive course titled 7 Steps to start your own Blog. This course is FREE. This course shows you how to setup your blog in less than an hour by following a simple step by step process. Just signup, login and take your course.
Setup your Blog
After installing WordPress using any of the methods stated above, you need to familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard environment. This will help you set some basic settings required for a successful blogging pursuit.
Watch WordPress Dashboard Overview Video Here
Let’s start our blog setup by configuring some basic settings
The first thing I recommend doing after successfully installing your WordPress blog is to set your permalinks. Permalinks is the link structure for your blog posts and pages. Setting it up correctly will make your site links SEO friendly.
To set your permalinks, login to your WordPress dashboard (www.yoursite.com/wp-admin)
From the Admin sidebar menu, go to Settings > Permalinks and choose “Post name”. Click on Save Changes after you are done. See image below
The general settings is another vital setting you need to fix. Under this section, you’ll see your site name (Site Title and Tagline), your URL preferences and time zones.
Whatever settings you apply here is left to you. For me, I advise you allow visitors access your website by typing “www”.
To achieve this, just type “www” in the site URL and WordPress address box. See image below.
If your website require user registration, you can set this up by checking the box beside “Anyone Can Register”
To access General Settings; go to Settings > General as shown below
Posts & Categories Setting
As far your blogging pursuit is concerned, this tab is very important. The Post tab allow you write, edit and publish your blog posts. Categories helps you to segment your posts into different sections thereby making it easier for visitors to browse. To do this, go to Posts > Add New.
I advise to you to change the name of the default category “Uncategorized” to something different. More categories can be added as you grow your content base.
It is advised you setup some basic pages for your blog. These pages will help you establish credibility with Google, Social Media platforms and your blog visitors.
Some of the essential pages I recommend you set up include:
About: This page is meant to tell your blog visitors a bit about yourself and what you blog about.
Contact: Having this page is a signal that you can be reached. It also creates a communication means between you and your blog readers. In the sight of Google, this page is a must have before you can get access to some of their services.
Affiliate Disclaimer: This page is required if you will be promoting affiliate offers on your blog.
Install a Theme
Having gone through the rudiments of installing and setting up your blog, it is time to add some beauty to your blog.
The default WordPress site is not that appealing. You need to tweak some things to make it look appealing to visitors.
The outlook of your blog is determined by the theme you choose and how well you can customize it to your taste. The customizing process can be a bit technical but not undoable.
The good things about WordPress themes is that they offer different customization options you can leverage on. There are countless WordPress theme online; Free & Paid.
To add a new theme, go to Appearance > Theme > Add New
The theme you choose should represent your brand in terms of color scheme, logo etc. Also, when choosing your theme, don’t go way over board. Just choose something simple, plain and concentrate more on generating quality content. Your theme of choice should be one you can easily tweak when the need arises.
Another key factor you must take into consideration when choosing your theme is mobile responsiveness. The theme must be mobile compatible, i.e. viewable on all mobile devices; tablets, mobile phones.
Like I said earlier, there are Free and Paid themes. If you go with Free themes, you shouldn’t expect anything too spectacular. But you can still get some decent ones. Just check http://wordpress.org or JustFreeThemes
Personally, I go with Paid themes. I get good looking themes, varieties, customization options, upgrade, support etc. I recommend you go this route, it will surely give your site a lovely interface.
Having worked with a lot of themes, I highly recommend the following;
You can research further by checking Themeforest
Other Customization: Site Logo & Favicon
Having a professional logo is a vital part of branding yourself. Create a logo for your site. If you are convenient using any graphic design software, go ahead and do it yourself, if not, outsource it. Go with something simple but appealing and presentable.
Creating a favicon for your site is another way to brand your site. Favicon is that tiny icon shown in your browser beside your site title. This might seem insignificant but it does go a long way to enhance your brand.
You can create one online using https://favicon.io.
Earlier we talked about some basic setting we need to edit to our taste after setting up our WordPress site. The reading setting is another important tab to consider. I delayed it till now because you’ll understand it better after installing your theme.
After installing your theme, go to Settings > Reading
The Reading settings enables you to customize what visitors to your site gets to see first (landing page). By default, WordPress will display existing blog posts but you can override this using the reading setting.
So, if you want to display a customized page first on landing on your site, choose the Static Page option and select the page you would like to use as the home page and blog respectively. On the other hand you can leave it the default Your latest posts. This will display your blog posts chronologically.
These options vary from one theme to another. So you need to know the features available for the theme you have bought.
Add Functionalities: Install plugins
WordPress robust feature is in the plugins. How functional, techy and powerful your site would be depends on the plugins you install. Plugins allow you to add extra or more functionalities to your blog. Just like the WordPress themes, WordPress plugins are available in their thousands as Free or Paid.
To install a new plugin on your blog, go to Plugins > Add New (shown below). They can be added via the upload function (usually for paid or downloaded plugins) or you can add them directly using the WordPress plugin repository (Free).
Care must be taken when installing plugins on your blog. When plugins are much, they can impede the speed of your site. If not updated or gotten from the right source, they can be a gateway for hackers. Install only from verified developers.
To kick start your blog, there are some plugins that are essential for the smooth running of your blog.
Essential WordPress plugins for your blog
Akismet – This plugin helps prevent SPAM comments. It is one of the best Anti-SPAM tool. You don’t want to wake up to see your comment section filled with all sort of spam messages. This can adversely affect your blog ranking and credibility. To make use of it, you will need to open a free WordPress.com account and pick the free plan.
Yoast SEO – The duty of this fabulous plugin is to help optimize your blog/posts for SEO. This is a vital plugin to have running on your blog. One of the aim of most bloggers is to see their blog rank 1st or appear on the first page of Google when people search for their keyword. With the Yoast SEO plugin, this dream can be achieved.
I will do a detailed post on this soon.
WP Optimize – This amazing plugin helps keep your blog running smoothly. It rids your database of junks.
The Plugins above are essential, but there are a few plugins I highly recommend for all of your WordPress Installs as well. These plugins will help take your sites to the next level.
Recommended WordPress plugins
Wordfence Security – Security is a very crucial aspect you can’t take with levity. WordPress is very prone to attacks due to its wide usage. To secure your site from malware, hackers, use Wordfence. Wordfence is one of the most popular and versatile security plugin for WordPress. It has both free and paid version. With the free version, you get a decent range of security features with the paid version offering more advanced features.
UpdraftPlus: When it comes to backing up my website automatically, I turn to UpdraftPlus. This plugin ensures your blog is backed up to the cloud (e.g DropBox, Google Drive). You can easily restore your site in case anything goes wrong. As a blogger, you don’t want to joke with having a backup for all your efforts.
Another fabulous WordPress backup plugin is Backup Buddy.
W3 Total Cache: No matter how beautiful, resourceful your blog is, if the load speed is slow, you will lose traffic and money. Increase you site speed with W3 Total Cache. The plugin uses advanced caching to load your site. It is relatively easy to setup and use.
Paid option: WP Rocket.
Sumo Me: Immediately you launch your blog, you should start building a list of loyal followers you can market to continuously. The best way to do this is by adding an optin form on your blog and start collecting their email address. With Sumo Me (free version), you can easily build and grow your email list.
Shared Counts: One vital element your blog post needs is the ability to share it on all social media platform. Readers who find your content valuable must be given the option to spread it to others. Shared Counts is a simple plugin that does the job for you.
Alternative: Social Snap
Be Visible – WordPress SEO
Ensuring that your blog and posts are optimized for search engine is crucial. This will enable people find your posts via search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.
Installing plugins such as Yoast SEO is not enough to guarantee top ranking on search engines. There are some other processes within and outside the plugin to follow for effective result.
Activities such as On-page optimization, Off-page optimization and so on are required for securing top ranking on search engines.
Know What Works – Setup Google Analytics
Having a tool to measure progress made as far as your blogging is concerned is paramount. You want to be able to measure traffic, post reach, traffic sources, audience insight and so on.
The only way to know what is working and what is not is by tracking and analytics. The key to success is to understand what you are doing right, improve on it; or change tactics. Actions such as email marketing/campaigns, social media ads need to tracked and analyzed.
To do this effectively, you need analytic and tracking tool. This is where Google Analytics come in. As a matter of fact, as soon as you finish setting up your blog, ensure your Google Analytics is in place.
WordPress integrates nicely with Google Analytics via Google Analytics Plugin by MonsterInsights. It is simple to get started even if you don’t have prior knowledge.
Be Social: Setup Social Media Accounts
We are in the era of social media and you can’t afford to be left behind especially if you want to be a successful blogger.
The impact of social media platforms to the growth of your business is immense. Aside from the socializing function, they are an incredible communication channel between you and your audience. It also helps in promoting your brand.
Don’t waste any time, open your browser, and create social media accounts specifically for your blogging business. You can start by creating a Facebook Page, and open a Twitter account.
The next thing after creating these accounts is to link them with your blog. With your blog and social media accounts linked, you can start building traffic to your site via these social platforms. Write engaging content, build relationship with your audience and encourage them to join your mailing list for continued relationship.
Build Loyal Followers Via Email Marketing
One of the core aspect of running a successful blog is having a solid system in place for collecting email subscribers. If you are going to succeed in any online business, you MUST have a solid means of building an email list of followers.
Having a mailing list is essential for marketing and re-marketing purposes for products/services on your blog.
There are several WordPress plugins that helps you with this. Earlier, I recommended SumoMe with other alternatives. When choosing an email optin plugin, make sure there are different means through which you can collect subscribers emails. It could be via popups, slide-ins, sticky bar and so on.
Couple with any email optin plugins, you will also need the services of an email marketing company. You can use the services of these companies to collect, store and send messages to your subscribers.
Though we have quite a lot these services, my recommendation is Aweber. Aweber is one of the topmost leaders in this industry with excellent services. It is good for beginners as you stand to enjoy one month free access. You can also try GetResponse and Mailchimp.
Develop Content Marketing Strategy
This is where the main business starts…. Content creation.
The process of creating quality content doesn’t need to be cumbersome or burdensome. All you need is a plan you can strictly adhere to.
From my interactions with people who wants to start a blog, a lot of them believe that you must post every day. This is not correct. You don’t have to post every day. Your major concern should be producing quality and valuable content.
Start by creating a plan for the type of content you want to create and when you want to post. This is your decision depending on your convenience but you must release content at times with utmost effectiveness. Using an editorial calendar will help you keep a regular posting schedule.
This cuts across all your marketing platforms; social media and email marketing. Don’t just post for the sake of it. Follow a plan. As you progress, you’ll get to understand the best times to post, what to post etc.
Your content and marketing strategy is peculiar to your niche. These strategies varies from one niche to another. Find what works for you, create quality content for your audience and success is guaranteed.
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Launch Your Blog
The wait is over, it’s time to launch!
The importance of following right steps when starting a blog cannot be over emphasized. If you miss any, there will be repercussions.
It’s been a lot of work so far but it’s worth it.
You can officially launch your blog. Start telling people about it. Post it on your social media platforms, tell your friends to tell their friends and so on.
Congratulations on starting a new blog!
So, that is it on How To Start A Profitable Blog in Nigeria.
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Here is the PDF version of this post; you can always refer to this guide as you proceed.
Less, I forget, keep promoting your blog….Promote, Promote & Promote
Have any question not answered in this post? Feel free to drop your comment below.