A blog is simply a website regularly updated with new content, and the content frequently written in an informal or conversational style. The content of blog are usually in reverse chronological order (newer content appear first) and aim to attract readers, build community or grow a business.
By this definition, all blogs are websites — but not all websites are blogs.
While websites are more static and don’t usually change with regularity, blogs are updated and changed on a regular basis with new and relevant content.
I have been in blogging business for the past 13 years. So, whatever you’re reading on this page is a combination of my wealth of experience in blogging and working online.
In those early days, blogging is seen as a hobby rather than as a business. The interest wasn’t in making money online. People create blogs as an online personal diary where they share their personal profile, pictures, thoughts or ideas with friends and fans. But, things have really changed.
Blogging is now a lucrative business and means to make money online. Professional bloggers on monthly basis make millions of dollars blogging. You can join the trend.
To learn how to start a blog in Nigeria and make money, just follow the below steps:
Steps to Start a Blog in Nigeria
Choose a Blog Niche
The first step to start a blog is to choose a niche. Blog niche are topics you’ll write on or create content about on your blog. It is simple what you want to blog about.
Your blog can get a better ranking on search engines and you can be seen as an authority in your chosen industry if choose a related topics as your niche.
Choosing a blog niche can be very difficult at times. But, if you’re looking to make substantial income online from your blog, you have to keep your PASSION aside and think of topics you can monetize easily. I will talk more about this on the ways to make money from your blog.
Most Nigerians enjoys visiting and reading news and entertainment blog. So, you can start with the niche. You can also discover more profitable blog niche ideas by:
- Checking out threading topics on forums like nairaland
- Reading other blogs’ comments and checking out readers’ questions
- Joining different social media network like Facebook group, Twitter, Whatsapp group and many more where users’ comments.
Decide on how to run your blog
Once you choose a blog niche, the next step is to decide on how to run your blog. Will you be writing your blog content yourself or will you hire content writers?
Content writers are freelancers whose job is to write blog posts. If you’re going to hire content writers, how much do you budget to pay per article or per month? On other the hand, if you’re going to write your blog content yourself, to what extent are you grounded in your niche?
Again, how long are you willing to work online? These and many more questions you need to answer that will help you run your blog successfully.
Most professional bloggers spend minimum of 3 – 4 hours per day working online but as a newbie, you’re going to be spending more than that. You have to adopt an effective and efficient method for using limited resources – capital, writers and time to run your blog.
Set up your blog
Setting up your blog yourself may sound scary if you’re not tech savvy.
In other not to mess things up, you can hire an expert web developer to set up your blog for you. You can equally hire us to set up your blog for you for little token.
But if you’re smart enough, you can follow these steps blow:
Choose and Register a domain name
When you’re setting up a blog from scratch, you need a domain name. Your domain name is your blog’s name. It is your online identity and the web address of your blog. For example, this site domain name is naijaonlinebiz.com.
When choosing a domain name for your blog, you should take these tips into consideration.
- Choose a short domain name that ends in .com:
This kind of domain name is easy to remember. Examples are business.com, paints.com, cars.com. Domain names like yourname.cos, seppextime.xyz, etc. are not popular or easy to remember.
- Use a keyword that represents what your blog is about:
This helps people identify your blog’s niche quickly and also helps search engines distinguish what your blog is about. Examples are smallbusiness.com, automobileparts.com, onlinepayment.com and many more.
- Go for memorable or catchy domain name:
People should be able to memorize your blog’s name for repeat visits purposes. Examples of such domain names include flashshow.com, slashdown.com, xcrow.com and many more.
- Purchase a domain with Nigeria’s internet country code to rank high on search engines
If you want your blog to rank high on local searches, you have to purchase a domain with the internet country code top-level domain for Nigeria. The internet country code top-level domain for Nigeria is .ng. Examples of domain with internet country code top-level domain for Nigeria are www.legitbusinessideas.ng and samplebox.ng.
- For personal branding, use your name or a variant of it:
You can choose to use your real name as your domain name for the purpose of personal branding.
Take a paper and pen…. write down five names you think can serve as your domain name and head over to Siteground domain name search page to check if the domain name is available.
If you try the first name you wrote down and it’s unavailable, try the second, the third and so on. One of them must surely be available. Once you search and find out any of the names you wrote down that is available, proceed to register the name immediately.
The cost of Registering a new domain name on Siteground is just about $15.95/year. Some web hosting companies claim to offer free domain name registration but this is just a strategy to attract customers.
I do recommend Siteground for some reasons. Some of the major reasons include their excellent support team, timely response to issues and 100% uptime.
Host your blog
Web hosting is a service that guarantees your blog to be accessed through the internet. Without hosting your blog, your blog can’t be seen online. You can choose to self-host your blog or use a free hosting platform.
Again, the URL of free hosted blogs is too lengthy and does not look professional. For example, the URL; www.favouriteboostcrackers.blogspot.com is free hosted URL of a blog which too long and it will be difficult to remember.
So, I will recommend you host your blog.
We have plenty of web hosting companies you can choose from. Generally, cost for hosting a website range from $2.10 – $1500/month. If you’re just starting a new blog, you should consider using Siteground Web hosting services. They are one of the biggest and most popular hosting companies.
You can start the hosting of your blog online by following these steps:
- Go to Siteground web hosting page and click the “Get Plan” button
You can get started with as low as $6.99/month. At this beginner stage, you don’t need anything fancy. Once you record over 25,000 unique visitors a month, you can consider upgrading. However, you’re free to choose whatever plan that best suits your business and budget.
- On the next page, enter your domain name to start your web hosting registration.
You will see two boxes -“Register a new domain” (checked) and “I already have a domain” (unchecked), if you can remember you had already checked the availability of a domain name.
Now, type the domain name in the space as seen above, (check the “I already have a domain” box if you had earlier register the domain or check the, “Register a New Domain” box if you have not register it) and click the, “PROCEED” button to start the registration process proper.
- Fill out your Account Information – Email Address, Password and confirm your password
- Client Information – Country*, First Name*, Last Name*, City*, Street Address*, ZIP Code* and Phone Number*
- Payment Information: Fill in the information as required with your Debit (Mastercard, VISA) or Credit Card. CVV Code is the three digit number at the back of your debit card
- And then, Purchase Information (Hosting Services): you can change/select a new data center and your preferred hosting plan. A regular hosting account plan runs for 12 months at the rate of $6.95 per month after which you’re expected to renew for the next 12 months. 12 months hosting plan is the best deal for a starter.
After you have filled your purchase information, forget all the Extra services (Recommended for you). Uncheck all the boxes.
Check the terms and condition box and also I would like to receive SiteGround news and special offers by email box. Click the “Pay Now” button to pay. Once you pay, a web hosting account will be created for you immediately and you receive an email containing your control panel (Cpanel) login details.
Bluehost is another web hosting service that I do recommend. I personally use the service for my clients with tight budgets. Their services are slightly cheaper than Siteground and they offer the same deals – A free domain for a year, free SSL certificate, 1 click WordPress Install, and 24/7 customer service.
Hostgator is also good hosting company to use. They offer 100% uptime and as low as $2.75/month for hosting. They offer the same deals as both above – A free domain name for 1 year, Free SSL Certificate, 1 Click WordPress Install, and 24/7 customer service.
Install Blog Software (WordPress)
Once you receive an email that your web hosting account has been set up, log into your web hosting Control panel (Cpanel) to install blog software (WordPress).
There is thousands of blog software to choose from. However, I prefer WordPress because of its versatility, customizability and adaptability.
To begin the blog software installation process, click the, “WordPress Installer” button and then “install”. The installation process should be automatic if everything goes normal.
It takes a minute for the installation and, you’ll have a functional WordPress blog up and running.
Choose a WordPress theme
In the world of blogging, WordPress designs are called themes. Without a good theme, your blog will look something like this:
This isn’t a good look at all though it usable.
There are thousands of WordPress themes to choose from. But, it can be easy to get trapped while trying to choose a fitting theme. Don’t get caught up, you can swap between themes in future.
Before you can choose a theme, you need to access the backend of your WordPress website or Admin Dashboard through your Siteground account or using www.yourblogname.com/wp-login.php and entering your user credentials to log in.
If you’re new to WordPress, the Admin dashboard might look a little frightening at first but with time you’ll get used to it.
To choose a theme, hover over the “Appearance” menu in the sidebar and select “Themes.”
WordPress comes with few default themes – the “Twenty – [years]” themes. After WordPress installation, the current year theme is automatically installed. You might not like these default themes. Click on the “Add New” button at the top to get access to thousands of free WordPress themes.
Use the WordPress “Feature Filter” to search for the WordPress theme style you like. The Feature Filter shows “Layout, “features” and “subject” of a WordPress theme.
If you apply the filters, thousands of amazing free WordPress themes will show up. These themes ordinarily would cost thousands of dollars if you’re to design them from scratch.
Click on any of the theme’s thumbnail to get an instant preview of what your blog will look like when you install the theme. If it fits the style you want and the topic you’ll be covering, click on the, “Install” button.
Once the installation is complete, click the “Activate” button to get your blog set.
If you can’t find a theme that fit your style of blog from the search, there are paid/premium themes that you can purchase from sites like:
- Envato WordPress theme market
- Elegant Themes
- Thrive Themes
Visit of any of these preminum WordPress theme sites. I do recommend Envato WordPress theme to my clients. On their website choose your desired theme, add it to your cart, pay with your Debit card (Mastercard) and download the theme’s zip file to your computer.
To upload the new theme to your blog;
Log onto WordPress Admin area, go to Appearance >> Themes >> Upload themes, select the theme (zip file) from your computer and then click the, “Upload” button.
Customize your blog (Add Plugins)
Before you begin to customize your blog, you need to first, create a child theme of your WordPress theme. If you fail to create a child theme, you’ll lose all your customization when you update your blog theme.
You can go through how to create a WordPress child theme of a blog, before you continue.
Now, let’s go on with the customization
There is a lot of customization to make on your WordPress blog. But we’ll stick to the essential ones.
WordPress also has plugins that you can add, to extend the functionality of your blog. For instance, you can use plugins to add a platform for online store, social media button, contact forms and many more on your blog. These features aren’t available on themes by default.
To start your theme customization, click the “Customize” button on your active theme.
The customization Menu options display will vary depending on the theme you choose. And things to edit will include “Site Identity.”, “Logo”, “Site background and many others.
In the box for Site Title, add the name of your blog and in the box for tagline, add your blog description. Upload your site logo and change the background colour to your taste. Once, you’re done, click the “Save and Publish” button.
You can customize further by installing and activating useful plugins on your blog. To install and activate plugins on your WordPress blog, hover over plugins menu on your Admin dashboard and then click the, “Add new” button, in the space provided for search input the name of the plugin, install, and then activate it.
You can also download useful plugins (zip file) from other sites on your computer and upload it on your blog through Admin Dashboard.Must-use plugins for your WordPress blog include:
- Yoast Seo Plugin: Handles the technical optimization of your blog and assists with optimizing your content for search engines like Google.
- Wp super cache Plugin: Boost your blog performance and makes your blog pages to load faster.
- Google Analytics: Tracks your blog visitors and helps you learn more about what your visitors are looking for on your blog.
- Social Warfare: Helps you maximize your social shares and drive more traffic to your blog.
- WooCommerce Plugin: Enables you to integrate eCommerce into your blog. With Paystack integration to WooCommerce site, you can receive money directly from your blog real-time.
- Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin: Handles spam comments and protects your blog from spam.
- Exclude Pages from Navigation plugin: This will remove the pages from any “consumer” side page listings, which may not be limited to your page navigation listings.
Verify your blog’s ownership & submit to Google search index
Still on customization, you can verify the ownership of your blog and submit it to search index.
Google Search Console is a webmaster tool that allows you to verify website’s ownership and optimize its visibility.
To start your blog’s ownership verification;
- Search and login to Google Search Console via your Gmail account.
- Once you’ve logged in, “select Property type” by inputting in your blog URL in domain or URL prefix box and click the, “Continue” button.
- Next, click the, “HTML tag” button under ‘other verification methods’ copy your search console Meta tag and leave the page open.
- Head over to your blog’s child theme header.php through your WordPress Admin dashboard >> Appearance >> Theme Editor >> header.php and paste the code (Meta tag) within the <head> section, before the first <body> section. Update file and go back to your Google search console.
- Once you’re on search console, click the, “VERIFY” button.
If everything goes fine, you’ll receive message that you’re verify owner of your site.
Now, proceed to submit your blog to Google search index. Currently, Google and other search engines will index your WordPress blog on search results without being submitted for search indexing.
But for the benefit of doubts, you can still submit your site’s sitemap through Google search console. To submit your blog’s sitemap to Google search console;
- Click the, “Sitemaps” button on the menu bar of your Google search console
- Add your new sitemap by entering, “sitemap.xml” at the end of your blog’s URL and click the, “Submit” button. Once the sitemap submission is successful, you’re are 100% sure of the visibility of your blog on s
Create your blog pages and menu
Creating your blog’s pages and menu makes it easy for your visitors and search engines to navigate different sections of your blog. Pages like as “Contact Us” and “About Us” will help people to reach your when you’re offline.
To create a page in your WordPress blog;
- Go to your admin dashboard, hover over, “Pages” and click the, “Add New”
- Next, “Add title”, page content and hit the, “Publish” button.
Follow this step to create your About Us, Contact us and other pages of your blog.
By default, WordPress lacks a static front page.
To create a static front page, hover over settings in your WordPress admin area and click the, “Reading” button. On the reading setting page; check the, “A Static Page” box and select a page you want to make your static Homepage and then click the, “Save Changes”.
Creating a Menu
To create navigation menus, go to Appearance and then, click the, “Menus” button. Select menu name and pages or categories you want to include in your new navigational menu, and then click the, “Create Menu” button.
Your Menus will be created, immediately.
Publish your first blog post
Before you write and publish your blog post, you need to set up your permalinks structure to avoid losing search engine ranking. The keywords in your Post URL are important for your website’s search engine ranking.
To set up blog’s permalink, there are a few options to choose from. Personally, on my blog I use the “Post name” structure which uses keywords from my title to create a unique permalink.
Setting up your permalink to use Post name is simple. Hover over “Settings” on the left sidebar of your WordPress admin; click the, “Permalink” button and then, check the, “Post name” box. You must make sure you save the settings after you’ve check the, “Post name” box.
Are you still following me?
If you’re following, I would believe by now you’ve purchased your domain and web hosting, installed a theme, create the child theme and optimized your website to be crawled and index by search engines.
Now, let’s discuss how to create content for a blog – this is the apex of your blogging CAREER.
As a newbie who have not find his feet in the blogging world, to write a blog post may seem tasking and intimidating. It would not be easy to choose a topic, let alone writing an enticing article.
And as a matter of fact, both your blog visitors and search engines will not tolerate low quality content from you.
You can brainstorm a topic to write at the beginning but the majority of your blog posts should come from personal experiences and new learning. This is the reason why you need to blog what you’re passionate about.
Answering some of these below questions correctly will help you uncover an interesting topic for your blog post.
- Who are my blog readers?
- What character traits do my readers possess?
- What are the things that excite them?
- What level education do they have?
- What do they hate about my niche?
- What do the like about my niche?
When you choose a topic to write, try to come up with great blog post title and brief introduction that will draw your readers in and then push them inner to the rest of your content.
To create a new blog post, click on “Posts” in the left sidebar of your WordPress Admin area.
Select the “Add New” button in the sidebar to display the text editor.
First, enter the title of your blog content. WordPress will automatically create a permalink using the keywords in your title.
Next, start typing the body of your blog post in the large text area and write until you’re satisfy with your content. Click the, “Toolbar Toggle” icon to display more editing options to spices up your blog content.
You can add images to blog posts. Image translates faster and helps in engaging readers. To add new image to your blog content, move your text cursor in the place where you want your image to appear. Click the “Add Media” button >> upload file >> select file you want to add to content from your device or drive.
Once you are done writing; hit the “Publish” button. Before you hit this button:
- Correct wrong your spellings and grammatical errors
- Check the tone of writing – conversational or informational.
- Ensure your Content flows naturally.
- Check your content readability
- Use subheading to separate sections.
- Use Bullet points to show lists.
Congratulations!!! You’ve just publish your first blog post.
After setting up your blog, the next step is to promote it otherwise nobody will visit it. And once people are not visiting, you blog will remain ‘dead’.
Mathematically, Visitors = traffics =$$$
You can promote your blog through the following ways:
- Writing Quality Content
One of the best ways you can promote your blog is through writing quality content (articles). Once your readers find your blog content valuable, you can be sure that they will revisit again, share it on social media and recommend it to their friends thereby helping in growing the visibility for your blog.
- Telling people about your new blog
Another way you can promote your blog by telling people by words of mouth about your new blog. But you need to have useful and helpful content on your blog for this to work out fine. If you don’t have useful content on your blog, there is no need inviting people to your blog. People are looking information that will help them solve their daily problems.
- Post Social Media
Social media is a powerful digital marketing tool. You can leverage on the power of social media networks in promoting your blog. All you need to do is to make your blog content (articles) shareable by installing plugin that add Facebook, Twitter, and other relevant social media networks shareable buttons on your blog.
Some of the WordPress plugins that can add a social media button to your blog include:
- Social Warfare
- Simple Social Media Share Buttons – Social Sharing for Everyone
- Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons
- Social Media Share Buttons
- Social Media Follow Buttons Bar
- Social Share Icons & Social Share Buttons, etc.
With this plugin install on your blog, it will be easy for your readers to share your content on different social media networks
- contribute on Forums
Forums are good platforms that can be used to promote and drive traffics to a blog. All you need is to build good relationship and trust with the forum members by following threads on a given topics and answering questions on area you’re an expert. By this, the forum members are poise to follow you to your blog when you drop your link.
Building relationships and trust on forums can be difficult and it takes time. You have to remain active on the forum for months and many at times for years.
- Optimize your post
Optimizing your post will enable you gain traffics through an organic search. You can attract visitors to your blog when you write content that is optimized for both the search engines and people.
Search engine like Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. Imagine, what will be your blog traffic if your blog is ranking on Google engine search result pages (SERP). You can improve your blog search engine ranking by targeting keywords your readers will search for on search engines.
These keywords should appear on the title, headings and within the content of your post. You can discover Keywords driving traffics to your competitor’s website by:
- Using Free Keywords research tools like Keywordtool.io and other keywords tool
- Visiting your competitors’ blog to see what keywords they are using. You can then, write 10x better content than theirs, and hijack their blog traffic.
- Pay-per-Click (PPC)
Pay-per-click is an online advertising model used to promote and drive traffic to websites. It is simply a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits via organic search. Search engine marketing is one of the most popular forms of PPC.
The best way of running PPC is by use of Google’s AdWords advertising. It important you include digital advertising as part of your blog promotional strategies.
Make Money from your Blog
To monetize your blog, you need to build an audience base. It is not easy to build an audience. Personally, I adopt search engine optimization as one of my best strategies for building an audience base. This is because all other strategies can fail but SEO will not. SEO practices will always remain a relevant means to drive traffic to website.
SEO industry is constantly growing but the SEO techniques remain the same. SEO techniques involve targeting keywords that your niche audiences frequently search for on Google through useful and relevant content writing.
The content has to be relevant in the sense that, it will solve a particular problem of your audience. Once you’re able to put up such content on constant basis, you’re going to gradually build large email list of loyal readers and audience base that will eventually turn out to paying customers.
Once you build your blog audience, you can make money from your blog through:
- Google AdSense
- Selling Products or Services
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored (paid) Post
- Product reviews
- Direct advertisement
Google AdSense is one of the best methods to monetize your blog. It is a pay per click (PPC) advertising program in which Google displays ads on strategic areas of your blog. The strategic areas are selected area of your blog pages with high visibility.
The Ads are automatically place by Google; all you need to do is to apply for Google AdSense publisher account. You’re expected to receive a response from Google with 48hours when apply for AdSense publisher account.
Once you get an AdSense approval, login to your Google AdSense account, copy your ads code and place it in the header section of your blog. Ads will automatically get display on your blog. You can also place one Google link Ads below primary menu bar for better visibility and revenue maximization.
Selling product or services
Another way to make money through your blog is by selling product or services. This is relatively the easiest way to make money through blogging.
But, you can only succeed if you’re able to build high reputation and earn the trust of your readers. You can sell digital products or physical products.
Most popular digital products to sell online on your blog include: eBooks, Software, Video, Audio & music, Photography, Courses etc.
Physical products to sell online and ship to customers include general merchandise, gadgets and other concrete goods.
Monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing involves earning commission(s) when sales are made through your unique affiliate link. When you sign up as a marketer of affiliate product(s), a unique link will be given to you by the company running the affiliate program.
You place this link on your blog and when visitors click through the link to purchase a product(s) you earn some commissions. Some companies you can sign up for their Affiliate programs in Nigeria include: jumia Nigeria, Konga, Web4africa, WhoGoHost etc.
Unlike Google AdSense, you don’t need lots of traffic to make money in Affiliate marketing business you just need large email list and good strategy.
Sponsored (Paid) Post
New online startups are always in search of opportunities to gain more customers and make more sales; they do this by searching for blogs with related relevant content and high traffic to promote their business.
Some of these startups are willing to pay you to write and publish a promotional article on your blog, once you can produce quality and engaging content.
You make money with blog by accepting direct advert placement on your blog. Businesses will be ready to advertise their products and services on targeted area of your blog in forms of banner ads or text ads if your blog is ranking high on search engines and you’re getting high traffics.
However, you need to first create a page that explains what advertisers stand to gain if they choose to advertise on your blog. You need to show your advertiser your blog stats – unique monthly traffic and the kind of content your readers are interested in.
The page should also include the prices for various advertising slot options, discounts, terms and conditions and other relevant information pertaining to the deal.
Here is a summary of steps to start a blog in Nigeria:
- Choose a Blog Niche
- Decide on how to run your blog
- Set up your blog
- Choose and Register a domain name
- Host your blog
- Install a blog software (WordPress)
- Choose a WordPress theme
- Customize your blog (Add Plugins)
- Create your blog pages
- Create and publish your blog posts
- Promote your blog
- Monetize your blog
Congratulations for reading this article to the end. If you follow the steps above diligently without missing one step, you should be able start your own blog in Nigeria and make substantial income online.
Make sure you go through all the recommended blogging resources in this article. If you’re confusion at any point, do not fail to use the comment box to ask questions. You can also Contact Me directly if you need my assistance, I’m always ready to help you out.
We offer training course on blogging, you can simply send an email with a title: TRAINING COURSE ON BLOGGING to email@example.com if you’re interested.