If you are the kind of person who wants to be in control of his game and do it yourself, this tutorial is made specifically for you. This is a complete guide on how to start a blog  in Kenya and make it look as professional as the one made by an IT profession.

We are going to set up a WordPress blog together and will willing to answer any questions you post in the comment box below. So let us go direct to the process of Starting a Blog in Kenya.

Requirements to create a blog in Kenya

  • Name of the blog
  • Domain name – probably from the name of the blog, like urbankenyans.com
  • Hosting – There are free hosted platform you can use as well
  • Writing Passion – In blogging its about content, it might be pictures or video but that is content
  • Social Media accounts, You will need an audience, they are on social media

Requirements for starting a blog in Kenya

Now let’s break the above down, are you ready?

1. A Domain Name:

This is the number one requirement you will ever need to start a blog, it is the address people will be typing in the address bar to access your blog. This is the “www.example.com” part of the blog, so please choose a name for your domain and remember to keep in mind the following:
  • The shorter the domain, the better for your blog and your readers.
  • I always recommend a .com or a .net you might consider a .org because of SEO I don’t like the country specific ones like .co.ke. But if your target audience is from a specific country and do not use google.com but google.co.ke then a .co.ke is your choice.
  • You domain should be easy to remember
  • You don’t have to keep it specific to what your blog is about, like if yours are blogging about making money online, it is not a must your domain to be something like howtomakemoneyonline.com that is for one way too long and also these days Google penalizes such domains.
  • You may consider a .co.ke if you want to rank your domain for Kenya only this means you will be targeting google.co.ke having guys come from Kenya, but you won’t get lots of clients since not all Kenyans who access the internet use google.co.ke.

To get a domain name you have to purchase it from a domain registrar, Here is a list of the top domain registrars in the world.

My favorite registrar is Namecheap where it will cost you around $10 to register a single domain for a year. You may be required to register your domain for two years (SEO reasons since search engines will see you are serious and will rank you better). Not a must, though. NB: The prices are different for different domain extensions.

2. Web-Host

A Web host is simply where your blog is based or served from, I prefer calling it the home of your blog, it hosts all your blog files from themes, pictures, audio, video etc. Since we shall be installing a WordPress blog we need a web host.

People are always frightened when it comes to hosting but actually you should not, you don’t need to be that IT savvy to manipulate a server, you don’t even have to know how to code to set up a blog on a Host.
Most of the hosts have a software known as Softaculous, it is a tool that comes with Cpanel, you just log into the Cpanel of any host and select Softaculous and follow the prompts and you are done.
There are many programs which you can install with 1 click using Softaculous, you will just have to enter the basic details (site title, description, email, username, password etc.).
You can use Softaculous to install  WordPress the leading blogging platform which has extremely good plugins, and they are very easy to install, and surely will help in SEO and other stuff.
Here is a list of two best Web Hosts I recommend:
  • http://Hostgator.com
  • http://BlueHost.com
Don’t use your web registrar as a host, I like it if you let each carry its own purpose better, however, certain Web-Hosts like BlueHost will allow you to register a new domain when you sign up however HostGator gives you an assurance of 99% uptime

There are other Free Web Hosts (but I recommend paid hosting)

3. WordPress

I have already mentioned the basics about WordPress, now once you have installed it etc., here are good plugins to use.

  • Google Analytics
  • Redirection
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • Yoast SEO
  • Jetpack
  • Tweet This
  • Contact Form7
  • Akismet
  • WP Super Cache

Now it comes to the themes part, choosing your theme for WordPress.

Here is a list of sites that have Free themes

Some themes don’t allow you to add a logo, you can just enter the site title and it will be shown as text, but some themes require you to add a logo, but no worries, there are plenty of free tools to make logos (online tools), and you can make your own if you are good at Photoshop, or if you can afford, then just hire a designer from BHW, and again, there are plenty of good designers here.

4. Content

When it comes to content, there is a very popular quote, “Content is King”.

Google, and any other search engine site LOVES unique content, by unique I am saying that it cannot be found anywhere else, you can write unique content, if you can’t, then you can use a content spinner (there are many free ones, but you will have to do small changes to it since none are perfect).

It is extremely easy to add articles on your WordPress blog, I am sure you already know by now.
You may ask, how many words per article Google loves the most, people say different stuff, but I prefer 300-500 word articles.

If you can afford to hire an article writer, then sure go ahead, an article writer charges about 1 cent per word, and there are plenty of good writers here on BHW, go to the Buy/Sell Service section and you should find plenty.

But if you cannot afford, and you are not good at all in writing articles, then you can use non-unique content, just copying from another site related to your niche, and then pasting it on your site.
There is a plugin for WordPress called wp-o-matic , it’s really simple to use, it will take content from the sites you want, but sometimes you will have small issues, so you may need to add the article(s) yourself.

5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Every search engine loves certain backlinks, Google will love backlink type A more than backlink type B, but Yahoo will love Backlink type B more than backlink type A, but all search engines have something in common, they all like backlinks, but just some are more powerful than others. So any backlink you can get is worth it.

There are many tools that can get you backlinks, and they do save time. Before building any backlinks, you need to know your keyword, which will be your anchor text. The keyword must be located in the title/domain.

Anchor text is basically text/keyword that is clickable, like example when you go to Google.com, on the top, you will see “Images” “News” etc., and those are anchor texts, clickable words/text, which will direct you to another page.

Here are ways to get backlinks.

Blog Commenting – Blog Commenting on High Page Rank (PR) blogs are very powerful, I used to do them a lot before and the results were impressing. You can find high PR blogs easily, just google “how to find high PR blogs” and there are tons of ways, you can also hire someone to use scrapebox for you to find high PR blogs. There are also high PR blog posts, meaning the post itself has a high PR, that is more powerful, but you might notice there are many spammy comments, but still it will take you few seconds to get a backlink.

There is a tool called “Scrapebox” that scrapes blog posts, on any niche (you decide the keywords etc.) and it will scrape it for you, and you fill in the details (i.e. anchor text, URL etc.) and it will comment on all of them, but watch out about Akismet, but I prefer manual blog commenting.

Forum Profiles – Well you know what’s a forum I suppose? You are on a forum right now. Simply find many high PR forums, register on them, and in your signature just enter your anchor text. Most of the times or forums it is this format (without space between U and R at the start)

Code:
[U RL=http://mysite.com]Keyword [/URL]
There is a tool called Xrumer, it is an extremely powerful tool, but if your site is new, you should not use it, it creates thousands and thousands of forum profiles and puts your anchor in the signature, but it is expensive.

Link Exchange – This works best if your site has a page rank, then you just request link exchange on DP or WF with the same niche, and most likely with the same PR. He will put your anchor text on his/her site, and you put his/her at your site.

Web Directories – There are tens of thousands of web directories for you to submit your website to, and they will approve it. They also have featured listing but don’t mind that, just go for the free listing which 99% of the directories offer, these aren’t as strong as high PR backlinks, but they are still worth it, as I said, every backlink is worth it.

Press Release – This is usually done when a new site is launched, or you are launching something on your site, or there is an event etc., then you simply write a press release (google “how to write a press release”), and then you will submit it to many press release sites, it will take few days to approve your press release.

Buying Links – You can pay other website owners to put your anchor on their site, the prices vary depending on the page rank of their site, and of course target websites in the same niche as you.

Guest Blogging – This one is one of my favorite. It is simply offering other blog owners as the same niche of your site, offering them a free article with 2-3 anchor texts in your article, this is indeed really worth it.

Buying Blog Posts – You can also buy blog posts, sometimes they will write an article for you and publish it on their blog, and sometimes you will have to write an article and they will publish it on their site, and again, prices vary on the page rank of the site.

Article Directories – Writing unique articles yourself or hiring an article writer, and then submitting it to high PR article directories, it will take few days to approve.

Yahoo Answers – You can also hire people for this as well, but a bit hard to find. Answers.Yahoo.com , register an account and go to the category on your niche, and answer people’s questions, but first 25 answers, don’t put anything in the “source” box, and then afterwards, for most of the answers put your website link in the “source” box, but make sure your answer actually answers the person’s question, it might get chosen as best answer, and Yahoo Answers ranks well for questions, and your answer will be shown first if it was chosen as Best Answer by the questioner.

Social Media – Social Media like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc., submit your websites there. There are many social media sites like Digg, and you will have to create an account on all of them, and then submit your website.

Web 2.0 Profiles – Creating profiles on Web 2.0 sites is very powerful indeed, like Squidoo and then writing an article and linking back to your site, and also Blogger (Free blog, yes!) and writing an article linking back to your site, and video sites like YouTube, Metacafe etc.

You can always hire from BHW, tons of services.

6. Monetization

Monetizing your website so you can make money. Here are few ways you can make money from your website.

Google AdSense – Google AdSense, to register an account your site must be at least 6 months old, they will give you a code and you will put it on your site, and a banner will show up, or text link (you decide), and then if a visitor goes to your site and clicks on it, you will get money, how much, it depends on the niche and keywords.
There are other networks like Google AdSense, but Google AdSense is the best.

Content Lockers – In order for a person to access a page on your website (this works only if the page has something useful for the visitor), you simply put a content locker, and the person will have to do a survey in order to access the page. There are sites that offer that, you can google “CPA Sites” and you will get a list.

Selling Banner Space – If your site gets lots of visitors, you can sell banner space on your website.

Selling Text Links – Selling text links on your Page Rank blog (works best if your blog has a page rank! Else you don’t have to do this). The price you will offer for links on your site depends on the page rank your website is.

Affiliate Marketing – Clickbank is a website where you can find much stuff to sell, and you will get a percentage of each sale. Usually, each affiliate offers you will get banners to advertise it with, with different sizes so you can put it on your site.

Donations – This barely works now, it will only work if your site really had useful information so the person will donate to your PayPal.

Tracking your Site’s Traffic

Google.com/analytics is the best tool which is free to track how many visitors your site gets, from where, and from which keyword from search engines, it is the best, and most website owners use it. There is a plugin called “Google Analyticor” for WordPress which will allow you to put the Google Analytics code very easily, I really do recommend it (I already listed it in the plugin list above).

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