Ways To Start A Blog In Uganda And Make Money
What is blogging?
Blogging can be simply defined as the art of publishing and maintaining a blog site. Blogging is the activity of updating a blog. Blogging is more than just writing articles. It involves publishing multi-media such as videos, photos, audio and other forms of media.
Blogging includes skills such as Social media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), photo/video editing, content writing, post publishing etc
You need to learn most these skills to be a good blogger. For example you should be a good writer in order to be able to write a lot of unique and original content for your blog. You should also be good at SEO in order to be able to optimize your blog following standards set by search engines.
Who is a blogger?
A person who owns and manages a blog site is called a blogger. One cannot be a blogger without a blog site. Though, lately in Uganda some social media users who have amassed a good number of followers masquerade around as bloggers even though they own no blog sites, but the fact is they are not bloggers.
From what you have read online, you might think bloggers are a certain group of people but anyone can be a blogger including students, politicians, teachers, businessmen, tech-savvys, single moms or even the uneducated. Class doesn’t really matter.
How can I become a blogger?
The first step to becoming a blogger is creating a blog. For one to become a blogger, all they need to do is Start a Blog. After you have created your blog, you can start creating content and publishing it on your blog. That is how anyone can become a blogger. This article covers everything on how to get started with your first blog. Keep on reading!
What is a blogging Platform?
A blogging platform is an online service or a software that enables you to create and publish your blogging content on the internet. Anyone with access to the internet can access and read your content on the internet.
A blogging platform is some sort of a content management system because it allows you to manage your content online.
Today WordPress is word’s biggest blogging platform and powers over 30% of all the blogs and websites on the internet.
Why is blogging so popular? Benefits of blogging
- It is free to create a blog. This means anyone can create a blog at zero cost.
- Blogging increases brand awareness thus many companies have opted for it in a bid to market their brands.
- Blogging drives and increases traffic to your website, if your content is well optimized for search engines.
- Blogging also improves your organic search rankings
- Blogs increase your customer engagement through conversations
- Blogging helps in enhancing authority in your niche
- Blogs can also be used for sales and inquiries
- A blog enables you to build reputation and credibility for your business.
- Blogging is an easy way to keep your clients with latest updates about your services and products. For example you can update them about the new deals and tips. The more people visit your blog, the more they are like buy your stuff.
What are the downsides or disadvantages of blogging?
- Blogging requires a lot of time to manage and maintain. To run an effective blog, you need to update it regularly so your visitors can regularly return to read your new content. If your blog is not updated so often, your visitors won’t return and that means you won’t make any money from your blog.
- Your blog won’t automatically become successful. You need to have a strategy, a target audience and consistently update it with fresh content.
- You need to have passion for your blog, if you can’t create your own content, outsource from a professional and reputable copywriter.
- Blogging doesn’t pay off immediately. It can take years for you to start earning from it. You need to have faith and concentrate on creating high quality content.
Requirements for starting a blog in Uganda
So you are tired of sleeping on your writing talent and want to explore the doors that might open through blogging? Below are the requirements you need to have to start blogging in Uganda.
- Blog name
- Domain name
- Web host
- Blog niche / topic
- Premium theme if you choose to go with WordPress (free ones too exist)
- Laptop or computer
- Smartphone or tablet (optional since everything can be done on laptop)
- Camera (optional)
- Solid internet connection service
- Basic knowledge of the internet
- Basic knowledge about the blogging platform you intend to use.
- Basic Internet marketing skills e.g SEO, SEM, SMO, Digital marketing etc
- Passion and existing knowledge in the topic you want to write about
- Money to finance all the above
The cost of starting a blog in Uganda
When it comes to starting a blog, the common question people ask is how much does it cost to start a blog in Uganda? While some people blog as hobby, others do it as a source of income.
The amount of money required to start a blog in Uganda will typically depend on the requirements you need for your blog and how simple or complex they are to accomplish.
In this section, we will look at the estimated amount it takes to build a standard and yet professional blog from the start to the finish. We will focus on the core parts of basic blog creation and the areas you are likely to spend money on. Read Also: List Of Bloggers In Uganda
So how much does it cost to start blogging in Uganda
Buying a domain name. This is one of the most important steps when starting a blog. The domain name is your blog address which allows people to find your blog online. Domain names generally cost between $7-$15 depending on the registrant you are buying it from. Below are some of the popular domain registrants in Uganda and how much they charge.
- Godaddy: $9-$10. Godaddy also offers .com domains at $0.99 for first time customers.
- Namecheap: $10-$11
- Uganda Online registry: UGX 100,000/- for .ug domains
Buying webhosting. Webhosting enables your blog to be visible online. Depending on the web host you choose to go for, this should not cost you more than $10 per month. Popular web hosts like Namecheap offer shared hosting from as low as $30 per year and $70 per year for Blueshost.
Buying a theme. A theme is a pre-made website which you just install on your domain. There are free themes and paid ones too. But for a professional looking blog, I would encourage you to go for a paid theme if you can afford. Paid themes come with extra premium features unlike free themes that usually have limitations or are littered with annoying ads. Paid themes go for $20-$70 on theme marketplaces like Themeforest.
Hiring a web designer. By the end of this guide, you should be able to create a fully functioning blog on your own without the need to hire anyone. Designing a blog doesn’t require one to be a techie neither does it require you to write any code. But if you can’t do it on your own, you will have to part with $140 (about UGX 500,000/-) to hire a web expert to design for you a theme based blog.
Overall estimated cost for starting a blog in Uganda
Anyone can get a blog of their own regardless of the type of blog you want to create. So far, you can get a domain and hosting for less than $100 per year. Doing a rough calculation, it would break down to $15 for domain, $70 for hosting, $70 for a theme and $140 for a blog design which approximates to about $295.
Converting this to Uganda shillings, you might spend up to UGX 1.1M depending on the UGX-USD currency exchange rate at the period. However if you do everything on your own, including design and setup, you should be able to spend something like UGX 450,000/- or even less if you opt for a free theme and get hosting and domain at some good discounts.
How to Start a Blog In Uganda (Getting Started)
Starting a blog is not as difficult as creating a website from scratch. The process of setting up a blog requires less technical knowledge as compared to creating a website. In fact, you do not need to have any programming or coding skills to do that. That sounds great, right?
Now that I have taken you through most of the basics you need to start serious blogging, it is now time we start walking the walk. In these next steps, we will register a domain, buy hosting, setup the blog and get it running in less than one hour.
You could actually spend UGX 0.00/- if you choose to go for free hosted blogs like .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com. These won’t require you to buy a domain, hosting or hire a web designer. But i do not recommend these free blogs as they are hard to monetize and do not look professional.
Step by step guide to starting a blog in Uganda
Steps to start a blog in Uganda include;
- Choose a niche or blog topic
- Choose a name for your blog
- Choose a blogging platform
- Choose and buy a domain for your blog
- Choose a web hosting service for your blog
- Create and launch your blog website
- Install and configure WordPress on your blog
- Install Plugins on your WordPress blog
- Write Your First Blog Post
- Keep Updating Your New Blog
- Monetize your blog
- Promote your blog
Step 1: Choose a topic to blog about [Blogging Niche]
At this point, before thinking of kicking off your blogging career, you need to determine what niche or topic to blog about. This is probably the most integral step for securing a successful blog in Uganda.
Pick a topic of your interest and try to attain much knowledge in it as much as possible. This can be through personal research or by taking a short course in that particular topic. Having prior knowledge in the topic would be even be an added advantage. Choose a topic that appeals to you and you are passionate about it.
Do not mix up unrelated topics on the same blog. One reason many Ugandan blogs fail is trying to mix up topics. Today you are writing about technology, tomorrow you write about health and the other day you write about relationships. With this kind of setup, you will fail to attract targeted audience and eventually your blog will terribly fall.
For example my blog is for ICT lovers. Its niche is Technology. A niche is very important and you need to have it right from the day you start your blog.
How to choose a perfect niche or topic
In simple terms, a niche is the topic that your blog focuses on. If you are blogging for money, you don’t need to choose a topic that brings you a lot of traffic but you can’t earn any much money out of it.
- Free SMS
- Facebook tips and tricks,
- WhatsApp tips and tricks
- Free music downloads
- Free movie downloads
The above topic examples might generate for you lots of traffic but you won’t probably make much money out of it. Why? You won’t be able to monetize such blogs with Google AdSense because they carry content that violates copyright laws. Publishing content that violates copyright laws is against Google AdSense policies.
So what is a good niche? Great question. A good niche is a topic that is related to what you are passionate about, has considerate amount of traffic and above all has a money value.
Here are the things you should have in mind while choosing a niche.
- Your passion and interest.
- Business value of the niche (Cost Per Click – CPC).
- Monthly or annual searches about topics related to your niche (there are tools that provide such statistics).
- Trend, future and sustainability of the topic.
Having said the above, you should now have a feeling of what to blog about. Choose a topic you are most passionate about and start blogging.
Blog Niche Ideas
Here I have a list of some popular blog niches you can choose from. I’m not saying that you should strictly choose one of these. This list is only meant to inspire you. However there’s no problem if you decide to choose one of these topics. If possible, try to narrow down 2-4 interrelated topics that can work well together.
- Tourism and Travel
- Food, Cooking and recipes
- Personal development
- Fashion and style
- Celebrity gossip
- Entertainment news
- Career advice
- Healthy living
- Beauty and Makeup
- How to make money
- Personal finance and investing advice
- Photography and videography
- Learn programming
- Web development and design
- Comedy and humor
- Charity and activism
- Product Reviews
- Jokes and Memes
- Troubleshooting guides
- Tech support
- How To’s and Ultimate guides
- Language Learning
- Cyber security
- Computer tips
- SEO tips
- Digital Marketing
- Social causes
Step 2: Choose a name for your blog
Choosing a good blog name is a very important decision in your blogging journey. It plays an essential role in your blog’s branding, identity, marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
A bad, confusing and unattractive name can hurt your blog, making it harder to build a following. Go for a name that your followers will find attractive. Don’t go for a name just because you personally love it. You don’t have to love your blog’s name as long as you don’t hate it, because you aren’t your own audience.
Making your blog name unique will help you build a strong brand. But if you pick a generic or common name, it will be hard for people to distinguish your blog from others.
If you are starting a personal blog, you can choose to use your name as your blog’s name. There are many popular personal blogs that are named after names of the owners.
So, it is wise to choose a name that will be appealing to your audience.
Below are qualities of a good blog name:
- Not confusing with something else
- Easy to read and pronounce
- Simple and short
- Have the .com domain URL available for registration
However with millions of already existing blogs, it is a little hard to find a good name with the above qualities that is not already registered. Luckily, there clever tools that can help you find great blog name ideas. These tools are called blog name generators. Below are some of the best blog name generators that can help you come up with a catchy and brandable blog name:
Step 3: Choose a blogging platform
It is up to you to choose a blogging platform on which your blog should run. Anyone can create a free blog at BlogSpot.com or Blogger.com and start blogging. BlogSpot is the best blog for anyone who is just starting blogging and cannot afford self-hosted blogging platforms such as WordPress. Like I mentioned before, WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the work, powering over 30% of all the websites on the internet.
There are mainly 3 types of blogging platforms, namely:
These are completely free platforms. You don’t need to pay anything to use them. Their biggest advantage is they are free. An example of such platforms is Google’s Blogger, popularly known as BlogSpot. Another example is Tumblr. However these plaftorms are not recommended for anyone who wants to do serious and professional blogging. In most cases the free platforms have limited capabilities due to strict rules and restrictions. For example they may prohibit you from putting ads on your blog, or sometimes they may place their own ads on your blog which may distract your visitors while accessing your content.
These are paid platforms but they give you a trial before you start paying. Costs vary but they normally range from $5 to $30 per month. During the trial, you use their platform for free and in most cases you are given full access to all premium features. These platforms can be free forever but you will need to upgrade to access premium features and maybe remove ads. One popular example of such platforms is TypePad. TypePad offers certain features that are valuable to bloggers, but its customization options are very limited. Your TypePad domain will look something like this: yourblogname.typepad.com.
These allow you to setup and run a blog on your own domain, for example blog.yourdomain.com or just yourdomain.com. You have full control over it plus its contents. It can still run on WordPress. We call it self-hosted because it uses your own hosting space and name (website or domain name).
So which blogging platform is perfect for me?
If you try to look at most popular blogs, including my very own, you will realize that most of them are using WordPress because of the many advantages it comes with, thus I would be mean if I don’t recommend you to choose WordPress.
Although I talked about free blogging platforms such as BlogSpot and TypePad, the best option is to own a self-hosted blog running on WordPress. Buy a domain, hosting and begin building your own equity.
If you choose to go with WordPress, keep in mind that there are two versions of WordPress and these are:
- com. Here your website or blog is hosted by WordPress itself. With this version, there’s no need to download the WordPress software, buy hosting or manage your own server. It is free but you pay to upgrade to premium features.
- org. Here you host your website or blog on your own server. You are given access to the blogging tools and publishing platform with a Content Management System (CMS). You have complete control over your website or blog, you can monetize it or customize it according to the way you want.
In short, .org is an open-source self-hosted content publishing platform while .com is a hosted version for commercial purposes. The main difference is like being a tenant (.com) or a landlord (.org).
The easiest version to set up is WordPress.com. It doesn’t require upgrading versions although it gives you limited control options to your design, monetization, customization and the features you can add.
I always recommend people to go with WordPress.org. Yes you have some work setting it up, but it will guarantee you full control in the long run. It could even end up being cheaper to you.
I understand many of you are looking are looking for a completely free blogging platform and start earning. But investing a few dollars in WordPress.org is worth it and will definitely pay off in the long run.
Why choose WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular, if not, the best blogging platform in the world. WordPress is flexible and allows you to do everything with your blog.
Here are some of the reasons you should make WordPress your choice:
- WordPress is free to use.
- It is easy to setup
- Comes with hundreds of free themes and layouts.
- It has a lot of support on various forums, if you get stuck, you can easily find a solution online.
- WordPress is fast. Your blog will load fast.
- You can easily interact with your blog visitors and readers, through contact forms and comments.
- WordPress has robust and secure systems (keep it up-to-date to maintain security)
- WordPress has a large pool of developers and designers who can help you customize your blog
You basically need two things to start a self-hosted blog ie a domain and a web hosting provider. I recommend that you buy these from Bluehost. When you buy hosting from Bluehost, you will get a FREE Domain as a special offer.
Step 4: Choose a domain for your blog
A domain name can be simply understood as a virtual address for your blog on the internet. For someone to access your blog, they have to first enter your domain address in the web browser address bar. A typical example of a domain name is “www.google.com”.
Your domain is unique and cannot be shared by anyone else. This means if you try to register a domain name and you find out it is already registered by someone else, you have to choose another. Once you register a particular domain, no other person can register the same.
Your domain may have an extension like “.com” or it can be a country or niche specific extension like .ug (for Uganda), .uk (for United Kingdom) or .news (for news related domains). The best decision is to always go for a .com because of its popularity although some other extensions like .net, .me etc can still perfectly work.
If you decide to go for a free blog, you won’t need to buy a custom domain name or hosting. For example if you choose BlogSpot (Blogger.com), by default your free domain will be something like yourname.blogspot.com
There are several companies that have rights to register custom domains; one such popular company is called Godaddy.
Domains go for as low as $12 on Godaddy. If you are a first time buyer, Godaddy has a promotion where you can buy your first domain with them for only $0.99. The $0.99 domain sale at Godaddy is a onetime offer and only applies to your first purchase.
However you can also get a free domain if you Buy Web Hosting at Bluehost. The free domain is given as an offer.
Please be reminded that a domain is renewable once a year at the same amount you bought it. This means if you bought a domain today from any domain registrant, you will be required to renew it after 365 days.
If you don’t renew your domain after its expiry time, it will be deleted and made available for registration again. Someone could quickly register it, and you would never have access to it again. Losing your domain for failure to renew it means losing your whole blog plus its brand.
Tip for choosing a good domain name
- Make it as short (5-15 characters). It is easier to memorize and type shorter domains compared to long ones.
- Choose a domain with .com extension if possible, although there other hundreds of extensions you can choose from.
- Do not use symbols such as hyphens in your domain name. It is hard to remember and cannot be easily typed on mobile.
- Do not use numbers in your domain name. Numbers make it difficult to tell it to someone verbally.
- Don’t include a brand name in your domain e.g MTNtips.com.
- Your domain should be easy to spell
- Choose a brandable name
- A domain with good keywords can help your site rank higher search engines like Google
- If available, register a domain name that matches your brand name ie yourbrandname.com. This prevents other people from registering the same.
Do not be discouraged if your domain does not fulfill all the above mentioned characteristics. These are just factors you should have in mind while choosing a domain name. You only have to make sure your domain name has most of these traits.
Step 5: Buy a web hosting account
This step can be done together with the previous step of buying a domain if you want to save on costs. Most hosting companies sell domains as well. In fact some like Bluehost even offer a free .com domain name registration for the first year.
But before we proceed, let’s first understand: What is webhosting?
For your blog to be accessible on the internet, you need to store its data such as HTML/CSS code, images and videos on a very powerful computer called a web hosting server. The process of doing so is known as web hosting. Without web hosting, you won’t be able to use your domain. Think of web hosting as a computer hard disk drive (HDD). It stores all contents of your blog.
You need to put these factors in mind when choosing a web hosting service:
- How much will it cost you monthly or annually?
- How fast is it? You can lose traffic if your blog is slow.
- Go for a web hosting service which guarantees you at least 99.9% uptime.
- Technical Support. Will they give you quick support if you encounter problems with your blog?
- Host with a company that pays attention to your blog security
Since hosting allows your blog to be visible online, choosing the right hosting type is very crucial for your blog. There are mainly 3 types of web hosting, namely:-
- Shared hosting. Here your blog is hosted on same server with other blogs/websites.
- VPS Hosting. A single physical server is partitioned with multiple virtual servers each with own resources.
- Dedicated hosting. One entire physical server hosting only your website.
Each of the above types of hosting has its own cons and pros. Shared hosting is the cheapest with the least capabilities while dedicated hosting is the most expensive and most powerful.
As a starting a blogger, whose blog probably needs no much server resources, shared hosting is more than just enough for you.
There many web hosting companies in the world, and some of the most popular ones include:
For the above list, I personally recommend you to go for Bluehost because it is affordable and at the same time very reliable. It is also easy to use thus making it great for beginners like you. Bluehost apparently has the best and fastest WordPress shared hosting server in the hosting industry.
You can however choose another web hosting service as long as it is fast and reliable. A good host should also offer you unlimited storage, bandwidth and most importantly 24/7 support.
You will be charged about $70 for the first year, and on top of that you will get a free domain. So you won’t really need to buy a domain separately. Bluehost gives it to you for free.
Some people buy and keep their domain names and hosting from different service providers but I recommend that you keep all under one account in order to be able to maintain and manage them easily
Step 6: Create and launch your blog website
A blog name, check. A registered blog domain name, check. A hosting service, check. If you are still reading this article, we are getting to the most fun stuff.
By the time you will be done with this step, your blog website will be up and roaring and you will feel like a little tech genius, haha! I can now call you a webmaster or a webmistress (for the sake of peace and harmony, duh!).
Launching a blog website can be such an intimidating task for a complete amateur but I cannot emphasis how easy it is, especially if you have some knowledge about the internet, software and computers in general.
There are two main ways through you can build your blog website;
The first way is hand coding your site from scratch. This process involves writing the actual code using software development tools and integrating them with hosting frameworks. Truly, this is one tough job and it is only reserved for software engineers and coding experts, none of which I guess you belong to.
The other way is that of using ready-made content management systems (CMS) which allow you to create and launch websites even when you have zero coding knowledge. CMS softwares have been engineered to build the website for you and your only work is to add articles, photos and videos. Can I hear somebody say Halleluiah!
Personally, I started out as a web designer having pursued a web design course after high school. I had so much hopes of designing from scratch websites like Facebook and I even at some point dreamt of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg.
But deep into the art, I realized that it takes too much time and expertise to come up with a simple and functioning website. I also realized that the owners of big website spend millions of dollars to hire top-notch specialized developers to build and maintain their websites.
I didn’t have time, money and expertise for that. I therefore did some research on easy and cheaper alternatives and that’s how I landed on CMSes.
The most popular CMS is called WordPress (infact this blog of mine runs on WordPress). WordPress powers over 30% of the websites on the internet. It is popular for its simplicity and complexity mashed together.
While there are many other CMSes softwares e.g Medium, Drupal, Blogger and Joomla, I would advise you to choose WordPress. We have already discussed the advantages of using WordPress in one of the previous sections.
Step 7: Install and configure WordPress on your blog
Remember when you purchased a hosting package along with a domain? Well, the hosting environment was configured for you automatically by your hosting service provider.
Inside the hosting environment, there’s a software called cPanel. cPanel is a very popular hosting management software many hosting companies use to manage their client websites.
- You can access your cPanel account by logging into your webmaster dashboard (hosting account). While inside your webmaster dashboard, look for a clickable link named “cPanel Login”. Webmaster dashboards can be customized depending on the web hosting company.
- Once you have successfully logged in your cPanel account, scroll down to the software or scripts section until you see “Install WordPress” or something of the sort. When you click the link, a form will come requiring you to fill a few details about your site and finally click install.
- After that, you might be redirected to WordPress login page where you should login with your WordPress username and password created in the previous step. If you are not redirected, you can login by going to yourdomain.com/wp-admin
Just to let you know, your web or blog will already be launched at this time and you can access it by typing your domain address in the browser.
Configure Settings of your WordPress blog
But before you go, there are certain things you need to do immediately. Remember we are not just starting a blog, we are starting a successful blog that will earn you money. Therefore we need to optimize our blog from the very beginning.
Below are some of the crucial things you should do to optimize your Ugandan blog.
- Hover over Settings
- Select General
- Under General, Edit the site title to your blog name and set your tagline the tagline (Optional).
- Edit the email address to your preferred email address
- The rest can be ignored
The link structure is one of the many website ranking factors used by Google. Permalinks are static links which lead a browser to a particular post or page. An optimized link contains keywords of a post and title which makes it easy for Google to rank your post in their search engine. To setup your permalink structure, head over to WordPress blog settings and select Permalinks at the bottom of the list. In the Permalinks settings page, scroll down and select Post Name as your preferred link structure.
Step 8: Install Plugins on your WordPress blog
One of the reasons WordPress is simple and yet powerful is its ability to use plugins. Plugins are extensions that add extra functionalities to a website. Plugins improve the performance of your website too.
There are thousands of WordPress plugins available for use. Some are free, others are paid. But if you install too many plugins, your blog will be bloated. It is advised that you only install essential plugins that you need.
So I came up with a list of recommended WordPress plugins that are essential for a new site.
- Spam bee – protect your site from spam comments
- Yoast SEO – Optimize your blog for search engines
- Updraft – Backup your site on Google Drive or Dropbox
- W3 Total Cache – Improves your site loading speed
- Wordfence – Acts like an antivirus. It protects your site from malware or hackers.
- Google Analytics – provides you the statistics you need to understand your audience.
- TablePress – for creating tables
- Backup Buddy – Don’t lose your data. This plugins helps to backup your wordpress data
- Thirsty Affiliates – Manage your affiliate links
- Official AMP for WordPress
- Title and Nofollow For Links
To install any of the above plugins, hover over Plugins on the navigation sidebar and select add new then search for the plugin name.
Step 9: Writing Your First Blog Post
The excitement is not over yet. You are just about to publish your very first post. I assume you already have your article typed in MS Word saved on your computer. If you have not done so, consider writing one on any topic surrounding your niche.
Time to make your first post. To do so, you will be required to first log into your WordPress dashboard. This can be done by adding /wp-admin infront of your blog domain name. For example if your blog is www.yourdomain.com, you will add /wp-admin to make it look like this www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin.
Visit your www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin and login with your WordPress credentials (email and password).
Once logged in, look for “Posts” on your left panel, hover the mouse over it and you should see the option to add a new posts, click on “Add New” and you will be taken to the post composing page.
If you had already written your article in MS word and saved it on your computer, just copy it and paste it there. If you hadn’t written the post yet, you can start writing it in the text area.
Composing or creating a post in WordPress is as easy as composing a mail on Gmail. When done, click on “Publish” and hey your first post will be live.
To have a look at how your blog looks like, click on your blog name in the left upper of the dashboard.
Step 10: Keep Updating Your New Blog
From there, your job will now be pouring out what is on your mind. Keep your blog regularly updated with clean, fresh and high quality content.
Having lots of high quality content on your blog increases chances of your content ranking higher in search engines thus generating more traffic for your website or blog.
When it comes to blogging, content is king. Start writing high quality content right away. You may not be a very good writer but consistency in writing will help you perfect your writing skills.
Setting up blog done, what next?
At this point, we have gone through almost every essential step required to setup a blog in Uganda. By now, the blog should live online and ready to roar.
However, we cannot forget the crucial business part of the blog. I’m sure you came here looking to learn to create a successful blog in Uganda. Just like any other business, blogging requires several essential practices for success.
So generally, you need to be business-minded to run a successful blog business in Uganda, a country with one of the highest internet penetration in the world.
Step 11: Monetizing your blog – How to make money from your blog in Uganda
Now that you have finally launched your blog, but the question is how to you make money from it? If you are not blogging for fun, you should, of course look for ways of making money from your blog. Make money blogging in Uganda!
It can be easy to create a blog but very hard to make money from it. Yes, it is not free money as you may have been told by your friends. I mean you have to hustle for it like real serious.
In the first place, you shouldn’t expect to make a lot of money from your blog for at least the first year of operation. You need to spend most of your time creating high quality content, optimizing your blog and network with other bloggers in the same blogging niche through guest blogging.
In order to make money from a blog, you need to have high traffic, and building traffic takes a lot of efforts and time.
For starters, In Uganda, most bloggers only monetize their blogs and websites through Google Adsense and Premium banners because that is all they know. But there’s a lot more to that.
Below are some of the ways from which you can monetize your blog and make money from it.
- Add advertising using various ad networks such as Google Adsense, Infolinks, Media.Net etc
- Premium banners. Sell premium banners on your blog, can be monthly or yearly. You must however have the right traffic to convince advertisers.
- Affiliate Marketing e.g Web Hosting affiliate networks, Amazon, Commission Junction, Shareasale, Clickbank, eBay Partner Network etc
- Product Creation. Here you can create your own products and sell e.g ebooks, courses, videos etc
- Got some unique skills? You can sell your services to other bloggers e.g Content writing, blog creation and design, Social media strategy, Business consultancy, coaching etc
How much can you earn from blogging per month?
When I started blogging a few years ago, I was just doing it as a hobby. I loved technology and business and I wanted to share my own ideas about the two subjects.
As I slowly waded into the waters of blogging, I realized there was a big number people from all walks of life who were making a lot of money from blogs they started as a hobby e.g stay-at-home moms, students, inspiration speakers, teachers, doctors etc
Many of these people had gone on to put a lot of professional effort, and it’s impressive what they have been able to achieve.
That said, how much money can you make from blogging per month? There are several ways to earn from a blog in Uganda, but in this section I will only discuss the possible amount you can earn from your blog if you monetized it with Google AdSense.
But before we go ahead, what is AdSense? AdSense is an advertising platform that allows website publishers to monetize their sites by running contextually relevant ads, generating revenue based on clicks or impressions. The ads are for 3rd party companies or businesses but administered, sorted, and maintained by Google.
To use AdSense on your blog, you must apply for and be accepted into the AdSense program and your blog must be in line with Google AdSense policies.
So, how much can you earn with AdSense? The amount of money you earn with AdSense totally depends on the quality and amount of traffic you get on your blog. Before we estimate the money one can earn with AdSense, we need to first understand the following terminologies as used by AdSense.
- Cost Per Click (CPC). This varies. It usually ranges from $0.02 to $1, but on some special and rare cases, it can go up to as high as $100.
- Cost Per 1000 Impressions (CPM)
- Revenue per 1000 Impressions (RPM).
- Click Through Rate (CTR). These are clicks per 100 impressions. Varies between 1-10% depending on your niche and ad placement.
- This is an estimate of how much money you would receive if you had 1000 impressions eg if you made $1 with 100 impressions, your eCPM would be $10 ($1/100 impressions X 1000 impressions).
Other terms: Page views, Earnings, Impressions etc. Guess these are self-explanatory.
Now, from the above, your AdSense earnings will mainly depend on two primary factors ie CPC and CTR. CPC varies from niche to niche and will also largely depend on your traffic sources. Niches like finance, health, business, insurance, loans, travel, mortgage, education etc have very high CPC.
However if you are getting traffic from Tier 1 countries (developed countries) like USA, UK, German, Australia, Canada etc, your CPC higher compared to traffic from Tier 3 countries (third world countries) Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Congo, Kenya, Zambia etc.
Having understood the above terminologies used by AdSense, now let’s assume your RPM is $2/1000 page views, and you are getting 10,000 pages views in a day. This means you can potentially earn revenue of $20 (about UGX 70,000) in a single day. If your daily page views remain constant for 30 days, you can earn $600 a month (about UGX 2.1M).
If you work hard and follow the best blogging practices, create high quality content and work on your SEO, you should able to earn at least $1000 (about UGX 3.7M) per month from AdSense alone.
If you supplement your revenue streams with other blog monetization methods such as corporate banners, affiliate marketing, sale of products, consulting, freelancing etc, you should be able to earn in excess of $1500 (UGX 5.5M) per month.
From this you should learn that the more traffic you get, the more money you earn. However it doesn’t have to be just traffic, it has to be quality traffic. Many beginners are eager to get quick traffic. They go ahead to litter their blog links all over social media in a bid to generate huge traffic so they can increase their earnings in no time. This is wrong as it will only work to kill your blog reputation and Google will penalize you for that.
In fact, social media traffic doesn’t have much value as compared to organic traffic from search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo Search. You should focus more on building organic traffic using several SEO methods. If you have no idea about SEO, i can offer you my paid SEO services and I will rank your blog number #1 in Google.
How do you get paid for your adsense earnings? (How bloggers get paid)
You will receive direct payments from Google if you have monetized your blog with AdSense.To qualify for AdSense payments, Google requires you to first verify your payment address. To do so, you will need to request for verification PIN which will be sent to you via your physical postal address.
A PIN usually arrives in 4-6 weeks upon request. To be able to request for verification PIN, you must have earned at least $10 in revenue. If you don’t have a personal postal address, use for a friend or someone you know or apply for a Virtual Postal Address with Posta Uganda.
Since this is a how to start a blog article, I will not go deep into details of an AdSense, but everything to do with your AdSense earnings and payments can be found in your AdSense account.
Now once you have verified your payment address, to be eligible for payment, you must have earned at least $100 in revenue. $100 is the minimum payment threshold for AdSense.
Payments are calculated on the last day of the month (30th or 31st) and issued on every 21st day of the month that follows. This means that if by the last day of the previous month your earnings had not reached the payment threshold of $100, you will not qualify to receive payment on 21st the following month. Even if you reached a threshold between 1st and 20th, you still do not qualify to get paid on 21st, but will qualify for next month’s payment.
AdSense Payment methods in Uganda
In Uganda, AdSense supports the following payments methods;
- Wire Transfer (Bank)
- Western Union
Western Union is the most convenient payment method for Uganda and your money comes on same day unlike Wire Transfer and Cheque methods which can take days or even weeks for your money to arrive.
NB: If you are monetizing your blog with other methods other AdSense, it is up you to figure out how you will receive payments. If you sell products online, you can accept payments online via PayPal (if you have a supported PayPal account), credit card, mobile money or cash on delivery if your target clients are predominantly Ugandans.
Step 12: Promoting your blog
You can’t ignore this. Even the world’s biggest brands still advertise today. Blogging is a business, and every business needs promotion. Even if you have the most beautiful blog in the world, if you people can’t visit it, you won’t make any money with it. Remember in blogging, traffic = money.
So in order to make money with your blog, it is important that you get it to the masses. You need to drive visitors to your blog by promoting it.
Promoting your blog doesn’t mean you should go around the internet annoying people with blog links or nagging your social media friends by asking them to share your blog socials. This is unprofessional and it is considered spam.
Consider promoting your blog using the following marketing strategies:
- Social media marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Search Engine marketing
- Run special deals and offers
- Email marketing (newsletters)
- Pay Per Click (CPC) advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Guest posting (Guest write for other blogs)
- Create high quality share-worthy content
- Be active in relevant communities e.g internet forums
- Grand blog launch
- Word of mouth [tell your friends about it]
- Network with other bloggers
- Submit your blog to online directories
- Combine your efforts with vlogging
- Engage with influencers
- Write an ebook [and include your blog links in it]
- Sales literature e.g Flyers, business cards, brochures etc
Mistakes That New Bloggers Make that you should avoid
Starting a blog is an exciting thing, and because of this excitement, many new blogger make blunders that lead to the failure of the blogs. Below are the most common mistakes new bloggers make that you must avoid:
Have a niche. If you write about technology today, tomorrow you write about love and other day you write about politics, and then you get to realize that no one visits your blog or comments on your blog posts, do not wonder why! It is because people don’t know what your blog is about. Sticking to one niche will help you boost your blog traffic and grow your audience.
Originality. Try as much as possible to be original at all times. Never copy content from other blogs. Always create your original content from scratch.
Consistency. Do not take ages to update your blog. Always update your blog regularly. At least add 2-4 posts per week.
Plan for your posts. Do not just post because you feel like you should post something. Apart from timely topics that require to be posted right away, plan for your new posts at least 3 days in advance, so you can get enough time to edit, amend and proofread them.
Lack of organization. Endeavor to keep yourself organized. You should have a ‘To Do’ list of the topics you plan to write about, when you will write them and when you will publish them. Have a physical planner so you can visually see what you are required to do.
Misleading headlines. Do not write misleading headlines that do not match with the content in the body. Alarming headlines will leave your audience frustrated and this will increase your blog’s bounce rate.
Write only facts. Do not post false information just to trick your audience to click your links. The moment your audience realizes you are feeding them with fake info, they will leave your blog for good.
Do not Ignore SEO. The general rule for blogging is: “Write for users first, then for Search Engines”. Before you start writing any post, you should first do adequate research. Find out which topics are trending in your niche and which keywords are ranking high for similar topics. This will help your content appear in search results when relevant searches are performed.
Writing short posts. Do not write short articles. Posts that rank in the first 10 positions of search engine results page are normally long with over 2000 words. An average post should be at least 1000 words, while the least should be about 750 words. Always, write long-form actionable content that benefits your audience.
Not having an Email List. Start building an email list right from day one. This is a great marketing tool for your blog. I would recommend that you start building your email list on MailChimp.
Your blog isn’t user-friendly. Ensure that your blog is well designed, cross device responsive and easy to navigate. People tend to leave websites or blogs if they cannot easily use them. In a similar way, you should make sure your content is correctly formatted. A bad blog can hurt your reputation and credibility.
Remember that effective and quality blogging takes time but it is worth it.
Making your blog successful
These that the overall key factors that will contribute towards the success of your blogging career:
- Get a good design for your blog, fully responsive.
- Create content that adds value to your audience
- Learn best practices Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Update your blog or website consistently
- Promote your blog on social media but do not spam
- Interact with your blog visitors through comments.
- Educate yourself on blogging. Explore new trends.
- Learn how to use WordPress effectively
- Learn Digital Marketing (SMO, SMM, SEM)
- Experiment to see what your audience likes
- Setup analytics and know where your traffic is coming from in order to strategize.
- Do not be afraid to fail. If you fail flat, don’t give up, try something new.
- If you have not time create content for yourself, hire professional writers.
What you should Expect
You must have probably read stories of bloggers who are making thousands of dollars per month out of their blogs. If you just started your blog, do not expect to make the same huge amounts of money overnight. It takes a lot of efforts, commitment, faith and patience.
When I started this blog, I did not expect any monetary returns from it in the beginning. I instead focused on creating high quality content, optimizing it for search engine visibility and promoting it on different platforms.
In fact I monetized my blog after six months of operation. Still after monetizing it, it took me more six months before I started earning from it. It also possible for your blog to take more than two years without earning any reasonable money from it.
The main reason many blogs fail is expecting returns in the shortest period of time. Like the saying goes, “Rome was not built in one day”, therefore you shouldn’t expect to mint profits from your blog in “One day”. Be focused, blog about the things you are passionate about. Keep the blogging spirit alive and trust me, after some time, you will starting eating big from your blog.
Don’t be Greedy for Money
Becoming a successful blogger requires hard work and determination. You don’t just start a blog or website start hoping for the best. For one to thrive in this blogging industry, you have to consistently and regularly publish high quality content that is educative, entertaining and add value to your readers. Nobody will visit your blog if blog if your content adds no value to them.
Useful Resources For Beginner Bloggers
Below are some of the tool resources every new blogger must look out for. These resources will help you to manage and grow your blog.
Themes for your blog
- WordPress.com – Best free blogging platform
- WordPress.org – Best overall blogging platform
- Blogger.com – Publishing platform by Google
- Medium.com – Platform with a simple interface
Blogging advice, tips, guides (for wordpress)
- WP Beginner
- WP Kube
- WP Explorer
- WP Lift
Domain name registrants and webhosts
- GoDaddy – The most reputable provider
- Namecheap – Provides excellent value for money
- Bluehost – Best wordpress hosting with free domain
- Dreamhost – Affordable hosting
- com – Provider with affordable prices
- Google Domains – Registrations made simple and easy
Free Blog Setup
If you read this guide but still find it too complicated to understand the steps to create a blog, I will help you setup your website/blog for FREE.
I will design for you a professional website or blog that is responsive, secure and highly optimized for search engines.
If you have read this article up to this far (over 10,000 words), then you must be really interested in building a successful blog and make money online in Uganda.
Anyone can earn money in blogging, but it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you’re starting a blog from zero, it may take months or even years before you see any money. Building and monetizing a blog is effectively a part-time job, and you should look at it as long term investment.
Many Ugandans have been sold a myth that you can make money from a blog or website while asleep; they have been told that all they need to do is set up a blog, start posting on it and money will begin flowing in each time someone visits their blog or website. Well that is not only false but also impossible.