How to start a blog in South Africa

by | Mar 28, 2020 | Blogging | 0 comments

There is a good chance by reading this article you want to start a blog in South Africa and if your answer is yes then, you are in the right place. Blogging seems to be a very popular search term in South Africa and it shows just how many people are looking for something they can do for extra money every month.

Before we dive into all the specifics of how to start a blog in South Africa, let me just tell you something from the very beginning. A lot of “internet guru’s” and self-proclaimed bloggers make it out as if it is easy to start blogging to make money.

This is what causes most blogs to fail due to the false hope they portray on every second “how to make money” blogs out there.

I want to be real with you and let you know that’s simply not the case, blogging takes extreme dedication and strategic planning. Not to mention the time it takes for your blog articles to start ranking in Google’s SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages)

I am only telling you this because I have been blogging for 10 years and most of those years I failed because I was doing it for the wrong reasons.

Those failures are my past, but I made sure to learn from them. Do the same and don’t give up.

All the things I mentioned above are not to discourage you in any way. Quite frankly, it should inspire you to take it seriously! Plus, I am purely telling you the truth and what you can expect from me and my blog.

Not everyone wants to start blogging to make money from it. Some just want a creative outlet where they can share and vent about their problems and challenges they face daily. There is nothing wrong with it, but trust me, if you are 6 months to a year into your new blogging venture you will realize that it takes a  lot of hard work and time.

This is where you are going to start looking at options to monetize your blog to get something out of it.

I mean, why not? You deserve it, right?

Lastly, if you want to learn how to start a blog in South Africa for free and not interested in making money from your hard work then this article might not be for you. Everything, and I mean everything in the end takes money to make it work.

This is why millions of “free” platforms are on the internet with the objective to make money from people like you and me. You start for free but if you want to be taken serious you have to upgrade your free plan to a paid plan. 

It i just how it works.

But if you want to learn and be serious about how to start a blog and take it to the next level, then it will take a small investment from your side to get started. 

This will lay a solid foundation for your blog.

Also, not a lot, I am talking around R100 to R190 a month for hosting. You can cancel at any time!

Trust me when I say this, I also started on a free platform because it was simple and easy.  I produced a ton of content every week because that was the fad back then. Write, write and write some more because Google loves new content.

Meanwhile, I decided that I need a more custom and SEO optimized platform like WordPress. I then made the leap and started to learn everything I could about blogging with WordPress and pulled the trigger to move from the one platform to WordPress.

It was so exhausting. I was burned out and decided to abandon everything. Time and money wasted.

So, when I say you should start with the right platform from the very beginning, then I mean it with all my heart. Start your blogging with WordPress.

With all that out of the way I would like to help you get your blog up and running.

If you are ready to take blogging in South Africa seriously then watch this video below.

Start Here – Domains.co.za

Get your free page builder here – Brizy

Let’s dive into 9 steps on how to start a blog in South Africa.

What is a blog?

 

Essentially, a blog and a website are pretty much the same thing. A blog is dynamic website which receives or updated with new content every week.

So, why blog? In the mid 90s people were already using the internet to write articles, mostly about personal things and so on. Almost like an online diary if you will. They called it a “web log” and throughout the years of involvement we ended up with just saying “blog”. 

Now back to modern times, blogs are so much more than just online dairies. Blogs are great resources for people to find solutions to their everyday problems.

Interesting, right?

Blogging definition

According to dictionary.com what blogging is, is a website that forms opinions, expressions and experiences of an author or multiple authors.

1. Mentally preparing your head.

 

This is probably the most important step you will have to face, is to stop worrying what others might think and to be dead honest with you, people don’t care what you do in any way.

They are so focused on their lives that your blog will go unnoticed for a while. 

Don’t be afraid of technology, there a people 80 years and older who actively blog every day.

You are going to have to face your fears and put yourself out there for other people to judge. This part sucks but it is the way it is.

Nothing feels better when you publish your first blog post and someone leaves you a great positive comment on the post. 

To make this step a bit easier I would take a pen and paper and write down the following –

  • What you need your blog to achieve.
  • How many hours are you going to put aside for your blog every day?
  • Who is your target audience you want to help?
  • Set attainable goals.

Then you commit to it for at least a year to a year and a half before you even think about quitting.

Trust me, this is important. You WILL feel discouraged every month and it will feel like “what is the point”

Just keep on writing, take a break but never quit!

Stay strong and if you need a splash of inspiration don’t hesitate to sign up for my newsletter. We send inspirational stuff every week.

2. Why should you start a blog?

This will be different for everyone who wants to learn how to start a blog in South Africa but for most people, the reason will be the same and that’s using blogging to make money.

And there is nothing wrong with it but blogging can mean so much more than that. Let’s explore some reasons why you would want to start a blog.

  • Travel: Yes, blogging can lead to financial freedom and with that comes travelling to all the places you dreamed about.
  • Do what you want: You can design your days the way you want them to go.
  • Learn a new skill: It is no lie that blogging comes to a tremendous learning curve. Take advantage of this to learn something new.
  • Helping Others: This is what blogging should be all about. Your blog and topic you write about should be a solution to people’s problems.
  • Improve your writing: If you are a natural writer or not, blogging will help you take your writing skills to the next level.
  • Attract more people: If you have a website for your business, you can add a blog to attract more customers looking for answers to questions they might have.

Whatever it is you want to start a blog for, it is a good enough reason.

Read the full article HERE

 

Wix add

3. What are you going to blog about?

 

Mmmmh, interesting question right? You will hear 10 different answers from 10 different people from here in South Africa to the International Space Station. It will differ vastly but the one thing you will hear people most say is, is to blog about your passion.

It is true in some sense but what if I know a lot about personal finance and my passion is making biltong to sell at the local Boeremark every Saturday?

Can you start a blog about biltong? Probably yes, how many articles can you write about biltong? Not many!

You see, it makes more sense to write about things you’re knowledgeable about and if it so happens to be your passion too, then you have a winning blog!

Let me give you an example, You are an 24-old accountant who knows a fair bit about personal finance. You can now start a blog in South Africa helping young people from ages 22 to 32 to manage their funds better. You can help them – 

  • Buy a new car
  • Get rid of student loans
  • Safe for their first house

You see, people are searching for topics like the ones above and if you can provide relevant answers to their queries you will have a successful blog. 

To Google, it is all about relevance and search intent. If you can supply answers in an optimized way, your articles will rank better in Google.

So, if you want to take something away then it should be this – Ask yourself this one question: “Would you be able to write and research about the topic every week for the rest of your blogging life?” 

If the answer is “YES” Well, then you should start your blog.

Read the full article and things to blog about click – HERE

If you want, checkout this video to make things a little easier when deciding what to blog about.

4. What are you going to call your blog?

When you start a blog we tend to focus on little nitty-gritty things like what to call our blog and how it is going to look and work. To tell you the truth it does matter what you call your blog, so choose wisely.

Once you have picked and registered your name for your blog there is no return.

You are going to want to keep it simple and relevant to your topic of interest like for example:

If you blog about investments you can call your blog – www.sureinvestment.co.za

Or something in that nature. 

It helps us humans and search engines like Google to quickly understand what your blog is about. 

There is no way of getting around this if you want to start a blog you are going to have to register a name for your blog sometime or another. You can use Domains.co.za, they ask R80 for domain registration.

Head over to Domains and see if your name is available.

Or you can start a blog on a free site builder like Weebly, FourSqaure, and Wix and register a name like www.weebly.myblog.co.za and that is not very good-looking or professional at all. Trust me. No one will take you seriously in this competitive world of blogging.

Although they are great for building small static websites.  You on the other hand needs to start blogging with WordPress.

If you are serious about starting a blog then follow along this article and I will show you how to start a blog the right way. 

You will thank me later.

5. What is hosting and what is best for me for now?

 

Well, hosting is like an apartment building and your blog is like the tenants living inside the apartments. 

It does not matter if it is big or small, a blog or website everyone pays in some way for hosting.

I use and will always recommend a company called Namehero due to their amazing performance and outstanding client support. I use them for all my .com or .co blogs and websites. If you want to start a website catered for the international market I would definitely go for NameHero

They have super-fast, reliable hosting like none other for a great starting price.

Start with NameHero.

Namehero Hero

But for someone in South Africa wanting to start a blog for the local market, I would recommend Domains where you can pay month to month and not a big lump sum every year.

If for some reason you decide to stop blogging you just cancel. 

Start with Domains.co.za

If you decide to go with Domains.co.za I would recommend starting with the Web hosting plan for R125 a month. 

All in all, if you start today, Domains.co.za will add your domain registration for free! You save R80! 

Screenshot Hostking

The main reason we want to do self-hosting is simple, we want to be able to start a blog on a platform that we have full control over the customization, monetization and the biggest bonus – IT BELONGS TO YOU. 

We can do with it what we want. We can even sell it for a massive profit if we wish.  

6. What blogging platforms is the best?

 

WordPress.org is the best and will always be when it comes to blogging. It is the ultimate CMS (Content Management System) and it drives over one-third of the world’s websites. It was created for blogging back in the day and it’s still perfect for blogging in 2020. 

Many people have tried blogging with WordPress and completely failed at it due to the steep learning curve it presents but you don’t have to worry. There is a lot of stigma around that WordPress is very complicated and I understand why people say it.

But, truthfully speaking, times have changed and if you can follow basic instructions you will be able to start a blog in South Africa in no time on WordPress.

Yes sure, you have other very popular site builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace, and they all perform very well and are easy, to begin with. I started with Wix back in 2000 something and it was pleasant to work with but if you want to make some money with your blog I would strongly suggest sticking with WordPress.

Not only can you fully monetized your blog but you will be able to customize and optimize your blog the way you want. 

With the website builders I mentioned above you don’t own your blog. You just rent it and if they feel like shutting you down they will. 

You don’t build a business on rented land.

Like I mentioned before, they might seem like a good option for you now but eventually, you will want more out of your platform.

Read the full article HERE why Blogging with WordPress is the best option.

7. Design Your Blog

 

When you are blogging with WordPress, you will soon realize you have about a million and one choices for themes for your blog. It is overwhelming, to say the least. Most of us, we like shiny things, beautiful vibrant colours and would like to create a blog that resembles our personality the best. 

That is all good and well but have you ever heard about the saying “less is more” This is very true when it comes to designing your blog.

Keep your colours natural and use lots of whites. White lets your blog breath and your visitors won’t feel so claustrophobic. 

Keep it simple, dark text on a white background.

There are two brilliant page builders you can use to design your blog the way you want without using a single line of code, and they are –

 

Divi – 

Divi is what I use and love. It is a creative person dream and it is perfect for a starter blogger due to the super ease of use. It also boasts an impressive library of ready to go templates and layouts for you to use. This means you can build a website in minutes.

Divi Elegant Themes

 

Check out Divi – Starts at R1500.00 at a time of writing.

 

Brizy –

Just as awesome as Divi, but they are a bit more focused on performance and speed. They also have beautiful styling options and themes and layouts you can use in both free and upgrade plans. 

Brizy is a great choice if you have a limited budget as they provide a limited free plan to get you started. 

 

Brizy page builder

 

Checkout Brizy.

 

In the end, it is your blog and you have to make it work. Just remember, “less is More” People come to blogs to read and learn. If you can focus on producing great high-quality content on a blog that is fresh and has a clean look, you have won half the battle.

Start a blog with the Brizy Page Builder? Check out this video.

Divi WordPress Theme

8. Start writing your articles.

 

The meat and potatoes of every blog, the articles! By now you should have a great idea about what you want to write about. Before you jump in and melt the keyboard, think before you start writing. 

Google is an intelligent machine, and we have to write content to make it happy to make our readers happy. By saying that I mean, we have to plan out our articles before we just randomly blast away with blog articles. 

Not all your articles will rank in Google so think of one article that will be the main article you want people to see and read. 

Example, my new blog is about beard oil and my main post is going to be “Best natural beard oil” 

Now, you have to write a supporting article in the form of how-to’, the best natural ingredients, benefits of natural beard oils and so on. You link all these articles together and then to the main article. 

When Google crawls your site, the spider bots will find all the articles linking back to your main article. This way Google recognises the article as the main article and gives weight to it. In turn, this article will have a better ranking as the others. 

When you have decided on the article topics, it is now time to do proper keyword planning. Without decent keyword planning, you are planning to fail. 

Use Google keyword planner to see how many searches a specific topic gets in South Africa if the topic has between 100 and 1000 searches a month and the difficulty to rank for the search term is low to medium I will use the keyword to create a blog post.

Google also spits out suggestions you can use as part of your keyword research. 

You can use this method in all kinds of content strategies when you first start a blog. 

There must be a reason why you write about a certain topic, keep the flow of your articles flowing and produce awesome shareable content. 

Read the full article HERE on how to write the perfect blog post.

9. Promote your blog

 

When you create a blog the main goal of the blog is for the reader to find your articles and read it, right? Exactly! Let me tell you that it is going to take time for your blog to find readers that connect with your style and personality. 

This is an essential part of your journey, if you plan to publish one blog a week then you should use all the other days promoting your blog. 

You can use the following strategies:

 

Social Media: You can harness the power of social media to get people to visit your blog. Use Facebook pages and groups to let people know about your blog and new articles. Please don’t spam your link all over, people hate that and won’t get you anywhere. 

You can create your own page or group and build a following. You can provide helpful information to your social pages or groups every day and let people know you published a new blog post. 

Another strategy you can use is Pinterest. Pinterest is a goldmine to generate traffic to your blog. The best thing of it all, it is free and long-lasting. I can definitely vouch for this statement as I use Pinterest myself. 

The trick is to use Pinterest strategically and this Pinterest Ninja Ebook by Megan from Love Life Health will blow your mind. I have used it and still refer to it. It is brilliant. 

SEO: This will be your long term game plan. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the practice or a set of rules one has to follow to optimize a website in such a way that Google will favour the website and rank it higher than other websites for the same or related search term.

Yes, it does sound complicated and it can be if you don’t know-how. Basically you need to optimize your blog in such a way that your blog post can be found in Google search terms. 

SEO should be your main focus area after writing high-quality articles for your blog. Don’t worry about it now, just know you will have to learn how to do SEO during everything else you do.

Paid Advertising: If you have money and don’t mind parting with it I would suggest going for paid advertising just to give your blog a quick boost of traffic. It will help greatly to get some eyes on your content really quick.

Please, remember to produce good quality content since you are paying for people to read it. Another thing you should do is to capture their email addresses in any way possible. This will be great leverage for you and defiantly a return on investment.

Email: This one you should not overlook and start to implement from day one. Every time a visitor visits your site, you have a chance to convince the visitor to sign-up for your emails by various techniques. 

Until today, emails are still one of the best sources of traffic to your blog. Every time you publish a blog post you can send a mail to your subscribers letting them know about your new release. 

I use Mailerlite for this. It is perfect for the beginner, easy to use and free for up to 1000 subscribers. 

You should NOT overlook this.

Sign-up for Mailerlite when you start. 

There are off-course more ways to promote your blog but the ones I have shared with you should be enough to get you started. 

We share more ways HERE

MailerLite email marketing for small business

Wrapping it Up.

Blogging might feel extremely technical and it is in some ways but that is why I am here. I will take your hand and show you exactly what to do and what to expect.

You are the one who should commit to this new venture and when you do, there is no going back. You have to believe in yourself and see it through.

Just follow my free videos and blog posts and you will be well on your way  to start a blog in South Africa you can be proud of.

The biggest thing right now is to TAKE ACTION!

If you are ready to start a blog then leave a comment saying “I am committed!”

Please, if you have any questions feel free to ask them HERE or if you just want to let me know about a new blog you want to start, leave a comment down below and I personally will reply. I would love to hear from you.

Affiliate Disclaimer: In this or most of my post I recommend products or services via links or and banners. If any of these links end up in a sale I get a small commision at no extra cost to you.

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