When someone asks me what I do and I tell them I’m a blogger, it sounds totally weird to them mostly because they don’t understand what it means. And when I try to explain what it means to be a blogger to them, they just say “that is not a job”.
Well, I’m not one for arguments, so I simply say okay to such people and move on because the fact that they don’t think it’s a job is not going to do anything for me.
Blogging can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you want to blog as a hobby or you want to blog as a full time job. And yes, when you say you want to blog as a full time job, you are definitely going to have people telling you to forget about it and get a real job.
But for me, what I can tell you is that every job is a real job. So long as you put in all your efforts and work hard, you will succeed. So don’t let what people say discourage you from starting a blog.
Is blogging right for me?
This is a question that most people ask themselves. Well, if you are someone who loves to write, then blogging is indeed right for you.
This is because blogging is all about writing. So if you don’t enjoy writing, it will be difficult to keep your blog up.
You can choose to blog as a hobby. Or blogging can be a side hustle to earn some extra income or if you want to be like me and blog full time, you can totally do so.
Although, if you already have a job, I will advise you to blog as a side hustle alongside your job until your blog starts making income, then you can quit and blog full time.
This is because, although blogging can be a good source of income, it doesn’t happen overnight. You will have to work for some time before you start earning with a blog.
Some people start earning with their blog as early as 3 months into blogging, others have to blog for over a year before they start seeing any earnings from it.
But all this is based on the work you put into your blog and the investments you make in the blog. Because, blogging is just like any job, in other to earn from it, you need to work hard and invest in it.
How to start a blog in Ghana
The good news about starting a blog is that you don’t need to be computer savvy with amazing computer skills to start a blog. When I started blogging, I didn’t know anything about building a website or a blog but yet I was able to do so.
So whether you are a student in high school or the university who wants to blog as a hobby or you want to blog for a little extra cash, you can totally do so easily.
1. Find a niche
The niche is the specific topic your blog will be about. Usually, when it comes to blog niches, it is best to go with something you are passionate about.
This is because blogging is about writing and it will be difficult to write about a topic you have no interest in.
So if you are into fashion and beauty, you can choose that niche. If you like to cook, then you can start a food blog, if you are into celebrity news and gossip, you can blog about that. Other blog niches include music, finance, health, technology, and so many others.
2. Get a blog name
The next step to starting a blog is to get a blog name. Some people simply use their names for their blog name, other’s pick a blog name based on what the blog is about. So once you have a blog niche, you can easily come up with a blog name.
But I will advise that you choose a name you are going to love forever because changing your blog name later can affect the blog.
Your readers might find it difficult to find your blog and your new blog might also take time to rank on google.
3. Get a domain and hosting
Your domain is the link to your blog. This usually ends with .com or .net and others too.
Hosting is like having space on the internet where your blog shows. So if you have a domain name in order for the blog to show, you need a hosting service to host the blog on the internet.
Usually, when people want to start a blog in Ghana, they simply use blogger or wordpress.com for their site. This way, their blog URL is either www.blogname.blogspot.com or www.blogname.wordpress.com
But if you are looking to earn anything from your blog at all, then I wouldn’t advise you to use blogspot or wordpress.com
It is best to start your blog with your on a self-hosted platform that way your URL is www.blogname.com
If you’ve already started blogging with blogspot or wordpress.com, it isn’t too late, you can still switch to a self-hosted blog.
Blog hosting services in Ghana
There are so many hosting services for blogs in Ghana, but I recommend Ultrahostghana, that is what I personally used when I was starting out and they have amazing customer service.
They keep your blog running and take care of the technical aspects for you so your blog doesn’t crash.
So from Ultrahostghana, you can buy a domain name and get hosting for your blog. Their prices are very affordable too. The domain name is GHC60 for a year and their hosting plans start from GHC9 a month.
4. Setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog
Ultrahostghana hosting comes with a Cpanel account, so once you purchase your domain and hosting, you can log in to Cpanel, and then from there, you can set up your self-hosted blog.
I recommend using WordPress to set up your blog and no, this is very different from wordpress.com
This gives you a self-hosted WordPress site where you can log in and publish your blog posts.
So to set up your blog, log in to Cpanel and scroll down to Softaculous apps installer. There, click on WordPress and begin the blog installation process.
Once you click the WordPress button, another page will open, there, click install now and fill up all the necessary information. This includes the site name, a site description, your admin username, admin password, and admin email address.
Make sure to enter the right details in the admin field because that will be your login details for your blog. After that scroll down and click install. And your blog will be installed in a few minutes.
Once installation is complete, there will be a URL, to log into your blog. Click that link and enter your admin username and admin password and then from there you can start publishing articles.
5. Choosing a blog theme
There are so many free themes on wordpress you can use for your blog. So you can select any of these free themes for your blog and start using it.
I will suggest you go with a free theme that gives you the option to choose fonts and colors. Some free themes don’t give you many features to work with but since you are only starting out, you can use that till you are ready to buy a premium theme.
If you have enough money to invest in a premium theme from the scratch, then you can also go ahead and buy a premium theme.
Once your theme is up, you can go ahead and customize the theme. Choose your colors, fonts and also make a menu for your blog. This makes it easy for readers to navigate your blog.
6. Create a logo
Now, your blog is almost done, the next thing to do is to create a logo for your blog. You can create your own logo or get a professional to create one for you.
Or you can simply choose a font for your blog name and leave it like that. A logo is one of the things that can wait until you are making money with your blog.
Your blog is ready
Now, that is it! Your blog is set up and ready. You can go ahead and start publishing articles on your blog. I believe these steps are easy to follow to start a blog but if you have problems setting up and you need help, feel free to contact me.
Although, you should note that I will have to charge you to set up the blog for you. Don’t worry, it will be just something small.
Where to find photos for blog posts
One thing you have to know about blogging is that you can’t just use any image you find on the internet for your blog posts. All images on the internet have copyright owners, so you can’t just use someone’s image without permission.
It will be best if you have your own photos for your blog posts but if you don’t have them, you don’t need to fret. There are free photo sites like Unsplash and Pixabay where you can get photos related to your content to use for free without any copyright issues.
Finding readers for your blog
It will be difficult to get any views for your articles if you only publish and leave it like that especially if you are just starting out.
The best way to get blog page views is to optimize your articles for search engines like google. Millions of people search google daily for answers to their questions.
So if you’ve optimized your article for search engines, it will start showing in search results. You can use a plugin like Yoast SEO or Rank Math for SEO settings.
Personally, I recommend Rank Math, as that’s what I’m currently using. I started with Yoast but I switched to Rank Math as it gives you a lot of features to optimize your articles.
Now the thing with SEO is that it will take time for your blog to show up in search results especially with a new domain, your blog will take time to rank on google.
So the quickest way to get page views will be to share your articles and encourage people to share. You can share your articles on social media sites like facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
You can also share with your friends and family on Whatsapp and encourage them to share too.
So you see, it is very easy to start a blog in Ghana, you can have your blog up and ready in a few hours if you should start now.