How did you start your blog? I get this question every other day. So I finally decided to create a dedicated category to help people start out their journey blogging, or vlogging or whatever you want to do online.
I want this to be a series of posts. So each post in this category will answer a question raised by any of you. I am not writing them from a guru point. Far from it. I almost give up too sometimes, but there’s this thing called passion that should be your sole motivation to get into any field.
Each different post will be answering different questions you guys ask. I won’t be telling you theories. No. I’ll be sharing my personal story and journey. From it, I hope you’ll find what helps you, pick it, and apply it to your venture.
Each journey is unique, so don’t go copy pasting.
So you want to start a Blog?
You are here because you feel you want to start a blog. Not necessarily a tech blog. It could be in fashion, creative writing, or it could be about cakes. Honestly, you can blog about anything. You can even blog about our constitution that the government of Kenya seems to not understand.
By the way, I love traveling, and in future when things look up, there will be a travel category.
One of the main things about starting a blog is finding what you really love. And creating content around that.
What do you really love?
I love sharing my opinion on different things. And that’s what tech-ish.com is about. Yes it has a lot of tech going on, because that’s what my life has been about for the last 5 years. And because I am really into smartphones. But it isn’t deep tech… so tech-ish. ish ish. However, there’s tech, politics, travel, commerce etc in here.
Find what you really love and create content around that. Don’t try to replicate what other bloggers do. Do you.
@Echenze, my mentor in tech blogging, who now runs AndroidKenya.com, told me in my 2nd year of university: If you want to grow, be unique. Ask yourself why a reader should come for your content and not for another person’s in the same field.
That should be your guiding principle. Be unique. Be true.
There’s no particular kickass way to start that will work. There’s just starting. Don’t go sit down and plan for months on how you’ll start your awesome blog. Just start, get disappointed fast, get bored, and learn new ways. You might even find out its not your thing while at it.
I cleared High School in 2011 and in January 2012 I started out on blogspot.com. It wasn’t a tech blog then. It was more of a collection of compositions, as some people called them. I was writing what I considered creative posts on different things, and different opinions. I’d get like 30 views from a post and feel good about it. When I made a post, I’d crazily share it all over, using all means. I mean all means. I’d spam people by text, mail, WhatsApp etc. Anything. It was annoying. And that made some people unfriend and block me. LOL.
But I kept on writing and sharing. Readership of the site grew slowly. In June 2012, I remember one of the posts I wrote then influenced my decision to change my JAB Application from Bachelor of Laws to Bachelor of Science Informatics. A decision I still don’t regret.
One of the biggest challenges was ridicule the venture raised. Even after I joined campus, some used the fact that I was blogging to poke fun at me, and make jokes. People will ridicule anything. Thinking of it now makes me laugh since some of them are now busy building blogs.
I didn’t know anything when I started. I just knew I had stories I wanted to share. My most read post on that first blog was titled “I fear joining University”. I wrote this the night I received my admission to Moi University. I wanted a university ya mashinani. Ata hio law would have been in Moi. But I feared growing up. In that post I ranted about not knowing how to live in campus, being expected to cook for myself and stuff like that.
Ask yourself why a reader should come for your content and not for another person’s in the same field
Anyway that small blogspot.com idea became OtienoDickson.com beginning of 2014. I was now in my second year of university and having my very own domain was the greatest thing I had done in my life. For real, I felt so big owning my own domain. “Huyu ananichezea hajui I have my own domain”. Hahaha
From OtienoDickson.com in January, came tech-ish.com in April. I was writing tech reviews, stories and poetry in one blog, and that was stressing me out. Then I read some tweet that said: When you open one blog, you kind of never stop. And that did it.
So on April 7th, I used almost all savings, bought tech-ish.com domain, got some mediocre hosting and bought the TECNO M7 for my review.
@Echenze charged me 500 bob to setup WordPress. It is embarrassing right now because even a 10 year old can setup WordPress. @ShikuNgigi taught me about Jetpack the next week. It’s actually from Shiku’s blog name “Thoughts and Stuff”, that I coined my tagline “Opinion on Tech and Stuff”. Yeah very original.
I was broke that semester. But now I had two domains in my name. LOL. No one could tell me anything. There’s this day during a Data Structures and Algorithms exam, the paper was impossible and my consolation was at least I have tech-ish.com. Haha!
So go to WordPress.com or Blogger.com or any of those new free sites and open your site. If you have cash buy a domain and get someone to help you set up things. Or learn how to do it yourself. Get going. Don’t postpone. Don’t fear. Start now.
Create good content!
So here I was with my not so tech blog and now I needed people to start reading it. But before people can read a site, it needs content. I borrowed phones. I borrowed gadgets. I wrote long posts about tech products I wanted, and slowly I built an audience.
You need to plan for your content. Take time and plan everything out. Then take time and create the content. A full review on this site takes about a month to create. I will use the device for weeks. Note down the things I want to talk about, plan how it’ll go. Take photos. Edit the photos. And then on the day for writing the review, I’ll write it down in 3 to 4 hours. And you’ll read it in 5 minutes. But it’ll have almost everything important.
After creating your content, share it. With friends, with interested people, and with those who are ready to support you.
A full review on this site takes about a month to create
Some of you already asked about how to get an audience for your blog or YouTube channel or whatever. Let’s talk about that next week.
Send questions via Facebook page or firstname.lastname@example.org.