Want to start a blog in Uganda? Blogging is one of the best ways to express yourself online. It is fun to do and often gets addictive with time. It is also one of the easiest ways to make money on the internet today and if you do it right, you will never have to work for someone else ever again in your life.
Getting employed has never been my forte. I have always loved to do things my way even till now. The only way I could burst myself out of the scene was through blogging. Today i own several blogs on the internet and this is just one of them. Next year I plan to make a dent in the Universe – A masterpiece of all my blogs.
Look, it’s kind of frustrating to live in Uganda today especially if your monthly income falls below your expectations. You’ve got to admit to it. Very few jobs will pay you the kind of money you want and besides, the standard of living is quite high.
If you start a blog today and pumped it with so many high quality articles, you stand a chance of making a reasonable amount of income every month. This could be $1000 plus depending on your niche and efforts. The most interesting bit is you will only need a few hours of each day to achieve this.
If you asked me how much i earn from this blog, i average $1500 every month. That is worth over 6 Million Ugx here in Uganda. Of course as my blog grows, i will earn much more than that. Very few jobs will pay you that kind of money. Please see my earnings for last month as received in my Paypal account below.
You can actually make more than that depending on your traffic and niche. I will explain this further later on in the article.
So what pushed me into blogging? Years ago I heard several stories of how some bloggers were averaging a monthly income of $100,000. This was too good to be true and seemed way unrealistic in my world. I never thought writing content on a website would actually earn you that much. But if you thought twice about it, the internet has over 1 billion users as of today. These users can actually be turned into customers.
Patt Flyn of Smart Passive Income is one of the high profile bloggers that average a six figure monthly income.
In this article I show you the basics of starting a blog to help you get started off the right foot. I have failed so many times in the past but each experience was a learning point. I do not want you to go through the same and just in case you get stuck somewhere, I am readily available to help you out whenever.
Right below I talk about the exact steps of starting a blog in Uganda and if you follow everything right, you will have one in less than five minutes. If you do not want to go through the hustle, TutorialFAQ offers a free blog setup service that gets blogs set up for free. This service comes with a free website design service, configuration, security and basic SEO. Claim your free website here.
If you rather prefer to go through the process yourself then well and good. Just do exactly as I say and you should find yourself there shortly.
What is required to start a blog in Uganda?
Three things have to be in place for your blog to function: a web hosting server, a domain and a content management system (preferably WordPress). A web hosting server is where your files will be stored, a domain is the identification string that points to your web host to load your web files. A content management system that allows you to easily create and update content in a user friendly manner.
1. Web Hosting and Domain: For web hosting and domain, i recommend you sign up with A2 Hosting. It apparently has the fastest shared solid state drive (SSD) servers in the industry. They will charge you approximately $68 for the first year of their swift plan. Please note that this price keeps changing and could be less by now. See their current prices here. A2 Hosting apparently has four Data Centers; Their main in Michigan and the rest in Arizona, Amsterdam and Singapore. They also offer free Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates for all their packages.
The first step to starting a successful blog is dealing with reputable service providers. You have to be sure that your files are safe and your website will always be online. In case of support, these companies have experts who will help you out in just a few minutes. Never make a mistake of hosting your website with Ugandans else you will regret. I experienced it before and i can assure you my experience was pretty bad.
2. Content Management System: As for your CMS, i would be so mean if i did not recommend Self Hosted WordPress. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform in the world as per now. Installing WordPress on your server means installing a very powerful and flexible application that lets you to do almost everything you want with your blog. It is free and very easy to learn. Besides, each installation gives you access to thousands of free themes from their official website. A2 Hosting has a script that lets you install WordPress on your server in seconds with a single click. I will show you how the exact way to do this later on in the article.
As for now, you only require those to have your blog up and running. You will need a credit card to purchase web hosting and domain from A2 Hosting. You can get one in less that 2 hours from United Bank for Africa (UBA) along Kampala Road.
Step by step guide for starting a blog in Uganda
Below i show you the exact steps to follow to have your blog up and running. Also i assume you do not have a domain name or web hosting account. If for some reason you do not want to use A2 Hosting then you might have to look at this list of the most recommended web hosting companies. A2 has so many great features that you will like and besides, their server resources are just enough to keep your website running smoothly. Of course this depends on traffic too.
1. Visit A2 Hosting and then click on “Get Started”
Please note that there is a discount for new sign ups. This discount coupon is automatically applied to your order.
2. Choose your hosting plan
You will find three plans: LITE, SWIFT and TURBO. You do not need SWIFT or TURBO right now. LITE is enough to get you started for now. Click on the “GET LITE” button to get started.
3. Choose a Domain
A domain is the address your readers will use to find you. Choose one that is unique, short and easy to remember. Also choose a trustworthy TLD (Top Level Domain). Extensions like .com, .net or .org in their respective order are good enough for trust. I suggest you write down 4 – 5 preferred domain names before you get to this step. This is because the name you want might be already taken.
Click on “Check” after entering your preferred domain and A2 Hosting will check for availability. If your domain is available, you will be notified and allowed to proceed with your account set up.
4. Configure your hosting package
You will then have to configure your account. There are a couple of options on this page but its only two that you are going to alter. The very first is changing the billing cycle to “12 month price” so that you get billed annually.
Now that your billing cycle is changed to 12 months, A2 Hosting is only going to bill you for those months. The next option you are going to alter is the “Auto-Install Application” Click on the drop down menu and choose “WordPress – A2 Optimized”. A2 will automatically install for you WordPress on your account and along with a few basic plugins to get you started.
Now that you are done, click on the orange “Continue” button.
5. Click on “Continue”
On this “Domains Configuration”, there is nothing you are going to change. Just Click on “Continue” to proceed with your installation.
6. Click on “Checkout”
The “Review & Checkout” page shows you the money you are going to be spending annually to renew your account. Accounts are renewed yearly on the same sign up date and month. If you started a blog today (6th December 2017), you will renew your account on 6th December 2018. On the Cart at the right, you will see the amount of money you are going to pay to have your blog up and running. A 51% One Time Discount is added automatically on the final price. All you have to do is click on “Checkout”.
7. Enter Personal and Billing Information
Now you have one more step left to have your blog running. Simply enter the correct personal information and billing information to complete your sign up.
Note: Do not fill in VAT Number or GSTIN Number under the “Additional Options” section. They are simply useless.
Enter your credit card details below, accept terms and conditions and complete your order. A2 Hosting will charge you about $68 to setup your account and host it for a year. This is equivalent to 250,000 in UGX. You have to congratulate yourself because just setup up a business with only 250,000 UGX and you have over 1 billion internet users to target.
8. Visit your Blog
If your transaction succeeds, your blog will be setup instantly and your WordPress login information shall be mailed to the email to used for signing up. You should be able to visit the blog in less than 10 minutes. Simply open to your browser and type in the domain name you chose. If your blog loads right away the BINGO! If it doesn’t, clear your browser’s cache and try visiting it again after 5 minutes.
Your blog is live, What next?
I also do not think you are comfortable with the default WordPress theme. If you need a fresh new look for your website, you can check out the best places to buy WordPress themes. I previously wrote an article that will let you choose the best theme for your blog.
Also Read: 5 Blogging tips for beginners
Writing your first post
Now you have to login to your backend and publish your first post. Please note that WordPress backend can be accessed by adding /wp-admin to the end of your blogs url by default. if your blog address is www.tutorialfaq.com then you can access the backend by visiting tutorialfaq.com/wp-admin.
This however, will not be the case with your blog. The WordPress A2 – Optimized script automatically changes the default login url to a random url. You will find this in the installation email sent to you after setting your account. They do this because they want to protect you from hackers and brute force attacks. Changing the default WordPress login url is a highly recommended security patch that you should use.
When you finally locate your login url, username and password in your A2 installation email, you can now go ahead and login to your dashboard to publish your first post. On the left pane, you will see “Posts”. Hover on it, click on Add New, write your content and publish.
Please note that content is king in blogging. Whoever visits the internet searches for content, if you fed them with regular facts or solved their problems, they will gain your trust right away. Read some of these 5 tips of writing good content.
Begin writing high quality articles from the get go. Your writing might not really be perfect but consistency will get to you improve as time goes on.
Promoting your blog
Now this is where so many newbies lose it. Do not be too aggressive while promoting your blog. Some people go spamming on social media to drive traffic to their blogs. This is only short term and will affect you in the long run. When people see you spamming, they lose trust in your blog and will hardly follow any of the links you share. This is a number one brand killer.
A visitor who discovers your blog organically or gets recommended to it is more likely to remain your follower. Gain readers by building trust! Do not lose trust trying to gain readers.
Social media is a great place to spark off your marketing campaign. See some of my untapped ways of increasing web traffic with minimal marketing.
Build an email list from day one. This might not work out straight away but trust me, you will feel the advantages later on when your blog has grown.
My Tip: If you want to promote your blog and have it explode within the first year, solve problems online. This partly explains why “How To” blogs often succeed. Write high quality problem solving articles and get active on forums like Quora.
I can help you increase your traffic within a short span through simple hacks. you can contact me for private tutoring.
Making money from your blog
So how do you make money blogging in Uganda? There are lots of ways of monetizing a blog. From my experience, Affiliate Marketing is the best and brings in a lion share of revenue. You hardly see any banners on my blog but i still manage to make money. My blog has so many affiliate links that earn me commissions for each referral.
For beginners, Google Adsense is a good place to start from. Most Ugandan blogs solely depend on premium banners and Google Adsense to monetize their blogs. That is the only blog monetization language they know. With affiliate marketing, you are still able to make thousands of dollars from just 1000 users or even less. All you have to do is choose a profitable niche for your blog.
So when is the right time to start making money from your blog? I discuss it all here.
What to avoid
Do not become greedy just because you want to make money in the short run. The moment your blog goes live, look at it as a business. Keep doing the right things day by day. Be patient and stay focused always.
What to expect
First and foremost, do not expect your blog to yield right away. It takes time, hard work and lots of commitment. The reason why so many blogs fail nowadays is that lack of commitment and being impatient. Blog about good stuff and trust me, the magic will work itself after some time.
Secondly, you are going to get pretty much knowledgeable. WordPress, Blogging, SEO, SMO, SEM and making money online are all related fields. Some how you will get to learn at least the basics from each segment.
Some websites have been very useful in my blogging and WordPress journey. Since you are setting up a WordPress blog, WPBeginner has all the information you need. They have solved most of my problems. From now on StackOverflow, Quora and the WordPress forum shouldn’t snap off your fingers.
Free blog setup
Just like mentioned earlier, TutorialFAQ offers free blog setup services. We will design for you a basic website for free then configure it for SEO, security, flexibility and more. Read more about this offer here and learn how you can claim it.
Wrapping it up
So many Indians, Americans and other nationalities are scooping five to six figures online every month. It would be very selfish of me to keep this information to my self. I was born here in Uganda and have lived the rest of my life here. I know what goes on here. I am a graduate and once went through the hustle of looking for jobs. When you resort to making money online, it will be pretty much easier for you to become rich even with minimal efforts. Its quite a long process but with time, experience becomes your strength.
Starting a blog is just one piece of the puzzle. There is a lot involved. In this article, i tried to summarize all those major things you got to do or avoid if you are to succeed. This is why i had to make it very lengthy (more than 2800 words). For private tutoring, you can contact me and i will be able to meet you at an agreed schedule as long as you live here in Uganda.
You know what? Blogging is fun. At the time of writing this article, i am in Jinja relaxing. I get busy on my laptop for like 3 hours and go doing other stuff. Of course i make money online. You should try out blogging. You will definitely love it.