Blogging has been around for a while and it gets more popular every other day as we get more connected virtually. It is becoming a necessity for businesses, organisations and institutions to have blogs on their websites and as millennial Africans; this is a skill that can be developed easily by spending sometime behind a computer. About 340,000,000 people in Africa are using the internet (www.internetworldstats.com, 2015).
The word ‘blog’ originally came from the word ‘web log’. It’s easier to think of this as an online journal or diary. It’s important to note that blogs have really evolved into more useful content like online journalism. A blogger is someone who blogs, or writes content for a blog. Blogging is the act of writing a post for a blog.
My desire to blog was fuelled by the fact that there isn’t enough useful content online about my country or even about many parts of Africa. One incident will forever remain in my mind; I’m a teacher by profession and I taught a mix of children from all over the world. On this particular day, one of the white parents, whose child suffered from continuous nits and head lice accused the african children of giving this head lice to her child. I was so enraged by her accusations that I sat behind the computer to learn more about head lice and how it is spread. Never mind the fact that I am African and head lice wasn’t a problem in school while growing up. All the information I found online was by African-Americans. (Nothing by Africans for Africans in the African climate.)
- Blogging is a great way for African millennials to leave their footprint on the web. It creates an avenue to share knowledge with others and of recent, a sure way to change the narrative about Africa.
- For those in business, it’s an inexpensive way to boost your marketing, to drive traffic to your site as well as to attract more prospective customers.
- It can be a platform to earn you money if you manage to collect a huge following. You get paid for adverts that appear on your blog.
- It enhances search engine optimisation (SEO). As you blog, plug in keywords to increase your visibility on the search engines.
- Blogging helps one develop relationships with potential and existing customers. You can engage readers by asking questions at the end of the blog or carrying out polls. It also enables you sell anything.
- Enables you establish yourself as a ‘guru’ in your field.
- Blogging can actually get you a job.
- Decide what your identity or topic is going to be. Make sure you choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority eventually. There are many avenues a blog can take; it can be a diary, political platform or a business blog. Be creative!
- Start thinking and make carrying a notebook & pen a habit. Inspiration comes at the strangest time and when it does, having a pen & notebook makes it easier for you to make notes. It’s very common to forget brilliant ideas that are not written down. And for the ‘millenial African’, a smart phone notebook is all you need!
- Choose a domain. Keep it short, catchy and easy to say & spell. This is essential for people to remember. My domain is oneafricangirl.com – a simple phrase that communicates my blogging niche.
- Choose a blogging platform. The good thing is there are so many blogging platforms and choosing one simply depends on what functions someone is looking for. Some of the most common platforms include blogger, squarespace, tumblr, wordpress, typepad and drupal. You can also chose to self-host, which is about $5-$10 a month or opt for a free option.
- Start blogging. Some people are held back by the fear that someone will not read… worry not! Just try to develop useful content.
All the best! Be sure to let me know when you start so I can follow your blogs!