On 24th April 2015 BAKE held a free training in the American Corner, Kenya National Library Services, Nakuru Branch; Where its main theme was BLOGGING & SOCIAL MEDIA.
The free training was focusing on:
- Becoming a better blogger.
- Basics of blogging & social media
- Writing skills and readership
- Personal online branding
- Social media ethics
- Understanding copyright
- Finally making money online.
I can proudly say it was a successful one because there was a positive turn out by both newbies and veteran bloggers from Nakuru. To those who missed the golden chance of attending the training, do not worry because I got your back. I am going to share most of what was covered.
The training started at 9:30 am and it was separated into two as I mentioned above; the newbies and veterans section. The speakers were the phenomenon blogger and Director of BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya), Mr. Kennedy Kachwanya (on the veterans) and Njeri Wangari (on the newbies)
Here’s a summary of what was taught by Kachwanya; so pay much attention and hope you enjoy.
#1 Becoming a better blogger
I usually say every blogger is great in his/her own way the difference is usually on the strategy they use. So to be a great blogger you need to:
- Have a topic you love that is, blog about something you have a skills/passion for. That way you will never go out of ideas and you will be able to answer questions if asked.
Also when you are blogging about a topic you like you will probably be original, a quality that usually distinguishes real bloggers from the copy n paste type. Originality makes your readers trust your work.
- Have a strategy to guide you on when and how to go about your blogging. Great bloggers know how to manage their time and resources.
- Know your blog audience. Connect with them on the comment section, replay their mails as soon as possible, connect with them on social media and you will have created a community out of your blog.
Answer this questions to help you know your blog’s audience:
- Who? Visits your blog
- Why? Have they come to your blog. They probably want to achieve something.
- What? Kind of information are they looking for on your blog in order to satisfy their reason for coming to the site.
- How often? Can you realistically expect them to visit your blog.
#2 Basics of Blogging & Social Media
Blogging refers to the act of writing in a blog. Due to the introduction of blogging tools, some of them are free (WordPress and Blogger are most common), anyone who can access internet can create their own blog. You can start a blog on any topic including yourself, you just need to be relevant. You can make money from your blog. Yes you can J
Social media is the communication channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction and content sharing. Mostly, social media sites acts like microblogging platforms. The commonly and most used ones includes: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+
With social media, you are able to reach a wide range of people that you are connected to hence on can market (SMM), Influence or spread news about something/somebody easily.
#3 Writing Skills & Readership
Being a blogger also requires one to be a writer in some sense, unless you are using infographics you will need to write posts in text formats. Since content is still ‘King’ in blogging you need to put more efforts in creating great content.
Here are some content generation ideas:
- Common questions: imagine you are the reader, note down the questions that you think will be on their minds. Do not over think because you may end up going out of the intended meaning.
- List: create list posts like “30 ways to get more retweets on twitter.”
- Create step-by-step guide: This types of posts seems to be more educational
- Ask a question on the blog/social media: This makes your readers feel involved.
- Invite guest posts
Good readership is brought about by how big/small your audience is I may say but most importantly, how loyal they are. Put more efforts to gain you reader’s trust so that they will be coming back every time. Be smart to maintain them since you can turn loyal readers to clients easily hence making money on your blog.
Spreading the word / Marketing.
After being certain that you have good content and loyal readers, you will obviously need to spread the word about your blog/posts or products/services to grow your audience and reaching more clients. Here’s the common working ways:
- Great Content – this will make search engines to index your blog hence people will find your content easily on search engines.
- Use Tags – this will categorize your blog/post into sort of keywords making it easy for one to find it on the internet
- Social Share – sharing your posts on your social media accounts is currently a good way of spreading news about your blog or your latest posts.
- Comment on blogs, YouTube channels – this is a good way of creating backlinks to your blog and also a good illustration that will motivate others to comment on your posts too.
#4 Personal Online Branding
Branding refers to a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.
Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.
As you are marketing you blog online, it is also good to build a personal brand because your readers would always want to know the persons behind the great blog you’ve created.
#5 Social Media Ethics
Just like any other moral values applied in any area of expertise, social media too has got its own moral values/ethics. In Kenya when one hears of social media they see twitter, and when they think of twitter they think of KOT.
Generally, one needs to maintain social media ethics to gain a good following. One needs to have a positive influence on social media to grow their blogs.
#6 Understanding Copyright
Copyright is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribute.
As a blogger you need to understand this rights so that you may not find yourself in trouble. Use Copyright on your blog to tell what is expected of your readers and the consequences if any is violated.
Be so careful not to scare away your readers by harsh rules too.
I know many of you wished this could be my first point but never worry because here you will get it better, I believe.
It is good to know that you can make a living by having a blog. I can guarantee you it is so easy to make good money on your blog but, you need to be persistent, work hard and smart. Then you also need a working strategy that will make the going a little bit easier for you.
Here are some ways suggested by Kachwanya:
- E-commerce / m-commerce
- Market offline business
- Paid content
- BAKE model
Here’s what I have personally tried out:
- This is a simple way to sign-up and earn from it. It is usually the best way for beginners (those without their own products) to make money on their blogs.
Selling digital products.
- Make your own products to sell on your blog. Products like, eBook’s and genuine software’s.
Social Media Management.
- This method is new in town and seems to be paying well. Due to the growth of social media, employment opportunities have been created. If you are good at social media management and you are familiar with tools like Buffer and Hootsuite then you have a chance to win a well-paying job.
Approach companies/Institutions then offer them good deals for managing their social media accounts. It is that simple. You will be performing tasks like, posting updates and running marketing campaigns.
Need to start a blog and start earning from it? It is so simple read my previous post on How To Start A Blog.
Are You Enjoying Blogging?