When I first started Start Blogging Africa, my focus was predominantly on empowering Africans, and South Africans, to use blogging to rise above. It is no secret that Africa lags behind the world in many respects - but that is something that a good opportunity could address. The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is destined to benefit Africa - giving Africa an opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world - without the need to invest in “bricks and mortar” infrastructure. Blogging, as a sub-set of 4IR, is part of that opportunity.
2020 has challenged my original mindset. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the world that we once knew no longer exists. That is a fact - even if we haven’t necessarily realised it yet. I spent some time (of which I’ve had a lot as a consequence of the global “lockdown”) thinking about what is really important.
More than ever, I feel that lifestyle by design needs to become a priority for all of us. That’s a natural consequence of contemplating mortality. I also feel that the world is more (digitally) connected than it has been at any point in the past. Connected, and South Africa is part of that connection. The world is also in need of reaching out to simply connect with people.
So, with that background, my original aspirations remain - for Start Blogging Africa to be an opportunity for Africans, and South Africans, to empower themselves. However, there is more now … much more.
People need to connect. People need access to reliable information. Something else I’ve learnt from COVID-19. People need to feel like they aren’t alone - especially in isolation (which is the new norm).
Blogging is, I believe, part of the solution.
This guide is written with aspiring South African bloggers in mind - and I’m going to show you how to start a blog in South Africa in 2020.
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South Africa’s Best “Know How” Blogging Guide - How to Start a Blog in 2020
Blogging in South Africa
Starting your first blog is an incredibly empowering experience. South Africans, though their blogs, get to contribute towards global discussions and debates - perhaps even being at the forefront of the thinking.
Blogging is beginning to take off in South Africa. Travel, fashion and food bloggers have begun to establish themselves. However, when it comes to international trends - South Africa still has a lot of space to grow.
South Africa is vibrant, and South Africans are hard working. South Africans are also resilient and creative.
South Africa might be at the southern most tip of Africa, but the internet has connected South Africa to the rest of the world.
There is an opportunity for South African bloggers.
Firstly, the world is still interested in South Africa. It’s a beautiful place. Yes, South Africa’s economy is shot. However, that also means the Rand is cheap (relatively speaking). South Africa has a lot to offer the world.
At the same time, blogs aren’t limited by geographical boundaries! South Africa - think, well, bigger. Blogging in South Africa has the same potential to be blogging in the world - as part of a global blogosphere.
See also Blogging in South Africa (2020).
How to Start a Blog in (or About) South Africa - 6 Steps
- Plan Your Blog in (or About) South Africa
- Set Up Your Blog (WordPress and DreamHost)
- Configure and Customise Your Blog (WordPress Settings, Themes and Plugins)
- Publish Your Blog Content in (or About) South Africa
- Promote Your Blog
- Review Your Blog
Starting a blog can be really easy - but being successful requires discipline, focus and commitment. That said, if you follow the guide, you have a blueprint for success.
Reasons Why YOU Should Start a Blog in (or About) South Africa
Firstly, blogging for business is a serious discussion for us to have. Through blogging, there are many ways to make money. South African’s can benefit from Rand weakness and target a global audience. Blogs are also scalable.
Then there is the need to advance democracy. Advocacy has a special place in my life - and blogging adds to the voices of people who are trying to advance a bigger cause.
As a consequence of COVID-19, I will be expanding Start Blogging Africa to cover communication of reliable information.
South Africa - Empower Yourself and OWN Your Blog!
I cannot stress this enough: South Africa, own your blog!
If you want to control your destiny and benefit from the financial upside of blogging, then you need to own your blog.
If your blog exists for advocacy purposes, then it is even more important that your own your blog so that you control the policies in place for publication of information.
Step 1: Plan Your Blog in (or About) South Africa
To start a blog and become successful at it, you need to decide first on what niche you want your blog to be based on. I say niche because you need to focus your content. This is very strategic to your becoming successful in the world of blogging.
A niche is an area you’re really knowledgeable about and can produce good articles for your potential audience. Quality content is key and is a major factor for generating traffic to your site.
Remember choosing the right niche is key to your success in the world of blogging
Step 2: Set Up Your Blog - WordPress and DreamHost
Choosing a domain name; a domain name is your identity on the web. It could even be your own name the only thing different is the extension you add to it (www.yoursite.com, .co.za, etc.).
Do an availability check below to make sure that your proposed domain name is not already taken.
Next up is selecting your hosting provider.
There are 2 variations:
- Blogs for a predominantly South African audience
- Blogs for a global audience
If you want to leverage the global opportunity, be authentic and South African - but be open to an international market. I’m a huge fan of .com over .co.za except for very specific cases.
Once you’ve decided on your host - and I recommend DreamHost for South Africa - you need to install a blogging platform. This isn’t controversial - you should absolutely be using WordPress.
WordPress is the best content management platform for new bloggers. It is used by many websites on the web.
Once installed you can login into the backend of your website by adding /wp-admin/ to your domain name (www.yoursite.com/wp-admin) or directly from your hosting account.
Step 3: Configure and Customise Your Blog - WordPress Settings, Themes and Plugins
Step 4: Publish Your Blog Content in (or About) South Africa
Step 5: Promote Your Blog
Step 6: Review Your Blog
What Are The Next Steps?
How to Start a Blog - South Africa