Are you currently unemployed and struggling to look for work?
If so, start blogging today! Read on to find out why…
I’ve been a blogger for a little over a year now and my journey has not been easy but the rewards have been worth it.
Looking back now, starting a blog was probably one of the best decisions I ever made.
My inspiration for this article was drawn from a LinkedIn Post that I recently came across.
I didn’t know any other way I could share it with my readers (that is you btw 🙂 ) than by taking a screenshot, take a look….
Lot’s of people reacted differently to this post, here are a couple of comments that caught my eye
Sadly images such as these are not unique to South Africa, in Kenya, we are often treated to headlines such as these
The reality is, things are not going to get any better at least not overnight.
Now by no means I’m I claiming to be an expert at unemployment in economics.
The objective of this article is to change your perspective on how you view unemployment in our current economy.
As young people, we often complain of lack of opportunities and the truth is that opportunities are indeed limited.
If you’re unemployed (or even employed) and you’re reading this article my advice to you would be: Start Blogging Now!
[pullquote]By starting your own blog you are creating an opportunity to showcase your unique talents and skills.[/pullquote]
Blogging is a great way to differentiate yourself in the crowded job market.
Blogging will also help you grow your network of contacts, grow your personal brand, be regarded as an expert in your field and even help you land your dream job.
Earlier on in the year I published an article, 13 Reasons Why You Ought To Start Blogging, which I highly recommend checking out.
So What Is Blogging Anyway?
In technical terms, Blogging is the act of writing in a blog/website, which is a regularly updated chronological web log of articles written by one or multiple persons known as bloggers, about various topics or events.
In simpler words, think of a blog as your very own personal portfolio of some of your best, thoughts, ideas and work to date.
A blog is your very own platform where you share your talents and skills to the world through your own unique voice.
What Makes Blogging Unique?
Blogging is unique in the sense that it there are no barriers to entry and setup costs are relatively low compared to other ventures.
Kenya enjoys one of the highest Internet penetration rates on the continent currently at 85.3% as at November 2016.
There are 37.7 million internet users in Kenya out of a population of slightly over 40 million. You gotta admit this is impressive.
There has never been a better time in our country to start your own blog than right now. Simply because you can browse more for less and at faster speeds.
Are There Any Challenges Or Risks?
Yes, just like everything in life.
Unfortunately, bloggers in Kenya in the recent past have been frequently targeted by the government. It’s therefore, important to maintain highest ethical standards as a blogger.
What you publish online should be backed up by facts because you can be held legally liable.
The main challenge for me when I was starting out was that I struggled with my writing. My grammar was shaky, my text had a lot of spelling errors, my headlines were mediocre, the list is endless.
If you look back at some of my earlier material, you can tell I had no clue what I was doing.
Luckily I’ve never been one to quit, over time my writing improved.
Blogging is best learned by blogging and by reading other bloggers. It’s all about practice, practice, practice.
Can I Make Money From Blogging?
I get asked this question quite often, and the answer is Yes!
There are various ways bloggers make their money. The most common I’ve seen is through affiliate programs and Adsense advertising.
Affiliate programs simply mean getting a commission for every referral you drive to that particular product or service through your unique link.
Adsense ads advertising placement service by Google. The program is designed for website publishers who want to display targeted text, video or image advertisements on website pages and earn money when site visitors view or click the ads. Read more here
I’m not a big fan of Adsense ads (in fact I have none on my site) I find that they tend to clutter your website and make it look unprofessional.
The fewer the ad placements you have on your website the better the browsing experience for your readers.
Based on my experience in the industry, the best and fastest way to make money online is through affiliate programs.
An example is just last month I cashed an affiliate check of $250 from BlueHost, this is 100% passive income.
All I needed to do to make this money is post a banner ad on my blog sidebar and drive traffic to my website, That’s It!
My objective for joining any affiliate program has always been making sure they are products or services that I already use and would highly recommend.
Another great example is professional bloggers may choose to monetize their writing skills offline by offering content marketing services to high-end clients.
The point here is, you can make money from blogging. However this takes time and a lot of hard work on your part, don’t expect to make millions overnight.
How Do I Get Started?
I’m glad you asked.
For starters start by reading my free and extremely valuable resource: How To Start A Blog In 7 Easy Steps
Hold on don’t leave just yet, you’re only halfway through the article!
We hope you keep reading, you have haven’t gotten to the best part…
This article is a step by step tutorial that will walk you through all the basics of starting your own website from scratch.
You don’t need a fancy IT degree to start a blog, in fact, you don’t even need a degree period. You can do it all by yourself.
Next, my website has a ton of great resources that will guide you in your blogging journey.
I recommend you self-host your blog on WordPress. WordPress can be confusing to most people because there are two types.
- WordPress.org – Self-Hosted ( This is what I recommend & it’s not free)
- WordPress.com – Hosted (It’s a free service)
Self-hosting simply means you will need to find a reliable web hosting company to host your website.
I recommend you choose BlueHost to launch your first website, you will get hosting for an entire year for only Kshs 3,500.
It’s easier to monetize your blog on a self-hosted website.
Okay now that we’ve covered the FAQ’s, here are five ways your blog can protect you from unemployment:
1. Blogging Helps You Aquire In-Demand Skills
Mindless graduate job hunting will not result in you learning any new skills.
In today’s economic environment employers employ individuals who already have all of the skills to do a job, as well as the knowledge required to use those skills effectively.
Your blog can help you display a track record that demonstrates the ability to use that skill effectively.
If you create and design your first blog/website this in itself is learning a new skill. WordPress has made it easy so that you don’t need to learn any programming to create a good looking website.
Through this process, you learn a web design skill you probably didn’t have before. A critical skill which you can choose to monetize if you wish.
Blogging also helps you learn the critical skill of writing and communication. These are two skills that employers find extremely valuable at the workplace.
The only way to be a good writer is to practice, practice, practice.
Your ability to express yourself in an articulate way and communicate in writing will help differentiate you in the crowded job market.
Your writing skills can also help you get writing jobs online helping you earn a little extra money on the side.
Digital marketing skills are critical to the success of your blog. Some of the best digital marketing experts happen to also be bloggers.
I’ll explain why. As a blogger you don’t have the budget in ad spend to grow your traffic,you rely solely on organic traffic.
If the content on your blog is not engaging, people will loose interest. With this in mind, your goal as a blogger is to capture your audience’s attention through your content.
[pullquote]Content marketing is one of the most critical digital marketing tactics of 2016 and beyond. Bloggers are good at engaging people with the content that they produce. [/pullquote]
Most bloggers get their traffic from social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. They need to consistently grow their social channels in order to get enough eyeballs on their content every single month.
By doing this they are acquiring social media management skills.
This is a skill which you can use for the rest of your life and you can choose to monetize as you grow your blog.
Through blogging, it’s inevitable that you will learn crucial search engine optimization skills.
The simplest way I can define Search engine optimization (S.E.O) it is getting noticed by Google.
An example is if you’re blogging about Natural Hair, assuming you’re producing valuable content on this topic. Google will prioritize the display of your website on its first search results pages.
SEO skills are something you learn by as you continue to grow your blog.
These are just some of the skills you acquire that will help you earn you some extra money on the side while waiting to land your dream job.
You can also choose to transfer these skills to your current workplace to help you land that promotion you’ve always wanted.
2. Blogging Will Help You Build Your Online Influence & Portfolio
One of the first places employers look to research their potential candidates is online.
According to MediaBistro, nine in ten companies mine online profiles before making a new hire. Employers prefer hiring people who have a strong online influence.
Depending on whether you are a person or a business when someone searches you online you want to make sure they get an accurate and clear picture of who you really are.
One of the best ways to achieve a positive online influence is through blogging.
Blogging helps you take control of your online identity, you have complete control on the impression you want people to have when they Google you.
Through your blog you can influence your industry by building up trust amongst your readers by demonstrating commitment.
As you publish your content consistently over time your readers will consider an expert in your industry. You can’t buy this type of trust and online influence it has to be earned.
Your online portfolio will basically consist of the content that you have published so far on your blog.
A compilation of the same can be packaged in a manner that will help market you online or offline.
An example of this would be you can take your most popular articles and repurpose them into a book which you can later on sell.
Seeing that you already have the credibility and trust of your readers you can start by marketing it to them first. This trust has a potential to generate for you a lot of money in the future.
Because blogging helps you improve your writing skills you can easily secure online writing jobs and your blog will be your very own portfolio.
3. Blogging Helps You Grow Your Network.
You’ve probably heard of the saying your net worth is equivalent to your network. Probably true.
Blogging is a great way to engage with your community.
As people read your content they can leave comments and they can also leave messages in your inbox and this has the potential to create new relationships and partnerships.
Some of the immediate benefits of growing your network are you get invited to product unveilings, seminars, workshops, and other events in your industry.
In this type of networking events, you get to meet people within your industry who will help you get exposure for your brand.
You can capitalize on these relationships in the future to market your business, building relationships will also facilitate your blog’s growth.
The point here is, your blog is the perfect platform to reach out to others, it gives you credibility.
4. Blogging Helps Keep You Focussed
Short periods of distraction free writing can help boost your creativity while increasing your productivity.
Human beings are habitual in nature, half of the tasks we perform every day are often done mindlessly.
Writing helps you practice concentration by turning off all distractions and committing your attention to a single task.
Blogging can also help you learn more about who you are, ever heard of the quarter life crisis?
Commonly occurs in our mid 20’s where you find yourself asking questions like Who am I, what am I doing with my life?
Through blogging, you can learn a whole lot about yourself like who you are, what you wanted out of life and where your real passions lay.
For example, you can come to the realization that what you want out of life is a job that gives you freedom to be creative and expressive.
Perhaps you will quickly realize that the whole office career just isn’t for you. Just by knowing all these you get a huge boost of your self-confidence.
Ultimately your blog will give you a voice that you didn’t have before.
5. Blogging Helps You Share Your Knowledge
Anyone can start a blog about pretty much anything. So what differentiates awesome blogs from the mediocre ones?
The Quantity & Quality of your posts.
You may already know this but you can’t start a blog and write three posts and then claim to be knowledgeable in what you write.
Consistently publishing content on that topic is what will set you apart and is a powerful demonstration of your knowledge in a field.
In order to establish yourself as an authority when someone visits your website, they need to see that there’s a community of people who respect and seek your insight.
Being regarded as a knowledge source or an expert is a good thing for your career it also gives you award considerations and consulting opportunities.
Think of your blog is a platform that allows you to showcase your knowledge and expertise.
Publishing blog posts that are accurate, timely, relevant, and informative will eventually get the attention of industry insiders.
When blogging first started the idea of becoming a professional blogger and making money online sounded insane.
Now people are blogging for different reasons. Whether your passion is business, personal finance, cooking, politics, photography, or marketing.
Blogging gives you the opportunity to get noticed, build your network, find your voice, boost your confidence, acquire new skills all while making a little extra income on the side.
Take the first step, start blogging today!