Create a free blog in Nigeria

How to create a free Blog in Nigeria in 2021 – Full Guide

I guess you landed on this page because you want to discover how to create a free blog in Nigeria in 2021. I assume you are quite a novice to blogging, and you’re probably a young person in your twenties or still a teenager. Well, I commend you for taking a bold step towards making something out of your life.

As you may have heard, blogging is big business, even in Nigeria. It’s one of the new media skills that blossomed at the turn of the millennium when the dot com boom exploded, and many people took to the internet as the new gold rush. Well, the dot com rush subsided, but the internet is still a place where you can make good money as a blogger.

Think of the popular names in Nigeria blogging space, names like Linda Ikeji who is the owner of Linda Ikeji’s Blog, Seun Osewa who is the owner of Nairaland, Uche Pedro who is behind BellaNaija, Omoyele Sowore who owns Sahara Reporters, Azeez Makinde who is behind Naijaloaded, Ademola Ovie Ofugara who owns and runs Notjustok, a popular music blog.

Others include Ladun Liadi who owns ladunliadinews.com, Jide Ogunsanya of Ogbongeblog, Onibalusi Bamidele of Writers in Charge, and Loy Okezie of Techloy.

These are accomplished bloggers who started just like you are about to start. Linda Ikeji started her blog on a free platform, Blogger. With time however, she moved it to a self-hosted platform called WordPress.

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Blogging is increasingly being adopted as a lifestyle by millennials in Nigeria

So, what is blogging?

Blogging started as a hobby at the turn of the dot com boom. The dot com boom happened in the 90’s, when the internet was becoming wildly popular. Many people took to opening websites because they believed there was much money to be made. It was much like the gold rush of the 19th Century. But because people didn’t really understand how business on the internet was, many of those websites flopped, because they were not making money for the owners.

So back to what blogging is. It was a way for people to document their life events, or passion (what they enjoy doing) on an interne website. They usually posted the articles and invited friends to read them. With time, it turned from a hobby to a real business.

Blogging is now a multi-billion-dollar business worldwide, and anyone can do it. That’s the beauty of blogging. You just need some few things, and some grit, and you’re well on your way to become a successful blogger.

Essential requirements to create a blog in Nigeria

Here’s a list of requirements you need to start and create your blog.

  1. Domain name
  2. Hosting
  3. Choose a niche (an area of interest)
  4. A laptop
  5. Start blogging

Domain name

A domain name is simply the internet name of your blog, and usually takes this format: blogname.xyz, where blogname is your unique blog name, and .xyz is called a domain extension. The most popular domain extension in the world is .com. others include .net, .org, .biz, etc.

There are also country specific domain extensions, such as .ng, .us, .co.uk, etc. these domain extensions are tied to a country. There are newer domain extensions such as .shop, .online, .club, .tv, .school., etc. There is no limit to creating the perfect domain name, because you can use any extension you like, even if the name is already taken on another extension.

What this implies is that once a domain name is taken, it is no longer available to the public. So you have to choose another extension different from the registered one. For example, if your preferred domain name is naijaflavor.com, and it has already been taken, you can simply go for naijaflavor.net, as long as it has not been taken.

Domain names remain your property for as long as you pay for it, usually annually, though you can pay for more than 1 year.

How to get free domain name in Nigeria

You can also get free domain names, when you sign up for hosting on some web hosts, like Bluehost for instance. They offer it free for the first year, then you pay for subsequent years. However, you can get a total free domain name from Freenom, though it’s not .com extension. Freenom offers .tk, .ml, .ga, .cf, and .gq domain extensions. So if you want to register naijaflavor, it will look like naijaflavor.tk.

You can start with this and try your hands on blogging for a while, till you get some experience and money, you can register and buy a popular domain name with .com extension.

The .com extension is a very popular extension, and the very first domain extension. It’s advisable to go for a .com domain extension because many people are quite familiar with it, and also because it is mainly for commercial purposes.

They also offer paid domain extensions like .com, which starts from around N3,600. If you have some change, I encourage you to go for this option because it will pay you better going forward.

Other good domain registrars include GoDaddy (I also recommend them), Namecheap, and others.

The Blogger alternative

Blogger is a platform offered by Google for free. It offers you free domain name and hosting. The domain name is a subdomain of blogger, so it’s not really personalized. It goes something like this: yourname.blogspot.com.

The blogspot is the parent domain owned also by Google, which offers a free domain, though it’s a subdomain. However, you can also use your own personal domain which you can buy from Google.

The WordPress.com alternative

WordPress offers a free blogging platform, though it has limitations. But it’s enough to get you started with blogging. It’s quite similar to blogger, in that you get a subdomain as your domain name, something like yourwebsitename.wordpress.com.

The service allows you to publish your posts on their platform, free of charge. However, you can’t really customize things a lot, like install plugins; you are allowed to publish a post with just basic text and images.

The WordPress.org alternative

This is a more robust alternative, in that you have much greater control and flexibility. This option allows you to use the free WordPress CMS (Content Management System) together with a registered domain name, which you can get from one of the domain registrars like Namecheap.

This website is running WordPress CMS, just like many millions of websites out there (it is estimated that 29% of all websites are running on WordPress). So, it’s quite a popular option for blogging.

First of all, you have to download the WordPress CMS and install in on your system. Then you have to configure your laptop as a web server using WAMP or XAMP. Then you actually install the WordPress software and develop your website.

The next step is to upload it to your web hosting server, using the credentials they will give you. This is all tedious for a beginner I know, but it’s doable. The other option is to buy a WordPress hosting package and the CMS is installed automatically for you on the server.

This article covers extensively how to run WordPress on your laptop or desktop, and uploading it to the server.

Hosting

Web hosting has to do with putting your website files on a computer called a server, from where it is accessible to the world. You definitely need web hosting to create a blog in Nigeria. It is usually a paid service, but you can get free hosting from Byet Hosting. They also offer paid hosting. Their free hosting service limits you to just 1GB of space on the server.

Another free hosting service is Infinity Free Hosting. They offer unlimited disk space to host your website. They also offer free subdomain for you, though you can use your own registered domain also.

This is enough for you to start blogging without paying for hosting. However, if you can afford it, there are super cheap hosting services available. I personally recommend Shark Hosting, based in the UK. With a paltry sum of £6 (which is roughly about N3,700), you get access to world-class hosting with unlimited disk space. This is one of the cheapest hosting companies out there, offering unlimited disk space.

Click here to sign up.

Once you have gotten your hosting set up, you just need to connect your hosting account to the domain name you already registered. You’ll do this inside the domain properties, in the section known as DNS servers. Here, you will have to change the DNS servers to that given to you by your hosting company. It looks something like this:

ns1.hostingcompanyname.com
ns2.hostingcompanyname.com,

Where hostingcompanyname is the name of your hosting company, such as freenom or bluehost, as the case may be.

Comparison between WordPress.org, WordPress.com and Blogger

BloggerWordPress.comWordPress.org
CostFreeFreeFree
Hosting included?YesYesNo
Domain required?No. Free subdomain included such as yourblogname.blogspot.com. You can also buy your own domain from $6-$10 (around N3,500 – N4,500)No. Free subdomain included such as yourblogname.wordpress.com. You will have to pay around £36 a year in order to use your own domain (around N21,200)Yes. You need to buy your own domain name, eg, yourdomainname.com
SetupOnly requires an account. You can have multiple blogs under the same accountOnly requires an account. You can have multiple blogs under the same accountYou need to install WordPress on your web host. Alternatively, your hosting package may have it pre-installed.
UpdatesAutomatic updatesAutomatic updatesYou have to manually update WordPress, your plugins and themes
CustomizationLimitedLimitedYou have complete control over the look of your website.

Choose a niche

Like I said earlier, a niche is an area of interest. There are several niches you could go for. You could decide to blog about lifestyle, travel, phone technology, Nigerian foods, women fashion, etc. The list is endless.

You can blog about any niche, but it is better to blog about a niche that you have passion for, and that is tied to your interest or hobby. Just make sure the niche has enough information to blog about. If you still don’t know how to go about it, use Google Trends to find and validate your niche. Google Trends shows you how popular a topic is in Nigeria. You can check out this YouTube video from Income School on how to use Google Trends.

I would advise you to not go into news blogging because it’s overly saturated. Other saturated niches include tech, lifestyle, Make money online, fashion, and health and fitness. You can find thousands of niches to go into.

A laptop

Some people may be like, “Can’t I just blog with my phone?”. It’s possible, but it’s not recommended. You need a laptop, because there are some things a phone is not suitable for, which a laptop excels at.

You can get an inexpensive used laptop for like N25,000, or even 20K. With this, you can start your blogging journey.

Start blogging

This is the part where you roll up your sleeves and start writing. What if you don’t know how to write? Well, you really need to write your articles at this stage. I wouldn’t advise you to contract it out to someone, because you need the experience.

If you decide to outsource your writing at this early stage, you’ll run into problems because the writer will likely make mistakes and you may not be able to detect them because you don’t have the experience for that. So I suggest that you just write, no matter how hard it is. With time, you will get better. If possible, have a friend double check your articles for errors before you publish it.

Write articles that people would love to read. Add a personal touch to it. Make it interesting. Here are some guidelines you need to stick to.

  • Write interesting articles that people would love to read
  • Write in a conversational tone, not overly formal
  • Add a personal touch to your articles, not boring and impersonal.
  • Don’t write too short or too long articles. A word count of 1000 – 1500 words is ok
  • Be consistent. Aim at publishing at least once a day for the first 2 months, then probably 3 times a week subsequently.
  • Don’t procrastinate. Come up with a writing schedule and stick to it.
  • Use headings in your articles and good images.
  • Carry out some keyword research before writing your articles. This ensures that you write about what people are actually searching for.

Writing blog posts that will pull traffic is a skill, and you need to master it to be successful in blogging.

Frequently asked questions on how to create a free blog in Nigeria in 2021

Concluding thoughts

Having come this far, I believe you are super-determined to make something out of blogging. It’s possible to create a free blog in Nigeria, grow and successfully monetize it. It’s one of the ways you can make money online in Nigeria. If you have any further questions, please use the comment section below. I’ll love to hear from you.

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