So you want to know, how to start a blog and earn money in South Africa? Well, I have good news for you because by the end of this post you will have a complete and functional blog that makes money. I am going to show you how to start a blog and earn money in South Africa as a beginner step by step. You do not need any experience to build your own blog
Whether you want to start a blog as a side hustle, as a hobby, for your business or you want to be a full-time blogger, you are in the right place. Grab a chair and your cup of coffee as we build your blog together. I must say, this is not a “nice to read” blog post but rather an action-packed blog post. It demands action.
Over the years here at Ola7.net, we have helped many companies and individuals with great success, in and around South Africa to create websites and marketing campaigns through our Digital Agency.
Seeing ordinary people taking charge of their lives and financial future through things like blogging is super fulfilling to us. So, I thought it will be great to have a post where I can show you how to start a blog and earn money in South Africa.
How This Step by Step Guide is Structured
My mission in this post is to hold your hand, walk with you and leave you with your own blog that earns you money. Great Isn’t it?
This step by step guide is in 2 parts. Part A is where i will help you to setup your blog from scratch. We will do all the technical things that need to be done to start a blog that earns money.
The second part which is part B is where i will show you all the tips and tricks that keep a fat bank account. In short Part B is the money part.
Ola 7 Tip.
Because of the length of this guide and the value you are going to get, I encourage you to bookmark it on your browser so that you can come to it anytime as you work on your blog.
I do not want to assume that you know what a blog is or how it works. So I am going to explain some of the pressing questions a beginner might have. I will try by all means to write in plain simple English without using any jargon (Industry language).
Let’s start with the mother of all questions.
What is a Blog?
I am glad you asked. A blog is a regularly updated website where new content is frequently published, typically written in an informal or conversational style—often with the goal of attracting readers and generating an online income. A blog can have one author or multiple authors who write articles.
A single article on a Blog (Like the one you are reading now) is called a Blog post.
Can I ‘Really’ make money blogging?
In one sentence I am confident to tell you that YES you can earn a comfortable lifestyle from writing on your blog.
How much do you want to make in a month from your blog? Whatever your answer is, I want to assure you that there are plenty of bloggers out there making that much or even more.
Bloggers make anything between $1 and $300K a month. Yes, there are bloggers who are making more than Three hundred thousand US Dollars per month by simply typing on a computer keyboard for the world to read.
Some people left their professional jobs to become full-time bloggers because they saw the freedom that comes from owning a blog.
In the midst of that, we still get some people who still think that blogging is not a serious carrier and that perception has robed a lot of people.
How do bloggers make money? Don’t worry, I will show you how to make money from your blog in South Africa a little later in this step by step guide of How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa.
Part A: How to Create a Blog (The Technical Part)
1. Pick a Niche for Your Blog
Before you go into the technicalities, the first important step is to define what your blog is all about. Known as Niche.
Some pronounce it as “Nitch” Some as “Nish”. I do not know about you, but all I know is, it’s called a Niche.
Defining your Blog niche is easy to some but it is a complex exercise to others as well. So let me help you to define your niche if you are among those who are not so sure.
You need to answer these questions or consider them in detail in order to choose the niche for your new blog as a first step to start a blog and earn money in South Africa.
What are you passionate about?
It is important to choose a topic that makes you alive. What makes you tick? Is it gaming, Cooking, Biking or hunting? Or you want to talk about the gossip of US politics or South African celebrities?
What exactly can you talk about all day and never be bored?
Make that your blog.
What do you know the most?
You know something precious. The idea here is to understand that someone out there is dying for your knowledge.
The temptation is to despise your knowledge and think that your knowledge is not enough to be read by millions of people. Well, I want to challenge you to know that you are unique. Your knowledge has enough room to be celebrated by many.
Choose what you know the most as a niche as that will allow you to write your blog without struggling with ideas. You will just flow. Once you are certain then you almost know how to start a blog and earn money in South Africa.
Is there enough room for you to blog (write about)?
What I mean by enough room for you to blog is, you need to identify if you can generate more blog topics to write about within your niche before you start your blog.
That means if you choose to write about a specific brand of cars, Say BMW. you should be able to write enough content to satisfy your readers about that topic.
The trick here is to either choose a broad topic or to narrow down – known as “Niching down”.
As said earlier, to some this process is very easy but to some, it is a little bit difficult so it is important to take enough time to brainstorm some ideas about your niche. But do not overthink it as you can always expand your niche as time goes on.
Now that you have chosen your Niche, as the first step in this post “How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa” It is time to get a domain name and web hosting.
2. Get a Domain name and Web Hosting
For every website/blog to be on the internet, two things need to be available. These two are inevitable and that is a domain name and hosting. Luckily, we are going to get your domain name and super amazing hosting from one place at very affordable prices.
A domain name is like your home address. This is a name used by the internet to identify your blog on the web. Examples of a domain name are: “google.com”, “princechiramba.com”, wikipedia.org or “facebook.com”.
Hosting is where all your website or blog files stay on the internet. These files are stored on a special computer that runs 24/7. The name of the computer that stores your website/blog files is known as a “server”.
As a second step on How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa, we are going to get a domain name and hosting right on this website.
Ola 7 Hosting Explained
Here at Ola 7, we are proud to say that we have the best hosting for small businesses and bloggers. Ours is blazing fast cloud Web hosting with super powerful premium features at a fraction of the price.
To name just a few, you will get
- Cloudflare with their Railgun for free. Cloudflare with Railgun accelerates your website by more than 200%. And if purchased directly from Cloudflare’s website, you must have their business package which is $200/month! Being free at Ola 7 Hosting, this is a huge saving!
- LiteSpeed webserver. that’s up to 10 times faster than Apache (i.e. what “the other guys” use).
- Free SSL Certificate.
- Free website Migration. That means if you have your website from another poor hosting company we can migrate everything for you for free to our faster Cloud web hosting.
These are some of the premium features that you get on top of our fast cloud web hosting. In short, with us, you will get premium hosting features at a lower cost, this will have long term positive effects for your blogging business going forward. More details are found at our hosting page here.
No one wants to read a slow loading blog. As a blogger who wants to make money from your blog in South Africa, this is what you need to be really serious about. All you write about and the time you put in can all be a waste of time if you have poor web hosting.
Choosing your Hosting Plan
Now that you understand why our hosting is the best, its time to choose your hosting plan so that we can start creating your blog and make money. Click here to get your domain name and Hosting (Opens in new tab).
After clicking the link above, you will land on a page as in the picture below.
Choose a hosting plan that fits your budget. For a single blog that we are going to create, the Bronze package is enough. But feel free to buy any plan among the three.
Now, click the Order Now button to select your hosting plan. At this stage, you will land on a page where you have to enter your desired domain name.
Choose your domain name
Type in your desired domain name under Register a new domain and click the “Check” button. It is possible that your desired domain name may not be available, so you need to take some time to find a good domain name for your blog. Choose between .co.za, .com, .net, .org, .net.za, .org.za, .info, .afica
Ola 7 tips to choose a domain name:
- Choose a short domain name. Preferably less than 15 letters
- Avoid hyphens or other symbols.
- Choose an easy to remember domain name.
If your domain name is available, you will see a congratulations message in green colour and the price it costs on a yearly basis. Click Continue when you find the perfect domain name for your blog.
Choose to pay your hosting either on a monthly basis or annually then click Continue.
On the Domains Configuration page tick ID Protection then click Continue.
On the review and Checkout page click Checkout
Enter your personal information and then click Complete order at the bottom.
You will be redirected to a secure payment page where you have to choose a payment method of your choice. If you struggle to make payments do not hesitate to contact us. our team will be happy to assist.
Your payment will be processed by Payfast, a secure payment gateway. After a successful payment, you will receive a couple of emails with details with your Cpanel login details.
Congratulations. You now have a domain name and hosting for your own blog.
That was the second step in this step by step guide of how to start a blog and earn money in South Africa. Now, let’s move on to the third step.
3. Get a Theme to Customize Your Blog
The third step on how to start a blog and earn money in South Africa is to use a Platform that allows you to create and run your blog exactly as you want. We are going to use WordPress in this guide.
WordPress is the best Content Management system (CMS) that powers more than 36% of the web. Some of the biggest companies in the world use WordPress for their Websites and blogs.
According to IsitWP, companies that use WordPress include Tyme Bank (South Africa) Facebook newsroom, Microsoft news, BBC America, Tech crunch, The Swedish government, Justin Bieber, Katty Perry, Sony music, the White House and more.
If all these people, companies and governments use WordPress why not you? WordPress is a sweet platform that allows you to write anything in a great format.
You will never go wrong with WordPress because of the wonderful community around it. It is very easy to get support for anything that you need.
Above all, running a blog with WordPress is a breeze, fun and amazing. This blog that you are reading is also running on WordPress. So if you like this blog, you probably like WordPress as well.
It’s time to install a Theme for your Blog
A theme is a difference between a stunning blog and a boring blog. A theme is what determines how your website/blog looks and functions as a whole. Certain themes enable different functions.
Think of a theme as a House plan. A house plan determines where your bedroom will be, your kitchen, bathroom and other rooms. The same with a theme.
There are two types of themes. Free themes and premium themes.
A free theme is free as the name suggests. You can create a blog of your choice with a free WordPress theme. I will show you how to install a free theme a little later in this guide.
A premium theme, on the other hand, is where you get all the superb features, bells and whistles.
Premium themes come with many functionalities that make your blog not only look great but function better. If you want that high level of professionalism on your blog a premium theme is the way to go.
The good thing with premium themes is they are affordable and are a once-off cost.
You can choose your premium theme on Themeforest, the biggest marketplace for WordPress themes.
4. Installing WordPress to Start a Blog in South Africa
Now that you have your Domain name, Hosting and your Theme from Themeforest, It’s time to start creating your blog following the steps in this guide, “How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa”.
Start by accessing your CPanel login credentials from your welcome email that you received from Ola 7.
Log in your Cpanel using the login details sent via email. Then, scroll down to the bottom and click WordPress under Softaculous Apps Installer.
You will land on this page. Click install.
Under Software setup, leave the In Directory field blank.
On Site settings, Enter the name of your blog where it says SiteName, and where it says Site description, enter a short description or slogan of your blog (keep it short).
Then under the Admin account, Enter your Username and password.
Ola 7 tip:
- Choose a decent username since it will always be visible to your readers on all your posts. Avoid using your email. Use your name, nickname or company name as a username.
Scroll down to the bottom and enter your email address and then click Install. It only takes a few seconds to install WordPress. You will get a success message at the top after a successful WordPress installation.
Logging into your WordPress
After that, open a new tab in your browser and then type in your domain name with a “/wp-admin” at the end to login to WordPress. For example www.example.com/wp-admin
Ola 7 Tip:
- Every time you want to log in to your WordPress website/blog you have to type in your domain name and /wp-admin at the end. As in the example above. Then enter your username and password.
Now enter your username/email and password. These details can be found in the email sent after installing WordPress as well. After that click Login.
WordPress is installed and everything is looking great.
We are getting closer to starting to earn money from our blog.
Installing a Premium theme
On your WordPress dashboard click Appearance >>Themes >> Add new.
If you have purchased a premium theme from Themeforest, this is the time to upload it. Click Upload theme >> Choose File and then select the zip file that you downloaded from Themeforest on your computer. Click Install Now. Then click activate.
Every premium theme comes with documentation that has all the details to customize your blog. This is handy as one theme is different from the other.
Since I do not know which premium theme you purchased I encourage you to use the documentation as much as you can.
Also, the good thing with premium themes is, if you face a challenge at any time you will get free support from the theme developer.
Envato, the guys behind Themeforest will make sure that you get the support that you need for free for 6 months. What a deal! That is a huge advantage of using a premium theme.
They say you get what you pay for. And the truth is, you get more with a premium theme compared to a free theme.
Even if you do not have a budget for a premium theme, feel free to test some demo sites on ThemeForest and compare them with the free themes that we will use below. You will see a huge difference. Some differences can be visible right away and some can be seen while you play around with your theme settings on the backend.
Installing a free theme.
To install a free theme, in the WordPress dashboard click Appearance >> Themes>> Add new.
Locate the search bar on your right side and search for “Astra”. Hover over Astra and click Install then Activate.
Astra is one of the best free themes that you can get. It is Very light and fast to load.
Astra also comes with free starter sites, these are pre-made templates that allow you to start using your blog right away after changing certain elements like text colour, images, videos and more.
To get access to the starter templates or starter sites click the “Get started” button
At this stage, click Elementor to select the page builder that you are going to use to build your blog.
Elementor is a free and easy to use page builder that allows you to build any element on your blog with a simple drag and drop user-friendly system.
At this stage, you have the privilege of viewing and choosing the template that you like.
To view any demo site, click on the template that you like and then click the preview button on the left. It’s like, test driving a car that you want to buy. Or dating before you get married.
The demo site will open in a new tab. If you find any template that you like, click on the Get agency bundle button on your right side or Import complete site.
Ola 7 Tip
- The demo sites with an “Agency” tag are Astra premium themes.
Make sure that you have ticked all the boxes on the popup window that appears. Then click Import.
At this stage, you can start creating your website to your liking.
5. Designing Your Blog
How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa begins with designing your blog to give it structure and purpose.
Whether you have used a premium theme or a free theme the first thing that you need to do is to customize your homepage to match your brand.
On your WordPress Dashboard click Pages >> Add New and start editing your home page.
Choose colours that represent your brand. There should be a balance of what you like as an individual and what is acceptable with your blog readers. If you have a cooking blog for example, avoid colours that turn off your visitors.
Every blog has different logo dimensions. The good thing is WordPress will tell you the required dimensions.
To add your logo, even though that differs from theme to theme, on most of the WordPress websites and blogs you have to go to Appearance on your dashboard, and then click Customize >> Header>> Site Identity. Then click Select Logo
Here you will get the dimensions that are needed for your Logo.
Click select files to add your Logo and then choose the appropriate Logo from your computer.
If you do not have a Logo you can hire us to design it for you through the Ola 7 Digital Agency at affordable prices. Our digital agency was established to help small businesses and individuals like you. So, feel free to reach out to us. Our team members will be happy to help you.
6. Pages that are necessary for a blog.
The 6th step in this guide, How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa is to add the necessary pages to give meaning to your Blog.
WordPress is very simple to work with. Here are a few pages that you need to create on your blog.
Homepage. This is the page where most of your readers land on. Make it easy to navigate. For a blog, you do not want to clutter much information on your home page. Keep it simple.
About. The About page is where you need to tell your readers a little about you. There is no right or wrong approach to develop your about page. You just have to be authentic and keep it a little bit informal.
Contact. A contact form is a must-have. This is where interested parties can contact you through, including your readers, other bloggers and potential partners. Add your social links and your phone number if you want to receive calls from interested stakeholders.
Terms of service. It is important to stipulate your terms of service. You need to outline if you collect your visitors’ data and what you use the data for.
This is the legal part of your business, so I advise you to hire a law practitioner on Fiverr to help you draft your terms of service at a small fee. If you are not a lawyer that is.
Plugins that are necessary to install on your blog.
Plugins are super little tools that enable your website or blog to function in a certain way. There are millions of plugins on the WordPress repository. Both free and paid plugins allow you to reach your goals faster.
Here is a list of important plugins that you must install on your blog for starters.
- Yoast SEO. It helps with optimizing your website to be found on search results. Known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Wordfence Security. Remember on your way to make money, not everyone is a nice guy. Some have bad intentions with your blog and that is where Wordfence come in to play. It gives you a lot of security features that are necessary to protect your blog from hackers and other malicious Malware.
- Contact form 7. For people to reach out to you, it is important to open that doorway. and Contact form allows your visitors to contact you through a form where they write their messages and you receive them to your email address of choice.
Since there are dozens of plugins for different purposes. It is safe to say, the sky is the limit. You can install any plugin of your choice but the ones listed above are a must for every blog. However it is not a complete list of plugins, you will have to keep searching on your own.
This is how you start a blog and earn money in South Africa. You have to be willing to search for new things each and every day.
Now Let’s go to the money part in this guide “How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa”
Part B: Here is How you earn money on your blog in South Africa. (The cash part)
In this guide, How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa, we have dealt with the first part which is the technical side of everything. Now, we are going to the cash part. The fun part that puts food on the table.
Without saying much or wasting time let me say. You can make good money from running a blog and when i say good money i really mean good money that can give you a comfortable lifestyle. But i will be misleading you if i do not tell you that it is hard work.
Starting a blog that earns money in South Africa is really hard work. It is not for the lazy and faint-hearted. You are not going to make millions on the first day or first month. But with persistence and hard work, you can earn a decent lifestyle.
Now lets start with method number 1 of earning money on your blog in this step by step guide, How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa.
I. Affiliate Marketing
I have started with affiliate marketing on top of the list because it is the easiest yet underestimated method. Yet in actual fact affiliate marketing is the most rewarding way to earn money on your blog in South Africa.
Thousands of local and International bloggers left their traditional jobs to focus on affiliate marketing only. Simply because there is big money to be made and the income is passive.
Meaning you only do the job once but the money keeps coming forever.
Affiliate Marketing is simply promoting someone’s products or services and earn a commission after a successful sale.
You simply sign up to an affiliate program and get a link (URL) where if someone clicks on your link and make a purchase you will get money straight in your bank account.
It’s that easy!
Affiliate marketing is the science of earning money while you sleep. Yes, this is not an exaggeration but the truth.
Affiliate Marketing is still in its infancy in South Africa, which is a great opportunity for you to make money.
Here are some of the websites to sign up as an affiliate and start eaning money on your blog in South Africa.
Video explaining Affiliate Marketing Programs to sign up.
In the video below I have listed some of the International affiliate programs to sign up as an affiliate. The world is becoming smaller, meaning people are more connected regardless of location and distance and as an affiliate, you need to be open-minded as some of the products can only be available on international markets.
So you need to take advantage of that to promote those products to your audience.
Watch the video for international affiliate programs. In the video, I will also give you an option to open a bank account in the USA for free and earn $25. The USA bank account is what you use to receive your earnings on your affiliate sales.
Affiliate websites mentioned in the video.
- Share a Sale
- CJ Affiliates
- JV Zoo
- To Open a USA bank account and earn $25 for free. Payoneer
This is the 1st method to earn money in this step by step guide, How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa.
Let’s go to the 2nd method to earn money on your blog in South Africa.
Advertising is the simplest way to make money blogging online.
Many South African bloggers use Google AdSense to make money on their blogs.
How this works is, Google or other Ad networks, place their Ads on your blog and whenever someone clicks on an advert on your blog or website, you earn money for that.
It’s free to apply to Google, for Adsense and they simply give you a piece of code that you paste into your website and all the magic happens automatically.
For you to earn a decent amount of money on your blog from Google Adsense you must have a lot of visitors on your website. Known as traffic.
You can sign up for Google Adsense here.
I must say Google Adsense is the simplest method to earn money among all the methods listed in this step by step guide, How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa.
III. Sponsored Posts (Brand deals)
Companies are aware of the power and influence of bloggers to the society and they are willing to tap in to that sphere. This is a great opportunity to you as a blogger because companies can approach you or vice versa and structure a deal around.
Let us say you have a blog around a young mothers (Niche) and there is a company that sell baby products. You can write a blog post promoting that companies products for a fee that you agree with the company.
Sponsored posts vary in fees depending with the type of niche, type of products, the size of the company, the size of your audience, your writing skills and other factors.
So, if you have a list of companies that you can contact to structure a deal go ahead and make money blogging.
This is the 3rd method to make money in this guide, How to start a blog and earn money blogging in South Africa. Let us go to the last and final method to earn money on your blog.
IV. Promote your products and services
If you have your own products and services that you would like to promote, who else is the best person to promote them except you on your own blog?
A blog is a voice. It is a platform that can be used to carry the voice of your products and services.
Whether you sell digital products or physical products or services of any nature you can promote them on your blog.
It is easy for people to buy from you because you would have answered all the questions that they might have and explained how your products work while they are reading your blog.
This is the last method in this step by step guide of how to start a blog and make money in South Africa.
Blogging is about writing so now let me show you how to write your first blog post on your own blog and earn money.
How to Write Your First Blog Post and Publish it.
After you have done everything in this post, “How to start a blog and earn money in South Africa, It’s time to write your first blog post.
By default WordPress was designed for bloggers. It is super friendly for writers like you.
To write your first post, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Posts>> Add new.
Enter your Post title in the Title field and start to write below that. It’s that simple!
In your post, you can add other elements like images, videos, code, other headings and more by clicking the little plus sign in a circle to activate blocks.
Let us Recap.
I know there is a lot to do to bring your blog to life and to make money blogging than what is written here.
So let us recap everything that we learned in this step by step guide of how to start a blog and make money in South Africa.
- You can earn a comfortable lifestyle and a decent amount of money blogging.
- It is important to define your niche for your blog before you begin anything.
- You need a domain name and good super fast hosting which you can get here.
- A good theme for your blog to sit on is essential. You can use a free theme or a paid theme which you can get here or read our top 5 WordPress themes to start a blog that we recommend.
- You must use WordPress to run your blog since it is used by most of the companies, individuals and governments around the world.
- There are necessary pages, plugins, and other settings that are a must to be on your blog.
- There are several methods for you to earn money on your blog in South Africa. These include Affiliate marketing, Advertisements, Sponsorships (Brand deals) and promoting your own services and products.
- Get a free USA bank account and earn $25 by clicking here. This bank account can be used to receive money on all of your earnings on your blog and more.
- Blogging is not a walk in the park. it demands hard work but it is highly rewarding.
Over to you. The sky’s the limit.
Now you know how to start a blog and earn money in South Africa. You can now write as much as you want on your own blog. You can make it look as you want.
Let me know if you face any challenge or if you have any questions or complements.
I will be also happy to see your blog and how you make money. So feel free to let me know in the comments below.
You are also welcome to subscribe to our newsletter so that you get more quality content that can really change your life straight in your email inbox.