Gossip blog (website) in Kenya: How to start one on WordPress

There are many gossip blogs in Kenya – popular with young people. Call them entertainment blogs or gossip blogs, Kenyans flock to these sites to get recent news on celebrities from Kenya and those visiting the country for shows and live performances.

This post, part of the how to start a blog in Kenya series – a series filled with lots of ideas for people who want to start successful blogs of their own, will show you how you can go about creating your own entertainment blog.

Which people do gossip / entertainment blogs in Kenya write about?

Mostly public figures. People with influence. People with fans. Celebrities.

Think musicians. Singers. MCs. Rappers. Actors. Actresses. Athletes. Politicians. Sports personalities like footballers. Comedians. Up-and-coming artistes. Business people. DJs. TV show hosts and news anchors. Radio presenters. And those in the circle of the popular showbiz personalities.

When starting your blog, it’s important to know this.

For this knowledge will come in handy when you are doing your daily research on what to write about, deciding who to follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Or when you are deciding where to look for (sources) your own stories, or looking up trends for opportunities to quickly capitalize.

Or even when you go out there looking for persons to sponsor your blog – for example by buying advertising space on your site or sending you sponsored posts to publish on your blog.

Why start a gossip blog (site) in Kenya?

For one, they are popular. Not all of them, but many of them. If you put in the hard work, your blog will grow.

Two, it is easy to get what to write about if you know where to look for stories and are willing to work hard and publish multiple articles, photos, videos and interviews throughout the week.

Three, running these types of sites can be very lucrative. If you publish credible stories on your site consistently, you’ll get readers – and then you can leverage your platform for joint ventures (JV).

You can do this with artistes, recording studios, establishments like restaurants and hotels, telcos like Safaricom, Airtel and Orange, county governments, online shops and various businesses, foundations and non-governmental organizations that can benefit from sharing their message with your blog visitors.

You can also supplement moneys coming from the JVs by using display ads from ad networks like Google Adsense and others. Or even monetize your blog using affiliate marketing and direct ad sales.

Four, you don’t have to work on your blog full-time especially when you are just starting out and have other commitments – like working your job or going to class.

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If you can quickly study trends, see hot stories before every site writes about them, quickly create content and promote it (with or without paid advertising), you can run your blog on 1 to 3 hours a day – since most articles in this niche are short.

What can you learn from the top gossip websites in Kenya – that you can copy?

Here are a few things to look at, to learn from, and then make work for your blog and schedule.

Frequency of articles published on these blogs

Popular entertainment blogs in Kenya are updated at least once a day.

The most popular ones are updated multiple times a day.

Some publish 10 articles every day.

Others publish between 10 and 15 blog posts per day. Yet others publish 20, 25 (or even 30 on occasion) posts per day.

You can do with less especially if you are a one man / woman operation. But shooting for a higher number of published posts is a good thing if you want to build a great blog in this niche.

The more content you publish, the more posts there will be for readers to look at.

The more posts are published, the more shares these sites get on social networking sites and messaging apps.

Google and Bing search engines also crawl these sites more, ranking them in positions where they are able to draw in more organic search traffic.

The headlines used in these blogs spark curiosity

Think click-bait.

Not all the time. But most of the time.

In this niche, some of the popular blogs use curiosity-inducing post titles to get people to click and read (or skim read) their articles.

And at the end (and sometimes inside the articles themselves) are links to other related articles where the same headline techniques are used, resulting in more pageviews, more shares and more ad revenue.

Study how these blogs write their headlines.

Check the titles of their posts that get a lot of pageviews. Learn how they craft their titles and content. Then apply your knowledge to your own blog.

The type and length of posts they publish

Most posts published in these blogs are about things happening in the lives of celebrities. Mostly recent news, opinion pieces and posts that leave readers guessing and wondering.

They are short and accompanied by one or more photos / video embeds, with the occasional in-depth posts gracing their homepages.

The posts are based on other sources. Like what the writer heard in a TV or radio interview concerning the person they are writing about.

Or something the public figure posted on their social media accounts.

Or something they read on another blog or one of the major newspapers / news sites in Kenya.

Or something another celebrity said about another – whether it is something nice or bad – motivated by on-going beef / rivalry.

Or something inspired by new releases (music, TV shows or movies) they’ve come across.

So, you’ll have to listen to / read these, base your post titles on something intriguing you hear or read, come up with a few paragraphs and publish your post.

Some of these sites interview celebrities then publish such interviews as blog posts – or sometimes use quotes from such interviews (done via email, phone, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook or in person) when writing new articles.

This is mostly how the writers of these blogs get the topics / gossip to write about.

As someone who wants to start a blog in this space, it is therefore important to know the best sources to find content that will inspire your own articles.

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Mostly other blogs, interviews in FM radio stations, breakfast shows in different radio stations, TV shows built around trends and Kenyan music.

And like some of the prolific writers in this niche, know how to quickly pounce on breaking news – and being among the first few blogs to cover a story.

Listen frequently to celeb interviews on radio and TV shows then write and publish posts that resonate well with your readers.

Know what your readers want.

Check the feedback you get via phone calls, email, on Twitter, WhatsApp, text and Facebook comments.

Also be sure to check your blog’s analytics to see what keywords people type in search engines before they land on your blog.

Doing this will fill your head with great ideas for new posts.

The demographics these blogs target

Mostly they target the youth.

The people who want to hear more about their favourite musicians, upcoming tours, shows, collaborations, new endorsements, new releases, challenges various personalities are facing, celeb marriages, celeb relationships, breakups, flings, stories of their favourite artistes’ childhood and life growing up.

Or a celeb’s side of the story whenever there is a claim / allegation / controversy in the public domain that they deny and deem to be a lie spearheaded by persons with ill-intent, projects their favourite celebrities are working on currently…and so on.

Most of the people reading these blogs are in high school, polytechnics, colleges and universities.

Some are young professionals.

Then there are older folks who visit these sites once in a while to see what’s going on in Kenya’s entertainment scene.

Do you want to specialize and write gossip news posts or write blog posts on anything you want?

To create more content that your readers like, you may decide to write on other topics as well; publishing, on your blog, articles on lifestyle, gadget reviews, restaurant / hotel reviews, life in campus, investing and business tips among other topics – some of which are mentioned in the post How to start a county news blog in Kenya.

You may even decide to niche down and cover only what’s going in the gospel scene, write articles on Kenyan rappers only, or even focus your blog on Kenyan actors / actresses and the TV series and films they are cast in.

To make your gossip website popular with your readers are you going to lie and spin tales in your blog posts?

There have been bloggers who have written posts claiming some famous Kenyan was dead when in truth the person they wrote about was alive and well.

Some bloggers do this to court controversy. Hoping that their blog will be noticed – and become widely read.

Just goes to show you the levels some people have sunk for fame and attention.

Some do this because they read somewhere that controversy is good for getting more people to your site, paying attention to your words, what you have to say.

But in their tests, sometimes they end up doing some things that are outrageous in the name of building a brand where readers flock to for their entertainment news.

I don’t know about you, but don’t you think it’s better to just be reasonable when writing and publishing, to tell the truth, to report facts, to get in touch with the people you write about (or other people who serve as credible sources) before publishing any mean-spirited articles?

Other questions to ask yourself before creating your gossip / entertainment blog

  • What do I think of the lives of these people I’m writing about – and what do I think of their rights to privacy – and litigations / law suits that may arise out of me invading their private life and getting all in their affairs and daily activities paparazzi-style?
  • Do I just go ahead and hurt others for profit in the name of building a great gossip site? What’s the point? Is there a way to be involved in the showbiz industry writing a blog that just doesn’t see the people it writes about as a way to up the unique visitors / pageviews / ad clicks / ad revenue numbers?
  • Do I add to my blog and publish adult content like leaked photos of celebs totally nude or almost naked whenever I get my hands on such content? Most people would consider that an opportunity to drive even more traffic and revenue to their blogs, but what about me? Do I want to go down this road?
  • Will I be going to parties, concerts and big events in different Kenyan cities and towns to get entertainment news for my blog readers or not? If yes, why? And how will I conduct myself when out there mingling with others, watching and talking with people I meet… ferreting for stories?
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When you ask yourself all these questions, consider the ideas I have shared with you above, read the post Reasons to start a blog, study the already popular gossip / entertainment blogs in Kenya, write a few sample posts, it is time to create your own entertainment blog. You are ready.

Register a domain name for your new entertainment blog, get web hosting and start publishing and promoting articles

Register a short and memorable domain name and get hosting for your blog.

Use WordPress as the content management system to power your blog.

Learn more about WordPress hosting in Kenya.

Also check this post. It will give you a few pointers on what to pay attention to when deciding which web hosting company to work with.

Once your blog is up, publish and share your posts on social networking sites.

Also encourage sharing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and WhatsApp by adding sharing buttons at the top and bottom of the articles you publish on your blog.

In Conclusion

It is up to you what type of entertainment site you want to run.

A clean one or one marred with controversies.

It’s up to you whether you want to use your internet access to spin tales, to be out there stabbing people in the stomach with every post you publish.

Or to publish stories that plug into the curious nature of human beings while at the same time edifying them.

Defamation and libel. Cause and effect. Action and reaction. Supply and demand. Choices and consequences. Remember this line at all times.

For the step by step instruction on how to buy web hosting, register a domain and install WordPress script for your blog, read this post.

If you have any questions, experiences, failures, successes or tips you’d like to share, post them in the comments section below.

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