An interview with Kenya’s Harriet Ocharo of SavvyKenya.com on starting a blog, getting more traffic and making money blogging

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Today we have the Kenyan blogger Harriet Ocharo of SavvyKenya.com. I am glad she took the time to answer a few questions I sent her – her answers making this interview possible.An interview with Kenya's Harriet Ocharo of SavvyKenya.com on starting a blog, getting more traffic and making money blogging

She’s been blogging in Kenya for a long time and has gathered a lot of experience along the way. What she does below is share them with you – her dos and don’ts, her opinions, tips and observations.

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So, if you are thinking of starting a blog in Kenya soon or simply want to hear from someone who’s been blogging for a long time (for encouragement) read on.

Find tips to help you build a great blog, one that you work hard to  improve, never letting it wither away like the millions of blogs started every day that end up being abandoned by their owners a few months down the road.

1. Why did you get into blogging and decided to start your own blog?

When I started blogging, it was as a hobby because I liked writing.

Over time, as the number of readers grew, I decided to focus and write more about what people wanted to read; rather than the stories in my life, which is what my earlier blog was all about.

2. How long have you been blogging, on what topics – why? (share your story)

I’ve been blogging for about 7 years. My first blog was called “The Diary of a Mad Teenager” and was a little immature.

My next blog was “The Diary of a Kenyan Campus Girl” in which I detailed campus experiences that anyone who has been to university could relate to.

But then I finished campus and that was when I started writing Savvykenya.com, which tends to focus on mobile technology, but I also do other topics such as book reviews, and life in Nairobi in general.

3. How are things going so far? Have you been able to achieve the goals you set out when you first started?

I had no specific goals when I started, of course, because it was a hobby.

But as my readership has grown, I have thought of the possibility of blogging full time, rather than something I just do on the side.

Although I am earning a little money from the blog, it is not enough to sustain me, so there is still that goal to be achieved.

I have not really decided what direction I want my blog to take, but for now I will just keep blogging my experiences.

4. Here’s what most people ask themselves when their blogs still get little traffic: How do I get more? What do you tell such people? What can they learn from your story growing your site?

Be patient. It took me time to grow the number of visitors to my site.

You need to be persistent in what you blog about, have a specific topic and be good at it.

Share the link to your friends on social media circles and soon people will share the story to their friends and friends of friends.. and it goes from there.

5. How many hours do you spend blogging every week, today, a month ago, a year ago, and what are your reasons for spending that amount of time on your blog?

I am on my blog every single day, checking and responding to comments, or the tab is just open, even if I am doing nothing on it.

I do like 2-3 blog posts a week, because I also work full time.

If I was just blogging full time, I’d do 2-3 blog posts a day! So, it depends on what you want to achieve. So, I’d say I spend 1-2 hours daily on my blog.

6. What’s your definition of great content? How do you go about creating great content yourself?

Great content is original, informative, interesting.

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It will depend on what you are writing about, but try to make it interesting and less formal, but still good grammar.

To get content for my blog, I simply draw inspiration from life around me.

I will review a book I just read or a phone I am currently using.

7. Networking is said to be a good thing. What have you done, or do today, to connect with other bloggers, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners in your niche and other niches?

The best decision I ever did was to join BAKE: Bloggers Association of Kenya.

I get informed of campaigns, events, and other related happenings that could be beneficial to my blog.

Through the events, you meet other bloggers and entrepreneurs in the same space as you.

8. What’s the one thing you’d spend most of your time doing if you started a new blog today? Where would your focus be? (do share your reasons please)

My biggest focus would be on generating great and relevant content.

Make every visit to your site worth it for your reader. Provide useful, informative and interesting content.

Then after I have the content, I’d start publicizing the blog.

9. What can one do to create a blog that says what’s been said over a thousand times differently and still manage to attract readers and get their content shared?

It’s adding that personal touch. Sharing your experience on a topic that maybe has been written elsewhere, but the main point is, you are sharing the content from your own perspective.

10. People are obsessed with getting more traffic, money, comments, followers…Tell me, what should they really focus on when they start worrying over the numbers – for example how they only have a few followers and people come to their site after working really hard on their site for months?

Blogging is just like any other field, a lot of passion is needed.

If your main aim is making money but you have no passion for blogging, you will not make it.

You need to realize that once you have passion, content generation for your blog will be easy and of course, after content, everything else comes later.

So, know why you are starting your blog, and even if people don’t read, your content is out there and someday someone will stumble on it, and who knows?

11. What’s your advice for someone who starts a blog because they simply want to make money online – and they think that blogging is the best way to achieve this goal?

As discussed in #10 above.

12. How much effort did you put in your blog before you made your first USD 100 from it – and how did you make the one hundred dollars?

Honestly, I didn’t put that much effort. The first $100 I made was probably from a Nokia phone I was given to review, back when I was in campus. The Nokia C3, I think.

13. What steps did you take to go from someone that doesn’t make money blogging to someone who makes money blogging?

Focus on content generation. Once you have good content, then brands will want to be associated with you.

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You could get products for review or get paid to write sponsored blog posts.

14. What are some non-blogging things you had to deal with in your life in order to keep growing your blog into what it has become today?

Avoid negative people who wonder why you are wasting time blogging, or who think blogging is not a serious thing.

If it’s your passion do it.

I also have to invest in a good internet connection in order to keep up to date with the blogosphere.

You have to be always online when you’re a blogger, it’s not a touch-and-go situation, always thinking about next ideas for blogging.

Every time you are out there, everything you do, interact with, you ask yourself how this can be put up into a blog post.

15. What is the best advice you received that has helped you stay with your blog and continue improving it? (If you remember where the advice came from, mention names please)

Honestly, blogging motivation has always come from within for me.

However, the encouragement of Kachwanya, who is the chairman of BAKE, Martin Gicheru of Techweez.com and others in the BAKE community have really encouraged me not to slack off my blogging game.

16. Any ebooks, courses, products or services that you highly recommend other blog owners to get now?

I don’t really have any ebooks or courses to recommend, except that I like WordPress for hosting blogs. It’s been awesome so far.Interview with blogger Harriet Ocharo of SavvyKenya.com blog

What have you learnt as someone who thinks of blogging in Kenya – as a hobby or to make money? What are you thinking now that you’ve gone through the interview? Let me know in the comments below.

To learn more about Harriet and her blog, Savvy Kenya, click here.

And don’t forget to pick something from this interview and actually use it. implement what you’ve learnt. See what happens. It never hurts to put into practice something great you’ve learnt.

2 thoughts on “An interview with Kenya’s Harriet Ocharo of SavvyKenya.com on starting a blog, getting more traffic and making money blogging

    1. That’s good Opiyo.

      I believe your readers are going to get more good stuff from you – as you continue with your blogging journey.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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