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How Kenyan Bloggers Can Get More Attention

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If you’ve been blogging for a while, but wonder why you only get a couple of visitors a day, it could be that you’re not doing much to promote yourself. It’s all very well coming up with terrific content that you relay in a witty and erudite way, but if nobody sees it, what’s it for? Taking a few simple steps can help bump your numbers up.

First, it’s a good idea to find other blogs with similar interests. You’re a Kenyan blogger, so find other Kenyan blogs. Why should they read you if you don’t read them? Find and link to other Kenyan blogs that share complement the subject of your blog. I notice any sites that link to Inari Media, and usually pay them a visit to see what they’re about. A good place to start finding them is in the Kenya section of BlogCatalog. One word of caution though: link to those who you actually enjoy reading, and don’t pester blog owners for a reciprocal link. It is rude and makes you look desperate.

Another step to consider is to make sure people actually know you exist. You first port of call for registering your blog as a Kenyan blog should probably be KenyaUnlimited. This is a blog aggregator that will crawl your blog and add any recent posts to the others in the webring. Now it may seem counterintuitive having your content being displayed, but remember that if people are reading it through an RSS feed or on the site itself, they will still have to come to your site to leave a comment. Not only that, but the aggregator probably has a much higher readership than your blog. If people enjoy your content, it’s likely that they will choose to visit you independently anyway, rather than having to wade through all the other posts on the aggregator.

Another useful place for local eyeballs is Afrigator. You can register your blog and your Twitter account under the Kenyan flag to show your affiliation, and users will then be group with other Kenyan content for visitors to the site. Once again, it is an aggregator, but it is cuddlier than the KenyaUnlimited aggregator as it puts your content within a fram and displays the layout of your blog as it actually appears. Once again, if your content interests people, they will usually begin following you independently to avoid the noise generated by other blogs.

Now, another aggregator that covers Kenyan blogs is Mashada, but unlike KenyaUnlimited and Afrigator, there doesn’t appear to be any simple way of registering your blog with them. Nevertheless, they are still useful for something: if you register for their forums you can set your signature as the URL of your blog and give a short description of what it’s about. I’m talking Twitter short here; don’t give in to the temptation to write chapter and verse, even if you do have the space. As a rule of thumb, if it is longer than one line, it’s too long.

The Mashada forums, despite their recent redesign, are still very poorly moderated, so if you are of a sensitive disposition, or generally can’t be bothered with inanities, steer clear of the general topics and focus on the areas of your expertise. True, the tech and business sections are a little quieter than the political and general sections, and they are occasionally spammed, but how much time are you going to spend on the boards anyway? Answer questions to help other users out, offer advice, and if you have covered something in a blog post and it comes up in a discussion, offer a link back to your blog. Note: this does not mean your every blog post needs to be reproduced in full on the boards.

Another forum you might want to consider is Mambogani, especially if your blog is linked to your businesss. In addition to their boards (which are inacessible unless you register, but appear pretty active), they also have a directory of Kenyan businesses and you can suggest a link to your blog or website to get it listed. I’m not sure if it has always been this way, but the site currently seems a bit buggy, with bits of code popping up in unexpected places. They might want to take a look at that.

Once you’re registered, if you continue to write great content and do the odd bit of self-promotion here and there, you should see your visitor numbers gradually increase. You can help the process by leaving comments on the blogs that you read and have linked to, including your URL in the relevant field. If you have a Twitter account, you can also set up a free Twitterfeed account, which will automatically tweet any new blog posts to your followers, another potential source of traffic. As I have said before, however, it is not going to happen overnight. But as more people read and link to your blog, the more popular you’ll become. Just as long as you keep writing content they want to read.

[Image by Ross Websdale]

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5 Comments

  1. boyfulani. says:

    cool stuff.

  2. Nick Masao says:

    Thanks for a great post. I think this works for most African bloggers as well.

  3. Inari says:

    It can work for African bloggers, if they focus on finding their own local forums and aggregators. But Afrigator is definitely the best place to start for any African blogger hoping for more exposure.

  4. Omar says:

    It’s good, original posts with substance, that matter most. Most African bloggers write too much about themselves – using ‘I’ and ‘me’ – which can be very boring. And most don’t write regularly. For instance: most Ugandan bloggers who were active a year or so ago, have disappeared and now as always, the most active ‘Ugandan’ blogs are those being managed by non-Ugandans.

    Same goes for reading; most of those who read my blog are Americans and Europeans.

  5. Inari says:

    Same goes for reading; most of those who read my blog are Americans and Europeans.

    You never know, they could be Ugandans in the diaspora. I know there are quite a few Kenyans blogging (and reading) who are not currently in Kenya. This means that any content you produce needs to be simultaneously both local and international.

    The point about irregular blogging and blogs that have been abandoned is an apt one, however. Before I set up this blog, I looked around for other Kenyan blogs to read, and some hadn’t been touched since 2006! It would be better for those blog authors to take down all of their posts, or at least leave a farewell message, rather than leave the blogs to languish.

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