How to make money online from blogging part I

15:09 SA VARSITY STUDENT 0 Comments

I have been blogging for a while and I have tried different methods to make money from blogs. I want to share my experiences with you all so that you can make some passive income while you are still studying or doing your internships. I have also gained some experience on the other side by working in digital marketing so I know how bloggers from all over the world are making money and what topics make the most money in different niches.

how to run a blog as a business

Blogging for money in 2018


This is part one of a series of articles that will teach you how to make money as a blogger in South Africa. I will only share opportunities that I have seen working in the South African context. This post will be talking about choosing a niche that people are interested in and actually search for and buying your domain name to match that niche.

Decide on a niche (topic and category of your blog/site)


I would usually say choose a topic you love and have interest in so that you will be motivated to work on it each week, or choose a problem that you have identified in South Africa that has a lot of interest and queries but no-one is providing the right answers for it. Since this article is about making money from blogging in 2018 I am going to suggest something else as the two methods I just mentioned above about choosing a blog niche are a long game play and may not necessarily offer quick wins. So to find topics to blog about I would suggest that you go to google trends and see what the most popular topics are on the internet. Once you are on google trends set it to show you the trends in South Africa just to see the topics people are interested in. See also trending charts which breaks down trending topics by category. An interesting blog to start would be a blog following the lives of controversial Zalebs such as Zodwa wabantu and her rise to fame (This type of site would need regular daily updates and for you to be keep track of all social media, news and gossip alerts). Alternatively you could have a more classy site which profiles all mzansi celebs, how they started out and how they found success (this type of site would need more detailed article that takes time so you would not be publishing everyday, maybe once or twice per week), to make it even more niche you could start a site just profiling South African actors, or athletes etc.

Additionally I would also do some keyword research for the topics I have in mind to find out how many people search for those terms each month to see the level of competition for those keywords (how easy or hard it will be to show up and rank on the first page for those terms in order to get people clicking on the link to your site). If you are a blogger already and have access to adsense and adwords I would use google keyword planner to get those numbers but worry not there are free keyword research tools such as https://keywordtool.io/ that will also give you those numbers.

Choose a short, catchy and memorable domain name


Once you have decided on a topic and verified that it has enough search volume (people searching for it each month) then you can move on to buying a website name otherwise known as a domain name. Yes you have to buy a domain name if you want to make money from blogging and if you want a professional site. A .co.za site only costs R99 a year and a .com only costs R199 a year. If your blog is meant for South Africans only then a .co.za is the way to go, if your site is targeting and international audience then a .com is the best option followed by a .net and a .org respectively. So go ahead and decide on a short memorable domain name and head over to gridhost to see if its available to buy using online banking or a credit card.

An example of a short and memorable domain name would be, actorprofiles.co.za for the detailed actor profiles site idea I mentioned above or latestmzansi.co.za  for the daily latest news on controversial mzansi celebs. Please note that I recommend using gridhost which used to be webafrica for hosting and domains because they offer easy payment methods and you can opt to hide the identity of the site owner if you so wish for privacy issues and security purposes.

Which topic would I choose to blog about in 2018


If I were to start a blog right now I would choose to blog about bitcoin and cryptocurrency. One, because it is one of the trending topics since last year. Two, there is huge government and business interest in it and three, there is interest from people not wanting to miss out on the next big thing (trying to get rich quick as well). Four there is a gap in the market for solid information because people are getting scammed by investing in things they do not understand. And finally there is an easy way to monetise a bitcoin or cryptocurrency site in South Africa, there are a few major companies that allow South Africans to access cryptocurrencies and these companies have affiliate programs like the one I wrote about in this post about how to earn bitcoin. Cryptocurrency companies around the world are looking for places to publish articles about their offering to reach more people and there is a huge search volume for cryptocurrency terms and not a lot of established cryptocurrency blogs so there has never been a better time to start a blog in a niche when everyone is starting off on equal footing at the bottom with no real authority site in the country.

How to check how much traffic sites ranking for your keyword or writing in your preferred niche get


If you google "how to buy bitcoin in South Africa" you will see that only two blogs/sites dedicated to bitcoin rank on the first page, the other sites are about other topics and just so happened to cover bitcoin because it was trending or they are bitcoin exchanges.

I use a tool called similar web to check how much traffic a site receives to get a picture of the amount of traffic for that niche.

So if I put bitcoinzar.co.za into similiarweb.com:


If I put the second blog bitcoinhub.co.za into similarweb.com it does not show any traffic data as the traffic is not that much yet but it ranks on the first page and receives targeted traffic and still makes conversions, so I google "website traffic estimator" and I find siteworthtraffic.com which estimates that bitcoinhub.co.za recieves roughly:



Which is still significant. I will go into how to come up with a content strategy and monetisation in a future blog posts in this series so stay tuned this month as we cover more details.

In part II after you have chosen a niche and bought a domain name, we will help you decide which blogging platform to use to start blogging. We will be doing a comparison on whether to use blogger or wordpress which are popular easy to use platforms which can be easily optimised to rank well in google search results.

Please help us reach more people by sharing this post on social media and subscribe to our newsletter so that you get part II of this series on making money online in 2018 straight in your email when we publish in a few days.

You Might Also Like