On the death bed?

Monday, April 12th, 2021 00:00 |
Marion Mithamo is a travel blogger and influencer. Photo/PD/cOURTESY

The rising numbers of internet users in the country has birthed a lot of digital content generators, blogging being among the most popular. However, as Nailantei Norari writes, the advent of other more preferred digital content platforms is spelling doom to the blog, or is it?

According to the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA), mobile phone penetration and data consumption have steadily risen over the years.

In a report for the last quarter of 2020, CA pointed out how data and internet consumption had peaked while voice and messaging services took a marked dip compared to early in the year.

This could be attributed to more people being online both for work and social reasons.

According to a report published by Ipsos Kenya in 2020, Kenyans are spending in excess of three hours each day online, with most of the people preferring digital and electronic media to the traditional media outlets such as TV and print media.

This has led to an increase in content creators with many people setting up YouTube channels and blogs.

But with the increased preference for video content, is blogging also on its deathbed?

Wairimu Muturi, popularly known for her blog Cooking with Nimoh, says nothing could be further from the truth.

She started food blogging in 2018, as a result of a great number of people asking her for recipes of the food pictures she would post on her Instagram page.

She figured that instead of sending the same recipe to several people over time, it would be easier to build a resource where people could get not just the one recipe they were interested in, but also several others.

Cross-platform appeal

“What I have learnt is that there are people who want your content as long as you are creative and have clearly defined your niche.

I was at first surprised by the tens of thousands of daily and monthly visitors that would frequent my wordpress page.

I learnt that as much as people are looking for video content on video platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, people are also looking for blogs where they can read the recipe as they cook or even print it off the blog.

“I also learnt that people respond better to professionally shot content. This is part of the reason I got one of my photographer friends, Osunga Odhiambo, to train me and help me put out better food videos and photos,” explains Wairimu.

Wangari Macharia, a digital media buyer, concurs with Wairimu. She opines that media consumption trends are changing in tandem with the viewers’ shorter concentration span.

She says: “People are interested in short videos delivered on the social media timeline be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or TikTok.

Reels and stories are becoming more popular as they are still conveying the message intended.

With the influx in content, audiences are also demanding better shot and edited content.

Great content in terms of substance and packaging is what will make one stand out among the crowds.

While people love video content, blogs (which are mostly words, pictures and linked videos) are still appreciated.”

Scrapbook Journeys curator and fulltime influencer Marion Mithamo feels blogging has evolved since she got into the space in 2016.

Back then, she shares, it was hard to be taken seriously, as everyone was more interested in people working with traditional media.

Overtime, as social media grew, bloggers and social media influencers started to be taken more seriously as their reach also grew. 

Marion even resigned from her fulltime job to fully concentrate on blogging and travelling as she was suffering from severe back pains and she wanted to pour her energy into something she was truly passionate about. As to whether new bloggers would eat into her audiences, she had this to say.

“The fact that the number of travel bloggers is increasing is a cause for celebration, as we can work together towards being better.

So, if you truly feel there is a niche that you can create content for either through blogging or vlogging, go for it.

I know for certain there are people who will be looking for that content. As with my case, I have seen traffic to my site grow over time, as people will always love travelling and are always looking for information on destinations they want to travel to or have travelled to,” she tells Spice.

Value addition

She also shares about the need to use social media platforms to not just drive traffic to one’s blog, but to engage with them and impart value.

For her, she shares video content on her Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Instagram pages in order to meet her audiences where they are.

Besides, she says, having numbers across several platforms will help land brand partners because they will be able to reach a wider audience compared to just one platform.

“Cross platform presence helps bloggers disseminate their content to different audiences, which might not necessarily be on all these different apps.

A food blog will have a fan on Facebook who is not on Twitter, and vice versa. This allows the creator to cater to more people.

As a result, we as media buyers also consider them seeing as they give our products a multi-platform presence.

“However, if you are good at what you do, not having your presence cross-platforms will not prevent brands from working with you.

So, yes, if you are looking to start a blog, there are audiences and advertisers waiting for your kind of content. Just be creative and unique and see where it goes,” Wangari says in ending.

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