Akili ni nywele…hata za makwapa!

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As my blog turns one there are a few things I have learned as a blogger. This is the third blog that I have owned but I have previously felt conflicted as a paid journalist working on a blog in the same niche. This time, I ventured into something totally different and fell in love with it. I have also picked up a few lessons that I would like to share with aspiring bloggers.

 

Friends don’t read your blog

If you keep up with me online, and you’ve given a “Like” to your favourite musician you can also like my page. No? Anyway, I find it really hard to market my page to my friends and frankly speaking I can’t really say I get a lot of hits from them. It’s the random people I chat with on my Facebook timeline that have really been supportive.

Passion

It’s tough to turn up day after day, hour after hour to something you don’t absolutely love. Hell, it’s hard even when you do love it.

New Job, New country survival tips!

Blogging is hard work.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you anything different. It’s time-consuming and way more demanding than I could ever have imagined. This was made so much easier by the fact that I love doing what I do. And having a passion for what I do means that I’m constantly trying to push myself further and grow my niche. It also means that when I have an article I have to push it. Market myself and spend an extra coin to earn extra viewership.

Niche over competition

If you’re driven it’s easy to be competitive.

Some niches feel more competitive than others. For example, if you have a lifestyle blog where you’re posting about your personal life experiences, it’s difficult to feel competition. After all, those posts are personal to you.

But niches such as the blogging niche about living abroad is in, are easy to feel competitive. There are lots of people out there writing about the same things.

Feeling competitive can be good in small amounts. It can drive you forward and motivate you to push harder and grow bigger. But it can also be dangerous and destructive within the blogosphere. It can lead to you comparing yourself to others and a downward spiral of imposter syndrome and generally not feeling good enough!

This has taught me how to share the good and the bad of my life abroad.

No new friends!

Plan

I love planning.

If I could make a living off planning I would (if you want me to plan out your life please let me know how much you would be willing to pay haha!)

But you may have noticed that point 10 here includes the word “essential”. It’s not just about my love of planning. Over the past 12 months, I’ve learned just how important it is to plan and schedule as much as possible when it comes to my blogs and business.

There’s nothing worse than sitting staring at an empty laptop screen 15 minutes before your post is meant to go live and have no idea what to write about. Or getting no traffic because you’ve not scheduled out any social media promos.

Investing in a decent planner and taking time to put in place a planning process for every part of your blog is invaluable. And, whilst it might take you a fair amount of time to get set up initially it is totally worth it and will save you heaps of time in the long run!

I’m moving to Panama!

Make new friends online

Like I said above, your friends and family will never earn you any blog hits. They know you and keep up with you in real life and don’t actually trust what you write on your blog.

Engage your social media friends for this purposes. Make something out of these ‘fake friendships’.

Spend money to make money

I just paid my yearly domain fee the other day and realized that ever since I left blogspot.com I have made bigger strides. And being taken more seriously with a .com domain. I have also had to part off with a few coins for my Facebook Domain. Unfortunately, I can’t say Facebook is the best advertiser. They are shitty and don’t provide the best results but at least I tried.

 

Who impregnated the family cat?

Kisang’ule photo bombing yours truly!

The last time I wrote about the family cat, I was complaining about her feeding habits.

The damn thing had developed a weird appetite for avocados. That was just when I had moved back home in preparation to move to Sweden. This was in March.

I left my father, Kisakwa’s house in April for Sweden and went back to visit in November and guess what, the cat was pregnant.

Full blown pregnancy. Type of pregnancy that gets a cat too lazy to even meow. I can swear I saw a rat play with that cat’s tail and it didn’t even bother to go after it.

Sorry, I can’t handle snow!

The cat getting on to the family way got me wondering:

Who impregnated her?

Do cats have sex?

Do they get married before?

Do they have mother in-laws?

Which reminds me, the last time she gave birth, she ate nine of her kittens and kept one. What type of mother does that? How I’m I supposed to explain to the world that our family cat’s favourite delicacy is not a rodent but her own children and avocado?

Anyway, I got to catch up with Kisang’ule our loyal mongrel. My only worry with Kisang’ule is that he has developed a penchant for rich dogs type of games.A typical village dog should only come close to humans in the evening when he knows he is about to be fed leftovers. But this dog! Where are his manners? He is so disrespectful to a point he wanted to be in all my pictures. It’s like he went on a crash course on how to become a professional photo bomber!

But I love him. Infact, my feelings for this dog came to life when he followed me to the bustop the other day as I was headed to my friends house for a sleep over. He got so confident and though that he could sit in the middle of the road and the vehicles would stop for him. You know, like my dad does all the time?

Guys, I dropped my handbag and dived into the road and sent him home after a thorough spanking. He did not play those rich people games with me for two days. I didn’t care. I had saved his life!

Swedes are sad, I imported flu!

Pic/courtesy

This post is dedicated to my loyal follower, Nkatha Bae, who missed me so much that she had to find out if I’m still alive or dead and buried at in the imaginary deep caves underneath Ramberget (Raven hill) mountain in Hisingen Island in Gothenburg, Sweden.

I really don’t have a solid excuse as to why I have not been blogging for the past few weeks. I just hit a writer’s block and lacked motivation. But can you blame me?

I’m still getting used to this dark side of the continent and so is my throat during this cold, dark and mysterious season of European weather seasons.

I recently suffered a sore throat so rough it could be used to clean a pair of Savco jeans. Infact if it continues this way, my throat will be rough enough to be used on rough wooden surfaces instead of sandpaper.

Have I mentioned how I slid on the tarmac while walking home and almost popped my brains open? I think Africans like myself need special training on how to walk on ice. Anyway, it’s now seven months since I moved here and no matter how much I try I will never understand Swedish people.

Let me tell you how I concluded this dilemma……

My neighbour’s cat is using me

When I came here during spring, I got mixed signals. Some people were happy while others seemed deeply sad. The sad lot improved during summer and survived the beginning of autumn a bit maybe because of the beautiful flowers. Then I decided to leave Gothenburg briefly and visit a friend in Denmark.

Spent a splendid weekend there with journalists from all over the world and when I came back everything had changed. The Swedes were sad again.

They are all behaving in a uniform manner. When they are not looking down while running from buildings towards their cars, they are staring deeply into their coffee mugs in restaurants. It’s dark and they are wearing black. I suspect I’m the only one still doning colour because most immigrants have now adopted the ‘Swedish uniform’.

“What happened? Who died while I was away? How long with they be mourning? Is it something I did? Is it because I imported flu from Denmark? Are they sad because I left? Or is it because I’m back?” Are some of the questions I have been asking myself lately.

Excuse me, I’m a robot!

Living in Sweden so far has been a bitter sweet experience. Sweet because I finally got a new challenge which has been a healing process after going through some terrible years in Kenya.

On the other hand each day spent here I feel like I am losing a little bit of my personality.

I don’t hug people anymore

Back home, hugging is almost the standard form of greeting. Here, people tend to hold back and get shocked when you do. Can you believe I hugged someone and they just stood there shocked not knowing what to do in return. They stared at me, motionless probably wondering if I was planning to suffocate them, put their unconscious bodies in my handbag and take them back to my house for ritualistic purposes.

Why the Vikings don’t clean their shoes

Laughing on cue

I love laughing but I also get really uncomfortable when I’m the only one getting the joke (or so I imagine). It’s almost as if I’m stupid. Such moments make me feel like some strange species that has just landed from Utopia.

I’m not politically correct

The other day I made fun of fellow Africans. It had to do with our accents. I received a long Facebook message from someone I hardly talk to informing me that they could not continue being my friend because I did not care for humanity. They wanted me to behave now that I’m in Europe. Then they blocked me. This shook me abit. What does it mean to be politically correct? I make fun of myself and where I come from. Are my stupid posts on Facebook a reason to start a third world war? Why is everyone so uptight? Calm down!