Hello my readers and happy new week and welcome to the first guest coffee conversation. I am excited to kickstart this coffee conversation with the Uncle of Bloggers, Beaton Mabaso. He is a Zimbabwean digital storyteller and he is here to share his blogging journey and a few tips
My name is Beaton. I am a digital storyteller with over 8 years of immortalising my thoughts the best way I know how, by writing. I write about the beauty and chaos of the place I call home; celebrating the magic and mystery of everything that makes me, me. When I am not dreaming up what to write next I am trying to build, shape and celebrate a generation of digital content creators who will create and make use of the digital space in ways beyond our wildest expectations.
In the blogging circles I am known affectionately as uncle B.
2. What is your definition of blogging?
I have always felt that to define something is to limit it, one reason why blogging is vastly underrated in the global south is how blogging is casually defined as a personal diary. While this may have been how blogging started over a decade ago it has evolved into something so much more: blogging is a conversation, blogging is community, blogging is an information dispensing tool tapping from a fountain of lived experiences.
There is no easy way to define blogging in a mouthful of concise words, except perhaps to put forward blogging as the updating of digital status; almost everyone with an internet connection probably participates in a tributary of blogging be it by posting on social media platforms or creating content for websites and any other digital media.
3. How has been your journey as a blogger? When did you start?
Recently I got the notification that my blog has passed its 8th year anniversary mark.
The journey has been one of learning, unlearning and relearning. From being someone who had no idea what they were doing, I have grown into the person I would have wished to learn from when I started.
While the blog is 8 years old I started blogging long before then, from Hi5 to Facebook Notes; from GeoCities hosted blogs to Opera Mini Blogs then finally discovering WordPress.
4. What did you achieve with blogging?
First of all I have achieved a form of immortality as one of the reasons I started my blog was so that the stories I have to share do not end with me.
My grandfather was a man with a 1001 stories and yet now I can barely remember them, I am forgetting who I am… Imagine if my grandad had written down the stories passed down via oral tradition, he is gone now and that knowledge gone gone gone…
I have a blog which I imagine that future generations might one day look upon in the way we study rock paintings to make sense of the kind of lives our ancestors lived.
And of course, the opportunities that blogging has opened are unimaginable.
5. From your observation, what do you think bloggers are doing wrong?
Much as blogging is self-expression, blogging is also a journey of self-discovery and as with all journeys you take one step at a time, trust the process. One starts a blog and they want everything perfect, having figured everything out, their niche and audience… Honour each part of your journey.
6. Your 5-star tips on how to be a good blogger.
•You get what you put in:
Creating content is not easy, there’s work behind the scenes, it’s like being a writer, editor, director, model, actor, graphic designer, marketeer of a one-person multimedia publication… If you don’t do the work, well,…
People will talk about how no one reads their blog, yet do not take time to read and support other bloggers, hello?
•Remember to have fun, it’s easy to fall in love with a blog where you feel that the person who runs this blog loves what they do… it shows.
•And finding a tribe or community of people such as Afrobloggers.
7. From your experience, can you list which businesses you can tap into as a person who does blogging full time.
•Marketing and Advertising
•Anything requiring a digital presence.
8. What is your advice to aspiring bloggers/ bloggers out there?
You thinking of starting a blog? Start Now. You started a blog but unsure about where its going? Don’t worry, keep going one day you will wake up and it will make sense, trust the process.