The winner for the best County blog during this year’s BAKE blog awards was a blog called NorthRift News. NorthRift News is run by one Gideon Kiprop. In this edition of Blogger profile, we present to you Gideon Kiprop in a bid to help you understand what his blog is about and his blogging journey to date.
First, please help us understand the structure of North Rift News. Is it run by you as an individual or by a group or do you hire writers to create content?
I started blogging individually before we finally teamed up with some of my colleagues who became interested in my online activities. I generate ¾ of the content on North Rift while the rest I do source from guest bloggers.
When did you first realize that your blog had made an impact?
During the last general elections, the blog shaped the regions political environment. Whenever I missed to put up an update I would receive calls, messages and mails from our followers wanting to know why we had not shared any updates for them.
What have you learned about blogging that you wish you had known when you were starting out?
Building a blog that people know or read about or care about requires patience, the reader base grows slowly but once the brand gets noticed it becomes much easier to widen your base.
How do you get content for your blog?
I generate most of the content by keenly following the region’s current affairs; by attending development and political forums and following trending topics on social media. Some of the content I do get from trusted sources i.e. from the leaders directly or through their personal assistants and County information officers.
What challenges have you faced so far and how did you handle them?
With the growing demand for daily updates from our readership base it is sometimes challenging to source content on a minimum frequency of five articles per day. However to overcome the challenge we have hired at least two bloggers in each of the seven North Rift Counties.
What inspired you to start the North Rift News blog?
I had a passion in writing which coincided with my interest in politics and current affairs. That is how North Rift came into being.
Have you fulfilled your objective for starting the blog yet? If not, how far are you from reaching your goals?
Partly yes, I wanted my blog to shape the regions leadership and inform the general public on development issues across the region which it has achieved, but currently we are on a mission to market the region as an investment hub and a tourist destination, which we hope to achieve in the next two years by collaborating with the regional leadership and other stakeholders.
As a blog that deals with News and Politics, what advantages do you have over mainstream media?
Our main advantage over the mainstream media is our ability to relay information in real-time. The trick is to use social media wisely to enhance the accuracy of a news story and with the consumer’s ever growing appetite for news, amplified by the instant access of social media bloggers are the wave of the future, it’s just a matter of time
Do you blog full time? And how does your blog finance you?
Yes, I do blog full time; we source our funds through advertisements
How has winning the BAKE blog award for best county blog helped you as a blogger, if at all?
Winning the award was an opening for us since now we have an influx in clients wanting to advertise their businesses and products through our online platform. Apart from that we have seen an expansion in our readership base and more importantly the interest we have attracted going by the number of guest bloggers wanting to contribute content for us. Currently we are helping new bloggers get tips on how to grow, which we consider an achievement.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
We are harboring intentions of growing as a regional media house and already plans are underway to bring together all the social media influencers across the region in building this initiative. We want to have a Radio station in the next two years.
Be sure to visit Gideon’s blog on www.NorthRiftNews.com for the latest news and politics in the North Rift region.