I am taking a break off my usual socio-political content to focus on something else. Nigeria @ 53 has earned us a deluge of that content. This my own birthday gift to those who have been by my side over the last 56 or so months when I started my blog, Omojuwa.com
Some of what I will share here if put to use could be the difference between blogging for fun, blogging for nothing and blogging to make a difference. If you don’t have guts, don’t start a blog except you intend to blog for your friends and family alone. As a blogger your currency is your believability, don’t trade it for anything. If you blog on entertainment you can make friends with the players in the industry but don’t go begging them for money. The same goes for political blogging, you should actually get close to your subjects across party lines but you must set a marker by not collecting a dime from them. That really is enough to set you apart because most people who get close are there for the peanuts; what they call kwa among Abuja journalists.
Money is not the only thing you can get from blogging. If successful, money is the least. There are 2 major ways to make money from your blog: you can do that directly & indirectly. You can also combine both. Your direct income will come through adverts and sponsored press statements. The indirect income is the most fun because it comes with several benefits. I will use a scenario setting to make this point. Imagine blogging on interior decoration. Compared to an interior decorator that doesn’t blog, your blog opens a new vista for you. As an Interior Decorator Blogger, you don’t need everybody to read your blog like the gossip blogs. You just need those who value the beauty behind the art of interior decoration. If you blog it so well, you will soon be on your way around the world speaking about the blog and the joy of decorating. If you do it well, you will be getting big time private and corporate clients who will need your expertise. It starts with them reading your blog, trusting your views, asking you questions about interior decoration. One day they will need an expert interior decorator and it is you they will call because blogging about something regularly gives you the aura of an expert. That is why you must know your onions. I meet a lot of Africans abroad who were solely there to speak about their blogs.
Integrate your blogging to your overall business plan. Be subtle about it. Don’t go selling to people directly. Subtlety wins all the time. That way, you are making money off your blog but not yet directly. A time would of course come when a company, specifically targeting your audience will come to you. You are not blogging to be liked. This is not a fashion show. Trust me, most of those who abuse you will be addicted to your blog. They are often the first to read your opinion on issues. How do I know? When I don’t say anything about something, they cry all day. This is not a job for being liked; it is a job for being real.
You will piss some people off, you will be cursed and abused by others, as long as you are not telling lies, keep it up. You need ability. Even your friends will not read your blog if it is loaded with poorly written grammar. You need to know what you blog about inside out. You must be able to speak about it too. Tell stories. Real people want to hear about your pains and successes and about failed (successful) relationships.
You need a niche. You must own a space. You may have the ability to write on many things but you must own something. Others may hate Facebook, your job needs you to love it. It is one of your blog’s major pillars. If you will be blogging professionally, start a Facebook fan page already. Don’t play around with @Twitter, it is your blog in a mini format. As a blogger, you have no business locking your tweets. It is like gating your clients. If people follow your tweets, they are likely to follow your blog. Tweet about what you blog about. Don’t blog about dogs and constantly tweet about trees. You don’t have any competition but yourself.
Don’t do clichés. Don’t say what everybody says. Light a fire. Don’t be controversial for the sake of it but don’t be afraid of being controversial. Don’t hate on more successful Bloggers. They are not the reason you are not yet successful. Start your own conversations on social media. It doesn’t matter if others don’t join, just do your thing. Join other conversations but don’t join if you have nothing unique to add.
Your uniqueness is what sells not your loudness. Learn to evolve. Evolve to learn. It takes learning new ways to be the boss for a long time. Buy a real domain name. Yourname.com is always better than yourname.blogspot.com . Domain names are very cheap. They cost less than $20/year. When you start succeeding on your blog, give others a chance. Let them use your platform to blog. Allow them add their blogsite to their blogs on your blog. Give back. When you get abused on your blog, don’t delete the comments. It is a sign of your blogging success. As a blogger, your haters are a reward for a great job, especially when you know their hatred is based on envy. Even in #Nigeria, there are now thousands if not millions of Bloggers, find what stands you out and hone your skills. No matter the heights you achieve, never think you have arrived. Tomorrow, today’s successes will be mediocre. If you beat your numbers everyday or every week, you will succeed as a Blogger. You can blog on ANYTHING. Even something you think no one blogs about. Bloggers don’t have holidays. If you don’t blog for a week, you’ve lost a week’s worth of old and new readers. You owe your friends your friendship. You owe your fans respect. You owe your haters more success.
You will reap some fruits when you start succeeding. You will earn more friends and lovers. You will earn more haters. You are your own competition. Don’t run other people’s races. Whatever you do, always have fun. Blogging is essentially about having fun. Seek ye first that fun part J. Should you write for others for free? Should you allow people publish your articles on their blog if they give you credit?
PS: Tomorrow is my birthday. I’d love to see your love messages (I read hate messages too J ). Email email@example.com. I will answer all your questions via @Omojuwa_Reply on Twitter. Thank you.