WHAT IS THE HOPE OF THE NIGERIAN BLOGGER IN 2018?
When popular Nigerian blogger, Linda Ikeji started receiving the rewards of her year’s long effort and rise to fame, many people expressed their displeasure in no little way. Some were indifferent but there are yet millions who aspire to be like her in the blogging sphere. Who will spur sugar out of their mouth? Abi, as we say in our local tongue, “Who no like better thing?”
While it’s not impossible to become and even surpass her in the Nigeria blogging industry, it has become rather difficult and painstaking to arrive at her status for many bloggers. Many are just struggling to get by and others just grope around but one question we ask is how do we break-even today? While there are thousands of ways to do that, I sat down to study some of the reasons that mitigate us even in this New Year.
It’s indeed a truth that breaking through today in the Nigeria blogging industry is harder than it was say five to six years ago when LIB started and here is why.
- Content: Content is matters in the age of Google, SEO/SEM, branding and sustainability. It’s appalling and harmful to see the copy and paste pattern of most blogs. It’s even more clear in the sharing pattern on Instagram and other social platforms. And it’s even more glaring in their website especially the folks into News and entertainment. Too much copy and paste without proper attribution for that matter.
Well, here’s a shocker for us, no one can fool Google and advertisers can’t either. While LIB started when there was little or no competition and at a time Google analytics wasn’t so much demanding and SEO optimization was still far from implementation, but things as they are has since changed. If your contents aren’t original, Google will never show your site up in any search query. To impress Google and have your website before your audience, you have to deal with your contents first because when more than 10 blogs are sharing the same content at once at the same time without any creativity, it becomes a battle for who appears first.
- Niche: Everyone is in a band wagon, we all want to do fashion, sports, entertainment. While it was easier to break through in the past in respect to these niches, it’s pretty difficult today because the market packed. Try searching Google for an entertainment story or gist and you will have countless blogs come up and you know how Google ranks blogs. It’s really competitive to put your blog on the top of that search engine list. But try searching for other not so popular topics and wholla! You’ll be wowed at the little you will find.
I remember when I was going about choosing a niche for SL Kreativez, many were suggesting News to me and entertainment, but it’s not my thing, I don’t like the paparazzi and I am quite opinionated, I can’t deal with those, I needed something that was akin to my personality and as a writer and someone with a theatre background, I choose to do this. And I started asking myself what are the ways I can add value to people in the same field, I am sure our Mission statement is a proof of where we’re headed.
And while it will take a while to get noticed, eventually everyone will come to know us for what we stand for. And that’s what many Nigerian bloggers are missing.
- Attitude: Have you ever read that book “Attitude is Everything?” Our attitude towards what we do really matters and goes a long way to decide the premium others place on our work. I love to research in a freestyle way, I do really hate monotonous activities and I have stumbled on many blogs that have their last post in year 2016. I guess they are not thinking of it as a serious something. I know that there was a period I stopped posting too, from July to November 2017 but that was because I needed to work on our framework, so I needed the space to ask myself serious questions because I don’t want to get others on board and then leave them out in the cold looking clueless.
So if that’s the purpose for keeping mute, fine but if not, it’s bad for business. Your attitude to your blog should get people interested. You know sometimes, I just login and then see our beautiful design and I am like “I have to live up to this standard, I can’t let this beautiful design, the money and the sacrifices of myself and the team go to waste.” If that’s not your attitude towards your blog, I’m sorry but you need to sit up.
- Finance: I am in the best place to understand the task involved in blogging when talking about finance. It can be debilitating especially at the beginning but hey, you have to do your best with the little you have. If we keep saying it’s difficult to buy domain, web hosting, designer etc we will never smell the type of success we desire. I have had to sacrifice buying luxuries just to keep this dream flying. I have spent my last dime as an unemployed on this blog.
The last design before this one cost me 30k and if I tell you how I got that cash, you’ll be amazed but I had to pull down that design because it didn’t help what I had in mind. I am not here to brag to you but if I don’t start with me, how can I tell others the best way forward, and I can’t deny that I have had free-of-charge help from friends who believe in my dream. You should also find these sort of people. But first, you have to put in what you have before you can go to others for help.
- Building loyalty and social media craze: I hate the craze and mediocre of Nigerian blogs on social media especially Instagram. I term them ‘birds of same feather’ but hey it’s their world. While it is great to have followers and likes, etc, what about value? This is two ways. First, many bloggers don’t even have a social media presence, no handles, activity, engagement etc and they expect exposure and visits their blog. It doesn’t work like that. For me, it’s something I and the team is still learning, so I speak to us too. Then there are those who go overboard with the bandwagon thingy. I don’t have much to say than, get great contents tell people what you do, keep doing what you do but don’t go overboard.
- Knowledge of Digital Requirements: From SEO to SEM to Marketing skills, social media savvy, advertising etc, knowledge of new technologies and skills required in this field is a must. You might want to take courses to update your digital skills and it doesn’t matter what niche you’re blogging about, you need to have the basic knowledge of Google analytics, Facebook algorithm and analytics and the rest. Thankfully, Google has simplified the cost of learning with the free digital learning portal called “Digital Skills for Africa.” Seize this opportunity and avail yourself some knowledge, it will be useful in the long run.
And that wraps it here, I hope we can all work at our dreams and become the best we ever dreamt. Think this speaks to you and you would want to know more? Contact us and we’ll be here to help each other through this journey. See you when we blow. And you can help yourself with 10 common blog setup mistakes.