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Linda Ikeji advises on how to start a successful blog

In Kekeli Burgher\’s words; If you live in Ghana then the name Linda Ikeji, might not ring a bell, but almost every Nigerian has heard about Linda Ikeji. I attended the Ghana Bloggers Summit where she was the keynote speaker. When she was introduced, I honestly didn’t know who she was but the euphoria and paparazzi in the room made me realize that she was no ordinary person.

Linda is a professional Nigerian blogger who has made millions of dollars from blogging. She is one of the few full-time bloggers in Africa that I know so I was keen to listen to what she had to say.

I listened to her tell her story and I couldn’t help but notice key points she made about how her blog became such a hit in Nigeria. I am going to share her story about how she became a millionaire through blogging and then highlight some important things that you should take note of if you want to build a successful blog in Nigeria, Ghana or in any other African country.

How Linda Ikeja started her blog

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Linda Ikeji always envisioned herself as a journalist. She loved TV and wanted to be out in the field reporting news stories. She was naturally creative and beautiful so at 19 years old she became a model. She started a modelling agency in 2004 after her University education. She modelled and for some time and was making inroads with her modelling career. From there onwards she taught she will become a big-time model like Tyra Banks but something happened in 2006.

Linda was involved in a controversy which introduced her to the world of blogging. BellaNaija, a popular Nigerian blog at that time, wrote an article about her. It wasn’t a malicious article but it amazed her that someone actually took time to write about her. She visited the site every day to read articles and got to know about other websites like Paris Hilton. She started thinking to herself, “What if I had my own website where I could write about myself?”. She researched into it and not long after started her own Blogspot website.

linda ikeja

She blogged about herself and was excited when she got 2 or 3 comments. Her blog was very personal and only talked about her life. In 2007, she read an article in a local magazine about someone and decided to publish it on her blog. The reaction amazed her. She received more comments and views when she blogged about someone other than herself. She continued this trend by buying local magazines and lifting the content from there to her blog.

The traffic kept soaring as Nigerians in the diaspora became her major audience. She continued this trend diligently for 4 years out of pure passion and the reception that she receives online. She started doing her own exclusives and had page views of 300,000 per month by 2010.

It was around this time that a company approached her to cover an event and put it on her website. She was so passionate and excited about being at the event that she did not even talk money with the company. She attended the event, publicized it and then one of the company reps approached her and handed her a small token of 100,000 Naira (about 1500GHC). After this, a lightbulb went up in her head. She saw the potential to monetize her blog and started by creating a rate card. She made her first ad sale in October of 2010 and since that day she has never lacked money.

Obviously, she retired from being a model went full time into blogging. She got a team and started creating content professionally and intentionally. She was said to own about 90% of online ad revenues in Nigeria and made enough to buy a mansion purely from blogging in 2015.

So that’s the inspiring story of Linda Ikeja and how she came to own one of the largest blogs in Africa. As I listened, my technical mind couldn’t help but notice certain things that made her blog stand out which I would like to highlight.

Have a website

Nowadays, we have a lot of Instagram and YouTube bloggers who use these platforms to blog or vlog but Linda advises that “the www. Is still the best”. I agree with her totally because your Instagram or YouTube account can be suspended or taken down whereas, for your own website, you are in charge.

If you are a blogger and you need help setting up your website just let me know. If a former model can run a million-dollar website then so can you.

Timing

Linda was obviously one of the first movers and established her blog early on when people in Africa didn’t even know what blogging was all about. The first movers’ advantage was a big plus for her but if you are now starting a blog, don’t be discouraged. The best time to start a blog is now.

It takes time

From the time she started blogging to when she made her first sale spans for about 4 years. Yes, she worked for 4 years without any money coming in nor any real sign of making it. Blogging takes time and if you don’t have the patience and passion to continue even when you are not seeing money then don’t start.

Motivation

Its also very clear that she did not start a blog to make money. Even though I have different thoughts on that, I still believe that the motivation for your blog should be clear.

If you are blogging to make money then that will influence how you run the blog and the type of content you produce. But have a motivation that is greater than money.

Consistency

She was consistent in her posts even when it seemed as if she wasn’t making ‘progress’. Keep writing and keep being creative. Don’t let your quality drop, keep at it and you will be acknowledged in due time. If you have a weekly posting schedule then stick to it. Google takes note of such actions as well.

Build a following

Blogs normally have strongly dedicated followers who are faithful to the blog. Once you produce quality content you will attract a following. Nurture the following and keep creating content that meets their needs and educates them.

Have a specific target group

You can’t have everyone in the world visit your website. Even Facebook doesn’t have that. So, make sure you find your target group. Linda Ikeji’s blog was targeted at Nigerians in the diaspora before the local Nigerian populace joined in.

Google AdSense isn’t the only way to monetize

In her story, she made no mention of Google AdSense which is one of the most popular means of monetizing a blog. I am sure she uses it but her main form of revenue is not in from Google AdSense but from direct sales of ad spaces on the website. You should be creative in monetizing your blog.

Don’t rush to make money

This might be difficult for many bloggers but imagine that Linda Ikeji started monetizing her blog when she did not have a strong following. She might have even driven away some of her users.

I personally hate websites that are so full of ads that it’s even difficult to scroll to the content. Imagine a new website that has tons of ads on it. After visiting such a site, I would mark it down and avoid it with all my heart. So, don’t rush in making money. Gain faithful followers who are engaging on your website first then you can start thinking of monetizing.

Know what you are doing

Linda might have not realized it by then but SEO played a major role in the success of her blog. Being consistent and driving traffic to her site put her in Google’s good books. She provided content that her viewers were looking for and continued to nurture the intent of her users.

Whether you know it or not SEO affects your website so it’s important to know when it is all about if you want to attract free and consistent traffic to your website.

Linda Ikeji’s tips on having a successful blog

Getting to the end of her enlightening presentation, Linda left us with 3 points which she believes are necessary if you want your blog to succeed. Note that before she gave us these points, she clearly pointed out that not every blog will succeed “I blogged for 4 years without making a dime!”. But these are her 3 points being successful as a blogger.

1. Be passionate

Passion will keep you going even when things are not going right. If you look at the top bloggers in the world you will notice passion as a common denominator. Whether it’s a passion to teach, entertain, educate, review, talk etc, passion is a key ingredient to whether you will have a successful blog or not.

2. Be controversial

She had a smile on her face when she made this point. If you know Linda Ikeji you will know that controversy is her best friend. A simple google search of ‘Linda Ikeji’ will show ‘people also search’ for results like ‘Linda Ikeji husband’, ‘Linda Ikeji house’, etc. She has developed a tough skin over the years and said that bloggers should be controversial and opinionated if they want their blogs to stand out.

3. Have unique/exclusive content

I couldn’t agree with her more. Your content has to be unique if you want to stand out. Too many blogs take the same story and rewrite them in efforts to create content for their readers. They use the same videos, images and even text. Creating this level of content will never make your website stand out. Be unique.

What do you think about what Linda Ikeji has achieved as one of Africa’s most successful bloggers? Meeting her was a breath of fresh air to me because she is an example of a fulltime African blogger. I hope to see more Linda Ikejis coming out of Africa and Ghana especially.

READ FROM THE HORSE\’S MOUTH

The Story of Linda Ikeji, Told By Linda Ikeji


“Let me tell you a bit of my own story, and I hope it inspires you to go out there and get yours.


I star
ted my hustle very young, just fresh out of secondary school. I started modelling even before I got into the university. 


At the university, I also continued my modelling career and I also started organizing beauty pageants, 


I organized Miss University of Lagos for three consecutive years and in 2003, I decided that I want to contest in a beauty pageant. 


I contested in Miss Nigeria 2003, and I failed.


I finished university, and I started my own company; a Modelling and Events Company. I hustled a lot back then to keep my company afloat. 


When the money wasn’t coming in as I had hoped, I decided to put my hands in other businesses. So I started a magazine. I failed at it. 


I started a Marketing and Public Relations Company. I failed at it. 


I started a TV Modelling Show. I failed at it. 


I attempted to start a Reality TV Modelling Competition. I failed at it.


I did an Annual Fashion Show for 7 years, I didn’t succeed at it. I didn’t make money. 


And then I wrote a book, I didn’t sell up to five hundred copies. I failed. I failed so many times.


Infact 13 years after I have started my hustle, I was still broke, I was still struggling, I was still trying to find my way. 


Some days I would lay on my bed, and I would cry my eyes out. I would get up, work, fail and then, I would cry some more.


I would ask God why?


I worked so hard since I was young for so many years, why have You refused to bless me?


There were days I would leave my house, very early, very, very early; enter my car, and drive around Lagos, from morning, till evening. I would go from one company to the other, from Ikeja to Mile II, from Yaba to Lagos Island, with proposals in hand, asking for sponsorship, asking for someone to hear me out, begging for someone to believe in me. 


99% of the time, I went home empty. 


Nobody tried to help, 


But you see, no matter how bad it got, no matter how many doors were slammed in my face, no matter how many times I fell, I never stayed down. I never gave up. I never stopped working. I never stopped praying. I never stopped believing in myself. 


Infact, giving up was never an option for me. I was going to continue to work until I got my breakthrough.


If I had given up, I won’t be standing here right now talking to you.


But, what I didn’t realize when I was crying my eyes out and calling myself a failure, was that God had already put something in my life a few years back that would change everything.


As you all know, I’m a blogger and before I had my breakthrough in blogging, I blogged for 4 years passionately without making any money. 


Those days, I would beg for 100 naira to pay for browsing time at the cyber café, but then in 2011, everything changed. Companies started to pay me for something I had nurtured with love.


And just 6 years later, haa…


You may not fail as many times as I did. Or maybe you may fail more times than I did. 


But you have to remember that failure is part of success. 


If you never fail, how are you ever going to learn?


The only true failure in life, is when you stop trying, when you give up.


No matter how many times you fall, you have to get up and you have to keep
going.


There is something amazing waiting for you at the finish line. 


Listen to me and listen very carefully. 


You have a purpose in this life. 


You were created by God for a reason. 


Find your purpose.

Believe in your purpose.


Live your purpose.


You can give yourself the life of your dreams.


You can achieve success beyond your wildest imagination. It’s up to you. 


In this journey of life, you are the master of your fate.


The captain of your soul. You are responsible for the choices you make in your life. So make the right ones.


Please, I beg you, believe in yourself. 


Believe in your dreams. Surround yourself with people who share the same vision with you. 


People who support you. Never ever let anyone tell you, you cannot do anything.


Work hard, work smart, and remember there is no testimony without struggle.


I wish you all the very best.”


~ Linda Ikeji


Despite all the struggles, today Linda Ikeji has an estimated net worth of over $10,000,000 and have received so many awards both in Nigeria and Beyond including recognition from Forbes Magazine.


Once again…

Believe in yourself. 


Be Inspired

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About Post Author

Janesdiary

I am a highly sought-after personal and business branding coach, marriage and Relationship therapist, a blogger and an entrepreneur. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with some of Africa's most successful entrepreneurs. My success is as a result of my unrelenting passion for excellence in all that I do. My mission is to help people attain their desired goals by teaching them how to be more confident, better communicators and better decision makers. [email protected]
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By Janesdiary

I am a highly sought-after personal and business branding coach, marriage and Relationship therapist, a blogger and an entrepreneur. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with some of Africa's most successful entrepreneurs. My success is as a result of my unrelenting passion for excellence in all that I do. My mission is to help people attain their desired goals by teaching them how to be more confident, better communicators and better decision makers. [email protected]

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