sicom.gov.coLinda Ikeji is a famous blogger in Nigeria who in 2013 made it onto the list of Forbes influential bloggers which is no easy feat!
Her blog provides news, beauty tips, and celebrity gossip to her readers.
She started blogging when she was 17 years old with no background in journalism or writing experience.
Today, she has over 3 million followers on Facebook where she posts almost daily.
With so many people following her work, Linda has been able to make a living for herself by running the blog as well as taking advertisements from various companies.
She has been able to launch her own beauty line as well as a clothing line via print on demand.
telegra.phShe was also named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2014 and awarded an honorary doctorate from Babcock University.
Linda continues to work hard to provide her readers with the latest posts and information on entertainment news.
She has been in the spotlight for her success and achievements as an entrepreneur while being one of Nigeria’s most successful bloggers to date.
Her blog began when she had just finished school with no further ideas about what career path to take until she discovered blogging.
Linda Ikeji obviously needs no introduction. As the richest female blogger in Nigeria, Linda Ikeji is one of the very few bloggers who blazed the trail of blogging in Nigeria.
This post will reveal the latest news about Linda Ikeji, Linda Ikeji’s Blog, her house, Linda Ikeji pictures, net worth, tv, Linda Ikeji Social and so much more.
Frankly speaking, Linda Ikeji’s rise from obscurity to prominence is commendable and deserves mention because she started blogging at a time that Nigerians knew very little about the profession.
On the other hand, the few Nigerian bloggers also faced a lot of discouraging and overwhelming challenges with respect to doing business on the internet. Hence, many of Linda Ikeji’s contemporaries became overwhelmed and completely lost interest in blogging. But, this did not hinder from pursuing dreams. She exhibited uncommon resilience, tenacity, religious fervor, dedication to duty, focus, determination, and hard work.
Honestly, Linda Ikeji was resolute, determined and unrelenting in the face of the overwhelming challenges. Hence, she rightly deserves the unofficial title of “the mother of blogging in Nigeria”. Indeed, aspiring bloggers can learn a great deal from how Linda Ikeji began her blogging career and her rise from obscurity to prominence in the blogging business in Nigeria.
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As the second of seven children, Linda Ikeji was Born as Linda Ifeoma Ikeji on September 19, 1980 and was raised as a Catholic by her parents, Mr & Mrs Ikeji, who are both from Nkwerre L.G.A. in Imo State, Nigeria.
According to Wikipedia, she began her hobby in writing at the age of 10, finished secondary school at the age of 17 and, at 18, enrolled at the University of Lagos, where she studied English Language.
After completing her university education in 2004, she began working at various jobs, first as a part-time waitress, next as a model, and finally as a writer, in order to support her family financially.
Fed up with working for others, Linda Ikeji eventually launched her media company, Black dove Communications, a modeling agency and events management outfit. This she did until she started blogging in the year 2006.
The success of her blog has encouraged a lot of young people in the world to tap into the online space and equally make a living out of it. In separate interviews with Yes International Magazine, Konye Chelsea Nwabogor, Ifeoma Ononye, TWMagazine.net, onobello.com, cp-africa.com and kemifilani.com, Linda Ikeji revealed details of her journey from obscurity to fame and blogging success.
She also spoke about how she started her blogging career and what made her to stay resolute in the blogging profession in the face of the numerous challenges which beset the profession in Nigeria.
Excerpts of the interviews are detailed below.
How did you get started with blogging?
“In June or July 2006, a friend of mine in London sent me a link to a story that had to do with me. I was a model at that time. When I opened the link, I saw bellanaija.com and I saw the story. That was my first encounter with blogging. I was basically fascinated with the whole thing and my story had more than thirty comments.”
“Subsequently, I was always going to Bellanaija and that was how I discovered Perez Hilton, then I started reading random blogs. I continued to read other blogs; then one day, the desire to own a blog and be like Bellanaija surfaced. I promptly googled how to start a Blog and also reached out to Uche Pedro, the owner of Bella Naija, who encouraged me to get started with the profession.”
How has the journey been so far, from when you were hustling for modeling jobs to becoming a social media mogul?
“The journey has been amazing. I didn’t expect to be here today. When I started hustling back then for modeling jobs, the first thing I came across back then was blogging, before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram became known and popular. To be honest, when I started my blogging in November 26, 2006, the last thing in my mind was that it is going to change my life as much as it has. It was just a place for me to be creative because I love to write. I didn’t think that five years from then that all these would happen.”
“I didn’t envision that I was going to come this far. It has been an amazing journey and definitely something that I am grateful for. Everyone is on social media but not everyone can say that it has changed their lives so much. I am grateful to God for how far I have come with his help.”
Back then, blogging was not that popular, what exactly attracted you to it?
“At first, I didn’t know there was anything called blogging. I never heard of it back then. At the time I was a model and kind of people knew me. I was a little popular in my own way. So Bellanaija wrote about me and my friend in United Kingdom sent me the link to the story. So I went to read the story online and that was my first encounter with blogging. Before then, the only thing I do online was just to check my email and that was it. I read the comment and it was a beautiful experience for me.”
“I went back to Bellanaija the next day to read other stories. I was going to Bella’s blog for four months and I discovered other blogs. I enjoyed the whole experience because I loved to write. That has always been my passion. While growing up I wanted to be a journalist. Then one day I told myself that I can as well start mine since I liked the blogs so much. It took three minutes to start a blog and that was how I started blogging.”
“I am number 26 in Nigeria as a whole. Others are The Sun, Vanguard, The Punch, GTBank, UBA and so on. I’m actually the first in entertainment in Nigeria. I’m like number 8,000 in the world and that is a very big achievement. I used to have about 50,000 hits per day! Just because I do it all alone. So, when I get people who are ready to work with me, I’m sure it’s going to get to 100,000.”
Some may want to know at what point that Linda Ikeji blog started paying off?
“When you are passionate about something, you put your all in it and that was what I did. I started blogging consistently and passionately until 2010. It never occurred to me that I have built a lot of followership in that time and brands were watching. By the end of 2010, I had thousands of people following me and I never knew it would translate to money.”
“The first time a company approached me to pay to post something, I found it very strange. I didn’t know what people like Bellanaija and Sahara reporters were charging. I had to ask a friend to send me an advert rate. It was in January 2011 that I had my own advert rate and I started sending it out to people. By February, people started paying me and since then, it’s been great.”
“A company approached me and said they wanted to take over my advertisement space and they would pay me N3m a month. This was in 2011, when I was making less than N500k – N600k a month. I told my parents about it and they told me to go for it, but I refused and went with my gut instinct. My mind kept telling me that these people had seen something I hadn’t seen. If I could get this amount of money now, with these number of people, in two years… So, I turned down their offer and it turned out I made the right decision. By two years, I was making way more money than what they had offered me.”
Between the time you started and when you started getting paid, was there a time you wanted to give up?
“Yes there were many times, I wanted to give up. I had bad times back then but the worst was in September 19, 2010. It was my 30th birthday. I was broke, I was angry because I have been done doing modeling in a long time. I was just sitting on my bed, pondering. I had been hustling since 1998 and had done so many things. Still I was here at 30 and didn’t have any money. The day before, I wanted to withdraw money from my account. I had N800.00 and wanted to withdraw N500.00 but I wasn’t allowed to leave N300.00 balance.”
“Then I wanted to withdraw N300.00, but I couldn’t also withdraw N300.00. I was angry at God and angry at myself for failing because I thought I had failed. I was still struggling, I was still borrowing money, I was depressed because I felt like a failure. I will cry and cry but will still open my laptop and blog. I didn’t know that my breakthrough was at the corner and that God was leading me to it. After my 30th birthday, my life practically changed.”
When you started your blogging business, what goal did you set for yourself?
“I didn’t set any goal. I just started the blog out of my passion for it. I made it my hobby. You know, while growing up, I wanted to be a journalist, but I wasn’t successful. I see blogging as a close substitute for journalism, which was my dream job. I just love meeting people, reading their stories, interviews and the rest. I never knew that four years later people will be begging to pay for what I enjoy doing. I never thought that I will be making millions from blogging, but I thank God that what I enjoy doing is now making millions for me.”
What should someone do to be a successful blogger?
“You have to love blogging. You can’t say I want to blog because I want to make money. It takes a stepping stone to get there. There are over a thousand blogs like I said, but what will make people enjoy visiting your blog depends on the efforts you put into it. So, be passionate about it, be consistent, don’t blog once or twice in a week, blog everyday if you can, enjoy it, and love it. Don’t be anonymous when it comes to blogging.”
“People find it easy to relate more to people they know. For example, if you are Amebo.com, people do not know who is behind it, so their response will not be felt. If you use your name, it commands credibility and acceptance. Like I use my name, I use my pictures, I talk about my intimate secrets at times and it has really helped me to a very large extent. People wish to have my numbers, BB pin and everyone wants to be my friend. So, find what you can do easily and you enjoy doing. That was what I did for the first four years that I started the blog before I began to make money.”
Tell us your success secret…
“It’s God. You see, when God is ready for you, it is your turn. I have hustled for many years now, I don’t hustle any more. I have worked very, very hard and remain persistent in what I do. From being a model until I found my way into blogging. It has been the combination of God’s favour and hard work.”
For many youths who wish to be like Linda Ikeji, what do you think they should do?
“First and foremost, they have to find what they are good at, their talent; work hard on your talent, be patient, because for you to succeed in life, you need patience which a lot of people don’t have. They want quick money and success, but lasting success does take time. They also have to be very prayerful.”
You have blogged a lot of news; positive, negative and controversial especially about artistes. For example Wizkid, what is your relationship with them?
“I don’t want to talk about Wizkid. I have a cordial relationship with a lot of entertainers. I have had run-ins with a few of them but in recent times, I haven’t. It was when I was a bit carefree and careless with the stories I write. In a year now, I have not had any big issue with anybody.”
How do you handle it when they threaten to sue you?
“The only person I have threatened was wizkid. Their threat does not scare me because I believe I do more good for them than bad. And they acknowledge that. Some of them are my friends. Some of them have been to my house, some of them are on my WhatsApp chat. The negativity that comes with blogging is fine. I mean, it’s blogging, you write about people. Some people may take offense; some will react in different ways. I have been doing this for ten years and if by now I am not used to back lash, then I should get out of the business.”
If you are asked what you make in a year, what will you say?
“I cannot tell you what I make in a year.”
Many are speculating that Linda is the richest blogger in Nigeria, how true is that?
“About being the richest blogger in Nigeria, I will probably agree. Why I agree is because I talk with a lot of clients and advert agencies and they say that when they bring out an online plan for advertisers, 98% of them choose me. That means 98% of people who advertise online, advertise on my blog. They choose me and others. So I think in all honesty and modesty, I make more money than most. Not more than Punch and Vanguard but regular blogs.”
In terms of your news reporting, what lessons have you learnt from your blogging experience?
“It has taught me to be careful because as much as you think that you know, there are people who have in-depth knowledge of the story. Sometimes I put up a story and I read comments, from the comments, I go back to make some corrections because there are people who experienced it firsthand. I have also learnt that it is important to verify your stories because basically if people rely on your site for information and you mess up a few times, they will not trust your news anymore and they go to other credible sites. And when they go, your advertisers go.”
From the feedback you get, do you feel loved or hate?
“It is a combination of both. I try as much as possible to hold onto the love and don’t pay attention to the hate. I have grown a thick skin to when people say vile things about me. I just laugh over it because they don’t know me. I mean if Wizkid and Olamide are tongue lashing me because of the story I wrote about them, I can understand that but if I have never written about you and you say vile things about me, I take it that the hate is coming from somewhere that is not my fault. Maybe you are angry about your situation or I remind you of something that you wish you had but you didn’t. I have been there. I have been in a situation where I was angry at people that are successful. I understand that success comes with a lot of hate. I pay more attention to people that say I inspire them.”
Can you tell us about Linda Ikeji Social (LIS)?
“The unique platform Linda Ikeji Social represents a revolutionary innovation in not just news reporting but also in facilitating social interaction. LIS creates a virtual meeting place that combines the dissemination of news as well as enabling social connection and interaction.”
“LIS came up as a result of feedback from the blog that people need a platform where they can not only get breaking news, but express their positions on issues as it affects their world. They can also interact and connect with friends as well as get all other important information about products and services around the world. LIS is like online blog and Facebook rolled into one.”
“News sharing is tied to what we do every day on social media. We all have a responsibility to share things we witness that we feel could bring about change in society.”
“It’s a platform where you can land at the home page from anywhere you are navigating from, view notification and messages and also you can submit your story and get paid, as well as make money while networking. I encourage people to sign up on the platform. I dream of being the Oprah.”
Have you lost any valuable friendship because of what you do?
“No, not really.”
What about the time people said that you took money from Dasuki?
“I didn’t make a big deal out of the Dasuki issue because it was overwhelming. A friend called me and told me to calm down. I mean, I bought a house on Banana Island for half a billion; people cannot wrap their mind around it. So they will assume you got it from somewhere else. Up until the news broke about Dasuki, I have never heard of him. I never dealt with anyone. I never collected money from anyone. The money I collected was from PDP and APC for adverts. It was a few millions. I know that I am not guilty of anything, if not EFCC would have put me in their custody. So when I hear such stories, I can understand where they are coming from. They don’t understand how online blog can give me such money but those who deal online will tell you that I can afford to buy that house twice.”
When you get married, what will happen to that house in Banana Island?
“I will move to the man’s house. As long as it is not a three bedroom flat in lekki. My parents will be there.”
You are transforming from a blogger into a full media owner, don’t you think you are taking on quite too much, why not take it a little bit at a time?
“I have been a blogger for ten years, I am bored, I want to do something else. I am 37, this is the time I have the energy and passion to run this. I delegate, I have staff now. I have over 30 people that work here so they are the ones running all of these. I don’t limit myself at all. I believe there is absolutely nothing I cannot do. I get like six hours a day. I sleep five hours in the night.”
People believe you don’t write negative stories about your friends?
“That is not true. If I write negative stories about people, I won’t be here talking. I will be hiding somewhere because I get a lot of stories. I would rather they take a picture with me when they see me than threaten me. I make money from writing positive stories so why should I concentrate on negative stories.”
You released a video on your birthday talking about some personal stuff, what influenced that?
“It’s now that I want to marry. I didn’t want to marry earlier. I just got emotional a bit and it was my birthday and I just wanted to get things off my chest. It was my birthday as I wished I was married.”
But do you get proposals? Back then and now, how are the proposals coming?
“I have always had proposals. People say when a woman is successful, men run away, it’s a lie. That is when they chase you the more but unfortunately, I have not seen what I am looking for. Men are not scarce. It is the type of men that I am looking for that is scarce. I want a man that I can look up to. I want someone that inspires me. I want a man that will push me to achieve more. I want someone who has achieved some success in his own career. Someone I can learn from. I am inspired by successful people. I can’t wait to meet someone like Tyler Perry.”
So you cannot marry a poor guy?
“No I cannot marry a poor man. He does not have to be overly rich but he must be successful in his own career. When I was 30, my standards were very high. I was so focused on work. I have been so ambitious. I was not focused on marriage and kids because I know that would draw me back. It is just recently that I told myself that ‘Linda, you are 37, three years to 40. What are you doing?’ At 30, I had a long list of how I want my would-be-husband to be. When I turned 35, I reviewed the list and not, there are only three options on the list. My top three: A good man; successful and a man that will not stifle me or stop me from what I am doing presently, because I cannot be stifled. A man that is caring and sexy. He also must be good in the bedroom.”
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Shut down of Linda Ikeji’s Blog by Google
But, it has not been all a rosy affair for Linda Ikeji. A dark cloud loomed over her blogging career when Google suddenly shut down her blog without any explanations. The date was 8th October 2014 and it will remain an unforgettable experience for Linda Ikeji. Though the blog was later restored about 48 hours later on 10 October 2014 around midnight by Google, the experience was a bitter one for Linda Ikeji. Speaking on the shutdown of the blog by a spokesman for Google, Kola Ogunlade said: “We take violations of policies very seriously as such activities diminish the experience for our users. When we are notified of the existence of content that may violate our Terms of Service, we act quickly to review it and determine whether it actually violates our policies. If we determine that it does, we remove it immediately.”
According to Linda, in a post published on her blog (lindaikejisblog.com) titled “To the guys that want to take down LIB, here’s a message to you.. lol”, the culprit behind the disgraceful whistle-blowing affair was a person by name Aye Dee. It was Aye Dee who reported her blog to Google with an allegation of plagiarism/copyright infringement of his works on her blog; and Google promptly shut down the blog without even hearing from her.
Linda Ikeji stated: “So something has been going on for the past couple of days that I haven’t reacted to because I wanted to see it play out and see how far these people will go. They have gone far and it’s now time to react.”
“The only reason this is happening to me is because I’m number one… so I am flattered. I am currently No.10 on Alexa.com, more read than all the other news sites in Nigeria, so I understand why I am the target. If I were them, I’d hate me too… lol.”
“So here’s what’s going on. Sometime last year, some guys decided it was time to run me out of business (duh, like you can…lol). So they began to spam my blog. And when your blog gets a lot of spam, Google (which hosts my site) can take your blog down. But instead of taking my blog down, Google took my AdSense down for a few months and eventually re-instated it. So they didn’t succeed. These same people started sending strange emails to me… looking for different ways to have access to my blog. But I wouldn’t let them. If they could, they would have hacked it, but they couldn’t so they continued to look for different ways to attack my blog. Please continue…”
“In April 2014, these guys decided to close down the blog again. In the emails they exchanged back and forth, they said ‘plagiarism is a good excuse to finish her’. (they forget that if they succeed in closing down LIB because I’m on blogger… I could easily start a website). Now let me tell you who these guys are. They are IT people, security experts who know how the internet works. They are hackers and cyber-squatters… and only go after the biggest internet setups.”
“Immediately after I shared photos of my new SUV, these guys re-connected again and decided it was finally time to end LIB because there were quite a few people who were mad that I bought the car and they wanted to play on their emotions. The head of this team is a guy who goes by the name @Mr Aye Dee on twitter. They decided to use the plagiarism card. He said it was the strongest claim to make and easiest way to get support from other people.”
“And then the campaign started with him claiming that I took something from him without crediting him or asking for permission. 100% false. If he owns a website, I’ve never visited it. He started by writing all sorts to get people to notice… and then he acted. Like I said these guys are IT experts, they know what to do to get blogger/Google to come after you.”
“So he and his team started filling several reports, sending links of my blog and making claims to Google. Outrageous false claims. And because Google acts first before they contact the blog owner, they took down some posts and asked me to file a counter claim if I felt I had a right to re-publish those articles. Now that my blog is under Google review, these guys have started to spam it again.”
“They want Google to shut it down. That is their aim. Will they succeed? I sincerely don’t know. I’m not an IT expert… I know they are spamming and filing complaints, I don’t know what else they are doing behind the scenes but they are relentless.”
“Now let me give you guys a bit who this Aye Dee guy is. He’s anonymous on Twitter. Nobody really knows who he is but according to those investigating him, his name is Emmanuel Efremov simply known as EE by his friends. He’s the owner of 15Past8.com media group. Based in Manhattan. Gets funding from some US organization. He’s apparently been stalking me for years now and have registered quite a number of my domain names… lindaikeji.net plus 8 others. He also owns 9jalife.com… yep, he owns a blog. He accuses me of copyright infringement but when you go to 9jalife and other websites he owns… 98% of the things he has on there are other people’s content. You see pot calling kettle black? Lol.”
“Immediately he was found out yesterday, the IT expert immediately started to redirect lindaikeji.net to my blog. If you click lindaikeji.net now, it will redirect you to this blog. He panicked yesterday and quickly did it. A name he registered as far back as 2011. Lol. Choi!”
“Not only that, he’s also a cyber squatter. Yep, he registers 100s of websites belonging to others around the world and tries to make money off them. Guess one of his aims is to run me out of blogger so I come to him and his team and pay thousands of dollars to get one of the several names he’s registered. Not going to happen, boo! Hehe”
Below is an article from lawyer and blogger Uduak Udouk Africa Music Law about this guy and his cybersquatting criminal activities
“According to a twitter handle owned by @MrAyeDee, celebrity blogger Linda Ikeji was accused of copyright infringement of his works. He reported these infringing activities to Google and what resulted was a take down of his articles/works on her site. He also claimed with the rate and way things looked, Linda Ikeji’s site could be shut down within a week.”
“I get the fact that this guy was concerned about Ikeji’s activities and got Google to do something about it. What I don’t get is his very strong response and continued massive tweets talking about the same issue in an almost vendetta like style towards her. This got me curious to know who he was and what could be a motive behind all of these.”
“I began by looking at his twitter page and narrowed in on his website www. 15Past8.com. The description of the services he offered through his media group raised my curiosity. He says his media group owns “hundreds of websites.”
He also claimed some of the infringing content on Linda Ikeji came from his site. Well one of his hundreds of websites is 9jalife.com because it has the 15Past8.com media group stamped on it. I did a basic search on 9jalife.com to see who owns it. The name ‘Emmanuel Efremov’ came up as the registered owner of 9jalife.com. 9jalife.com is clear it is owned by 15Past8.com media group, @MrAyeDee’s company.”
“For my article on Linda Ikeji, many have been saying they are surprised she does not own her own domain. Purely out of curiosity, I looked up Lindaikeji.com and noted it is owned by someone else, a case of cybersquatting. I also look up LindaIkeji.net and see the same ‘Emmanuel Efremov’ come up. Now I am very curious. How is it that Emmanuel Efremov owner of 9jalife.com, a subsidiary of 15Past8.com, also owns LindaIkeji.net? Am I missing something?”
“Needless to say, I google the name ‘Emmanuel Efremov’ and lo and behold, there is a case by Volkswagen against an Emmanuel Efremov for cybersquatting. Looking at the description of 15Past8.com, the registered domain owner of 9jalife.com and Lindaikeji.net and the case by Volkswagen against Emmanuel Efremov, I am left feeling that the credibility of @MrAyeDee is shot and very weak at best. It also makes me wonder about any prior existing relationship between him and Linda Ikeji as to the issue of domain ownership i.e. cybersquatting. It is not uncommon for cybersquatters to ask you the legitimate owner of a trademark to pay them to own your own website.”
“If you accuse someone of copyright infringement, it is a good idea to make sure your hands are very clean and there is no connection whatsoever with a possible bad faith attempt to hijack their domain name. I am curious to see where all of these leads” by Uduak Udouk.
Linda Ikeji continues: “Talking about copyright infringement, Mr Aye Dee feels that crediting source is not enough, that I have to write a written permission to the website owner. That’s laughable at best. So if there’s a breaking news on TMZ, I will first write to the editors and wait for the 2/3 days it will take them to reply me… that’s if they even bother to.”
“I admit that I take content from other sites. Plenty of it sef, but the question is, which website in the world doesn’t? If you go on Bossip.com, 50% of what is there is from other sources. Daily Mail UK takes from other sites, re-writes and give credit. UK Mirror takes from other sites. MediaTakeOut quotes other sources. E! Online, Us Weekly, People and even CNN take news from other sources and give credit, so why is mine an offense to the extent that my blog deserves to be shut down? Even in Nigeria, which site doesn’t take news from other sites? Which? That is how media runs.”
“Perez Hilton makes $10million a year from blogging and 50% of content on his site is not originally his. As long as you give credit….which I do! Except in cases where you don’t know the original source of the story or photo. So many blogs take content from my site, how many of them have I gone after? In fact, I’m happy that they do so, I have nothing against it. If I take content from another site and they approach me to take it down despite giving credit, I will take it down. But that doesn’t happen.”
“I try as much as possible to get as many exclusives as I can, but because I work from home my team is so small. I’ve been planning to employ more hands which I will do eventually and then get a proper office. I’m kinda glad this happened. It’s now pushing me to act and take my business more seriously.”
Linda Ikeji ends the Google Blog Shut Down story with this advice: “If you want to be successful in life, please prepare yourselves for something like this. People don’t go after failures. You have to be really crazy to gather to plot the downfall of an orange seller or a gate-man (with all due respect). These people go after successes. Once you succeed in any field, they will come after you… it’s inevitable. Ask everyone who has succeeded. It’s not whether they will try, because they will… it’s how you respond to it that matters.”
“Don’t you ever, listen to me, ever let anyone defeat you. You didn’t work so hard to get to the top for somebody who didn’t know how you struggled to bring you down. You will be disappointing God. You don’t even know how disappointed He will be. How dare you let them win? They will come for you… that’s a guarantee just make sure you defeat them. May all your dreams come true! May everything you put your hands into succeed. May your enemies show their faces so you know who they are…but may they never win.”
Lessons for Aspiring Bloggers
A lot of lessons can be learned from Linda Ikeji’s blogging experience and they are as follows:
1. Using Free Domain Name and Web Hosting Service is Dangerous
Someone who goes by the username @PoppaString once said: “Using free blog spaces is like planting food on land you do not own. You could lose everything for any reason.” That is true indeed. You own the content on your blog, but you do not own the space which you publish the content – that is if you use a free hosting service.
Blogspot is a free domain name service provided with Google’s Blogger. It is very dangerous and not in the best interest of your blogging business to use a free domain name registration and web hosting service like Blogspot and Blogger. One obvious reason is that you do not have complete control over your own domain. It is owned by Google and they can decide to shut it down if in their opinion it violates any of their terms of service (TOS). This happened to Linda Ikeji. Her blog was shut down for more than 48 hours. Just imagine the pain and heartache that she went during that trying period. So, do not let it happen to you!
2. Invest in Your Blogging Business
Using a free domain name and web hosting service is not even the half of the danger of not investing in your online business. What about her trademark Linda Ikeji? It was hijacked by internet thieves! Just imagine the scenario. All the possible domain names were registered by someone else – .com, .net, .org, .biz, everything – they were all taken by the thieves. Some of those domain names were registered as far back as 2007 when Linda was just starting to get her feet wet in the waters of blogging in Nigeria.
Just imagine the joy the hijackers felt when they did a search for those domain names and discovered that they were unregistered. They promptly registered them and, just like Linda observed, expected her to pay them to take possession of her own domain name. Imagine that! But, that is “business” to some people and how they make their money on the internet.
But, registering a name because it is connected to a celebrity for the purpose of selling it to the person is just wrong and criminal.
According to AllGeekThings, “This is sad news for Linda. It reminds me about a guy I read about years ago who embraced all things Google and lost everything when they shut down his accounts, no Adsense, no Gmail, no access to his calendar. He had literally put all his eggs in one basket.”
Now, for your information, it does not cost you much to register your own domain name and pay to host your blog. With less than N10,000, you can easily register and host your domain with TheNigeriaHost.net. Aside from that, you will also get a good design template with your hosting plan too. And if you are scared of hackers like Linda Ikeji was, you can secure your blog by buying a security certificate for less than a thousand naira. In all, with N11,000 or even less you will have registered your own custom domain for one whole year – an amount which is less than N1,000 every month. I am sure you spend far more than that for recharge cards in a month!
3. Success Have Many Enemies
Success have many friends, parents, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, relations and siblings, as well as many enemies.
Perhaps one of Linda Ikeji’s failings is her fascination with showing off her material possessions. If she buys a new car, she shows it off. If she buys a new house, she will do a post and put up a picture about it on her blog.
She probably brought the shut down of her blog upon herself with her blog post of her $150,000 suv car on her blog. Obviously, the post made her detractors who are not as successful as she was envious and made them want to bring her down. It seems that seeing her boast about her car added fuel to the fire that some of her arch enemies were stoking already.
According to Linda Ikeji, “If you want to be successful in life, please prepare yourselves for something like this. People don’t go after failures. You have to be really crazy to gather to plot the downfall of an orange seller or a gate-man (with all due respect). These people go after successes. Once you succeed in any field, they will come after you… it’s inevitable. Ask everyone who has succeeded. It’s not whether they will try, because they will… it’s how you respond to it that matters.”
And here is how Luvvie Ajayi, owner of awesomelytechie.com, puts it: “She has all the right to brag if she wants but when your house is made of tin foil, you might want to be more careful.” So, it is alright to work hard to be a success. But when you become successful, you will make many enemies; knowingly or inadvertently.
4. Blog About What You Love
Love what you do and do what you love is the only approach to becoming a successful blogger in Nigeria. Blogging about what you love most is the key to success with the blogging business. In the case of Linda Ikeji, she was passionate about writing and this made her kept blogging despite all the challenges and discouragements. She said, “What will make people enjoy visiting your blog depends on the efforts you put into it. So, be passionate about it, be consistent, don’t blog once or twice in a week, blog everyday if you can, enjoy it, and love it. Don’t be anonymous when it comes to blogging.” Consequently, you have to find what you are good at, your talent; work hard on your talent. You also need to be patient too as this is key to becoming a successful blogger.
5. Have a Role Model
It is good to have someone you can look up to. Linda Ikeji had role models. She was inspired by successful people and wanted to be like them – Perez Hilton and Uche Pedro, the owner of Bellanaija.com. She got in contact with Uche Pedro who encouraged her to take blogging as a profession. She also visited other blogs too to learn about their content and style. You should have a role model too if you want to be a successful blogger in Nigeria..
6. Do Not Give Up
It is okay to be discouraged in any business endeavor and blogging is not an exception. But, never, never, never give up. Linda Ikeji felt discouraged many times and even shed a lot tears while starting out. However, she never gave up. Despite her daily struggles to survive and financial challenges and constant feelings of despair, she did not give up. After having a good cry, she would still open her laptop and blog. You need to adopt the same mindset too.
7. Learn on the Job
Practice, they say, makes perfect. So, it will take considerable time, depending on your learning capabilities, before you can become adept at a lot of things related to your blog. Hence, be ready to be patient and learn on the job.
For instance, Linda Ikeji was careless with her news stories while she was stating out.. But, she has learned that unconfirmed negative news stories created more enemies for her than friends. Now, she exercises restraint and caution in doing her work. She has also learned to confirm her news stories before publishing them on her blog.
She says, “It has taught me to be careful because as much as you think that you know, there are people who have in-depth knowledge of the story. Sometimes I put up a story and I read comments, from the comments, I go back to make some corrections because there are people who experienced it firsthand. I have also learnt that it is important to verify your stories because basically if people rely on your site for information and you mess up a few times, they will not trust your news anymore and they go to other credible sites. And when they go, your advertisers go.”
8. Delegate and Outsource Duties to Others
Another major lesson aspiring bloggers can learn from the Linda Ikeji’s blogging experience is that you cannot do everything all by yourself. For years, Linda Ikeji did everything related to her blog alone. Hence, she sacrificed a lot in order to keep her blog functional and operational. However, she has learned the hard way that you cannot handle everything all by yourself. Now she has over 30 people working for her after 10 years of working alone. Consequently, you will need to outsource and delegate some of the activities pertaining to your blog If you want to be a successful blogger. This is the only way to ensure efficient and effective operation of your blog. So, do not be scared to invest some money for your blogging business to outsource some of the work on your blog once you start to make money from the blog.
From the foregoing, it is obvious that starting a blog is easy. As a matter of fact, it took Linda Ikeji just 3 minutes for her to launch her blog on the internet. However, she did not start to make money from her blog until 5 years after starting the blog.
So, you see? Keeping your blog functional and operational for many years is the most difficult part in the whole process. One reason for this is the fact that there are numerous challenges that you must overcome in the blogging business before you can become a successful blogger.
The pains, the tears, the heartbreaks and the discouragements will come at some point in your blogging career. How you handle them when they come is what will determine whether you remain and do not give up your blogging business. That is why it is very important for you to blog about what you love and are passionate about if you want to succeed with your blog.
We will now look at the challenges to blogging in Nigeria and how to overcome them.
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