Blogging in Nigeria is increasing on a daily basis, may be because people have been hearing of the money and millions that the likes of Linda Ikeji recently made from her blogging career. Though when done properly, it can be a good job in Nigeria that could help reduce the unemployment of the country. But just looking at the positive side of blogging in Nigeria is wrong and could lead to disappointments, failures, criminal activity, and lost of focus from what blogging is supposed to be.
Benefits of blogging in Nigeria
No one would want to start a journey that has no end or has no purpose, the same applies to all who would want to start their own blog in Nigeria. I will be outlining the benefits and what you stand to gain when you start a blog in Nigeria.
- You will earn Money when you blog in Nigeria
When you start a blog, the main purpose of everyone is to make money from it. I am starting with this because that is the sole aim of why people blog especially in Nigeria.
There are so many ways by which you couldmake money with your blog in Nigeriasuch as through advertisements displayed on your website or blog and through paid contents of which you will be paid to write an article about a company, or any publication. You could also earn money from your blog from writing about products such as reviews, latest phones etc and you would include affiliate marketing links that contains an ID which identifies you and whenever someone visits your website or blog and click on the link and buys a product, you will be given a commission.
The potential of your blog earning money depends largely on your passion, your determination, your contents (what you write), your personality and patience. Others are making money from blogging in Nigeria and you can do the same too, just follow thesteps needed to start a blog in Nigeria.
- You will have Exposure, Popularity and Publicity
We often think that it is only in the physical world that we could become popular. It happens even in the internet world. For the fact that you sit at home and write articles alone does not mean that no one is observing you. After all, you are writing articles in order for people to read them and not robots, so know it today that what you say, do, post, or update on your blog speaks volume about you. There are people watching, observing and analyzing whatever you do. This is the more reason why you need to write something that is of help to people because in the long run, the success of your blog depends on what these people perceive your blog to be. If they see it as a good blog then they will associate you to be a good person but if the perceive it to be bad, then they may also see you as a bad person.
If you intend selling out Ebooks on your blog, or any item at all, then you have to focus on sincerity, honesty, and write good posts that are helpful because only through that will you get people to trust you in Nigeria.
When you do this, people will know you and recommend you and you will be exposed to so many things.
- You will feelfulfilled that you offer value to people
I do not know how other bloggers feel about this but there is this joy I feel in my heart whenever I see that people are finding meaning in what I am writing, that is the more reason why I write to create value and I explain everything in details across all my blogs and websites. It is not easy to write meaningful posts because it takes your time, resources and money but I love writing them anyway because whenever I see people browsing what I have written, it makes me glad.
So I believe you too will have this inner fulfillment when you start blogging in Nigeria and you start observing that you are creating value.
- You will become self employed when you start blogging
The rate of unemployment is alarming and increasing on a daily basis because more people are sack from their Jobs, more graduates are completing their school, and more companies are leaving the country. It is like a vicious cycle were if youfail todo something to help yourself, it will entangle you. Blogging in Nigeria could help reduce unemployment because, you can use it to make a living, may be before you get a Job or you could become an employer of labour from the proceeds of blogging. Many people started it all by themselves but today, they employ others to write for them and from the money gotten from blogging, they were able tostart other businesses in Nigeria. You can never know the potential of the Keyboard, Modem and Idea you have until you start a blog.
Challenges and problems of blogging in Nigeria
Now that we have known the benefits associated with blogging especially the financial aspect, what then are the challenges you will face when you start a blog here in Nigeria.
Starting a blog in Nigeriais not as easy as just having a laptop and modem but maintaining a blog can become as hard as climbing the top of a mountain. Blogging does not come on a platter of gold because people may think what is there than just writing. It is not all about writing, my friend! it is more than that. I will explain the challenges you will face, the pitfalls, the disadvantages and problems you are likely to come across.
Most of these problems associated with blogging are gotten from what I have experienced, what I hear others complain about and what I have observed from the failures of others. I promise it will be comprehensive.
- Financial problems:Money is the most important limitation you will have. It can cause a set back for you and can really pose a serious problem if you have no one to support you. People may include blogging to be the top amongbusinesses you can start with less than 20,000 nairabut it is not entirely true.
First of all, even if you are going to use a free domain and hosting on your blog, You will still need money to buy internet data bundles which are costly. Why do you think bloggers in Nigeria so much love internet data cheats? It is because the bundles are costly. If you are the type that just reads news and few posts online, then you could be getting 10MB from MTN and other networks for free when you load a recharge card but that is not what you will use for blogging. You will need money for buying data bundles such as 1GB, 2GB or more. If you are they type that has a Youtube channel like me and you need to update videos, you will need nothing less than 10GB a month of which at the time of writing this article it cost about 5000 naira on MTN. Money will still be a problem for you when you want to Host your blog and also buy domain name. I will explain these two below.
- Source of Power supply:just as I mentioned earlier that some companies were leaving the country, it is true because the cost of production is high, largely because there is no stable electricity in Nigeria. In my area here inLamingo, Jos Plateau we sometimes go for 5 days without a blink of light, though this wasn’t how it was. The day you have light, it may be for 20 minutes and I mean it; you cannot even charge your phone or laptop to become fully charged. You will have to source for where to charge your system and your phone because browsing or using the internet consumes more battery than any otheractivityin your laptop or phone. So before you think of blogging especially in Nigeria, think also of where you will continually charge. It may sound as if it does not matter but when you start, you will understand because you need to stay updated and at that time, your blog is still the least; you will need to increase your traffic and promote your blog which requires that you remain online for long hours.
I often transport myself to the nearest place that I will get light which happens to be Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH because they use generator.
- You will have problems with Internet connectivity:having problems with the internet means that you will need a modem for browsing which requires money as I have earlier said and you will also need a Laptop. Whatever way you choose to connect to the internet, you will need money to that. You may decide to use a smart phone but still you will need money to buy the smart phone. Not all needed tools can work on mobile devices so my advice would be for you to buy a laptop. If you have a smart phone with a Hotspot, you could use it as a Modem instead of buying a modem.
Another issue with the internet connectivity is the speed. You need to browse at a fast speed because you may not want to take 2 minutes trying to open one page. That means before you write one post on your website or blog, it may take you half of the day. You have to get a sim card whose network and internet speed is good. Here in Lamingo, Mtn is better, then Etisalat, then Airtel, with Glo being the worst. I am not saying Glo is the worst network but the speed of internet here is poor, though whenever I go back to Nasarawa, Glo happens to be the fastest and Airtel the worst. It all depends on your location so try and know the network that has the highest speed in your area and use it for buying of data bundle. Do not just go for the cheapness of their plans because you may end up not using all the data bundle due to the slow internet connectivity.
- Copyrights and Plagiarism:So manybloggers in Nigeria are guilty of this. They will copy your work without adding backlinks to you and giving credits to you. it hurts when you see your work being copied. Most of the giant websites and blogs are suffering from these acts. Sites like Vanguard, Punch etc have many of their News copied because people often wait for them to post and copy. If you intend going into blogging in Nigeria and you have that unhealthy thought of copying what people have written, then deceased from it because it will hurt your reputation and may get you into problem. That is what people often do. Google itself is seriously against it and once they understand that you copied someone’s posts, they will penalize your blog and when people search, your blog will not be shown. Get rid of it. Even when you want to start earning money with the blog, google will not accept you and you may end up being frustrated.
Again when you write your articles or Posts, make sure you get google to copy it before anyone else does. You can do this by use ofgoogle search console forwebmasterswhere you can submit a Url for indexing and control other site related issues.
- You should have a little knowledge of programming:this may sound odd but it is the truth. When you are a programmer, you can easily understand how things work and what to do when problems arise on your blog. When you have no knowledge of programming, it means that you have to keep paying someone to repair your website, maintain the website and the likes. If you have no prior knowledge of programming, it will be wise if you learn as you blog because it will help you a great deal.
Because I had prior knowledge of programming, I created my own website, hosted it, bought the domain name and promoted it myself. Learning the programming took me two years, so know it that it is not an easy journey. It may be rough sometimes and that is why it is said that there is really no easy way out of most things. Hard work pays!
If you have no one to help you out when you have issues with your blog, it means that you will spend more money that someone who has the knowledge.
I can also help you out, just send me a mail to bnanzip [at] gmail [dot] com. And please just go straight to the point with what you want me to help you with and if I can be able to do that, I will respond appropriately. If you spam my inbox, I will follow your link and report it to google and will also block you.You also need to be conversant with how to deal with server problems because when spambots start visiting your website, it couldget you anxious and confused. The spambots will hurt your website and could make google to see your website as being bad. Hence, you need to block them. Also, your web hosting company may send you a mail to reduce your use of bandwidth of which the fault is not from you but from the robots. You will therefore need to know how to block this. This is the reason why I said creating a blog can be very easy but maintaining it is the problem.
- You may become overwhelm by fellow bloggers’ success:confusion may arise when you start blogging in Nigeria especially when you hear the success of others. It can be so overwhelming that you may become confused. One thing you have to know is that success hardly comes overnight, it takes diligence, focus and passion. To be honest with you, I went through this stage but I have passed it because I have known since that success takes time that is why when I embarked on learning programming, no one supported me, not even siblings or mother. I had to use my own pocket money in school to host a site, download ebooks to read, buy domain, and the rest. It was never easy, though I am not where I want to be yet, I know that with time, I will soon be there. It may take you about 2 or 3 years to start earning a decent income with a good reputation because some bloggers may go about deceiving people just to get them to click on their links, such acts destroy your reputation and the long term effect is that you may run out of business and be included among the list of spammers. You know it will stay on the internet forever once your name has been tagged as “Bad”. Do not be overwhelmed by what people say about their websites, just know that you can get there too when you do your part. Whoever you admire among Nigerian bloggers just know that they did not get there in one day. Linda Ikeji and others have been doing this for more than 8 years before you know of them. So put in more efforts to reduce the time. Know that when you do it well, before that time, you will be free from poverty but when you fail to do it well, then the time will still come and you will still be poor, so which will you choose?
- You will need a domain name and a good web hosting:blogging on a free web hostingand using a free domain name is regarded as unprofessional. I believe you will trust a site like “nansel.com” better than “pages.nanselfreesite.com”. Google also ranks top level domain names better than free domain names.
To be taken seriously and for you to know that it is serious business, you need to register a domain name and also get a good hosting company. Check those that inspired you among the bloggers, who has a free domain name or on a free host? NONE!
- You need to write well:though no one is saying you must have an A1 in English before you start blogging in Nigeria, but blogging requires that you are able to communicate well with people and pass the message you wanted in your post. Once you begin to write continually, you keep learning it and you will become better. You can check for spellings online for the ones you are not sure.
- Blogging requires a decent traffic:I believe you will not just start a blog today only for you to end up reading it alone. You need people to know about it, read it, make comments and interact. Without them, youwillnot earn a dime from blogging because it means your website or blog adds no value to people’s life.
For you to start blogging in Nigeria, I will advice you build friendship on social networks because it will be of help. When you have a lot of followers on social media, it is an added advantage but if not, then concentrate on your social media relationship too. The more traffic (visitors) you have to your website or blog, the more money you are likely to make. Imagine that 1 million people visit your blog everyday, it means that advertisers may end up begging and floating your email with messages to advertise. It must not just be google alone, even google was once like you, two people started it and today they are paying others. The same applies with you, do not be in a haste but rather take your time to create value.
Nigerians have become so crazy about making quick money that it has tarnish the image of this country of which we need to redeem it. We need to start doing things the right way, we need to know that success is not judged by monthly earnings. I am saying this because if you start blogging in Nigeria today and your friends know it, the next thing they will ask is that “How much are you earning per month?” some can even tell you “not to disturb them that you have been blogging for how many months without results”. Such statements and questions will constantly arise but do not become anxious and rush in order to prove them wrong because it willgetyou into problem and you may end up proving them right. The best way to avoid this is to hide it from friends that discourage you always. When you start being successful in it, they will see it by themselves. Blog on a low tempo and do not become proud because other bloggers are as important as you think you are.
Write meaningful contents about what people could find help from and you will start seeing progress from your blog.
- You need to have a Domiciliary account:just like I said earlier that blogging in Nigeria gives you exposure, it may surprise you to know that I earlier regarded a Domiciliary account as being irrelevant but when I started blogging, I knew how important it was. You see, with the current unstable naira, you need something you can be sure of.
What I am saying is that, if you are paying for web hosting and buying a domain name, you will do that in dollars. Initially Nigerian banks allow you to use your Naira mastercard to pay for online transactions that require you pay in dollars with the banks charging you at the equivalent value in Naira. What this mean is that: If your domain name is $8, your bank will deduct an equivalent of $8 dollars from your Nigerian savings account. This is a disadvantage because you can never know how much the bank may charge you tomorrow, $8 may be charge at 300 naira today and the banks may decide to charge 400 naira tomorrow and if you do not pay, your website or blog will be taken down by your web host. Because of these irregularities, you need a dollar domiciliary account in order to be paying your online transactions in dollars. It means if you are charged $8 dollars by your web host, it is $8 dollars you will pay and nothing more.
Added to it again, some banks stopped the use of Naira Mastercard for online transactions that require dollars. This means if you were banking with such banks, your website will be down unless you find a means of paying in dollar, this again means a domiciliary account is important.
Also receiving payments using domiciliary account is better than using savings account because you can control how much you need your exchange rate to be, compared to using savings account which will be converted to the exchange rate of the bank of which most times it is low.
- You need to have a postal mail box:Another exposure I got from blogging in Nigeria is that postal offices are still important whether you like it or not. We all know that only few houses in Nigeria can be correctly identified using address; most others use description such as “Opposite COCIN church” or “Near Redeem Church or just stop by the MTN mast”.etc. Such address descriptions cannot be used by postal agents to trace your house. The problem arise when google adsense ask you to confirm your address; they will send a mail that contains a code that you need to enter it in your adsense account in order to receive payments.This mail will be sent to to your address. The problem now is how will the mail get to you? Your onlycatch will be thePostal mail box. That is the only guaranteed way that you will get your mail.
- You need government issued ID:It may now seem overwhelming to you as the criteria for becoming a blogger is ever increasing. Anyway, it adds more to the exposure you will get while blogging in Nigeria.
Because of the way Nigerians have abused the internet, there are so many fraudulent activities associated with Nigerians which has tarnished the image of our dearly beloved Country and because of this, you will be required to have your Government issued ID cards scanned and stored in your computer in case a company abroad requires it. This ID card must be the original ID card and not temporary. So if you have not done your Voters registration you better get it because it is vital, others are Drivers license, National Id Card (Most important), Internal passport etc. Having anyone will just do. But make sure the name on the cards tally with the one in your bank and also with the one you provided for the company – this is very important.
I have experienced this because anytime these companies know you are from Nigeria, they get tensed due to what some few bad people have brought to our country.
Payoneer will ask of it, google will ask of it, some web hosting companies will ask of it, Paypal will ask of it, and so many. This is the more reason why you need to do blogging right to restore thebad impression created already. When you have all of these, you are now ready to start blogging in Nigeria smoothly with less hassle.
These are the few I know for now, I may keep adding as they come.
The way forward to blogging in Nigeria
If you have readthe enormous problems you could face from blogging in Nigeria, you may be discouraged but the fact still remains that others have persevered and are making money from blogging in Nigeria and you could still do the same thing too.
These pieces of advice should get you out of trouble and help you make it better in blogging.
- Source for moneythat will enableyou to pay for domain names and web hosting for 2 or 3 years to enable you focus on writing and promoting your blog rather than being distracted from fear of your web host deleting your blog for failure to pay monthly.
- Know that it will take time and in fact, it will take years before you will start enjoying it. Just hold on and continue; sometimes you will become moody but still hold on. Do not be distracted by what others say about you or what others say about their success.
- Get a postal address only when you must have gotten approval from google adsense or when you want to receive a mail abroad. Also get your necessary government issued Id cards ready, scanned and stored on your device.
- Be honest even online and write meaningful post and not posts that tell lies and deceive people. Help the people and they will unknowingly help you.
- Whenever you make comments online, make meaningful comments because it can be traced back to your site which may tarnish your name.
- Do not insult people online and do not spam the social media. If you want to share a link, feel free to share it but do not try to enforce it on people.
- Relate with fellow bloggers because when they admire you, they can start propagating your blog like wild fire and backlinks are important in ranking well in google search.
- Do not be involved in any shady or tricky way of earning money. It is bad for you, your country and for others you want to trick.
My final word of advice to you is that blogging in Nigeria is just like any other business, it requires time, money, efforts, good reputation, honesty, and diligence. Stop all the mentality of always trying to measure success on monthly basis as we do with salary. Salaries are completely different from blogging. It will not be easy at first but it will surely be better and you will enjoy the fruits of your labor later.
Dr. Brown is the founder of Jotscroll, he is a Medical Doctor, Entrepreneur, and author. Dr. Razi Brown holds a medical degree from the University of San Diego. He has invested in many startups and is currently working on his fifth book to be published in the upcoming year.