IF BLOGS COULD SPEAK – A Beginner’s Bible to Blogging

Blogging

Why should you go blogging?

So, I have had people reach out to me both on Whatsapp, Email, and Facebook. They usually go like “hey sis. I see you o. I want to publish my ebook(s) on Okadabooks and be a bestseller. Will it sell well?”.

And I’m like, “Chineke mo! Who is this again?” (Drags glasses down). All in my head sha.

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Anyway, the person goes on and on about how he/she has an undying passion for writing and think the piece(s) they’ve just completed is a hit! If dropped on any online store, Okadabooks especially, people will rush up and buy, parting with their hard earned money.

When they go on and on like that, I’m impressed. Sorry. Used to be impressed. At least until I found out that the weed they’ve been smoking isn’t cheap at all. No pun intended.

Anyway, I used to let them go on and on before asking, “what’s the name of your blog?”

Well, since you believe your book should hit the bestseller list, I assume you have a blog with huge traffic and dedicated readers ready to part with their hard earned money to buy your ebook(s) as soon as it goes live. So imagine the disappointment when they reply with, “I don’t have a blog”.

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“You don’t have a what?”

“Errrmmm.. well, I’m too busy. Blogs take a lot of time to manage. I don’t have that time. Besides, it’s stressful and time-consuming”.

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Some others say I have a blog. I ask for the link and when I visit, I see it was last updated a year ago. There’s practically no activity on the blog, just Charlotte doing some writings with her web for Wilbur. Yeah, it is as interesting as a graveyard.

Then there are those who use their blogs as news sites. Nothing about the soon to be released book can be found on the blog. Bullshit!!

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I say well, what about a Facebook page. None. They don’t have any. Those who have, are promoting the latest gossip from Linda Ikeji’s blog or Nairaland. Even your personal social media accounts are used to follow celebrities and re-tweet or repost all their updates. Nothing about you being a writer is seen in your profile. Nothing about your new book is mentioned.

Yes. Some try to promote a few times on their social handles and even extend to groups. Afterward, they stop. Why? Because they are not getting results. No one is buying. The foundation they laid for marketing is zero. And frustration is having a good time listening to Sia’s “Elastic Heart” with them and laughing.

Biko, those with half-functioning blogs haven’t made it yet. Then you without any form of publicity want to make it? How?

Believe me, even if your story is as interesting as Marvel’s best superhero movie or as hilarious as Jennifer’s Diary, no one will buy if you have no audience. Simple. If you like beg people to buy, and then reduce your sales price to 20 naira. Nobody will buy. Someone said it’s like giving free ice cream to a two years old child and he still rejects it.

You cannot expect someone who is so anxiously waiting for Toke to release another new book to miraculously know that there’s one Angelo or Dafe that has released a book. You can’t expect someone reading Kiru Taye’s book to drop it and buy yours because you simply flashed it in front of him/her once or twice, a wonderful graphic design.Blogging

The person will comment thus, “lovely cover design. Keep it up!” And that is all. Your book remains unsold, your pocket remains empty and your stomach, hungry.

Yes. There are those who make a few sales, not enough to buy a 1.5GB data plan sha. That’s life. I know. I have been there.

Let me use myself as an example. I started “Karo’s Story Blog” in 20 far away 13. Yes. That long. 5 years and a few months now. Can you imagine how frustrating my starting years was for me?

When I started my blog, I just looked at what a few story bloggers were doing and decided to do mine. You know what we call copy copy. That’s what I did. Copy anyhow and paste anyhow. Don’t bother learning the basics. Just do it. The money will come.

Before that year ended, my blogging and pocket were as funny as Nigeria’s economic recession.

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Yes. I wasn’t making peanut. You know, that would have been good at the time, peanuts. I was like Bobby in this picture. Crying, sad, confused and wondering what I did not do right.

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Aha! Maybe I should change level. People will buy. Then I stupidly went on to publish on Lulu, Kobo, Amazon, and Createspace because people published there, not because I knew what I was doing. Funny enough, if you type my name in Google search, it will bring out all the poorly written works I published at that time.

Createspace circulated it. And even with massive circulation, I recorded very few sales. And when I say few, I mean about 2 or 4. Yes. Just that. The others still selling on Amazon are “how to” nonfiction books.

I got frustrated and was about giving up hope of selling when Okadabooks founder, Okechukwu Ofili, contacted me. That was late December 2013. Before then, I had discovered that reviews had a way of helping sales. I visited Mary Okeke’s blog and asked her for a review of Susan’s Diary 1. She agreed.

I knew the book still needed a lot of work, but I sent it anyway, bracing up for serious lashing. It so turned out she enjoyed the story and wrote a lovely review of it. It was that review Mr. Ofili saw that made him contact me to come on board. To cut long story short, Okadabooks became the first place I made a sale of 5k in less than a month.

I was extremely happy. I know. Is it only 5k right? Who’s business is that? If you have struggled so much to get something and after a year you get a bit of it, you will jump for joy. It means you are heading towards your goal, especially when sales continue to roll in. Since then I decided Okadabooks is my platform. I went ahead to publish the rest of my stories on it.

Was my problem solved? No! It was far from that. Okadabooks was still young and didn’t have all the users it now has. So even if a massive promo was done on the platform, I still wouldn’t have gone too far. The basic reason being that I did not do my homework.

I soon noticed that because I was not well known, readers preferred to download my free stories than paid ones. Really annoying. It means I still needed to get the attention of my die-hard readers. Yes, I still had to chase them.

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Okadabooks alone wouldn’t do the work for you. Just like Amazon, Createspace, Barnes and Noble, Lulu, Smashwords etc.. wouldn’t do the work for you.

Since I didn’t know how to go about doing Facebook ads back then, I went and started spamming comment sections of sponsored posts by pages with lots of readers. I tried it with one story and then put a link back to my blog. Yes, it was spam. But it worked. People trooped in. Then I told them the full story was for sale. N100. Seriously? N100? Oh, my God. (Low pricing, because we feel it will encourage people to buy, is another thing that kills us).

Anyway, they paid, collected their copies and left. I let them go. Another very wrong move. I didn’t know jack about email listing and I was not prepared to learn. You see, when you don’t learn, you fail. When you think you have a shortcut, you discover almost late that you’ve followed the wrong path.

Since those visitors left, I haven’t gotten that same rush of traffic in a very long time.

Anyway, they paid via recharge card. I didn’t know to convert it to cash so I used it to buy data and make phone calls. I went through this because I didn’t know the A about payment processors. Besides, my blog was a free one hosted by blogger.

I was happy with the sales response and relaxed a bit. Relax? When I haven’t even started? (Shaking my head).

Now I made sales of over N3000 with just that action alone. That means if I had charged more, I would have earned more. If I had repeated my spamming action, I would have sold more. Please, I’m not encouraging spamming. It is not the solution. And you could get penalized for that. I almost did, sometime later when I went on a spamming spree again.

I’ll cut long story short. All through the years, I have heard people talk about content, traffic, and email listing; the three basic things you need to succeed. I wasn’t interested in the first two. And as long as I was concerned, they were not important. As for the third, I was doing well with it. No need to learn. Right? Wrong.

As entrepreneurs, we have something to share with the world. We want our voices heard. We want our works/products and services in the hands of millions of people. Your product could be informative, educative and entertaining or an item that solves a problem for your target audience. But how do we get the attention we need? How do we build the audience that will go on to give us what we so desire?

My eye-opening journey was marked when I started working with Okadabooks. The marketing strategies I have been exposed to told me I was light years behind.

But even with the strategies used in helping authors, the team at Okadabooks wouldn’t take you seriously, if you do not take yourself seriously. Sally Kenneth Dadzie was dead serious. She already grew her reader base, so we picked her work up and ran with it. Then we have had other serious authors on the platform like Tunde Leye, Kiru Taye, Netty Ejike, Naijasinglegirl etc…

The truth is, if you are serious about what you do, you will strive to do things the right way.

It is disastrous, heartbreaking and annoying when I hear entrepreneurs say, I don’t care about marketing, someone should do it for me. I only want to write/sell my product. Selling is my passion, bla bla bla.

Total crap, crap, and more crap!!!

Wake up! The world has changed. Buying and selling aren’t exactly what it used to be and if you are going to do things the traditional way, you are definitely going to find yourself dining with frustration and depression. Yes. I have been there.

Do you know what it means to write articles, just to update your blog/social handles almost every day with content? Readers love it. They ask for more. But the minute you add “buy”, they disappear so fast, you think Clark Kent breezed in and took them away.

You publish your ebook. A month goes by. Then two months, and so on. You look at your account. It reads N0.00. No sales. You have a product, and the same thing happens.

For writers, I know there are those who will tell you not to write for money first. They tell you, build your craft. Keep building it, keep building it, and still build it. Write free blog stories/articles every day and just keep at it. If you are lucky, an offer will be thrown your way.

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Why wait for luck when you can take your destiny into your hands and grow big? Remember, writing lovely stories/social posts for your product and services and gathering a few readers is just that. Free stories and readers. Then someone who doesn’t know how to write letter A, will copy your free works, post it on his/her blog/social and get the kind of response you didn’t get. Why? Because they have laid their marketing foundation well and you have not.

You want to keep on struggling and waiting for luck?

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Please, if you are going to be a writer, you should as well make money with your craft. Why do you have to keep churning out free works/products for nothing in return? Some people are lucky though, they make friends in the process; friends who will support them but not enough die-hard fans to share their works and make it go viral.

Our world is digitally connected today. And the truth is the traditional ways of building the name you so desire for yourself just don’t work as it used to. So why should you, in our digital world, slave away every day, trying to keep readers entertained? (Still, it’s like they are just doing you a favor). They read and walk away. Only 5 out of over 1000 readers bother to drop comments. You end up having few interactions with them. And these same ones are the ones that comment every other time. The bulk of the audience continues to walk away from you. In the end, relationships are not built and trust is not gotten. Without these two ingredients, you will not sell.

You try to reach across to those who have gone ahead of you for advice, they turn you down or refuse to reply your email.

You look back at your scanty reader base and it doesn’t occur to you that the story you are telling and what people want to read are two different things. You don’t involve your readers in the creation of your stories. If you are writing based on what you want, how do you force readers to buy what you like, instead of what they like?

Let us be frank, talent or skills is not enough for you to succeed.

Like most of you, I have always been afraid of marketing because I feared rejection. Duh! But guess what? After brushing myself up, I have come to realize that marketing is not all about knocking on people’s doors and saying, “hi there. Buy my ebook, or product or services”.

The above kind of marketing is what Neville Medhora calls BAD, BAD, Very BAD copy.

But if marketing is done right from the foundation you lay for your audience building, You CAN build an audience of people who respect you, who share your works massively without being told to and makes it go viral. Your audience becomes people who are willing to pay for your works/products or services, they become your loyalists and even beg for a sequel. Of course, they will buy. Then you find you are making a living off what you do.

I had been so frustrated. I almost quit my blog back in 2015, and even 2016, along with the hundreds who have, but I couldn’t.

I started blogging with some friends and made friends with other people who started before me. So far, there is only two of us left in the blogging business.

Frustrated, I prayed every day for direction and that prayer was answered when a friend directed me to look up certain names on Google search. What I saw blew me away. I stayed up reading, even to as early as4:30 AMM every morning. After digesting more than half of the articles, ebooks, audios and video training I downloaded, I looked back at my blog (the same blog some people praised) and I could just tell that everything was wrong with it. The wrong foundation was why I had labored fruitlessly for years.

These training so sharpened me, I took a look at someone’s blog/website and just knew instantly that the company was not making money. And true, the person confirmed I was right.

So I started afresh. Yes. I left my free blog site and built my self-hosted platform, Pelleura. I could not continue on the bad foundation my old blog was built on. And so far, I am doing much better than I ever did with my old blog. I wrote in details about it.  READ IT HERE

Now, it will be selfish to keep all that information with me and grow alone, that is why I decided to write this ebook.

If you follow the teachings in this book to the end, you will discover it can be used to grow almost any online business you can think of. You can click the image below to get the complete ebook. It is FREE. Or click HERE.

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About Karo Oforofuo

I am a B2B/B2C Freelance Writer, Ghostwriter, Blogger and Online Business Consultant. I am also an Author and Story teller at pelleura.top

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