When I first came across the word, blog, I dug in some more to understand what it was. This was in 2012. Then I was a music teacher at one of the biggest secondary schools in the state I reside.
I actually was tired of that teaching job because of several things
- There was too much gossip, backstabbing, and over-sabi by those staffs we called, handbag. They would do anything to get your views about the proprietress and then go ahead to report if you say something even slightly annoying about her or her way of handling the affairs of the school. The funny part is, you wouldn’t even know they started a conversation with you just so they can find a reason to report you.
- The proprietress, as much as I admired her hard work and was constantly inspired by her story, didn’t make it easy for me to work with her as she really encouraged gossiping and backbiting.
- In that school, you walk on eggshell. And you could easily get framed up for things you never did.
I could go on and on about the school. But that’s not the focus of this post. So let’s get back to the focus.
During my time at the school, I always used to find time to go on the internet and browse up online opportunities. Even my colleagues used to call me internet woman. I liked writing stories and I was only looking out for an opportunity where I could sell my stories
So I came across a story blogger on Niaraland who had been posting in chapters, her stories. She actually had a blog where she posted ahead, but of course, she shared these posts to Nairaland to pull in more traffic. And she succeeded.
Her blog was really engaging. Lots of readers commented on each chapter of the story, asking if the full novel was ready because they’d love to buy it.
Then one day, the writer announced that due to demand for the book, as she had succeeded in getting publicity for her work, she had been approached by a publisher who was going to package the entire novel, market it and sell, both in e-copies and hard copies. And as such, she was no longer going to be posting the full story. This was a deal she didn’t want to joke with.
A lot of us writers gave different interpretations to that announcement, but each interpretation pointed to one thing, that it was possible to make money from our stories online.
Prior to this, I had written some stories since 2008/2009, but none had made their way to the internet. I had no blog, not even a free one. And as long as I was concerned, my facebook account was only to connect with old friends. I had lots of happy reunions on Facebook at that time. I didn’t think it could be used for business.
So after that writer’s announcement, I really began to see that the internet created possibilities to make money off your hobby. And before then, I had read a lot of motivational books about making money from your hobby. The announcement by this writer gave me the push I never thought I’d get from the internet. And so I found out a little more about blogging and how I could create a free one with blogger. I wasn’t the only one. A lot of the other writers that saw that announcement spread the news like wildfire and also went on to register free blogs with blogger.
In December 2012, I left my teaching job so as to start and grow my blog business. A mistake I regretted before the end of 2013. However, looking back now, I’m happy I did.
In January 2013, I created Karo’s Story Blog. I created the blog without thinking of ways to make money off the blog, apart from posting my stories and gaining recognition. Very poor thinking. The service and book’s page on the blog now were put in years later, when I realized I needed to make money, and I was only going to be able to do that by letting people know that I could render ghostwriting services.
The blog wasn’t always the way it is now. I changed the theme about 3 or 4 times and even deleted a lot of posts that used to be on it. I had wanted to delete the blog a long time ago, but for personal reasons, as well as some of the content still on it, I decided to leave it.
I later went on to create a game blog and a freelance writer blog that didn’t go beyond 2 and 3 months, respectively. Why? I had no experience.
2 years later, still learning what blogging and online marketing entail, I collaborated with a group of fine Nairaland writers and we set up a blog, Nigerian Writers Hub to help boost our books sales, drive engagement and make us popular. We did much better than I did with Karo’s Story Blog, which I was still operating, But we had a lot of mishaps and the blog went down.
My blogging was on and off this period as I was really frustrated and fagged out. I was like the girl in this picture.
It seemed the internet community were miles ahead of me. I didn’t make anything from my blog or books until one of my books was reviewed by the popular book blogger, Mary Okeke and Okadabooks founder, Okechuckwu Ofili, having seen that review, contacted me about getting my books on Okadabooks. This was in December of 2013. Then I made a few thousand naira in sales.
Years after, I opened and closed Violet Ink Copy because I couldn’t put in the time needed to grow it. Time was my major obstacle, not knowledge, as I had researched deeply, worked with a lot of other authors in book marketing and even with individuals who had wanted to simply start and grow their businesses.
4 years later, I can see why Karo’s Story Blog failed even before I launched. My blog business was dead on arrival. Content they say is king. But even when I wrote steadily on the blog, it still made no impact in my finances.
I have done a lot of ghostwriting for clients, for businesses and worked as author marketer, social marketer, content creation and development, social media promotions and building of engagement, customer service, advert sales and execution, and book reviews, all at the same time, at Okadabooks.
5 years later, I am running Pelleura based on the lessons I learned from my failed blogs, based on my hands on experience at OkadaBooks, based on my intense research into online business, blogging, social media marketing and what not. I even paid to attend webinars and for ebooks written by people who know their stuff. Today I’m in a better position to succeed.
Now if I had paid for consultations earlier before my first blog, I would have started on a better foundation. If I had even carried out research and paid for webinars and e-courses, I still would have had a very solid foundation to build on.
It doesn’t matter what internet business you want to build online, you need guidance, and having worked on blogs, social media marketing, book promotions, website designs, brand messaging and positioning, consultations, and even e-commerce, I believe I’m in a better position to show you how to go about starting and/or growing your business online.
What is your business about?
Who is your target audience?
What is your message to them?
How have you positioned that message to boost your business?
Do you want to spend years learning the ropes by yourself? Or do you want someone who has been there to guide you straight to your goal?
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