I started bogging two years ago when I was a stay-at-home mum. After having my second child and starting a part-time job last year, between juggling two toddlers (with my husband’s help) and my career, I lagged and have not been able to post blogs often. This, despite having over fifty topics I have jotted down on a black note I carry around as I get inspiration on bus rides, at the office, at home etc. Yesterday, after reading Uche Pedro’s, CEO of Bellaniaja, post about the importance of a side hustle and following one’s passion, I recommitted to blogging. Partly because of the therapeutic effect I hope this entry will have on me–reminding me of why I should keep blogging–and partly in response to inquiries I received from friends about blogging, I have written this post outlining ten reasons why you should consider blogging or starting an online business.
1.You Will Make Money From Blogging:
While I cannot guarantee that if you start blogging you will acquire a half a billion naira Banana Island mansion like Linda Ikeji did, I can tell you for certain that if you start blogging you increase your chance of getting revenue whether directly from advertising on your blog or getting opportunities through people that read your blog. For example, if you write remarkably well and gain a large readership, you may get book deals from publishers–I know many that did. You can also get freelance writing opportunities which I believe the very talented Atoke is already doing. If you start a Youtube Channel and get hundreds of thousands of subscribers, you may also land a television show on a TV network.
Besides landing a book deal or TV show, if you establish a large following from blogging, you can get freebies from companies looking for online influencers to promote their products. Sisi Yemmie is a poster girl for that. She won the N15 million naira My Big Nigeria wedding contest because of votes from her blog’s loyal followers. About two weeks ago she got Coca-Cola drinks with her name inscribed on it delivered to her from the brand. You can get your own coke too but only if you pay for it at the store.
2. Blogging Can Help You Land a Job
After sending tens, if not hundreds, of job applications without getting an interview appointment, I got my current job through a contact I met from blogging. This, without my employer ever seeing my resume. Though in my case, networking–not necessarily my skills–helped me get the job, showing your expertise through quality blogs makes you more appealing to potential employers. An employer would rather hire a candidate whose skills they can readily assess from their work online than from applicants whose only claim to oft-exaggerated skills are resumes that could well have been prepared by professional resume writers.
As further proof that blogging can increase one’s chance of landing a job, when Bellanaija advertised for several job positions in January this year, they requested that bloggers applying for the openings should send links to their blogs in their applications. You see how those who have managed to maintain personal–even if not financially viable–blogs can have advantage over applicants who can also write but have not ventured into blogging.
3.You Will Make Valuable Contacts From Blogging
You never know who may read your blog and which valuable contact may want to connect with you after reading your posts. A particular post on my blog helped me connect to at least three Nigerian attorneys here–and from them I have met several others, and many others in diaspora. One of those attorneys live a walking distance from my house–I would never have known–and worships at my local parish. These people have proved to be valuable mentors, friends and colleagues and I wouldn’t have met them if I don’t blog.
4. You Can Help People Through Blogging
The two most read posts on my blog are one on getting transcript from Nigerian universities and another on how to wash bitterleaf with a machine. Not a day goes by without one random person I don’t know reading my blog on how to get transcripts in Nigeria. These posts are popular because they solve practical problems for people.
My post on how to get a certificate of good standing from the Supreme Court of Nigeria has also helped my readers obtain their certificates without paying a dime to not-so-civil servants employees of the Supreme Court who request for unofficial fees of thousands of naira so they can be motivated to ‘move the applications around the offices’ which job they are employed to do. You can imagine the sense of fulfillment I have when I receive thank-you emails from these people.
Whatever you profession is–economist, teacher, engineer etc–you can help someone with your knowledge through blogging. For example, if you are an attorney, you can consider starting a self-help legal blog teaching people their rights. Lawyers are not allowed to advertise in Nigeria but there is no prohibition on making people more aware of their rights. For example,it is illegal to collect two years rent in advance in most parts of Lagos. Yet many Lagosians fall prey to landlords who collect two years rent and throw them out after the second year so that they can get another two year rent from a new tenant. Making such knowledge available to people is a meaningful way to help those who cannot afford an attorney.
5. Blogging is a Good Way to Promote Your Products
Many businesses connect to their customers through blogging. People are always on the internet googling how to do things. If you answer such a question in your blog and mention your product that helps accomplish the task, you are on your way to increasing your sales. For example, an attorney blogging about people’s rights will attract paying clients who will hire them for the level of expertise shown on their blog. Here’s a real life example: Last month, I got a message from someone looking to perfect title to a property he acquired in Lagos. Among the over 100 Nigerian lawyers I have as Facebook friends, the only one I remembered to recommend was one who always posts links on her wall about real estate. I knew her area of specialization because of the blogs. Though I don’t know if the person I told about her eventually used the referral, my other equally competent attorney friends missed out on that prospect.
6. By Blogging You Leave Your Footprints in the Sand of Time
Every one wishes to be remembered when they are gone. While not many of us will be privileged to be presidents of a country or Bill Gates, blogging is one of the easiest way to preserve your memory and legacy in the minds of those you left behind. Even better, like books, it will tell those born long after you are gone that you once lived. William Shakespeare lived between 1564 and 1616 but who among you doesn’t know at least a line from his work (For me, Et tu Brute? ). The pen is indeed more powerful than the sword.
7. You Learn By Blogging
It’s a paradox. Blogging indeed helps you learn. The fear of inadequacy shouldn’t keep you from blogging as you learn while you are doing it. I have lost count of how many times I looked up a word at the dictionary or consulted Google just for this entry. Don’t let your skills go to waste because you feel you are inadequate. You have the basic skills to start and you will learn along the way. Blogging improves your research skills, vocabulary, writing and expertise in the field you blog about. Most of us are diamonds in the rough that can shine through with a little polishing. So the most important reason why you should blog could be that you become a better You by doing so.
8. Blogging Brings You Happiness and a Sense of Fulfillment
Blogging is its own reward. Knowing that through your blogs you are helping others gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment that your day job may not give you (except you are a doctor or a priest). Always brainstorming what to blog about, replying to comments from your readers etc keep you energized.
9. You Can Influence Others With Your Blogs
I was inspired to write this post and recommit to blogging because of Uche Pedro’s post I mentioned earlier. She inspired me to take my side hustle seriously. I also know readers who have been influenced by my blogs. A couple told me how they look forward to reading them in the evenings after work. I have one reader who is now addicted to Linda Ikeji after reading about Linda in my blog. If you desire to change the world and be a force for good, blogging is one way to do it.
10 Blogging Helps You Stay Connected to Family and Friends
Though you may have hundreds of Facebook friends, there are details of your life you may want to share on a smaller platform, with you inner circle–that is, before you become big and have strangers as followers–and blogging helps you share such information and stay connected to your loved ones. If you live away from your family, blogging can help you keep in touch with everybody without having to reach each person separately.
There you have it. I hope this post motivates you to start blogging or some other online business that fits your personality. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. If you spend a lot of time online already, you may want to consider investing that time into creating content that translates into money in your pocket.
I realize that blogging is not for everyone. If it is not for you, look through Uche Pedro’s list (which includes uber, flipping houses, training people) and see what side hustle you can start this year.
I hardly know a rich man that has only one source of income. To be super rich, establishing multiple sources of income is the way to go. And good thing is that you can transfer skills you already have in your day job into a second business. For example, if you are an attorney, you are already equipped with decent writing skills and can become a freelance writer; if you are a teacher, you can be a private tutor after school hour; if you work in a bank or an investment company, you can become a personal finance expert and advise your clients on investments. The key is to get going as I’m sure you may have thought of a side business in the past but didn’t go through with it.
So please share with us in the comments section, do you have a side hustle–a job or passion besides you 9-5 job? Do you have side hustle ideas to share? Your contributions inspire others. Have an amazing 2016!
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Update, October 2019: I have experienced so many more gains from blogging since this post was written, including contributing to social change. If you are still observing blogging from the sidelines, I encourage you to read JJ Omojuwa’s Digital: The New Code of Wealth available from Amazon and deliverable to Nigeria. The book shows how the internet has made this the best time to succeed.
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