If you’ve been around this site for a while, you’ll know by now that I preach blogging, as loudly as possible, as an essential part of digital marketing. In short, my position is: any digital marketing strategy that doesn’t have blogging ingrained in it cannot be as effective as it ought to.
In the free Social Selling training I organized online, you’d have noticed blogging is a huge part of the value-first strategy I taught. It’s the best way to reach a cold audience (people knowing/hearing about you for the first time) and create awareness for your brand. It’s also a great way to encourage warm audience (leads) and hot audience (customers).
No gainsaying, I’m BIG on content marketing, and in essence, I’m very BIG on blogging.
However, one thing I’ve noticed about how businesses approach blogging (even me) is that we generally take it lightly. We just treat blogs as something nice to have, and blogging as something we can do whenever we have time (and that’s even if we have a blog at all). So, sometimes we don’t even update our blogs for months; we keep on focusing on other things like social media and ads.
This is unlike those whose major business is blogging itself. Those who don’t first have a store or an office or shop before opening a website and a blog, but instead, started out blogging and started making money directly from blogging, before branching into other businesses.
Now watch the irony: because they built a successful blog, it makes it easy for them to launch their business or branch into other businesses. And these (other) businesses succeed by leveraging on the existing blog.
Does that teach you anything?
Here’s what it teaches me: focusing on (or rather, struggling with) other parts of your business and ignoring blogging is you going the hard way.
It’s such an irony, especially when in the past people didn’t see blogging as business. We focused on our businesses and ignored blogging, while some others focused on blogging and now build successful businesses off it.
The way forward?
There must be a balance, or even more focus on blogging.
You must learn how to use blogging to grow your business. It’s called blog marketing: the process of reaching a business’ target market through the use of a blog.
It’s simple: grow a blog in your niche and use it to attract people to your business.
To help us achieve this, I thought we could draw inspiration from those that have successfully built their blogs, even here in Nigeria. Most of them earn directly from their blog (especially through ads), some of them earn indirectly from their popular blog (not ads, but services), but many of them are a hybrid of both: they earn directly from their blog and also offer services.
I reached out to dozens of successful Nigerian bloggers to help by giving us their most-prized tips; their number 1 strategy for growing their blogs, but in a country where most people would rather hide their ‘trade secrets’ than help others, 11 wonderful ladies and gentlemen honoured my request and gracefully gave us their tips freely.
The question I asked them is this: “If you were to start blogging all over again, what would be your number 1 marketing tactic or strategy?”
Without any further ado, here are their answers (and my comments):
Number 1 Blog Marketing Strategies
Jide Ogunsanya (OgbongeBlog.com):
“Focus on a specific niche, with a search engine optimized URL and grow it with paid ads.”
Jide Ogunsanya is the founder of OgbongeBlog.com, a tech blog that focuses more on blogging, digital marketing, social media and online businesses.
His sound advice here is that you have a niche-specific blog, instead of a general blog (like most struggling bloggers do), and ensure your URL (not domain name) is search engine optimized (SEO’d). A great example of a search engine optimized URL, drawn from Jide’s blog is: http://www.ogbongeblog.com/2017/05/mailchimp-automation-now-free-for-all-users.html.
The domain name is “ogbongeblog”, but the URL is “mailchimp automation now free for all users”. This makes it easy for searchers with those keywords to find his blog online.
I explained more on URLs on this blog as one of the 4 major on-page SEO factors that still work for better ranking <== You can go ahead and read it.
Finally, don’t forget to grow your blog with paid ads. Again, if you’re familiar with my teaching, you’ll know how much I hammer on sending traffic to your blog via ads. Take this advice from the successful Ogbonge blogger!
Japheth Omojuwa (Omojuwa.com):
“The number 1 marketing strategy would be to align with established blogs. I’d write for them at zero cost to them, but each post must be linked back to my site. I did that at the time and it worked, but what I’d do differently now is do it on a lot more platforms instead of one. Secondly, seeing the strength of social media today, it would have played a critical role in my marketing strategy too.”
We all got to know Omojuwa via social media, so I’m not surprised this veteran social media influencer mentions social media as one of the strategies he’d use if he was to start all over.
However, I so much love his number 1 strategy: guest posting (posting on other blogs without cost to promote your blog – and also get some SEO juice). This is not something very popular in Nigeria, though ironically, one of the biggest authorities on guest blogging in the world is Nigerian, and also on this list.
So, if you’re struggling with your blog or business, and want some exposure, take advantage of the guest blogging strategy – only if more Nigerian bloggers would be warm enough to accept your posts.
Tosin Ajibade (OloriSupergal.com):
“Getting the contents right and also understanding what people want.”
Very succinct and concise. This is a short but powerful strategy — that can be developed into a whole book!
Popularly known as OloriSupergal, the popular lifestyle and entertainment blogger also believes content is king. We’ve heard it all over, but it’s great to hear it again from the mouth of a popular blogger in a country where original content is mostly found wanting in its blogosphere.
Don’t just do content, get your content right! And how do you get your content right, the Queen Mother (Olori) has answered: understand what people want.
I say no more!
Arinze Obikili (Jaguda.com):
“If I had to start blogging all over again, my #1 marketing tactic would be a campaign that will involve students in various major university campuses around the country to create a brand awareness. I believe with the saturation of internet promotions, and all the “noise” on the web, a grassroot approach never goes out of style, and since our core demographic is between ages 16-30, I believe that marketing strategy would work well.”
A very fresh perspective from Arinze (popularly known as Aribaba), if you ask me.
For once, blog marketing is taken offline, and to a specific demographic: university students (ages 16-30). Here is a great display of knowing who exactly your prospects (and customers) are, and I commend this popular Nigerian music and entertainment blogger for this tip.
I agree with Aribaba on this. Sometimes, you have to do something different than joining all the “noise” online to get attention (awareness) to your blog. It’s very similar to something I also plan to do for my business (not university students; just wait for it ;)).
And it’s what I tell people: find your audience and go where they hang out. Catch them there!
Ademola Ogundele (NotJustOk.com):
“Same as how I started: focus on my passion and grow it organically, and bring a different twist to whatever category you are blogging about. So if you want to go into food blogging do it in a unique way that would almost make it seem like you were creating a new category so that the value you deliver is different from every other food blog out there.”
I really love Demola’s idea of a “twist” and how he went into explaining this with another niche (food). Adding a twist, a unique angle to your blogging, is a great way to stand out in your niche. It’s a great way to separate yourself from the competition and the general noise around.
Nothing beats passion (maybe except hard work), I agree. But it would be a waste of time to be passionate about what you do and still do exactly what others are doing. That’s being not smart.
I remember back in the days, before a lot of others came to the scene, almost every song on your phone starts with “fresh (is that the word?) from NotJustOk.com”. So listen to the boss; he definitely knows what he’s saying.
Makinde Azeez (Naijaloaded.com.ng):
“I will focus more on Facebook Ads & Instagram Ads then focus more on Creative writers. That’s the best way to go.”
I heard this hardcore blogger and blog marketer overtook LindaIkejisBlog and other portals on Alexa at a point recently this year, and made NaijaLoaded Nigeria’s most visited portal. Not sure how true that is, but whatever you do, please listen to this dude. He definitely knows what he’s saying.
That’s the essence of talking to these guys anyway; they’ve “been there, done it”, and it’s in our own best interest to listen.
I’ve said it severally, if you can’t spend money on advertising your blog, then RenegadeCommerce isn’t for you. Buying traffic is an important part of our strategy. The only difference we make is that we optimize our ads and try to get better results. But you still must advertise.
More so, focus on good content (creative writing). From the video I linked to above (overtaking Linda), Azeez shares how he spends money on hiring staffers whose jobs are to put content on the site. And he’s reaping the dividends.
The formula is simple; publish great content, and advertise it for more exposure.
Onibalusi Bamidele (WritersInCharge.com):
“If I were to start blogging all over, my #1 marketing strategy will be consistency. I’ve had the opportunity to coach a few people about blogging, and the only predictable thing that I’ve noticed that determines success or failure is consistency — tactics like guest blogging, outreach, etc, won’t work well enough without consistency. Even if I don’t have much of a marketing strategy, I’m certain that having a consistent content schedule (and maintaining consistency in other areas) will give me a much better chance of success over time.“
Trust me, I was shocked when I got this response from Oni (as he’s fondly called online).
A little background story…
In the whole of this list, this is the one person I can call my personal mentor. I started online business back in 2012 as a freelance writer when I read Oni’s story: a 16-year old fatherless Nigerian that was earning $5000 monthly online <=== (Please read this story!) I’ve followed him ever since then. Even though I branched into other things, freelance writing is still that one business I always fall back on when other businesses become shaky.
I believed I knew almost everything about Oni. He’s the biggest authority in the area of guest blogging that I mentioned earlier. The traffic and traction that really shot his blog up among the ranks in Nigeria isn’t just Nigerian traffic; he has readers and fans from all over the world – more visitors from outside Nigeria definitely.
So I thought the #1 marketing strategy of this 6-fugure (in dollars) writer would be…you guessed it: “guest blogging” (like Omojuwa above). But the king of guest blogging (yes, he once wrote about 300 guest posts in 8 months!) now says every other strategy is secondary to consistency.
I agree; consistency is the ultimate strategy. If you’re publishing content, be consistent. If you’re guest blogging, be consistent. If you’re placing ads, be consistent.
Guys I’m learning! I hope you are too.
Laila Ijeoma (LailasBlog.com):
“If I were to start blogging all over again, my number 1 marketing tactic or strategy will be to create a quality blog, filled with reputable content and then collaborate with top influencers in my niche in promoting it.”
Content, content, content. Quality content, reputable content, creative content; as you can see, these guys indeed prove that content is king. Regularly posting quality, “reputable” content on your blog will definitely take your business far.
But don’t leave it at that; collaborate with top influencers in your niche to promote it. It’s good to hear this from a top influencer herself, and like I said earlier, I only hope other top bloggers in Nigeria would be open to the idea of collaborating with up and coming ones to grow their businesses.
Identify the top influencers in your niche, and look for a way to collaborate with them. You don’t just jump at them for the first time asking for a favour (retweet your link, allow you to guest blog, etc); first build a relationship with them and earn the right to ask for favours over time.
Olu Famous (OluFamous.com)
“I didn’t come into blogging with any strategy and I love it that way. I just do my job and allow the readers to fall in love with my style. If I were to start all over, it would be the same way.”
The famous entertainment and lifestyle blogger, generally known as Olu Famous, doesn’t believe in drawing up strategies. He believes in doing your “job” and allowing “readers to fall in love with [your] style”. He did it successfully before, and he’d do same again.
I however believe that’s some great strategy he has given us. Doing your job involves a lot of things, if you’ll agree with me: passion, hard work, consistency (nothing as powerful as showing up!), specificity/niching (“your” job), etc.
Allowing readers to fall in love with you also involves many things, like: knowing your audience and giving them what they “love”, delivering useful and entertaining content, consistency (again), having your unique style and voice, and so on.
If you can look beyond the surface, like me, you’ll see a lot of powerful tips in those short words.
Don’t plan, plan and keep planning without action (another lesson). Some people get hooked on strategy and never move an inch in implementing. Just move forward and learn, and adjust along the way.
Sisi Yemmie (SisiYemmie.com):
“If I were to start blogging all over again I wouldn’t change my strategy, what I wish I had was more money to be able to reach a wider audience faster. I started with nothing, and no plan really, I made it up as I went along. I did not know my blog would go this far and with a lot of businesses that is how it starts, with probably no plan. My tip would be consistency, I was consistent regardless of my constraints. Consistency is for you to keep going and with that your audience grows larger, they also come to the realization that you are going nowhere soon. Stay consistent and keep reinventing.”
Yes, another successful “no plan” blogger, as if to back up OluFamous’ response above. Then she adds a tip which she’d follow if she were to start all over: CONSISTENCY! That’s what brought her this far – again backing up the points of others, like Oni. I love her words: “Consistency is for you to keep going and with that your audience grows larger, they also come to the realization that you are going nowhere soon.”
I think it’s a great thing for your audience to be assured you’d be around for a long time. I’m just not sure that’s easy to achieve; it takes some work and dedication.
The popular Nigerian food and lifestyle blogger however wished she had some money for promotions when starting out, so I guess she’d be big on promotions if she ever has to start all over.
Consistency and reinvention – and some promotions, and you’ll definitely succeed. You can thank Sisi later!
Daniel Oyetoro (YabaLeftOnline.com):
“Thing is, I never paid much attention to SEO. We wanted traffic, and waiting for about 6 months for organic traffic to pick was a long time, really. So we worked on building our Social Media following instead (getting traffic from social media). It was after our 2nd year in the Blogging world, we realized organic traffic really matters. So if I were to start all over, I’d pay much more attention to working on SEO.”
Organic traffic really matters. I guess that’s the big takeaway here. Social media traffic is good, ads traffic is good, but organic traffic from SEO (search engine optimization) has its place too. Take this from someone it took 2 full years to learn this, but now getting crazy result online.
SEO can be a complex topic, but it’s something you can learn with time – as you run your business online. On-page SEO is a good way to start however.
Wow, such exciting journey of wisdom this has been for me, in collating and writing – and also in reading – this post; I hope it’s been the same for you, my esteemed reader. I hope it’s been worth your reading time.
More important however is for you to take these tips given freely by these successful blogging entrepreneurs and apply them to your business – specifically to your blog.
If you can be consistent in publishing unique, quality content useful to your audience, and you promote them with passion, through ads, social media, guest blogging, SEO, etc, you’ll definitely find success with your blog, and in essence, with your business.
Yes, it will be hard work, but that, my friend, is the summary of the success stories of 11 top Nigerian bloggers. It’s now left to you: follow their advice or ignore.
What do you think about this post? Any lessons learned? What would you add? Please drop your comments in the comments section and let’s discuss further.
And finally, please don’t forget to share; we need more people to see this! Just click any of the social media buttons below to share.
Big shoutout to the bloggers featured in this post. I want you to know I truly appreciate the audience you gave me, and all you’re doing out there to make this country a better place. God bless you!
Download RenegadeCommerce's Blog Post Template for Free!
Do you want to be able to write awesome blog posts that will get read and get shared? Then click to download our favourite blog post template here at RenegadeCommerce.
We value your privacy and would never spam you