This blog turns one year today! ( April 6, 2014) and I will answer most of the questions I have been asked as well as others I have come across but silently avoided a response. I believe this is going to be my longest article(deep sigh), but I will try not to leave you at the mercy of boredom as I try to put down one full year of our blogging journey to this day and plan for the future. You are free to skip any part of this article and off-course; I should answer any question on the comment box.
Firstly, this is an article I wanted to write since 2008, but that has always been just a wish until today. Basically, all the blogs in different niche I attempted in those successive years never had a chance of crossing the one year mark (Don’t worry, you can’t catch my grief)! It was very much frustrating because they were not entirely mediocre blogs but with substance. Yet, there was no reward commensurate with the effort exerted. So you see why this day is so SPECIAL to me and why you need to congratulate us? It’s okay to give me a hug! 🙂
I committed myself to this journey in the eyes of Ben Duka and I have never looked back. I have only decided to do common things in an uncommon way, and that’s how the journey begins…
Answering What Has Been Asked!
Often times, I get messages on my mail, Facebook (not a heavy twitter user, so nothing from that end) and sometimes even on comments. They want to know how a new blog attracted success in so little time and I guess now, if you read the introduction, you’d realize that the blog might be new but the brain behind it has been to the very bottom of his life just to leave a footprint. It’s an okay question and no one listens to a failure, that’s why I’m glad I am posting this right now. So blogging success? It’s hard and it’s simple, ignore the money but don’t forget value. Money will always answer to value. The best thing for me is that, I developed passion for blogging at a time when I never knew bloggers could earn a dime from owning a blog and I continued blogging without letting memories of my past supersede the dreams of my future. Who would have believed that man would be able to fly faster than any bird? Thanks to Orville and Wilbur Wright, who engineered human flight. And it didn’t happen without first scaling the brickwall. Now, the general notion or idea about blogging is Earn! Earn!! and Earn!!! I have no problem with that, but I believe one has to work to earn and not the reverse.
Why did I migrate from Blogger to WordPress?
Do not leave Blogger platform my friend advised but I took the advice on the chin and I paid dearly. I love Blogger, my first experience (Only 4-months) with it was fantastic and I can say it’s best for SEO. So why did I move from Blogger to WordPress? The answer is simple; it didn’t fit the idea of what I wanted. Writing product reviews was particularly frustrating for me because I had to manually make the “REVIEW SNIPPET” appear the way I wanted. It was time consuming and a no brainier, hence I had to move to WordPress.
Up till this moment, I still receive criticism for choosing Disqus, some of the complaints being the inability to comment via mobile device and I must confess that they are sincere and constructive criticism. I’m sorry I took this path and it’s all my fault that I lost a good percentage of comments after sticking with Disqus. But here is the deal, everyone loves a healthy blog and Disqus makes that happen almost effortlessly. I got rid of 5-WordPress plugins after sticking with the Disqus. It’s actually a great third-party commenting system and you can read my review of Disqus.
Under The Hood – The Stats
While I have little to complain about since the blog was officially launched last year, that doesn’t mean I’m satisfied. Milestone not reached and that’s partly because of the issues encountered during migrating from Blogger to WordPress. I was using WordPress without any SEO plugin for 3-months, it was an experiment and I failed! So, the blog fell dramatically, but I was still calm. In the end, we lost a good amount of traffic, but the good news is that I learned a lot without losing my blog entirely. It’s thanks to WordPress SEO by Yoast, started seeing signs of recovering two months after installing it in January of 2014.
Year 1: Subscriber Growth
I am not a fan of building list and sending out newsletters is the most boring thing for me. People who are subscribed to our list can confirm this as they don’t get such alerts. I would guess that I have only sent about 5 newsletters this year. It’s a shame and I admit it, I do appreciate you signing up to get exclusive news from us and I apologize for failing hard in that regard. We will fix it and it will happen soon.
So we started from the bottom, from 0 Subscriber and at the time of writing the count stands at 1230. That’s a small number right? It definitely is but I am proud of the figure. Building a blog’s email list is no job for a kid and I must commend everyone that has thousands of subscribers. You rock!
Year 1: Affiliate Earning
You didn’t know we earn a little from Affiliates?
Here is our Affiliate Disclaimer which can be found on our Disclaimer page.
“Some of the products mentioned on this site may include an affiliate link and provide ThatNaijaBlog and its owner(s) and contributes with of monetary earnings.”
There you go. Perhaps, the reason why it’s no conspicuous is because the links and banners are not displayed in such a way that’s off-putting as to annoy you. They are strategically placed and do just what they are meant to do.
The biggest affiliate revenue comes from Amazon and throughout the first one year, we earned $553.
Sales from Arvixe affiliate program was poor! Very poor, we made only one sale and that’s $70 in commission
We also tested Konga Affiliate and it didn’t suit the way we wanted affiliates banners to be displayed. Or maybe I have not figured out how to use the platform so we earned N0. from Konga Affiliate program. This shouldn’t down your morale; I have a couple of friends who make huge money from Konga Affiliate program. And so does the universal rule apply. What works for one might not work for another, so I guess you should find what works, enhance it and keep smiling to the bank..
Year 1: Traffic Metric
I find this crazy. For me they are huge numbers and I will take all of the stats in good faith. Remember, my philosophy is not sudden success. It’s all about long-term growth and we won’t settle for anything less than that. So I have to keep working hard, blogging on my pajamas. Lol, that’s how bad it can be at times.
The best month was in June 2013, we had an unbelievable 150k page views and close to 100k unique visitors. Every other month has been not entirely bad; ranging from 80 – 100K monthly page views and from 60-70k unique visitors.
Here is the global rankings of the blog on Alexa.
and here are some of the countries we have a presence
Should I feel sad? I really don’t think so as the positives looks greater than the desire to lament the “NO-SEO Plugin action”. The arrogance was that I believed I was in an error-free path by providence. I am no genius, just an average guy, like you. Anyone can achieved more than what I have achieved and I have actually seen guys who have done that. So the taking point of this article is to show you what’s possible in one year of blogging.
Year1: E-book Launch
Yea! I love this part of my blogging journey especially the warm messages I receive from people who downloaded my first e-book – How To Attain Suspicious Success In Blogging. I wrote the book in exact opposite of how conventional e-books are written, where authors promise to make their readers rich under 6-days or how to rank top position in SERP. My aim was to gradually harness for greatness the mindset of bloggers who truly want success in an ecosystem of millions of blogs.
I have started work on my 2nd e-book; The Connection Between Your Blog And Your Mind. But I’m thinking this e-book might no longer be a reality as we have gradually changed the philosophy of this blog, hence the pending re-branding that should happen soon.
Year 1: Blog Metric
ThatNaijaBlog idea started on April 5th, few days after my last birthday which was on the third day of that same month. I had spent 3-months without blogging after my last blog had a shamefull fall. So, I was thinking as usual in the dead hours of the night and it came like a flash which I implemented the following day.
From nothing, we have climbed and this is where we are;
A Total of 378 posts,
1, 199 comments,
Page Rank = 2
Domain Authority = 31
10 sponsored articles at a fee of $100 x 10 = $1,000.
Akismet protected us from 4,385 spam comments
9 Accepted guest posts from 9 incredible guest authors. Thanks guys! 🙂
Here is some of the blog’s smashing articles for the year.
How To Speed up your WordPress Blog
How Dare You Reject My Google Adsense Application?
Readers Are Leaders – How To Be The Best Blogger
48 CommentLuv Dofollow Blogs To Increase Your Blog Traffic
How Tecno Is Wining The Smartphone War In Nigeria
How Microsoft Can Help Nokia Win The SmartPhone War
The Future: Ultra Desktop Replacement PC
How To Earn Your First $700 From Blogging
Top 5 Overrated Games Of Current-Gen
4 Costly Mistakes That Forced Nokia Out Of The Smartphone Race
Top 3 PS4 Unannounced Games To Slow Down The Xbox One Momentum
How To Become A Ghost On The Internet
Top Rated Tutorials
Where Do I have My Guest Posts?
Conclusion. Time to Say Thanks
Here is the secret to my success and it’s the people I connected with during the one year of blogging. I realized that all those time I couldn’t have a blog cross the one year mark, was not necessary a lack of ideas but because I decided to be anonymous in the blogosphere. Anyone who is anonymous is NOTHING. Life, business, career, relationship, and wealth creation all boils down the kind of association you maintain. My last guest post on Kabenla’s blog was a mystery of the obvious. So that’s the secret.
I hope I didn’t disappoint you with my little secrete, maybe you wanted to read some kick-ass black hat SEO technique.. Hahaha!.
So here are some honorable mentions to the folks who have had a direct impact to my journey; the life of ThatNaijaBlog in its one year of being online.
In no particular order…
- Ben Duka of Psxextreme.com – In whose eyes I saw blogging.
- Emannuel Kabenlah – One of my most favorite bloggers and my twin brother, He hails from Ghana and was the first person to call my phone to wish me a “Happy New Year”. It was a memorable day for me and one that I cannot forget. Since we got connected, no day goes by without saying hi. While searching for a new domain name (TechRez) to replace thatnaijablog, I made him suffer by disturbing him every minute. So it’s time to apologize buddy and also to thank you for your immerse contribution to my blogging journey.
- Sam Adeyinka – One of the finest bloggers in the blog-o-sphere. He’s a genius and granted me my first interview. I’m glad we made a choice of friendship as he has been very pivotal to me with his wealth of wisdom. You can see his wisdom on this blog as he helped coined the blog’s tagline: “Geek’s Resource Garage”.
- Olili Bob – My senior blogger colleague. We literally fight because he keeps calling me boss and anytime he does, I give him a red letter. He has called me on phone the most times, always checking to see how his little blogger friend is doing.
- Clarke Gilbert – Nigeria’s finest programmer. He thought me everything about the web; designs, perception, excellence and programming. What else can I ask for?
- Femi Jonathan Maro – He is no blogger but a Marxist, he was my roommate in my final year. He left to the United States and was instrumental to the existence of this blog. He actually paid for the development of this blog and I really do appreciate all of it.
- BabaNature – This is one of my bosses, he is the reason behind my first guest post. He’s the most humble blogger I have come across in this blog-o-sphere. Despite earning thousands of $$$ monthly, when I contacted him for my first guest post.. He gave me a King’s treatment.
- Harleena Singh – That’s my mum in the blog-o-sphere. I have always blessed the day I discovered her blog and she actually wrote a post explaining why bloggers need rest. I fell ill in January and took her advice in February. Had a 14-day sabbatical from the blog-o-sphere and things have been just fine. I have also learned how to balance health and blog.
- Temilola Waliu Globalwalyy – We share ideas, we share money, we have gone past online buddies to pals that can discuss eventually anything. And most of all, we aspire for each other’s success. He’s a great friend of mine, he told me to start sharing my articles on my Facebook timeline. An idea I kicked against until 6-months ago and my Social traffic has seen a tremendous rise.
- Agbonghama Collins – I have not seen his kind. His unprecedented love for programming and desire to helping out people freely with his vast knowledge is one that really inspires me. He helped designed the email subscriber box and widget on this blog. Now, that’s amazing right?
- Obasi Miracle – Mr. Miracle has always been there for me, we chat a lot and share lot of ideas. He’s another professional programmer and an absolute genius. Our friendship started with a fight, but all that is history and has left his imprints on the success of this blog.
- Jide Ogunsanya – Having Nigeria’s best tech tutorial blogger as a friend is definitely the dream of any blogger that has his sight at breaking blogging growth barriers. Each time I seek his professional advice, he has always lived up to my expectation.
- Oscar Frank – The name Oscar Frank is one that’s always stands for excellence. When we talk on phone and IM, I always see greatness. The success of a man is not what he has achieved, but what he aspires to achieve. Oscar’s ideas are larger than life and I’m glad to have known him.
- Nwosu Mavtrevor – Another prolific blogger I respect so much. We connected not too long ago but it seems like its been ages. He’s a no-nonsense blogger and you can see it from the constant quality contents he keeps pumping out.
- Ebenezer Obasi – Ebenezer is one blogger I truly admire. We share a lot of similar traits in relation to blogging and has equally been much of an inspiration.
- Presegs Adesida – Yes! I have had my frustration with PayPal but Mr. Adesida has been there all along, handling all my issues that require PayPal.
- Don Caprio – It took me time to figure out his real name but here is it, Adewale Adekile. He is another blogging great, got some ideas from him while creating my custom Lazy Theme V1.0 for MobilePress.
- Joseph Onyemakonor – Meet my friend Joseph. He was and still is instrumental to all of my success stories in this blog. We crafted the title of my e-book together and reviewed same on his blog. He also gave me free VPN services.
- Samuel Bruss Ughojor – He called me on phone for a staggering 30 mins explaining why I needed to do more research before writing my “editorials”. His advice came after I was greatly criticized by one of my commenters in one controversial article. I was humble enough to listen and take his advice which has greatly improved the quality of our articles. He’s my brother and we still maintain an excellent friendship.
- Antonio Omeihe – He must be wondering where his name was. Hahaha! I put it last for a reason and that’s because I have a lot to say about him but I will keep it short though. Antonio was the first of my friends on Facebook to discover my blog. He sent me a message with my blog URL and I was like WTF!!! I really wanted to be an anonymous blogger but he discovered my URL, so I was generally perplexed. That’s crazy right? Truly it is and I still can’t phantom why I had to think of being anonymous on the blog-o-sphere.
Derek Odum of TechJay, Kelvin of Android Nigeria, Michael Adele of Techracle, Ige Osasumwen of Ebimablog, Adetunji Olalekan of Gidi360, Vincent of NaijaBadoo, Daniel of I-Am-Daniel, Abel Babalola of ThatCoolBlog, Chinonso Anyikwa of GurusWizard, and Samuel Nwosu of FootyGist.
These are the people who impacted my blogging journey, they all had one role to play but they are more than this. So if you don’t see your name, it’s not like I don’t appreciate you I just had to keep the list down to a minimum of 30 and if there was another name, it would definitely be yours.
At the point I like to re-emphases that what you will become in life is a direct result of the kind of people that characterize your association. Believe it or not, they will either impact you negatively or positively. With the army of the best bloggers I humbly associated with, I wouldn’t need black magic to define my path in an ecosystem of millions of blogs. Thanks a lot guys, each of you add a totally unique perspective to the blogosphere and make me proud to be a part of it.
To my family, you are the best. I am nothing without you. It was difficult for them and I can understand how frustrating it can be for them waking up to see me in pajamas glued to my PC. 🙂
Over To You
When we experience defeat and failure, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT! But we must learn the need to persist which is very difficult. The common trait of successful people is the ability to conquer the temptation to give up, it is not enough to have a goal, one must poses courage, belief, commitment and tenacity to realize it. This is it, it’s a dream come true and we are gearing up for the next phrase. We made it and you made it as well. Thanks!