[Update] Hiring 3 More Employees And Growing My $13K/Month Blogging Business In Nigeria

Published: May 21st, 2023
Emenike Emmanuel
Entrepreneur Busi...
from Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
started September 2016
Discover what tools Emenike recommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Emenike recommends to grow your business!

Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

My name is Emenike Emmanuel and I’m the founder of Entrepreneur Business Blog, My Top Insurance Blogs, and the CEO of Ebusinessroom. I took the business of blogging seriously in 2016 while serving as a corps member in a remote village in Nigeria. The business didn’t quite yield as many impressive results as I expected until I moved to Lagos – the most populous city in Africa.

Through my blog, I share well-researched articles that will help solve the problems of my audience. Every month, I organize physical blogging training in my city where I gather a handful of young people who desire to make a living blogging like I do.

If you starting a blog in 2023, focus on choosing a profitable and specific niche, then go hard at creating highly optimized articles.

Oftentimes, they come in a group of 6 to 8. Each of them pays the Nigerian Naira equivalent of $340 to be a part of this training. And as for those who can’t make it in person, I refer them to my Blogging Business Masterclass.

While I do not make the direct income of my blog from Nigeria, the economic instability of the country also had its toll on my mental health and by extension my business. Fuel, scarcity, epileptic power supply, insecurity, political instability, unreasonable banking policies, and poor internet speed are a few of the challenges that slowed down our growth.

Looking at the rate the business was growing last year, we should have doubled our revenue but I’m sorry to say that we are still at $13,000 per month. While the exchange rate of the Nigerian Naira might make it look like we’ve made some progress as a business but when you look at it from a global perspective, there’s a problem.

To make up for this as I now have 3 more employees, making our workforce a total of 6, and my standard of living has drastically increased, I have to revive my digital marketing agency. The digital marketing agency did a little over $3,000 in January 2023.

As a way of giving back to businesses and individuals who may not be able to afford my training fees, I launched a YouTube channel where I teach blogging and blogging alone. It’s been a thing of gratitude to God to see how I have evolved from a rookie blogger to where I am today.

Emenike Emmanuel & His Wife
My wife and I

Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

Despite going from $10,000 to $13,000, I do not consider the business to be growing as it ought to. The decline in search ranking, massive competition of ChatGPT with Google Search, and some internal crises within the country have been identified to be the root cause of the problem.

One of the outstanding lessons I’ve learned in the last year is to prioritize my health, enjoy a good sleep and work hard.

One of the outstanding lessons I’ve learned in the last year is to prioritize my health, enjoy a good sleep and work hard.

It was in an attempt to tackle these challenges that I hired 3 more people to handle our writing needs. I’ve not done much writing from scratch in a long while now, except when a client submits a sponsored post to us. I focus my time now on keyword research and promotion. I’m constantly identifying new easy-to-rank keywords. I also take ample time to upgrade articles my writers submit before they go live on our blog.

This was done at the time Google QuestionHub was still in existence before the Beta test ended. Using Google QuestionHub, I could see the exact keywords people were searching for that nothing much has been written about the topics. And when I write on them, like low-hanging fruits that are easy to pluck, I quickly start ranking for them on Google Search.

Ever since Google QuestionHub was shut down, I decided to focus on Keyword Planner. To select an easy-to-rank keyword, I focus on keywords that have less than 100 monthly search volumes.

The fact that the search volume is low shows that not much has been written about it. I call them low-hanging fruit keywords. To spice it up a little bit, I turn it into a long-tail keyword. That way, it can better be structured exactly the way people search for things online.

Gradually, I diversified into YouTube to help us attract more traffic to our blog via video content. Video content is exploding right now and brands that are not ranking for them will soon be left behind.

On my YouTube channel, I have a combination of both short and long-form content. But the goal is to settle for short-form content of not more than 15 minutes. At the moment, I’m still trying to answer some of the top questions people are asking about blogging.

Before now, Google would punish other blogs that scrape your content but these days, some will scrape your content and still outrank you. I used to be discouraged about this but I’ve stopped bothering myself about it.

What we do now is to find the best content on any keyword and write something better than that while touching keywords that brands are paying Google to rank for.

When I made this tweak, things began to turn around for good. Hopefully, we will be able to triple our revenue before the end of the year. One marketing action I don’t fail to take is to from time to time re-share our blog posts on social media. It helps to drive instant traffic to us.

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

Aside from the challenges I’ve faced in the last year in Nigeria, the most painful of them is the sudden decline in traffic as a result of the emergence of ChatGPT. I didn’t see that coming but we’ve started creating content that will position our blog for the launch of Bard and the final integration of ChatGPT into Bing.

The initial plan was to have 10 people in my writing team as I also offer writing services to some companies but two people didn’t meet my expectation so I had to drop them. The reason for letting them go was that I discovered that I spent more time editing their articles than I should even though I’m paying for the articles.

Yes, I second-guess myself sometimes. But when it happens, I ask myself what should I have advised someone else to do if they had sought my advice on the matter. Quickly, I get the answer and dive right into it. I do this a lot because I have a fast-growing Facebook following of people who rely on my expert advice to grow their businesses.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

One of the outstanding lessons I’ve learned in the last year is to prioritize my health, enjoy a good sleep and work hard. A lot has changed in the economic calendar of my country and if I wasn’t prepared in advance, a lot would have gone wrong. Everything brought to mind how important our digital skills are.

I didn’t do much partnership and paid advertising last year but I have it in mind to explore them this year. I’ve started getting partnership offers already.

The launch of ChatGPT reminded me how important the work my employees are doing in delivering accurate results. We don’t use AI-generated content but I do see errors from blogs using it. Beyond using it for ideation, I wouldn’t advise anyone to use ChatGPT to create content for their audience no matter how good you are in generating prompts.

If you starting a blog in 2023, focus on choosing a profitable and specific niche, then go hard at creating highly optimized articles. Link building is good but creating the kind of content people would love to read and promoting them will be more profitable for you.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

The plan to get a physical office and explore real estate marketing on a larger scale is still very much alive. In the upcoming year, we hope to have grown our blog, YouTube channel, and social media platforms to over a million people.

At the moment we have 15,000 followers across Facebook platforms, 2,169 across our two Instagram accounts, and 2,781 across Twitter. 744 followers across LinkedIn and 397 subscribers on YouTube. Using multichannel marketing will help us to achieve this.

To be candidly honest with you, I haven’t been deliberate about growing our social media followers but I think I will work on that going forward.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

One of the things I read in the last year I can quickly recall now is a post by Tony Elumelu, a Nigerian billionaire. It's a story of how he started planning his future in the banking industry straight-out-of-NYSC.

It inspired me because I could easily relate to it as my current business (Entrepreneur Business Blog and My Top Insurance Blogs) that has earned me hundreds of thousands of dollars was born while in the same NYSC but in a different state. Take a look at the article from Tony Elumelu that inspires Emenike Emmanuel.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their businesses?

If you are struggling to grow your business, don’t beat yourself up. It is natural to struggle. But what you do, how you do them, and how fast will determine when you will come out of the struggle.

To come out of that struggle pretty fast you have to be honest to yourself. Ask yourself: why am I struggling? Listen to your spirit as it gives you feedback. Chances are, it’s a result of what you did or didn’t do. Take for instance you are struggling with getting clicks, it’s simply because you are either creating content that people don’t like or you are using terrible titles. If you are struggling with creating attention-grabbing blog posts, sales copy, or email titles, The Magic Headline Hooks might be what you’ve been waiting for. Read it and your struggles with poor sales will be over.

I’m saying that because I’ve discovered that the solutions every one of us is looking for are in those books we’ve refused to read.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Yes. We need writers and whitehat link builders. You must be able to create similar or better articles to this, Why You Should Purchase Riders with Life Insurance Policies and How to Grow Your Business Using Email Marketing.

We need SEO writers and link builders in the following areas: insurance, business, finance, and career. If you think you are qualified for any of these roles, contact us.

Where can we go to learn more?