This is a follow up story for Information Guide Africa. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published almost 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
My name is Igbo Clifford Chimaizuobi and I’m a Nigerian blogger, author, and filmmaker. For my previous story, you can refer to this. I launched Nigerian media platforms, Information Guide Africa and Browse.ng with my twin brother, Igbo Stanford Onyemaizuchi.
One of the major lessons I learned last year has been to put work first, not statistics.
We moved on to launch an entertainment, PR, and filmmaking brand, Julob Entertainment with our friend, Izu Okafor. Our major products are digital products and services including books, movies, and other digital products.
Before launching these blogs, we had run literature-based blogs, news, and others. Our first blog was based on fiction and we only made money from selling stories and offering services.
From there we proceeded to a blog dependent on adverts and selling of digital products including ebooks and videos. We also offered various services including website development and content creation.
I have also been a huge fan of multi-niche sites especially because you can tap into traffic from any source.
I have always believed that people do not visit the majority of websites from the homepage and you need to make sure the immediate page is as captivating as possible, with the use of engaging related posts and interlinks.
A majority of our revenue is gotten from advert placements and our blogs alone, we make a revenue of over $10,000 per month.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?
The blogging business has been growing at a steady speed and we are very grateful for our consistency and strategies.
We have also been growing niche and country-targeted websites to test out projects and increase revenue.
Our brand, Julob is also into event planning and we have organized events like the Make Music Imo, IMSU Science Dinner and Award Night, Imo International Film Festival, IMSU Tech Fest, etc.
As movie makers, we have worked on a series of short and feature movie projects. One of our works, Chiugo has been selected for three film festivals in Europe and North America already.
We also set up a web development firm, Webx.ng to handle our web development and software development tasks as a PR agency.
The growth over the past two years has been gradual and steady and we appreciate every single steps we took.
What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?
I have not had much of challenges in recent times but I’ll talk about the issue of dealing with content creators.
A lot of them publish plagiarized content (if I wanted to copy and paste I could have just done that myself) and others put AI-created content.
Why would we be spending a huge chunk of our revenue to purchase articles that were not even created by humans?
These AI tools are free and open to everyone and if it was what I was looking for, I could have just done it myself.
As a manager, I will advise people hiring content creators and developers to invest in premium plagiarism tools or at least bank on the free ones available online.
It will save you a lot of stress as well as protect your brand’s reputation, which is the most important.
One of the issues you will face if you pay for articles is plagiarized content and we use free tools like smallseotools.com and duplichecker.com to check for that. They have premium features but as a beginner, you can test out their free features.
On Information Guide Africa, we first research for keywords to write on using Semrush and Google Trends. You wouldn’t want to write what no one would ever search for.
After that, the keywords are forwarded to our writers and then the admins do the proofreading themselves.
The next stage is plagiarism checking and you can use the free tools I shared above and then, we schedule for publishing.
Our images are gotten from Nappy.co, Pixabay and Pexels.com. Our major traffic sources are pushing notification subscribers, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and search engines.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
One of the major lessons I learned last year has been to put work first, not statistics. I launched random blogs and abandoned them and surprisingly, they are generating revenue.
For instance, I have a blog targeting people in need of a particular service in one of the Nigerian states. It was more like a website than a blog and currently has only 6 articles. I haven’t also linked it to any of the analytics platforms and surprisingly, I keep getting emails from people looking for the service.
This means that if you forget about money and statistics and put your whole efforts into improving results, you will not have problems monetizing the platforms.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
In the next five years, I want to put a greater deal of my attention into filmmaking and publishing fiction.
The films will include feature movies, series, talk shows, documentaries, and more. We are also working on a movie application, Qiriwe as well as a clothing line, Luxraid. The media is a very huge and heavily untapped industry and people should not be sleeping on it.
We are currently working on our first web series project, Kamsi’s Diary and we plan to make a movie from my debut novel, 7 Colors of a Rainbow.
While building, we understand that a lot of ideas come to you when you cannot comfortably fund them and we are not trying to sleep on these
What’s the best thing you read in the last year?
I am not a huge fan of non-fiction and the best work I read last year was a novel, I Was A Teen Rock Star by A.H Mohammed.
The work gave a huge insight into the entertainment industry which I am heading into and what happens between artists, fans, and record labels and I would highly recommend it.
To succeed as an entertainer, you need to be consistent, focused, and intentional. You also have to understand times and seasons and know that music that was available two decades ago might bankrupt you as a label if you decide to invest in them now.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their businesses?
My advice to forthcoming entrepreneurs is to never be scared of beginning. If you fail, you got a shot at success. If you didn’t start, you failed from the beginning.
When you understand that everyone who didn’t start fails and not everyone who starts fails, you will know how to play your game well!
Also, do not be scared of spying on your competitors and reproducing successful strategies.
If something works for someone in your industry, it could work for you. Take days to spy on and study people doing what you do already and when you kick off, it’s going to be a smooth ride.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are currency hiring content developers for our blogs and movie projects. You can check these out with other openings on this page.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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