Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The 7 Laws of building a successful Blog by Gbenga Dan Asabe


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The NTA talks to the GDA on Blogging

Excerpts of a paper I delivered last Saturday, October 8, 2016 to a group of Students from selected schools in Lagos State during a blogging-for-profit seminar organized by PaulUkpabio Blog. The event which took place at the Culture CafĂ© section of Prince of Anthony Hotel, Anthony Village, Lagos (South Western Nigeria) had other speakers like Alhaji Abdul-Jamiu Abiodun Abiola, the Shetima Rasheed of Borno Empire, Mr. Adedoyin Adeola, the Vice President (Network Operations) Airtel, Mr. Oluwatobi Obaniyi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Whogohost (A leading web hosting firm) Mr. Adebunmi Akinbo, Member of the Executive Board of Nigeria Internet Registration Association,  Professor Wang Yongjing of  Chinese Confucius Institute (UNILAG, Lagos) among many other important guests/discussants. I based my paper on ‘Content as the driving force for successful blogging’ and x-rayed the 7 Laws of building a successful content compliant blog. Enjoy the excerpts.

What is Content?
Content as a subject matter is an idea or a compendium of ideas, matter, material, theme, text, substance, essence or gist.

'I AM A CELEBRITY BLOGGER' the GDA tells NTA News man
'You will only be a successful blogger if you understand the power of Content' the GDA tells the students at the seminar

The 7 laws to your niche…
Find your content passion: This is the first law of being a successful blogger. You must find what you love to write about, what gives you a kick or what drives your adrenaline.  Do you love meeting and interviewing celebrities? Do you love sports and reporting sports? Do you love fashion and reporting fashion? Do you love the environment? Does the environment entice you? Do you love snapping lovely pictures of the environment and publishing them? Do you love visiting a market and reporting activities in the market place? Do you love meeting and interacting with people and hearing their life stories? What is your work passion? In blogging, your content passion is your work passion. Your work passion is your news passion. Your news passion is your blog passion.

Alhaji Jamiu Abiola (Shetima Rasheed of Borno) with Mr. Adewunmi Akinbo of NIRA (Nigeria Internet Registration Association)

Research your content passion:  You must be curious to make a difference. As a content compliant blogger, you must learn to see what others are not seeing. You must study and research your field thoroughly.  In this business of blogging, curiosity is the name of the game. In the conventional discuss, it is famously said that curiosity kills the cat. But in blogging, curiosity simply means having an eye that can see anything new or unusual. An eye that can see your own extra-ordinary angle in the ordinary angle. You must be able to use your knowledge capital. You must first be a master of your trade and from there; you can graduate into being a super-master of your job. In this game of blogging, it is not much about the figures (Oh, we already have thousands of blogs!, ooh, how do I compete now? Etc) Instead, it is the knowledge that counts. You must use your knowledge to create your niche. You will go a long way and make more money when you are seen as a guru in a particular niche.  Carve out a niche for yourself and never stop learning.  In advanced nations of the world, good ideas or businesses focus on niches. For instance, Mr. John Momoh a former News reporter with NTA (Nigerian Television Authority) later left the federal government owned media establishment to establish what is today known as Channels TV, an all round News content compliant Television Station.

'In blogging, content is King, traffic is money' says the GDA
Other discussants listening to the GDA


Today, Channels remains Nigeria’s best news content provider and the station is acknowledged as Nigeria’s number 1 news brand. In another instance, Mr. Larry Izamoje a former Sports Presenter with OGBC (Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation) resigned from the state government establishment to carve out a niche for himself by establishing Brilla FM, which is today Nigeria’s number 1 Sports broadcast radio station. In 1996, One Mr. Seye Kehinde resigned from TEMPO Magazine where he was finding it dificult to actualize his niche to establish what is today known as City People Magazine. Today, in her 20th year of publishing, City People as a brand remains Nigeria’s number 1 Celebrity Magazine. It strictly reports celebrities and society people. While Channels TV has the politics and general interest stories as niche, Brilla FM has Sport stories as her brand niche and City People has the society stories as her niche.   All said and done, you must research your content passion and establish a niche out of it. Your niche will surely get you your desired niche.

“For instance, Mr. John Momoh a former News reporter with NTA (Nigerian Television Authority) later left the federal government owned media establishment to establish what is today known as Channels TV, an all round News content compliant Television Station. Today, Channels remains Nigeria’s best news content provider and the station is acknowledged as Nigeria’s number 1 news brand”

Mr. Adebunmi Akinbo of NIRA (Nigerian Internet Registration Association) delivering his Paper on 'How to Register a Blog'

Believe in the Economy of your content: Yes, everyone has broken the news on TV, radio, newspapers and blogs. Oh, yeah, everyone has interviewed the big and biggest of artistes, footballers and diplomats. In fact, everyone has reported sports, lifestyle, business and crime to the fullest. However, there are still new areas to be unearthed. As a content compliant blogger, you must look out for your content in many untapped areas. In fact, there are several new beats that have not been discovered talk less of being reported.  Let me share a handy experience with you. Many years ago while I was reporting for FAME Weekly Magazine in Lagos, my editor Mr. Afolabi Odeyemi had asked me to help him pick a parcel at the local airport in Lagos. On getting to the airport, I was directed to an airline firm where I was to receive the parcel from the Station Manager. Lo and behold! I saw a lot of personalities, activities and events going on around the airport.

Mr. Paul Ukpabio welcomes the Shetima Rasheed of Borno, Alhaji Jamiu Abiola to the event as GDA of Asabeafrika.com looks on

On getting back to the office, I suggested that a column on airport activities be opened for me. I named the column “Arrival & Departure Briefs” and I remember every Tuesday, I will be at the local airport to watch activities going on at the local wing of the Lagos airport and Thursdays, I will be at the International wing to see who was travelling in and who was travelling out of the country. The column soon became red zone in the magazine as I reported not just about personalities travelling in and out of Nigeria but I equally started reporting issues related with various parastatals in the aviation sector of the economy. I had sources in organizations like FAAN, NCAA; NAMA & NACA. However, two things happened to me at the time. On one hand, I got court litigation from a serving aviation minister and I equally got another from the CEO of a leading airline company in the country. They were furious with us not because we didn’t report objectively but because we unearthed their organization’s dirty linen and hung it in the public rope. They got their scandals and we broke them in the magazine way. The good one was that I got complimentary tickets to travel in and out of Lagos from some friendly airlines who loved the column. That is the beauty of starting a new thing.  So, you must seek a new beat, develop it and you will get lifetime traffic of readers and patrons.


L-R; Professor Wang Yongjing of Confucius Institute, UNILAG, Alhaji Jamiu Abiola with son, Azzydeen Abiola and Mr. Adebunmi Akinbo of NIRA
Professor Wang YongJing of Confucius Institute, UNILAG delivering her paper on 'How to use Blogging to leverage on Organizational Effort'

Drive your content with the sugar of words & Sights: A content compliant blogger is he who is not bald with expression. If you understand your content industry very well, then you must work hard to learn the skill of words that will drive your content. The challenge of the blogosphere is that readers want to come and read clean, crisp and concise articles or gists and move on. The social media space is a very busy market place where everyone is in a hurry to buy and go home. However, for you to be the king of your content industry, you must learn the skill of presenting your content to them in the culture of short, dramatic and concise. And if it must be long, you must make it interesting and imaginative. We (Asabeafrika.com) have both a blog and a V-blog (Video blog); on our blog www.asabeafrika.com, we do more of interviews and encounter stories. In fact, we started it. We are 70% interviews and the remaining 30% goes for news, events and feature stories. However, our best meal remains our interview stories. Initially, we present long interviews. Why? We know the rules of the blogosphere, the rule is ‘make it short and prim’ but hey! We break the rule! We simply break that rule. We break the rule because we know the rule and in breaking it, we simply make our interviews interesting and imaginative. When you read, you continue to read. You read and by the time you finish reading, you wouldn’t like to stop reading the story. But on our V-blog on YouTube (www.youtube.com/gbengadanasabe) we adapt to the rule 100%. Our longest videos are 10 or 15 minutes except in rare cases. We do short videos of 3, 4 to 5 minutes because we follow the trend of sight-and-see-on-blogs.


Mr. Oluwatoba Obaniyi, CEO, Whogohost delivering his paper on 'How to use the internet to  kill mass unemployment in Nigeria'
The GDA gives the 7 Laws of building a successful content compliant blog (LEAD PICTURE)

Learn your content prospect from the rung of the ladder: Yes, it is good to have a blog; it is good to be very much independent in this age of e-journalism or e-media. Yes, you will do well if you stay well alone. But truth is ‘there is still dignity in being employed’. The traditional media, though at the mercy of the social media still employs even though it might be going through her own peculiar recession. The television and radio platform still employ likewise the newspapers and magazines but to be employed by them is not a sin. If you must own a profit grossing blog, a content compliant blog, you must start somewhere. If you are to create your own blog, you need to start from where you will get the tutelage you require. So, being too much in a hurry and jumping to start your own blog can put you in trouble.  If you painstakingly dedicate yourself to learning and mastering your trade before taking off, you will find it easier to excel when you finally start that business. In this trade, experience counts.  So, you must learn to start from the rung of the ladder to the zenith.

“As a content compliant blogger, you must look out for your content in many untapped areas. In fact, there are several new beats that have not been discovered talk less of being reported.  Let me share a handy experience with you”

The GDA showed the youngstars how to develop their content quotent

Let your content be connected to you; Another headline I would have loved to use is ‘Let your content be purpose driven’ but I think this one sums it all and better illustrates my intention. Yes, a passage of the Holy Bible says ‘As he thinketh in his heart, so he is’. It is what you do that will show what you are. When the publisher of PaulUkpabio blog approached me early in the year that he was starting this blog, he gave me a name that was a bit abstract. He called it ‘Nigerian Entertainment Blog’ and I asked him, ‘Sir, what do you want to project?’ that was the first question. Are you projecting the Nigerian Entertainment news society as a whole? Why did I ask that question? I know Mr. Ukpabio is a diehard personality encounter person. Like me, he loves encounters and he is not afraid to transcribe long, painstaking interviews. So, I told him, ‘Call the blog by your name and eyes will follow you’.

L-R; Paul Ukpabio, Alhaji Jamiu Abiola (Shetima Rasheed of Borno) and Gbenga Dan Asabe of Asabeafrika Blog
The Shetima Rasheed of Borno, Alhaji Jamiu Abiola in a close talk with the GDA of Asabeafrika

Yes, connect the content to your personality. A lot of people don’t know this fact till date but I will tell you today that gone are the days when the medium owned the news. In today’s news culture, the personality owns the news. They will ask you, where did you read the news and you will answer ‘Lindaikeji blog, BellaNaija or Asabeafrika. The entire process has changed, the culture has been altered. In blogging, it is all about you. What you do and how you do it. King Sunny Ade is very synonymous with Juju music, Fela Anikulapo Kuti is of the Afro beat music genre while Sikiru Ayinde  Barrister, Kollington Ayinla and K-One De Ultimate are of  Fuji Music brand. And when you hear Sir Shina Peters, you hear Afro-Juju. That is what is called connecting your content to you. If your name pops up on facebook or twitter or any other social media platform, let’s call you 1960blogspot; somebody should be able to know that you deal with hospitality business or something near hospitality. Your blog identity says your career identity.

“A lot of people don’t know this fact till date but I will tell you today that gone are the days when the medium owned the news. In today’s news culture, the personality owns the news. They will ask you, where did you read the news and you will answer ‘Lindaikeji blog, BellaNaija or Asabeafrika”.

The Students, Their Teachers & the VIPs

Know where to sell your content.  I have seen a lot of big people who told me they hated Facebook and can never do anything on Facebook. You hear words like ‘Facebook is for small kids, I am on twitter’. Or they tell you Facebook is not just for me any longer’. But in the long run, same people have come back in recent times to start marketing their activities on Facebook. In fact, some even showed off their wardrobes and shoe racks on Facebook, why? Because, Facebook is the largest online address in the world to transact any business.

Mr. Adedoyin Adeola, Vice President, Airtel delivers his Paper on 'How to use ICT to kill ignorance in Career and life style'
The Students & The Discussants

Don’t joke with the address you chose to sell your content. In blogging business, you might be in the wrong address; you might be in the right address. The statistics are just too staggering.  Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, then you won’t know a bit about the epistle of Facebook.  Facebook as it is today is the grandfather of all social media outlets out there. It has beat down all new comers and old starters hands down, including the Twitter insurgency, professional LinkedIn among many others.  Let us give you some little facts that makes Facebook the king of the jungle; Monthly active users on Facebook according to recent statistics is over a billion visit; One in 7.7 people in the world have a Facebook account; Daily active users are over 600 million-plus users. Monthly mobile users’ now over 650 million users with over 100 million monthly active users accessing Facebook from their mobile phones. Over half a billion photos are uploaded on Facebook globally, each day. 4.2 billion Likes and comments are generated on Facebook daily. Facebook hosts over 125 billion friendships worldwide with over 774 US patent rights and over 650 additional patents from Microsoft and other related brands. The opportunities are just too unlimited. Yes, you can be everywhere, twitter, Instagram, Youtube etc. But if you are not on Facebook, you are nowhere. In a nutshell, you must know where to sell your content.

Gbenga Dan Asabe of www.asabeafrika.com



The High Table for Guests

THANK YOU.   


Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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