by Isi Esene
The Terra-kulture in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos, was agog with new media enthusiasts who wanted to unravel the secrets of blogging from top bloggers and internet personalities who headlined the #TFAMasterClass.
The programme was facilitated by successful online personalities like Chude Jideonwo, Linda Ikeji, Japheth Omojuwa, Noble Igwe, Cheta Nwanze, and Ediong Umoh.
Ikeji and Omojuwa manage successful eponymous websites; Noble Igwe works with 360Nobs.com; Cheta gravitates towards the technology of the internet and is associated with the Daily Times, Nigeria; Ediong is the founder of the NigeriaNewsdesk platform, while Chude Jideonwo is the promoter and principal driver of The Future Nigeria Project.
All the facilitators spoke on diverse topics which was meant to make the #TFAMasterClass’ participants get a well-rounded knowledge to become better and more effective bloggers as they progress in the relatively new vocation.
Cheta Nwanze lectured on the need to get the blogging technology right; Japheth Omojuwa spoke passionately about building an online personality; Noble Igwe, on the methods of pulling audiences online and offline; Ediong Umoh beamed his spotlight on the irrelevance of location in establishing a successful blogsite; Chude Jideonwo highlighted the importance of maintaining standards and journalistic integrity, while ace-blogger, Linda Ikeji lectured on the subject of talent and passion which she said was important in starting her blog business.
Cheta Nwanze who started the discussions highlighted the increase in the number of Nigerians using online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkdIn and others.
He also spoke on how to drive online traffic by utilizing mailing lists, crowdsourcing, and the use of available social media platforms to propagate content.
Ediong Umoh, founder of NigeriaNewsdesk, who spoke on the topic ‘Location is not relevant‘, said aspiring bloggers need to find their niche, establish what the people want, and explore ways of supplying them with relevant resources.
He explained that one does not need to be physically present in particular locations to source for news provided one is armed with the relevant digital tools for effective news-sourcing.
Japheth Omojuwa, who spoke on ‘How to build an online personality,’ explained that his online influence is proportional to the increase in his financial status. He urged the participants to strategize and take time to build a consistent online brand and stick to it.
He said self-competition is the healthiest form of competition. “You do not have any competition; your only competition is yourself. All you need is to be better that what you are yesterday instead of competing with someone else,” he said.
In his usual brusque manner, he continued by saying, “You need to be obsessed about whatever you do; that’s the only way to succeed.”
Omojuwa specifically emphasized on the need to create value which will attract traffic to your brand whenever your resource is needed.
“Nobody will follow you if you are not making sense,” he emphasized.
The promoter of 360Nobs, Noble Igwe, was all business when he spoke about pulling audiences online and offline. He started by preparing the participants’ minds that there is no guaranteed way to achieve success in blogging.
He however enumerated some concepts which aspiring bloggers must imbibe to succeed. He mentioned key attributes like strength, topic, speed to market, push, and consistency.
He explained the concepts saying the blog niche and content must be attractive, one must find a way to push content to the public as quickly as possible, and bloggers must remain consistent in projecting their brand persona.
Mr. Chude Jideonwo, who was the lead facilitator and promoter of The Future Project was all charm and wit as he made his well researched presentation on the need to maintain standards in the blogging profession.
He explained that the reason there seems to be some form of disinformation on social media is because “it is a new medium which has to go through its cycles of self-correction”.
He argued that even established and well respected traditional media such as CNN make embarrassing blunders, therefore it should be understood when new media also make occasional mistakes.
Chude clarified his position further saying, “Most bloggers are not ab-initio professionals, therefore it is a profession that one needs to grow into”.
He concluded by revealing some success nuggets which he advised participants to observe in order to grow their reputations as bloggers.
These tools for maintaining standards include; good grammar, accuracy, humility in accepting mistakes, correction, creativity, consistency, self-imposed limitation when in doubt of news authenticity, and observance of extant copyright laws.
The last speaker of the day brought in a girl-next-door persona to her delivery by choosing to speak extempore.
Linda Ikeji who is arguably Nigeria’s number one blogger traced her history in blogging and revealed the many challenges she had to overcome to become the established blogger that she is.
Ikeji revealed that her consistency over the years is what gave her the edge. She spoke about her passion for the vocation and the time and sacrifice she puts into making her blog a success.
She said: “What worked for me was the passion which gives me an opportunity to put my personality in the blog. Everything on my blog is 100 per cent me because of my passion for it”.
When questioned about the financial benefits which accrues from blogging, she declared that, “Not many people can make money from blogging, but believe me, there is money to be made”.
All the facilitators agreed on the fact that consistency is the key to being a successful blogger and the need to be unique… not trying to be someone else.
The question and answer session was educative and all the participants were unanimous in their assessment of the quality and timeliness of the #TFAMasterClass to their blogging aspirations.
The #TFAMasterClass was sponsored by The Future Nigeria Project as an intervention programme to empower young minds in reaching their maximum potential in whatever vocation they choose.
Click HERE to see the #TFAMasterClass photos.