How Linda Ikeji inspired a new generation of bloggers
About 15 years ago, blogging jobs were not as popular as they have become today in Nigeria. Back then, blogs were mostly perceived as personal online diaries. Today, this perception has changed. More Nigerians now consider blogging jobs to be lucrative and infinitely promising.
The question then becomes, what changed? One of the biggest factors that heavily impacted the fate of blogging jobs and careers in Nigeria was the emergence of Linda Ikeji and what she represents. Ikeji, a former model, has been nothing short of phenomenal as made manifest in the level of success she has enjoyed as a blogger.
This article will dwell on critical moments, experiences and incidents in Ikeji’s career that helped take blogging jobs from obscurity to being seen as a popular source of income in Nigeria.
Her rags-to-riches story
Linda began creative writing when she was just 10 years old. She worked on her writing skills and continually improved throughout her schooling. She graduated from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) where she studied English, a course that was well aligned with her passion for writing.
While Linda was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth, her limitations did not deter her from achieving her dreams. She worked hard to see herself through school as well as to support her family. In a bid to pay her way through school, she once got a part-time job as a waitress, model and writer.
Blogging for Linda started as nothing more than a hobby. She could not afford to pay for a private internet connection and had to rely on public internet providers known as cyber cafes.
Today her blog has around 7 million page views per day and its popularity continues to grow; with 1.57 million Twitter followers and 1,150,127 following her Instagram account.
Consistency and passion soon got Linda noticed. In 2014, She emerged as the biggest Google Search trend in Nigeria. This is no mean feat, considering such popularity requires recognition as a household name. She soon became such a buzz in the industry that BBC did a piece on her on its Focus on Africa programme
Linda Ikeji has been recognised internationally on a number of occasions and this has further inspired more Nigerians towards the power of blogging jobs.
In 2012, Forbes Africa dedicated a month’s issue to celebrating African women. In the issue in question, Forbes profiled Africa’s 20 Most Prominent Women and Linda was one of the two young Nigerian women who got profiled.
Concerned by the rising level of unemployment in relation to available talent, Linda Ikeji set up a mentorship programme dubbed ‘I’d Rather Be Self-Made.’ For the first arm of her pet project, she picked 15 beneficiaries and released N10 million to them to start their businesses. In the course of expanding her brand, Linda also hired bloggers to service her new businesses.
There have been heated debates over how much Linda is officially worth. The fact that she has never come out to declare her assets or how much she is worth makes it even more difficult to accurately find out how much she is truly worth. According to Wealth Result, Linda Ikeji is worth N3.2 billion.
Her philanthropic projects
Owning a blog that earns her millions of Naira monthly has also helped Linda set up a non-profit project. In an interview, she revealed that through the project, she offers a helping hand to young girls who are aged 16–25 and have great business ideas and are willing to venture into entrepreneurship. To encourage the girls, Linda gave out N10 million in the first phase of the project.
Inspiring blogging jobs
Linda Ikeji’s accomplishments and her unprecedented rise to fame remain one of the biggest sources of inspiration to a new generation of bloggers. The peak of this was when she unveiled her Banana Island home on her blog.
At the time she acquired the mansion in 2015, it was valued at N500 million (Currently valued at N750 million). The fact that she was 35 when she achieved this feat fueled the desire of millions of her fans to become successful; with many going ahead to launch their blogs.
On several occasions, Linda has encouraged Nigerians to strive to become empowered, which has resulted in the birth of more blogging jobs across the Nigerian cyberspace.
Linda’s strategy is simple, she does not hold back when speaking about her achievements and how she spends her money. For instance, she has no problems talking about how she bought a car for N70 million. What makes her case interesting is that rather than bragging, she cites these achievements as reference points when encouraging Nigerians to develop themselves and go after their dreams.
“I bought a car worth N70 million and I have made a lot of investments that will set me up for life. … I didn’t come from a rich home and if I told you some of the things I have been through… The many nights I went without food; you wouldn’t believe me. So, yes, I know what poverty is. I faced the same fear. I went through the same desperate situation that many Nigerians find themselves struggling with today. I faced the same sense of hopelessness. At 17, I decided that I wanted to be somebody in life. I wanted to succeed on my own terms. I was going to fulfil my life’s ambitions by myself; of course with the help of God.”
Over the years, blogging jobs in Nigeria have morphed into other job titles though with the same objective; to make a blog popular. In recent times, blogging jobs are offered with titles like a creative writer, content writer, content resource person and other related job titles.
Have you ever thought of taking up a blogging career instead of what you currently do for a living?