You guys are in for a treat today. I recently met a remarkable young entrepreneur by the name of Bamidele Onibalusi or Oni as he is affectionately called who has been able to use his talent for writing and turn that into his main source of income. Below is a transcript of our interview. Enjoy!
Tayo Rockson: So basically, I came across your profile when I was looking for young entrepreneurs who were interested in doing something positive and I wanted to share what you are doing with my audience. I hope you don't mind.
Bamidele Onibalusi: Ok cool no problem at all.
TR: Can you tell us a little bit more about your background because like you I'm a young Nigerian and I like connecting with like minded individuals?
BO: Ok. I'm from Ibadan in Nigeria, I live around Apata. Are you familiar with Ibadan?
TR: I went to high school in Ibadan! Lifeforte International High School and one of my grandmas lives there.
BO: Great. I've lived my entire life in Ibadan. I'm currently 19 - will be 20 this December - and I've been blogging since 16; it was also around then that I discovered the internet.
TR: Gotcha! So what led you to want to become a blogger and can you describe how you got started?
BO: I lost my dad when I was 7 and I believe I suffered to some extent while growing up; my mum had 6 of us and it was a little challenging to take care of us all. In other words, I like to believe I've seen the hard side of life... people suffering... and as a result made up my mind that I'll be rich and successful when I grow up, without having to rely on or work for others.
When I was 16, someone came to my church and talked about the potential of an online business and how one can quickly become rich by having an online business. The person was going to give a seminar on forex marketing but due to several factors I couldn't attend; however, since then, I've realized the power of the internet and decided to do something. I started researching ways to make money online, and failing at it, until I discovered blogging.
My initial intention was to make money but blogging quickly became my passion, even to the extent that I blogged for 8 months without making anything, but it eventually became profitable; landing me on Forbes's website, a feature in an Italian magazine, the Guardian, The Nations and Tribune here in Nigeria.
TR: That's really amazing and Impressive! What a true testament to the human character when one is determined! I am so sorry to hear about your dad, that can't have been easy.
TR: You are vey welcome! This is a tough transition but how did you turn your blogging into a profitable business?
BO: Yeah, it wasn't planned; it was by accident. Since I wrote a lot of guest posts my blog started to become popular and I started getting requests to write for people even though I didn't advertise myself. That was how I decided to start offering my services as a freelance writer.
TR: Awesome! What advice can you offer anyone looking to start out blogging and ultimately becoming an entrepreneur?
BO: Belief in one's self and the tenacity; background and everything else does not matter if you set your heart to it.
TR: I couldn't agree with you more. So for someone looking to start out blogging what is first thing that one MUST do?
BO: The first thing is to know who your blog will serve; your ideal audience, as this will influence other decisions such as the name of your blog, your domain name etc.
TR: Good stuff. What else would you tell someone who wants to seriously get into blogging?
BO: It's all about the mindset. There are a series of steps one would have to take - like deciding on a topic, choosing a domain name, installing your blog, coming up with a content schedule, marketing your blog etc. - but the ultimate reality is that blogging won't initially be very rosy. One has to prepare for that, be ready to give it his/her all, before one actually gets started blogging.
TR: I can definitely attest to that. One thing I have found out is that discipline is a must. You have to decide how regularly you want to post blogs and then remain committed to that no matter what. What do you think?
BO: Exactly, discipline is important not only when starting, but to get results and to be able to sustain the business long term; it could be based on blogging but, ultimately, it's a business if one is doing it right.
TR: Definitely! We've talked about how you monetize your blog by offering your services. Are there any other things you are thinking of doing to monetize your blog?
BO: Yes, I'm working on my first premium ebook right now; it teaches people how to start a blog and then build a successful freelance writing business off it. I've finished writing it and plan to spend the next week or so revising it, before sending it to my editor to put the finishing touches on it. It'll be launching next month and will also be the first product I've launched since I've been blogging for the past 3 years; I believe this will result in a shift from being a mostly service-based business to being a mostly product-based business.
TR: That's great I really think you have a lot to offer so sharing your knowledge will definitely benefit a lot of people. I know I will be buying your ebook when it comes out.
BO: Thanks bro! :)
TR: Anytime! What about traffic? We haven't talked about that, how can one get traffic to their blog?
BO: Sure, while there are several ways, my favorite way is guest blogging; I use it in 3 ways 1) to directly get traffic 2) to improve my search engine rankings 3) to build my list
Eventually, everything revolves around building my list since I can always direct people who are my subscribers to my blog and my product whenever there's a need for it.
So, my main strategy is to guest blog for traffic and backlinks while I then funnel this traffic into building email subscribers for my list; I can then get in touch with my subscribers whenever I want and generate even more traffic.
TR: Wow that's really creative I like it! How can my audience find you or get in touch with you?
BO: I can be found mainly via my blog at http://www.writersincharge.com - I'll also encourage your audience to subscribe to my newsletter using any of the forms on the main page so I can get in touch with more information and actionable tips in the future. In return, they'll also get a free ebook.
TR: Ok Great! I will definitely do that also!
BO: Awesome. Thanks a lot :)
You can also follow him on Twitter. Here's his handle @youngprepro.