Module 4-: This is Part 4 of the series i started few days ago titled: “How to start a blog for FREE and make money.”

The dream of every Nigerian blogger is to become an authority in whatever niche they choose and ultimately fetch decent profits consistently from their blog. Well, that’s a good goal; and a realistic one.

However, becoming a trusted authority in your niche takes a lot of time and effort. People will not trust you overnight. You have to build that trust and authority over time. And once you have successfully achieved that, making money from your audience becomes very easy.

Now, how do you position yourself as a Nigerian authority in your niche? Here are five tips on how to achieve that:

How to Position Yourself as an Authority in Your Niche

1. Offer value consistently

People are searching the web for only two types of valuable information: entertaining information and educative information.

Those searching for entertaining information want blog posts that can really blow their minds and keep them refreshed. And those searching for educative information want valuable blog posts presenting authentic facts and details that answer their burning questions and solve their problems.

If you really want to attract attention and build trust online, you must consistently offer either or both types of information. This will make people follow your religiously and deem you a trustworthy expert and authority in your niche.

However, you must bear in mind that your content—no matter how valuable—must be rendered for free for a long time. This is the only way to build trust over time. People only buy from someone they know or trust.

2. Be helpful and interactive

No matter how detailed or valuable the information you share on your blog might be, your blog readers will always have questions. And they will always request for your assistance in many other ways.

The shortcut to becoming a trusted authority in your niche is to be of help anyone who needs your help. Respond to comments on your blogs and reply to your readers’ emails. And be quick to offer any other form of assistance your readers might request of you. This will make them even more loyal to your blog.

Most Nigerian bloggers don’t respond to comments on their blogs, and that’s quite silly. While you don’t have to reply all comments (many really need no reply), always reply those that are questions or requests. This way, your readers will feel more encouraged to interact on your blog, and this will grow your blog in the long term.

3. Be practical and transparent

People appreciate bloggers that offer practical tips and are transparent. Don’t hold back any information that you deem valuable. Give it all out, and people will love and trust you the more. In addition, be honest with the information you will share on your blog. People already know you are human and are not perfect. So, feel free to share not only your successes, but also your errors.

However, you must bear in mind, too, that there are ethical and unethical sides to blogging. Share only ethical information. Adopt ethical blog marketing strategies, and be ethical in your dealings with your readers. That’s the only way to build trust and have peace of mind.

4. Market the hell out of your blog

When you are just starting out, nobody knows your blog. The saying, “Build it and they’ll come” used to relevant back in the earliest days of blogging. Now, you need to devote a lot of time to promoting your blog if you really want it to be noticed and since visitors will never come to your blog naturally, you need to proactively seek them by aggressively marketing and promoting your blog.

Even if you offer invaluable or highly entertaining content, you won’t attract traffic if no one knows your blog exists. And the only way to make people know it exists is to market it using various strategies.

There are many ways to promote your blog—from simple to complex, from free to expensive, and from those that bring instant results to those that bring long-term results.

You can start by publishing astounding and valuable guest posts on authority blogs in your niche. Since you will be allowed to introduce your blog in the author bio, readers who find your post interesting will curiously visit your blog. And that’s a smart way to “steal” visitors from other blogs in your niche.

Another smart way to promote your blog is to visit online forums often visited by your target audience. Create valuable posts and discussions, and discreetly promote your blog in your signature box. With time, you will attract more and more visitors from those forums to your blog.

Social media is another effective avenue for blog promotion. Create profiles for your blog on all major social media platforms and start sharing “sharable” updates that will ultimately attract people to your blog. Publish guest posts on high-traffic, authority blogs in your niche to attract readers to your content. And adopt paid marketing strategies if you can adopt that.

Paid advertising is another very badass blog promotion strategy. Advertise your blog using Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, and your investment will pay back itself in the long term.

5. Be unique

To become an authority in your niche, you need to have a voice of your own. And your blogs needs to have a unique touch that makes it stand out from others. No matter what niche you are going into, chances are there are already some blogs in that niche.

People won’t take you seriously if you are publishing the same old content that they have read on a hundred other blogs. And if your blog isn’t different from the other blogs they follow, they will have no strong reasons to favor yours over those. If you are starting a blog with the aim of paraphrasing the same old content that people have read umpteen times, no one will find your blog interesting.

To really boost your chances of success, you need to give people strong reasons to visit your new blog instead of others. And you need to add a unique touch to your content and every other aspect of your blog to make it stand out from the rest. Let your personality flow through your posts. And let your blog look professional and unique. These will help establish you as an authority in your niche.

People want new tips, new gist, new tricks, new opinions, new voices, new ideas, new products, and so on. If you can bring something interesting new to the table, people will follow your blog religiously, and you will become a successful blogger within a short period.

How to Become the Number One Blogger in your Niche in 3 Years

It took Linda Ikeji about four years of consistent blogging to rise to the top of the blogging game in Nigeria. That’s enough proof that you cannot become a successful blogger overnight.

If someone had told you that all you need to succeed as a blogger is to set up a simple blog on a free platform (such as Blogger or WordPress) and publish posts consistently for some days or weeks, then you’ve been badly misinformed! Becoming a successful blogger is requires much more than that.

Now, you don’t have to blog for up to four years before achieving success at blogging. There are now lots of information, resources, and tools that can help you achieve that dream within a much shorter period. We have seen bloggers who built high-traffic, profit-raking blogs within one year. And you too can achieve the same.

Becoming the number one blogger in Nigeria in three years is quite realistic. But to achieve that goal you will need to put in a lot of time, energy, effort, and money. And you need to know exactly how to play your cards right. Here are five tips that can help you become Nigeria’s most successful blogger in three years:

a. Choose the right niche

Your first step towards becoming a successful blogger is to choose the right niche for your blog. Your niche, in case you are new to this, is the topic or field that you will be focusing your blog on. There are many factors to consider when choosing a niche for your blog.

Your niche must be one you are passionate about. If you are not passionate about the topic you are blogging on, you will soon lose interest—especially when you start facing the harsh challenges that new bloggers usually complain about, such as low traffic, competition, and so on. Passion is what keeps you going in the face of these challenges until you start to see positive results.

In addition, your niche must be in huge demand. That is, your chosen topic must be one that a large number of Nigerians are interested in or desperately searching for. Examples of hot topics that Nigerians are massive following online at the moment include entertainment and celebrity news and gist, soccer news and gist, how to make money online, how to travel abroad easily, and so on.

Finally, your niche must be profitable. That is, your chosen topic must be able to attract either an audience that is ready to pay for information and other products you offer, or a good number of advertisers. This is the only way to make huge profits in the long term.

b. Be consistent

Consistency is one of the major reasons behind the successes of most six-figure bloggers. Successful Nigerian bloggers like Linda Ikeji, Chude Jideonwo, and Uche Pedro publish new and exciting posts every day.

Being consistent helps you keep your readers glued to your blog. It makes them know when to expect your new blog posts. And it makes them take you as an expert—since it is generally believed that it’s only an expert that can churn out volumes of information consistently on a single topic without running out of ideas.

How to Make People Especially Nigerians Become Addicted to Your Blog

The most difficult thing to get on the internet is people’s attention. People have too many things on their minds and too many things begging for their attention.

Worse, the internet abounds with thousands of blogs offering the same type of information that you offer on your blog. All these explain why your blog attracts few visits, and when it does, the few people who stumble on your blog never check back. Only few things could frustrate a blogger more such situation.

Each time you wonder why your blog gets pitiable traffic, chances are you also wonder why blogs like Linda Ikeji’s blog, Bella Naija, and other popular Nigerian blogs attract massive traffic every day. You wonder why many Nigerians deem their day incomplete without visiting these blogs. And you wonder if your blog can ever reach that level.

The truth is that your blog can also attract repeat visits from Nigerians. In fact, you too can make Nigerians become addicted to your blog. Here are five tips that can help you achieve that:

1. Be fun

If there’s anything that separates Linda Ikeji’s blog from the rest; that has to be the fun she injects in her blog posts. Most of her posts, though short, are presented creatively in a way that leaves the reader refreshed after reading them. It’s either you laugh or respond in another fun way. And that’s why her blog is so addictive.

So, you have to present information to your readers in a way that they will find interesting. Nigerians—like other internet users—have very short attention spans, so you need to keep your posts as brief as possible except there is need for extensive explanations.

And you must write clearly and in a simple way that anyone can understand. No one in interested in big grammar. If you are loaded with words like flabbergasted, gesticulation, undulation, and so on, you’d better save those for your PhD thesis; they don’t work online—they repel people from your blog, instead.

2. Tailor your information to Nigerians

Why should Nigerians visit your tech blog when there are blogs like Engadget, Techradar, and Techcrunch? Why should they visit your health blog when there are online health resources like WebMD, Medline, and Mayo Clinic?

You need to give Nigerians strong reasons why they should visit your blog instead of established and reputable blogs and websites in your niche. And no reason could be stronger than having content that is catered specifically to Nigerians.

For example, if WebMD would publish a post on the foods that can help with weight loss, most foods in that list would be either unavailable or uncommon in Nigeria. And none of the common foods in our country would make the list. That’s why such websites could be of little use to Nigerians at times.

However, a health blog that lists Nigerian foods that help with weight loss will attract more Nigerians who want to lose weight. Why? Because such a blog caters to them, understands their environment, and speaks their language.

3. Update frequently and consistently

Another reason why blogs like Linda Ikeji’s blog, Bella Naija, and other popular Nigerian blogs are so successful is that they are updated daily. Visitors to these blogs know they will always find something new each day, so they check back every day.

Now, it’s not a must that you publish something new every day. However, let your posting interval be close. Once in every two or three days is fine. But more importantly; be consistent. If you publish new posts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, stick with that schedule, so that your visitors will get accustomed to checking your blog on those days. If you are blogging at unpredictable intervals and are inconsistent, your blog will not attract loyal followers.