Hello readers, welcome to another edition of -CELEBRITY OF THE WEEK ON EB. This week we would be focusing on an Ex-model , Entrepreneur , Ace blogger , and Owner(founder) of one of the most visited sites(BLOGS) in Nigeria Today.
Some refer to her as “THE QUEEN OF BLOGGING” and others” Mother of blogging” I call her . Her blog talks about naija entertainment gist ,celebrity gossips ,fashion,news and events. She is highest paid Nigerian blogger . We talking about the popular LINDA IKEJI
Linda Ikeji was born September 19, 1980 . A native of Nkwerre LGA ,Imo State, Nigeria .She was born in to a struggling family, the second of seven children. She grew up in a christain catholic home .
At a tender age of 10 years , Linda started writing as a hobby .The fiction she penned down were praised by her friends and family and over time she cultivated a passion for news. Unlike many teenagers her age, Linda loved watching newscasters and interviews and by the time the opportunity presented to attend university in Lagos, her course choice was decided: Mass Communication.
She was admitted to study English Language in the university to her disappointment, but she decided to make the best of it. To support herself and her family through school, Linda began working at the age of 17, doing everything from being a waitress and ushering to modelling and bar-tending, none of which paid a lot in the late 90’s. She started modeling in 1998 and quit in 2005 .fashion columnist for a struggling celebrity magazine. After two years of toiling in the news room, she quit.
She began her advent into entertainment as a striving model while in UNILAG. She modeled for several brands, including the ‘Rose of Sharon’ label owned by former President of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) and Nigerian billionaire and oil tycoon, Folorunsho Alakija. She took to modeling at only 17 featuring in some of the most glamorous fashion shows in the country. Talk about St Moritz Style Selection, she was there. She has also been to ECOFEST and done several out door advertisements.
“I’d leave lectures, go to a hotel and sell beer from 1 pm till 10 pm. I did this for a few months. It wasn’t easy but I had to survive”.
In 2004 , after she completed her university education, she worked hard to break into the journalism trade, launching her media company, Black dove Communications, a modelling agency and events management outfit. The name Black dove was inspired by silverbird..a name and a bird. it so happens that her favourite colour is black and favourite bird is the dove.
She stayed within her comfort zone which was modeling so instead of being in front of the camera , went behind the camera by running an agency, recruiting models, training models, getting jobs for models. I still have the modeling agency but I am not running it anymore . She also started what she describes in her first ever blog post as her “true passion”, her magazine called, FM & B. The first issue was released in 2006 and after discovering how capital-intensive and time-consuming magazine publishing was, only two more editions made it to print.
The blogging bug bit her in 2006. Fortunately, in that same year, Bella Naija, another popular Nigerian blog, carried a story about Linda herself and for the first time, Linda began to see a new possibility to take her writing to the world. Blogging had all the charm: it was free except for the cost of an internet connection, easy to do and gave you access to millions of readers instantly. From that first Bella Naija blog post, she was sold.
Linda Ikeji started blogging fully in 2007 to share things that she was interested in with her readers. Five years later, www.lindaikeji.blogspot.com has grown to be one of the most visited sites in the country. As a regular source for news, entertainment, celebrity gist, gossip and many more, her blog continues to attract thousands of visitors
“I was getting like 200 visits a day and for me then, it was a big deal, honestly. Now I’m getting like 50,000 visits a day from up to 180 countries.”
It took her four years to start making money from blogging. She was patient enough
“I never even thought that I would make money from blogging. I didn’t start blogging with the mindset that one day I would make money from it. I didn’t even think that was a possibility, it never even crossed my mind. I didn’t say to myself that OK let me blog now and maybe in five years time, I will make money from it. I never imagined that it would ever happen. In fact, in 2008, 2009, I was putting free ads on my blog, I was telling my blog readers, please give me your ads and I will put them for free. But then in 2010, people started asking me for my advert rates and I was like ‘really?’ I didn’t even know what it was until I now asked a few people and they gave me their own advert rates so that is how it started.”
She has acquired two brand new cars, her dream car -a 2008 Toyota Camry which she bought two years ago a 2011 ‘Been dreaming about this car since I first saw it two years ago, was finally able to afford it two days ago, after saving for almost four months. And the best part is, I have a blog to show it off, at least now some people go no say ‘levels don change’ lol.’, she wrote.
Recently acquired an Infinity FX 35 SUV worth about N8 million.Being a wonderful child to her parents , she bought a multi-million 5-bedroom duplex in Surulere for her parents. I can say that her she has changed the lives of her family.
Linda Ikeji has earned herself the title ‘Queen of Blogging’ . Linda was persistent , focused on what she did even though there was no financial return but five years later it has yielded great profit , a talk of all. She found a new path , Blogging . But she persisted until 2010, when some of the stories posted on her blog began to ruffle feathers. At a point, Linda averaged about 1 million unique visitors each month to her blog. And with that came the much-needed recognition and substantial earnings. In August 2012, Forbes Africa described her as a success and a case study for the business of blogging.
Talking about her personal life , Linda is single and searching .Well she hasn’t found her My ideal man must be a decent guy, God fearing, good looking and must be able to support what I do. I mean very supportive. She says she cant date someone younger than her. She also reveals that she can marry someone who doesn’t earn as much as she does giving the reason that
“How many young men make the kind of money I make? If I’m waiting for somebody who earns more than I earn, I might probably be doing it for a while. There are a lot of guys who earn more than I earn but if I meet someone who earns less than myself, that is fine, as long as he has his own money. But not like a jobless guy, no, that will not happen.”
Her blog gets over 50,000 visits daily and is a hot spot for online advertisers and people wishing to attract web traffic to their websites or blogs. Comments on Linda’s blog can be revealing, interesting and more controversial than the post itself.
She’s also a motivational writer. Linda has written a couple of motivational books. “I don’t like speaking, I only enjoy writing which has positively affected my blog. I do my motivational talks through my blog.”
Linda’s blog reportedly rakes in an average of N3m a month from adverts from various brands and online ad networks, which makes her the highest earning blogger in Nigeria. Blogging has brought her the fame , power and comfort ability she needed.
Now sitting comfortably in the millionaires’ lounge , one of the youngest millionaires in Nigeria.
The passion and the love she has for blogging has kept her going while making her earnings.
In summary ,Linda Ikeji is open minded ,down to earth , persistent, hardworking and a role model to many youths today. Her Grass To Grace story is that of inspiration to Many both in Nigeria and Globally. Thousand hoping to be like her on their own terms.
Lessons to learn
1. Nothing good comes easy.
2.When you add dedication to passion with a little mix of good fortune you’re most likely to have a success story.
3. Find what you love doing and do it well .
In one of her numerous interviews she said
To all the young girls out there, if you’re reading this, you can make it on your own. You don’t need to spread your legs for men; you don’t need these old married men who just take your glory. You’re strong, you’re beautiful, there’s nothing you can’t achieve on your own. God has given you something no one else has. Find what it is and build yourself. Don’t worry about what other girls around you have. Dignity is far more valuable than a range rover. Make it in life on your own terms and as your own woman, so that you can look back one day and be proud of who you were and who you are. I wish every one well in their journey.