How I Pulled Off Mobility Blog In A Country Like Nigeria

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Ololade Otayemi runs a tech startup that manufactures the Orbra range of mobile devices. We “met” online some weeks back and got chatting. One of the very first questions he asked me was this:

Question of life - Mobility

How did you pull this off – Mobility – especially in a country like this?

Here is the story.

What fascinates people – and something which I believe Ololade alluded to – is the sheer number of mobile reviews that we provide on Mobility. No other Nigerian online resource – tech or otherwise – comes close. I understand why armchair blogging thrives here: a blogger spends more money when they have to run around or purchase the stuff required to have hands-on experiences with the subjects of their blogs. We have over 2,700 published posts, and many of them are of real hands-on time with mobile devices, not just launch announcements and theoretical postulations about those devices as obtains on most other tech blogs in this environment.

I would buy a high-end smartphone for N80,000, review it for three weeks and then put it up for sale. Guess how much buyers want to pick it up for? N40,000. “It has been used,” they say. Even when it is a low end phone that I buy for say N25,000. After four weeks, no-one wants to buy it for N18,000. That kind of cycle takes its toll. I have had to find ingenious ways around it in order to keep Mobility.ng going. My point? If you want to do blogging, it will take its toll on you – and for many years too.

Does Mobility.ng make any money? Sure; it does. But most of it is irregular and isn’t huge. Do you want to know how I got this far? Pssst. Move closer. Closer… Good. Here are some of the stuff that I have had to do to keep the Mobility dream going.

Getting My Hands Dirty

I have run a phone delivery service and personally driven hundreds of kilometres to deliver some of those phones. We once tried our hands at stocking phones and a sudden drop in market prices left us with useless stock that we had to sell for peanuts and at a loss. We have run into other hitches, and in one or two cases, have customers who will swear that we left a bad taste in their mouths. We have hit a wall with the phone sales thing, and I have backed out for now. Who knows what tomorrow brings? Maybe we shall pick it up again. On one or two occasions, I have used my personal car as a cab just to put some cash in my pocket to meet my obligations. I have taught classes to earn some cash to fill in the gap during hard times. As you already know, I write and speak too. There is dignity in labour. I do what I have to do to keep my dream alive. Mobility.ng is my dream, and whether it generates my dream income yet or not, I will keep it alive. Oh, I have also applied for one or two advertised job positions in the last two years or so.

Don’t Believe The Hype

Are you still with me? Blogging is not a fast track to wealth. Perhaps Nigeria’s most successful blogger is Linda Ikeji. It took her several years to hit it big. Her story is not one of a quick rise to wealth. Don’t believe the hype. I have been blogging since 2005, I have run Mobility.ng since 2008, and as huge as this blog is now, it isn’t there yet. It is not churning in tons of cash yet. Here’s another secret: most of those guys who show you a $2,000 cheque from Google AdSense? Ask them how long it took them to accumulate that cheque and how often that kind of figure comes in.

Years ago, there was the hype about making huge money online. I remember one gentleman who was making a lot of noise about how he was earning millions online. I wasn’t making millions online then (though I was running one of Nigeria’s most successful webhosts), and yet I drove a decent car while he jumped bikes. Today, no-one seems to know where he is. He is gone, as are all the others of his kind. Today, the hype is about making quick millions from blogging. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Blogging has suddenly become very fashionable. Everyone has a blog, which isn’t a bad thing. What is amusing to me is how a lot of young folks are jumping into blogging because someone has sold them the lie that it is their sure and easy channel to wealth. Let me be straight up with you: if you start blogging for any reason other than love or passion, you may be in for a shock. To use the words of a gentleman whose story I read recently, blogging is hardly a lucrative profession. You need a huge traffic base which cannot be built until after years of dedication, tons of money spent and lots of hard knocks. Very few blogs will hit that mark.

Perhaps you can understand why many people start blogs and then shut it down after a few years. They find out that it isn’t the avenue to quick wealth that they assumed it was, so they pack it up. If you want to blog as a business, please don’t believe the hype. Like any other business, it requires passion and heavy investments of various resources. You have to love what you do and be willing to push hard. If you do, eventually, the financial returns will come. But the path to success is not a straight line up. Have a look at this:

Path To Success

Sucess - what it looks like

That image on the right depicts what the path to success really looks like. There is a lot of meandering. The question is, do you want it bad enough to stay at it?

Mobility.ng is a national pride, as far as I am concerned. We receive correspondence from people all over the world who are amazed at the quality and quantity of content that is here. It didn’t happen because I was after a quick buck. It happened because I have a passion and I am willing to get my hands dirty to make that dream come true. Now, you know. Running Mobility.ng may look glamorous from the sidelines, but it is often a painstaking, brutal process from behind the scenes. There is nothing glamorous about it from where I stand. Or sit. In the meantime, I will keep doing what I am good at, and what I have been doing for years – churning out the awesome content that has kept this blog growing.

Will Mobility.ng eventually make me rich? You bet. We have traffic that grows from month to month, and more brands and agencies making enquiries. Our reputation precedes us almost everywhere we go. I am going to get stinking rich running this blog. You can take that to the bank. Long live the Mobility dream!

  1. Thank you MR. MO for this piece, it is hard fact. All these make tons of money with a blog are ways of defrauding innocent but gullible people on the net. Success path is tough and it take tough minded people to reach freedom. I have a blog but I did not expect it to bring a ton of cash any day, it just to share some wisdom I have learn t over time.

  2. Exactly that’s the Spirit’ just in Addition,what i Actually Deduced is that….in Whatsoever upkeeps we found ourselves doing Our Uniqueness’ will enventually Stands us out amidst the multitude also Dogged Determinaton can never be over emphasised! Peace

  3. In fact I wish every Tom, Dick and Harry nigerian blogger out there could read this cos all I seem to see that in the local blogoshere is recycled copy and paste content with no trace of individual style or personality from the person pushing the ‘Post’ button.

    Long live Mobility.ng

  4. Still wondering why Mobility is not using Google adsense to make money. Well, I think Mobility would also have the option of making more money by actually having a mobile phone retail store like Slot or Tecno does. I guess that would also require some substantial capital.

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