5 Steps to being a successful Naija blogger, by Wale Bakare

Woman on computer blogging

In these days of wailing and ever decreasing hailing, Nigerians, the youth especially, are getting more and more creative in bringing ends closer together, even if they are not meeting yet. One of the ways in which they are doing this, thanks to the increasingly cheap availability of data is through the internet. Whether it is blogging, vlogging, or slogging (regularly exhibiting stupidity through making comments that don’t make sense on every post), Nigerians own cyberspace. To however stand out from the multitude, you must be outstanding. I hereby offer you five pieces of advice (unsolicited quite alright but I’ll offer them anyway) to making tons of money through social media.

1 Be female

This might sound a bit obtuse to some of you, especially the male readers. It is not so. Think about it! How many successful male bloggers do you know? And before you go thinking it’s too late to dispose of that inconvenient appendage standing between you and fame and fortune, think again. ‘Be female’ is an active command. If you have not been naturally endowed with the appropriate body parts, create your own. Michael can become Michelle. Simon can always be Simone and for my more native menfolk, Nureni is not too far from Nina. Just remember, the name you pick must be exotic. Do not replace Muniru with Nimota

A change in nomenclature is however not the same as a change in gender. You have to engage in some physical alterations as well. The first step is a melanin makeover. A crossover, dark-skinned blogger will die of starvation. You will not attract a following. Men, like moths, are attracted to shiny objects. Women also desire to be shiny (to attract men and other blessings). They will follow you to know the secret of your success. The darker you were before the makeover and the lighter afterwards, the more successful you will be. Don’t stop at the physical metamorphosis. You have to be girlie. Learn the mannerisms. Pick needless quarrels with other women. Never be seen without pouting.

For more useful tips on how to ‘Be female’, read the definitive bible on the subject, ‘Taking Risks’ by Bob Risky.

2 Discard shame

Now, this is crucial. This step is extremely important and a failure in this will mark an early termination of your blogging career. Do not, I repeat, do not keep your ‘shame’ somewhere that you might be able to retrieve it later. You have to incinerate it. You must cross the Rubicon. All thoughts of the hurt done to the feelings of friends and family or even future generations should be of no concern to you. Nothing goes for nothing and in this cutthroat business, only the most shameless survive.

You are however quite lucky in your choice of country to be shameless in. No country loves the shameless like Nigeria. We embrace our shameless and celebrate them. And we also have extremely fickle memories. While your exhibition of shamelessness might seem unbelievable at first glance and the few that have not come to terms with their Nigerianness might think “how is she going to survive this”, your army of moronic followers will already be all over social media justifying your insanity (and driving more traffic to your page). Before you know it, someone will ‘outshameless’ you and your indiscretions will be forgotten. A senator might climb a tree or release a video of himself dancing and singing in a swimming pool surrounded by underage girls. Just be comfortable in the knowledge that “this too shall pass”!

For more information on killing the ‘shame’ holding down your destiny, read the bestseller, ‘Climbing the Tree of Shame to Success’ by Dino Melaye

3 Get involved in a scandal

Scandals are the tools of your trade and what better way is there to ensure you never run short of scandals to blog about than to be involved in them yourself. If you cannot find an ongoing or ready-made scandal to insert yourself in, create one from scratch. It is easier than you think and the juiciness of your scandal will be directly related to the extent you have been able to succeed in step 2. If you have not fully fulfilled the requirement of burying shame, you might have a problem proceeding beyond this step. So, how do you create a scandal?

Remember, sex sells. If you needed me to tell you that, you might want to ask yourself if you are really cut out for this business. Your scandal should ideally have some element of sex in it. Naïve enough to think a certificate forgery or getting arrested by EFCC for corruption qualifies as scandal, then you are truly a learner. If you are old enough to remember the Toronto brouhaha, you will know why I say a certificate scandal is a non-issue. A more recent example is the fact a dancing telly tubby could still become Governor in Osun.

Go to a club that is a favourite of other bloggers or get yourself invited to a celebrity’s party. Get drunk (or pretend to be) and kiss another girl on the mouth or dance very intimately with the celebrant or his friend, and make sure everyone sees you. When asked if you are a lesbian or if you are sleeping with the celebrity, just roll your eyes and say “I cannot comment on that”. Sit back and see the numbers of your followers jump to triple figures. The ultimate though is to either be caught in the act or releasing actual details of your sexcapades yourself. This may involve details of your preferred proclivities or descriptions of the anatomy of your partner or ex-husband and father of your child.

A good resource for this is the classic by Tonto Dikeh titled ‘Zero to Hero in 40 seconds’.

4 Fake it till you make it

Everyone loves success stories. People want to be able to believe that they too can hit it big. The way and manner they will hit it is not always very clear but they know that they serve a very big God who is poised to transfer the wealth of the unbeliever to them. Power must change hands and your story must inspire that. You need to show you are making it already. You should take pictures of yourself leaning against expensive cars. The G-Wagon never fails to impress. Flash a lot of designer logos. Pictures don’t tell the full story behind anything. Find a Gucci logo from somewhere and stitch it on anything you wear. Let people know your favourite designer is Gucci. Caption your picture as “Village girl now rocking Gucci. Small girl, big God” and see wonders. They will hail you and use you as a prayer point.

Never be caught dead on the Mainland even if you live in Bariga. The ‘Island’ is your hood. Monkey Island, Ogogoro Island, who cares? Take a picture in front of a building nearing completion and caption it “My God is always faithful to finish what He has started.” Do not say any more than that. Let your minions draw their own conclusions. A few months later, go back to the same building and take another picture of the finished job and caption it “Thank you, Father”. Do not ever say “This is my house”! The repercussions could be serious (unless that is part of your game plan for a scandal in achieving step 3).

For clarity on this step and to avoid unintended consequences, read the long essay written by Blessing CEO and titled ‘Building Something on Nothing; My True Story’.

5 Get married and have a baby

If you were not female from the beginning and had to ‘Be Female’ (as in step 1) for the purpose of your blogging career, this fifth step might prove to be a bit of a challenge. However, if Risky is your second name, I’m sure you will find a way round it. This step requires you to get married. This is very important if you had a semi-successful career as a Nollywood actress, complete with all the stories that go with it (only God knows the truth. Who are we to judge?). Usually, this notoriety or infamy attracts a lot of attention from two groups of gentlemen – those with containers on the high seas who also dream of being Executive Producers of Nollywood movies, and those whose work tools are a laptop, unlimited data, and a preference to work at night and sleep during the day.

Don’t let a little matter of an inability or unwillingness of your chosen spouse to pay for the wedding be a hindrance. Foot the entire bill yourself, including the cost of the special oil for his beard and that of his group of friends. Consider it a business investment. Have a baby with him (whether it takes 40 seconds or more or less, it doesn’t matter) and then divorce him and tell all in your blog. Some will hate you, your fans will support you, and your numbers will grow. No news is bad news unless you are not in it.

For more tips on how to avoid the really nasty nuptials, read the biography of Ini Edo titled ‘Scammed by Love’.

  • Bakare, a health and safety professional, writes from Lagos