This a beautifully long article on the Nigerian blogging goddess, Linda Ikeji. It was first published by iCampus. Very inspiring...very very inspiring. There are a few exaggerations, though. However, that makes the story a lot more natural/original.
Read and be blessed...
She's nothing like one of those popular Biblical characters; not even a man to start with but scattered like pieces of jigsaw puzzles all around the life of this former Nigerian model turned Blogger, are empirical evidences that draw the mind into the story of the man called David – Once looked down upon, not given much of a chance, picked on by the darkest force imaginable by mankind and just like this man, Linda Ikeji could see everything she had worked for in her life slipping through her fingers and at the point where the final ray of light was about to fade into oblivion, she bounced back, created a blog, posted a story, two, three, four… expanded her frontiers and today, we can officially tell you that Linda Ikeji has broken the internet by officially becoming Nigeria's number one news/gossip content website after overtaking the almighty 'Nairaland;' a website that had remained Nigeria's number one website for a stretch of years.
For the records, Nairaland, while it was Nigeria's number one website, (and because it was number one) had an offer of $5 million to sell and smile to the bank but guess what, the brain behind Nairaland refused to sell for any price; to show how valuable the website was but as at the time of writing this, Nairaland has lost the number one spot to Linda Ikeji; who now owns a website we estimate to be worth over N1.1 billion judging by the $5 million offer Nairaland once turned down; with the current exchange rate pegged at $1 exchanging for N220. This offer came years ago and by implication, if the offer were to be made today, it would by all means exceed the earlier $5 million offer, which points to one irrefutable fact – Linda Ikeji's blog is presently worth much more but we'll sit and have a drink with the aforementioned figure for the time being.
Over the years, through a combination of seeds of hard work Ikeji had persistently sown, the harvest of fortune bloomed; they bloomed so well that in less than half a decade, Linda Ikeji became a reference point for success stories and the resonating message that with hard work and diligence come a reward that restructures destinies.
Linda Ikeji was not born with a silver spoon and of course her journey to the point where she is today, came at a price – she went through series of unbearable challenges but she refused to give in to the deviant voices that never failed to whisper to her to embrace the easier and less dignifying option – Linda Ikeji chose to work hard to earn a decent living; one she would be proud of. A lot of the time, she was afraid but she never threw in the towel; not because there was no towel but because she was having fun blogging.
What started with less than a dozen stories eventually opened up into archives of posts, images and fans who constantly looked forward to her writing. She didn't have all the money she needed to hire writers or get an office but she trudged on. Today, Linda Ikeji rules the Nigerian online scene like a colossus – riding her stallion christened 'lindaikeji.blogspot.com' into the field like a Roman war General but with a sea of compassion and kindness sitting in the centre of her heart.
Single-handedly, Linda Ikeji inspired a new generation of writers under the umbrella of bloggers; who now compete with established national publications like ThisDay, Punch, Leadership, Vanguard, Channels TV and ovation for attention and business online.
In 2014, for instance, Linda Ikeji decided to hire writers; something she had always planned to do but had never really had the financial capacity to do when she was not blogging. Once upon a time, she wrote personal things about herself but today, Linda Ikeji receives advertising and PR briefs from billionaire politicians, multinational brands and A-list celebrities but once upon a time, she had to manage her scarce resources to even remain online as internet subscription plans were largely considered a luxury as they were not particularly affordable.
To understand the length Linda Ikeji goes to ensure she remains heads and shoulders above all indigenous rival brands, it is important to point out that her competitors include national publications line Punch newspaper, Vanguard, Complete Sports, Thisday, Guardian newspapers, Leadership newspaper, Ovation magazine, AIT, NTA, Silverbird Television and countless others; with hundreds of employees strewn all over different states of the federation yet she holds the aces of sitting on top of the list.
Another unassailable fact about this phenomenal blogger with a pretty face and a far prettier physique is that without her, a large chunk of bloggers today would be out of business as the practice of 'copying and pasting' her stories on their blogs has become something f a necessity.
In the current Alexa ranking in Nigeria, Ikeji ranks number one news content blog (with the exception of Konga and Jumia, which are purely e-commerce websites). Ikeji's blog places 13 on Alexa's current ranking. The top websites in Nigeria; from the top down are listed below:
A look at the list above reveals the sheer investment, dedication, sweat, sleepless nights, consistency, creativity and passion that Linda Ikeji has poured into the blog, which has naturally become an extension of her personality. Earlier today, Ikeji reminded fans and readers that in 2009, she was the MD/CEO of Blackdove Communications. "I ran a modeling agency and events company… I gave up on the office in 2010 when I couldn't afford the rent anymore and moved my business back home. About a year later, the blogging I started in 2006, changed my life," she wrote.
Despite her overwhelming success as a blogger, Linda Ikeji, 34, remains extraordinarily determined, simple, ambitious and single.
"I want to give back to the society. I feel like I am 10 percent done, I haven't done 90 per cent. That's the way I feel. Hopefully in another 2 years, I will accomplish another 40 to 60 percent before I turn 40. Ultimately, I would have accomplished 100 percent," Ikeji told iCampus
In 2014, she bought herself a N24 million Range Rover to celebrate her 34th birthday with money derived from advertising and PR campaigns – a far cry from the MD who struggled to pay her rent half a dozen years ago; a reminder than when you work hard, life will always realign to reward you.
Interestingly, prior to the moment she began blogging, she had pursued a career as a journalist and once explained that the reason she remains single is because she has not found a man she can spend the rest of her life with.
Linda Ikeji is the second of her parents' 8 children.
For ikeji, things once got so rough for her especially during her days as an undergraduate; so hard that she would leave lectures, go to a hotel and sell beer from 1pm to 10pm just to make ends meet but today, there are millions of Nigerians whose days remain incomplete without visiting her blog and interacting with other visitors therein via her heavy traffic of comments.
We congratulate Linda Ikeji on this incredible feat and urge her to keep typing!