How Ameyaw Debrah grew a blog into a business empire
There has been no shortage of blogs since the world wide web or the internet as many love to call it became ubiquitous and the thirst for information on celebrities by fans caught on like a wildfire.
In Ghana, one blog stands out from the pack and has become a leading light in celebrity reporting on the continent.
Tall, dark-skinned and soft-spoken got his major break in digital publishing when he won the award for best publishing student in 2005 from the Kwame Nkrumah Science and Technology University. From that big accomplishment, he founded Ameyaw Debrah Media, a company focused on Entertainment, Lifestyle and TV content.
The celebrity blogger later cut his teeth in digital publishing when the award enlisted him for an internship programme in Ghana. From there, he learnt the ropes and he set his dreams in motion.
“In 2008, I had an email from a friend, requesting that I help submit some contents for his website – and one day he called me and said, why don’t you create your own platform – we joked about it and I said okay, let’s go for Ameyaw Debrah which is my name,” Debrah said.
When the blog kicked off, digital content publishing wasn’t a big deal in Ghana. But with the help of platforms like Facebook, he saw an opportunity to promote his works using digital tools.
“At a point, digital and online stuff wasn’t that big in Ghana but with the contribution of a lot of things, it is now big business,” Debrah told The Guardian.
“Initially, I didn’t know how people would accept it, but once the website was created, I started putting out content and sharing it with people, especially on Facebook – a lot of people came. As the brand resonated with people, It became unique.”
It didn’t take long before people took notice of the contents coming from Ameyaw Debrah Media as things they could relate to.
Although the brand was growing and lots of people were getting to know about it, making money soon became a challenge. The business community in Ghana also didn’t help matters as most weren’t looking to explore digital marketing. In the face of this, Ameyaw said he found Facebook tools helpful. ‘’The best tools were from Facebook, even more so now that they’re giving publishers tools such as Instant Articles where we can create content and monetize them’’.
“Instagram is good when people come to look at your content and engage with it immediately – but I use Facebook more for referrals to TV,” Debrah said. “I also use those platforms to advertise.
“The strategy is to push the content to them as long as they want. The best platform was Facebook. It’s helping publishers with the instant articles tool.”
For Debrah, his biggest challenge is remaining “in the good books of Facebook and platforms to circulate contents to the audience” regardless of demography.
He, however, believes that the same strategies he used for his business will work for other business owners through the use of digital tools.
“Just as I have used Facebook and Whatsapp to promote my platform, I’ll advise other entrepreneurs out there to leverage this platform,” Debrah said.