The Queen of blogging…
Linda Ikeji is the founder of LindaIkeji’s blog which has been running for over a decade. The former model who recently launched the Lindaikejisocial, a fusion of news reporting and social networking has also set up a media office which employs over 30 staffs. She also started the ‘I’d rather be self made’ programme which empowers young women to setting up businesses and being entrepreneurial. The 36-year old graduate of mass-communication shares her journey into blogging among other issues with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA.
The journey so far from being an upcoming model to Nigeria’s choicest blogger
The journey has been amazing. I didn’t expect to be here today. When I started hustling in those days modeling, the social media didn’t exist; the first thing I came across was blogging before twitter and other social media handles. To be honest when I started my blog in November 26th, 2006 the last thing on my mind was that it will change my life as much as it has. It was just a place for me to be creative because I love to write and I didn’t think that 10 years from then, this would happen. It has been an amazing journey and something that I am extremely grateful for, a lot of us are on social media and not everyone can say that it has changed their lives tremendously as it has to me.
Being the queen of blogging, what attracted you to it?
Initially, I didn’t know there was anything called blogging. At the time I was modeling and some people knew me, I was a little popular in some quarters. Bellanaija wrote about me; Nigerians in Diaspora were more in tune with blogging than those of us who live in Nigeria and so a friend of mine in the UK sent me a link to a story where Bellanaija wrote about me. So I went to read the story online and that was my first encounter with blogging, before then, I only go online to check my mails. After reading my story on Bellanaija, I continued visiting the site for about four months and I enjoyed the whole experience of writing which is my passion. Growing up, I wanted to be a journalist and so one day I thought, I could start my own blog, and it takes about three minutes to set up one, so I started blogging.
At what point did you make it big with blogging?
When you are passionate about something, you put your mind in it. So I started blogging consistently till 2010 and it didn’t occur to me that I have built a lot of followership in that line and brands were watching. So, by the end of 2010 I had thousands of people following me, I was very happy about it but I didn’t think that it would translate to money or advertisers coming to me. So the first time they came to me to pay me for an advert I found it very strange.
Where there times you felt like giving up especially before blogging started paying off?
Of course, the worse was September 19th, 2010, my 30th birthday, I was angry and broke because having done modeling and business for a long time, I was still struggling. I was depressed and even when I get tired of crying, I will open my laptop and still blog, I didn’t know that was where God was leading me to and after my 30th birthday, my life practically changed.
In terms of news reporting, what have you learnt from your blogging experience?
It has taught me to be more careful because as much as you think you know, there are people who are online who also have in-depth knowledge of the story, I have also learnt that it is important for you to verify your stories because if people rely on you for information and mess up a few times, they don’t trust your source anymore and go somewhere else and so you lose that followership, so I try to verify every information I put up.
In a world where people find it hard revealing their age, why do you find it comfortable doing so?
I think it is so easily to know everyone’s age; I finished secondary school in 1997, I attended Anglican girls Grammar school, I was almost 17. So, if I know the year someone finished secondary school, it is easy for me to guess their age. The following year when I turned 18, I entered the University of Lagos. The reason I say my age is, I as a young model, when I did my first show in 1998 I wasn’t up to 18 and the criteria was 18-26 and so I had lie I was older; it was in April and I was going to turn 18 in September. Since I already told people I was 18 in 1998, how can I come now to say I am 32 in 2016.
Can you recall any moment of happiest in your life?
The day I bought my house and was given the papers of ownership, I couldn’t believe it. I have lived in Idi-oro for 15 years, before we moved to Surulere and then Banana Island. In fact when I was looking for a house, my sister suggested Lekki and I knew I wanted more. I think that you only have one life to live and as much as you can live it. My dream is a luxurious house and I am grateful I got one.
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