Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Super 10-Easy-Steps Guide to Making Money from Blogging

Many people wonder if they can make a considerable amount of money online with all sorts of options like Affiliate Marketing, Freelancing, Selling E-books, Making Videos, Social Media Management, Domain Flipping, a long list of other activities and last but not least Blogging. This post focuses on blogging with a clear guide for you as a newbie to blogging or even an experienced blogger who is not making sufficient money yet.


  1. Research and Decide Your Niche

A niche is a targeted part of a larger market that has its own unique characteristics. You have to decide if you want to be a general blogger who blogs about anything that tickles his fancy (difficult to pull-off by the way) a food, fashion, travel, tech, specific industry or activity blogger. Ask yourself: what am I passionate about? That thing you can spend hours upon hours researching, discussing, working or writing on without getting bored.

There might be a few of this and you should take your time to consider and decide which one you are the most proficient at. Your expertise on a subject is important in building your authority as a blogger. Once you have identified your favourite subject or area of expertise, you should search for some of the leading blogs in that field and study them. A simple Google search with the phrase ‘top blogs on cooking’ for example should give you a list of leading blogs related to cooking in the results if that is your identified niche. Do the same for whatever your passion is.

2. Create Your Blog

Now that you have identified your niche, it is time to create your blog. There are 2 major blogging platforms you should consider when you want to create your blog:

i. WordPress WordPress gets a lot of praise for its ease of use and availability of plugins you can use to easily customize and add features that are important to you. There are 2 versions of WordPress; and

If you are starting blogging with very limited resources, it is better to start with and your blog could be ready in minutes. However, if you have funds to work with and set-up on a larger scale, you should consider using as it has better features and allows you do more especially considering that fact that you might not be able to fully commercialize a blog as much as you would like. You might need the services of a web designer to effectively use alternatively, you could use managed Wordpress hosting which is a bit more expensive than normal hosting plans.

ii. Blogger Blogger is owned by Google and it is a very easy platform to start blogging with. It has a very simple layout for blogging although there are themes that can give you elegant designs if this is what you want. The major advantage of Blogger is that it allows you to begin blogging as a newbie without complexity. Another advantage is that it is easy to commercialize your Blog with Google AdSense (more on this later).

3. Create Blog Posts

It is highly recommended that you write your own articles as a newbie blogger. For starters, it is important you create your own writing style that readers can begin to identify and relate with. A good idea for your first post is an introduction –tell your readers about yourself, what you seek to achieve by starting the blog and what they should expect from you as a blogger. This should be done in a conversational manner and you should make this post as interesting as possible for your readers and ask them to react with their comments giving you feedback and initial engagement with your readers. 

Prepare yourself for all sorts of responses ranging from kind words of encouragement to vile and unfair insults; it comes with the job as a blogger. You have the option of deleting objectionable comments that are in bad taste. However, you should not do this with fair and objective criticism; it is meant to help you become a better blogger.

Your next few posts after the first should be topical and insightful. This helps you to gain traction and begin to establish a small but growing following.

4. Establish Your Social Media Accounts and Share Blog Posts

It is not enough to write and post content on your blog and expect traffic (people to come read it). You should create social media accounts and promote your content on them. At the very least, you should promote your blog and articles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I have mentioned these 3 so as not to discourage you with a seemingly huge workload. Sharing your content on social media can be made easier with tools like Hootsuite and Buffer which allow you to schedule posts across different social media platforms.

As you gain more experience and capacity, you should promote your content on other social media platforms like Google+, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Reddit, WhatsApp and lots more. You might be proficient at some more than others and it is better for you to focus on the ones that you have had some degree of success on.
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Donald Trump Outlines His Plans for His First 100 Days in Office

The world awaits what a Donald Trump presidency will look like not only for the United States but for the different regions of the world with each country wondering whether his policies will favour or harm them. We get a few insights into his thinking with this video.

What do you think? You can drop a comment

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

How About Having a Nice Getaway for the Family?

Taking time out to be with your family not only serves to strengthen family bonds, it is an opportunity to keep the mind fresh and get some inspiration for work.

Having a good work and life balance has been proven to be a major factor in the success of marriages and happiness in the family.

Most workers plan a leave from work to spend some quality time with their family, however a portion of them end up postponing into the next year.

The year is raging into the end of year celebrations and you still have not had your family vacation.

It’s not too late to organize a Obudu ranch vacation: this resort is renowned for its hospitality and rich cuisines.

Visitors from Abuja and Lagos usually skip the long road trip by booking flights to the Margaret Ekpo International Airport (CBQ).

Located near the Nigeria-Cameroon border, Obudu is readily accessible through the Katsina Ala Adikpo Obudu Road and Vande Ikya - Abanliko Road.

While the Obudu mountain resort is perceived as the star attraction in Obudu, the town features several tourist attractions like the world’s longest cable cars which run from the mountain top to the resort.

Besides its beautiful mountain-area and countryside views, the community has leisure hubs like the Akpos playground and Ushies playground.

Below are some simple tips on enjoying your Obudu end of year vacation.

Pre-arranged airport pick-up: The area surrounding the Margaret Ekpo International Airport (CBQ) is usually swarmed with street vendors and local taxi drivers looking for a bargain.

Making a transport  arrangement  for your family  ensures you are not left haggling with local touts; instead, make use of  an online booking apps to get a taxi.

Alternatively, you can call your hotel in Obudu, to check for availability of airport pickup services.

Explore Obudu:

Obudu is packed with attraction and activities that keep tourist coming back, visitors to the Obudu mountain resort always miss out one activity or the other.

Popular obudu activities include:

  • Airplane field views
  • Cable car rides
  • Hiking trails
  • Touring becheve Nature Reserve
  • Camping
  • Bird watching
  • Mountain biking
  • Horseback riding

Avoid “help” from strangers: While you will not be traveling alone, avoid help from suspicious source for your family’s sake.

It begins while dragging your luggage through the airport; a lot of unknown people offer you help or enticing deals for services.

You should avoid being pressed to make quick decisions but rather take your time to locate the appropriate authorities.

We would also encourage you to avoid creating a bottleneck, avoid drawing attention to yourself and always ask questions.

 If you feel uncomfortable or lost, try contacting a uniformed police officer or big store owner (in a open place) to get directions.

Obudu is a unique destination that offers a conducive environment where unforgettable experiences are created. Looking back your family will welcome this time-out and love you for it.

Well what do you think? This was sent-in by my friends at Jumia Travel.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Air Force One vs.Trump Force One: Which is Better?

Donald Trump had an advantage over his rivals during the campaign for President for the United States; his very own Boeing 757-200 nicknamed by admirers as Trump Force One. Now that he is president, he is going to have to drop this luxurious jet for Air Force One, the official plane of America's No.1 citizen.

So, which is better? Trump Force One or Air Force One? Let us look at some of their specs:

From this graphic source from the Telegraph, it is clear that Air Force One is a step-up to Trump Force One.

President-elect Trump should find that his new plane is not bad at all.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Top 10 Reasons Donald Trump Defeated Hilary Clinton to Become the 45th President of the United States

Donald  John Trump surmounted incredible odds to win the November 8 presidential election, thereby becoming the 45th President of the United States. Most of the world is surprised by this turn of events putting to an end the most unprecedented and unconventional election in the history of America. I am not surprised by Trump’s victory as my analysis of the election had aligned me towards a possible Trump Victory; I put his chances at 50:50 with Hilary Clinton.

The following are the reasons for Trump’s victory that has sent shocked waves around the world:

1. The Message

Perhaps the most important factor in winning any free and fair election is the candidate’s message to voters. Donald Trump’s message was very simple- ‘our country is in a mess and I am going to fix it’ –‘Make America Great Again’. He launched vicious attacks against immigrants –Mexicans other Hispanics and Muslims (many of whom have migrated from outside the country) which many Americans found to be Un-American. However, it is a message that resonated with millions of Americans who feel that illegal immigrants are taking away their jobs and also committing crimes in the country. 

Hillary Clinton’s slogan, ‘Stronger Together’ was neither here nor there really and in the end the results show that it was not effective, she failed to distill her message to a simple slogan that the majority of voters could relate with.

2. The Conventional Politician vs. Reality TV Show Star

Hillary Clinton’s claim to fame revolves around politics –from being the 1st Lady of the United States to a Senator, to a Democratic Party aspirant for president, Secretary of State and then Democratic candidate in this election. She seems to carry the baton of her disgraced husband, former President Bill Clinton and current President Barack Obama whose political legacy is now in tatters. Donald Trump a billionaire Real Estate Developer and businessman rose to the mainstream of national consciousness as the star of the TV reality show, The Apprentice and whether we realize it or not, TV Stars have a way of influencing us in a way politicians seem not to be able to do. So, when Donald Trump cast himself as a political outsider throughout the campaign, he was delivering a message that resonated with the people.

3. Employment Demographics

While the unemployment rate in the United States has declined from 7.7% in November 2012 to 4.9% in October 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, the type of new jobs being created do not favour a key demographic in the country –white blue collar workers. This group according to Thomas B. Edsall, an experienced political commentator are defined as ‘non-Hispanic whites who have not completed college, plays (sic) a pivotal role in the politics of the United States. This segment of the electorate is large and volatile and its role as swing voters closely tracks the success or failure of Democratic candidates. Selection of Democratic candidates who can relate to the white working class has been difficult; a number of candidates who had support among college-educated Democrats failed to garner sufficient support among white working class voters to win elections.’ (Source: Wikipedia via New York Times).

This group consists of key Donald Trump supporters and while Hillary Clinton had a lot of Hispanics vote for her, the Black population did not show as much enthusiasm. I am not surprised because a good percentage of Black Americans are unemployed and would benefit from Trump’s plan to force companies to bring manufacturing back from countries like China, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

4. Traditional Campaigning vs. Trump Phenomenon

Hilary Clinton relied heavily on the conventional political structure of professional political strategists, analysts, publicists and even celebrities (sorry, ‘Jayonce’ and katy Perry) while Donald Trump relied less on this and focused more on identity politics; you simply either love or hate him, accept or reject his message. This has proven to be incredibly efficient and effective. After outspending Trump on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has lost this election. It is time to reassess political strategy for future elections for most candidates.

5. Managing Public Perception

Donald Trump out-manoeuvred the mainstream media by lumping it together with the political establishment. To a certain degree he is right; the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN were probably too anti-Trump for comfort and in highlighting this seeming bias against himself he used what should ordinarily have been an advantage for his opponent Hillary Clinton as a tool against her. Trump’s win has changed the way the media might engage with political candidates in the future from now on.

6. Vladimir Putin’s Hand

Vladimir Putin has been described by Forbes magazine as the most powerful man in the world and the mere fact that Donald Trump widely considered a political liability to his Republican Party and unelectable presidential candidate whom he openly endorsed has won the election in the United States cements his position in global affairs. Russian hackers are believed to have hacked Hillary Clinton’s campaign organization’s emails during the campaign and leaked embarrassing information about its activities. These leaks tied-in with Donald Trump’s ‘Crooked Hilary’ theme and no doubt helped alienate Clinton from many voters.

7. Energizing Your Supporters

To win the tight race between the 2 candidates, one had to energize his/her supporters more than the other. Consider this; Hillary Clinton in the last week had to make awkward appearances with Jay Z and his wife Beyonce, as well as Katy Perry and the Obamas to energize her rallies. Her voice had become croaky probably because she had started to scream at her rallies in an attempt to seem energetic. Meanwhile, Donald Trump only needed to appear at an event to whip his supporters into a frenzy. Reporters at his rallies confirmed this but usually wondered if such rallies were ‘enough’ to get him to the white house. Guess what? It was more than enough!

8. Effectively Using Social Media

I am a Nigerian living in Nigeria but I was following Donald Trump on Twitter and Instagram, surprised? Don’t be, his social media feeds were more interesting than Hillary’s and in this information age, if you have a big-enough following on social media, you can achieve almost anything. Another thing is that Donald Trump used social media to draw attention to himself, he would tweet to react to anything and anyone he did not like trending on mainstream media. Perhaps, Twitter can get a bailout from a President Trump; he is one of its greatest beneficiaries.

9. Clinton’s Email Saga

Try as she might, Hillary Clinton could not get this scandal to go away. The fact that she used a private email server while she was America’s Secretary of State is perhaps the biggest blunder of her career and Donald Trump being the fierce opponent that he is, took maximum advantage of it with some help from FBI Director, James Comey who surprisingly announced the FBI was launching new investigations into the matter at the end of October as part of a probe of Clinton’s long-term aide, Huma Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner’s emails. He was accused of sexting and underage girl and the new emails discovered were speculated to be probably related to Hillary Clinton. However, 2 days before the election, the FBI cleared Clinton of any wrongdoing the second time.

10. Trust

It all boils down to trust. At the end of the day faults and all, the majority of the American people supported Donald trump because they believed in him and his message more than Hillary Clinton and her supporters like Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. The lesson here is simple, it does not matter what your opponents say about you if you can convince the people to vote for you in a democracy. Donald Trump understood the American electorate more than the powerful establishment and executed a strategy that defeated it. 

The era of Trump is here, time will tell if he will indeed ‘Make America Great Again’ and at what cost to the world.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Tips to Make Your Air Travel Stress Free

My friends at Jumia Travel sent this in and it is quite a good read, enjoy!

That awkward moment when you can’t find your flight ticket

I had to cancel a business flight to Lagos last summer because I forgot my passport and ticket on the coffee table.  You must be wondering “who does that?”, based on a recent survey of tourists and business travelers most of us do.

Moment after booking a hotel, taking a taxi, riding the airport shuttle or even in the plane over 87% of travelers have reported  remembering that “thing”.

Believe me I realize how frustrating this could be, that's why I started making use of travel checklists.

Whether you are a frequent traveler or novice, it’s always helpful to have a brief of items you may intend to make use of.

While bookmarking this page is encouraged, I would advise you to also take out your pen to create a personalized list of all the essential things you need to pack for your trips.

Collect travel essentials and documents

If possible start organizing your travel documents, boarding pass, credit cards and forex change as soon as you decide to travel.

This might include ensuring your travel documents are up to date; make a habit of confirming your insurance and passport validity period. It is also a good idea to call you bank’s customer care to notify them when traveling abroad, this prevents them from assuming fraudulent activity which will lead to a frozen account.

Preferably buy an oddly colored document organizer, this will ensure you have all your things in one place. Some essentials to collect include.

•           National ID,  a work  or student ID card 
•           International passport and visa
•           Train/bus/plane tickets for transportation
•           Travel insurance papers
•           Health insurance cards/ Vaccination documents
•           Hotel information and or tour contact
•           Hotel reservation and itineraries
•           Credit card and cash
•           Emergency contacts

Ensure you make scanned copies of all your documents; save them online to enable you access them in a worst case scenario.

Prepare your handbag

Prepare your personal handbag; this will contain essentials like toiletries and documents you want easy access to. It is always safe to have an extra outfit, duplicate documents and toiletries in an easy access bag in case you lose your luggage.

Nowadays travelers make use of backpacks for their personal items, some items packed in personal hand bags include.

•           Smart phones and charger
•           Ipad or Kindle reader
•           Headphones (travelers always choose noise blocking headphones)
•           Novels, travel guides, maps and magazines
•           Travel pillow, earplugs and eye mask
•           Hand sanitizer

Packing your suitcase

Frequent business travelers are some of the best packers, they have realized the need to prioritize items, optimize space usage and travel light.

Most tourists and vacationers are easy to spot carry over a bloated, heavy luggage around tourist destinations. 

During a long trip make sure you have enough clothes, you should however avoid over packing. Pack smart; pick clothes and colors that allow you the flexibility of cross matching.

Organizing your suitcase makes traveling convenient; it ensures you don't have to rearrange the entire bag every time you need a pen.

Here are some items you might like to pack:

Sandal or any comfortable walking shoe
Shorts and/or pants

Traveling can be both fun and frustrating, I hope this string of tips would help you reduce stress and enjoy your trips.  Here’s wishing you a safe trip and happy travels!

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