Promise Excel: One Thousand And One Dreams…
When I discovered Promise Excel, content creator/founder of the Maverick Excel blog, I was excited. I enjoyed the tone of his personal story and his passion that leaped off the page. I was also excited that Promise Excel is in the beginning of his blogging journey like me! I went through his entire website and was impressed. His presentation is great. Promise is a guide to new African/Nigerian bloggers and entrepreneurs who are unable to attend university, obtain employment, or acquire capital; he will help you think creatively about your situation. Let’s support Promise Excel so he can grow his Nigerian brand, help him grow his African brand globally.
Please introduce yourself. What is your name? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
Hi. My name is Promise Excel. I am living in Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria. I was born and raised in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. I finished secondary school about four years ago. I’ve never been to university.
Describe your blog.
I am the founder of Maverick Excel, a blog dedicated to young and aspiring entrepreneurs in Africa. Basically, my blog is the HOME of young entrepreneurs in Africa with a focus in Nigeria. It is a place where I share personal stories, interviews, applicable tips, real life lessons and case studies that will inspire and challenge Africans everywhere.
I want to encourage deep thought about potential entrepreneurship ventures and encourage uncommon creativity and innovation in solving Africa’s problems. I also believe that my stories will inspire African youths everywhere to take action in building enviable enterprises setting them on a path to true greatness in their chosen entrepreneurial and career pursuits.
Why/when did you start blogging professionally? What was the first thing you did? The next?
I started blogging precisely, 4th March, 2015.
Blogging was not something I jumped into.
I studied it for over 6 months before I decided to start. I read every article and blog post about blogging. I wanted to be sure of what I was getting myself into. Out of the 6 months of learning about blogging, it took me up to 3 months to come up with a domain name.
The day I realized that blogging can change my life and that of the people around me, I started it. Since then, I have never looked back. With the amount of study I did about blogging, I will say I started blogging professionally from day one.
Did you have any expectations (short term, long term) when you started blogging? If so, what were those expectations?
My first expectation was to make money and become popular…Lol. When I realized that mindset will not take me far in my blogging journey, I changed my perception entirely.
Making money and becoming popular is the by-product of hard work, dedication, consistency, integrity and giving immense value to your audience. Knowing this fact changed my focus and made me a better blogger.
How did you choose the niche(s) that you blog in?
My niche is entrepreneurship and self-development.
I chose this niche because I was sick and tired of the norm of “go to school, get good grades, graduate and get a high paying job.” I wanted a life of financial freedom and happiness. So, in my journey of looking for a life that’s different from the corporate grind, I discovered that entrepreneurship can offer the kind of life I craved.
What’s the biggest mistake that you’ve made blogging and what advice would you give to other bloggers so that they could avoid it?
I have learned how to minimize my mistakes through study, research and inquiries.
However, I made two big mistakes when I started blogging which were choosing the wrong web host company and focusing too much on making money.
Despite, the in-depth study I did about blogging, I made the mistake of choosing the wrong web host because their yearly plan was cheaper than their contemporaries. I experienced lots of downtime, up to five times a day. I lost many visitors because they couldn’t bear the downtime. My blog was also vulnerable to hackers.
Another mistake I made was focusing too much on money. I applied for every CPC Ad Network under the sun. I used the time that I was supposed to be blogging to search for one ad network or the other. My blog was littered with so many ads that were paying me cents or nothing. I decided to remove those annoying ads when a guy from UK contacted me saying, “I love your blog BUT the ads are repulsive.”
My advice to other bloggers is make sure to choose the best web host company no matter the cost. Don’t think of making money until after six months. When people notice your desperation for making money too soon, they will run away from you.
How long on average does it take for you to write a blog post from concept to publication?
It depends on the type of blog post. Sharing an idea or thought takes less time. It takes like two hours on average to write an article.
I focus on writing 1000 words per hour. Editing, adding links and designing a custom image typically takes over an hour. So, on average I’ll say it takes about 4 hours for a post to appear live on my blog.
List articles take so much of my time. Research alone may take a whole day. Writing and editing may take 4 hours. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. So, a list article may take up to 2 or 3 days depending on the length.
What opportunities have come your way because of blogging?
One thousand and one opportunities have come my way. Like you interviewing me, this is such a huge opportunity to let my voice be heard.
I have had reputable companies and individuals from the UK, US, South Africa, etc contact me to work with them. I’ve worked with rich and influential bloggers. I have my work featured on reputable Nigerian blogs and websites. I have had the opportunity to interview experts and thought leaders. The opportunities are endless.
I wouldn’t have had these opportunities if I was just sitting at home, watching TV and eating popcorn complaining about the government.
Coming up with new content is hard for any blogger. With that said, how do you find new source of content for your blog and where do you find inspiration for your blog posts ?
That’s right, coming up with new content is not easy. I write down every idea that comes to my mind in a notebook no matter how silly it sounds. I also listen to other people’s complaints, worries, heartaches or questions and turn it into a blog post. I look at articles on other blogs abroad and fine tune it to fit my African audience.
Another great place to get blog post idea is Quora. It is a question and answer website. You can turn a question there into a blog post. You can also turn a podcast, video or interview into an article.
I avoid copying other people’s work. I know my audience and what they want so coming up with fresh articles every day is not a problem.
What has been your most satisfying moment blogging?
The connections and the relationships I’ve built with other smart entrepreneurs in Nigeria and abroad is priceless.
How do you market your blog?
Guest Post… Guest Post… Guest Post… Writing a guest post for Ogbongeblog, Nigeria’s biggest technology blog, has brought my blog to the eyes of a big percentage of bloggers and entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Guest posting is the best way to make people notice my brand and command respect in my niche.
What are the unique problems you have encountered running a blog in Nigeria?
Let me be blunt.
The unique problems I face running a blog in Nigeria are:
1.Poor power supply.
2.High cost of internet connection.
These two problems can end someone’s blogging journey. With perseverance and commitment to my higher goals, I have not allowed these problems to stop me from achieving success.
What was the most difficult lesson you have learned?
Blogging alone will not make you any money. It is what you do with your blog that makes you money. The realization of that fact has changed my life.
Promise Excel, where do you see your blog/career in 5 years? What are your dreams for your career?
I want my work to be published on all major publications across the world like Forbes, Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, New York Times, Business Insider, Inc. and in host of other publications.
I also want my blog to be the hub for African entrepreneurs across the globe.
And in 5 years’ time, I want Maverick Excel to be a multi-million dollar media company like Oprah Winfrey’s Network.
What have been some of your failures and what did you learn from it?
I don’t think I’ve had any major failure because like I said earlier, I do lots of research before embarking on any project. However, there are times that I fail to keep up with my daily goals. Instead of regretting or beating myself up, I just put that behind me and get to work.
What is your advice to Africans who want to start a blog?
Starting a blog should not just be about making money and becoming famous. Start a blog to inform, inspire, educate and entertain. Let your blog be a place to tell the African story in a way that’s unique to you and resonates with Africans. Whether you’re making money yet or not, don’t forget to give immense value to the African community first.
Is there anything you want to add?
Wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you are, let love for humanity be the force that drives you.
You can never go wrong if you’re every action and words come from a pure and sincere love for people. Let every product and service be created for the ultimate good of humanity.
How would some get in touch with you? Related social media accounts, webpage, etc.
People can reach me via the following mediums:
Blog URL: http://maverickexcel.com
Thank you for reading! I’m eager to hear about your new blogging experiences in the comments below–Ivy