Hi guys, this Sunday Blogging Burp interviewed Lawal Rahman who’s the founder of STARcityNG. Lawal Rahman is from Nigeria & has good knowledge of digital marketing. Lawal Rahman also owns Star Royal City Nig Ltd & he’s an online business consultant. He’s so sweet while talking & I get surprised when Lawal Rahman says – “Thanks Bhai” while we are scheduling the Interview.
Being in the world of blogging for the last 1 yrs I learned a lot & now I think it’s one of the media to connect with the aspiring person. During the interview series, I come to know lots of people among which Sumit Sao, Rahul & Santanu Da is who I can’t forget.
1. Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
I’m Lawal Rahman (B.A. (Phil) Hons, MBA), from Nigeria. I’m the founder and CEO of Star Royal City Nig Ltd and my blog is STARcityNG. I’m an online business consultant and my areas of expertise include writing and sharing business strategies on how you can start and develop a small business on the internet. What you’ll find on my blog includes easy-to-do small business ideas, how to start an online business, tips on digital marketing strategies and personal finance.
2. Describe how did you first get into blogging?
I have always been a creative writer, playwright, and lyricist. I didn’t have enough support from my family to go into the entertainment industry because they believed the industry corrupts. So, while I was looking for how to diversify my skills as a writer, I came across a Nigerian blogger who introduced blogging to me around the year 2014. The first three blogs I launched wasn’t successful because blogging was very new in Nigeria during that time. Consequently, there were no enough resources to guide me. But today, we have many tools, many opportunities, many mentors and many case studies to work with. However, I took some break until 2018 to do thorough research into the causes of my failure and how to become a successful blogger. I came across many of Pat Flynn’s and Neil Patel’s works which led to my current blog called the STARcityNg.
3. Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging?
I find strength in the socioeconomic crisis facing every third world today. As the rate of unemployment has skyrocketed, many people are looking for opportunities in digital marketing. Because only on the internet one can start a business with no money or working from home and make a lot of money, online business becomes a safe haven for small business owners. So, as I like to be a part of the solution, the circumstance gives me all it takes to become a successful blogger.
4. What type of networking do you think is better to enhance your traffic to the blog?
There is a concept called coopetition. This concept is when you form a synergy with other smaller competitors to compete with bigger competitors in your niche. And this includes what we all do on most of the Facebook groups where we promote our blogs – follow for following, share for share, like for like, tweet for tweet, pin for pin, comment for comment, and link for link. This may seem not natural, but indirectly it challenges the authority of bigger bloggers on their positions on SERPs. This has helped me a lot and I would like to mention Santanu Dabnath’s Navin Rao’s, Muhammed Toufiq’s Groups called Blogging Team [Let’s Grow Together], WordPress and SEO Ninjas and Blogging and SEO Group respectively. Those groups and people in them have really helped me.
5. How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
I use virtually all my free time to write. Most especially, when I set a deadline for myself, I avoid wasting my free time on irrelevant activities. Even if I’m on a bus, or walking, I make sure I write to meet up with my deadlines. As a result of this, I don’t rely on my desktop. I used mobile devices to write and access my WordPress dashboard to be on top of the game.
6. What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Well, as far as I know, all strategies are great. What I do is to ensure I increase and optimize my strategies for both human and bot experiences. So, I take Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Content Marketing very serious. I haven’t started Search Engine Marketing (Pay Per Click (PPC)) and Email Marketing because of the costs. But as I’m talking to you now, I have my budget set up to better my Alexa rankings by investing in Organic Traffic and to get OptinMonster for email marketing in the coming week.
7. Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
Neil Patel and Pat Flynn are my mentors. I follow their schools of thoughts to build my own standards. These were the most notable content marketers whose success stories inspired me to return to blogging after a long time break. And since I have been encountering their works, I learn a lot from them to become more passionate about blogging.
8. What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
Any time I have to comply with Google algorithm updates, I see Google as a hypocrite who makes laws and at the same time the same organization that penalizes offenders. Google shouldn’t be the one making standards and at the same time the judge. Who regulates and penalizes Google? Does that mean Google is above the law it makes? To me, it’s a big challenge as we bloggers don’t have better alternatives for Google.
9. What inspired you to start your blog?
I see my last twenty years of writing, 7 years of experiences in Business Management, and thought leadership in digital marketing as my pot of wealth.
10. How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
No matter how much I love my computer, there’s always a time the only one thing I hate to see is my computer. That time, I take a long break, forget about blogging, eat good food, listen to good music, sleep very well, play rough with my dogs, and cut flowers. Secondly, whenever I want to be lazy and remember I like to set up an executive office for myself, buy big cars, big houses, be a popular blogger, I get myself back in turbo force.
11. How much time do you spend blogging?
Under every normal circumstance, I work every day on my blog. If I’m writing on a difficult topic, I spend the whole day on my computer and the only time I break is when I’m called for prayers. My wife won’t invite me to the dining table but serve me at my computer desk. That’s to say, my blog takes much of my time.
12. Would you encourage other people to make their blog?
Why not? If you want to make money online or work from home, you need a blog. So, when you have a blog, your tendency to make money online increases. You will be exposed to a lot of a great jobs or business opportunities and at the same time meet new beautiful friends across the world.
13. Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
Erika is an old woman whose passion for blogging astonishes me. She rolls well with almost every other blogger without ego of being an elderly person. She promotes other blogs alongside hers voluntarily. There was a time I had nothing to blog about and coincidentally she suggested to me to write about the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer (https://starcity.ng/pros-and-cons-of-hiring-a-freelancer/). In that post, I expressed my bitter experience with a freelancer who scammed me. Today, I call Erika my grandma, not because of her old age but because of her compassion for young Africans. Don’t be surprised, Erika is not even an African as I am… She taught me how to exchange pleasantries in Hindu and that has really enhanced my relationships with my Indian buddies.
Another great young favorite blogger of mine is Henry Obilor. This young man opened my eyes to most of the opportunities I found on Santanu Debnath’s Facebook Group. The first time I heard about Keyword Research and its impact on rankings was through Henry. Without seeing me as his competitor, he voluntarily analyzes my blog and calls my attention to my SEO issues and suggests to me what to do. In the cause of doing this, he found out I wasn’t doing Keyword Research on my blog. Meanwhile, he bombarded me with massive resources on keywords research. My growth matters to him as his. He is a great blogger worth to be emulated by many so-called big guy bloggers who are jealous of others. Today, I owe all my pages that rank on the first page of Google to Henry, my Nija buddy.
14. Cool tips for a newbie?
I want all beginners to know that blogging is not a get-rich-fast scheme. If that’s what you are looking for that you launched a blog, you will rush out because you won’t get that. One of the reasons why my initial blogs failed was my thought of becoming a millionaire through my blogs without doing all the needful. I was only told of the prospect, not the efforts. So, I thought I would become rich automatically once I have a blog. Don’t get me wrong, you can become rich through your blog, but that won’t happen if you don’t work for it. Part of what you have to do is to be diligent and ensure you patiently stay focused. So, if you want to become a successful blogger, be ready to invest your efforts, time and money in your blog.
So, that is all. Thanks, Lawal Rahman for taking your time from the busy schedule for the interview. More interviews with emerging blogger are on way. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook & Join our FB Group – DM World for the awesome bloggers’ interview.