I have this mindset that every sector in Africa is still largely at infancy. Yes, I do not believe anyone has won anything except in areas Dangote operates in Nigeria! Our application and utilization of the factors of production are still extremely inefficient. This means that you can attack any sector and find your moments. Yet, the reason why most are at infancy levels could also be the reason why you need to examine the business battles you choose to fight.
I like to motivate and inspire young people to understand that despite everything they read, Nigeria offers opportunities. Let me take my blog, Tekedia.com, as an illustration.
When I began blogging about two years ago, I decided that it must be useful to people that visit Tekedia.com. We need to bring originality, predictability and authenticity. But it won’t cost me money since I am already spending resources via my time. I put 90 minutes of everyday on LinkedIn and Tekedia.com. But it is part of my business since Tekedia anchors most things we do. Without it, we cannot operate effectively on our works with startups and also our broad advisory services. Simply, Tekedia is our oasis in the One Oasis Strategy.
To be at that expense parity, my team added payment section for exclusive contents. I had told them that they must find a way to ensure we cover all costs. Then subscriptions took off. Most of the subscribers are actually corporations who pay for their staff. Largely, they like what we have here and want their staff to come and read, about Nigeria and Africa.
About 70% of Tekedia readers come from typing Tekedia.com, using Alexa. We do not pay attention to Twitter and Facebook. Rather, we focus only on LinkedIn where we think we have our audience. Yet, LinkedIn brings less than 10% of the traffic. What happens is that once people come from LinkedIn, they now begin coming directly. Tekedia enjoys average visit of 14 mins; yes, visitors spend at least 14 mins per visit on average.
Today, I will use one customer that permitted us to share his transaction. He has paid for the next five years on Tekedia. Yes, he locked the subscription because he thinks we will raise price soon. Yes, someone is subscribing to a blog and paying for five years ahead. We have a Japanese company that paid for three years for its staff; the same for a Virginia company.
Why would they do that in the age when everyone thinks media cannot sell contents? Simply, being different! Yes, if you are different, the society will reward you. Do not go and copy Punch, Forbes, etc and hope you can create a product people will pay. But if you have your uniqueness, you will get that payment. We have thousands of subscribers in this blog and certainly do not care for those intruding Google ads everywhere.
I hope this is of value. This is a hobby but I have learnt these days that society can also pay for your hobbies if you do them well. Be unique and offer value in whatever you do, society will reward.
This is my comment to an analyst who wrote about Tekedia
Great insight but it seems you missed key parts of Tekedia. People spend 14 mins per visit on Tekedia according to Alexa you quoted. Techcabal for example is 2 mins. Nairametrics is 5 mins. If a site can retain people for 14 mins per visit, it means you can sell things to them. It is no more a news site but a mini-portal.
Also, you flipped and muddled the sources: 70% of users visit Tekedia directly through tekedia.com. For us, that is better than Google search. You are making it look like having a visit from Google search is better – that is not true. We do not even care if Google finds us because our business is not built on traffic but subscriptions.
Tekedia is not built for traffic – we have no Facebook, Twitter etc strategy; we want only quality visits which we found LinkedIn offers. Even LinkedIn where I am active contributes less than 13% of our traffic. Once people visit, they become fans and visit directly via typing tekedia. Google is 15%. FB is less than 1%. If you run it, 70% come to the site because they have paid and subscribed. Or want to read.
We are one of few blogs in Nigeria people pay to read exclusive contents. If you add ecommerce to Tekedia, you will make sales. I am hoping for a proposal in that space from people.