Meet Linda Ikeji, ex-model, Entrepreneur, Motivational speaker, popular blogger and owner of one of the most visited blogs in Nigeria is one woman to reckon with in the column.
She was born on September 19, 1980, a native of Nkwerre LGA, Imo State, Nigeria. It should be noted that this blogger turned millionaire was born into a struggling family, the second of seven children. At a tender age of 10, Linda started writing as a hobby. Unlike many teenagers her age, Linda loved watching newscasters and interviews and by the time the opportunity presented to attend university in Lagos, her course choice was decided: Mass Communication.
She was admitted to study English Language in the university to her disappointment, but she decided to make the best of it. To support herself and her family through school, Linda began working at the age of 17, doing everything from being a waitress and ushering to modelling and bar-tending; she did mention that she worked in a hotel just so she could survive. According to her, she’d leave lectures, go to a hotel and sell beer from 1 pm till 10 pm. None of which paid a lot in the late 90’s. She started modelling in 1998 and quit in 2005.
She began her advent into entertainment as a striving model while in UNILAG. She modelled for several brands, including the ‘Rose of Sharon’ label owned by former President of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) and Nigerian billionaire and oil tycoon, Folorunsho Alakija. She took to modelling at the age of 17 featuring in some of the most glamorous fashion shows in the country.
Becoming a graduate:
In 2004 after she completed her university education, she worked hard to break into the journalism trade, launching her media company – Black dove Communications, a modelling agency and events management outfit.
Black dove communications was an agency that specialized in recruiting models, training models and getting jobs for models.
She also started what she describes in her first ever blog post as her “true passion”, her magazine called, FM & B. The first issue was released in 2006 and after discovering how capital-intensive and time-consuming magazine publishing was, only two more editions made it to print.
The blogging bug bit her in 2006. Blogging had all the charm: it was free except for the cost of internet connections, easy to handle and it gave you access to millions of readers instantly.
Linda Ikeji started blogging officially in 2007 with the intention of sharing information that she was interested in with her readers. Fast forward seven years later, www.lindaikeji.blogspot.com has grown to be one of the most visited sites in the country which serves as a regular source for news, entertainment, celebrity gossips and what not! Her blog continues to attract thousands of visitors on a daily basis.
She recalls getting 200 visits a day and for her then, it was a big deal. Now it’s estimated that she gets over 200,000 page views a day from up to 180 countries.
Blogger turned Millionaire:
She’s the proud owner of a 2014 Range Rover Sport rumoured to cost a whopping sum of N24m [$153,000], a 2011 Infiniti FX 35 [N8m] and a 2008 Toyota Camry. She also bought a multi-million 5-bedroom duplex in Surulere for her parents. I can say that her she has changed the lives of her family.
At a point, Linda averaged about 1 million unique visitors each month to her blog. And with that came the much-needed recognition and substantial earnings. In August 2012, Forbes Africa described her as a success and a case study for the business of blogging.
Linda’s blog reportedly rakes in an average of N5m per month from adverts from various brands and online ad networks, which makes her the highest earning blogger in Nigeria. Blogging has brought her the fame, power and comfort ability she could have wished for.
Now sitting comfortably in the millionaires’ lounge, she is one of the youngest millionaires in Nigeria. Her Grass to Grace Story is an inspiration to many people aspiring to make something out of nothing.