Ikenna Odinaka ASA: Its my pleasure. My name is Ikenna Odinaka. I’m a research writer and digital marketer. Founder of After School Africa and whytea Services ltd
Reviewcious: Your Family background & Education pls?
Ikenna Odinaka ASA: I studied petroleum eng. from Futo owerri, the seventh child in a family of 8 siblings.
Reviewcious: You are a blogger, research writer and engineer. How were you able to combine all these?
Ikenna Odinaka: Well I didn’t practise my field of study – petroleum. I did work on construction a few year. I discovered blogging and my passion for writing when I decided to work for myself.
At first it was not easy combining it all but I finally made up my mind to drop everything else and focus on writing and internet business.
Reviewcious: What prompted giving up a lucrative career in Petroleum Engineering to focus on blogging. Money, passion or the unavailability of job in Nigeria?
Ikenna Odinaka: Its more about passion than anything else. I have always nursed the dream to become an entrepreneur.
But due to lack of finance my idea was to get a job, save some money and start my own business.
I’ve done some small business in the past, and just love the idea of business over employment. But after searching for a job for about a year after NYSC, I ditched the idea of getting a job for good and decided to go all business from scratch. So, it’s all about passion!
Reviewcious: Being the seventh child in a family of 8 siblings, how easy/tough was growing up for the little Ikenna?
Ikenna Odinaka: Oh, my childhood came with a mix of many worlds. Time of plenty. Time of famine. Time of laughter. Not many times of sorry though. Because there was this atmosphere of faith n optimism in the family, growing up with many elder ones who will seize every opportunity to remain you that you are just a kid, I kind of developed a bit of rebellion. But it was beautiful over all.
Reviewcious: Why did you found www.afterschoolafrica.com (ASA)? What was your motive for choosing the scholarship niche for blogging?
Ikenna Odinaka: On the contrary, at first, I didn’t intend to blog on the scholarship and financial aid.
I started the blog to write on career development advice and resources for students and graduates which I maintained for the first few months.
Then I discovered that readers develop more interest when I publish about scholarships and contests. It wasn’t rampant then, especially, for Nigerian and African students.
So my idea of business is giving people what they want not what I think they need. And I also understood the importance of niche back then, so I decided to build a resource on financial aid for students. That was how the ASA you know today came to be.
Reviewcious: ASA now boasts of a global audience reach from over 51 countries, and over 2 million annual website visitors. We also known it won an award recently… from the Nigerian Blogger Award.. Is that correct?
Ikenna Odinaka: Yes. You are right about our audience reach. But ASA was only a nominee for the Nigerian Blog Award.
Reviewcious: So, what’s the secret of your blog success?
Ikenna Odinaka: I’d say focus and dedication. ASA wasn’t the only blog I’ve started. It wasn’t even my first blog. I’ve started and closed more than 6 blogs in the past. But I believe my decision to focus on one blog made a difference.
Reviewcious: Where do you see the site in the next 5 years? I mean your vision for ASA?
Ikenna Odinaka: From the beginning, the target audience is youths. I see ASA going from a scholarship to a youth empowerment platform through online and offline events/ programs. The platform an audience has been built, so we’ll be taking it further.
Reviewcious: What are the challenges you face as a blogger in Nigeria and your advice for up-coming bloggers?
Ikenna Odinaka: First, I want to admit that there’s been a lot of improvement for bloggers in Nigeria. There are now more options to make money. Better ways to attract traffic – thanks to facebook etc.
Reviewcious: Ok. Any advice for up-coming bloggers?
Ikenna Odinaka: I think the challenge for everyone now is to stay creative and relevant. My advice for upcoming bloggers is to think like an entrepreneur that you are. Be sure your blog is meeting need and stay consistent.
Think long term and not just to make a few ad click today. It pays eventually!
Reviewcious: Nigeria is on the brink of swearing in a new government. Who would you like to be sworn in as Nigeria’s President Come May 29 and why?
Ikenna Odinaka: Whoever wins the election will have my full support. But I’ll vote President Jonathan if I get my PVC before election.
With the state of the economy, what the nation needs is neither a decorated messiah who will wipe away all sorrows nor a group of people chanting ‘change’. What we need is collective effort and support for whoever is in office.
Reviewcious: What has been your happiest moment in life so far?
Ikenna Odinaka: I can’t think of one exceptional happy moment. For me happy moments come in many ways.
Reviewcious: Can you share your sad moments too if any?
Ikenna Odinaka: My saddest moment was when I lost my sister on the 6th January 2014. It was a sad moment indeed.
Reviewcious: How did Ikenna Odinaka meet the lucky woman in his life? What attracted you to her?
Ikenna Odinaka ASA: I am not married yet. I’ll be able to answer that question when I eventually meet her, lol.
Reviewcious: Can you briefly discuss your revenue on ASA or how much you make blogging?
Ikenna Odinaka: I’d say its something to pay some salaries, live on, with some change left for savings.
Reviewcious: Reviewcious is a de-tribalized forum, of over a year plus but enjoy close to 80k visits monthly & 1300+ members. But we are still growing. Any advice to make us reach the number 1 forum in Nigeria?
To dominate a market is to identify what others in the field are not doing right or not doing at all and do it better.
Reviewcious: Thank you very much for your time sir. We appreciate you. God bless you!
Ikenna Odinaka ASA: It’s my pleasure. Thank you.