With an average of 200,000 page views per month, Verastic.com is a blog that connects readers to the experiences of its creator, Vera Ezimora. From the perspective of a Nigerian female living abroad, (Baltimore, Maryland in Vera’s case) Vera has shared different stages of her life with readers she affectionately call “Sweet Potatoes” for a decade. Vera breaks down what a blog is with this definition she gives to her father when he asks what she really does. “There is this place on the internet where I write about my life and things going on.”
Originally conceived from a desire to share and connect, Verastic started as a hobby, but has now attracted media attention from Cosmopolitan, CNN, and recently a Nigerian media tour following its owner’s first visit in 16 years to the country. BusinessDay had a chat with Vera recently in Lagos. Read on to discover more about her entrepreneurial journey and practical tips for bloggers.
How much did you start off your business with?
The good thing about blogging is it has a low-capital start-up cost. All I needed to do was to pay for hosting. When it comes to the financial side of the blog, I struggle with balancing and project finances. Although, I must say that I am very good with managing income from Verastic.
What is the most valuable advice you have received on blogging?
Stop sitting on ideas. There is no perfect time to start out, so don’t wait until you have learned it all. Learn as you go.
How did you monetize your blog?
I noticed that several American blogs will publish income reports showing how much they earned within a period. At the time, I was not earning any income from my blog, so I joined Blog Ad networks. Then, put up banners on my site and started incorporating brand sponsored posts. I created a media kit in MS Word, which is similar to a resume, but blog specific and started building a portfolio.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to transition from a 9 to 5 to an entrepreneurial role?
Have enough money to last for at least a year. With blogging, income is inconsistent and money is not guaranteed each month like a salary. Also, know the minimum amount of money you need to survive so you don’t struggle as you transition. In my case, I have a good support system with my husband bringing in a steady income, so a support system is helpful.
Which direction do you plan on taking Verastic in this evolving digital age?
At a recent blog conference I attended, it was projected that video content is the future for information consumption. So, expect more vlogs from Verastic. My ultimate goal is to bring Verastic to as many homes as possible.