My name is Hope Obeten, 27 years old and a native of Assiga in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State. A graduate of Human Physiology from the University of Calabar and currently undergoing a Masters Degree in same University. I am the curator and founder of Www.CalabarBlog.Com – A digital guide about everything Calabar.
HOW I STARTED BLOGGGING AND CAREER DERAILMENT:
When I graduated from the University of Calabar with a degree in Human Physiology, normally my aspirations would have been to search for a white collar job.
While other unemployed graduates were writing job applications and sending CV’s, I spent time writing and creating business ideas. I never submitted a CV anywhere, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I never wanted a 9 to 5 job, I have always wished to work from my comfort zone, and get paid for what I love doing.
Back in 2013 in Calabar, I realized information dissemination was very poor; we had activities going on with little or no publicity. Sometimes, there was a workshop or seminar going on for entrepreneurs but I will only know when it has past and its aired on CRBC news, that is, if am lucky to be watching TV.
So I thought to myself, what will I do to solve this problem, I had plans of setting up a weekly city newsletter, I had already designed the template but there was no money for printing, so I looked for an opportunity within, the internet was right there, and guess what? It was FREE, so one evening I headed to the cybercafé with the last 200 naira I had, I bought an hour airtime for 150 naira. I didn’t have money to buy a domain name, so I created CalabarBlog on the blogspot.com free platform.
Worthy of note is, I didn’t just jump into blogging, I already had a niche in mind, which was to report events and activities happening in Calabar. My first blog post was Sen. Liyel Imoke’s 2013 Democracy Day Anniversary speech. I shared this post, and it generated 12 hits within 24 hours. I looked at myself and was quite excited that 12 people out there visited my blog.
The beginning was bumpy, I needed to use my savings to constantly buy internet data, even when I was not even sure anyone out there was reading me, sometimes it felt like talking to myself, In few weeks, I was at home spending more time in front of my computer, wondering what I had gotten myself into, but I knew deep down that it would all work out.
Within 3 months of blogging I got my first client, a blog visitor recommended me to partner with a team for social media strategy for a conference in Tinapa. And lo and behold, here I was, working and getting paid for what I loved doing.
Again, in December of 2013, I had another call to join the Calabar Festival Social Media Team; this was a huge milestone for me, broadening my skills on a larger platform.
CalabarBlog was gradually gaining popularity, people contacted me to put their events on the blog (All thanks to those early clients that believed in what I was doing). I started making little earnings from Blogging, and in the long run the platform provided me great opportunities to work on projects for individuals, brands, organizations and government.
Today, what started as a hobby has grown into Calabar’s leading online digital guide publication and social media hub. Providing news, trends and updates on all things Calabar. It has attracted a cult-like online followership from readers within and outside Nigeria with hits recorded from the United States, Nigeria, Great Britain, France, Germany and even China!
CalabarBlog.Com currently provides great reach into a large concentration of online audience and has recorded site visit as high as 40,000 visitors per day, with an overall traffic of over 650,000 site visits from initial 12 visits within just 2 years. Our social media reach span across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, BBM and Email Subscribers. Overtime, our fan base on all platforms has grown into an online community.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE:
Currently CalabarBlog.Com boast of 4 staffs, with consistency, passion and determination, our hope is to expand the team to engage more young minds and build more followership, Our vision is to build CalabarBlog to become a city guide where everyone can find and search for everything in Calabar. We plan to also engage in capacity building, organize events for young entrepreneurs, develop e – start up hubs for web designs, blogging seminars, graphic designs, content creation, digital marketing, online branding and more. We believe these initiatives will help youths in developing skills that will curb the level of unemployment in our society.
Having a job you love doing is bliss, writing this story and reflecting on my journey was a very powerful and empowering process of remembrance and appreciation. I stand humbled in gratitude.
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