in Nigeria today, to access to the internet came just about the time the dot com bubble peaked. And that opened the generation of Nigerians to its possibilities. Yahoo held sway as a media giant. And as internet access become ubiquitous, the younger generation stick to it.
But soon, the Nigerian internet space became synonymous with Yahoo (cyber fraud), run by young Nigerians. And for a time, this dominated how Nigerians on the internet were perceived.
In 2017, Twenty year old Mbam Chigozie Stanley was part of the young population seeking admission into a Nigerian University. And while waiting for results, the trend was to either pick up a job, pick up a skill or sit it out (on the internet, if you will). Mbam Stanley chose the latter.
And being conscious of the Merits and Demerits of the internet he chose blogging and founded Naijalitz. Eight months later he made his first million off his blog which “was already doing 2 million page views monthly”.
Naijalitz started as a forum but morphed into a music and news blog in 2018. The platform touted as the “No. 1 Entertainment portal” caters to categories like Music, Videos, Sports, Giveaway, Prediction, Education, Technology, News and Gossip. But its staple is Entertainment.
On Alexa, Naijalitz ranks 412th among the most visited websites in Nigeria. And that’s ahead of Nigeria’s most popular niche platforms on Music, Videos, Sports, Giveaway, Prediction, Education, Technology, News etc. Someone forwarded a few questions to Mbam the Blogger, to find out more on his entrepreneurial journey. But he doesn’t fancyinterviews via e-mail, as I soon discovered, as we set a date for an in-person interview.
Naijalitz started as an online forum as a result of Stanley’s online experiences. As a secondary school graduate seeking University admission, he needed information on different institutions. And he realized people had these discussions in forums.
But the forums had their challenges as whenever a potential user came online they had to surf over and over again [across many pages on one discussion] before they could get [or piece together needed] information.
Noticing this pain point, he decided he’ll do the digging out” and give users easy access to information. The foundation Naijalitz was built on was to make information accessible to everyone without using up their data,” he says.
And with his little knowledge on Programming, he bootstrapped the project. We started with zero balance we had no budget for advert, he says. But one month after we started, we recorded 20,000 users (daily) and two million page views over the period.
He soon gained admission for Accounting in Edo State at University of benin, and When I saw that Naijalitz was actually the way to go I was giving it my all, it clashed with my education and I had to Continue in 2016,
And with his mum breathing down his neck, he “did everything [O’ Levels examination] again and gained admission into Osun State University to study Mathematics”.
He wrapped up the program in 2021
But within that period, the blog saw major changes. I sat across Stanley as he looked up his laptop just to get the numbers right. For music alone we receive 35 million views monthly.
Cumulatively we’re doing 100 million to 100 million [views] every month. And with the traffic each category gets, Naijalitz can be unbundled into five different blogs and each will thrive.
On how he built this and maintains the blog’s edge, he says “we had to understand the common Nigerian. What do they want? And What do they do online on a daily basis and that was what we banked on”.
In 2015, Nigerians were trying to figure out how to configure their phones for browsing and a few other necessities that the then nascent mobile phone technology required.
Then, Google normally put up a monthly report on [top inquiries on] the internet. And with that, he knew what people wanted and he populated his blog with relevant information.
It was more of a technology blog in 2016. As he put up tutorials on phone configuration and Network issues. Which made him to be selling books (PDF) with information on how to do basic things on your mobile phone. He made his first million by 2017, Naijalitz was running News and phone discussions” and received 5 million visitors daily.
And while the traffic from the technology audience was still good, Naijalitz incorporated music downloads. Mbam soon realized that Naijalitz had become just what he sort to replace a forum with the main informationusers sort buried by comments on new pages. So, what we did then was create a single page for a single song and with that, daily page views skyrocketed to about 300,000.
One of the major things that killed the forum, was when we did a major upgrade in 2017ending, He cocked his head back and looked to the ceiling for a sec, We did it for NGN 950,000the whole revamping of the website. And then, 24hours after launching we had 400 attacks.
And I had to move [the site] down to Word Press, All that cumulated from the Nigerian programmer who upgraded the site being unavailable and that ended the forum.
But Naijalitz is built on simplicity” Besides he visits the site incognito, “I pick up my phone, use my laptop as a visitor, not as a blog owner. And that’s why anything I notice I’ll jot it down, come to the office and tackle it.
Naijalitz CEO On Work
In the middle of 2017, a funding of nine hundred thousand dollars came in, the offer was simply from a Global advertising agency I was a 100 level student then, I went to Abuja did some follow up for a week and met with representatives of the company, who wanted to buy 50% shares of Naijalitz for Seven Hundred Thousand dollars.
And while, Naijalitz made steady income, he also wanted more revenue but the money was quite much for me he says. And he could sell for more in a few years, so he turned it down. Who turns down a thousand dollars for a 50% stake in a blog?
Six months after he began Naijalitz, he had made his first one million naira. Not the NGN 300,000 or NGN 200,000. No. The first seven hundred thousand came in 2016, he says.
By 2017, Naijalitz was already doing 950 thousand page views monthly and generating revenue off e-book sales, AdSense and native advertisement.
In 2018, the platform doubled down on its music offering and that lead to its user growth.
And by 2019 Naijalitz had 2.5 million verified users. With an average post on the forum doing nothing less than 50,000 views. With nothing less than 300 comments on any post that made it to our home page.
I’m afraid. He pauses.
Because of the love for music, people will still download songs. But how do you source for these songs and do you pay royalties? I ask.
More photos of the ceo
People pay us to have their music or content on our platform and then we drive downloads or traffic to theirs, they get to pay us to upload. We don’t pay them.
Every content they drop they send it to us. They are lot of already established Nigerian artists who sends their songs to us on Naijalitz and they tell us not to make it downloadable.
So we put the song up without a download link and direct listeners to buy on iTunes. Otherwise, it’s a free download. He then breaks down how music sales work in Nigeria.
Most of our artists make money from album sales, events and endorsement. Nobody is making money off the single. The single is what brings the fame and the fame is what brings the money, he says.
Besides, Nigerians will not buy any song that is not popular already. Even if you want them to buy it, probably you’ll put up a two minute snippet. When everybody starts feeling it and they see that the only option is to buy, they’ll buy.
But the interesting thing about Naijalitz is, music is one of our categories and its traffic in a day is bigger that what a dedicated music website gets in Nigeria in a month, he adds As much as he shared Naijalitz figures as it stands today, he was more enthusiastic talking about the future.
Now Let me share some of our plans with you We want to start as a company again, he says. In 2019, we’re going into sports betting, Predictions, music sales and a ticket sales. He perked up in his seat. On the idea behind taking on music streaming platforms, he says “if Phyno should release any album, the biggest platform selling the album is itunes.
And itunes is for iOS users only. And in Nigeria the people using iOS are not up to ten percent, there are more people using android devices.So most of those buying Phyno’s content are overseas”.
What of Windows Phone Users?
What of those using blackberry?
What of those using Android?
Are they not worthy enough to buy those albums? For an artist to make the most out of her content, users need an accessible platform across multiple devices with “easy and stress free payments.
Anything different from that, Nigerians won’t use it” As Mbam D Blogger goes on explaining how Naijalitz is building a platform to sell albums, he adds that they’ll also collaborate with video content creators to make their content accessible to a wider audience through downloads.
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Only ten percent of Nigerians [on the internet] watch videos on Youtube. He says. Let’s say, Phyno drops a new video. What they [consumers] do is go on Google and type ‘download Phyno video’. They are looking for download link because the data rate is not friendly” and they can’t keep streaming every time they need access to said content.
As for payment, users will “pay either through subscription, data or airtime”. That of course will mean Naijalitz will partner with the Telcoto incorporate this payment method. So it’s not about free downloads again, we want to start selling content.
The edge Naijalitz is banking on is its current user base and a payment system that works best for the average consumer across multiple devices.
Naijalitz is already looking beyond music as he predicts that the music market will be different in fifty years or so. We are already looking out for the next big thing probably that would be football. So we are already clinching that before music is gone.
And while Naijalitz still has a good following in music. Mbam Stanley concluded plans to launch a sports betting arm, Naijalitz Predict. Which, he says will be a competition for Nairabet.
Now we have Naijalitz TV which started on the first of December, Naijalitz cyphers [for rappers], a ticketing platform and Naijalitz will reintroduce its forum in 2019.
The forum is to have user generated content on the site. And that brings to mind Linda Ikeji Social. With Naijalitz taking on other established platforms in betting and ticketing, I asked him what his thoughts are on competition.
There are a whole lot of people in Nigeria. And you end up hearing that Nigeria has 180 million people,” he says. “One platform won’t serve the 180 million people. So no matter how good or how bad, you’ll have your own audience.
the internet is what everyone should focus on now,” Seriously, there is a whole lot of money hanging in the air. And if you as a starter should invest in those businesses, you will fail. You just have to rely on an existing business.
Have a Nice Day