Marketing TheNakedConvos – An Interview with Olawale Adetula


If you’ve ever dreamed of getting rich off a blog you don’t have to put in too much work into, because it’s kind of on auto pilot, you’re not alone. But that’s a rarity, most media publishers have put in night and day to get where they are. The only missing link is the stories we haven’t heard, the hows and the whys.

So today we’d be talking to Olawale, the guy behind nakedconvos to find out a few things about how he handles marketing for his blog.

How did you start out marketing thenakedconvos? And when did it tip? What was that one event that you think made it “blow”?

We started marketing TNC from launch – that will probably sound strange to some considering the fact that we didn’t use any paid channel to promote the platform but with my experience in marketing, I know organic channels can just be as effective as paid channels especially when it comes to assets like a web publishing platform.
From get go, we had all our social media channels but because we were a startup, we had to prioritize based on our resources and our marketing objectives. At that point in time, all we wanted was to drive as many eyeballs to the site at little or no cost. Of all the channels, we noticed we always got that spike in numbers whenever we pushed using Twitter, so we decided to focus on Twitter.
We didn’t have a budget for paid promotion at the time so we had to think up creative ways to promote organically and this was in 2010/2011 when terms like influencer marketing and so on weren’t really popular here in Nigeria. But these were things already being experimented with abroad and we saw no reason not to try them out. So we invested heavy man hours in getting the few influencers present on Twitter back them to buy into our platform and once they did, they became our promoters indirectly. Again, this was easy then because our major objective was tied to driving traffic so all we had to do was create great content, share it with our promoters and leave the rest to them.
We only started doing paid promotion late 2014 and by then we had loads of options to choose from. Again, we let our objectives guide our decision and at that point, we noticed that it wasn’t even the online marketing channels that worked for us. We noticed more and more uplift as we did more and more offline events and so we focused on that for a while and I must say that really helped us to get a lot of people’s attention.

A lot of our readers are trying to grow their blog organically, did you try out anything technical from an SEO point of view? Is it still the same now? Do you have someone who works on it

We didn’t invest in channels like SEO initially, not because we didn’t know the important but mostly because again, we were a startup and proper SEO isn’t cheap and even if you decide to go about it yourself, it can be time consuming. More importantly, you need to ask yourself as a blog starting out, is that really what you need? Perhaps if you’re a blog dedicated to a really small niche, SEO would be extremely important for you when you start out but if you’re for instance, an entertainment news site looking to earn revenue from advert placement, you might want to invest in other marketing channels guaranteed to drive more eyeballs to your blog.
Once you’re done establishing some form of followership for your blog, you can then go back and start building links and doing as much as you can SEO-wise for your blog – at least this is what we did and this is what I’d recommend. Nowadays we have a team handling our marketing so we have more resources to deploy across different channels.

Do you use WordPress? Do you think the platform is good enough for you to scale your website? Or are you looking to bail at some point?

We used and extremely customized WordPress version. I say extremely customized because developers who swear they know wordpress sometimes look at it and wont recognize it. We decided to stay with WordPress not just because of its open source nature that allows anyone to contribute solutions but also because many Nigerians and indeed Africans are familiar with it and as a result, it made business sense for us to stick with the solution.

What impact do you think social media sharing has had on the website? Do you also run email marketing?

Social sharing is big for us. People literarily live on social media nowadays so bulk of our content is event consumed on social media sites, which is why sharing is important.
We keep this in mind when creating content and also making sure we have the tools to help people share easily present on our site.
Yes we also run email marketing, we have a 360 degrees approach to digital marketing where we try to cover as many channels as our resources can allow. Some people like receiving content via email where it is semi-curated for them and they don’t have to go on to the site and start looking for themselves and this makes email important.

What’s the biggest traffic source for your website today?

For us, our direct channel is still our biggest traffic source – this is great testimony to the quality of content we have on the site and also our investment in SEO. People stumble on our site, fall in love and just keep coming back.