I promise you can get paid for anything; you can make a career for yourself from anything—as long as you're good at it and you're sure of it. A business or job does not have to be about a rigid 9-5 structure. It can be anything!
Meet Waheed Sukurat Omowumi, a content writer synonymously known as Omowumi_ on Instagram; she has made a name and business for herself by being the funniest person in the room. Her work entails writing relatable and funny content for her readers to enjoy.
We had a chat with her the other day, and she told us about all that goes into her business and how it came to be the sole career and business she manages for now.
How did your content writing career come to be?
I started in 2018 during my semester holidays—I was bored and would write a bunch of funny stories to share with my schoolmates in my school group chat. It became a constant thing because whenever I didn't write, people would slide into my DMS to ask me why I hadn't given them their daily dose of funny stories. So that was how it all started.
There's a trend with boredom these days Lol, so how did you come up with a way to reach a larger audience?
I started posting those short stories on Instagram as captions; I wasn't getting engagement, but it didn't stop me. I even created a mini-website by myself and was posting these stories there. Then, I found that other content writers with similar ideas like mine used memes to push out their content. So I hopped on the meme wave and started adding my story ideas to them.
Whoa, so have your content writing skills changed your life trajectory?
Yes, very much. I studied Microbiology in school, and now I'm here thriving in a business that is way different from what I studied. I even got my first writing job through this; a client reached out to me to write on an international blog; I wasn't confident at first, but I soon got the hang of it. I also got my first major writing role with KraksTV through it; I worked with them for about 2 years; So it's been an amazing experience so far; I pray for more to come. Those experiences honestly made me more confident in myself and my work.
What goes through your mind when you create content?
The first thing I think of is that I want to put out something good and funny. The content writing process involves a lot of research; let me give an example; remember that Yul Edochie cheating scandal? I had to research several blogs to see how true and relevant the information I was seeing was. Then I proceeded to the memes aspect to know which ones would fit perfectly; I'd sit down and ideate what caption would work. So that's my work process, but it might be different sometimes since I embrace flexibility. Aside from trending topics, I also work on relatable content on issues I think about and share different people's experiences. I'm very meticulous with what I do. I do my research, write, proofread, design, and more before publishing my content.
Is your content writing skill a business for you?
Yes, it is the only major thing I have going for me at the moment; it used to be a side hustle because I had school and other stuff like a tailoring business, but recently since I've been out of school, I've been able to focus on it squarely and make money from it.
How much did you get for your first paid gig?
It was #10,000 from the KraksTV competition I won back then; it was the first time I got money from writing anything.
Do you consider content writing a profitable business?
Yes oh! A profitable one for people that see the value of it. When you find the right set of clients to pay you your worth in content writing, you will see how profitable it is.
What counts as income and expenses for your content writing business?
The amount I get paid from ads and content writing is my income, and my expenses ball down to data subscriptions—because I use more data than I usually would if I wasn't writing content. Sometimes I get spontaneous credit alerts for just being funny and creative. One time a celebrity reached out to me and sent N30,000 to me for just making their day! It's amazing.
As a business owner, how do you negotiate your pay?
I made my rate card broad enough to fit any budget, but there would still be clients that complain about the price range and say," is it not just writing?!".
One time I had someone unfollow me because I didn't come down to their price. I negotiate based on what you gain from using my brand, I do have a lot of engagement, and whenever I post a client's work on my page, people would still engage with the post on my page months after. Some of my followers would purposely patronize a brand because I promoted it. To any other content creators out there, I need you to know that you should not go below your worth; people who would pay you would pay for your creativity.
Do you face any challenges as a content writer?
Yes! A major one is writer's block; I have to sometimes write about trending things, and putting the whole thing together quickly to publish it before the news gets stale can be hard. For example, I was asleep when the last Grammy award night was on. The pressure was so much on me to put out something related to it by morning. I had to start reading about what was going on from one page to the other and even blogs. I was up from 12:00 am to 5:00 am trying to work on something to satisfy my waiting readers. When I was about to start compiling the list, I stared at my screen for almost 2 hours and couldn't write anything down because my head was blank. However, I still came up with something and delivered as usual.
Another challenge is that some people steal my content without giving credit- they'd remove my watermark and get engagement by stealing my work! It's annoying.
Final question, What's the best thing that being a content creator has given you?
The engagement and acceptance I get from my content, and the audience have made me very proud of my hard work. I get to create promotional content for many brands, including big brands like GOtv, DStv, Glo, MTN, Airtel, etc. I have gotten a lot of testimonies from people about how my content made them so happy that they forgot about depression. Another thing that makes me feel great about my content career path is that big celebrities like Tiwa Savage and Don Jazzy, to name a few, follow me and like my work. These aspects of my work make me feel like I have achieved something good with everything I do.
Scale With Kippa is a weekly series where we discuss the peculiarities of running and scaling businesses in Nigeria. This month’s episodes focus on the lives of small scale roadside in different industries who are growing year on year using all available resources.
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