Kolapo Imam, best known on the web as @PiousGeek, is one of Nigeria’s recognizable online writers.
Last week, we had a virtual interview with him to learn about his writing process, how he raked almost a million views on Quora and Medium, and the best thing that has happened to him because of his writing on the internet.
Let’s get into it. Jeremiah asks:
You have almost a million views on Quora and Medium combined, how did you achieve that?
Consistency and relevancy are the major elements that have contributed to my Quora and Medium journey. I regularly check my Quora question request feeds and research to come up with near-perfect answers to the most-asked questions. The same applies to Medium.
I rarely watch TV and football, so I have time to read and stay in touch with trends and happenings in the tech industry. For me, answering Quora questions and publishing on Medium are the best ways I know how to teach.
I joined Quora in 2016 but actively started writing answers in 2017. By late 2017, I attended the first Quora Meetup in Lagos, where I met really amazing people off Quora. I’m still part of the community to date.
As a graduate of political science, what made you decide to start a career as a writer?
I’d been writing even before I gained admission into the university. I enjoyed writing and drawing as a kid but had to drop drawing for personal reasons. So writing became my superpower, and the only way I could express myself. I started different blogs while in university. The surviving one is Campus Trybe, which I still manage.
However, a family member, who is also my mentor, influenced my decision to pursue writing seriously. He was an established writer by the time I graduated uni, and I once sat behind him while he wrote product reviews for foreign clients. At that point, the thought of contributing to business success and operations from anywhere made me consider writing as a safe option. I resumed my first writing job two days after graduation.
You combine product management and content marketing with managing Campus Trybe. Which is your primary focus and money maker?
Honestly, they are all making money in some ways, except Campus Trybe. Campus Trybe is the only one that dips into my pocket and lavishes my funds to keep operations running.
I work full-time on a product team for a tech creator with offices in Lagos and the US. Product management brings the largest share of my funds, followed by digital marketing which consists of content writing, SEO, email marketing, and social media management for clients. I only have two hours of my day to spend on Campus Trybe.
What are your strategies for juggling these different skills and roles?
My strategies are self-honesty, high resourcefulness, and the drive to be the best at everything I do.
I am also process-driven, and that’s why I spend most of my time putting processes together and doing research work about specific tasks. I don’t spend as much time on writing as I used to do, thanks to the knowledge of content outline and research workflows.
I love productivity tools as well. My major go-to tools are Google Tasks, Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Notes.
Everything I do is related. The only thing I lack might be an accountability partner or community, so I rely heavily on reminders and technology. I’m also completing my MBA at Nexford University which takes up most of my weekends.
What’s your advice for new writers who want to ‘make it’ on the web?
My advice for any writer or anyone looking to get published on the internet is to START. It doesn’t matter if it’s only 300 or 500 words on Medium. Just start today.
Making it on the web is relative. For some people, it’s earning money from their writing. For others, it’s receiving comments on their articles. You have to identify your interests, your goal, your superpower, and what type of gratification you desire from your writing.
More importantly, don’t be everywhere. Stick to platforms you can maintain well. I recently signed up on Substack but I’ve failed to keep up with the schedules. Start small, master a platform and be consistent.
What’s the best thing that has happened to you because of your writing on the internet?
A lot has happened because of my internet writing. I got my first job because of my published writing, and the interview took less than 20 minutes.
From receiving messages from readers on Quora, Twitter, even LinkedIn, to becoming friends with top professionals across the world, and getting paid in different currencies. It’s been an amazing experience.
On the fun side, I almost got into trouble for writing an “activist-like” piece about my school during my final year. The recognition from it was one of the few, big things that have happened to me because I write.