Madeline Wilson Ojo is a copywriter, book blogger, author, and Ghanaian made creative based in London UK. Her blog started as a “book & communications blog” and has grown into “a space that amplifies the voice of the strong black lead, through book reviews, film reviews and real-life interviews.“
Afrobloggers caught up with Madeline Wilson Ojo for a Blogger Spotlight Interview.
How long have you been blogging and what have you learnt from your blogging journey?
In total, I have been blogging for around twelve years. However, my current blog, madelinewilsonojo.com has been up and running for three and a half years. In that time, I have learnt as a blogger, it’s OK to evolve. Your writing style will change, and what you might have been interested in years ago might not be what you like writing about today.
Madeline Wilson Ojo runs an interesting blog series titled #OpenBook where she hosts blogging conversations with fab over 30 bloggers.
What was the inspiration behind the Open Book Series?
Open Book is a series of interviews, on the blog with black bloggers in their thirties. I’ve connected with many other bloggers either online, or physically at events. But many of them are in their twenties. In as much as I cherish these connections, as a woman in her early thirties, I was keen on meeting more thirty-something bloggers. The series has been very enlightening for me and my readers.
Share an unpopular opinion about blogging
It’s a lie that you’re just blogging for yourself. Whether you like it or not, everything put up on the web is for public consumption, and people have a right to comment, discuss, critique or praise your work. Also, as content creators, the onus is on us to share information or entertainment responsibly.
I once received an email from a student who had used cited a sentence from my blog in one of her essays. This alone made me realise how important bloggers are. And this is why I really don’t like it when bloggers don’t take their craft seriously.
Madeline’s blog has a lot of thoughtful resources for other bloggers. One of her resources contains 52 blog titles for someone to blog for a year
Based on your blog planning, any other advice you can offer a blogger struggling to come up with content.
Trying to keep your blog fresh with constant ideas is difficult but I would say:
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Inspiration can come from what you see or hear
- Read other blogs, articles and books for ideas
- Pay attention to social media to see what the trending topics are
- Plan your content around national holidays and days of observance
- Whenever you get an idea, make a note of it as soon as possible so you don’t forget, and expand on it later
- Repurpose and repost old blog posts
- Invite guest bloggers to write for you and offer to pay back the favour in a month or so when you’re feeling a little more inspired.
What applications/software whether mobile desktop or online do you use for a smooth blogging experience?
- The WordPress phone app to edit blog posts
- Notes phone app to jot down rough ideas
- Canva to create Instagram posts and visuals for my blog
- Mailchimp to build and maintain my email list as well as send out newsletters
- Buffer.com to schedule my tweets and Facebook posts
One of the latest submissions on our site is on managing your digital footprint and we notice you have a presence on almost every social media platform. What is your strategy in managing your online visibility?
Do I? Lol! The main platforms I use are Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I think the hardest thing for me was figuring out which platform earned me the most blog traffic, because it’s impossible to give 100% to every social media site. I eventually discovered that Twitter works more for me.
So most of my effort goes on Twitter; building my following, interacting, and tweeting my blog posts. I tweet several times daily, but not just blog related content. I also want my followers to know my personality outside of blogging, so I am very sociable on Twitter.
I am a book blogger, so I like my followers to see all the beautiful books I read. I’m not the best photographer but I try! Every so often I’ll post a photo of me, so people can see the face behind the brand. I post about three times a week. I also use my Insta Stories a lot.
This is where I am less active, but at least once a week, I’ll post something on there.
I am a beginner on Pinterest. It’s a huge challenge but every couple of days, I spend around ten minutes on it to learn more about how it works.
What I’d say about social media is that it is demonised a lot. And to a large extent it can be harmful when used in the wrong way. But if you can use it to your advantage then you’re a winner. It’s important to note that social media is not real life. Most people are putting up a façade, and at any moment those platforms can be taken away. My final thoughts on social media are: post responsibly, make friends and remember, you don’t have to get involved in every online discussion!
How is the bloggingscape in the United Kingdom versus how you would compare it to blogging in Africa in general and Ghana in particular?
Hmmm, I am no expert when it comes to blogging in Ghana or Africa as a whole. But it seems to be that in the UK, blogging has gained a little more respect as a career or money-making option, and that’s just because of the opportunities that are here.
However, I also feel like the blogging community in the UK is a lot more saturated than in Africa. The African bloggingscape is more tightknit which has made it easier to network virtually. A lot of my readers are from the African continent, and I cherish them very much.
Sometimes blogging opens up unexpected opportunities. Have you experienced any interesting situations because of blogging?
It really does! I am a contributor on HuffPost UK (a news and entertainment website), which allows me to write blog posts on the site. I once wrote a post about the representation of black women in the UK media. A few days after it was posted, a producer from BBC radio who enjoyed my post contacted me via email. Next thing I knew, I was being invited to speak on BBC Radio 4 Women’ Hour. Next thing, my husband and I were being taken around for a tour in Broadcasting House (BBC’s headquarters in London). This is one of my highlights as a blogger! Aside from that, the friends and acquaintances I have made through blogging are also a big win for me.
It’s OK to evolve. Your writing style will change, and what you might have been interested in years ago might not be what you like writing about today.Madeline Wilson Ojo
In a perfect world, how would the future of blogging play out?
In an ideal world, blogging would be taken more seriously as a viable career option for those who choose that route. Information sharing has become decolonised because of blogging. More and more disenfranchised groups are able to voice their opinion, share research and entertain the masses because of the bloggingscape.
I’d also like for brands to treat small bloggers fairly when they collaborate with them and pay them their worth.
Also, I think there should be a guild or am official body for bloggers all over the world, so we separate those who blog passionately, or even semi-regularly from those who set up blogs, take domain names and abandon them.
For someone who has just discovered you from this Blogger Spotlight, where do you recommend they start reading your blog and which social media site is best to engage with you?
Firstly, I’d like to welcome that person to the party! The best place to start would be my About Page. That’s where you’ll discover my ‘why’, a bit about my blogging history, the kind of content to expect on the blog, and how to collaborate with me.