I couldn’t think of a better way to start this year than to answer popular questions I’ve been asked about my blog over the years. I am not going to deal with anything that’s on my about page but completely up and specific stuff. Let’s dive in, shall we?
How did this start?
Well, this started nearly as an accident. I have been a writer as long as I can remember; writing episodes from cartoon network in Grade 1 and starting to create my own in about Grade 4. Writing has always been a form of entertainment and my way of escape from reality which I seriously needed and employed in High School. Only that, I wrote so much that it affected my grades so I was discouraged from writing by my family. So much so, I totally forgot about it in the University until my sister who was a big facilitator in making me stop writing earlier, tried to encourage me to go back to writing. She suggested I wrote for a newspaper but it quite didn’t feel right even though I was psyched to write at the time. I researched my options and blogging stood out for me. I started to run a free blog and later my sister helped me to acquire my own domain and hosting for my blog which was awesomerichy.com. Unfortunately, I lost that domain name to wordpress.com and I had to purchase a new one which is now richardsiaw.com.
Why are you doing this type of blogging?
When I wanted to start blogging, one thing I knew was, I didn’t want to just blog for entertainment but I wanted to reach people’s hearts and move them in a big way. That was all I knew but I still wasn’t sure how. I remember my very first post which was inspired by anger; I was so pissed off at someone. Yes, I wrote an article to address a particular behavior I found in him as well as other people that pissed me off all the time. That form of writing is still with me today when I try to criticize dogma and the society. I am just someone who defines himself as ‘purpose’. I just want to find purpose in everything I do! There must be a greater plan…a greater meaning to life than working, making money and bearing children to add to the bills you have to pay till you die. There must be meaning to working, to love, to living and to blogging other than comedy, gossip and entertainment. I’ve always wanted to make a massive change in people’s lives; that heart and mentality led me to addressing issues of the marginalized and the rejected of the society. This led me to tow lanes, others wouldn’t tread….the unconventional way of blogging is what I chose and that’s all I will be doing till I can’t strike a key anymore.
Why do you enjoy sexual topics like that?
This is a very popular question. In fact, I am using this question to answer every other related question in terms of my subjects of choice. The mere fact that issues relating to human sexuality stands out for you means that I’ve actually made the right choices befitting my genre of blogging. This blog being about the #unsaid of Africa and in fact, the whole world, seeks to address issues that are usually ignored in our society. Believe you me, there are many important issues concerning human sexuality that is ignored in our society and that is where my blog takes the baton. Also, I have written so many blog posts and those on human sexuality seems to stand out to readers only because of how our minds have been structured by the society. It feels like majority when in fact, it’s not even close. This answer goes to every other ‘unusual’ subject my blog seems to stress on.
Do you make money from your blog?
When I started blogging, as much as I was passionate about writing, I was also so focused on making money to keep my blog running. I tried getting the most popular advertisement company adsense on to my blog but my applications were turned down because of the nature of my content. I tried to change it’s nature to get the money but I changed my mind when I realized my writings were beginning to lack purpose. I got onto other ad companies and they clustered my website with incomprehensible ads that paid little. So I went for affiliate marketing strategies and made my first $50 by mistake. I thought that was the beginning of me turning a billionaire so I continued but for some reason, it stopped working after a few. I realized that stressing about money was inevitable with my niche of blogging and I had to choose between making impact in the lives of a minority or business. So guess what? I am not directly making money now from my blog. In fact, I spend money to run my blog. It’s sometimes difficult to, I’m not going to lie about that, but it’s worth it when I get the messages from people who have been massively affected by my write-ups, vlogs and other videos. There have been times I got so broke that I decided not to renew anymore but I find myself break my back to do it when a young man sends me a message that says something like, “Nobody has ever addressed what I’m going through like the way you did in this article.” When another says, “I can’t stop sharing this cos I have been judged and bullied all my life for this but nobody seemed to care” You know, being the voice for the #unsaid is worth so much more than a few hundreds of dollars.
What kind of exposure has your blog given you?
I think that’s one great thing that my blog has done for me. The exposure! It has it’s positive and negative sides. Let’s start with the negatives and end with the positives. There are people who’d blatantly be disrespectful…even sexually. There are rich racist imbeciles who’d offer you money for the craziest things. I receive the weirdest messages about people’s fantasies and impressions of me that makes me think, “Who’s been feeding you these lies!” Getting invited to events I simply don’t want to be and when I turn certain events down, people tend to think of me as a fake who is not as accepting and loving. Sometimes I get blocked on social media for not being able to respond to messages or turning down events and invitations.
However, there are great opportunities I have been exposed to as well. Getting in contact with people in field of human rights and sometimes having the opportunity to work with them. Having dinners and meeting up with awesome people who engage me in eye opening conversations in just short periods with them. Making friends,business partners and acquaintances all over the world. Sometimes receiving gifts from people whom I’ve never really known.
What are your biggest challenges now?
My biggest challenges are funding and the RIGHT people to work with. Many people would rather be in a niche that is less tense, with glitz and glamour. Nobody wants to be in the forefront to fight the bad guys and make some changes to DOGMA and instead become the bad guys in the eyes of society. Most people would rather play it safe and cool.. Even I want to play it safe and cool only that I just can’t help it. So I understand. It however remains my biggest problem.
And of course, funding is a problem. Since nobody would want to risk everything for nothing working for me at least they would want to be paid. The blog would have to be running, research should be conducted which may also involve travelling and others.
What are your plans for 2019?
As the popular saying goes, “Write it so that it is not forgotten” So I am glad I get to write this. For many years now, most of my work has been research based but this year there is a lot that is going to be practical and very involving. I’m building a team and we’re looking forward to start a talk show that will bring these unsaid issues to light. Trying to get the support and aid as much as possible to bring certain issues to light and force a discussion around those lines which our society has ignored forever! We need to force the society to discuss them, we need to scream requisite knowledge down people’s ears, refuse ignorance,we need to force the CHANGE on the society and save people from hurting and dying in their hopes, their dreams, their sense of self, their emotions and bodies. These can only happen when we do something. If you want to help in any way, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or share this article to someone who would like to help. Let’s all help make this world a better place. Thanks!