How Nigerian Freelancer, Emmanuel Awosika, Found His Path In Blockchain Writing

🔥Crypto Fireside #21 — Interviews with crypto people.

How Nigerian Freelancer, Emmanuel Awosika, Found His Path In Blockchain Writing
Emmanuel Awosika

🔥Crypto Fireside #21 — Interviews with crypto people.

🔥Hello! Who are you, and what do you do?

EA: Hi, I’m Emmanuel Awosika. I’m a freelance writer from Nigeria, specialising in the blockchain industry. I break down complex concepts relating to blockchain/cryptocurrency and cover real-world use-cases of blockchain technology.

Beyond my interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency, I write about the larger Web3 technology movement and its promise of a decentralised Internet. Some of my work covers the value of a Web3-based Internet, especially for businesses and consumers.

🔥What’s your backstory, and how did writing about Crypto come about?

EA: I’ve been interested in cryptocurrency since 2020, but never got around to really understanding it, let alone writing about it. Because some friends invested in crypto, I had some idea about how it worked. It was particularly hilarious watching them scream “buy the dip” and “HODL!” during group conversations.

My interest in writing articles about blockchain started after I got disillusioned with writing SEO filler content. I like to explore really complex topics, and so a friend suggested writing something about Web3. According to him, “Web3 is a hot new topic and everyone’s talking about it.”

Days later, I dived down the rabbit hole, reading everything I could find on Web3. Then I realised cryptocurrency was a part of the larger technological revolution. Moreover, the blockchain technology underpinning Web3 had powerful implications for the future of online interaction, business, governance, and more.

Since then I’ve continued to learn and write about blockchain technology. I’ve discussed topics like solving blockchain’s scalability problem, benefits of Web3 for businesses, brand use-cases for NFTs, and more.

🔥Describe the process of starting your writing journey.

EA: I’ve always liked to write. I guess it came from reading newspapers as a child; reading opinion columns instilled a love for writing as a means of self-expression for me.

However, my entry into freelance writing was less glamorous. I was broke and needed an income to cover expenses. I complained to my brother, who connected me to his brother-in-law, an editor and freelance writer.

I started out writing articles about the automotive industry — sports cars, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and everything in between. Being a generalist writer, I covered more topics in subsequent years, including career development (for Indeed.com), eCommerce, relationships, and sports.

🔥Were you being paid during this time or just building credentials?

EA: I was earning enough to live on while writing generalist content on the automotive industry and other areas. But, as most writers will tell you, niching down increases income because now you can be paid for your expertise in addition to your skill.

Switching to blockchain writing was a gamble, as I have to publish free content to establish credibility. However, I know it’ll pay off since blockchain is a burgeoning industry and needs writers who understand how things work under the hood.

Besides, some things go beyond money. No matter how high-paying a job can be, it’s hard to write if the subject matter is uninteresting. Writing about blockchain, cryptocurrencies, etc., is mentally stimulating and I find the learning process satisfying.

🔥Why did you choose to focus on tech and Crypto?

EA: As a B2B tech writer, my specialty is writing about technology and how it impacts business operations. With blockchain’s growing influence on business, it only made sense to focus my energies on writing about it.

Moreover, I find it exciting to write for the blockchain industry. It’s a new world, with so many things to learn and unlimited potential for development. It’s like writing about the Internet in the early 2000s — you can see the value, even if others don’t see it.

Beyond that, I was tired of jumping around different fields and needed to find a niche. I knew I needed to write in an unsaturated and stimulating industry. Blockchain satisfied both requirements, so I picked it.

🔥Take us through your daily process of what it is that you do.

EA: As an early riser I’m usually up between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. However, my writing starts later in the day after I complete my morning routine of exercising, meditating, and planning my day.

I like to tackle the hardest writing task early in the morning. First, it gets me into the rhythm of work and prevents me from wasting time on social media. Second, mornings are my best times to focus. I have focus issues, so this is very important for me.

The actual writing process starts with researching and outlining. Then comes the writing part. The Pomodoro method has been my favourite writing technique for a while now.

In its most basic form, the Pomodoro technique requires working for 25-minute periods and taking 5-minute breaks. Working in “sprints” helps me focus since I can reward my brain during those short breaks.

🔥What has worked to attract and retain both readers and paying customers?

EA: If there’s anything I do well, it’s explaining complex concepts. I have a rule: if I don’t understand a concept, I won’t write about it. Being able to explain high-level concepts in plain English attracts readers because people like to read easy-to-understand stuff.

Also, I try to be really comprehensive in my articles. Maybe it comes from being a research addict. On a good day, I could have 10–20 tabs open when researching a concept.

Reading from different sources about a topic helps me touch on all noteworthy parts. For example, in my article about business applications for NFTs, I tried to give the average business owner as much information as possible.

I didn’t stop at explaining NFTs and saying “these are X ways to use NFTs for your business.” Instead, I explained why other brands were incorporating NFTs into their business model and further outlined the potential risks involved.

Even though blockchain technology has been around for a while, it feels new-ish to many people. So, it’s important to create content that’s simple to understand and covers enough ground for readers to develop a solid grasp of the topic.

🔥How are you doing today, and what does the future look like? Let’s talk numbers!

EA: My Hashnode blog is growing, so readership is still average. However, I have found more success republishing these stories on Hacker Noon.

My Hackernoon article on Web3 technologies has over 3,000 reads and ranks in the top SERPs. This particular story was also nominated for Hackernoon’s Decentralised Internet Writing Contest.

Most of my writings have been published on Hackernoon, which I haven’t monetised yet, so it’s hard to give a ballpark figure for earnings when it comes to these online publications.

When it comes to client projects, I recently billed a customer $90 for a 1500 word article. I charge what I need to charge per writing project, some customers want me to put a price per word count and others I charge an hourly or project fee for, it all just depends, I'm flexible.

🔥What is something you have learned that surprised you?

EA: The people who succeed are not necessarily the smartest; they just grab opportunities quickly. If anything, smart people may miss out on the same opportunities because they are busy overthinking and rationalising indecision.

Thanks to the Internet, the barrier to entry in most industries has never been lower. Yet most people wait, afraid to exploit these opportunities.

I have this quote that I repeat each time I start overthinking a potential opportunity: “the doors you never knock on won’t open.” In my short time as a blockchain writer, I’ve learned to seize opportunities without thinking of the outcomes.

🔥Mistakes were made. What were they and what did you do?

EA: My biggest mistake was waiting too long before trying out new things and exploring new paths. I’d have probably progressed faster if I wasn’t obsessed with “preparing” before taking on certain projects. Also, I count underestimating my abilities as another mistake I made early on in my writing career.

I know “imposter syndrome” has been overused to death by many professionals, including writers — but it’s a real thing. It’s almost like I expected someone to call me out for being a fraud, haha.

What I’ve realised is: imposter syndrome never goes away. We just learn to build confidence by consistently producing great work.

🔥What have been the most influential things in your life? This can include books, podcasts, or people?

EA: I’m a practising Stoic, and although Stoicism suffers misinterpretation, it is an excellent philosophy for living well. The Dichotomy of Control — a core teaching of Stoics — encourages us to focus on things within our control and leave the rest to fate.

Understanding that has helped me battle against anxiety and imposter syndrome, which threatened to keep me in mediocrity. Now, I know I can write a piece without caring whether people will like it or not. Insofar as I put in my best effort, the rest will take care of itself.

Aside from ancient philosophers, James Clear has had the most impact on my personal development. Between his book Atomic Habits and 3–2–1 newsletter, I have learnt the value of consistency and building processes to ensure long-term improvement.

🔥Do you have any advice for other creators, entrepreneurs, or developers who want to get started or are just beginning?

EA: You’ll never know until you try. I spent so much time asking questions because I was afraid of failing. But here’s the harsh truth: no plan survives contact with reality.

Problems are always going to come up, but that’s just part of the process. Those who win always tweak their processes and re-iterate in the face of new challenges.

Another tip: good things take time. It takes consistency to unlock the true benefits of any path. I’m a big James Clear fan, so let me paraphrase his idea around the importance of consistency: “Mastery requires patience. Breakthrough moments in career and life spring from years of accumulated effort.”

🔥Where do you see the blockchain, cryptocurrency and the decentralisation space going in the next 5 to 10 years?

EA: Despite claims to the contrary, Blockchain adoption will grow. Already, we have big players like Unilever, Walmart, and De Beer using blockchain to solve business problems.

Blockchain’s scalability problem has been a major stumbling block to its widespread adoption. With Layer-2 solutions like Bitcoin’s Lightning Network and Ethereum’s Raiden Network working to increase blockchain’s processing power, its viability will increase exponentially.

Lastly, I think decentralisation is inevitable: it’s a question of when, not if, it will happen. NFTs are already decentralising the art market and DAOs promise to decentralise hierarchical corporate structures. It’s only a matter of time before decentralisation spreads to every part of society.

🔥Where can we go to learn more?

EA: As a blockchain/cryptocurrency enthusiast and writer, I’m always open to new opportunities to help people understand this new technology. I can break down complex topics and create writing that informs your audiences, builds your brand, and attracts more users/investors.

You can contact me via LinkedIn or email me at [email protected]. For my work, read my stories on Hashnode and Hackernoon.

🔥Thank you, Emmanuel!

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