We’re introducing you to some of South Africa’s most popular blogs and bloggers through our feature, ‘Retrospective’. Ever wonder how they pay the bills? Or how long it takes to actually make money from blogging? We get the answers to those questions for you.
How did you get into blogging?
A bit more than 3 years ago, me and a group of 4 friends had a Skype chat group where we used to chat and try to make each other laugh. I suggested that we create a website where we could put all the nonsense discussions that we had. A week or two later gevaaalik.com saw the light of day for the first time to a full 8 visitors. I’m still convinced that 5 of those visitors were us – the people who started gevaaalik.com.
What other activities help you pay the bills?
I have a day job as an SEO and online marketing “professional”. That is how I pay the bills.
How long were you blogging for before you made your first cent through advertising?
Let’s just say that the amount of cents that I made was so little that I can’t even remember how long ago it was. But, like most bloggers in SA I’m still waiting for the big ship to come in. All I can do is keep doing what I’m doing. Keep my head down and keep the quality content coming.
If you could provide one gem about bloggers to brands, what would you like them to know?
Don’t think that you don’t have to pay us for the work we do. In most cases we would love to work with brands, but they have to take us seriously for us to take them seriously. I recently found out that gevaaalik.com generates more traffic than one of South Africa’s more prominent (and well-funded) music sites. Yet, I don’t see brands sponsoring me with a car or two.
Sites like gevaaalik.com and other prominent SA blogs are the future of publishing. Just like publishers of old, you have to pay us. You have to choices; Either show us you take us seriously by paying up, or get left behind when international brands start scooping us up.
Haters will hate, but how do you deal with negative comments?
Oh and do I have plenty of haters. When I first started getting negative comments I felt the need to defend myself and I got mad. These days I’ve realised that by leaving a negative comment, you have taken time out of your day to interact with me on my terms, and therefore I win. The gevaaalik.com audience is great and they usually sort out the haters, but every now and then I’ll troll the haters for my own shits and giggles.
Which places and spaces online inspire your rad content?
I guess the easy answer would be ‘life’. But it varies. Music, stuff I read online, people I follow on Twitter, podcasts I listen to, conversations I have. They all have an influence on me. For me the weirdest thing is when I sit down to write something and when I read it a day or two later I can’t even remember writing a specific sentence. It’s a strange thing when the Muse uses you as a pen.
Which of your blog posts best represents you?
Representative of my twisted point of view: Afrikaans is dood: Die Mars van die Skape is verby
Representative of my love for the female form: Gevaaalike Dames
Representative of my love for music: Lamb of God South Africa 2014
I think that sums me up pretty well.
If you could switch blogs with another blogger for a day, who would it be and why?
Locally it has to be Daniel Nash from BangersandNash.com. It just seems like he is having an awesome time while he is doing his thing.
Internationally, John Resig. When I discovered The Chive (a site John started with his brother) it was the first time that I realised that you could make a living as a blogger. Yes, it is way harder for us in South Africa because brands in South Africa are so behind the times, but it can be done.