Posted by retroviral

We’re introducing you to some of South Africa’s most popular blogs and bloggers through our fortnightly 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.

This week we talk to John Beale of

How did you get into blogging?

A dear friend, Vincent Hofmann, invited me to write for his now defunct blog, around pre-World Cup time. So I obliged, drove every employee’s car in the office, wrote reviews on them, and then realised I’m not as kak at it as I thought.

What other activities help you pay the bills?

I head up Strategy at Cerebra, a full service communication agency in Jozi-town. Also, I dance for money. Call me.

How long were you blogging for before you made your first cent through advertising?

A little over 18 months, 6 days and 3 hours. But who’s counting.

If you could provide one gem about bloggers to brands, what would you like them to know?

ASK FOR STATS! Don’t believe everything a blogger says, so get the stats, and for the love of God, go and read the blog you’re advertising on.

Haters will hate, but how do you deal with negative comments?

I’ve only had one negative comment, and dealt with it like any self-respecting blogger would. I deleted it and made like it never existed.

Which places and spaces online inspire your rad content?

There are some pretty awesome blogs from the US, but generally I find more of my inspiration from traditional publishing. They are upping their game in terms of content, and the type of interactive stuff being done with Zineo on some of the international titles is really great. That, and I just keep up with trends. I started a Tumblr for really short car reviews, realizing the majority of people want content that’s snackable, searchable and sharable – not long-ass car reviews.

Which of your blog posts best represents you?

Well, I write about cars, so that’s going to be rather hard… but here goes > here.

If you could switch blogs with another blogger for a day, who would it be and why?

I’d switch up with Grant Nash to see what it’s like to actually get comments on my posts.

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