According to South Africa’s largest ever blog survey there’s money to be made in blogging but not many are making it.
One thousand bloggers were surveyed in 24.com’s groundbreaking research, which found that blogging is about fun, self expression and not the moola. Research results showed only eight percent of surveyed bloggers have a commercial motive, and out of this number around 85% earn between R1 and R1,000 while 15% (or 12 surveyed bloggers) earn between R1,000 and R3,000 each month.
Some 43% of respondents earn more than R20,000 monthly, while more than 15% earn over R50,000 per month. Interestingly, 58% of local bloggers are married or cohabit, and 46% of them have children.
There is an even split of men and women blogging and 58% are between the ages of 25 and 44.
Some 95% of respondents said English or Afrikaans was their first language. Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria are blogging epicentres and account for more than 75% of surveyed bloggers.
“Far from being techies living in a techie world, bloggers are people who dabble in a virtual world, but very much value real world interactions,” says Matthew Buckland, general manager of online publishing and social media at 24.com.
“It seems that blogging is integrated with bloggers’ offline and online lives. Cape Town also appears to be South Africa’s blogging capital, judging by the fact that the most responses came from the mother city.”
It seems that blogging is an online hobby for most bloggers; a highly individualistic outlet and a significant time investment to thoughtfully and passionately express themselves. In fact, more than half of bloggers make one to five posts weekly.
Although nearly 50% of bloggers contribute to just one blog, over 15% of bloggers claim to contribute to four or more blogs. In terms of time spent blogging, 65% spend between one to 10 hours each week on their blog.
“Whatever you want to call them – outlets for modern-day diarists, writers, hobbyists, parents, industry experts, critics, activists, philosophers and observers of society and trends – blogs are self-empowering and an opportunity for individuals to contribute to the national zeitgeist,” adds Buckland.
“Blogging is set to become more of a mainstream phenomenon in the future, especially as better revenue models emerge for bloggers and as more affordable broadband access becomes available. With larger audiences, bigger communities and increasingly diverse participants, I would expect South Africa’s bloggers to also make more friends, influence the opinions of others and mobilise other citizens to act, speak and participate, both on and offline,” says Buckland.