Our readers absolutely loved our blog post featuring the Top Female Bloggers in South Africa earlier this year that we couldn’t resist drawing up a similar list for the top male bloggers out there. This list of top 5 male bloggers from South Africa has been chosen by our in-house team for their quirkiness, interesting blog posts and overall likability in the digital world.
Bloggers David Chislett, Adrian James Gregory, Rafiq Phillips, Liron Segev and Mika Stefano give us insight into the blogging world, tell us how their blogs have transformed and provide some useful advice for wannabe bloggers.
Ladies and gentlemen, here are five of the best male bloggers in South Africa:
1. David Chislett – Davidchislett.co.za
David is a speaker, journalist, consultant and communication expert whose passion for writing is seen through his blog. David first started blogging in 2004 when he created a blog called The Chiz (after one of his nicknames).
David tells us how it all began:
“At the time I had been working as a freelance journalist for about 10 years and was tired of the limited opportunities to write about the amazing and diverse people I was meeting in everyday life. I was also tired of short word counts and editors who sat in offices and did not roam the streets. So I began to blog as a way to explore ideas, issues and people that I could not obtain coverage in the mainstream media for. It was a bit like my own alternative magazine at first.
My current blog www.davidchislett.co.za is a very different animal. The site has been live for about 5 years now and is nowhere near as regular or pre-determined as The Chiz was. On this newer site, I talk a lot about what I actually do - which is write, speak and train. Thus, the blog is a reflection of what I am learning from what I do for a living - learning both as a person and as a businessman. I am also starting to develop a multi-media emphasis and generate longer, more in-depth articles while still using the site as a repository for information about what I do (or have done) and the books I have written.
I speak pretty frankly about my life and my learnings on the site, which does seem to be appealing to readers. It’s possible that right now, I am not posting as much as I could, but then again, I am not doing much in the public eye.
What makes my blog unique? Well, just as we all are, I am unique! But I do also have access to a world that not everyone experiences and this can be interesting to read about.
I think the most important thing to consider when thinking about starting a blog is focus, time and consistency. You MUST give serious thought to what you want to blog about and allocate regular time so that you do blog regularly. It is hard to gain traction with occasional postings. Also realise that you have to link out and promote your blog. It won’t just grow on its own!”
2. Adrian James Gregory – Keen on Cape Town
Adrian is no doubt a fan of Cape Town and his lifestyle blog, Keen on Cape Town, is written from his perspective as a young professional living in the vibrant Mother City. Adrian writes about events, sports, news as well as entertainment and happenings in the city.
Here’s how Adrian began his love of blogging:
“In 2009 I decided to enter the world of blogging. I'm a website developer by trade and all the buzz around blogging eventually caught my attention. I was a bit of a late bloomer on the blogging scene to be honest! In the web world, we're always looking to expand our skill-set, so that was one of the main reasons to get started. It was then just a matter of finding something to blog about. One of my big interests and passions is my home-town of Cape Town, so the choice was an easy one in the end.
I started Keen On Cape Town with the idea of blogging about topics that Cape Town young professionals would be interested in. For example: getting into the property market, taking part-time courses, staying fit and healthy etc. That has remained a central theme but the site has become more of a lifestyle or leisure blog now, with regular features on events, entertainment and sports in the Mother City. I do, however, only feature selected events, as KeenOnCapeTown.com is a part-time project for me, which I only work on in my spare time.
Regular readers have mentioned that they like the personal touch on what's happening in the Mother City. I have also tried to not stray too far from the original format and theme of the blog - it's easy to lose your focus. I'm not saying that you shouldn't expand but do so with your regular readers in mind.
If you'd like to get started with blogging, then first and foremost choose a blog topic that you are interested in. If you lose interest in the topic itself, then believe me, you won't want to sit down in front of a computer to write about it. So, make sure it's something that you're passionate about. Also, read the advice and tips offered by other successful bloggers - there is so much out there on the web and most of it is free for you to read - just look around!”
3. Rafiq Phillips – Web Addict.co.za
Web AddiCT(s) is Rafiq’s tangible proof of his love for technology. Rafiq blogs about Google, technology in Africa, innovation, smart phones as well as hot topics like SEO and social media.
Here’s how Rafiq began his blogging journey:
“It was some time during 1999 when I first got the internet at home. After a few days of doing what any teenage guy would do online I stopped and asked Jeeves "how to build a website?" and with the help of my IRC friends I had a .com domain name, an FTP client and some hosting. I wrote the HTML for every single page in Notepad. In 2001, my site started resembling what we'd today consider a blog. There were chronologically-ordered entries documenting my journey of discovery of things on the internet, things that amused me and technology that made my life easier. These musings took the form of guestbook entries. This was a blog roll where I linked to my internet friends who helped learn my way around the ‘wwworld’.
I then started using my blog as a reference for the things I wanted to learn and knew I'd use or do again - mainly to experiment or create stuff (for example, my road safety project on YouTube). I also used my blog to share ideas (which usually were met with blank stares by most folk around me back then!).
Today I'm in the fortunate position where I work with folk who cherish the ideas I share so I've toned down what some perceive as opinionated rants about technology. Now I get to travel frequently and actually implement things I've been learning and blogging about in top companies around the world. I still use my blog to experiment and there is always some sort of test happening. I don't cover technology as frequently as other tech blogs but I still welcome guest posts. In fact, 3 of the 10 most popular posts in 2012 on webaddict.co.za were written by guests and contributors. You can see them labelled '2012 Trendencies' on the sidebar of my blog.
I honestly don't think there is anything technically unique about my blog, even the theme is a stock standard, free to download, unedited out-of-the-box responsive theme. The unique thing about the blog is that you'll read about tech news before it becomes mainstream. In the past month nearly 100 000 people have stopped by to find an answer. This is because all I do is write and make sure people can find it. The 'other' stuff, like this interview, are just by-products, and are not the real reason I am a Web AddiCT.
If I can leave you with some final advice in the words of @dmscott, "On the web you are what you publish". Think about that before you hit the publish button.”
4. Liron Segev – The Techie Guy.com
Liron is a CEO, entrepreneur, IT consultant and overall tech guru. His blog, The Techie Guy, was recently ranked as one of the Top 5 Technology Blogs in South Africa. Liron is passionate about business and is the founder of SwiftSMS and Swift Consulting.
Here is Liron’s blogging story coupled with some valuable advice for bloggers:
“I started blogging in 2008. As an IT consultant I was asked the same questions time and time again. The famous “can you QUICKLY help me with <insert favourite device name here>” and so I started the blog to answer all the frequently asked questions which I could refer my clients to.
What started off as information for my clients grew and I began getting comments and feedback from people from all over the world thanking me for the info or for help. The blog has been referenced and quoted by many publications, forums, other blogs and mainly by people who found solutions to their questions. The blog initially covered technical tips. However, it has evolved to cover a wide range of IT and mobile-related topics – from hands-on device reviews, to interesting technology events and ramblings about tech in general.
My tag line is “IT translated into simple English”. I take the complex world of mobile and IT and write about it in a simple way so that everyone can understand. If you want to know about which mobile phone to get, I write hands-on reviews on phones from an everyday person’s point of view. No technical jargon. I write easy-to-understand posts on how everything works and what doesn’t work when one uses the device. I also write from my point of view. Yes, I do have grammar mistakes (sometimes) and my tenses aren’t always 100%, but my blog is about my view, my sense of humour and my personality and that’s what makes it unique. People have often said that this is what they like – the honest opinion that’s not just a press release but instead more personal.
My advice for wannabe bloggers? Blogging is not a science. There is no set formula. If you have something to say – say it and learn as you go along. It’s ok to change your writing style.
There are millions of websites and blogs out there. So spread the word about your blog and people will come to you. Tell everyone. I used to find myself saying “if you want more info, check it out on my blog”.
Blog posts also don’t have to be entire books. You are allowed to have short, punchy posts. Each post does not need to be a 2000 word dissertation that takes days to write.
Make it easy for people to share your content and give them the ability to share your work on Facebook, Twitter etc.
Finally, comment on other blogs. If you see an article on another blog you can post your own comment saying you agree/disagree with the article and put a link to your blog for people to see what you have written about the same topic.”
5. Mika Stefano – Mikastefano.wordpress.com
Mika blogs about his travels around the world, as well as his social life and the interesting people he meets.
Here’s Mika’s blogging story:
“I started blogging over 6 years ago. Back then it wasn't really blogging as we know it, but it was the start of my blogging career. I had a Facebook Group (back when Facebook allowed groups). I would post weekly updates, be it HOT or NOT pictures, party reviews and local gossip. This took off and soon the group became the talk of the town. I was invited onto YFM and MTV groups to comment on various things. Before I knew it, I started my Wordpress blog and the rest is history.
To this day, I still struggle with the technical side of blogging, so if anyone can help me out, please drop me a Tweet. I consider blogging a form of online commentating. So if you tweet a lot, that is a form of blogging in itself. Or if you use Facebook a lot or even Instagram a lot. It’s all connected.
My blogs have changed over the years. When I first started, I was catty and very bitchy and I would tear people apart. It then evolved into more of a gossip column, dishing out the latest gossip and entertainment news. Now it has a bit of both, but it is mostly about what Mika Stefano gets up to and what Mika Stefano likes. So if I find it interesting or appealing then it may land a spot on my blog.
I think I have evolved as a blogger over the years, moving from Facebook Groups to Wordpress, to Twitter, to Instagram and I now even manage an Internet Radio Station called Trans Africa Radio. The power of online is so important and I love being involved as much as possible.
Because my blog is honest and is about real people, everyone identifies with it. This blog is 95% local. When I started out, there were few blogs that had local content. My blog speaks of one of my passions, promoting artists, our stories, our businesses and our talents. My reasoning was, if I have a voice, I may as well use it in a positive way. I am also involved in various charities and NGO's which I also write about. Most recently we did the South African leg of Spirit Day (Standing together against gay and lesbian bullying). Last year I also raised money for the Soweto HIV AIDS Council and used my blog and Twitter to obtain donations.
There is some great advice here for newbie bloggers on Xcellent Media’s blog itself – What Bloggers Can Learn from Gangnam Style. In fact, I have done a lot of the things highlighted in this blog post (and many have seen my collection of sunglasses!!).
Overall, some good advice would be to BE ORIGINAL. BE YOU. BE HONEST. And have fun along the way. Make sure you write or blog about things that appeal to you. Trust me, there is someone out there on the internet who will find what you have to say very interesting.”
What other popular South African male bloggers should be on this list? Tell us about them in the comments section below.