You’ve probably seen some of the income reports from American bloggers, which can get really impressive, but is it possible to make any substantial money as a South African blogger?
This is a question in most people’s minds when contemplating starting a blog.
Is it even possible to earn a living as a blogger in South Africa?
It is possible to make money blogging in South Africa and many are already doing it, but maybe not in the way that we think about blogging.
The first thing that comes to mind when we think about blogging is that someone is writing about their day, their family and what they had for lunch (you know, influencer type stuff). This is not what I’m going to talk about here.
I’m talking about a niche blog with informative article’s. Article’s full of info and answers to the type of questions people would search for on Google.
How much does it cost to start a blog in South Africa?
Running a blog can get really expensive, but I prefer to diy and bootstrap starting my blogs.
There are bloggers paying way more than I do on starting a blog and there’s probably some that manage to pay less, but here is how I do it:
My costs of running a blog
1. Domain name (once a year)
First off, you would need a domain name for your blog like mine, www.creatingxtra.com.
- I paid R 199 for this domain for an entire year. The dot com domains are R 199 per year.
- Some of my other blogs are .co.za and they are only R 89 per year.
These needs to be renewed once a year, mine are on automatic renewal and just gets added to my hosting account once a year.
2. Hosting (monthly)
Hosting is a monthly cost to keep your blog live. This is actually the place where your blog’s files live.
- I pay R 99 hosting per month with Xneelo.
There are many other things that you could spend money on, but I like to keep my start ups simple and make it work with what I have. Premium services can add up to thousands, because most are charged in dollar and we all know how the Rand is doing. Most of the premium services have free options which can get you quite far.
So here are some of the things I use to keep my expenses as low as possible:
I use the free versions of Neve or Astra. Both of these give me a lot freedom to create a stunning blog. Some of these even have free starter sites, which you can use as a base and then change and customize your blog from there.
WordPress has a variety of free and premium plugins, here are a few that I use:
- Elementor – I still use the free version of Elementor to design my blogs.
- Really Simple SSL – I get a SSL certificate with my hosting from Xneelo. This plugin (free version) implements that SSL certificate and provides you with that little lock before your website address in the address bar to show that your site is safe and secure. It also changes your site address from http: to https:
5. Design software
Canva – I used the free version of Canva for a little while, but then I changed to Canva Pro because I use it to create all my images across all my sites. They have templates for all social media too, where you can create all the images in the correct sizes, like for instance pins for Pinterest. I also use it to create all the printables I sell on one of my sites.
Canva Pro costs $ 12 per month, that normally works out to around R 220 per month.
Doing it all yourself is a great way to start a blog and save a lot of money, however the learning curve can cost you some time.
If you want to start a blog and need any help setting it up the right way, then contact me to help you out. You can then move on to the most important part – writing content.
I have a – start a blog service – for only R 149 per month all included. (This includes domain name registration and yearly renewal, your monthly hosting, WordPress installation, theme installation, plugin installation, SSL, basic blog design, page set up and maintenance.) So you can simply write and click publish.
How to make money with a blog in south africa?
You can definitely make money in your first year of blogging, all you need is traffic to your content. Bloggers in South Africa make anything from R 500 to R 15 000 per month blogging.
Important tip: More content = more traffic = more revenue.
How exactly do you make money blogging?
- Display ads (Advertising networks)
- Affiliate marketing
- Sell your own digital products
- Sponsored posts
An ad network places display ads on your blog and you get paid when people (traffic) visit your blog and see them.
Usually the payment is calculated at a rate per thousand page views or sessions. The rate can range from $2 to $30 dollars per 1000 page views. It all depends on factors like, the niche your chose and where your traffic is from.
Ad networks for South African bloggers
Google Adsense – is the easiest ad network to join, but also pays the lowest.
Mediavine – you will need 50 000 sessions on your blog before you can join Midiavine, which is a premium ad network that pays really well. (What is a session? One person can visit your blog and view 5 pages, but this will count as one session that the person had on your blog, like one visit to the site.)
Adthrive – you will need 100 000 page views per month before you can join. They are also a premium ad network that pays really well.
Ezoic – I am currently with Ezoic. You will need 10 000 site visits per month, but they do have an Access Now program where you can join before that. I joined when my first blog was at like 500 page views a month and they accepted me.
You can join a company’s affiliate program and get a special link, which you use when you recommend their products or services to your readers. When someone then clicks on the link on your blog and goes to the company’s website and makes a purchase, you will earn a commission.
Sell your own digital products
You can create things like e-books, courses and printables to sell on your blog. One of my blogs is in a creative niche and I create printables for teachers to use in their classrooms. I sell them on my blog through a plugin called Woocommerce.
It handles the whole transaction and makes the product available for download immediately after payment is made.
How much do bloggers make in South Africa?
A lot of American bloggers freely share their income reports about how much money they make blogging, but finding any income reports from South African bloggers is proving to be a nearly impossible task. (so, please let me know if you come across any)
I found this blogger from South Africa that shared his monthly income in for months in 2021:
- www.lifefromabag.com – is a blog with tips for digital nomads about work and travel.
- He shared his income reports for months in 2021 and he makes between R 7 400 to R 11 400 per month as a South African blogger.
Here is a brief summary of how much my blogs earned for December 2022. I am a little nervous to share my income report, but here goes.
*Please keep in mind that my blogs are still small and part time.
- Site 1: A local business directory blog – this is my blog where I create local business listings for businesses in my town. How I make money with this blog: Sponsored advertising (business listings and placing ads in my e-booklet on the blog)
- Site 2: www.kiddiesparties.co.za – is a blog with kids party ideas and listing for party suppliers from South Africa. How I make money with this blog: Sponsored advertising (party service listings) and Display advertising.
- Site 3: www.guineapals.com – is still a small blog in the pet niche, specifically about guinea pigs. This blog is purely informational and relies on search traffic from Google. How I make money with this blog: Display advertising only.
- Site 4: This blog www.creatingxtra.com – is a blog about my side hustle and saving journey. How I make money with this blog: Display advertising only.
So let’s calculate the total Income I made in December for these 4 blogs:
I made a Total Income of R 3 845 from my blogging side hustle – Total monthly Expenses (I only paid for hosting R99 per blog x 4 + Canva Pro R 220) R 616
I made a total Profit of R 3 229 for December 2022.
UPDATE: In January 2023 I made a total of R4 700 blogging. That’s R 4 084 profit.
Final thoughts on blogging in south africa
Making money with a blog is very possible and if I can do it, you can definitely do it too.
I am still blogging part time and happy with the money I make so far. This is not a get rich quick scheme and definitely requires a lot of work, but it will pay off in the end. A blog is something you build consistently over time, and the great thing about it is that if you were to take a little break, your blog will still work for you.
It is so rewarding to see that all your effort actually amounts to something and I’m planning to do this full time, hopefully soon. My plan is to keep working and adding content.
Let me know where you are in your blogging journey, have you started or are you still thinking about it? Are you blogging as a part time gig or are you full time? I would love to hear what you are up to.