The blog is dead. Except it’s not. It’s just become so fundamental to our every day experience of the web, that we tend to take it for granted. It’s therefore occasionally worthwhile taking a moment to acknowledge that there are still really good bloggers out there who are influencing their respective fields.
That’s something which becomes even more important when you remember that although an increasingly large number of people are taking an entrepreneurial approach to blogging, there are still plenty of bloggers out there doing it in their spare time.
Enter the African Blogger Awards, which in its first year of operation managed to 520 entries from 27 African countries. Its organisers say this marks the first time that influencers across the continent competed against one another.
Entries were open in four main categories including the Best African Blog, Best African YouTube Channel, Best African Instagrammer and Best African Twitter profile, as well as across 36 sub-categories.
Here are the winners:
- Best blog in Africa: Niaje (Kenya)
- Best Instagrammer in Africa: Gareth Pon (South Africa)
- Advice: The Techie Guy (South Africa)
- Arts and Culture: 10and5 (South Africa)
- Brand Blog: Brandslut (South Africa)
- Business: Techloy (Nigeria)
- Digital Marketing: Gotta Quirk (South Africa)
- Education: Campus Portal Nigeria (Nigeria)
- Entertainment: Just Curious (South Africa)
- Events and Nightlife: Nairobi Now (Kenya )
- Fashion and Beauty: Curvy Chronicles (Kenya)
- Finance: FNB Blog (South Africa)
- Hobbies: Fortress of Solitude (South Africa)
- Lifestyle: We Are Awesome (South Africa)
- Music: Ghana Music (Ghana)
- Niche Market: Actors (Kenya)
- Other: Africa Business Magazine (across the continent)
- Parenting: Rattle and Mum (South Africa)
- Personal: Xtian Dela (Kenya)
- Photography: The Pretty Blog (South Africa)
- Specific to Your Country: BongoSwaggz (Kenya)
- Sports: The Bounce (South Africa)
- Technology and Gadgets: Lazy Gamer (South Africa)
- Travel: Getaway (South Africa)
- Youth Culture: The Travel Manuel (South Africa)
There were no winners in the Best Twitter Personality or Best YouTuber categories. There were also no winners in the Marketing and Media, Automotive, DIY Blog, Entrepreneur, Expat, Health and Beauty, Political, Religious, or Food and Drink categories.
“The competition received entries from all corners of the continent including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Benin, Mali, Morocco, Togo, Cameroon, Malawi and Eritrea, to name a few, with the diversity of nationalities being a clear indication that social media influencers across Africa have welcomed the opportunity to be measured quantitatively against their peers,” says Murray Legg, co-founder of the African Blogger Awards.
The 2014 African Blogger Awards are the first true, impartial measure of the reach, resonance and relevance of an influencer channel. The awards also mark the first time that winners of an influencer competition have been determined based on scientific metrics, rather than through peer nominations and voting.
Entrants were required to register their online properties on Webfluential, a platform created to give brands and the marketing industry, including advertisers, public relations agencies and media buyers an independent measurement of the most relevant online and social influencers to include in their campaigns.
“The calibre of entries into the Awards reveals how social media marketing is growing in influence across the continent,” says Mike Sharman, co-founder of the African Blogger Awards. “The entrants’ combined audiences total over 5.6million blog visitors, 10.2 million Twitter followers, 2.5million Instagram followers, with YouTube channels offering a combined 75 million views.”
The most popular entry categories were Entertainment, Lifestyle, as well as Technology and Gadgets, reflecting the most common interests of connected Africans. “This shows us that readers want to know about the latest lifestyle trends, the opportunities to be social in real life and online, and they want to stay up to date with the technology that makes all of this possible,” says Sharman.
Winners in each category receive a commemorative trophy and a web banner announcing their achievement that can be personally-leveraged through their social network.
“The huge success of the first African Blogger Awards bodes really well for next year’s competition, where we aim to partner with a headline sponsor as well as sponsors in the various categories to expand the competition’s reach even further. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. We look forward to seeing and ‘measuring’ your continued success,” says Legg.
The next African Blogger Awards will be held in February 2015.