Six years ago, Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria was still a toddler in Africa’s nascent blogging scene. In those days, Afrigator, the South African social media aggregator founded by Justin Hartman was in many ways the melting pot of the African blogosphere online. Dominated by South African and to some extent, Kenyan blogs, the aggregator was the online destination for discovering which blogs were in a sense, hot or not in the African blog scene.
Fast forward six years later and the African blogging scene looks almost unrecognizable. In 2008, MIH Africa/Naspers acquired a majority stake in Afrigator. Afrigator’s founders later bought back their shares and eventually closed down the aggregator in December 2011. At the same time, during this time, blogs like Bella Naija quickly rose into prominence not just in Nigeria but in many countries across the continent.
Since 2008, as internet usage in Nigeria gradually rose in both reach and quality, the influence of blogs in the country has steadily risen. The rise and influence of social media platforms, especially Facebook significantly aided in content discovery. It was during this period that CP-Africa.com was born.
Offline, Nigerians were already voracious consumers of content whether on the radio, television or through newspapers and magazines. Over time, it became clear that content trends that powered the offline world showed similar promise online.
News content with a strong slant towards naming and shaming corrupt officials and practices tended to do well online. This birthed Elendu Reports and later, Sahara Reporters and a slew of others. At the same time, celebrity news with a slant towards fashion, entertainment and lifestyle showed similar promise, giving a strong platform for blogs like BellaNaija to shine. The country’s music industry began to experience a boom and someone needed to chronicle it online – enter the likes of Notjustok and Gidilounge.
Gossip came later – but it was the wave that birthed blogging’s tipping point in Nigeria. Magazines like City People and Encomium which should have naturally filled this niche were not as savvy as was required. This gave bloggers like Linda Ikeji that incorporated gossip in their blogs the audience to captivate Nigerians.
In enterprising Nigeria, nothing sells more than a commercial success story, so when it was beginning to become clear that blogging could be a significant income earner for young people, the flood gates opened.
Beyond telecoms companies and banks who had been early to the online advertising space, consumer goods companies, service providers and a host of businesses in various sectors have with the rising boom in blogging as an outlet for reaching Nigerians started to include bloggers in their marketing strategy.
Today, blogs have become a common spectacle online in Nigeria with blogs ranging from music to politics getting registered on a daily basis.
Even celebrities have taken to blogging as some look to diversify their income streams. To chronicle the rising influence of blogging in Nigeria, every year, we announce our list of the top bloggers in Nigeria.