Publisher’s note: How we made it in Africa 2012 overview; plans for the new year

Dear Readers, Clients, Partners, Service Providers, and Friends of How we made it in Africa

After a short, well-deserved break, everyone involved with How we made it in Africa ( is back in their respective offices and hard at work. What follows below is a brief overview of our achievements during 2012, and our goals and plans for 2013.

Doubling our readership

Readers more than doubled during 2012 compared to 2011. Last year more than 550,000 people visited the How we made it in Africa website, viewing in excess of 1.5 million pages.

Our (conservative) goal for 2013 is to constantly achieve 250,000 or more page views per month, compared to around 170,000 page views a month in 2012. We believe improved editorial systems, additional journalists, and better article distribution strategies will allow us to achieve this objective.

Editorial content – ahead with the trends shaping Africa’s business environment

Since we started in April 2010, we have constantly refined our editorial strategy. We have decided that the best way to serve our readers is to focus on longer feature articles that provide users with insight and analysis, instead of “breaking news”.

We currently have three full-time journalists (two in South Africa and one in Kenya) working on How we made it in Africa, in addition to numerous freelancers and contributors. To further improve our reporting on West Africa, we aim to appoint an additional full-time journalist in Nigeria during the course of 2013.

Africa’s business environment is undergoing several changes. Many large multinationals are now aware of the potential the continent holds, while local African business people are becoming more confident and exploring regional opportunities. How we made it in Africa will continue to cover these trends and provide our readers with responsible business journalism that informs, educates and inspires.

Advertising revenue – strong, but room for improvement

Advertising revenue during 2012 was strong, with numerous companies using How we made it in Africa to promote their brands, products and services. A lack of sales capacity due to the sudden departure of one of our key staff members meant that revenue for the second half of the year was lower than expected. However, we expect to soon appoint a new sales manager, which should significantly boost revenues over the coming year.

Companies and brands that placed advertising with How we made it in Africa during 2012 include: Siemens, Bowman Gilfillan, Peermont Hotels, Softline VIP, University of Stellenbosch Business School, Milpark Business School, BiD Network, Traditional Brands, Liberty Properties (Africa Property Investment Summit), Exhibition Management Services, UCT Graduate School of Business, Farm Costing Solutions, China Sourcing Fairs, Ergol Projects, Zimbabwe Mining Indaba, Hydraform, Soda King, Waterstone Wines, Folio Online, Global Brands, Zhauns, ESN Group and Moshate Media.

How we made it in Africa will soon roll out new advertising products, including a space for companies to promote their thought leadership; a new company news category; as well as a sponsored links section.

In conclusion

The online publishing business is an industry marked by constant change, requiring publishers to continuously review their strategies. How we made it in Africa has embraced this challenge, and others have certainly noticed. Last year the Harvard Business Review called How we made it in Africa a “terrific” publication, while MarketWatch, part of the Wall Street Journal network, identified us as one of the “movers and shakers who can offer potential investors a window on to the currents that are bringing seismic change to sub-Saharan Africa”.

Twenty-thirteen is poised to be an exciting year for How we made it in Africa. We thank you for your support during 2012, and look forward to building our relationship over the next twelve months.

Kind regards,

Jaco Maritz
9 January 2013

[email protected]