Pilot's Post ten years, 500 issues and still growing
On 4 February 2012, Pilot's Post, the brain child of Juri Keyter, published its first aviation event report and became the first, totally free, solely internet-based aviation magazine in South Africa. Today, ten year later of uninterrupted weekly reports, except for a two-week break between Xmas and New year, we celebrate our 500th issue.
Our weekly reports grew from one report to two, to three and then four and eventually to five per week. Just over 3,000 visitors logged on during the month of February 2012, our first month of publication. By then, we had our first advertisers on board, one of which was Van's RV of the USA and they are still with us after all these years.
Readers and views grew steadily. In February 2013, our average monthly hits climbed to 6,000, by February 2014 to approximately 21,000. Last month at 23h59 on the 31st May 2021, our hit counter stopped at 882,782 hits from 81,007 dedicated readers, 42,206 of which are based in South Africa and the rest of the continent, 18,339 were from the USA and the balance was made up of readers from all around the world.
On Wednesday 19 March, 2013 we published our first Midweek Update. Published once a week on Thursdays, the idea with Midweek was to shorten the period between reports and also to serve as a distribution vehicle for aviation news in general. An events calendar was added and then a "This week in history" section followed by "Worldwide incidents and accidents". For the last four years, no less than ten news related items are included in each weekly issue. Up to February this year, 260 Midweek reports have been published containing an estimated 1,820 aviation news items.
In 2017, the Aeroclub of South Africa approached us with a proposal to become its official communications partner. To meet their requirements, we developed a new email system and made provision for all sections of the club to be incorporated in our publication. This issue was first published on 9 October 2017. The relationship with the Aero Club, that last year celebrated its centenary, has continued to this day.
Highlights have been aplenty. One is without a doubt our annual visit to EAA AirVenture, traditionally held in the last week of July at Oshkosh in Wisconsin in the USA. During our nine uninterrupted visits, we have published daily reports with photos and videos during the world's biggest aviation event. In 2019, we added the UK air show season, including a visit to the world-famous Mach Loop, the low flying practice area of the RAF in Wales to our itinerary.
Lowlights? Frankly, there were none, except for Covid 19 that put paid to our international month in 2020 and again this year that was going to include a visit to MAKS close to Moscow in Russia, one event that has long been our bucket list.
Like the printed media, Pilot's Post survives because of adverting income. Now firmly established and a household name in the aviation sector in SA, and with an ever-growing international footprint, Pilot's Post boasts an advertising package that suits everyone's budget.
Our monthly electronically generated advertising statistic report show our advertisers the number of times their advertisements were displayed and the number of times they were clicked by readers to access the advertiser's website, information that allow them to track the effectiveness of their advertising.
Advertisements in our publication are displayed on the content pages where readers are focusing on and it is not stashed away in a commercial section, which could potentially be ignored by most readers. Three types of advertisements are included with each advertising package to suit the different types of content and to ensure that advertisers are covered regardless of the content type readers are accessing. Advertisements are displayed on a rotational basis together with other advertisers on a ratio linked to the advertising package options.
Our advertisers also have the freedom of posting their advertisements on our Facebook group page which has more than 7,500 members. Our Midweek update are there to inform our readers about all developments in the aviation industry and advertisers are encouraged to make use of it to keep clients informed of developments and special offers and promotions on products and services.
If you are not yet a Pilot's Post advertiser, or want to contribute material for possible publication feel free to contact Willie Bodenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.