The PhD Runner is a personal fitness and running blog, which was created by Emma Neachell to share the adventures of a ‘mediocre and slightly injury-prone runner’. Grown out of the urge to push herself out of her comfort zone, Emma decided to blog to track her progress. Providing readers with raves and rants based on her running events and fitness news, Emma helps runners to find all the information they need to start running and racing on a budget, and join a community of like-minded individuals. In this spotlight Emma, who appears in our top 10 UK running blogs chats to us about what makes The PhD Runner different, how she likes to work with PRs and what will be big in her blogosphere in the coming months.
Why should people read your blog? What makes it different? If people want to read about the trials and tribulations of an injury-prone runner then they should definitely read my blog. I think my blog is different as I’m honest; some say that I can be slightly too honest. I write about the not so glamorous aspects of running and I’m not afraid to share photos of me looking less than perfect.
Can you share with us why and how you got into running? I’ve always loved running and can’t honestly remember a time I didn’t run
Where do you most love to run and why? I most love to run along the trails in Sutton Park. Although some areas of the park are popular, I love to explore the quieter areas and very rarely see anyone while I’m out running. Pure bliss!
What does running give you? Running gives me a sense of freedom and also a huge sense of satisfaction. Nothing beats the feeling of achieving a personal best.
What is your favourite running memory? Successfully completing my first London Marathon in 2006 after almost dropping out. My training had gone really well and I thought that I’d finish in less than four hours. Unfortunately, I broke my foot half way through the marathon and ended up run-walking to the finish.
What motivates you? The fact that even at the age of 37 I believe that I’m still learning and can still improve as a runner.
How do you measure the success of your website? Although the majority of PRs seem to use social media reach and Domain Authority to measure the success of a website, I don’t. I like to engage with my readers and know that a blog post is reasonably successful when a lot of people read and take the time to comment on what I’ve written.
How do you work with marketers and PRs? Although I’ve been blogging since 2013 I don’t think my blog is hugely successful. As a result, I still wait to be contacted by marketers and PRs, I’m not very good at selling myself and pitching.
What can PRs do in working better with you? Some PRs have slightly unrealistic expectations and expect me to be able to produce a meaningful product review after a week. I genuinely believe that it takes at least a month to thoroughly review a product.
What has been your blogging highlight? When my review of the 2016 London Marathon was read by over 1500 people in a day.
What will be big in your blogosphere in the coming months? I think the emphasis will shift from blogging to vlogging.