Authored by three people the5krunner is a vital resource for beginners to the sport. The blog contains tips on speed, endurance and how to nail sprint triathlons. In this Spotlight we talk to a member of the team behind the5Krunner talk about working on successful brand collaborations, the challenges of sharing content across social channels, and how PRs can improve their blogger outreach strategies.
Can you tell us a little bit about the5Krunner and what made you start your blog? I wanted to share some of my running and training experiences with others. That morphed into triathlon, gadgets, coaching and physiology. Essentially things that I’m interested in and hoping that others are too.
Give us an example of successful brand collaboration. What did you learn from it? I regularly collaborate with many of the leading triathlon, sport and gadget companies. Examples of companies would include TomTom, Polar, Wahoo, Garmin, Suunto, MIO Global, ROTOR, BePro, Ironman, Microsoft, Jabra, Fitbit, Finis, Epson, BSX, Beet-It, Curranz, DNAFit, 4iiii. Adidas, Nathan, Moxy, Mizuno, Nevo, Valencell, zone3, Stryd, Scosche and many more. Obviously, I learn about the piece of tech but another learning is that companies selling very similar products operate in radically different ways. Some see bloggers as a valuable marketing tool while others see them almost as an annoyance.
How do you use social media to promote/share content? What are the challenges? I automatically syndicate content to several platforms and use other automation tools. I sometimes engage in forums. The main issue is to avoid self-promotion on forums such as (backlinks to your site) because this really annoys a small number of vocal people. The solution is to produce great content so others do it for you.
What advice would you give to a someone who wants to start a blog? Decide if you will have the time to do it regularly and decide if you have something to say at least 50 times a year. Don’t expect to make any money out of it.
How do you work with PRs? I normally contact companies that I want to work with directly. Many, but not all, direct me to their PRs. Sometimes I can boost myself up their preference list but mostly I am at their whim unless I can get someone at the company to steer the PR more favourably in my direction.
I’m lucky now in that I have got to the point where I turn down the advances of some PRs who have products that, in reality, are not right for my audience so it’s best not to waste everyone’s valuable time.
Do you feel bloggers need to be compensated for the work they do? If you want to build a blog with a significant readership, it takes a serious amount of time. If you are one of the lucky few you might be compensated for your time. As someone who has built a significant readership, why shouldn’t I be compensated for my time?
What do you feel about sponsorship disclosure? I am not sponsored. I have all the tech I want and could possibly ever need. I have a cupboard full of it gathering dust for photoshoots. I almost always buy the tech that I will actually use for my own sporting endeavours. I occasionally get very nice people who make requests for me to review something. Usually from a small company like GoMore or Nevo. I love to help smaller companies but it would be pretty obvious to my readership that I have not bought the item so on those occasions I make a point of disclosing that I got a freebie (to go in the dust cupboard).
Also, bear in mind that more expensive items, like the sports watches I review, are expensive. You really don’t get any freebies. You get loan items! If you want to do this sort of thing for the freebies then you can get free packets of peanuts and low-value items like that but it takes a lot of time. Do you really want to do that?
List three best practices PRs need to follow for better blogger outreach? The single most annoying thing is to realise that you are being treated as a specific marcomms conduit for company announcements. At least try to personalise the reality. Again I’m lucky in that I am in a position where I sometimes get scoops and often get access and pre-warning of announcements but that is for the minority of info.
Another advice is to get an RSS feed working and tell bloggers about it. You’d be surprised how many companies do not have a timely RSS news feed. It might sound strange but I don’t look at Wire services as it is full of rubbish of is of no interest to me. I think there needs to be a better way of precise and targeted dissemination of at least vaguely relevant news.
What will be big in your blogosphere in the coming months? There’s always some sort of gas in my blogosphere. I try to make it sweet smelling, non-formal and interesting. I have at least one scoop that has taken me about 18 months to get in line for!
What does the Vuelio Blog Ranking mean to you? It’s a stepping stone on the road to global domination and becoming an evil despot.