Social media, I have a love-hate relationship with it. It’s a great way of finding like-minded people, people to ask/share advice with, and people training for the same events as you. It can be a great source of information. I’ve met a lot of lovely people online that I would now class as friends. It has also driven a lot of readers to my blog and I’m thankful for that. But it can also have its downside.

This week, there has been a lot of online negativity against bloggers, so-called ‘influencers’ and people with a large social media following. ‘They blog for free socks’ ‘They are paid to promote it’ ‘They want to be a social media celebrity’ are a few comments I’ve seen. Whilst this may apply to certain individuals I can’t help but feel we are all being tarred with the same brush. I read posts and wonder ‘OMG, am I guilty of that?’ or ‘Could that be aimed at me’

I work in the marketing/advertising sector, so I fully understand both sides. I know how effective it can be for brands to work with ‘real people’. Word-of-mouth advertising is more effective than other types of marketing and social media is a great, and cost-effective way to get your products seen by a large audience.

With this in mind, I’ve decided to be completely transparent with this post about my blog content and use of social media and I hope it answers a few questions.

At the time of writing this post, I had 4,800 Instagram followers. If you look at my engagement it’s clear that these are all genuine people, with a shared love of running, who I interact with. I have not bought any of them. Buying followers is a waste of money and a pointless exercise, you may look popular but you are effectively just posting to yourself.

I don’t post ‘staged’ run photos on social media. I am not a model. I’d rather spend my free time actually running, not trying to nail a photo for Instagram likes. I don’t have the time or the patience to tie my phone to a lamppost and run backwards and forwards past it several times. The best I can manage is a post-run sweaty selfie or a not-so-great race photo that I paid £20 for the privilege of downloading.

Running is a huge social thing for me and I love training with friends. I enter races because I like to have a goal to work towards – I’d get really lazy if I didn’t. It also gives me something to blog about as I review each race. I am not paid to review them nor have I received a free entry. It’s the main reason I started this blog as it is the perfect place to document the stuff you tend to forget about at events, like parking, toilet queues etc. Race reviews are always my most viewed blog posts. I recommend events because I have taken part in them and I’ve really enjoyed them, in the same wayI would recommend a film or a restaurant to a friend.

I wear items because I like them. If they fit great / make me look a bit slimmer / don’t chafe, then I’m sold! I spend my hard-earned cash on them, or more often than not, I buy them because they were on offer at the outlet. If I thank a brand on social media it is usually because they have provided me with exceptional service not because I have been gifted the product. Anything I have been ‘gifted’ is usually in exchange for an honest review on my blog and is clearly stated or written in the disclaimer at the end of the post.

I have been blogging weekly for just short of two years. If I’m completely honest, some weeks it’s a real struggle thinking of run-related content. I try to post things I would have found useful when I first started running. I am, by no means an expert, but I’ll always offer advice where I can. I have never been paid to write a post (if I ever did, I would state it was a paid partnership in the disclaimer). On top of the initial domain cost, I pay a web hosting fee each month. In two years, my blog has generated an income of 33p from affiliate links.

So it’s safe to say I do all of this for my love of running and not for financial gains. I hope this has given you an insight as to the reasons behind this blog and hopefully, I’ve answered a few questions.

And on that note, I’m heading to parkrun ❤️