Hosting a Virtual Challenge

by Meg on August 22, 2012

Good morning lovelies! 

Today I'll be recapping the first session at HLS that I attended which was led by Amanda from Run to the Finish.

She spoke about hosting a virtual challenge which was one of the presentations I was looking forward to before I even arrived in Boston. I was obviously really excited for Amanda's presentation and she definitely didn't let me down! She offered so much information to her audience and I found everything she spoke about incredibly helpful. 

As Amanda spoke, I took notes and here are the main points that I took away from her lecture: 

Design a logo or button that other bloggers will like
Amanda touched on the topic of virtual challenge logos/buttons and said that it is important for the image to be attractive so other bloggers will want to display it on their own blogs to show their participation. 

Ask!
Amanda made me realize that is is OK to ask other bloggers for help! She told us to ask other bloggers and readers for help if we need it. For an example, ask fellow bloggers and participants of your virtual challenge to display the logo/button on their blog for your challenge! 

Develop relationships
It is very important to develop relationships; I have definitely learnt this over the past (almost full) year of blogging. Develop relationships with other bloggers, your readers, and even brands for a more successful virtual challenge! Developing relationships with brands is especially important if you want prizes for your virtual challenge! 

Amanda also gave us tips on contacting brands. She said to briefly introduce yourself, inform the company who you are, what your ideas are, how you will promote them, and, most importantly, what you can do for them! Brands want to utilize bloggers! I took a lot of useful information away from this weekend at HLS and one of the most useful pieces of information is how powerful us bloggers actually are! Brands want to develop relationships with us, so we shouldn't be scared to contact them! 

Promotion
It is important to create ways to promote your virtual challenge. For an example, creating a hashtag to use on Twitter for your virtual challenge is a great way to contribute to it's success! It is important to assign a hashtag to your virtual challenge that is not already being used, though! 

Be organized!
Obviously, you will want to know who is participating in your challenge which is where organization comes into play! Amanda says she uses Google Docs to keep track of everyone's name, email address, etc.

As you can see, Amanda's presentation was so informative and I took a lot away from it! On a more personal note, here is what I'm thinking for A Dash of Meg after attending this presentation:

1. I want to know if you like the High Five Friday button!

When HFF first started, Ali was oh so generous and created this button for me :) I hope you all like this and would be proud to show it off on your own blog to let your readers know that you support and participate in HFF! :)

2. Create an official hashtag to use for High Five Fridays!

I've been using #hff and #highfivefriday, but when searching both of those terms on Twitter recently I see that so many users already display the hashtags within their tweet and it was difficult for me to find who was using it for my HFF's and who was not; therefore, I think it would be an awesome idea if I (or we!) came up with a hashtag that could really promote HFF and contribute to it's growth and success!

If you have any suggestions for HFF, please let me know! But for now, I hope you enjoyed this recap! :) Have a great day! xo

Love always,
Meg

Have you ever tried to host a virtual challenge? 

Which brands would you like to develop relationships with?

Are you an organized person?

**Don't forget to send me a high five for this week's High Five Friday post! Please email me at adashofmeg@gmail.com with your submission!** :)

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

RunToTheFinish August 22, 2012 at 11:15 AM

yeah!! so glad you got a lot out of the presentation. What about DashHighFive or can you jump in with the existing highfivefriday and possibly build yours out more by using a tag that’s already got traction?

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Meg August 23, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Thanks Amanda! I think #highfivefriday or #hff ?? I think I should get a new logo displaying the hashtag though!

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RunToTheFinish August 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I like the style of the logo, but you’re right adding the hash tag is a great idea! I like #highfivefriday it’s fun!

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forgottenbeast August 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Sounds like you got a lot out of the presentation! Hmm, in terms of logo, horizontal ones are often easier to fit in posts/adjust the size of to match formatting–maybe have a horizontal option, too?

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Cat @sugaraddictanonymous August 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I really do want to network with a few brands eventually, but I only want to work with ones I truly believe it. Larabar, Chobani, Brooks, etc. The products I really use are the ones I would like most to work with I guess. The hashtag question is one to think on for sure. Ill brainstorm and send you any suggestions I come up with!
~Cat

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Meg August 23, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Thanks Cat! That’s so sweet of you xo

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Danielle (@Clean Food Creative Fitness) August 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM

So happy you recapped this Meg because I couldn’t decide between this and the photo one with Gretchen and I ended going to Gretchen’s! It was such a hard decision between all of the sessions! I love the high five friday logo just the way it is :)

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StoriesAndSweetPotatoes August 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Here is my 2 cents because I think HFF is amazing and I like that you want it to grow. I think maybe you (or someone) could design a new button that’s a little simpler and cleaner. That maybe just says “High Five Friday” with a hand in the background and then also stick the hashtag on the badge so everyone will know both TO USE a hashtag when tweeting about these posts and also WHICH ONE to use. So whichever one you like. I like #HFF because probably the words “High Five Friday” will already be in someone’s tweet so twice might be overkill. Okay geez I’ll stop now. :)

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Meg August 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM

I REALLY appreciate this, hun! XO thanks babe. I really think I do need a new logo/button! Definitely needs the hashtag!

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Lift Eat Repeat August 22, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I would love to have a relationship with Optimum Nutrition- they have the best products and sponsor the best athletes!

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Annette Perkins (@FitnessPerks) August 22, 2012 at 2:07 PM

These are great tips! Thank you :)

I think a hastag could be #highfive or #dashfive or #hff

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Meg August 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Thanks for the input Annette :) I really appreciate it!! XO

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Jordan August 22, 2012 at 2:07 PM

It sounds like the session had some good advice!

I agree that the button could be a bit cleaner and therefore easier to read. I like the palm print, but the way it’s laid out is a bit distracting from the text, particularly where it overlaps. Also, I find it harder to read things with many color changes in the text, and there are quite a few in such a small icon.

Is FridayFive being used (or too boring)? FiveItUp?

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Meg August 23, 2012 at 10:26 AM

thanks Jordan! I appreciate all of your input!

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pluvk August 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM

So much great info! I love the HFF logo… it’s colorful and cute! I didn’t realize that you haven’t been blogging for that long. Wow! You blog like a pro! :-)

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Meg August 23, 2012 at 10:28 AM

HA! You’re always way too sweet ;)

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A Tablespoon of Liziz August 22, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Thanks for the great tips! I’ve never hosted a virtual challenge before, but I love the idea of them! It’s awesome how they bring people together virtually.

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theathletarian August 22, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I love your logo the way it is! The brightness screams MEG and I wouldn’t have it any other way ;) I have never hosted a virtual challenge…but I have taken part in a few here and there. They are definitely fun and angreat way to hold yourself accountable to something!

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onehealthymunchkin August 22, 2012 at 9:27 PM

I’m glad you recapped Amanda’s presentation since I didn’t go to it! It sounds like it was really helpful for you. :D

Hmm for the hashtag what about #adashofhigh5? Or something like that?

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Linz August 22, 2012 at 9:31 PM

I like your HFF button! Itz colorful and cute and fitting for HFF!

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Emily August 22, 2012 at 10:22 PM

This sounds like it was really useful presentation- especially for you! I love the HFF button that you have. It’s eye-catching and colorful which automatically gets me excited!
I honestly can’t believe how much you’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time with A Dash of Meg…you’re such an inspiration! And I’ve loved every single one of your posts. <3

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Meg August 23, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Emily, my goodness! Thank you love!

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Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli August 23, 2012 at 6:22 AM

Yay! I’m excited to hear more about your experience at HLS! Any news on the Foodbuzz front? If you end up going, maybe we could be roomies! :D

Amanda has a lot of good ideas when it comes to this topic! I never really thought about the importance of a button for a virtual challenge, but it totally makes sense to have a good “visual” that is flashy, attractive, and memorable…like your HFF button! I love all the colors!

I’ve never hosted a challenge of my own, but I do participate in a few like WIAW and I just posted my first MIMM last week! I love how it brings bloggers together and it’s SUCH a good way to discover new blogs!

I was a bit nervous the first couple of times I contacted a brand in regards to the blog, but after that, I realized that they kinda want us as much as we want them! I usually start off with a brief introduction expressing my interest in their product, give them a little ego boost, and a thank you…and it works EVERY time! I’ve worked with PB Crave, Chobani, NuNaturals, and Tropical Traditions just to name a few and the reps are always so courteous and willing to help you…so you can help them! And I have to admit, it’s nice having “connections” ;)

I think I’m a fairly organized person. I have my moments of chaos, but I swear I breath so much better if everything is “in its place”

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Meg August 23, 2012 at 10:32 AM

You should teach me your tricks for contacting brands ;) YOU PRO! xo

I haven’t heard from Foodbuzz yet love. I seriously cannot believe how long it’s taking them to get back to me!? I’m disappointed, but I hope they contact me soon. Roomies!? US!? Of course :) ;) XO

Love you

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Heather @ For the Love of Kale August 23, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Great recap, babe! I loooved this presentation. :-) For a hash tag, what about #High5Friday?

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Meg August 23, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I just thought – #high5fri :) ??

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Heather August 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Psst: You should promote High Five Fridays on HLB! We do a “Monday Announcements” post each week on the site, and promoting blogger challenges is a GREAT WAY to utilize the announcements.

Here’s a link to past announcements so you can learn more and see some examples!
http://healthylivingblogs.com/category/monday-announcements/

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