Monday, 20 September 2021

Henley start-up in line up for Virgin award

A WEBSITE dedicated to matching blogs with relevant products and services is in line for an award

A WEBSITE dedicated to matching blogs with relevant products and services is in line for an award.

Blogl, which connects brands and PRs with bloggers, has been shortlisted in the start-up category of the Virgin Media PitchtoRich competition.

Founder Simon Narracott, of Gainsborough Road, Henley, is currently testing the service with a small group of bloggers and PRs before launching in July.

The name of the website derives from the words ?blog?, a type of website, and ?ogle?, to view.

Mr Narracott came with the idea when writing his own blog .He said: ?I had a blog about wine and spirits and I was sent a baby hamper by a company to review.

?The idea for Blogl is that if you have your own blog and signed up to us we would match the content with PR companies and brands which might be interested in offering review items.

?For example, if someone had just had a baby and wanted to write a blog about what it?s like being a mummy with your first child, we would match it with companies which make products for mothers.?

Mr Narracott says the website will be free to use by bloggers but PRs and brands will be charged to access the database. About 4,000 blogs are listed on the site so far but he hopes to increase this to 10,000 by the time of the formal launch.

Blogl was one of almost 1,000 businesses nominated for the awards and is now on a shortlist of 50.

Over the next few weeks, about 30 semi-finalists will be selected across three categories for another round of public voting .The final nine will be invited to pitch to Richard Branson for prizes of up to £150,000 of funding from the Virgin Group.

Mr Narracott, who was previously IT director for Tiscali, has been running blogs for four years and has set up several website companies.

His most succesful was a dating website, Date the UK, which he sold to Easy Date for a profit in 2006.

Mr Narracott, who is running Blogl with business partner Fiona Maclean, said: ?We have run internet businesses so we know what we need to set up. Computer hardware is so cheap and the software we use to run it is free so the set-up costs are very low.

?We then put together a vision of how we wanted it to look and what the content would be and we tell it to a group of clever people to sort out the coding.?

Mr Narracott will be employing two full-time staff and is looking for office space in Henley.

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