BikeBiz interviews mountain biking website editor

Factory Jackson relaunches with Dodd at helm

Factory Jackson has today relaunched following a several month long revamp project undertaken by editor Andrew Dodd, who tells BikeBiz what to expect from the site going forwards:

So where does Factory Jackson fit in within the online MTB media world – describe your vision of the average reader:

Factory Jackson is aimed at the experienced mountain biker who has plenty of off-road miles under their belts, and who take a deep interest in mountain biking.

We’ll be focusing on the performance end of the mountain bike market; the technology behind it and the outdoor life style that goes with the territory. All content will be unique – generated by ourselves, and our commissioned freelance contributors. 

How will the site be funded?

We’ll be offering various tiered advertising packages to suit differing customers. The content will be free for all. We won’t be having any kind of paywall.

And it’ll be strictly online only? What’ll the content focus on – reviews?

I’ve worked in print for a long time – this new venture is all about online. It was one of the biggest draws for me. There are no plans for other formats at the moment. 

The content will vary from in depth interviews; industry based articles and technical features to bike tests, gear and product reviews. We don’t think there is enough print quality editorial online – biggest focus for us is unique, quality, online content. 

Having worked at MBUK for over 13 years, what challenges are you anticipating in running your own project?

The whole project is extremely exciting for me. While print and digital do share similarities, the thing that attracts me to online is being able to react immediately. It’s already been an interesting few months making the transition from working in a big team to making things happen myself – it will take a while to really find my flow, but things are coming along nicely. 

For now it’s just myself on the editorial side of things, but I’ll be working with various freelancers to get content written, commissioned and photographed.

Is there a long-term plan? 

We do have plans for where we’d like it to go – but we’re focusing on getting things running smoothly. We need to build on what already exists, and turn Factory Jackson in to a slick website with great, interesting content and a team of enthusiastic contributors. 

The media landscape has changed quite dramatically over the past five years, particularly within mountain biking; how will FJ stand out against strong competitors?

Really, I don’t think Factory Jackson directly competes with any other one site. 

Of course, there are some great MTB websites out there – some moderately sized and others frankly enormous. But we’re not intending on competing with them, as we’ll have our own take on things. 

What we intend, is to build a solid platform with genuinely great content. While there will be plenty of newsworthy content worth sharing, it’s the more in depth content that we’re interested in producing. 

Will you cover MTB offshoots such as CX, E-MTBS etc?

Interesting you should mention Cyclocross – there are a few things on the radar already, and developments with electric bikes mean we won’t be avoiding them. 

Our focus is still the performance end of MTB, but we will be including anything that is genuinely interesting. 

Outside of normal word of mouth growth, how will you be promoting the site and reaching out to the experienced and affluent cyclist?

Initially, we have a few social campaigns planned based on content we are producing, and we’re focussing on generating interesting, shareable content to maximise our reach.

We’ll be working closely with the bike industry to spread the word. Those we’ve already been in touch with are keen to utilise FJ as a platform to show the side of things not often seen. We’re aiming to be seen by both our target readers and the bike industry as a source of information that differs from what already exists. 

Image courtesy of Russell Burton 

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