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From the Digital Lab: Five Minutes with the Founder of GearJunkie.com

Minneapolis-based content creator for outdoor enthusiasts is thriving online

Stephen Regenold oversees a very successful digital-first publishing venture fueled by his passion for the outdoors.  

In 2002, The Gear Junkie was a syndicated column running in 12 newspapers, with stories also regularly published in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. By 2006, Regenold launched GearJunkie.com, and 11 years later the outdoor-enthusiast business has blossomed to support a staff of 10.

With close to 600,000 unique monthly website visitors, 200,000 social media followers and 75,000 e-newsletter subscribers, Minneapolis-based GearJunkie.com has become a formidable brand in the outdoor recreation media landscape. Regenold shared some thoughts at a Digital Lab panel discussion for the MMPA Summit in April.

He says his print journalism experience has been critical to success online. He believes the care taken in writing for print publications—proofing for typos, spelling, grammar and other obvious journalistic best practices—are every bit as important in the digital world.

But, he says, there’s no comparison with the response he received from print readers vs. digital readers. Digital feedback wins hands down.  

“I wrote for the New York Times which reaches millions, and I heard from maybe three readers,” Regenold quipped.

GearJunkie.com routinely gets tons of reader feedback, he says, and it’s critical to informing the content choices they make.