Janae Jacobs started her blogging journey five years ago while recovering from a running injury. Being an avid blog reader herself, she yearned to try her hand at something new and today her blog, Hungry Runner Girl, is one of the top lifestyle blogs in the space for running, fitness, food, and family.
In our exclusive top Lifestyle Blogger Series, Janae shares her first blog post experience (she likens it to an awkward first date scenario), how openly sharing her major life events have greatly shaped her blog, and offers veteran advice to brands on how to work with top lifestyle bloggers for everyone’s best interest.
In the hunt for a sub-3 marathon (she ran her first one, the Salt Lake Marathon in 2010), Janae posts frequently about her race gear, how she fuels up, eats well, and balances life with her “HRG Baby.” Her sponsored content posts for Blue Apron, Bombas, NatureBox, and other top brands have delivered consistent results and been an integral part of each brand’s integrated marketing strategy.
Top Lifestyle Blogger - Janae Jacobs | Hungry Runner Girl
How did you get started blogging?
I started blogging about 5 years ago. I was taking a break from running due to injury and had some free time to invest into something new. I had read blogs for years and decided that I wanted to start my own so that I could track my nutrition and training. When I first started, I thought that just my mom, friends and a few random people would read it. I had no idea that it would turn into a full-time job eventually. I am one of those lucky people that was able to turn their passion into a job!
What was your first blog post?
My first blog post was titled "Awkward." It was one paragraph long and it included one picture. I told a random story about taking an ice bath after a run and then compared my first post to a first date. I didn’t want my first post to feel forced or awkward (like a first date does) and instead I just wanted to be my usual random self and let my readers get to know me over time!
What was your breakout moment?
Anytime I have had a major life change my blog has grown. Whether it be my femoral stress fractures that I got just a few weeks before my goal race, pregnancy, the birth of my little girl, or my divorce. I notice that my blog grows with each of these events. The more open I was in those first beginning months of blogging, the more readers came, and my page views continued to grow.
Top Lifestyle Blogger Hungry Runner Girl with "HRG Baby," Brooke.
Has anything you’ve written gone "viral?"
I can’t think of anything specific, but my personal posts seem to get the most attention. I wrote a post about women losing their periods due to working out too much and under eating. I shared my personal experience with that problem and that received a lot of attention. Posts where I talk about the feelings associated with my divorce and being a single mom tend to get shared the most.
How has blogging changed since you got started?
There is a lot more negativity out there than there used to be, but as the negativity has risen my skin has also thickened:)
Another change that I have noticed is that companies are also seeing more and more how beneficial it is to work with bloggers. Each blog has such a specific audience which is great for different companies trying to get their product seen by their target group!
Where do you see blogging evolving?
I see there being a lot more video posts. I see less writing and more pictures. I think our world is becoming busier and busier and people don’t feel like they have time to read longer articles and so they opt for the short posts full of visuals.
What’s on your list of daily reads?
My favorite blogs include Carrots & Cake, Healthy Tipping Point, Peanut Butter Fingers, Meals and Miles, Run Eat Repeat, Daily Garnish, Fannetastic Food, NYC Running Mama, and Preppy Runner.
How do you keep up with social media?
I set specific work hours each day. I stick to those work hours like glue and a big part of that time is set aside for keeping up with social media. I consider it a part of my job, and make sure to try my best to keep up with it all!
If you had more time, what would you do more of?
This is a fun question:) I would read, bake, cook, cycle, sleep, and spend more time writing my book. Now can somebody go ahead and add a few more hours to each day?!
What advice would you give to a blogger just getting started?
Be yourself! Blog about what you are passionate about! Your passion will come through your writing, and both you and your audience will be more excited about what you are writing about.
What advice would you have to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?
Be open to new ideas!! Each blogger is so different, and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Work together to find the perfect fit for your product and their social media resources. For example, some bloggers have a strong Instagram presence, some do not and they are stronger on Facebook or Twitter. Some blogs do really well with giveaways, and some are better with product reviews. Come together to find a plan that works best for everyone involved.
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