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Blogger Spotlight: Hungry Runner Girl

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 Hungry Runner Girl

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!

You can find my first post here.

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 HRG Baby

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.

in blog, Bloggers, Influencer Marketing, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers

Instagram’s New Ad Format: Why Instagram Influencers Still Matter

Fashion Lifestyle Blogger Atlantic Pacific for David Yurman

Fashion Blogger Atlantic Pacific for David Yurman

Instagram's New Sponsored Ads Featuring CTA Buttons

In a peculiar and perhaps providential showdown between photo-sharing giants Instagram and Pinterest, both mobile apps debuted their new e-commerce offerings at the onset of this month to many a CMO’s delight and brands’ high hopes for a sales-laden summer. While there’s debate between which platform offers higher purchase intent or whether consumers will respond favorably to CTA buttons brandished amidst their Instagram browsing experience, it’s clear that brands looking to capitalize on Instagram’s millennial consumers will first need to understand a few key concepts before they can conquer the digital playing field. 

The New Instagram Advertising Features:

With Instagram's new advertising features, brands now have the ability to attach and link the following call-to-action buttons to their sponsored posts:
  • Shop Now
  • Book Now
  • Download
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
New Ads On Instagram

 

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Marketing, Instagram Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers

Blogger Spotlight: Julie Fagan of Peanut Butter Fingers

pb fingers influencer marketing spotlight photo

Top Lifestyle Blogger Julie Fagan Shares Her Peanut Butter Fingers Blog Journey

Julie Fagan readily admits she did not expect her blog, Peanut Butter Fingers, to reach as large of an audience as it now does. Peanut Butter Fingers now ranks as one of the largest and most influential health, fitness, and lifestyle personal blogs in the space.

Instead of creating perfectly poised, polished, and styled photo shoots, a current trend and common philosophy shared by most lifestyle bloggers, Julie's authentic content focuses more on sharing her experiences in a genuine, conversational matter. Her traditional approach to blogging, and her consistent, relatable content is likely the reason why Peanut Butter Fingers excels as a top destination for readers, and has transitioned into a full-time source of income for Julie.

Not only do brands love working with Julie's congenial personality, but also her style of sponsored posts, such as this giveaway with custom furniture site Interior Define, and this meal prep giveaway with Blue Apron, both of which perform exceptionally well with her audience.

In our exclusive Influencer Spotlight Series, Julie dishes about her most-read blog posts, how she stays up to speed in the fast-evolving digital influencer and social media world, and where she sees the future of blogging and influencer marketing sponsorships:

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers

What Is A Lifestyle Blogger?

What Is A Lifestyle Blogger?

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What Is A Lifestyle Blogger? Discovering What Elements Define Top Lifestyle Bloggers

"A lifestyle blogger writes, creates, and publishes (multi)media content on various aspects of their daily lives."

A lifestyle blog is best defined as a digital content representation of its author’s everyday life and interests. A lifestyle blogger creates content inspired and curated by their personal interests and daily activities. As such, lifestyle blogs are oftentimes highly personalized to the author's location, life stage and experience. For instance, a former food magazine editor, married, in her mid-30s with a 1-yr old child residing in Nantucket will blog on vastly different categories than a single, 24-yr old lifestyle blogger living in San Diego, who designs bikinis for work. Both are considered lifestyle bloggers, but there will be little if no overlay in their lifestyle blog content. 

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in blog, Bloggers, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Marketing Guides & How-To’s, Lifestyle Bloggers

Sponsorship Guidelines For Blog Influencer Marketing

Blog Influencer Marketing Guidelines

For the latest authoritative marketing news, trends, and stats on social media stars and influencer marketing, subscribe to our industry digest newsletter! 

What Brands Need To Know About FTC Disclosure Requirements For Sponsored Blog Influencer Marketing

It certainly isn’t news to most consumers that many social influencers and top lifestyle bloggers are paid to “advertise” or promote products on their social media networks and personal lifestyle blogs. But what the general public may not know is that specific rules, formed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),  precisely govern how this advertising is supposed to happen in blog influencer marketing sphere, and how disclosure should happen in order for compensation to be accounted for by the lifestyle blogger or digital influencer.

Blog Sponsorship Trends

Online social media has become the new giant sector for advertising and marketing. With so many people making use of social media platforms, it’s no wonder that companies are now leveraging blog influencer marketing to tap into online audiences. But how exactly does this work? If a company has chosen someone to be a “digital influencer” for their product, compensation for promoting the product can come in different forms, such as free products or cash payments. If this occurs, a disclosure should be included in the post or photo labeling it as an advertisement or promotion. The problem comes when either the lifestyle blogger, or the company whose product is being mentioned, either doesn’t know about the rules surrounding disclosure or chooses not to abide by said rules. Many lifestyle bloggers may simply not be aware of consumer protection laws. But some companies believe that having any promotional material labeled as such will actually hurt their campaigns.

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers

Top 5 Breakout Haul Videos of 2014

Top 5 Breakout Haul Videos of 2014

Haul videos are a phenomenon that started gaining traction on YouTube in 2007. This trending video genre has evolved into one of the top YouTube categories. Haul videos peaked in around 2010-2011, as YouTubers in the fashion and beauty space would post videos of what they bought on a recent shopping trip. They show each item of the trip, talk about what they liked about it and talk about trends and deals for their audience with links to the products. This became a quick hit with audiences and an obvious sponsorship opportunity for brands to capitalize on. Sponsored haul videos by endemic brands assimilate the brands naturally into the content and resonate well with audiences (see our post on Ways to Create Great Sponsored Content).

Though the haul format has evolved and the fashion and beauty YouTubers now mix in haul videos with medley of content, audiences and YouTubers still covet the format. Below are some of the top breakout haul YouTubers of 2014.

Kathleen Lights

Kathleen, the YouTuber behind Kathleen Lights, is a 22 year old beauty Youtuber who discusses everything from product reviews and comparisons to product hauls and collection videos. Her most recent haul (above) is from her trip to California. It's 22 minutes long and covers over 25 different beauty products she recently purchased. Her channel has over 600k subscribers and over 30.4 million video views (also see our post on the top 5 breakout entertainment YouTubers).

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in blog, Bloggers, Fashion Influencers, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

How Vessel is Poaching YouTube’s Stars

vessel video

What is Vessel Video?

Vessel, a video platform subscription-based site started by Jason Kilar formerly of Hulu, is looking to position itself as YouTube's first real competitor by signing over a dozen premium YouTube stars as launch partners. Vessel's strategy also includes other premium content such as Project Runway and traditional publishers including "Time Inc. and A&E for such brands as Sports Illustrated and the History Channel. It's also gotten Warner Music and other labels on board, representing a total of 3,000 musicians" (cnbc.com). Vessel videos officially launched its beta to an invite-only preview on January 21 of this year. For $2.99 a month, Vessel subscribers get exclusive access to new videos from dozens of content providers including some of YouTube's stars like the Fine Bros, Miss Glamorazzi, Shane Dawson, Good Mythical Morning and more (also see our post on Vessel vs. YouTube).

Vessel's hope is that the loyal and devoted fans of current YouTube stars will follow them to the new video platform, paying for exclusive early access to their content. It's a big bet (worth $75M in their Series A venture capital funding) that audiences, who are used to not paying to view their favorite content, will now subscribe to Vessel videos at  $2.99/month. Vessel's contract would require YouTube influencers to publish first to Vessel's video platform for three days of exclusivity before publishing to their YouTube channel.

Vessel's founder, Jason Kilar, believes video and channel enthusiasts will pay for early access to premium content. “That’s the kind of person we’re going after, someone who cares deeply about a creator or a brand,” the Vessel founder said. "We believe that they’re passionate about just good content, and it’s our job to deliver it to them early.” (Tubefilter)

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in blog, Bloggers, Monetization, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Top 5 Breakout Entertainment YouTubers of 2014

Top Breakout Entertainment YouTubers of 2014

With a saturated entrainment market, it makes sense that performers would turn to YouTube to achieve their own audiences and stardom. From break dancers to comedians to musicians, entertainment YouTubers have a considerable opportunity to find their own fame within the confines of YouTube's 1 billion user strong platform. With the freedom to post what they want, unlike restrictions performers find in other avenues, entertainment YouTubers have the luxury to control their art form. Below are some of the top breakout entertainment YouTubers of 2014.

Whzgud2


Marquese Scott, aka YouTube’s Whzgud2, is an American pop and lock dancer who has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres show as well as advertisements and music videos. His 2011 video to Pumped Up Kicks is what pushed him to stardom. This year he's done collaborations with UNIQLO, amongst other brands. In his most recent video (above) he collaborates with Kikky for a dance video. His channel has over 1.5 million subscribers and over 276 million views.

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in blog, Bloggers, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

How Do Bloggers Make Money?

how to bloggers make money sponsored post atlantic pacific bergdorf goodman new balance

How Do Bloggers Make Money?

Since 2004, bloggers have been sharing their favorite topics across the internet with like minded people. Bloggers were the original digital influencer. Though they remain the quintessential online influencer, in some respects top bloggers are quickly being superseded by popular YouTubers, Instagrammers, Viners, and Snapchatters. Some of the best bloggers have transcended the shakeup in the influencer space, while others have evolved and migrated to new social publishing platforms. Incredibly, some of the top fashion bloggers, are among the most followed top Instagram accounts.

Originally, blogging was a hobby and avocation. The most widely recognized bloggers devote themselves full-time to their efforts; however they began their blogging journey part-time until they secured enough sustainable income from their blog to make it their primary endeavor. Now, top bloggers and influencers (like Danielle Bernstein of fashion blog, We Wore What and Emily Schuman of Cupcakes & Cashmere) can command six figure partnership and sponsorship deals.

Read more here to see how bloggers make money:

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Fashion Bloggers, Influencer Marketing Examples, Instagram Influencers, Lifestyle Bloggers, Monetization, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers, Sponsored Content With Influencers

The Top 5 Breakout Tech YouTube Channels & YouTubers of 2014, Part 1

Top Tech YouTube Channels YouTubers

Subscribe to our industry digest for the latest news and trends on top YouTubers, Instagrammers, bloggers, & Snapchatters!

Top 5 Breakout Tech YouTube Channels & YouTubers of 2014

With over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute (according to YouTube statistics), every category from Tech to Cooking to Beauty is saturated with countless videos on a myriad of topics. In short, it's getting harder and harder to stand out as a remarkable channel and build an audience. YouTubers have their work cut out for them and use an assortment of techniques to distinguish themselves from the crowd. There are still rising stars among the stalwarts who are equally equipped with consistency, production quality, personality, charisma and an ability to connect with the audience. The best channels also tend to create the best branded and sponsored content. These online influencers know how to build a brand into their voice. As a result, they are able to protect the coherence and integrity of their channel and prevent audience alienation as a byproduct of disingenuous material. (Check out our posts on How to Make Branded Content and Picking the Right Influencers.)

But most consistently, the best channels and YouTubers engage their audiences. They capture and create trends, shoot creative and novel content. They educate their audiences, share their world with their loyal fans and most importantly connect with their fans. Here's our list of top 5 breakout Tech YouTubers of 2014.

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in blog, Bloggers, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

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