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Blogger Spotlight: Fannetastic Food

Lifestyle Blogger fANNEtastic food Anne Mauney

Anne Mauney of Fannetastic Food Blog Chronicles Her Blogger Journey

Amidst her travels abroad and graduate dietetic studies, Anne Mauney started her current blog, fANNEtastic food. Anne, who holds both a Masters in Public Health and is a registered dietician in Washington DC, writes authoritatively on food recipes and fitness, while also blogging on her latest travel adventures, race recaps, and weekend outings. A quick look at both her blog and our spotlight feature reveals how there's much more to blogging than what meets the eye.

When it comes to blog sponsorships, Anne advises brands to look far beyond surface-level metrics, and instead cultivate a profitable blogger relationship by evaluating a blogger's audience engagement level and precise content alignment between the blog and sponsoring brand. For sponsored blog content, Anne deftly integrates her exercise and nutrition acumen into working with brands like Blue Apron and Bombas Socks. For the aspiring blogger, Anne also shares her tips on food photography and how the art of blogging needs to arise first from an inherent fervor.

Read below as Anne shares a wealth of truly "fannetastic" blog sponsorship tips for brands, blog strategy insights, and her personal take on social media as a leading lifestyle blogger:

How did you get started blogging?

I first started blogging in October of 2009. I had just returned from teaching English in Prague, where I had a travel blog, and I wanted to stay involved in the blogging community, but incorporate my passion for food and fitness. I was just starting my prerequisites and applying to go back to grad school to become a Registered Dietitian, so I decided to start fANNEtastic food as a way to share my journey back to school and to inspire readers to live healthier, more active lives. I started mostly sharing healthy recipes and quick meal ideas, but as I got more into fitness (and running in particular), I started sharing a lot more exercise-related training updates and adventures, too. My blog also incorporates a lot of travel recaps now - it's been fun to have the blog evolve as I have! 

What was your first blog post?

My very first blog post was kind of random - it was fall, so I wrote about a cool tea mug that I'd found recently and was loving, along with some random life updates. Here it is if you'd like to see it in all its randomness: I Love Me Some Fall! I remember debating forever about starting a new blog, and finally decided to just go for it, even if I didn't have a super fancy recipe or anything to share for the first post. Sometimes I think you just have to dive in - if you wait until everything is perfectly set up/ready, you'll never start. That advice applies to life in general, in fact.

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in blog, Social Media Influencers, Bloggers, Influencer Spotlight

Sponsored Blog Posts vs. Blog Affiliate Advertising

Sponsored Blog Posts

Subscribe to our industry digest newsletter: the latest authoritative marketing news, trends, and stats on social media stars.

Should Brands Do Sponsored Blog Posts Or Blog Affiliate Advertising?

As more and more established brands integrate digital content creators into their influencer marketing strategies, top lifestyle bloggers are being vetted by brands for major blog sponsorships and affiliate advertising opportunities. We assess how both sponsored blog posts and blog affiliate advertising work, and how they benefit brands and bloggers.Read More>>

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

Smashbox Studios: How Brands Are Innovating With YouTube Content Creators

YouTubers Content Creators at Smashbox Studios

Top YouTubers, like Cassey Ho of Blogilates and Monica Church, partaking in new digital program "Made at Smashbox."

Smashbox Studios To Collaborate With Top YouTube Content Creators

Smashbox Studios debuted their "Made at Smashbox" digital program specifically for YouTube content creators in conjunction with their recent 25,000 square foot studio facility relaunch. This program epitomizes how established brands like Smashbox and other companies are tactically integrating top YouTubers into their core business operations.

The beauty, fashion, and lifestyle video blog (vlogger) niche is one of the most competitive spaces with hundreds of brands vying for the attention and product promotion for these YouTube content creators. Brands are looking for ingenious ways to connect with content creators and their audiences through YouTube, but outside of strict sponsored videos. Programs, like "Made at Smashbox" offer YouTubers professional services in exchange for massive brand exposure to their consumer audiences, fans, and followers.

How Smashbox's New Digital Program Works

YouTubers are invited to create branded video content at Smashbox's newly redesigned studio. Their new program, in partnership with Collective Digital Studio (CDS), creates value for YouTube content creators by providing a professional studio space to collaborate with MUAs, stylists, and offering a variety of photography and videography services. In turn, the Smashbox brand benefits from the direct value exposure to each YouTuber's channel and contiguous social media networks. Traditionally, beauty and make-up YouTubers film their video tutorials within their bedroom settings. As more and more content creators saturate the space, some of the top YouTubers have sought out professional studios and video services like Smashbox's new digital program in order to differentiate themselves. See our post here on the rise of top fashion bloggers.

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers, Fashion Influencers, Bloggers, Online Video Marketing, Monetization

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

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

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

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 Influencer Marketing Guides & How-To’s, blog, Fashion Influencers, Bloggers, 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, Branded Content With Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers, Bloggers

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

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

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