Influencer Spotlight

For the latest interviews, advice, & spotlight features with YouTubers, Instagrammers, bloggers, & top social media influencers, check out our weekly series below.

Instagrammer Spotlight: Josh Ostrovsky, The Fat Jewish

Josh Ostrovsky's sponsored YouTube video campaign with Three Jerks Jerky

Why Josh Ostrovsky "The Fat Jew" Entertains Millennials, Major Brands

Known for his corpulent figure and hairstyle, Josh Ostrovsky is anything but subtle. Ostrovsky, who refers to himself as "a Jew unicorn," launched to fame with his outrageous brand of humor via his Instagram channel, @TheFatJewish. Josh Ostrovsky’s often coarse material has attracted 5.7M followers, and while he has more than his share of detractors, his fan base is both staggering and climbing.

Born and raised in New York City, Ostrovsky attended several universities before ultimately becoming an alumnus of SUNY Albany. After graduation, he used his alter-ego “The Fat Jew” to host parties and various gigs before joining Instagram in 2012. In addition to his own channel, Josh Ostrovsky is also the creator of Instagram accounts @ToastMeetsWorld and @MuppetsRevenge (his pets) both of which have a combined follower count of 337K. 

With his vast reach and highly engaging content, Ostrovsky joins the ranks of other prominent social media influencers who have partnered with major companies for brand-sponsored content and sponsorship opportunities (see our post here on how to create sponsored content with Instagram influencers). Josh Ostrovsky's brand sponsorships include Burger King (detailed below) and Three Jerks Jerky (as seen in video above). 

See our post here on how brands work with social media influencers.

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Influencer Spotlight, Instagram Influencers, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Influencer Spotlight: Sweet Tooth Sweet Life

Sweet Tooth Sweet Life InterviewLifestyle Blogger Courtney Horan of Sweet Tooth Sweet Life

Courtney Horan began blogging as a way to keep track of her daily fitness routines and meals. Her blog centers around living a healthy and active lifestyle, all while maintaining a positive outlook (with room for dessert). Courtney’s path was not always easy -- after college, she struggled with relationship issues and allowed bad habits to take over her life. However, she was able to find her drive and ultimately achieve a healthy, balanced life.

In her interview feature, Courtney shares her life's experience in the ever-changing blogging world, and how it has evolved into a veritable business platform connecting audiences with brands. Sweet Tooth Sweet Life "a love of food, fitness, and fashion" shares the latest on her pregnancy journey, recipes, workouts, meal planning, and more.

Read Sweet Tooth Sweet Life's interview to learn her views on the industry, candid advice for bloggers and brands alike, and her viral post, "The Twinkie Diet."

How did you get started blogging?

I had been reading blogs for about a year and always thought, man, that seems really fun! Then while I was away one weekend with my husband, I told him that I wanted to start one of my own and he said, “Ok, then go for it!” So I started right then and there by taking a super dark and grainy picture of our truffle fries.

What was your first blog post?

I actually had to go back and re-read it because I had no idea! My very first post was basically two sentences saying “Hello!” to the world. But my first “real” post was a bit of a recap of that weekend that we were away in Burlington, VT. Sadly, I ended up deleting most of the pictures from my first few posts back in the day, because I had run out of storage space and had no idea what else to do. Rookie mistake…

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in blog, Bloggers, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers

Blogger Spotlight: The Fitnessista by Gina Harney

The Fitnessista Interview Gina Harney

Gina Harney "The Fitnessista" Shares Her Thoughts On Blogging, Viral Posts, & Social Media

In an effort to share healthy meal examples and fitness ideas with her personal training clients, Gina Harney started blogging in 2008. After three years, her blog "The Fitnessista" reached one million monthly page views. Since then, The Fitnessista has become a highly sought-after resource of fitness workouts (including sections like 'barre,' 'playlists,' 'cardio and HIIT') and a dedicated recipes section complete with vegan, gluten-free, and dessert categories.

Check out her interview feature as The Fitnessista shares her thoughts on getting started, her "breakout" moment, top-viewed post, and her seasoned advice to brands seeking to partner with influential bloggers:

How did you get started blogging?

I started blogging back in 2008 when my husband and I had just moved to Valdosta, GA. I still hadn’t met a lot of people and was working as a personal trainer. Many of my clients would ask me for eating examples for healthy meals, so I started the blog as a way to share ideas with them and also connect with others who shared a common love of fitness and healthy eating.

What was your first blog post?

It was a short introduction with an idea of what the blog was going to be about. I actually ended up deleting it because it was so weird/awkward.

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in blog, Bloggers, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers

Blogger Spotlight: Oh Dear Drea By Andrea Duclos

Influencer Spotlight Oh Dear Drea Andrea Duclos Blogger

As a veteran blogger of 15 years, Andrea Duclos started Oh Dear Drea to share her journey as a single mother. Since then, her blog has gained massive popularity for both its candid voice, enticing writing style, and beautiful, vibrant photography. Oh Dear Drea features the latest happenings and finds for natural living, vegan food, travel adventures, and home design. For sponsored blog posts, brands like Sugru, Blue Apron, NatureBox, and BarkBox regularly partner with Oh Dear Drea to co-promote their brand with excellent awareness, reach, and engagement.

Check out her influencer spotlight for a snapshot look into Andrea's blogging world, her advice to new bloggers, and her philosophy for balancing social media and life.

How did you get started blogging?

I started blogging about 15 years ago. Crazy, right? I just wanted a place to write my angst teenage thoughts and have some sort of creative outlet. At some point I stopped for no particular reason. About a year later when I became pregnant I thought I should start again, completely fresh, leaving my teenage angst behind. I deleted my old space and created a new one to document my life as a single mother. I’m not a single mother now, but I think it was good to build a real connection with people first. Even in the best of times now, people know and trust that the life they see is really the life I’m living— and I genuinely think that’s important for the reader.

Influencer Spotlight Oh Dear Drea by Andrea Duclos Blogger

What was your first blog post?

I couldn’t tell you exactly, but if I had to guess it was probably something about being bored in computer class. In my new blog, it was just a picture of me, saying ”Hi, I’m starting this space again!”

What was your breakout moment?

I’m not sure if I had a ‘breakout’ moment. My blog slowly but surely gained momentum and readers. I think people just really liked the honesty and bluntness about it. My blog felt different than a lot of the other happy family blogs out there -- I had a different story to tell and it wasn’t always happy and perfect, it was just life unfolding.

Have you ever written anything that’s gone viral?

I’m not quite sure how viral something has to be to be ‘viral’ but my most popular post to date has been “how to have a good life without spending a lot of money” —- it did incredibly well and was shared often. Which is mostly amusing to me because I said I would never write about money, but one day I sat down and wrote down all the little things we do that make us happy and it all came together, sort of perfectly.

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in blog, Bloggers, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers

Lifestyle Blogger Spotlight: The Stripe by Grace Atwood

Lifestyle Blogger Grace Atwood The Stripe

Grace Atwood, the lifestyle blogger behind The Stripe (formerly Stripes & Sequins), is no stranger when it comes to exactly what works in social media. Before she became online jewelry retailer BaubleBar's sixth employee (she currently is their Director of Social Media), Grace worked in the corporate world and started blogging as a creative outlet. What began 5 years ago (2010) as a passion project, grew steadily into a hugely successful blog known for it's well-curated DIY tutorials and has been featured in all the world's top media outlets including Yahoo, AOL, Refinery29, StyleBistro, and PopSugar.

The Stripe showcases Grace's well-curated style, DIY, beauty, home, travel, and wellness posts in addition to beautifully photographed visuals. Ms. Atwood has presented at General Assembly's Social Marketing Summit, been featured in Birchbox's Holiday Gift Series, and has worked with a variety of blog sponsorships including Blue Apron.

Check out Grace's feature interview where she details her breakout moment, how blogging has increasingly more commercial, and how good story telling in an age of visual/video-dominant social media will "become even more important."

How did you get started blogging? I started my blog in 2010 just for fun…I wanted a place to share the things that inspired me. I’d post an image, and some text…my blog was pretty ugly back then!

What was your first blog post? Haha, it was about a Chan Luu Bracelet I’d just bought. Literally just a photo of the bracelet and a paragraph about why I liked her bracelets.

What was your breakout moment? I think it was when some of the DIYs I’d done on my site started to get noticed. A few bigger sites linked to me and put me on lists like “Top Ten DIY Fashion Blogs” and from there, my audience began to grow.

Have you ever written anything that’s gone viral? Yes…a few friendship bracelet tutorials!

How has blogging changed since you got started? It’s gotten a lot more commercial. I think it’s amazing that we, as bloggers, can earn a living from our work…but I also miss the days where everything was all organic, and blogging was about discovery + finding new cool things.

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in blog, Bloggers, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Spotlight

Lifestyle Blogger Spotlight: Carrots N’ Cake

Top Lifestyle Blogger Carrots N Cake Christina Haupert

Lifestyle Blogger Spotlight: Christina Haupert Of Carrots 'N' Cake

Christina Haupert's blog "Carrots 'N' Cake" chronicles her journey of balancing both a love for food and a longstanding penchant for healthy living. From detailed workouts to a fit pregnancy to a variety of everyday delicious recipes, Christina shares her best tips through a spirited mix of photos and a fun conversational writing style. In addition to her blog, Christina is both a certified CrossFit & NASM fitness trainer, published author, and self-professed iced coffee lover. Her blog has been featured in several major media publications including Runner's World and Food Network; Christina herself contributes to Glamour, Women's Health, Shape Magazine, and is a Brooks Running Ambassador.

Originally started as a way for Christina to detail and share her daily eats, Carrots 'N' Cake now partners with some of the largest brands for sponsored blog posts including Blue Apron, BarkBox, Bombas, Oyster, and NatureBox. As she describes in her spotlight feature, bloggers genuinely desire to "create meaningful between themselves and the brand as well as their readers." In addition to her high-traffic blog, Christina is active on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Check out Christina's interview for the best tips on blogging, how it's changed, and experienced advice for brands looking to partner with bloggers:

How did you get started blogging?

I was engaged to be married, so I wanted to shape up and look great on my wedding day, but, at the same time, I knew I didn't want to miss out on all of the "fun" foods in life. My blog is all about finding that balance between the carrots and cake.

What was your first blog post?

It was called "A Sweet Ending," and it documented what I ate that particular day, which, of course, included dessert.

What was your breakout moment?

When I landed a book deal!

Have you ever written anything that’s gone viral?

My post called "Life Advice from Murphy" did really well in the blog world.

How has blogging changed since you got started?

Readers expect a lot more from you with regard to how much of your life you share.

How do you keep up with social media? 

I really enjoy Instagram, so I end up on there a few times a day.

If you had more time, what would you do more of?

Traveling! I love it so much.

What advice would you give to a blogger just getting started?

Be consistent with your posting and do you. What makes you unique as a person will make you appealing to readers. Also, listen to your gut with regard to business decisions.

What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?

Establish long-term relationships with bloggers and keep the lines of communication open. Bloggers want to create meaningful relationships between themselves and the brand as well as their readers.

Also See Our Posts On:

20 Top Fashion Bloggers, 2015 Edition

Influencer Marketing Companies: The New MCN?

What Is A Lifestyle Blogger?

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

Top YouTuber Spotlight: Austin Evans

Top YouTuber Spotlight Austin EvansTop YouTuber Austin Evans

In the world of YouTube gaming and technology reviews, few names rank higher with community affinity and influence than self-professed geek, Austin Evans. Though he's been "in the game" for the better part of YouTube's entire history, Austin is quick to advise aspiring YouTubers to "be persistent," recounting the 3 years it took him to get "a handle on what makes a good video and another two years before [he] could actually deliver the content." Along the way, Austin has built a vibrant tech community and highly engaged follower base -- one that pitched in and helped him get back on his feet with a new MacBook Pro when he lost everything due to a house fire in 2014.

Now arguably one of the biggest and most respected names in tech, Austin began his YouTube journey six years ago in 2009. In the years to come, Austin, who's work has been prominently featured by Mashable and is frequently a topic of favorable discussion on reddit, ascribes his massive success to constinual learning-based growth. Earlier this year, Austin was part of tech media network The Verge's CES 2015 roundtable with other top YouTuber friends, Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) and Jonathan Morrison (TLDToday).

Check out Austin's exclusive Mediakix interview feature as he details his humble beginnings to working alongside global brands like Castrol and VIZIO, shares how the YouTube vlogging world has significantly changed, and the kinds of epic projects Austin only imagined working on when starting out.

Mediakix: How did you get started making YouTube videos?

Austin Evans: In 2009 I was just getting into doing written reviews of the first batch of iPhone and iPod touch apps, a friend was starting to make video app reviews and he suggested I give it a try. I made one video on YouTube and never looked back.

What was your first video?

It was Application Review 1. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I didn’t even own a camera at the time. I took screenshots on my iPod and recorded a voiceover using the microphone from the game Rock Band on the PlayStation. A few people liked the video though and that was all the motivation I needed to keep going.

What was your breakout moment?

You know I don’t think I ever had one big moment where everything just clicked. It’s really been a steady ride the last six years, lots of consistent learning and growth.

Has anything you’ve posted gone viral?

My first big ‘hit’ was a speed test between the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3. Mashable picked it up and it got 100,000 views the first day which was huge for me. Funnily enough two years later an updated version of that video with the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S5 also blew up with nearly 5 million views so far.

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in blog, Influencer Spotlight, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

How YouTube Influencers Go Viral: Beauty Blogger Creates My Pale Skin Video

YouTuber Em Ford Makes Viral YouTube Video "You Look Disgusting"

YouTube beauty star Em Ford, of My Pale Skin Blog, is no stranger to the glaring world of beauty & fashion. A former model, Em is now working full-time at a creative agency pursuing her passion for storytelling and filmmaking. She has since developed her own beauty channel on YouTube -- her adjoining blog celebrated it's one year mark in January 2015. Em’s cheeky and straightforward video tutorials have attracted a sizeable following of 200K+ subscribers and 15M total video views.

Recently there has been an uptick in body acceptance movements, where models and YouTube influencers with seemingly unattainable standards of beauty speak out regarding body shaming, often revealing themselves "sans fards." While the response has been overwhelmingly positive, the polarity of social media comments is startling.

Em recently garnered attention with her YouTube video campaign #YouLookDisgusting. This blisteringly candid behind-the-scenes reveals the internet’s response to her video where she reveals herself with and without makeup. Her message is clear: “One challenge many face today, is that as a society, we’re so used to seeing false images of perfection, and comparing ourselves to unrealistic beauty standards that it can be hard to remember the most important thing: you are beautiful.”

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

YouTuber Bethany Mota Delivers Empowering Message At BeautyCon LA 2015

BeautyCon LA 2015 Bethany Mota

BeautyCon LA 2015 Spotlight Q&A: Bethany Mota With Cosmopolitan.com Editor, Amy Odell

On July 11, 2015, BeautyCon LA 2015 brought together over 80 top beauty and fashion brands, 140 digital influencers, and thousands of their most coveted fans at The Reef, an indoor and outdoor "creative habitat” in downtown Los Angeles. At the heart of BeautyCon LA 2015, YouTube superstar Bethany Mota delivers an oftentimes emotional Q&A that sheds invaluable insight for other content creators, highlights her multi-faceted YouTube success, and ultimately showcases the positive and far-reaching ramifications of the vlogging industry. Amy Odell, editor of Cosmopolitan.com (a major BeautyCon LA 2015 partner), moderated Bethany's Q&A.

Established in 2011, BeautyCon not only comprised of global industry summits filled with YouTuber panels, Q&A’s, live performances, and meet-ups, but following a successful $2M round of seed funding, has become a “formidable consumer-facing media platform for young women and their YouTube heroes” (via Fast Company). Bethany Mota, nominated by Cosmopolitan as "Internet's Most Fascinating," is a key investor in BeautyCon. This year's BeautyCon LA 2015 panel topics included "The Evolution of Fashion & Beauty" (presented by sponsor Barbie), "The Business of Beauty Inside + Out," and "Becoming a Digital Media Sensation," in addition to makeup demos, #GirlProbs, and a timely "Being True to You LGBTQ+."

Bethany's Q&A elicited all the fan fervor and animated reactions in line with a teen social media star sporting over 9M YouTube subscribers. Like BeautyCon and much of it's surrounding industry, Bethany's success is predicated on empowering the viewer. As she eloquently articulates during one of the Q&A's more poignant moments,

"Do what genuinely feels right for you. We are the next generation. We need to be brave enough to make that change. Please remember how much you have to offer the world."

Bethany Mota at BeautyCon LA 2015

Here are Bethany Mota's BeautyCon LA 2015 keynote points:

On her humble beginnings: Bethany expressed difficulty in believing her channel would ever reach 1,000 subscribers. Instead, she recalls her desire to simply make good content for her audience where "we can all relate and connect no matter where in the world."

On being a "YouTuber:" In the early part of her YouTube career, Bethany relates how she couldn't explain the nature of what she was doing to family and friends, but took comfort in the fact that "only fans got it."

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in blog, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Blogger Spotlight: Emily Malone of Daily Garnish Blog

Blogger Emily Malone of Daily Garnish Blog

Blogger Emily Malone of Daily Garnish

Emily Malone began her blogging journey when she applied and was selected to blog about running for her local newspaper. Since then the culinary school graduate has blogged extensively about her entire culinary school experience, planning for a wedding, recipe development, parenting, and much more.

In her blogger spotlight feature, Emily shares how blogging is now a viable business and how it has rapidly emerged as "a platform for businesses to connect with an audience through a writer they trust." With the proper brand-blogger alignment in mind, Daily Garnish provides businesses like Blue Apron and NatureBox (close to 1,000 community feedback on her review and giveaway post) with high-reach, targeted, and engaged audience platform.

Check out her complete blogger interview to learn how the blogging industry has changed, what Emily wishes she had more time for, and her timely advice to both bloggers and businesses looking to partner together.

How did you get started blogging?

I had just decided to train for my first marathon, and our local newspaper was looking for bloggers to write about their running and training. I applied on a whim along with my best friend, and they chose us! It was a fantastic experience, and it was so fun to share my story with my local community.

What was your first blog post?

I think it was just introducing myself to the newspaper audience, and sharing my running journey to date. Once I finished up my stint as a marathon blogger, I started my own blog because I enjoyed writing and engaging with my audience so much. From there it grew from wedding planning, to general twenty-something musings, to culinary school, to recipe development, to family planning, to parenting -- and now it’s some sort of crazy hybrid of all of that. Except for the twenty-something part...

What was your breakout moment?

I gained a lot of readers when I was in culinary school because I don’t think many people had been given such an inside look at that experience before. I also had big boosts in my audience when I was featured in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine as a “blog to watch for” and during the Project Foodblog competition through Foodbuzz.

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in blog, Bloggers, Influencer Spotlight

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