How Food Blogger Jenna Urben Maintains Her Niche While Also Expanding
Jenna Urben started The Urben Life with one simple mission in mind—sharing quick and easy allergy-friendly recipes. The Dallas-based blogger was inspired to create this food destination after developing an egg allergy and lactose intolerance years ago. Remembering how difficult it was to give her diet a makeover, she wanted to create a space for those struggling to do the same.
“Whether you’re changing your diet due to food allergies, intolerances, or other health-related reasons, the more support you have, the better,” the SHE Media Partner Network member says. “I want my readers to think of me as their personal cheerleader! While all of my recipes are dairy-free and egg-free, I develop them to please everyone in the family.”
Ahead, Urben shares more about The Urben Life and her journey as a content creator.
What’s the most challenging part of creating allergy-friendly recipes?
I love experimenting in the kitchen with new ingredients and methods! One of the biggest challenges that come with creating allergy-friendly recipes is making them allergy-friendly for all. I am dairy-free and egg-free, but still consume gluten, nuts, and other common food allergens. As I grow my audience, I’m also trying to be more mindful of including additional alternatives and simple substitutions.
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With such a specialized focus, how did you go about identifying your audience?
When I first started my blog, I was just sharing my day-to-day meals and how I adapted them to fit my diet. Once I decided to think of my blog more as a business, I did a deep dive learning about who actually reads and benefits from my posts. My audience ranges from young adults who are totally new in the kitchen to parents needing to adjust their diets for little ones. What they both have in common is that they’re new to the allergy-friendly world and need support and guidance.
Everyone always tells you to niche down when you decide to start blogging, but lately, I’ve found myself wanting to reach people outside of the allergy-friendly world. So many people are in their kitchens experimenting more, I want to show them how delicious dairy-free meals can be. The goal for each of my recipes is to be quick, easy, approachable… and delicious, of course!
How do you determine your weekly content plan?
One of my favorite things about being a content creator is getting to connect with people around the world! In addition to my blog and social channels, I also have an engaged email list and private Facebook support group. I often receive recipe requests from readers and will make those a priority. I think about what I can create using seasonal ingredients, as well as plan ahead for upcoming holidays and celebrations. I try to keep a pulse on what’s trending, while also providing comforting classics with a twist.
How do you nurture and grow your blogging skills?
I actively participate in conversations within the blogging community, listen to podcasts, and attend [virtual] conferences. When I see a promising platform pop up or new features get launched, I eagerly dive in and learn how I can use it to provide value to my audience.
What are your current favorite recipes?
Dairy-Free & Egg-Free Meatballs, Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce, Vegan Sausage and Vegetable Skillet, and Loaded Plant-Based Breakfast Board
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