Name: Melissa Jacobs
Salary: $60,000 ($10,000 in ad revenue and apparel sales; $50,000 in writing and speaking fees)
Position: Sports blogger, Thefootballgirl.com
What She Does: As the founder and managing editor of Thefootballgirl.com, Melissa Jacobs shows that a passion for sports isn’t just for the guys. Both men and women visit her blog, which averages 40,000 visitors per month, to learn about everything from NFL rules to fantasy football tips.
Since creating the site, Jacobs has become a top female voice in the world of football. She has written for sites including Forbes.com, which named Thefootballgirl.com one of its Top 100 websites for women, and she’s a regular contributor to the roundtable on Espnw.com.
How She Got the Job: After becoming the youngest executive producer at KNBR Radio in San Francisco in 1997, Jacobs moved to ESPN in 2000 to produce national radio shows for sports journalists Dan Le Batard and Dick Schaap. Two years later, she transitioned into television, producing segments for shows including SportsCenter.
In 2008, a friend approached Jacobs with the idea of writing a book about women who watch football. The book didn’t happen, but Jacobs thought a website on the topic could work. She launched Thefootballgirl.com in 2009 and used her contacts to kick off strong — she interviewed Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders for her first podcast.
In 2010, when “The Sports Guy” Bill Simmons wrote a blog post saying women shouldn’t play fantasy football, Jacobs responded. “Let me introduce you to a concept clearly foreign to you: the ‘football cool’ girl,” Jacobs wrote in her open letter back to Simmons. Realclearsports.com picked up the post, and the name Melissa Jacobs was added to the unofficial list of well-known football cool girls.
Who Would Want This Job? Jacobs says that success as a blogger boils down to “having a subject and being knowledgeable, passionate and dedicated to it.” It isn’t necessarily for those who want to sit behind a computer all day — Jacobs spends a lot of time networking with radio hosts, producers, players and coaches. “That’s why you run out of hours during the day,” Jacobs says.
Jacobs wanted a unique site, so she hired a designer to build Thefootballgirl.com and teach her how to use the platform. Learning the technical stuff “actually has been one of the most rewarding parts of it,” she says.