I Am, in Fact, a Hollaback Girl

by Rachel on April 7, 2010

I know my side bar is kind of a widget party, so you may not have noticed the new one in the mix!

Recently I’ve had a lot of conversations with other health bloggers about how much health blogs are falling behind. I touched on this in the guest post I wrote for Leah. Some people didn’t like that post; one of her readers called us mean girls, to which I’m just like, “On Wednesdays, we wear pink.” Like, really?! The post wasn’t meant to be mean. If your blog is meant to be a food journal or a way for your friends to see what you’ve been up to, fine. That’s certainly one type of blog.

But when a blogger is reaching tens of thousands of people a day and talking about like, nothing, we start to question what the standard for being a “top health blogger” truly is. Having a blog can be a really powerful thing, so why not use that power better?

So me and Leah and a handful of other girls had many discussions about how we wanted to see people take it up a notch in terms of creativity and passion. I’m not saying everyone has to make videos about vibrators and Splenda — quite the contrary; please don’t start shooting videos about vibrators and Splenda, as I find getting ripped off more annoying as seeing yet another picture of your leftover lentil tacos  — but I am saying that all bloggers should discover their own voice within this niche.

So after reading Linchpin, I was super inspired, but, without any coworkers to rev up, what was I supposed to do!? Then I realized that other bloggers are my “coworkers.” I work at home and don’t have those people sitting a desk away, who I can share funny things with or talk to about our “industry.” But health bloggers have each other, and we hang out at the water cooler that is Twitter.

I decided to unite us. Instead of sitting here talking about health blogs falling behind, we could lead by example, and form a sort of group to change that. And after a series of group e-mails were exchanged, Hollaback Health was born!

hollaback girl (n.): It seems as though Ms. Stefani has had some incidents in which another young, presumably female, individual has made some disparaging remarks about her character. Upon learning of the situation, Ms. Stefani is informing this “culprit” that she intends to handle this matter and “holler back.” Additionally, it appears as though this altercation will take place somewhere near the bleachers. [via UrbanDictionary]

We are healthy living bloggers who are on a mission to break the health blogging mold. We believe there’s more than one way to live a healthy life and there’s more than one way to write about it. We feel that health blogs are starting to struggle and, well…that sh*t is bananas.

We stand by this firmly, and when people disagree with our way of doing things, we will respond — not necessarily by the bleachers, but we’re cool with hollering back if we need to, along with our band of other renegade health bloggers.

We encourage all bloggers to find their own unique voices, to be creative and innovative, and to inspire others.

The title is super tongue-in-cheek because God knows we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

It’s definitely still a new thing, but we have a lot of ideas and plans that we’re shooting back and forth. Right now, there’s the blog where we all can post. It might be a post about something that we think is an example of “hollaback health” (I posted about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution) or it might be a post about something we wrote about that people didn’t like — and an explanation of why we wrote it. It’s a place to holler back if we’re accused of being an alcoholic for drinking two martinis on a weeknight. (Totally not me, which actually is even more amusing.) We also have an e-mail listserv where we can pose questions like, “Is it OK to post about….?” or “How do I do this on WordPress?” And we’ve got each other’s backs.

And we’ll have yours too, if you “get it.” It’s not a clique for “professional bloggers” (another title thrown out by a reader who didn’t like my guest post; I wish I made enough money to call myself that). It’s for new bloggers who, like me a year ago, are thinking, “But can I post about that? Is it OK if I’m not a vegetarian??” It’s for established bloggers who are in a slump and want to be held accountable to do better. It’s a resource and a tool and a support group and we want other people to be a part of it! However, I will be frank and say that if you read the “Top 10 Characteristics of Blogs That Are Putting Us to Sleep“…and you thought maybe, just maybe, I was talking to you…then you might want to really think it over.

All the details on how to get involved are on the new site, and I also have a post up there today “Does Your Mom Read Your Blog?” with the answer to that question, which I get asked so often!

HOLLER.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alicia April 7, 2010 at 8:44 am

I love this idea. I love the approach that you guys are taking. I just recently dumped a lot of my Google Reader feeds because I was SO BORED. If you’ll have me, I’d love to join! I’ll email the link on the site later to “formally apply”!
.-= Alicia´s last blog ..recipe: CTC beef stew =-.

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2 Ashley April 7, 2010 at 8:51 am

i love the hollaback health blog. already commented on it. love you girls, you make it more interesting when you change it up! keeps me entertained :)
.-= Ashley´s last blog ..bring on the sun =-.

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3 Britt @ Runnerbelle April 7, 2010 at 9:07 am

Raising hand….. yes I was one of those forementioned people that asked if your mom reads your blog. I was mainly asking because my mom was driving me crazy at the time commenting about certain aspects of my lifestyle based on what she read on my blog.

Yes… safe does get to be boring…. but as you mentioned everyone has their own reason for blogging. Some do it as their livelihood others do it to journal or document what they are up to….. all depends on your motivation!

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4 Suzanne April 7, 2010 at 9:12 am

You know, I really appreciated the guest post you wrote. As a very new blogger trying to find my own niche, I need all the feedback I can get. I know that my photos aren’t very good and I take pictures of my leftovers way too often, and I hadn’t really thought of it was a big deal until I read that post. Since then, I’ve made significant improvements and I’ve started to get slightly more comments than usual. Maybe if other people actually listened to your input instead of getting defensive, they’d see some good results as well. So, tough love, baby.. it works!
.-= Suzanne´s last blog ..Green Tea Poached Salmon =-.

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5 Laura Georgina April 7, 2010 at 9:18 am

I laughed so hard both times I read that post about sleep-inducing blogs. Funny and well-said.
.-= Laura Georgina´s last blog ..Four Mile Mindgames: Getting Through the Long Run =-.

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6 Diana April 7, 2010 at 9:57 am

Very interesting idea, I’ll definitely check it out! :)
.-= Diana´s last blog ..A whole lotta food. And other stuff. =-.

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7 Manon April 7, 2010 at 10:31 am

I just have to comment that I about died at your ‘being accused of being an alcoholic because you had 2 martinis on a weeknight’ because I totally had 3 as big as my head last night chased down by a couple of 312’s…..and I’m probably so amused because I’m still drunk.
.-= Manon´s last blog ..Tuesday makes me Tingle…… =-.

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8 Rachel April 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

@Manon — I was not accused of being an alcoholic! That’s the funniest part…it was another blogger, one who does NOT have the word “tequila” in her tagline! Ridic!

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9 Johana April 7, 2010 at 11:27 am

Absolutely love the idea! I had two beers on a weeknight and SO WHAT haha! It was a date, it was proper and I’m still living a healthy life overall :)

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10 Manon April 7, 2010 at 2:48 pm

hahaha…….PRICELESS!
.-= Manon´s last blog ..Tuesday makes me Tingle…… =-.

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11 Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) April 7, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I smiled and nodded through this post – and laughed through your guest post.
I so completely agree – going to check out your Hollaback Health blog now!

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12 Samantha April 7, 2010 at 9:59 pm

I recently started following your blog–and love your message and humor! (also loved the guest post) I just started blogging and think I can fall under the ugly blog category…..need to work on that. I think its important to assess ourselves from time to time in order to be better at what we do–thats what I got from your post!
.-= Samantha´s last blog ..Jeans and Ponytails =-.

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