Black Blogger Month 2012: Black Girls' Guide To Weight Loss
Health and Wellness Lifestyle

Black Blogger Month: Black Girls’ Guide to Weight Loss, From Fat to Fit

Erika Nicole Kendall, founder of Black Girls' Guide to Weight Loss

Erika Nicole Kendall, founder of Black Girls' Guide to Weight Loss

Lately, the Web has been abuzz with conversation surrounding the health issues facing African American women caused in part by obesity and lack of exercise. Erika Nicole Kendall has been a catalyst in those conversations since losing a significant amount of weight and taking control of her health.  She is now empowering others to do the same via her award-winning blog, Black Girls’ Guide to Weight Loss.

What started out as a chronicle of Kendall’s weight loss goals, has blossomed into a destination spot for healthy lifestyle inspiration. Her candid and sincere personality has resonated with readers and in 2011 she won three Black Weblog Awards. BGG2WL has also been featured in such notable media outlets as Essence, Huffington Post, Woman’s Day and Yahoo! Health. For her contributions to Web and mission of promoting healthy living for women of color, recognizes Kendall as part of Black Blogger Month.

I started blogging…

Simply as a way of keeping me accountable for the things I’d learned in my journey. At that time, I’d lost about 90 pounds, and I had a fear of backsliding into the habits that caused me to be over 300lbs in the first place. I figured, if I’d blog about it, I could never tell myself that I didn’t “know” something. It’s like, “Yeah, not only did you know it, but you wrote a thousand words about it. Stop playing yourself.”

It’s important to have a mentor because…

I’m a firm believer in having a guide and a mentor in everything I do in life. It just helps to have people who’ve been there in your corner supporting you coming through the way they have. That being said, when it comes to blogging I have to show love to Patrice [Yursik], founder of Afrobella, who has shown me immense love, support and guidance in regards to growing my blog and becoming more streamlined in my daily operations.

BGG2WL stands out from others in my space because…

My blog [chronicles] my successes, my failures, my emotional epiphanies; the battles I’ve fought against my old self and how I’ve won them. It’s something that a lot of Black women can relate to. It’s helpful for women because it helps them navigate this new space of focusing on themselves instead of everyone and everything else around them. And, although their problems are not my problems, it’s helpful to hear how someone else is coming through. It reminds you that “coming through” is possible.

The biggest mistake I ever made in business was…

Waiting so late to monetize my site. Blogging–writing in general, really–is such a time consuming thing. So, if you’re genuinely putting out quality content, you shouldn’t be afraid to be compensated for your time.

What I learned from that mistake was…

To do my best to partner up with ad networks which reflect my principles as well as value the integrity of my site and my person as much as I do. If you run a sports site, don’t join a beauty network. Not only will it annoy your readers, you also won’t make any money.

You also have to make sure that if you stand for something, make sure that the way in which you monetize your site doesn’t compromise your integrity. If I’m constantly blogging about the perils of processed food; do my readers want to see a Kraft ad at the top of my site? Probably not.

Click here to continue reading…