Despite the fact that women make up the majority of students in undergraduate and graduate journalism programs around the country, mainstream media is often an echo chamber that reproduces the same narrow range of  voices (85% male) over and over.

Thankfully the blogosphere is one place where woman owned media has flourished. Many women (especially women of color) are building online platforms for themselves that are garnering them national media attention and acclaim. And well, let’s face it, it’s about damn time.

To kick off the new year, we’ve compiled a list of twenty-three such women. From careers to cooking, from fashion to feminism, there is one thing that all of these blogs have in common: They are owned by some of the fiercest women on the web.

So without further ado (and in no particular order), here are 23 fierce female bloggers you should be following in 2013!

1. Ashley Ambirge – The Middle Finger Project

Category: Entrepreneurship

Why We Love Her: By far one of the most entertaining marketing and copywriting experts out there, Ash Ambirge teaches the major tenants of online entrepreneurship with humor, sass, and an occasional F bomb. In her own words: “To hell with the shoulds; life is short. Do what you want.” And really, her blog is called The Middle Finger Project. What’s not to love?!

Favorite Blog Post: How to Hit Rock Bottom and Come Back a Business Owner (Note: this is actually a guest post that Ash wrote for another blog but it remains one of our favorite pieces of hers!)

2. Madame Monarch – A Black Girl’s Blues

Category: Life Lessons

Why We Love Her: Reading A Black Girl’s Blues is like reading the journal of one of your most thoughtful, truth telling homegirls. Covering topics from sex and dating (ok, more like reluctant celibacy) to love, to pop culture, to the occasional current event, A Black Girl’s Blues is the story of one witty twenty-somethings growth and evolution.

Favorite Blog Post: Black Girls Be Thinking About Exceptionalism: AKA Another Post About Gabbi Douglas

3. Shenee Howard – Hey Shenee! 

Category: Entrepreneurship

Why We Love Her: Don’t be fooled by the bright colors, funky fonts, and Ryan Gosling obsession – Shenee is a small business branding genius! The best things about the Hey Shenee blog is that Shenee is quick to tell you that you don’t need a million followers or the advice of some inaccessible guru in order to be successful. What we’ve learned in our time following Shenee? Do you. Kick ass. Be successful.

Favorite Blog Post: Stop kissing the feet of “big names” + the secret to success

4. Kim Foster – For Harriet & Black Girls Blogging

Category: Feminism

Why We Love Her: Kim Foster is a kick ass colored girl and burgeoning media mogul whose thoughtful engagement with topics from self love to parenting to pop culture we can’t get enough of. In Kim’s words, the purpose of For Harriet is to “encourage women, through storytelling and journalism, to engage in candid, revelatory dialogue about the beauty and complexity of Black womanhood.” Honest conversations about real issues – we’re loving it!

Favorite Blog Post: Michelle Obama Feminism: For Black Women With Nothing to Prove

5. Luvvie Ajayi – Awesome Luvvie

Category: Humor

Why We Love Her: Ever had one of those days when everything is going wrong? We’re talking the type of day where you wake up late, miss the bus/train, and get to work only to belatedly realize that you were supposed to be giving a presentation, oh, 30 minutes ago? On days like those, a few minutes on the blog Awesome Luvvie – pop culture tomfoolery hilariously analyzed, summarized, and satirized – is just what the doctor ordered. (Another reason we love Luv? There are way too few colored girl comedians so we’re happy to see one of our own doing it big!)

Favorite Blog Post: The Poptart Tragedy

6. Nicole Antoinette – Nicole is Better

Category: Life Lessons

Why We Love Her: One of our favorite discoveries of 2012 was Nicole Antoinette’s humbly titled blog, Nicole is Better! Nicole is all about “a life less bullshit” (i.e. living a life on your own terms, not caring what the hell anyone else thinks, even if it sometimes makes you feel a little crazy and insecure). Did we mention that she is also hilarious, insightful, and a frequent user of ALL CAPS? ‘Nuff said.

Favorite Blog Post: One of *those* days, all the dramatic feelings, and the benefits of a raging jealousies list 

7. Marie Forleo –

Category: Entrepreneurship

Why We Love Her: All business advice is not created equal but somehow we constantly find ourselves nodding our heads and taking notes when Marie Forleo starts sharing her pearls of wisdom. Marie definitely holds our attention with her weekly Q&A Tuesday videos where readers submit questions and challenges they’re facing in their business and Marie answers with her characteristic Jersey girl swagger!

Favorite Blog Post: The Single Most Important Factor of Any New Business

8. Tara Sophia Mohr – Wise Living

Category: Life Lessons, Wisdom

Why We Love Her: Tara Sophia Mohr’s career advice is the equivalent of getting a supportive hug from a mentor. While we love sass and ALL CAPS and cursing as much as the next girl, sometimes soft-spoken, poetry writing, soulfully wise Tara is what we need to soothe those jagged nerves, insecurities, and doubts that come with “playing big” in our lives and careers.

Favorite Blog Post: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Praise

9. Gina McCauley – What About Out Daughters

Category: Feminism

Why We Love Her: What About Our Daughters originally came about as a response to Don Imus’ negative comments about the Rutgers’ women basketball team (which promptly turned the spotlight on how women of color are depicted in mainstream media). McCauley describes her site as being “Unapologetic, Uncompromising, and Unbowed in defense of Black women and girls,” and, well, we are NOT mad at that.

Favorite Blog Post: Be Proactive: Ignorecotting Baby Kimye

10. Angela Davis – Kitchenista Diaries

Category: Food

Why We Love Her: Um, because every.single.thing this woman makes looks ridiculously delicious! It’s rare to find a food blog where damn near every recipe makes your mouth water. Angela’s creative, healthy cooking will have your butt in the kitchen, whipping up simple, delicious meals day after day. Plus, we love her humor and awesome personality!

Favorite Blog Post: Tales from Angela’s Kitchen: Thanksgiving Dinner by a Procrastinating Overachiever (We loved this post – especially since many of us fall into the procrastinating overachiever category – but be sure to check out some of her food/recipe posts as well!)

11. Rosetta Thurman – Happy Black Woman

Category: Life lessons

Why We Love Her: With so much talk out there about “angry black women,” Rosetta Thurman’s Happy Black Woman blog is a breath of fresh air. In addition to her non-profit career and consulting practice, Rosetta is passionate about helping women “design their ideal life” as she chronicles the process of designing her own.

Favorite Blog Post: When I worry About Going Broke

12. Leopard – Crates And Ribbons

Category: Feminism

Why We Love Her: Many folks who read this blog have a complicated relationship with feminism – either because they are still working out their relationship to the women’s movement, have justified critiques of the movement or how it is portrayed, or just don’t fully understand what “feminism” is. Crates and Ribbons is the blog for you! We love pretty much everything the author writes – not only because the topics she chooses are interested and wide ranging but because her articles are as well research as they are witty, patient, and accessible.

Favorite Blog Post: Shame in the Patriacrchy

13. Gabi Gregg –

Category: Fashion

Why We Love Her: If you’ve ever been frustrated after seeing a fly outfit on a mannequin or in a magazine then trying it on and realizing that it wasn’t built for a women with the least bit of curves – we feel you! And so does Gabi Gregg. Gabi was one of the first plus size fashion bloggers out there and continues to pave the way for ladies of all shapes and sizes to love their curvy figures. And, most importantly, she is fresh to death and we love her for it!

Favorite Blog Post: Top 10 Outfits of 2012

14. Ebony McCrary – Coloured Beautiful

Category: Fashion/Natural Hair

Why We Love Her: There are a million and one natural hair bloggers out there. We get it. We do. And to be honest, maybe Ebony isn’t even the best there is out there (tell us in the comments!) but just like potential mates, wedding dresses, and puppies, she is our first love! From her awesome natural hair tutorials (starting years ago when she first did a Big Chop) to funky makeup and fashion videos, we love her creativity, risk taking, and straight-to-the-point personality!

Favorite Vlog Post: Becoming Eva Marcille: Transformation Collab (Admittedly, this is a makeup rather than a hair tutorial but we couldn’t resist! This will be especially intriguing for all the ANTM fans out there!)

15. Ginger – Girls Just Wanna Have Funds

Category: Personal Finance

Why We Love Her: In her own words, Ginger describes her site as “[exploring] money management basics, debt reduction, budgeting and other personal finance issues, specific to women.” But what we’re loving are Ginger’s psychotherapy credentials. A therapist who writes about personal finance – a.k.a. someone who gets all the emotional craziness that drives how we manage, spend, and save money? Yes, please!

Favorite Blog Post: 21 Days to Rock Your Finances

16. Mia McKenzie – Black Girl Dangerous

Category: Feminism

Why We Love Her: Mia McKenzie isn’t afraid to be a little dangerous. She is not afraid to say things people don’t want to hear or tell stories that so often go untold or to call society on it’s BS – and that’s exactly what she does on her blog, Black Girl Dangerous. In her words, “Black Girl Dangerous seeks to, in as many ways possible, amplify the voices, experiences and expressions of queer and trans people of color.”

Favorite Blog Post: The Eleven Most Dangerous BGD Posts of 2012

17. Ev`Yan Whitney – Sex Love Liberation

Category: Sex/sexuality

Why We Love Her: In a culture that simultaneously encourages women to be both virginal and hyper-sexulaized, loving your body and celebrating sexuality is fraught with all type of emotional baggage and challenges. And yet somehow Ev`Yan Whitney manages to write posts that tackle both of these themes in a tone that is soothing, inspiration, and makes us want to get our sexy, self-love groove on!

Favorite Blog Post: Sexual Energy is Creative Energy

18. Lori Deschene – Tiny Buddah

Category: Life Lessons, Wisdom

Why We Love Her: Our lives are insanely complicated, meanwhile the most important lessons we need to learn from them are often incredibly simple. Lori Deschene built an entire blog around this idea. You don’t have to be Buddhist to enjoy or appreciate Lori’s gentle wisdom and approach to every day life. In fact, sometimes being “fierce” means being gentle, loving, and vulnerable in moments when you’d rather be loud, angry, or aggressive.

Favorite Blog Post: 10 Ways to Have Peaceful, Loving Relationships

19. Nikita Mitchell – Journeyful Life

Category: Life Lessons, Careers

Why We Love Her: A corporate transplant into the non-profit sector, Nikia has a self-proclaimed obsession with “the intersection of business and social change,” i.e. how to transform the world (and oneself) in the most financially sustainable ways possible. Her blog is an honest and insightful chronicle of her personal and professional journey.

Favorite Blog Post: Building Your Wings on the Way Down: When Quitting is the Only Option

20. Chivon John –

Category: Health and Fitness

Why We Love Her: Let’s be honest, “fitness” related things tend to be intimidating as hell. Whether you’re feeling terrible for not being able to stick to your commitments, insecure (and ignoring) the number that is slowly creeping up on the scale, or annoyed (yet reluctantly amazed) by the skinny, in shape, I-could-do-this-in-my-sleep crew at your local fitness center:  Good news! Chivon takes the potentially scary topic of health and fitness and writes about it with compassion and vulnerability, somehow managing to gently motivate her readers in the process. Treadmill, here we come!

Favorite Blog Post: 31 Life Lessons in 31 Years

21. Natalie Sisson – Suitcase Entrepreneur 

Category: Entrepreneurship

Why We Love Her: Location independence is the hot new thing in entrepreneurship. Lots of people out there are talking the talk, but Natalie Sisson is walking the walk. Since starting her blog in 2006, Natalie has been on a mission to create a truly location independent business. Her awesome blog provides advice, recommendations, and strategies for other budding “suitcase entrepreneurs.”

Favorite Blog Post: Why Nice Should Be Banned From the English Language

22. Rebecca Thorman – Kontrary

Category: Career Development

Why We Love Her: Let’s face it, “work” doesn’t look the way it used to when our parents and grandparents first sent out their resumes. (Did they even have resumes back then?!!?) And yet so many career advice columns are still giving advice based on the way things were done ten and twenty years ago. Not so on Rebecca Thorman’s career development blog, Kontrary. Rebecca’s insights are as witty and wise as they are relevant.

Favorite Blog Post: ‘Don’t Burn Bridges’ is Bad Career Advice

23. Brittany – Clumps of Mascara

Category: Beauty

Why We Love Her: Now this what we call a niche site – mascara reviews all day every day! Well, kinda. The truth is, the Clumps of Mascara blog covers makeup products of all types in the author’s trademark down to earth, quirky voice. We love Brittany as much as we love her awesome product reviews!

Favorite Blog Post: Best Mascaras (simple, straight forward, and super useful!)


Who else should we add to this list? We’re especially interested in learning about Latina, Muslim, Asain-American, and other colored girl bloggers who we may not have come across (yet!) in the blogosphere but feel free to share *any and all* of your blogging faves!