I’ve been catching up on some reading during our road trip and I finally made it to last month’s feature in The New Yorker on Ree Drummond, better known in these parts as the Pioneer Woman. I haven’t read much from the Pioneer Woman, but I found the piece on her to be very interesting, perhaps most for its insights into our little bloggy world.
A few tidbits that stood out to me:
- Ree Drummond’s blog receives over 23 million (!) page views per month. (I don’t know how many page views Motherese receives per month, but I’m guessing it’s somewhere south of 23 million.)
- The Pioneer Woman made about $1 million in ad revenue in 2010. (I do know how much Motherese made in ad revenue in 2010: $0 million. Then again, I haven’t started running ads so that probably makes it harder to earn anything from them.)
- Drummond’s husband’s cattle ranching family are the 79th largest landowners in the United States so she’d probably be doing okay for herself even if she didn’t earn $1 million in ad revenue, not to mention much more in book royalties and the money she’s earned from the Hollywood option to her story. (No one has yet contacted me here at Motherese to option my story for a movie. I am, however, waiting by the phone.)
- The article cites a study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project that found that “approximately fourteen percent of women who are online in the U.S. write blogs.” (Okay, no snarky comment here. That number just blows me away, as it did when Jana first pointed it out to me on Twitter.)
- Drummond’s profiler, Amanda Fortini, puts her finger on a delicate issue in the blogging community: “As a canny author of her own persona, Drummond surely realizes that she must encourage the fantasy she has created. To remain interesting, her life must be aspirational. She is who her readers would be if they had more time, more money, a quiet life in the country, a professional teeth-bleaching, or the support of a laconic cowboy husband…But it is tricky to inspire wishful thinking without fomenting resentment.” (This comment made me think of our recent discussion about hiring household help and my own desire to fess up to the help I have; clearly, though, Drummond has to walk a finer line than I do between telling all and keeping the image of a “domestic idyll” alive and well for her readers. Something tells me you’re not suspecting too much “idyll” ‘round these parts.)
What do you think of the Pioneer Woman and other big time “mommy bloggers”? Do you prefer to read blogs by people like you or by those you might aspire to be more like?