Pioneer Woman, You’re my hero.

This is me in my next life.

A few people told me they started a blog because they like mine.  In reality they probably think, “Heck, if she can do it … ” (Trust me, you can).

Well, after MUCHO deliberation, I’ve decided to reveal the source of my blog’s inspiration, the rabbit my sad dog fervently chases … I hestitate to share. Because, once you go there, it’s like, “Ba-bye Alaskarella.  See you never…”

So, before you go, I want to tell you, thanks for being the bright spot in my dark days.  It’s been real.

Now go on, get out of here.  Go see how the big girl bloggers do it (if you haven’t already). And, then, come back when you’re done (in about two years or so), and I’ll tell you what Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, (aka “P.W.” and “P-Dub”), is too humble to tell you:

She’s like the Oprah of the blogosphere with a blog that grosses $800000-$1.3 million each year (and that was before all the books, book tours, and movie optioning began).  Her “little ol’ me” attitude and “accidental” success had me thinking, “WOW!   Maybe I can do that!”

SO, I  read her tips on blogging post.  She told me that the key to building a blog is blogging every single day.   I did that, for like a month … and …  nada dolla.  (Nada, none, nunca; no dinero here.)

“Huh, that’s funny,” I thought to myself. So I googled my finger prints off to come up with a ten million step plan re: How to be just like P-Dub:

This is my blog in it's next life.

1. Must hire  OMSH to make my blog a pretty place people want to visually visit ten thousand times a day.   I whipped up a creative brief and emailed it off to Heather, the genius of OMSH.  She’s great, really great.  She also charges $4,000 dollars for a “basic” home page design. P-Dub, who I’m trying to emulate here, has like 6 different blog home pages within her one blog, customized headers on each that change monthly, side bars, menus …. We’re talking thousands upon millions of dollars …  I went with the totally free wordpress.com pre-made template.  Not so breathtaking, in so many ways.

2. Mix in (at least) one, if not more, AWESOME giveaways each week.

Who wants a Nikon D-90 camera with a few sweet lenses (money, money, money!)?  $250.00 Anthropologie Gift Cards?  A Le Crusset cooking thing that’s so pretty it almost makes me want to cook  (see #3)?  A big kitchen aide mixer … She sponsors all the giveaways herself (they’re usually on Tuesday).  Huh. I can afford to give away advice on how to enter other people’s giveaways!

3. Learn to Cook. (And take pretty pictures of food).

It does look fun, doesn’t it?  Still, Mac and Cheese is at the top of my skill set. Maybe my sister in law Lauren could carry the culinary part of “Alaskarella?” Except she already has her own booming blog.

4. Take LOTS of pictures of my pretty rural life (while wearing my pretty ring).

Her posts are well written, and they’re also visually driven.   Pictures of gorgeous vistas, beautiful clothing, jewelry, dinnerware, her abode, children, horses, cows  … She lives on a ranch. I live on a glacier.  I can provide stylish fleece and moose photos? What? You don’t like a bloody lynx?

Not bad.

5. Become a photo shop pro (someone, please, show me the ways) and make all the things mentioned in number 4 (above) even more beautiful.  Then, blog about photography, and photo editing, and host photo submission contests with prizes like awesome cameras, photography equipment, and editing software.

6. This. All day. Everyday.

Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. 7 times a day, 8 days a week. She has 6 different blogs within her blog (confessions; photography; cooking; home and garden; and home schooling; and tasty kitchen, a whole different blog). Fresh content is added DAILY on each entity.

7. Do all the stuff in # 4-6 really well.

The content is witty, sometimes thoughtful, always entertaining, and peppered with beautifully shot and edited pictures of her pretty life on the ranch and the books, clothes, cameras, kids, horses, cattle, blue skies, and chaps within it.

8. Compile blog posts and photos into pretty books.

So far she has three books.  The first (above) is #1 New York Times best sellers; “Charlie” is a picture book about the ranch dog; and her love story, “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels,” is coming out February 1, 2011 and will be a best seller for sure … all of them are the result of compiled blog posts.

9. Go on BIG (line-out-the-door, S.R.O.) book tours!

Doesn’t it look grand!   Her newest book, “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels,” is coming out on February 1st.  The  book tour includes a stop at the Tattered Cover in Denver on Feb 12.

10. Get even more famous.

Guest appearances on Good Morning America, dueling chef shows, magazine articles … Would fame suit me?

11. Stay in some sa-weet hotels while on "circuit" promoting,

Pictures of hotel rooms make blog readers (or is it just me?) swoon.  And, “Hotel Room Tours” could possibly be fodder for the next big book.

12. Get story told on blog optioned as a movie! And, get Reese Witherspoon to play me.

13. Can I, too, do this "All by myself?"

All this writing, photo taking, photo editing, book publishing, movie optioning, TV guest appearances, cooking,  homeschooling, mom-ing to four kids, ranching, shopping,  redecorating “the lodge,” and entertaining (she hosts some great parties) might mean I need to hire a little help.    Even though her “totally exposed” blog never mentions a nanny, babysitter, maid, or even an assistant … I’m pretty sure she isn’t doing all this out there in the country on her own.

14. "Um, ya wanna get married?"

Doesn’t it sound great?! And a little bit pricey.   So, I might need to marry Ladd Drummond (aka Marlboro Man), who is like a 4th generation cattle rancher and part of one of the biggest ranching dynasties in America.  They own like everything(ish) in Oklahoma.  And I think he’s already happily married. So am I.

That's Alex, Paige, Bryce, Todd, and Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.

15.  Name my kids Alex, Paige, Bryce, and Todd.   No, not really, I just wanted to show-off the extent of my googling because “The Pioneer Woman” never, ever, ever, calls her kids by name in her blog.

16. I also found out that someone related to her got like 100 speeding tickets in a year. And, when he was pulled over he said, “You must not know who I am.”  OH! I would DIE to someday be able to say that!  (Just joking. Kind of.)

Huh, so improving my writing, photography, and general life skills 100 fold; plus a few million dollars, and maybe, just maybe, I could be one millionth of the blogger P.W. has inspired me to become?   And maybe, just maybe, I might someday be able to say things like, “You must not know who I am.”

Until then, hardly anyone knows who I am.  My blog is my bridge to friends and family who I already knew and who are all so far, far away; something fun for me to think about while I’m taking a shower; and a welcome diversion from putting away the laundry.

Aiming High, Alaskarella

P.S. My blog has never looked so good!  And that’s because all of today’s photos, (save the last one) are lifted from my lady’s site (the last one can be credited to my favorite fairbanks photographer, Todd Paris).

PPS – thanks for all your positive feedback re: my little wonder-girl book.  The birthday girl read it aloud today at school, and I nearly (ok, I did) cried like the baby she used to be.

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31 responses to “Pioneer Woman, You’re my hero.

  1. Hi Alaskarella!

    I just checked out the the website you’re referring to and I may be a little biased but I think your’s is wayyy better! You are much funnier and your pictures are great! The skiing ones I just love, how did you get the sunshine to look so yellow? Keep it up, I’m sure the dollars will start rolling in. Maybe some link’s to Sorel boots or Patagonia? Those were cool brands in my days in snow country anyway.

    • Excellent business ideas from the west coast, cousin! Yes — it’s all Sorel and Patagonia! They’ve got the arctic market cornered! Thanks for the smile. It made my day. Hope all is well in sunny CA. (And the way to make the sunshine look yellow – is to have it hang so low in the sky that it reflects off the trees for the one hour it is out! :).

  2. Katie, Maybe she was your inspiration, but you’ve done yourself proud! Your blog seems like the perfect way for you to enjoy and show off your talents, while staying connected to your family and friends. What can I say…I’m really enjoying keeping up with your life in the cold and dark and I have an even better appreciation of my life in Sunny Southern California. Great job!

    • Thanks Ronnie! Sometimes when I think, “hmm, should I post today?” I think, yes, because I know Ronnie and my mother in law will check it! 🙂 And send some sunshine my way!

  3. Hi Alaskarella,
    I am one of your readers who is not related to you and really really enjoy reading your blog 🙂

    I’ve just had a look at the blog of this Pioneer Woman … well…. I don’t know …. I find women who seem to manage all this stuff so easily a bit …. scary….

    Fact is that I like your blog much better, it is fun reading your posts, they always make me smile and I really admire your good humor in dealing with your daily obstacles in freezy Fairbanks. And your pictures are gorgeous! And btw the bloody lynx is amazing!

    Thank you for sharing your adventurous life 🙂

    Kind regards from the also snowy but never so cold Austria
    Barbara

  4. You are far more normal. And I like you that way. Besides if you go big time, what will I be? Dust in the wind? Dreaming of couches all by my lonesome? I find you to be just as amazing and far more accessible. I’d spend a day in your cabin any day friend!

    • No. You’d be my shopping buddy. The one with whom I spend millions of dollars and hours with as we do exactly what we want while wearing exactly what we want every second of every day! 🙂

  5. Austria Katie! Someone from Austria is already reading your blog! Goodness girl! PW has NOTHING on you 🙂

  6. If given the choice I would rather have cocktails with Alaskarella then make holiday treats with the PW. Anyway how does one person homeschool four children while on a book tour? Thanks for keeping it real Alaskarella.

    • Let’s set a date! When can you drink again? Maybe around August? I’ve been thinking of you and what a good friend you are. Hope all is well with your little family and your little gestater.

  7. ..you are smarter, prettier, funnier, more real that PW anyday, anywhere, anyblog…ok maybe not as rich (at least in $$$$)

  8. I think your blog is fantabulous! And you don’t have to have giveaways to get me to read 🙂 I always think about what great friends we are, but then have to remind myself that you don’t even know me. See? I feel like we’re friends because of how good a blogger you are!

  9. 🙂 WOW! Thanks friends! I didn’t mean this post to come across as “give me some compliments people!” I meant it as a “Isn’t P.W. great?!” But, holy moly. I can’t help but admit, I’m liking the response! As long as I’ve got you guys, I don’t even need a sun to shine! I’m glowing right now. Thank you friends. thank you!

  10. I’ve been reading you for awhile now…you’re even on my bookmarks toolbar! I first found you b/c you posted a pic of your mom at Devil’s Thumb Ranch – and I’m their marketing director. Anyway – I read P-Dub everyday, too – and mostly it just makes me feel badly that I don’t have time to cook amazing things, homeschool four children, manage a bunch of websites, etc. Everytime I feel a little better – she publishes a book! ACK! Anyway, I love seeing your beautiful pictures of a place I’ve never been and enjoy your sense of humor. I’ve never commented b/c it seemed like the blog was a link to your family and I figured you’d think it was creepy if strangers read it. Anyway – stranger no more! And know that you’re a fun read and a nice break to my normal day. That doesn’t have best sellers, movies, basset hounds or millions of acres in it. Although I am married to a hot cowboy. 🙂 Nice to meet you, Penne.

    • NO WAY! little girl big glasses! I read yours too! When you said, “I think of things all day to write here, sometimes I actually do it.” I knew we were meant to be friends. And, you work for Devil’s Thumb? In my next life I live there and wear a big robe all day between massages. Keep up your blog Penne! It is so candid.

      • Okay, that you read LGBG…surprised me! Small world, huh? In MY next life I will live there, too! But walking around up there once a week ain’t too shabby. Thanks for the nice words…just for you, I will post this week. Maybe. (PS, did you read my post about P-Dub?) Wishing you sunshine!

  11. Now that my son is propped up in front of the tv, I can sit at the computer and comment….I love your blog. It’s unique, funny, well-written, and honest. The pictures are great; and it’s amazing to read about, and see the adventure you’re on. Thank you for sharing all of the good, the strange, and the frozen. Oh, I didn’t read the blog you mentioned. I have enough guilt over the frozen waffles I feed my kids daily.

  12. Ugh, okay, I went to her site. I um, I printed out her beef stew recipe. It’s just that, I’ve been looking for a good beef stew recipe, and, um, it did look pretty good. But, that’s the last time!

    • So, you’re making beef stew? I thought we agreed on frozen waffles. Three times a day? 🙂 I love you and your blog right back. We are Blog Friends Forever. BFF. I’ve decided the best thing about having no friends in my real life is that my virtual ones rock. Rock on with your blog, it makes me laugh.

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  14. Pingback: AAAAAAH!!!! | ALASKARELLA

  15. You know what? I just found your blog while Googling PW – so maybe you’re more famous than you think!

    Plus, I read your whole article – which is a rarity for my very short attention span. I don’t even do that on Ree’s site 😉

    Adding you to my reader 😀

  16. I have been blogging for five years, and my blog was chosen by Google as a Blog Note ~~ which was an honour ~~ so I am no stranger to the blogosphere.

    First of all, never, ever copy someone else’s blog ~~ especially a boring one. Second of all, I do not understand the popularity of the Pioneer Woman’s website. There are about a kajillion wonderful blogs out there, and in comparison, hers is boring, boring, boring…! Food, kids, dogs, hubby’s arse… 🙂

    Y-A-W-N…!

    Her cooking is atrocious., (I know because my son-in-law is a true chef…) her photographs are photoshopped to within an inch of their lives, and she is vacant and one-dimensional in her blog content. “C’mon, Pioneer Woman, talk about something interesting…!”

    I’m glad I found your blog, and I would love to put you on my blog list, but please promise never, ever, ever to copy another second-rate blog again, but find your own true voice, which I suspect is WONDERFUL…!

    Cheers, Jo

    • I agree with Jo!

      do your own thing, be original, and by the way, Ree has MANY people working for her!!!! (lift up the veil of deceipt………..)

      best,
      MOV

  17. I meant “Blog of Note”. Typo. 🙂

  18. Your blog is WAY more interesting than PWs. Stick with being you and I will keep coming back. PW fooled me for a while and then she started to do things I just can’t stomach. “Nuff said.