The Pioneer Woman’s Secrets of Success in Blogging and Marriage

Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, is a star.

She has the most successful — and stunning — blog in the momosphere. And her achievements don’t end online. Ree also has an incredible marriage and idyllic family life.

It would be easy to be jealous of her, but the thing about Ree is — she is as gracious, charming and beautiful as her blog is, and you can’t not love her.

Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman

Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman

I’ll be honest though, sometimes I look at her site and I do feel a little envious.

Ree captures her enchanted life with her phenomenal photography and her effortless writing.

So when I stop by her ranch for a virtual visit, I spend hours with my jaw dropped at her exquisite story telling, wishing that I not only had such amazing stories to tell, but that I could tell them as well as she can.


by Ree Drummond


by Ree Drummond

But, the envy fades when I remember how deserving she is of her success and how happy I am for her. I think about how lovely she’s been both times I’ve met her.

Interviewing The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond

Interviewing The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond

In New York City, at the Social Luxe party during BlogHer’10, I got the chance to interview Ree for the second time. (I interviewed Ree during BlogHer 2009 as well.)

In this interview, Ree shares a few secrets of her success in blogging and marriage.

Why The Pioneer Woman is a Success

Tonight as I browsed through her beautiful site, I thought more about what I think contributes to the Pioneer Woman’s enormous success.

1. Value

We all want to be sticky. Once our readers spot our site, we want them to stay, to dig deeper, and to keep coming back, day after day.

The Pioneer Woman shows us how it is done — through valuable content. Ree is constantly giving value to her readers, through content like her photography tips and tools, her homeschooling ideas and insights, and her cooking recipes and photos.

Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple - Ree Drummond

Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple - by Ree Drummond

I can spend hours at The Pioneer Woman, clicking deeper and deeper into her site, and then coming back for more.

2. Engagement

Blogging is about relationship, about engaging your readers and having conversations with them.

Ree is able to make us feel as welcome as if she has pulled up a chair at her kitchen table, putting us at ease with her humility and charm.

Assembly Line - by Jennifer Glass

Assembly Line - by Jennifer Glass

She respect her readers’ talents, allowing them to be a part of the process with projects like Tasty Kitchen and photo contests and photo assignments where she posts readers’ incredible photography.

3. Inspiration

The hook. We all want — need — to be inspired.

Skies - by Ree Drummond

Skies - by Ree Drummondnd

Whether it is through her writing, her story, her cooking, her photography, her marriage, or her parenting, Ree Drummond defines inspiration.

But even though she sometimes seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of us, Ree continually “Keeps it Real,” reminding us she is just as human as the rest of us, learning as she goes. And personally, that is what I love most about The Pioneer Woman — it is inspiration coupled with encouragement.

The Book Is Almost Here…

The Pioneer Woman - Black Heels to Tractor WheelsHow Ree wrote her second book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, is as intriguing as the romantic plot. She started the book as a post on her blog and it eventually became a forty-plus chapter online serial love story written over eighteen months.

Ree explains she “ended the online version on our wedding day, then started working on the book, which includes both the online story and a whole new part, which documents the entire first year of our marriage—when everything sort of falls apart, goes downhill, blows up in our face, and…”

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels is being released on February 1st and you can preorder your copy here. I cannot wait to read it!

Remember you can tweet with Ree @thepioneerwoman and find her on Facebook as The Pioneer Woman.

So Tell Us…

Why do you think The Pioneer Woman is such a success?

Are you a long-time Pioneer Woman reader?
Have you read her cookbook and will you be picking up a copy of her new book?
What is your favorite part of her site?

Thanks to Our Sponsors

kmart designThanks to Kmart Design we shot a ton of interviews with fantastic bloggers and we still have more to publish, so make sure you watch our feed.

Watch more of our BlogHer10 video interviews here!

Also… here’s a little tip…
If you want to see the videos as soon as we upload them to YouTube (even before we can get them published here at 5 Minutes For Mom), subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Written by 5 Minutes for Mom co-founder Janice.
Tweet with us at @5MinutesForMom


  1. says

    I’ve bought three copies of her cookbook. One for myself (where I stood in line with an 8 month old baby until 1:00 in the morning to meet her) and have given two as gifts. I am sure I will buy Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.

    Ree is such an inspiration. I am a mom to many children as well and look at her site many days and wonder how the heck so does it all! But it is hard to be jealous when she offers such greatness to her readers, as you’ve said.

  2. says

    I started reading PW 2 yrs ago next month when I was doing 2 weeks of overnights at work. She was in a contest where people had to vote for favorite sites. I started reading her and Marlboro Man’s story and was hooked. I can not WAIT for her book!!

    Ree is so down to earth and engaging. She like the popular girl in school everyone wants to be friends with.

  3. says

    LMAO! Love her comment at the end “You’re so skinny”. What she says about marriage I find so true. Tobei and I even when we fight it can be a big fight but it will end quickly and we don’t dwell on it. We remember why we are together, we appreciate the little things and always remember the good in one another.

  4. says

    I had the fun of meeting Marlboro Man, along with Ree’s two daughters, when we went to the Dominican Republic with Compassion International in 2008, and if she is half as neat in person as her family is, she is well worth knowing.
    Mary, mom to 10

  5. says

    i’ve been a PW reader for a few years now, took her a batch of Marlboro Man cookies at her Nashville book signing, and have had not one but two dreams about hanging out with her at the ranch.

    her blog meets my number one criteria for reading – i leave encouraged to be better, do better, be happier than i was when i came instead of feeling jealous, envious, or not enough as some great blogs seem to do.

  6. says

    I like to equate PW to the “Oprah of the blogging world” – and I know personally I crave to create with my blog what she has done with hers. {Although, I am not about to write a cookbook, and would never have home-schooled my kids.}
    She is “the total package” – and came into the blogsphere at the right time.
    And yes, hard not to grit your teeth with envy. I’d love to know if she has a publicist or personal marketing team?
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever read her blog before, but this is such a wonderful interview expressing her virtues and beauty in so many areas I have to go over right now and visit.

  8. says

    She makes REAL food that families love (at least mine does!) and uses everyday ingredients. I hate food blogs that expect you to live in Whole Foods & search high & low for the ingredients. Plus it helps that she is TOTALLY charming & hysterical! I just adore her blog!

  9. says

    I’ve been reading Ree’s work since her first blog…and she used to comment on my blog! Which! Tickled! Me! No! End!!! I met her at Blogher 2007 and she was SO gracious. I loved her on Bobby Flay’s throwdown!! I have her cookbook (of course) and preordered the Black Heels story the first day I could. I’m her biggest fan (but not in a Stephen King “Misery” creepy kind of way). And don’t kid yourself – you and Sue are superstar bloggers too – and I adore you and your blog just the same:-)

  10. Ivy says

    I started reading her blog (back when there was only one section) around 4 years ago when I was expecting my daughter. I spent many an hour resting and reading about 5 months of back posts (over the period of a month) and have been reading it since. I don’t have her cookbook yet and haven’t pre-ordered the black heels book (I don’t have enough time to read while chasing a toddler). Once things slow down a little, I’ll be lining up the books to catch up on.

    I love that her posts are a bit introspective and my hubby loves the food recipes (for me to prepare them, that is.. ha ha)

  11. says

    I think one of the reason I kept going back to her site is the visual on her blog with her beautiful photos and her charm and witty writing. Also how honest and sincere she seems online that makes it feel like you are reading your old friend letter or diary.

  12. says

    I have a lil story….

    A group of us were going to be attending BlogHer2010 ~ except for one very exceptional friend. I wanted to do something special for our friend ~ to show that we missed her and was thinking of her and wishing she was there with us. When I heard that Ree, whom our friend admires a great deal, was going to be at BlogHer…. Well I knew this was it! I purchased several of her cookbooks, in fact got the last 3 from Borders. I packed one in my bag bound for BlogHer in the hopes that I would see Ree and well get this cookbook signed for our friend.

    I emailed Ree in the hopes she’d somehow read my lone email hear my request and agree to meeting up with me, or at least collecting the cookbook from the hotel front desk – sign it to my friend – and leave it back with the front desk where I could then collect it. Yeah – I know.. what was I thinking!?! I mean, Ree, The Pioneer Woman must get 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of emails a day.

    Well BlogHer was upon us and yes I was there with her cookbook in the hopes of bumping into her. I carried that cookbook like the ancient scribes, I was never without it and always checking on it to be sure I had not damaged it in making my way around NYC and BlogHer expo hall (for those of you that were there – the expo hall was GREAT but sheer madness – by volume of booths and people).

    I even attempted a twitter conversation with Ree starting on the 5th of August. Imagine my surprise when she responded!! Thus a twittership (thank you for mobile twitter on my phone!) was formed and we played twitter tag for the next 2 days several times a day, with several missed chances to meet up when came one moment she tweeted she was just pulling up to the hotel ~ I was on my way from our room on the 32nd floor to the 2nd floor shipping ( y’all might have heard about the shipping fiasco from BlogHer?) where friends were kinda left hanging for a bit by the hotel shipping office ~ it was then I realized for the first time since I had left from upstate I was without P-Dub’s cookbook. I tried to take the elevator (y’all also heard about the elevators? LOL) and the stairs all in an attempt to retrieve the cookbook make it back down to the lobby to finally meet up with Ree – The Pioneer Woman – P-Dub and my fellow NYC “oh my gosh my feet hate me” lady. Sadly, I didn’t make it in time. She had tweeted that she would tweet me when she was heading back from dinner with MM ~ but I did think that I might have blown my chance, it was summer, dinner out in NYC, BlogHer was over (except for the last night of parties) what were the chances?

    You know, It wasn’t just about the autograph for my friend it was also about meeting this remarkable woman who willingly stepped into our world and went along for the fun in helping us make something special for a friend happen… ‘cause that is just what you do for a friend… right? The game of “Where in the World is P-Dub” (sung to the Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?)

    I was lying back in my room, I was hot, sweaty, tired and in serious pain. My roommates had gone out for one last night in NYC, I didn’t go, I just wanted to stay put as much to rest as it was in the hopes that I would finally get to see Ree!
    I had a remarkable time at BlogHer but was so ready to get home to my family and my own bed. That is when my phone went off and there was a tweet from Ree… “ thepioneerwoman Ree Drummond @LiveLaughLoveCj I’m in lobby bar! :)

    You never saw anyone move so fast despite swollen feet the size of blowfishes, my right leg swollen to the size of a telephone pole… but I made it down to the lobby bar in record time…. There wasn’t any time to “freshen” up, lawsy what a mess I must have looked like when I hobbled up those steps rounded the corner and saw her… Ree with MM and some friends.

    She stood right up and with the brightest smile and a warm hug and a comment on my perfume (cashmere mist) – we talked for a few moments about our twittership and a little about my friend and my purpose for all of this. She was so kind, so friendly, she reminded me of several of my closest friends, she just has that way about her. I was still a bit self-conscious about well being a sweaty mess ( it was HOT folks in NYC that week! It was HOT and MUGGY and I melt in those conditions, and Yes I live here in NY and Yes! I should be used to it – but well I’m not – I melt I melt I melt and not in a good way either). Ree asked who she was signing the book for, I told her “tinker” she did look up at me and give me that look of “tinker?” I quickly explained, she laughed and smiled and then she signed the book. In that moment I thought here is a remarkable person, blogger, woman, wife, mother, photographer, writer, chef…. But more importantly what a remarkable human being! I tweeted the following after saying my goodbye’s waving to MM and thanking him for forgiving the intrusion to their evening… “LiveLaughLoveCj Christine It is a real joy in doing something special to help make a friend smile. Thank you @thepioneerwoman for helping me do just that.#blogher10 “
    I would have said something more – but you are limited to 140 characters…

    So while I have enjoyed Ree’s blog, her Tasty Kitchen site, her stories and appearances on TV (WTG on the ‘Throwdown with Bobby Flay”) and around the blogosphere; what I will remember most is the Summer of 2010 when she so kindly and amusedly extended herself to help a friend make another friend smile. It is knowing with total certainty that she is every woman, just like you and me, that I pull up a chair, a cup of coffee in hand and explore The Pioneer Woman blog to see what is new with her family, Charlie, the Ranch and whatever else might be tickling her senses on that given day…. and I smile.

  13. says

    I was so fortunate to meet Ree at the ranch last year at a Blogher video taping & she is so gracious & fun. Had a blast at the ranch hanging out & eating her homemade pizza. I missed out on cinnamon rolls (she was out of milk, darn it!), but i finally made them myself this Christmas and they are truly fantastic. Ree is a wonder to behold & she is my bloggy hero too!

  14. says

    I’ve been a long-time ready of The Pioneer Woman. She is absolutely inspiring in all that she does. Because of her, I strive to create a better blog, take better photos, cook more at home and just all-around try to be a better wife, mom and friend. She just brings that out of me and I suspect so many more women worldwide. I definitely have her cookbook and have already pre-ordered her new book. I cannot wait to read (again) her story of meeting MM and creating her incredible ranch life.

    I love how she, through her site, creates possibilities instead of envy for all of us blogging women. She takes us away and while we’re devouring her information we can dream about her life and our lives and wake up wanting to be better women. She does that for me, I love it and think she’s absolutely amazing!

    I hope to meet her some day…maybe at Blogher this year, if only to see her bright smiling face and get her autograph.

  15. Inez says

    Thank you for this interview. I loved what she said about seeing the positive traits in your husband and not dwelling on the negative. I believe this is valuable advice for any relationship, and especially in family relationships.

    Thank you so much!

  16. says

    Janice, ever since you told me about this interview at Type A Mom last year I have been checking your site for it and here it is! It was definitely worth the wait. Ree is so humble and lovely. I will be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of hers before. But after reading a few of her love stories and hearing her story with you I am hooked too! I had no idea she didn’t have any photography training. If she can do it I can too! I am going to start learning more about photography because I love it :)

    Thanks for this wonderful interview!

  17. says

    Ree is LOVELY…and her photographs are stunning. A friend bought her cookbook for me last year (and it was a sight to behold). That said, I have to admit that I did give the book away recently because I get all of my recipes online. 😉

    The Pioneer Woman isn’t currently in my RSS reader, but I may have to reconsider that. I only hear good things about it and I’m going to give it a second look. Thanks!

  18. says

    Love this story- at some point I added her to my twitter people that I follow, but I neglected to follow up with her site- glad I read this to remind me to check it out. She sounds inspirational :)

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