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How Much Do Bloggers Make? Case Study: Ree Drummond AKA The Pioneer Woman

Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman, runs an extremely successful website that is represented by Federated Media. According to the information available from Federated Media, the Pioneer Woman site gets around 10,170,000 page views per month, a statistic that is consistent with the Quantcast measurements of her traffic. The minimum buy for skyscraper ads on The Pioneer Woman is 170,000, which constitutes 5% of the total impressions in a two-week period. For this 5% share of the “voice” (in skyscraper ads) of The Pioneer Woman, it will cost you $2,762.50. Other ads offered include a rectangle ad, which costs $3,276.00 for a minimum buy of 180,000 impressions, which is also 5% of of the total “voice” of rectangle ads on The Pioneer Woman in a two-week period.

Source: Federated Media

What does this mean?
Well, if The Pioneer Woman sells out all of her ads on a given two-week period, both rectangle and skyscraper, she would grossing about $120,770 per two-week period for Federated Media. This would mean the site grossed about $3,140,020.00 per year. But there are two caveats: 1) The Pioneer Woman probably does not sell out ALL of her ads, every week of the year, particularly in January, when advertising sales are low; and 2) You can bet that Federated Media is taking the lion’s share of that revenue, possibly up to about a 70% of it, in fact. So here’s where the guestimating begins.

If the Pioneer Woman were to sell out all of her ads, my guess is that her share runs from about $1,570,010.00 to $942,006.00 per year. Based on information for this two-week period (May 14-27, 2009), I am guessing that Pioneer Woman must maintain about an 82-85% full rate on ad space, since only 18% of her skyscraper ads are still available, and 15% of her rectangle ads are available. I am sure this number fluctuates, but without getting hard numbers from either Ree Drummond or Federated Media–and I’m not asking, but I’m guessing they won’t tell–this is as close as I’m getting. So my semi-educated guess is that Ree Drummond’s gross revenues are between $800,000-$1.3 million a year. Out of this, she spends a bunch of money on giveaways as well as paying writers for different portions of her site, and so I think that her overhead might be higher than the average individual blogger.

Still, not bad for a country gal, eh?