Interview with Danielle Friedland.
When I started thinking about opening my own children’s clothing store, there was one site I was constantly reading and making notes. No, it wasn’t an Online Guide to Children’s Fashion (well, ok, that one too), it wasn’t even a site focusing on children’s clothing. It was the Celebrity Baby Blog.
The celebrity babies are the number one trendsetter in the children’s clothing industry, but that’s not the only reason the Celebrity Baby Blog has gotten so popular. Having babies makes the Hollywood celebs to look more, well, normal, and gives moms a way to relate to them. The Celebrity Baby Blog gets 2.3 million unique readers and over 4.1 million pageviews per month and is one of the most popular sites among the trendy moms!
This year Celebrity Baby Blog has started many new features like the Shop directory and the Annual Celebrity Baby Blog Awards.
I was lucky to have a chat with the owner, the editor-in-chief, the publisher, the blogging-superwoman of the Celebrity Baby Blog, Danielle Friedland. She started her blog just writing on lunch breaks, or evenings after work, and now she works full time AND has a staff of 14 working with her and posting average 20 times a day!
Katja: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Danielle: Ever since I learned how to write, I’ve been a writer. My third grade compositions were praised for their quirky creativity, in sixth grade, my poetry was published in a college literary journal and in 1994, I created what my friend Dave calls the first blog, Natalie Engel’s Chest of Lust, Longing and Obsession. Since then, I’ve done more in terms of technical writing and tech support than writing.
Katja: You’ve had the Celebrity Baby Blog since 2005. Is the Celebrity Baby Blog your first blog?
Danielle No, it’s actually my third blog. I had two blogs that I had lost interest in. A knitting and a personal blog, and the Celebrity Baby Blog is my third one. I had no way of knowing that this one would take off like it has or that I would still be doing it 3 1/2 years later. Or that it would be my full-time job!
Katja: How did you get the idea to start the Celebrity Baby Blog?
Danielle: It was all my husband’s fault. We were watching the Golden Globes in 2005 and I was pointing out who was pregnant or who had just given birth. I was inspired by my husband to create the Celebrity Baby Blog and pour all of this knowledge into a blog. Since then, it has been my creative outlet, but not just in the typical way. I’ve enjoyed being entrepreneurially creative.
Katja: What is the best thing about your job?
Danielle: Being my own boss and making the rules! I’ve always been the low man on the totem pole and having to grit my teeth while having to do the grunt work and follow stupid rules (like my job at an executive search firm that forbid women from wearing pants). And for the first time in my life, I actually look forward to Mondays!
Katja: I can totally relate to that! What is the normal work day for you like?
Danielle: I get up around 6:30 when my daughter wakes up. I give her breakfast and hang out with her until I have to pick up my nanny at the train station at 9. I then spend the next 8 hours answering emails (delegating tasks, assigning stories, corresponding with PR agencies and advertisers), coming up with project ideas, posting giveaways and selecting winners. At 5:30, I have to drive my nanny to the train. My work day picks up again when my husband puts Anya to sleep- I’ll usually put in another 2-3 hours but I am trying to relax more and work less at night because I’ve been going to bed way too late and being exhausted in the morning.
Katja: Who was the first celebrity baby you wanted to know more about?
Danielle: Demi Moore’s posing nude on the cover of Vanity Fair was probably the first celebrity pregnancy I was aware of, but I don’t think I was curious about a celebrity pregnancy until Reese Witherspoon got pregnant with Ava because she was my age – pretty young at the time. I think I was also curious about Madonna’s daughter Lourdes.
Katja: Do you have a favorite celebrity? And celebrity baby?
Danielle: I really love Jennifer Garner and Violet Affleck because they seem so normal. I wouldn’t be surprised if they showed up in my daughter’s preschool class or mommy and me activity because they pretty much behave as normal parents do.
On the other end of the spectrum, I have to say that from what we can see in photos, though there is nothing normal about her relationship with Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes seems incredibly devoted to her daughter Suri. You can tell that she really adores Suri and that Suri feels the same way about her.
Katja: Do celebrities sometimes contact you?
Danielle: So far, no.
Katja: What legacy would you like your blog to leave?
Danielle: Wait a minute- that would mean the site wouldn’t be around for all eternity! I have no intention of that not happening! People ask me what my exit strategy for the site is and I always say, I don’t have one because I don’t plan on exiting. I love this job and can’t imagine doing anything else.
Katja: Good for you! What is the most memorable thing for you in the 3-and-half-year history of the Celebrity Baby Blog?
Danielle: We typically quote interviews from People magazine but recently, they quoted us!
Katja: Thank you so much for your time Danielle, it was a pleasure to talk with you!