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Salt Lake City's Heather Armstrong has built a worldwide following on her http://www.dooce.com" Target="_BLANK">dooce.com blog.
Now she's crossing over into traditional media with a partnership with cable network HGTV -- a move that could make her even more of a well-known and bankable celebrity than she already is.
Don't know Armstrong? Last summer she was named No. 26 on Forbes ' 30-person list of "The Most Influential Women in Media," outranking television journalists Soledad O'Brien and Andrea Mitchell. (Oprah Winfrey was No. 1 and Katie Couric was No. 9.)
The name of her blog has even been an answer on the game show "Jeopardy." And even if you aren't sure what the expression "page views" means, the fact that 1.5 million read her blog each month -- that represents 4.5 and 7 million page views -- puts her in an elite group of not only bloggers but Web sites in general.
The deal with HGTV -- Home & Garden Television -- will give Armstrong a presence on network's Web site, but she'll also make appearances as well.
"There's going to be a lot of video blogging ... and interacting with readers through Twitter," she said.
Armstrong said one of the things that attracted her to a deal -- financial terms remain confidential -- is the network's online presence and its use of Twitter, the social media and micro-blogging site where Armstrong has a gargantuan 1.6 million followers.
HGTV president Jim Samples likes the combination of her popularity with her skill in design and photography. "She's clearly a great fit for us and our audience," he said in a statement.
Utah online consultant Janet Meiners Thaeler said both HGTV and Armstrong stand to benefit greatly from the deal.
"The benefit to HGTV is that she brings with her a huge audience," Thaeler said. "She has rabid fans."
For Armstrong, the partnership further extends her reach into traditional media: books. She successfully stepped into that arena in 2008 with the publication of her first one.
While she blogs about her children, her husband, mother, dogs, her battle with chronic anxiety, depression, postpartum depression and even her brief stay in a mental hospital, Armstrong said she's approaching television with a bit of caution.
"This is not going to be a 'Jon and Kate' situation at all," she said, referring to the show "Jon and Kate Plus 8," which chronicled the lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight children. The couple, which have been accused of overexposing -- even exploiting -- their children, have since separated, and the show is officially kaput.
Armstrong said she's not worried about whether she will adapt to and change with this new challenge. Since she launched her blog in February 2001, she's reinvented herself several times.
Raised Heather Hamilton in a conservative LDS home in Memphis, Tenn., the English major graduated in 1997 from Brigham Young University in Provo.
Back when she started the blog, she was working in California for a Web-design firm. She was single, living in Los Angeles "and enjoying that singlehood," she said. She didn't like her job, though, and began writing about how disgruntled she was -- that is, until her employer discovered her Web site and fired her.
Soon "Dooced" became synonymous with being fired. Her site has even been a question on the game show Jeopardy: "Rhyming with juiced, it's to lose one's job because of one's blog, coined by blogger Heather Armstrong."
Her blog went through another transition in August 2002, when she got married to husband Jon Armstrong. "We went from living in Los Angeles to both being unemployed to living in my mom's basement in Utah," she said.
"We looked at our finances and decided our best bet was to save money, live in my mom's basement for a few months, and look for work in Utah. We just couldn't afford to live in L.A. any longer."
After she became pregnant in 2003, her writing gravitated to pregnancy. And when she had her husband had their first child, Leta, in February 2004, the blog took a decidedly different turn. Armstrong became one of a growing legion of "mommy bloggers" who write about adventures in parenting.
Just in the past couple of years, advertisers have begun to aggressively tap into the popularity of "mommy bloggers" by forming all kinds of partnerships with them and advertising on their sites.
In 2005, Armstrong tapped into that advertising wave. She since has moved far beyond the "mommy blogger" label and has created a profitable business enterprise. The blog has grown to the point where her husband works full time managing the Web site, dealing with advertisers and everything else that goes into the day-to-day work of running dooce.com.
Armstrong has even added best-selling author to her resume after publishing a memoir called It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita . In June 2009, a second daughter, Marlo, was born. Firstborn Leta is turning 6.
Even though she wants to do more and different things, she's not actively trying to shed the "mommy blogger" label.
"It's important work," she said.
Armstrong said the name of her blog stems from a typo. "It was a typo of dude," she explains. "I'd constantly be instant messaging coworkers, and in California everyone calls each other 'Dude.' And we'd call each other DOOOOOODE! And I'd always mis-type it as DOOOOCE! or DOOCE! Always. And not on purpose. It became my nickname."