We caught up with Bonnie Fuller — the woman for whom the now much-abused moniker of “magazine maven” was seemingly created — about her current venture: HollyBaby.com, a site about babies (famous, and otherwise) that acts as an off-shoot, of sorts, to news and gossip site HollywoodLife.com
HollywoodLife.com, at just over a year old, currently boasts about 2.7 million uniques and 14 million page views over the course of 2010. The site is organized around a series of tabs denoting popular categories. There are some of the usual suspects, of course, like “Style,” “Horoscopes,” and, of course, “HollyBaby” — and some more unusual topics, like an entire tab devoted to the latest Kardashian news and a section about all things vampire-related in pop culture. Past tabs have included in-depth coverage of big news stories, such as Chelsea Clinton’s recent New York wedding.
So, why such a focus on celebrities?
Fuller tells us HollywoodLife’s audience — women aged 18 to 34 — see celebrities as their style and beauty role models, and that this influence extends to other facets of one’s life, including raising children. “Some women can look at how Angelina Jolie raises both biological and adopted children, or how Brooke Burke can be a mom to four kids while also hosting ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and they think ‘I can do that, too. I can juggle motherhood with having a career,’” says Fuller. (Which is a little something that she, as the author of The Joys of Much Too Much, knows about firsthand.)
And that’s exactly where HollyBaby fits — providing the site’s readers with a means of looking at adorable babies (the site is heavy on visuals for a reason) and getting their fill of celebrity news while also having access to informative articles on babies and motherhood. It acts as a one-stop shop for everything from photos of Jennifer Garner out and about with her daughter to stories on the possible dangers of cough syrup, baby name advice, a guide to dealing with morning sickness 101, a discussion on breastfeeding and baby-related holiday gift guides.
Much of the HollywoodLife — and, by extension, HollyBaby’s — success stems from the recurring features and interactive nature of the site, such as live chats about popular television shows moderated by the site’s editors, “Bonnie Says” (a recurring column by Fuller herself), and a Monday video series.
After asking Fuller whether she has any plans to debut even more blogs in the future (“Yes.”), we asked if and why she thinks there is relatively little coverage of women launching networks online. Fuller told us she isn’t quite sure why women on the web aren’t covered more extensively, but that she has witnessed firsthand the power that women, both as producers and consumers of news, have when it comes to online news and entertainment. Now more than ever, she tells us, women are web savvy, connected and – perhaps more importantly for HollywoodLife and HollyBaby, hungry for more (and faster) news coverage.