Bloggers share Oil Patch experiencesBISMARCK — Like many, Robin Arias moved to a town near Williston with her husband after he found work in oil country.
By: Jessica Holdman, Associated Press, The Jamestown Sun
BISMARCK — Like many, Robin Arias moved to a town near Williston with her husband after he found work in oil country.
“When we decided we were moving, I went on Google,” she said. “Everything I read was negative, negative, negative.”
Arias didn’t find a lot online for women wanting to move their families there, so she started a blog to help change that. She is one of several who have started oil field blogs to share their experiences with those following in their footsteps.
Williston’s population is estimated to reach 44,000 people in 2017, according to a North Dakota State University study. Dickinson’s is estimated to be 35,000 people.
Arias has documented her experience on her blog “My Life in Williston.” She has lived near Williston with her husband and daughter for about eight months.
She covers topics from shopping at Walmart, to the cost of housing, to where to eat.
“I do everything people would ask,” she told the Bismarck Tribune. “I wanted to be as broad as possible.”
Melissa Anderson of Bismarck has taken a more focused approach with her blog “Real Oilfield Wives.”
Anderson has been married to her husband, who works in the oil field, for 13 years and has five children. She said her blog is meant to give advice and support to other wives whose husbands are gone long hours working in oil fields in North Dakota and across the country.
Anderson and other writers on the blog cover a lot of marriage topics, but some of her most viewed are humor posts like “10 Things Not To Say To An Oilfield Wife.”
“It’s like therapy, only better,” she said.
Anderson said she has 3,000 members on her Facebook group and gets an average of 2,000 page views per post. She said about half of the blog’s audience is from North Dakota.
“Since we are fairly new, we hope to grow our audience,” she said.
Anderson and her partners are working on creating forums and setting up social events between their followers on their blog, she said.
Arias said the highest number of views she had on a post was 10,000, and 2,801 like her Facebook page. She also hopes to create a forum on her blog and start group shopping trips for her followers.
A third blog, “Oilfield Life,” targets workers rather than their families. A job openings list scrolls on the right side of the page.
Amy Brodie of Minot started the blog to give people looking for work the “reality” of working in the oil field.
“There’s so much information about what’s going on up here,” she said. “It’s great for certain people ... This is not for everyone.”
Brodie said she tries to show people they cannot find money and jobs everywhere in the state. Sometimes, there’s a lull in the work. Other times, people have to work long hours.
“I like people to see the harsh reality of it,” she said. “That is the oil field.”
Brodie tries to tell her followers to make a plan before making the trek to North Dakota.
“You can’t just come and expect to set up shop,” she said. “We’ve got people here freezing to death in their cars.”
Brodie is originally from Michigan, where many are out of work, and has been in North Dakota for five years. She started the blog in August after friends from out of state were writing her, asking about the Bakken oil production area and what it was like.