Clients, family, and friends all seemed to glow with this strange excitement after watching the Blockbuster hit Julie and Julia, based on the book written by Julie Powell. Everyone suddenly wanted to start a blog. I thought the movie was about Meryl Streep playing Julia Child…? Well, six months or so after the movie was released, I finally broke down and saw it. Being a blogger, I was filled with inspiration, to say the least. (See the bottom of this post for a trailer of the movie.)
Once I finished the two-hour movie, I started thinking about the underlying message and how Bloggers out there can learn from it. So, I have a list of 4 Things Every Blogger Needs to Know all based on the things Julie Powell, the movie blogger, did to achieve her success (based on a true story btw).
Julie Powell was very personal and conversational in her blog. Most times clients think they have to be 100% professional. They edit their blogs so as to show no sign of writing flaws. Heaven forbid they loosen up a touch. Now, I should mention that your writing style must match your blog’s purpose. But that aside, people are engaged most when reading a story and when the copywriting is more like a conversation than a perfectly written thesis. I personally feel you should write the way you feel to write. It’s your blog and you have to love it or you will never get anywhere with it.
It took Julie Powell writing every day (I assume) for 365 days before she saw that mega-success we all dream about. The entire purpose of the blog was to cook her way through a Julia Child cookbook – performing over 500 recipes in only 365 days. I talk to people all the time who want a “blog up quick” so they can “hurry and make money” or “hurry and get thousands of people to visit”. It’s kinda a bummer to be the bearer of bad news…letting them know that blogging success takes much more effort than they realize. It takes writing consistently for a long period of time. Most people give up between the 3-6 month mark. I challenge you to push through that barrier and continue to write toward your goal and dream.
Julie Powell had meltdowns and doubts, just like the rest of us. The movie shows her deep frustration (“Is anyone out there reading this?”). That’s about as normal as it gets folks. Last night, my dad and I were catching up on the phone long distance. He went on and on about how proud he was of me for finishing “Online Evolutions” and for creating success with selling. We talked about how many people out there just quit and give up. They start things they don’t finish – they let fear and doubt hold them back from *showing up*. With blogging, I encourage you to have the attitude of “I’m in it to win it.” There will be months where you only have 20-30 people visit your blog, no one comments, and you feel like you’re wasting your time…but what do you have to lose if you keep writing?
Julie Powell had a purpose and a goal for her blog. She would write about cooking 500+ recipes in 365 days. Note that people want to be a part of something great – or just plain be a part of something. Creating a mission, purpose, or plan will attract readers more quickly oftentimes than not. If your blog overall doesn’t have a mission like Julie’s, then still set goals and work toward them. For example, I am still working on selling my book, but I already have a written plan for Volume 2, which I plan to release on April 20th of 2010. I have most of the topics I need to write about and the time I need to get it done by, and I left myself one full month to format the book and start my promotional work. You must have something to work toward to keep your blog and traffic alive and flowing.
To Your Blogging Success!