Last week, my wife and I picked up a Sony Playstation 3 and a Netflix account to start having Blu-Ray date nights at the house. With the price of actually going out to see a movie making it all but not worth it…it made a lot more since to have the latest gaming system that also happens to play Blu-Ray movies (see how I pulled that one off!).

Besides, I had a bunch of Visa/Mastercard/American Express gift cards to blow, so it seemed like the logical course of action anyway.

What was the first movie on the que for Netflix? Julie and Julia. Besides being a movie that my wife has wanted to see for quite sometime, it also sealed the deal for her when my parents said, “It’s like you guys…just reversed!” Julie and Julia hit the Netflix que, arrived on our doorstep yesterday and made its way to the TV last night with a fire in the fireplace and a lit Christmas tree. The two dogs were ready to curl up, so we hit play and started to watch the flick.

Now…other than being a typical chick flick and a brilliant display of acting from Meryl Streep (you actually forget that you are not watching Julia Child), there are some actual blogging lessons filled within the movie that all bloggers should realize as they continue to grow their audience and success. I was actually pleasantly surprised on some the “blogging lessons” accuracy that was played out during the film. After hearing some bloggers irritated attitudes on how bloggers were displayed in the movie, after actually watching it…I thought it was pretty damn accurate…to a point.

What We Can Learn from Julia and Julia About Blogging

So as I watched this crazy movie, what did I rip out of the movie that are heart felt, meaty, blogging tips for your guys?

  • I Can Blog! – The whole reason Julie starts a blog is because a so-called friend did. The trick…she found something she was passionate about (cooking) and formatted it in a way that people would find interesting (524 Julia Child recipes in 365 days). Now…she didn’t do this intentionally…but it is something you need to consider as you develop your blog topic. And yes…you too can blog…but you actually have to put words on a screen and not procrastinate!
  • Setting Deadlines and Sticking to Them – In the movie, Julia sets the 524 recipes in 365 days as a deadline for herself. Throughout the movie, people tell her that she does not have to stick to the deadlines or she can just lie. In blogging, you are your own boss and you are only accountable to yourself. Deadlines are a great way to make yourself accountable so that you can actually realize your goals. Without deadlines (that used to be determined by your boss…now you are that boss), you are just floating in the wind without any real direction.
  • Writing When No One Is Listening – In the beginning of the movie, Julie gets really excited when she gets her first comment. Of course, that first comment goes something like “I don’t know why you are doing this, it still appears that I am the only one reading this thing. -Mom”. When you start a blog, you have to be prepared to continue writing even when no one is listening. Just because you put your blog out in cyberspace, that does not mean that people are going to gravitate to your words instantly just begging you to keep going. You have to put in the sweat and tears even when there is little to no external reward.
  • Late Nights – Blogging is filled with a ton of late nights in the beginning years. You are just bleeding for extra hours in the day as you continue to write early in the morning or late at night when you can just find 20 extra minutes in the day to put up content without being interrupted by work, family and friends. Julie is up late cooking, writing and doing other blogging activities to get the job done.
  • Flack from Work – Your office or place of employment may have zero clue you have any life online…or even care. For some of you, that might be a real problem as employers do not get “the whole blogging thing”. During my beginning blogging, there was some heat from the powers that be in my office. They are going to assume you are using their company time to do your work or you are skipping out on their work to do yours. They also might be worried that they are going to show up in your online exploits (like her boss was worried about in the movie). Be ready to catch heat from those that do not understand. They are going to make assumptions without asking and you need to be prepared for that conversation should it come up at a future date.
  • Cooperation from Spouse – In the movie, her husband is extremely cooperative (to a point) with the whole project. Julie does step into a narcissistic phase as bloggers sometimes do due to the selfish nature of always talking about yourself or your opinion. The cooperation of your family and…specifically…the one you choose to call your wife or husband…is essential to beginning success in life and in your new business. There is not a single blog on the net that is worth ruining life at home, so you need to make sure you work out the kinks beforehand.
  • Mental Breakdowns – Throughout the movie, Julie goes through several “mental breakdowns” in the search of completing her goals. Blogging can be really stressful at times as you deal with your readers, deadlines and other owning a business stresses. Remember…we have all hit that at some point in time even if it does not appear to be like that on the outside. Keep pushing towards your goal and you will make it there.
  • Dedication to the Cause – The entire movie is based around Julia Child’s life and Julia’s (the blogger) dedication to completing her year long project. While I do not recommend creating a blog that will be dead in 365 days, I do recommend staying dedicated to your cause and continue pushing forward. Both Julie and Julia in the movie were extremely dedicated to their task at hand.
  • Your Industry Might Not Be So Accepting – (spoiler alert) At the end of the movie, Julie finds out that the real Julia Child does not like her…or her blog. While this can be extremely devastating for bloggers, it is a lot more common than you might think. You need to be prepared for the realization that your industry is not too fond of what you are doing online even if you are seeing a massive amount of success. Many people do not understand blogging and think that it is just playing online. They are going to make assumptions about your motives and your dedication. They might even try to put you down or even bring a stop to your achievements. Having a successful blog does not mean that your industry is going to accept you with open arms.
  • Be Yourself – Julie’s blog was successful because of the extreme transparency she used with her life and her writing. When Julia Child wasn’t so accepting of her blog, Julia asked, “Is it because I drop the F-Bomb from time to time?” It is crucially important that your readers are connecting with you and not who you think they want to connect with. You can not fake it…it has to be real.

Being based on two true stories, Julia and Julia is proof of just another way bloggers can make it big online and off. After her article in the New York Times, Julie hit it big through her words and her online blogging. The key is finding something that people can relate to…and then help them and help yourself at the same time. The rest will be history.

Example

There is a lot of talk that goes around the net about blog article posting frequency and how many times a week you should keep your blog updated. In all seriousness, it is a real stress for beginning bloggers as they want to find success online and they are looking for input from other successful bloggers. It seems like the going rate around the blogging niche is expecting new bloggers (and experienced ones) to publish an article on a daily basis. At least that is what it seems like most bloggers are recommending these days…

The Truth On Blog Posting Frequency

While it is incredibly easy to throw out a stat like “post on your blog daily if you want to be a successful blogger”, it is actually more complicated than that, and – personally – I find that statement rather reckless. It puts an un-needed amount of stress on new bloggers as they feel they have to post on a daily basis or they are wasting their time blogging.

First and foremost…it is and always will be quality over quantity. If you are ever posting a subpar article just to satisfy some schedule you have set for yourself, you are missing the boat entirely. Blogging is about providing value online and connecting with people through your content…not about sticking to schedules and dropping in articles that could potentially put off visitors. If you are ever sacrificing the quality of the articles on your blog just to post something up that day…slowly step away from the keyboard…

Why Do Bloggers Say “Post Daily”?

Before we jump into how many times a week you should post articles on your blog, let’s take a look at why a lot of bloggers are telling you to post daily on your blog. In all reality, it is not bad advice for a number of reasons if you have the time and energy to make it work.

Even Your Most Dedicated Readers Do Not Read Every Article – It’s true…as much as you want to think that everyone that visits your blog is soaking up your content on a daily basis…they are not and never will be. You are in a constant dog fight for readers as you post your articles and potential visitors scan headlines to see what they want to read that day. That is why there is so much emphasis on attention grabbing titles in blogging. A lot of your readers might not even open their RSS feed reader that day (ever wonder why your rss feed count fluctuates…that is why)! When you post daily (about 5-7 times a week), you are increasing the chances of grabbing your readers attention. You are also more likely to hit on a subject they want to read. It is simply the law of numbers and the more quality content you have out there…the more it will get read.

More Content = More Search Engine Visitors = More Linked Content – This should be a pretty simple one to figure out…the more content you have out there, the easier it is to get found. You will be covering more subjects and releasing more search engine friendly articles. Just imagine if your blog had 5 articles hitting per day! Can you imagine the amount of growth you would see?! But…if that is all crap content, you are not going to retain any of those visitors…which should be your ultimate goal.

When You Say Post Daily, You Get Several Times A Week – When bloggers throw out advice like “post daily”, they know that only about 15% of the bloggers that read that line will actually follow through with it correctly. The rest will do something close with the excuse in their head that at least they are doing 75% of that. Blogging is nothing without action and a lot of times…throwing out a goal like posting daily gets a result of 3-4 times a week.

So…as you can see…there are real, valid reasons behind the advice of posting daily on your blog, but now we need to take a look at how you can determine how many times you should be publishing articles every week on your blog.

How Many Times Should I Be Posting A Week On My Blog?

The moment you have been waiting for…the secret to posting frequency that will bring you more blogging success than you could ever imagine. Ha! I wish it was that easy! But…here is what you need to look at on your blog to get the answer to this question.

Quality, Quality, Quality – If you can not post quality content (note: quality has nothing to do with length), then it is not worth publishing. You should only post as many times a week that you can publish quality content for your readers. Ideally, you want to accomplish this on a consistent basis every week. The idea is to give your readers something they can depend on (consistency) every week out of your content.

Prevent Blogger Burnout – Even if you are able to post quality content on a daily basis, are you going to be sick of it after 6 months and get to the point that you do not even want to blog anymore? The stress and effort that it takes you to blog on that schedule might not be worth the aftermath. You need to find a schedule that you can stick with and still enjoy blogging.

What Are Your Readers Telling You? – I am all about watching stats and seeing how different actions affect those blog statistics. If you change your blogging schedule, do you see more pageviews per article? There are documented cases where decreasing posting frequency actually increased the success of blogs (same is true of increasing), so you need to watch your stats carefully to determine what you readers want to digest on a weekly basis. If you are overloading them with content to the point they just leave and head somewhere else that is not so chaotic, then you are still not accomplishing your goal. Aim to please the needs of your readers, not other blogging about blogging bloggers.

Experiment With Post Length – As you experiment with post frequency, also experiment with post length. Your readers might do better with 400 word articles over 1,500 word essays. As always, you should only use the amount of words it takes to get the job done (ignore that word count in the bottom left of your draft screen), but…if you are finding that your readers are taking in shorter articles over longer ones, split the longer articles into a series for easier digestion. You will get more content and more of that content will actually get read. On the other hand, maybe your readers like 3 long articles a week over 6 shorter ones…it is all about testing the waters.

Final Words On Posting Frequency On Your Blog

As you can see by the info above, I consider a lot of factors when publishing articles to my blogs. Typically, I publish 5 articles a week because that is what I feel comfortable with given quality, frequency and statistical results. How many times you should publish articles on your blog is a factor you need to determine for yourself and the success of your blog. Before you just jump into hitting the publish button on a daily basis, take a good look at what will be the best for both your and your blogging in the long run. Just because someone else told you to write daily, that does not mean it is the best solution for your needs.

Image by Crashmaster007