A few weeks ago I watched the movie called “Julie & Julia“. If you haven’t seen it yet, you definitely should because it is all about blogging (well, not all but blogging has played a huge role in the main character’s life).
Basically, the movie is about an ordinary woman who is so bored with her work that she starts blogging about how she is learning cooking. Her blogging style and schedule is ideal: she blogs daily, one or two recipe a day, and each post contains her personal, quite emotional coloring.
The woman doesn’t know a thing about blogosphere, promotion or traffic. In fact, until people have started commenting, she never had a clue if there is actually anyone out there reading her blog. She has never tried to promote her blog but she quickly becomes famous.
The movie perfectly illustrates the exciting era we are happy enough to live in. An epoch where any ordinary person who is known by only a few people ( friends, relatives and co-workers) and who lives an ordinary life of an office clerk and wife/husband; this absolutely ordinary person can be heard by millions.
The main thing is to have a passion and share it with the world.
The movie is based on the true story; here’s the picture of that real blogger who then got popular enough to be featured in the movie:
I have another real-life example. A couple of weeks ago I got to know Gretchen Rubin, a woman behind the Happiness Project. The story of the woman is inspiring:
Raised in Kansas City, I live in New York City with my husband and two young daughters… I’m left-handed, hopeless at sports, tone-deaf, a constant hair-twister, and afraid to drive. I talk to my parents and my sister all the time, and I live around the corner from my in-laws…
A few years ago, I had an epiphany on the cross-town bus. I asked myself, “What do I want from life, anyway?” and I thought, “I want to be happy”—but I never spent any time thinking about happiness. “I should do a happiness project!” I realized. And so I have.
So she figures out how to set up a TypePad account, decides to blog six days a week religiously, and she starts using Facebook and Twitter.
And now she is a best selling writer and one of the most popular people in the Internet.
I had a chance to have a quick interview with Gretchen which I am sharing below. I hope the stories will inspire you!
Please start with the short introduction about yourself.
I am the author of THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, an account of the year I spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from pop culture about how to be happier (Harper). On my blog, The Happiness Project, I write about my daily adventure and insights into happiness.
My blog launched in March 2006, and when my book hit the shelves in December 2009, it immediately shot to the top of the bestseller lists, with a debut at #2 on the New York Times list. It was spotlighted on the Today show, Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Psychology Today, the Christian Science Monitor, and others, as well as countless blogs.
As a companion to my book and blog, I also started the Happiness Project Toolbox, a site that provides eight tools to help readers begin and track their own happiness projects.
How long did it take you to become a powerful social media user?
A few years. It started slowly.
How do you use social media to promote yourself?
I post six days a week to my blog, and I cross-post a good deal of that material to other sites. For 2009, I cross-posted to Slate, I post twice a week to Huffington Post, post often to PsychologyToday.com and Yahoo! Shine, and also write original content for RealSimple.com. I’m active on Twitter and aim to tweet at least four times a day. I’m active on Facebook – I have my personal account, of course, also a Happiness Project Group and Fan Page.
Which social media network is the most effective?
They support each other.
Which social media network takes most of your time?
Writing original blog posts.
Which social media network do you enjoy most of all?
I like all of them – they each have a special strength, something that the other don’t.
What would be your advice to a newbie entrepreneur who considers using social networking to get more exposure?
Social media is an incredible tool, but it takes time to build. Start now! One of my happiness project commandments is “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” and that definitely applies here.
You can get paralyzed by worrying about your design, your bio, etc. Do your best, ask for good advice, do your research and then START. You need time to see results, so the longer you are at it, the better off you’ll be. I started my blog in March 2006 to help support a book that just published in December 2009. Having that long lead time was invaluable.
What do you think accounts for you social networking success?
I write about happiness, a topic that resonates widely and that fascinates many readers. People care about the issue, they have things to say, and people are also interested to hear other people’s experience. So it’s very engaging. Also, on a more mundane level, it lends itself to weekly “tips” lists which really work well online! There’s lots of fascinating science, great art, and pop culture to draw upon.