The season finale for Game of Thrones was a game changer. Almost no one saw the Red Wedding coming and viewers are wondering what’s next. This is why the Game of Thrones is so compelling – it keeps you guessing.
But for us business bloggers there is something else going on. A hidden lesson that might have escaped your notice, but it’s critical that you understand it and use its lesson with your blogging and content strategy.
Here it is –
HBO is crushing it.
HBO has grown into its role as a premier entertainment incubator. Ground-breaking writers, visionary directors, and determined actors are waiting for HBO’s call. Why? Does HBO create original programming? No. Directors, writers, and actors do that. HBO provides the distribution and creative marketing muscle to turn ideas into iconic programming.
NBC, ABC, CBS doesn’t have the balls or the muscle to be modern entertainment incubators. That’s why their stature has continued to slide as they grope for the latest reality tv gimmick.
The entertainment incubators are dominating this market. Learn from them. Here are 3 things they can teach you:
1. Your blog is the product. Your content is the programming.
It’s important to understand the difference. Your blog has to represent a core principle and satisfy a universal need. HBO knows that it is the entertainment option for smart adults who want edgy entertainment.
What is your blog’s role in your audience’s life?
At Pushing Social, we believe that everyone should have access to smart and modern business building tools. Our go-to tool is blogging and content marketing. Pushing Social is the product. Posts like this one is part of our larger programming strategy.
How about you?
Next, your content is programming. The Game of Thrones represents one part of a full line-up of edgy entertainment. HBO executives selected Game of Thrones because it symbolizes what HBO stands for. The program attracts the type of viewers that will keep HBO relevant and profitable.
Think about your “programming”. Describe your “Game of Thrones”, the iconic content that perfectly describes your mission. Take this one step further, outline your summer line-up. What are the 3 content launches that will flesh out your roster and attract the perfect reader to your blog?
You should be able to pull out your editorial calendar and point to your most promising programming. Can you?
2. Media isn’t about big numbers. It’s about the right numbers.
HBO doesn’t run advertising. Ford can’t buy thirty-second commercial spot. HBO is paid by cable companies that pay for the right to broadcast their programming. NBC, ABC, and CBS hustle for media dollars – not HBO.
HBO counts subscribers not viewing audience. Sure having millions of viewers feels great, but that’s not how HBO is paid.
This should sound familiar to you.
Only the largest blogs can profitably sell advertising. The rest of us have to use a MoneyBlog approach which is make methodically make 1 reader worth more than 10.
We do this by creating a system that converts strangers into readers, readers into subscribers, subscribers into buyers, buyers into partners. This simple approach gives you the tools to earn a primary or side income from your blog without needing advertising.
3. The Unexpected is the only Silver Bullet
I’ve been a marketer for 20 years and a people watcher for 40. I’ve learned that doing the unexpected is the only sure way of getting your attention. Sometimes you gotta shake things up. Game of Thrones did it last week. HBO did it 40 years ago.
Listen, I rarely read more than 2 social media blogs in any given week. There are many excellent social media blogs but for the most part, I already know the plot: write great headlines, love your readers, publish frequently, use Twitter, etc. As a card-carrying human being, the expected bores me.
I go to blogs that shock the hell out of me. I subscribe to blogs that are fearless. I retweet blogs that are borderline sociopathic about telling their story. This stuff gets my attention, I bet you are a lot like me.
Look at your blog. Examine that post you are working on. Is it milk-toast? Could anybody with a 5-minute overview of product/service/interest write the same post? If so, it’s time for you shake “stuff” up.