With ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ destroying box-offices worldwide, the ‘X-Men’ franchise has completed 14 successful years and is showing no signs of slowing down. With 7 movies under it’s belt, the franchise has constantly managed to attract moviegoers and more importantly make some serious cash.
What does the ‘X-Men’ franchise have to do with new bloggers ?
More than you think. First time bloggers are usually lost. They do not know how to attract readers and how to grab their attention. They are confused how to make readers come back again to their site. Even if they become mildly successful, they soon run out of content to keep their blogs going.
Can the ‘X-Men’ franchise teach bloggers to become successful ?
Studying the 14-year success of the franchise, strategies to keep content fresh and keep viewers returning becomes apparent. Let us go through what tips a first-time blogger can learn from the success of the ‘X-Men’ franchise.
Tip #1 : Produce a Ton of Content Regularly
X-Men: In the past 14 years, there has been 7 ‘X-Men’ movies, that’s an average of a movie every 2 years including all the ‘Wolverine’ spin-offs. It is true, all these movies are not winners. The third X-Men movie and the first Wolverine movie was a massive disaster; but how do you get the audience to forget the bad ones? Flood them with good ones later.
Blog: When you start your blog, all of your articles will not be winners. Honestly speaking, most of them will stink as you do not know what your viewers are looking for. Keep producing a lot of content and most importantly, regularly. This ensures that your viewers gets hooked onto your content and keep returning. Also, if certain articles are not up to the standard, the new ones will make up for them and would not drive away viewers.
Tip #2 : Let Your Audience Choose The Winner
X-Men: Amongst all the characters of the X-Men, one who has clearly stood out is Wolverine. A favourite of the audience, the role of Wolverine drove an Australian theater nerd, Hugh Jackman to stardom. Now a regular of all the movies, the audience just cannot get enough of him.
Blog: Always remember that your ‘Viewers are Always Right’. You are writing the blog to be read, otherwise it would be called your personal journal. If the audience likes a particular type of writing, say for example, motivational articles over the regular content, do not fight it. Look through your page views and virality of your content to identify these popular categories. End of the day, the readers determine what they would like to read on the blog and the next tip teaches you how to use them to your advantage.
Tip #3 : Leverage the Audience’s Favourite for Profit
X-Men: In the previous post, we talked about the audience chose a clear winner, Wolverine. The franchise not only did not fight this but moved in the correct direction by leveraging on the popularity and coming up with two financially successful spin-offs. Sure the first one was not critically acclaimed but it still drove people to the cinemas, making close to $373 million profit. The second spin-off did even better with a larger profit and a lower budget.
Blog: Learn not to go against the grain when it comes to your blog. If a particular type of content does really well with the audience, capitalise on that and dedicate a lot of your resources behind it. This will multiply your viewers as the old viewers will share articles of their favourite topics.
Tip #4: Another Advantage of Producing a Ton of Content
X-Men: Do you know what is happening at homes and TV channels around the world when each of these ‘X-Men’ movies come out ? Reruns and movie-marathons. Every time a new movie comes out of the franchise, people get together to watch movie marathons of the older films, TV channels hold reruns. This translates to an increase in sales of the old movies and profits of the franchise.
Blog: What is the blog equivalent of this strategy ? Internal Linking. When writing a particular post, if you link to similar content of part articles, this ensures that not only the current article get views but some readers will be tempted to read the past articles as well. For example, if I am in a site about blogging tips especially about getting audience, even after I finish reading the first article which brought me there, I keep on clicking on internal links to go deeper and deeper into the topic.
Tip #5: When Stuck, Diversify your Content
X-Men: The franchise was really doing badly in 2010 with the critical failure of ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ and ‘X-Men: Last Stand’. Both the movies were slammed by critics and audiences alike and for the first time, the franchise was starting to lose their audiences. Instead of going on and producing more of the same, they decided to reboot the franchise by going into the past with ‘X-Men: First Class’. All the major characters like Xavier and Magneto were replaced by younger actors who brought their own dimension to the films, drawing in the regular audiences as well as new ones.
Blog: Sometimes you will reach a point in your blog where the usual content will not result in increase in page views but rather a decrease in them. You have to identify that you have reached a saturation limit and need to innovate and diversify your content in order to retain the old and reel in new audiences. If your old blog has reached this stage, try adding new categories or try even something bold like adding a podcast or a Youtube Channel.
Tip #6: Mashup the Two Diverse Fields to Create New Interesting Content
X-Men: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is the biggest example of this. They take the X-Men of the past and mash them up with the characters of the future to create a very interesting and successful film. When audience has become used to the linear wave of thinking, a mash-up puts together conflicting ideas together to create unique content.
Blog: This blog post could be the very example of this tip. I have taken two very different categories, blogging tips and entertainment and mashed them up together to create this content. Mash-up things that people will least expect to fit together to surprise and hook them.
Tip #7: Kill Off Things Which Do Not Work
X-Men: All X-Men movies have a ton of mutant side characters which never show up in the future movies. For example, Blink Played by Fan Bing Bing in the last movie probably will never appear again. The franchise quickly identifies what works and surgically removes whatever does not. Not only does this give opportunities to test out new characters but also removes the liabilities of thing which do not work.
Blog: If certain type of contents do not work but you keep writing them because of a personal preference, this is not going to help you in any way. Be objective, brutally identify what does not work for you and remove them. In the long run, this could only be good for you.
So go ahead and start your blog. Remember the ‘X-Men’ franchise and the tricks they are using to guarantee ticket sales for the last 14 years.
Apply them to your blog and grow your readership beyond what you could ever imagine.