Pokémon Go is all the rage. Some see it as a fun app for your phone that gets you out and walking during the hottest summer days. Others are watching it to see how they make money from its viral success. Still others have learned how to capitalize on the app, setting lures and getting more foot traffic and customers to their shops.
Can Pokémon Go relate to blogging? Yes! It’s a business that’s making a run for it. Pokémon Go will only be a success if it has staying power. In the same way, bloggers are only successful if they are able to build a long term platform that overcomes all problems and keeps the interest of it’s followers.
So what can Pokemon Go teach us about blogging?
1. Sometimes It Pays Not To Play It Safe
Nintendo probably expected the game to be popular with children of the 90’s who remember playing the Pokémon card game and some of the people who still play today. Would enough people still be interested in Pokémon? What if they spent too much time and money on the development of the game and didn’t see a return? It’s risky to try to revive a franchise.
Today the game developers are seeing a huge return for putting it all on the line.
In the same way many people start blogging by just dipping a toe in the water. They publish a post here and there, without fully committing to creating a consistent blog that matters. Commitment is scary, because what if it doesn’t work? Then you feel like a failure. That’s why you see bloggers playing it “safe” by merely copying other bloggers. So many new blogs are just clones and fascimiles of successful blogs in the niche, right down to the colors, fonts, and category names.
What if we, as bloggers, decided not to play it safe? Rather than staying securely in a niche and doing exactly what successful bloggers have done, bloggers need to take a chance. Do something new that hasn’t been seen before. Create something that will get the entire world talking about your product, kinda like creating an app based off of a virtual reality map.
Takeaway: Taking calculated risks can payoff in a big way. You don’t have to play it safe and do what everyone else is doing.
2. Prepare to Be Bigger Than You Think
In the first few days of the Pokémon craze, the servers kept crashing. While people that never expected to be interested in a game such as Pokémon Go was giving the game a chance, they were blocked from falling in love with it simply because they couldn’t login.
While the game is still huge, as told by the number of people wandering daily around Discovery Green Park in Houston while playing Pokémon Go, there are people who will never open the game again because they have already written it off because they couldn’t access it when it was on their minds.
If your blog was to go mega viral tomorrow, are you ready?
What would be your game plan if all of the sudden you had national news outlets calling you for interviews and brands wanting to work with you? Do you have a media kit that is prepared and ready to go? Have you ever looked into public relation professionals who could represent you? Could your server handle a lot of unexpected traffic on your site? How can you turn that one click to your site into return visitors and dedicated readers?
Takeaway: Make a written game plan so you won’t stress out when you suddenly have a mega viral post.
3. Keep Space On Your Calendar For Hot Trends
Strike while the iron is hot.
No one right now knows the staying power of Pokémon Go. It might be popular for a week, a month or a year. Some people feel like its popularity is already on the decline. During the middle of July, no one could stop talking about Pokémon Go. It was the hottest trend around.
Bloggers and brands that were ready with relevant and timely Pokémon Go content saw the return. A craft brand that hosted a Facebook Live video on how to create a Pokémon Go t-shirt had 17,000 views on their Facebook Live video. Hyper local blogs that covered areas to find Pokémons in their town saw huge traffic from search engines. Parenting blogs were successful in using affiliate links to help their readers find where to find the best Pokémon gear for their kids.
Takeaway: Be ready to act when a hot trend comes into play.
4. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
The developers behind Pokémon Go – Niantic – had a previous game called Ingress. Niantic was a part of Google, and it used Google maps info to build Ingress, which used location data and smartphones to bring reality gaming to the real world. Pokémon Go is built on the same data used for Ingress, and in fact you can use the game Ingress to help you find rare Pokémons on the Pokémon Go app. Niantic is its own startup now but is still funded by Google- and uses that to its advantage to build games like Pokémon Go that use information that has already been gathered.
Bloggers can also repurpose old content and build on things they have created before. You don’t have to start from scratch every time! Think about what was popular with your old content and how you can give it new life. Can you turn a post into a series? Can you dive deeper on a topic – for example, if your top post is how to make Bullet Proof Cofee in your Keurig, can you branch off and talk about other Keurig hacks, or other uses for coconut oil, one of the ingredients in Bullet Proof Coffee.
Takeaway: Take what you’ve built and do more with it.
5. Take your best and launch it again.
Pokémon has been popular for decades. It started as a video game for the Gameboy, then became a popular trading card game, then branched out to television and children’s shows. Pokémon Go is just another way to launch Pokémon onto a new platform- smart phones. The original kids who were crazy for Pokémon in the 90s have all grown up and now they don’t go anywhere without their devices. Pokémon Go capitalizes on that by taking a beloved franchise and nostalgia marketing and bringing it to where their super fans want to interact now.
Bloggers can grow by doing the same thing. Take your best content, the posts that really resonated, went viral on Pinterest, got the most comments, and take it to new platforms. Where does your audience hang out now? Are they mostly on Facebook? Repurpose your content into Facebook Live videos or memes. Are they on Snapchat? Redo that craft that went viral on Facebook and Snap it.
Takeaway: New platforms are an opportunity. Use them!
Whether Pokémon Go has staying power is anyone’s guess, but it’s having a real effect all across the web right now. Use these takeaways to create a strategy that will help you get more traffic, increase your authority, and expand your social media presence.
Make no mystic about it- trust your instincts and blog with valor and your blog will grow!
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