The following post was inspired by Jon Morrow’s latest post over at ProBlogger.net titled “How to Generate Massive Traffic, Excitement, and Even Jealousy with a Hollywood-Style Launch Trailer“. It’s a great read about the concept of having a movie style trailer created to promote an ongoing blog or project before actually committing to creating any content. You can check out the trailer here.
Now I’m totally on board with this idea. I think it’s a creative and fantastic way to build buzz and awareness of your current or soon to be blog. People are visual in nature, and taking this approach will certainly create some interest for your endeavors. However I think it should only be a part of an overall larger strategy of a blog launch. Where I somewhat disagree with Jon’s take is around the results you can expect as a lessor known blogger, and dictating your decision to move forward based on those results.
As of this writing, Jon claims to have received over 1,700 subscribers, 1,000 Twitter followers and 600 likes/comments on Facebook prior to even writing a single post and only publishing his movie style trailer promoting his upcoming blog launch. Pretty good numbers if you ask me. I was intrigued after reading his post, and most certainly had to see the trailer.
My first reaction was, “Well of course he did”. Why? The trailer leads with two ringing endorsements from the blogosphere’s heavy hitters, Brian Clark of Copyblogger fame, and Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net. That’s instant street cred and is obviously going to lead to people subscribing or following to learn more. In addition, Jon has established himself as a credible and successful blogger due to his guest posting contributions to the above networks prior to this launch which also contributes to these numbers.
Bottom line? The trailer only partially contributed to this pre-launch success. The real driving force here is that Jon had already established himself as a valued and trusted resource for his given topic through endorsements and a proven track record. Which goes to my personal opinion in that the steak is far more important then the sizzle. If you want to be successful in the blog game, you have to commit to establishing yourself through patience, persistence, and a commitment to providing useful, valuable and entertaining content on a regular basis. Sure, you can lead with a fancy trailer, but don’t let the number of people that jump on board necessarily dictate whether you should go for it.
What’s more important is whether you are passionate and knowledgeable about what it is you want to write about. Sure, maybe you’re not the greatest writer in the world, or you have little to no marketing savvy. But with a little hard work, a bit of trial and error, you’ll learn by doing, and slowly build an audience.
You’ll never really know the true potential of your blog without grilling a few steaks!
Eric Wittlake says
Well said. If all you needed was a good video, marketing departments at F500 companies wouldn’t be so slow to take up blogging. 🙂
Bottom line here: You can attract a lot of hungry people with the sizzle but if the steak tastes like cardboard, they won’t be back for more…
Dino Dogan says
I think you’re on point here. This is basically the Britney Spears effect. The sizzle is there, the substance is not. But substance doesnt matter since you have MTV, VH1 and all the music and gossip rags talking about you and pushing your sizzle.
10 songs, written by someone else, produced by someone else, and sung by a computer (practically) and you got yourself a million copies sold; all thnx to the sizzle.
I wonder if Brittney Spears would be able to offer any useful advice to a young rock band just starting out.