In past few days we’ve talked a lot about the different steps associated with launching a new blog. Today I want to take this a step further and talk about what content you need to prepare and publish during the first week (or first 2 weeks) of your blog.
Let’s say you want to start a blog covering the popular TV series ‘Heroes’ (2nd season is about to start, and it is a kickass show, so if anyone wants to take this project up PM me and I’ll be glad to help). Here’s how I would write the first 2 weeks of content – or more appropriately, the key ‘resources’ that the blog needs at the time of launch.
Most websites do a sloppy job of covering the episode-by-episode storyline. For Heroes, however, you’ll find that there are detailed entries for every episode in Wikipedia – and since you want to be #1 AND there’s enough room in this niche to reach that spot comfortably, you have to go and do one better than what Wikipedia has done.
This means creating posts for all 23 episodes of the first season and then doing detailed plot summaries, key moments, goof-ups and what not for each episode. It pays in spades if the episode is fresh in your mind, so you should probably watch them again and write afterwards (take 2 a day, that’s about 3 hours of work and you can be done in 12 days).
The shortcut to this is to take everything that Wikipedia offers then edit and add to it, to the extent that the Wikipedia entries start looking like summaries of your pages (I’m serious). Your objective here is to be the best resource possible for Heroes, and while anyone can get the story from a simple plot summary, you’ll have to jack things up a couple of notches to make people notice and talk about you.
For each character, you should do a complete storyline starting for the whole season 1 (and then continuing it beyond when the series starts again). It would also pay to write in detail about the character’s background as told by the series and any information gleaned from news sources around the show.
There are a LOT of people who will have a new interest in Hayden Panettiere and Ali Larter (as well the guys, but I don’t know their real names 🙂 ), so think of Google Image Search as your best friend and create extensive image galleries for these artists. Read this excellent article on finding images for your blogs, always quote your sources for images and news and use the NextGEN Gallery plugin for WordPress, I haven’t used it myself but from what I’ve seen it’s quite good.
Rumours and Spoilers
No self-respecting TV series blog can go without an active rumours section. Find out the best sources for news and rumours (and spoilers) for Heroes, and get the news ‘out there’ as quickly as possible. It helps, if you’re starting a new blog, to make a list of all the latest rumours and spoilers and put them up as an introductory post.
The above should be enough to keep you and your readers busy in the first couple of weeks, but that’s not all there is to it if you want to dominate the niche. For example, content-wise, it’s probably a good idea to check the Heroes entry on Wikipedia and see what you can add and improve on your blog. The greatest advantage you’ll have at this point is that your readers can discuss and give feedback on each page / post and considering how active tv viewers are in forums, launching a forum once you’ve got good traffic going (bbPress or SMF if you ask me) is the next step.
Putting all the things I’ve mentioned together (especially if you ‘borrow’ from existing content) should take you a week’s work, at best. During that time you can easily have someone do some custom graphics for you and customise the latest Performancing theme so that in a week’s time, you are ready to launch your blog.
However, you’ll notice that everything that I’ve mentioned doesn’t really ‘differentiate’ me from any other blog or site claiming to be the ‘#1 resource’ for Heroes. In this case, the ‘resources’ I’ve listed above (and tons of other information that you can put up) are not the difference.
I’ve left the ‘unique angle’ approach open as an exercise, so feel free to come up with any suggestions on a possible ‘unique angle’ and / or anything else that you might suggest to a blogger to do for such a project.