The entertainment and CGI world has been fawning over the movie Avatar for months, and it seems you can’t watch any entertainment news program without hearing about James Cameron’s groundbreaking 3D epic.
And even if Cameron went home last week without the armful of Oscars he expected, directing the highest-grossing movie of all time probably takes the sting out.
But despite the movie’s brilliant effects and the unique world it creates, you’ll likely feel as if you’ve heard its underlying story before. In fact, you may very well predict the ending about an hour into the film.
So what makes “Avatar” so special? Why did it create such a fanatic following, and what can it teach you about creating a following with your own blog and marketing content?
What’s old is new again
The basic premise of Avatar involves the protagonist learning the ways of the “enemy” but ultimately gaining a deeper understanding of what’s at stake and siding with them to destroy the hero’s original allies.
Avatar’s storyline has been likened to science fiction stories from Edgar Rice Burroughs and dozens of popular movies, such as 1990s blockbuster Dances with Wolves.
Avatar’s plot has been done before, clearly. But audiences still made it a box office leader.
Instead of being bored to death by the same plot told over and over, we’re all suckers for a good story — even if we can guess what’s going to happen at the end.
Just because you might be a little tired of your tried-and-true message doesn’t mean your audience is. Put their needs first.
Put your old content back to work
Take a look at your older content — even things you’ve written which haven’t been published online.
And you don’t have to stop there. The public domain is practically bursting at the seams with sage advice and workable suggestions from well before the Internet, television, or even radio existed.
Or, like I’ve done here with Avatar, you can take something people are thinking about and imagine a new slant on it.
Ask yourself — Is there a way you could put a fresh new slant on any of these and make them relevant for today’s audience?
Walt Disney made a fortune repurposing old fables and fairy tales into animated stories. He added a few tweaks to make them more memorable and interesting for a new generation of children, but the core plots remain unchanged, even hundreds of years later.
Here are some great ways to rework your content:
- Rewrite your headline. You’ve come a long way with your writing (you’re reading Copyblogger, right?). It’s time to see if that great old post with a boring headline from the early days could use some magic.
- Create a bulleted list. Lists are easier for your readers to scan and get workable ideas from. Lists seem to talk to your readers, rather than at them, the way some paragraphs can.
- Turn it into a series. If you find that what you have to say about a particular older post becomes a little longer, why not rework it into a weeklong series? These can make for some of your most valuable cornerstone content.
Making the connection
In Avatar the native inhabitants of the planet can connect with other plants and animals so that connections can be shared at the speed of thought.
When it comes to reworking your existing content, don’t hesitate to make your own connections by tapping into social media networks and getting ideas and feedback from your target audience.
Create your own version of a social media digital campfire and start looking for exciting ways to stir up the enthusiasm in your readers. No matter how many ways they’ve heard the information before, you might just hit upon that “light bulb moment” that makes it all click!