The Bachelor, a reality series, first aired on ABC in March of 2002. If you haven't seen or heard about the show, the basic premise is an eligible bachelor and 25 women. He dates the women in groups and one-on-one throughout the course of the season.
Women are eliminated each week when they do not receive a rose. Of course, there are many other finer details to the plot line, but the goal is for the bachelor to find true love and the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
So far, the success rate of the matches is not great, but there is something we can learn from studying the show. Content should hold the viewer's/reader's interest and should leave your site visitors wanting more.
Develop User Personas
The women who are chosen to appear on the The Bachelor are chosen with a couple of things in mind. One of those things is surely to find personality types that all different types of viewers will relate to. You can be sure that there will be at least one tomboy in the group, one beauty queen, a school teacher, and so on.
In addition to careers, you'll find girls who are loud and boisterous and girls who are quiet and shy, as well as everything in between. You'll also find eligible young ladies who are from all over the country and all types of backgrounds. Essentially, there is a person for everyone to relate to.
KeriLynn Engel wrote an article back in July introducing our readers to the different aspects of buyer/reader personas and how you can use them to engage site visitors. You can apply the concept The Bachelor uses to your own website by creating user personas.
In each season of The Bachelor, there are a few girls who are easy to get along with and fun to have around. They don't fight with the other girls, they don't give the bachelor grief over his choices, they laugh and have fun. Yes, there are also the other easy pieces each season, but we're going to keep this article tasteful, so we'll leave that alone.
Just like there are simple and effortless women on the show, so your content should have some easy pieces that are short, quick and enjoyable reads for your site visitors. These might be along the lines of a listicle or a quick review.
If you've been following WHSR the last couple of months, you've likely noticed Vishnu Supreet's series of WordPress articles. Many of these are short and to the point. They are meant to provide a very specific look at an area of WordPress. You can read one quickly on your break at work, even.
Some of the women on The Bachelor are very deep. They may be religious or philosophical. They want to have deep, meaningful conversations with the bachelor and the other women in the house.
These women might be scientists, teachers, lawyers, or just enjoy a really good discussion. They clearly see the bigger picture of life and know where they want to go and how they want to get there.
To reach your site visitors with this deeper element, you'll want to add some detailed guides that offer more information that the reader can get anywhere else. This might be a book you offer for free if the visitor signs up for your mailing list, material that you offer for sale, or even a free beginner's guide, such as the one here on WHSR for bloggers called Blogging 101.
Pretty to Look at
Most of the women who appear on The Bachelor are pretty to look at. Many of them have a lot more going on than their looks, but let's face it, a few are just window dressing. There isn't a whole lot going on outside of the skimpy skirts and lipstick.
I'd never recommend you add something to your site that didn't offer valuable info as well. I want you to emulate the beauty queens who also have a degree in physics rather than the skirt with lipstick.
Wyzowl estimates that most people remember best what they see and do. Visual images process at a rate that is 60,000 times faster than simply reading text alone.
With that in mind, adding infographics to your website only makes sense. If you can add some interactivity to the infographic (see and do), then it will be even more successful.
Leave Them Hanging
Reality shows have perfected the art of leaving the viewer hanging. If you've ever watched the show, you're familiar with the format.
The bachelor goes on a date and things are going well. Just as he leans in to kiss the young lady you would love to see him wind up with at the end of the show… Break for a commercial. This keeps you watching as a viewer. You know that kiss either will or won't happen when the show resumes.
Or… He is passing out roses, there is one rose left and your two favorite women are waiting to see who will go home and who will get the rose. You guessed it! Time for a commercial.
How can you use this with your website content? There are several things you can do to keep your readers hanging and wanting to read more of what you've written.
- Write series articles, where you have Part 1, 2 and 3.
- Place a teaser at the end of your article. Example, “Come back next week to read about Making Your Own Orange Widgets.”
- Make part of your content subscription only. The reader will see part of the article and if she wants to read the rest she'll need to subscribe to your mailing list.
Help Visitors Root for Their Favorites
For the millions of viewers who tune in each season to watch this show, part of the reason is that they can root for their favorites to win the bachelor's heart. Because there are 25 or so women each season, there will be some personalities that the viewer likes and some that she loathes. This sets up a scenario where the viewer cheers when her favorites are chosen and boos when her favorites are sent home.
You can repeat this on your site by using polls. Encourage your site visitors to vote for their favorite articles or to provide input to key points in your niche.
You could also have features where you highlight your favorite customers and then let people vote on which one wins first place. Share a short story, their picture and open the voting. Give all the finalists a prize, but have a first place winner and so on.
There are many things you can learn by watching reality television. The Bachelor is just one show that follows that reality format. There are many others out there, and there is something to learn from each of them about how to reach out to your target demographic and keep them coming back for more.