The last episode for season 2 is just around the corner and it seems that I am already having a withdrawal syndrome just because I won’t be seeing Game of Thrones again in cable TV until next year. In the meantime I am reading A Game of Thrones, the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin to catch up with the saga .
There are lots of lesson to learn from watching Game of Thrones and as a blogger I thought that I share with you what bloggers can learn from this award-winning TV series and medieval fantasy novel.
If you have not read the book or watched the series yet, there are some spoilers here but I kept it to the minimum.
1. It’s All About Branding
All houses in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire seems to have a motto. Here are the mottos of great houses:
- House Baratheon: Ours Is the Fury
- House Lannister: Hear Me Roar
- House Stark: Winter Is Coming
- House Tully: Family, Duty, Honor
- House Targaryen: Fire and Blood
- House Tyrell: Growing Stronger
- House Greyjoy: We Do Not Sow
- House Arryn: As High as Honor
Having motto forces you to focus on what really matters. For example during tough times, Catelyn Stark was hard pressed to make difficult decisions. The guiding principles of House Tully provided her guidance on what she should prioritize. Family, Duty, Honor. It had always been the order.
House Stark is known for their direwolf sigil while House Lannister is know for their lion sigil. When the banner-men are waving the flags of their houses, the sigil already speaks for itself even from afar. That is how a logo speaks for itself too. A logo does not only provide identity to your blog, it also makes your readers remember you.
You may not create a motto for your blog but you should be able to describe your blog in less than 15 words for elevator pitch or simple promotions. Knowing what your blog is all about helps you create content that is targeted for your audience and it helps you promote your blog easily.
Take note that a logo or a motto does not create a brand. It’s more than that.
2. Always Have a Plan
Winter is coming (House Stark motto) — it’s a way of saying that you should always be prepared.
You probably heard the saying that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Despite the young age, Robb commanded an army with combined forces of Stark, Tully and Frey. How do you think they were able to capture Jamie Lannister from the Battle of Wispering Woods? It didn’t happen by chance. Eddark Stark had been grooming Robb to be his replacement.
Building a blog is like building a castle. If you know that winter is coming, you should be prepared to protect it at all times and be ready to conquer new territories in order to expand.
You should always try to make your blog relevant. Adapt to the needs of your readers.
Everyone knows that mobile is the buzzword these days and there are different studies pointing to that direction. So did you make your blog mobile friendly already? Social media is all around us. You can’t deny its existence. Do you have social media plan, even a simple one? How can you keep on posting all year round? If you wish to join the ranks of the best blogs among your niche, you must be consistent. Do you have an editorial calendar to keep good ideas flowing?
How many times Google had changed algorithm? How many times must you follow Google’s lead? If Google removes your blog from the first page of search results, can you still survive? You probably can’t rely on just one strategy, do you? If you plan ahead, you can prepare alternate route for fall back to save you from complete wipe out when the odds turn against you. Manage your risk or risk will manage you.
3. Protect Your Blog
The Wall stretches for 300 miles and is about 700 feet high according to the TV adaptation and in the books. The Wall is not there just for decoration. It was allegedly built using both magic and mundane means some thousand of years ago to defend the realm from what are lurking beyond the wall — shadowcats, giants, ghouls, wild tribes and even White Walkers.
Even Night’s Watch gets fresh recruits every now and then to replenish the ranks and they have positions called builders, assigned to maintain the Wall in its pristine condition. If you are protecting a realm of blogs, I strongly believe you should do the same. Always update your blogs and backup.
If you are using WordPress and you can’t backup your blog by yourself, you can hire someone or use services like VaultPress or BackupBuddy to have a peace of mind.
Last year I wrote about popular and best WordPress security plugins so you may want to check that out, too.
4. Think Before You Click
Most characters in Game of Thrones acts so quickly but thinks so slowly that they don’t think through the consequences of their actions first.
How many times this happened in real life? You had a heated argument with a competitor online and started to throw nasty words on Twitter at each other. Then you realize later you had acted on your emotions but you already sent the tweet to thousands of your followers and the tweet went viral. It reached your boss and he didn’t like how you acted foolhardy. The next morning you were jobless. You broke the social media policy of your company.
Lady (the direwolf) should still be alive if Sansa did not lie about the direwolf incident with Joffrey and Arya.
The stubborn Viserys should have not suffered ill fate if he only used a little bit more patience and respect. He got what he wanted though — a gold crown — albeit in a form and fashion he least expected.
Jon Snow might have been dead by now when he planned to abandon his oath from the Night’s Watch when the bad news about this father reached him. Thanks to his Night’s Watch brothers, they were able to convince him to go back.
It’s crazy how these young characters acted so carelessly.
With the internet and the notion of online anonymity, it’s easy to defame one person or another. If you don’t follow any social media policy on your day job, it’s easy to forget that you are responsible not only for yourself but also for the company you work for. But even if you don’t follow one — even if you only work for yourself — when you are writing a blog post, make sure that you are always objective when you are reporting a fact. Do not invent details or misquote people. Opinion is good in making a statement but you still have to back it up with facts and not sensualize it with gossips.
In the words of Cercei Lannister: When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die; there is no middle ground.
Make sure that everything you do is based on your conscious choice, not swayed by emotions. Be proactive. Be responsible on whatever you do.
Read the second part here: