I love video games. I’ve been playing them for most of my life and it’s nearly impossible to talk about the pure awesomeness of video games without talking about the Italian grand-daddy of popular platform games. With dozens of official versions and probably hundreds of unofficial ones spanning almost three decades, it’s safe to say almost everyone is familiar with the lovestruck, mushroom-smashing plumbers.
Super Mario Bros changed the face of platform games when it was introduced in 1985 with its simple premise, clear goals and addicting gameplay. SMB is pretty much the Angry Birds of the Millennials or Generation Y-ers. So what can this archaic, 8-bit wonder teach you about blogging?
Well, I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a look at some of the things we can learn from good ole Mario and his brother Luigi.
1) Your Princess Is In Another Castle
One thing all great video games have in common is a clear, achievable goal. In Super Mario Bros, you are tasked with rescuing the Princess (Princess Peach) who has been kidnapped by Bowser, a large, talking dinosaur. Mario must keep going forward, avoiding dangers, to rescue his Princess.
Your blogging should have a goal that is clear to all who engage with you. No one should leave your page unsure of what your purpose is. Whether you lay it out clearly in an “About” page or build your mission into each and every post, make sure you don’t just assume people will figure it out.
2) Bros Before Woes
From the very first installment, it’s been Super Mario Bros, not Super Mario, The Plumber. Mario may always be the star, but he’s never been alone, Luigi has been by his side since 1985. Actually, in the newest version of the game for the Wii, Mario is surrounded by 3 others to help in his quest.
Don’t feel like you’re all alone out there. Find people to offer up guest posts or join up with a team of awesome people like here on For Bloggers, By Bloggers. Go out and offer up comments, join Twitter and find people in your interest niche, or find other ways to get involved. You may own your site, but in the game of blogging, if you’re doing everything all by yourself, you’re lost.
3) 8 Red Coins
One thing that Super Mario Bros has always been good at is offering gamers a lot of replay value. Sure, you can play through the story, defeat Bowser and call it a day, but if you do that you’ll miss all the great secrets. There are hidden ways out of certain levels, hidden tube chambers and even, in newer versions, 8 red coins to find and Star Roads to uncover. If you simply play through the story and wrap it up, you’ll normally only be 45-55% of the way finished with the game.
Offer your readers a lot of things to explore outside of just your blog posts. Whether that be webinars or ebooks or something silly like comics. Find ways to keep your readers coming back and spending time on your pages. Not only will this help with your bounce rate numbers, but you’ll find you have more dedicated and active readers in the process.
4) It’s-A Me, MARIO!
Whether it’s Super Mario Bros, Earthworm Jim, Halo or Angry Birds, successful video games are above all else fun. The colorful characters, weird situations and enticing worlds build an environment that you want to spend time in and play through. YOu have fun doing it.
It may not be your goal to be the most entertaining blogger in the world and you may even be tackling an incredibly sensitive or serious topic, but there has to be some sort of emotional pull for your audience. Make it enjoyable or pleasurable for people to be in your presence. Tell stories, show pictures, ask questions, do whatever you have to do to create a connection between you and your audience.
Video games have a lot to teach us about writing, social media and business in general and Super Mario Bros is one of the best video games in history. By applying tactics of clear goals, inviting environments, additional options and cooperative work, you can grow your audience and make blogging more fun and beneficial for you and your readers.
What video games are your favorites? Have you learned any different lessons from them? How are you making things inviting for your readers?