What The Bachelor Can Teach You About Hooking an Audience

What The Bachelor Can Teach You About Hooking an Audience

Reader Comments (63)

  1. I’m right there with you on point number 2. You don’t want to dumb it down for your audience, but you need to make it easy to digest. The potential for distraction is so great online, so you have to keep your reader engaged and interested the whole way through. If reading your content becomes akin to understanding an SAT language question you’ve lost them.

    • For sure, Nick 🙂 I always go back and take out “SAT words,” but I think a part of me will forever be trying to impress my 8th grade English teacher.

  2. Great post! I think for a lot of us we’re told from an early age that using big words shows you’re intelligent. Unfortunately, most people out there are reading and comprehending at a 4/5 grade level, which is exactly why we should aim to communicate at that level. President Clinton wrote his speeches geared toward that audience and look at how enchanting his speaking was.

    • Absolutely agree, Ayesha 🙂 I think using big words is tough to “unlearn” as an adult (it’s something I still edit for all the time).

  3. I understand how you can relate awesome TV shows to just about anything. But here you actually used ‘The Bachelor’. Oh wow. Nice job, and really well written too.

  4. Bachelor is the worst show on television. But if they blogosphere can learn something from it then I suppose it’s okay. But I’m still not watching The Bachelor.

  5. Brilliant! I was right there with millions of other viewers, knowing he had fallen for The Villain, but wishing he would see the error of his ways before the final moment. The editing of reality shows tends to be tight, so that we get the juiciest drama slices. One of my personal favorites is the use of indigenous animals on “Survivor.”

    • Thanks for the comment, Lisa 🙂 When you think of how much footage reality TV shows have compared to a normal scripted TV show, it’s pretty impressive how they end up packaging it to be so compelling.

  6. I love this. First of all, I love having the reasons that I dig watching The Bachelor (this is really a coming out for me – possibly a career fail by the sound of comments) spelled out for me and all the world to see. I don’t love the Bachelor because it contributes intellectual stimulation to my life. I get plenty of that elsewhere. I love it because – with some fancy writing/producing and editing moves, as you spell out – it allows me to see into the wild workings of human psychology (for one subset of the human population, to whatever degree it is “real” I don’t really care) under intense and totally strange circumstances. I find it totally fascinating. Sort of like a science project. Your breakdown of why it’s so captivating is awesome. I feel a little redeemed for watching, frankly. (She ducks from the thrown tomatoes.)

    • Michelle, you’re not alone! I 100% stand by my unwavering love of The Bachelor.

      I enjoy an embarrassing amount of reality TV (judge away, everyone!), but The Bachelor keeps the strongest hold on my attention by a long shot. I always thought I just enjoyed making fun of it, but as you’ve pointed out, the producers have created a fascinating experiment.

  7. Thanks Kerry – I agree so much on using simple words and not making it hard for the reader. I didn’t even realise how many flowery words I used till I got a plugin for WordPress that suggests simpler words. It definitely made a difference to my Flesch Reading score, and hopefully the user experience. Very easy step that I would recommend to anyone using the WorPress platform! Thanks Again 🙂

  8. Hi Kerry,
    I don’t watch TV and have never seen more than a few minutes at a time of “The Bachelor” but your post drew me in and kept me interested till the end. Good job, great stuff for me to keep in mind… be a little unexpected and use cliffhangers.

  9. When I read this the first time, I was thinking why do you want to call it The Bachelor. Then I realised its a TV show. This is a great post to summarize the way to capture readers.

  10. This post has some good ideas but they aren’t developed well enough to be useful. Lead with the end sounds great and makes sense, but how about some writing examples? I’ve never watched the bachelor and don’t plan to, and I don’t think it makes sense to assume everyone in this audience watches the bachelor. I for one am too busy writing. More details about how to lead with the end would be much appreciated.

  11. I really like your fifth point about “tease the audience”. Because in reality writing a great post isn’t the end, it’s only the beginning. That is a great tweet that you used in your example. Kerry, you’re a real tease 🙂 and I do mean that in a nice way!

  12. Great post there Kerry, and I think NO apology should be made for watching a limited(!) amount of reality TV – and here’s why. Whilst as writers we might sometimes like to think of ourselves as intellectually superior to the typical reality TV audience – the chances are that our ideal customers could well be avid viewers. Reality TV – whether we love it or hate it, is a huge part of modern culture, so we DO need to be aware of it if we want to be part of the modern chit chat of life. The marketers and copywriters who excel are the ones who can reference what’s happening in people’s day to day lives. If a friendly comment about a popular TV show helps your audience feel connected to you then that can only be a good thing! I love The Apprentice (in the UK where I am), and I have to say that the occasional ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ is my guilty pleasure !! There – my secret’s out!
    Cheers -great fun and food for thought in your post

    • Very good point, Tanya. Eugene Schwartz (one of the great direct copywriters ever) used to make a point of watching all of the biggest blockbuster movies (even when they were frankly sort of stupid) so he could soak up what the mass market was watching, thinking about, how they were framing stories, what language was working, etc.

    • Great comment, Tanya! I think incorporating pop culture into content not only attracts the masses, but also helps people retain information.

      And I’m really enjoying how many people are debunking that reality TV is a waste if time 🙂

  13. I am glad that you definitely took the educational approach with a show like Bachelor! I am definitely going to look over this again a few times to catch everything!

  14. Its amazing where you can find inspiration. The other day I was playing soccer and learned a valuable blogging lesson during my game. That’s when I knew I was hooked and this blogging bug was not going anywhere!

  15. I actually have a friend who worked on the show as well as an ex-roommate who was on the show (Bachelor Paris season). For the roommate who was on the show and who had filmed an entire season, I didn’t even know about her being on the show until the day it aired, due to confidentiality clauses! I therefore think that another key aspect of their success has been to keep a lid on the content until they’re ready to annouce such “cliff-hanging” information on their own terms. They are great at keeping the audience building their suspicisions and at developing an urge to know more.

    • The way they keep everything under wraps definitely helps fuel the promotional fire. I can’t remember the last time I was at the grocery store and there wasn’t a tabloid claiming to have inside info about The Bachelor.

  16. I like the part #5 Tease the audience and will definitely give it a try. What about not telling or not revealing all in the post? Like something is missing and will foster the reader to come back (for more) or comment. This is an idea I’ve read but not sure if make sense. Anyway great article Kerry.

  17. Haha, my website is about deep thinking, so I laughed at #2.

    That said, you brought up some clever points. I’ll be thinking about “starting with the end.” It’s always good to hear the truth about how good writers edit ruthlessly. I just read Copyblogger’s post on Hemingway and he was quoted as saying ““I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit.” That’s an extreme ratio, but imagine how amazing that one page would have to be.

    The Bachelor is everything that’s wrong with people today. My family watches it and I am obligated to make fun of them for it.

    • Heh 🙂

      The Hemingway post is one of my all-time Copyblogger favorites. For this post, I cut my first draft in half… not quite as extreme but I usually cut out around half of what I start with. I end up repeating myself a lot, so this may not apply for most people…

      And thanks for not making fun of me!

  18. Awesome post! Great thoughts on how to apply television show concepts to blog posts. I think people like trashy tv for the same reason they like fairy tales. Folks like to see archetype characters put together in different settings and with different conflicts. 🙂

  19. Hi Kerry,
    Thanks so much for your article-it’s fabulous!! I am just starting to blog and my big goal is to learn to be entertaining and fun while sharing important info., so this is really timely.

  20. Hi again Kerry!
    Forgot to say that I just love reality shows myself- Tabitha’s Salon Takeover, Love broker, Bethany Ever After, Heidi Klum’s show (name escapes me at the moment). Super interesting, and you can learn a ton from them. I used to feel guilty about watching them, but I do much prefer them to just about any other show.

    • Thanks for the comments, Marian 🙂

      Good luck with your dive into blogging! There’s so much to learn but plenty of good resources out there. Be sure to check out some of the popular articles on here for great inspiration and guidance (I refer back to many of these time and time again).

  21. Wow Kerry!

    You did it! Really! You are an inspirational genius. Believe it or not The Bachelor turned educational. It’s converting the soapiest of soaps from the guttermost to the uttermost through a double-distillation process!

    Thanks for giving me a whack.

  22. You are clever and your explanation on how to write content that appeals to our audience is excellent. Keeping our readers coming back is essential and your advise make a lot of sense. Thank you for taking the time to guide us.

  23. No matter what we bloggers think about ‘The Bachelor’ its audience definitely sees something in it that others don’t. IMO, this show knows its audience very well and that is what has contributed to its sucess. Bloggers can take away this lesson from this show.

  24. Love the article, Kerry. I don’t know why people don’t like the Bachelor, it’s got backstabbing, fakeness which makes you upset, hot chicks (and guys for the women), stupidity, etc…

    I suppose if I could add something to the article it would be to not take too long to get somewhere. But that’s basically what you’re implying in #4 with the editing.

    Great job. And thinking backwards works very well in business, too.

  25. I have to admit that I’ve been sucked into watching the Bachelor and feel ill after I do. Like my brain needs to be cleansed. But sure enough I go back the next week for like you say “to see the end” and “have a look at the villans”. I agree that I don’t think to hard, and I guess that is part of the allure. It’s like an hour of brain rest BUT the problem is that it feeds the worst part of your personality. It’s gossipy, you are none the smarter (in fact, probably dumber), and you’re supporting this terrible medium.
    I think that there has to be a middle ground in giving people what they want with still staying true to proper English, values and quality content. I guess we could take from the Bachelor these points, but it seems like such a poor example of success and we who watch it, are worse off. Thanks for the post and the ideas, but I hope that the blogs I read take their cues from better examples of successful media other than the Bachelor.

  26. Thanks for the great post Kerry. I specifically like your idea of a teaser tweet. I also realize that I need to edit more and create better endings, but teasing the audience is gold. Thanks again

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