Here’s a challenge for you. Take a moment, and think of all the people that you know that don’t have Netflix. It’s not very many, is it? It seems like everyone and their dog (literally) has Netflix these days. We have it, and we watch it pretty regularly (y’all, FIXER UPPER IS ON NETFLIX). But why am I talking about this? What can bloggers learn from Netflix? A lot. Netflix’s view of their customers, their desire to share and produce great content, and their recognition of their place in the media world is virtually unmatched in any business, organization, or company today. I think we have a lot to learn from them, so let’s jump right in.
#1: Netflix’s view of their customers
Netflix was founded in 1997 (source). Most people started hearing about and using the service in the mid-2000s, when stores like Blockbuster began to lose their popularity. In the beginning, you would use the Internet to rent a DVD that they would mail to you. You could watch the movie and keep it as long as you wanted, then you would send it back. Once they received it, they would send you another DVD based on the list that you had made. They charged a monthly fee instead of charging per rental, which was the status quo for the time. Over time, the service has evolved, and we all know what it is today. You can stream movies and TV shows on any device for a monthly fee.
Netflix knows what their customers want and they regard that as their top priority. When the business started, they knew that their customers did not want to pay per rental and be charged extra if they kept the movie too long, so they charged a monthly fee and allowed the customer to keep the movie as long as desired. Now, as they’ve moved into being a streaming service, I believe that they focus even more on the desires of their customers.
For years, people have begged anyone and everyone for a Full House revival. So what did Netflix do? They created the series Fuller House, a sequel to the original show. They said they would produce only one season. Then, it did so well that people asked for more, so they’re in the process of filming season two right now. Another example: Gilmore Girls. Since the show ended so terribly (don’t even get me started), fans have wanted another season or a reunion movie. So what did Netflix do? They’re essentially giving fans both. In the fall, Netflix will release four Gilmore Girls “movies,” as a follow up to the beloved show. Netflix knows their customers, they listen to what they want, and they make it happen.
This is critical for bloggers, as well. We need to know our readers, listen to what they want, and make it happen. If you’re a mom blogger, and your readers want stories about raising kids, and you blog for 3 months about your favorite rock and roll bands, you will lose your fans and your credibility. If you have a brilliant mind for budgeting, and your readers want printables to help them stay on budget, and you give them printables about how to plan a $25,000 wedding, they’re done with you.
As bloggers, our readers are literally our life-blood. Without them, there are no blogs, there is no money, we lose our jobs. We need to view them as our top priority. This is not to say that you need to change who you are to appease a certain group of readers. That isn’t true in the least. You do you, and the people who are interested will come. When they do, get to know them, and get to know what they’re interested in. Make their wants and needs your priority, and you’ll be set.
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#2: Their desire to share and produce great content
This one is two-fold, and it has really developed over the past few years. For the longest time, Netflix was a rental and streaming service, sharing only movies and series that had been produced by others. Now, they have also introduced Netflix Originals, movies and series that they have produced themselves. Yet for both sharing and producing, they focus only on high-quality movies and series with great content.
Though all the movies and series on Netflix are CERTAINLY not my taste, that does not mean that they are not high-quality or that they do not contain great content, tailored for the individuals interested in that particular topic. Netflix searches out movies that people love, that have received positive reviews and awards, and that they believe are worth their service. If something doesn’t meet their standards, they don’t share it with the world. When producing content, they take time to develop a script, a story, and characters that they believe work well together. Again, it may not be my taste, but it appeals to someone and it’s well-made. They take their time when producing content. That way, they can make sure they get it right. And as far as I can see, they do.
This is vital for bloggers. Yes, we need to know our readers and produce content that they want to read, but it has to be great content. If you throw together a blog post that you don’t really care about just to please your readers, it won’t be successful. Put your heart into what you do, take your time, and get it right. It will pay off. When sharing other content, make sure you read the content first. I know that seems like a no-brainer, but don’t just share a post because you’ve heard of the blogger and it’s probably good. Check it out and make sure it lines up with what you believe and what your readers are interested in. If it’s not high-quality or great content, your readers deserve better. Only share and produce content that is meaningful to both you and your readers.
#3: Their recognition of their place in the media world
If any business in the world knows who they are, what their purpose is, and what their customers expect of them, it’s Netflix. Seriously. How many times have you seen people upset with them for a legitimate reason (price doesn’t count)? I’m going to say that answer is pretty low, if you can even think of any. Netflix knows that they are a movie and TV streaming service. They don’t try to add in something like video games. Other companies do that, and they know that’s not their role. They do what they do, and they do it well. They recognize that they are regarded as one of the best, if not the best, streaming services, and they put their effort into maintaining that status and constantly improving their services.
Bloggers, this is one of the most important lessons you can learn. Learn who you are in the blogging world. Sure, you may not be the “Netflix” of the blogosphere. I’m not, by any means. But I know what kind of blogger I am. I blog about healthy lifestyles, my faith in Christ, and my life and adventures as a homemaker. That may not float your boat, and that’s fine. You may blog about makeup and cats, and neither of those are really my thing. But if that’s who you are, then you do you, and do it well. Invest your time in developing who you are as a blogger and constantly improving your content, not changing it. When you realize who you are and who your audience is, you are a successful blogger, no matter how many followers or likes you have.
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Of course we bloggers love Netflix because it provides the best background noise while we work, but it’s also a great teacher for us to learn from! Know who your readers are, produce high-quality content that is relevant to them, and be confident in yourself and your blog! You just do you, and you’ll be as great as Netflix, I have no doubt! 🙂
What other great lessons can we learn from Netflix? Do you know who you are as a blogger? How can you improve your blog without changing who you are?