Formulas can make your writing boring, but they exist for a reason: they work. The key is making the same old, same old you own with a little creativity. In this post, we’ll go over 10 movie plots that can help you write creative, engaging blog posts for your community.
1. The Fish Out of Water
Description: The main character gets thrown into a situation where he or she is very uncomfortable. Hilarity typically ensues, and the protagonist usually learns a lesson.
Movie Examples: Big, Some Like it Hot, Edward Scissorhands
The Twist for Bloggers: We’re all a little set in our ways. Try putting yourself in a situation that isn’t comfortable for you, and reporting back on the results. It’s even better if you can put your own little spin on it. Teach your readers a lesson through your experiences.
Blog Example: Let’s say you run a food blog that typically posts home-style recipes, just like mama used to make. What would happen if you took one of her butter-heavy favorites and made a healthier version? Sure, you might not be a traditional health food blog, but this could be a nice spin, especially if you not only post the recipe, but also talk about what you’ve learned about slimming down a meal.
2. The Coming of Age
Description: Coming-of-age films follow the story of a child becoming an adult. Through the series of events in the movie, the protagonist matures physiologically and enters a new stage of life.
Movie Examples: My Girl, Can’t Hardly Wait, The Karate Kid
The Twist for Bloggers: Tell your readers a “coming-of-age” story that makes sense for your topic. In other words, talk about your transition from one way of thinking to a more mature way of thinking.
Blog Example: A tech blogger, for example, could tell the story of how he/she always hated a certain brand of cell phones, until getting one for Christmas and finding out that all assumptions about the brand were wrong.
3. The Buddy Comedy
Description: Buddy movies pair two unlikely candidates together and put them in a situation where they have to rely on one another. Usually, the two people are of the same sex and they solve some kind of crime or defeat some kind of evil together, with hilarity ensuing at every turn.
Movie Examples: Men in Black, Up, The Odd Couple
The Twist for Bloggers: Team up with another blogger to do some joint debates, where you take one stance and the other blogger takes the opposite stance. You can combine these into one post, or write separate posts. The point is to give the reader a look at both sides of the coin so they can decide for themselves. It’s great for getting community interaction on your blog, since people like to give their opinions on polarizing topics.
Blog Example: We did this right here on the NMX blog when we asked Jason Falls and Marcus Sheridan to each talk about their opinions on using curse words on your blog.
4. Serial Killer/Slash
Description: Most serial killer (slasher) movies start with a group of unsuspecting teens or young adults who are having fun, and then start getting picked off one by one. At the end, there is usually one person or a couple left standing.
Movie Examples: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead, Halloween
The Twist for Bloggers: The same way killer might pick off people one by one, you can pick off topics one by one in a special series, where you cover one item in a category every week/day.
Blog Example: Let’s say you have a home improvement blog. You could do a series on the types of tile, with each post covering one type and going over the advantages, disadvantages, and costs.
5. The Love Triangle
Description: One of the most common chick flick movies is the love triangle, where two people randomly meet and develop feelings for one another, but one of them is already engaged.
Movie Examples: Titanic, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Wedding Planner
The Twist for Bloggers: The essence of the love triangle is that one of the people realizes that they are not in love like they were or they realize that the relationship isn’t right and they should break it off. Think about a habit or technique relating to your topic that you really should quit, and talk to your readers about the outcome of doing so.
Blog Example: If you run a fashion blog, you could talk about how you have a tendency to buy or keep clothing that is too small, and how it was liberating to purge your closet of items that just remind you you aren’t as thin as you used to be.
6. Rags to Riches
Description: The hero of this story goes from being poor and downtrodden to being rich in a strange turn of events. This can also mean that the “ugly” girl is turned beautiful or that the geek is turned into a popular kid.
Movie Examples: She’s All That, The Blind Side, Slumdog Millionaire
The Twist for Bloggers: How did you change your life? People read your blog because they want to be like you. So teach them lessons based on your own experiences.
Blog Example: On your financial blog, you could talk about how you got out of debt or on your marketing blog you could talk about how you grew your email list to over 100,000 people.
7. Man versus Nature
Description: The characters in the story are battling a natural disaster that threatens to totally wipe out mankind. Or, the characters are battling an animal that threatens to totally wipe out their little group. Either way, man is fighting Mother Nature, usually just battling to survive because there is no possibility of stopping the natural world.
Movie Examples: The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon, Jaws
The Twist for Bloggers: What challenges are inevitably found in your life? How have you overcome these challenges? When you’re dealt a certain lot in life and don’t have a choice in the matter, what can you do to still succeed? The theme of your post should be survival of something you have no control over.
Blog Example: Maybe you run a small business blog and you can talk about how a small real estate firm used social media to survive the housing marking crash. Or maybe you have a green blog, and you talk about how you grow your own ingredients, even though your apartment has no outdoor space.
8. Man versus Society
Description: The protagonist of a Man versus Society movie is battling against “the man.” He or she sees a problem in the world and chooses to stand against it. Often, this person ends up leading a revolution.
Movie Examples: Schindler’s List, V for Vendetta, Braveheart
The Twist for Bloggers: What do you see happening in your niche that is bad? It can be scarey to speak out against other big-name bloggers or common advice that everyone follows, but doing so can also start a revolution.
Blog Example: On our TBEX (travel exchange) blog, our CEO Rick wrote “You Are Not a Travel Blogger” about some of the bad behavior he sees in this niche and how some people who call them professionals aren’t really professionals.
9. The Sequel
Description: When a movie does well in the box office, it is usually followed up with a sequel. Sometimes the same actors are involved. Other times, it’s a completely new cast. Rarely is the sequel as good as the original, but sometimes it is even better.
Movie Examples: Shrek 2, The Dark Knight, Aliens
The Twist for Bloggers: Got a post that’s getting tons of traffic or comments? Write a follow up to that post. You could pull inspiration for your new post from a discussion in the comments or go into further detail about your opinion.
Blog Example: If you wrote an informative post about a recent news story, you could follow it up with an op-ed about the story. Or if you wrote “15 Tips for…” you could follow it up with “15 MORE Tips for…”
10. The Remake
Description: When a movie is good the first time around, it sometimes gets remade. People are usually highly critical of the remakes, because they loved the original, but you’re starting with a proven story, so there’s the opportunity for greatness with a remake.
Movie Examples: Dawn of the Dead, Scarface, True Grit
The Twist for Bloggers: There’s no reason you can’t rewrite a post to modernize it. Update the information so it’s more relevant for users. You can also do this with posts from other blogs, but make sure you’re adding something valuable of your own, not just rewriting information, and always give credit where credit is due.
Blog Example: Say someone in your niche writes “The Top Things You Need to Know about…”. You could write your own version of this, referring to some of his/her points, but also adding some of your own.
Some Final Thoughts
Of course, most movies are actually a combination of formulas and plots. If they weren’t, going to the movies would be pretty boring. So think about how you can combine some of these formulas and use them to create interesting blog posts. No matter what your niche, you can use these plots to make your blog better.