To be honest, SEO - Search Engine Optimisation. There are 25 lakh Malayalis outside India (NRKs) but barely 13,000 have discovered Reelmonk.
Before I start on that, let me put down what Reelmonk is. Reelmonk is the first website where Malayalam films are available for download and to watch legally in high definition. The idea was conceptualised by our founder Blaise Crowly, out of frustration when he was living in a place with really limited access to the latest Malayalam movies which was a really hard thing for him, being an ardent Malayalam movie fan. We believed Malayalis abroad share a similiar frustration with little or no access to the latest Malayalam films. Hence, began this last mile delivery solution for the 140 odd malayalam films that release every year and the 25 lakh NRKs.
We began work in October 2014 and launched the platform after 9 months of hard core development on July 20, 2015 with 5 films - Njan Steve Lopez by Rajeev Ravi, Nee-Na by Lal Jose, Compartment by Salim Kumar and two other 2015 malayalam movies. We had 1,300 sign ups on Day 1 and 134 downloads. The site had to be shut down because of the heavy traffic.
We marched ahead the next day and over the next few weeks went from strength to strength, maintaining a regular release schedule, building a collection of evergreen Malayalam classics, releasing Ottaal on the same day as its theatrical release and more and more downloads. But somehow, we weren't reaching enough people. 25 lakh Malayalis out there and we were signing up only thousands. Why weren't we getting discovered?
The key to any new business' success - Discovery. We tried facebook ads, press releases but we weren't touching lakhs. We are still in the thousands. and hence, began our quest to reach 1.5 lakh users before August 2016. SEO is part of that quest. We need Malayalis to be able to find us when they look for Malayalam films on the internet. Searches like 'watch malayalam movies online' or 'watch njan steve lopez full movie' should bring Malayalis to Reelmonk so that they don't leave disappointed that the World Wide Web cannot provide a legal way to download and watch HD Malayalam content.
We have other plans in the 1.5Lac quest - connecting with Malayali Associations abroad, e-mailers and posters, word of mouth through friends and family, etc. When I started writing this post and shared it with the rest of the team for feedback, I realised that this wasn't going to be about SEO. We all loved to tell a story. Maybe that's part of the reason why this odd bunch of people came together to start the Reelmonk project - to tell a story.
Let me change my answer to 'Why we started a blog?' - To tell stories. Stories about cinema, the latest malayalam movies, about Reelmonk and sometimes random stories. Each of us will write a story every other week. Some of our friends may also write once in a while. If you guys have a story you'd like to tell send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd love to put it up here.
We are looking forward to telling stories. We hope you guys enjoy reading them!