Viewing entries tagged


4 Steps to Converting Your Instagram Posts Into Blog Posts


What do I write about? I have nothing to put in my blog posts!

Thinking about what to write is the most intimidating part of being a blogger. Day after day after day of writing -- how do seasoned bloggers have the time and mental capacity to come up with interesting topics without giving themselves nosebleeds?

The magic answer is that they repurpose their content.

This means that they look at the content they've already created (like Facebook posts, Snapchat videos, Tweets) and expand it or use it in a different angle. They don't brainstorm for fresh, new content all the time. 

So for that earlier question of What do I write about?, you can find the answer right in your Instagram feed. Let's look at how you can convert your Instagram posts into blog posts.


Step 1: Choose an Instagram post that you want to convert into a blog post.

The first step is to choose an Instagram post to convert. There are two types of posts that are naturally easier for you to do this:

  1. Posts where you felt like you wanted to write paragraphs and paragraphs in the captions, but decided not to. Maybe you didn't want to annoy your followers or you didn't want to seem too obnoxious. But you definitely have something more to say!
  2. Posts where you got more likes or comments than you usually do. It seemed like people were really interested in the content of those posts.

With these posts, you don't have to force yourself into thinking up the points -- they're already there.

Note: Don't bother blogging about things you're not interested in. You can't waste time and energy in a field or topic you have no plan to pursue in the first place.


Step 2: Elaborate on the details.

Here comes the good part --  elaborating on the details. A really good tip is to pretend that you're talking about the post with a friend. The flow of the post and your writing style will sound much more natural. Readers will feel like they're actually sitting there and chatting with you over frappes and lattes.

So what kind of details you should elaborate on?

If you're converting the first type of post (in Step 1), just blog about all that you wanted to say in the first place. If you're converting the second type, see if there are any questions that you can answer. If your friend asked about the shirt that you were wearing, blog about the shirt! It's that simple.

What about if there were no questions from anyone?

Make up your own questions. Pretend that it's your friend that's asking you those questions. I'm going to show you what I mean with this stock photo over here:


Possible questions that you may answer:

  • What's the name of this cafe?
  • What is the decor and ambiance like?
  • What food and drink did you order? 
  • Were they reasonably priced?
  • Where is the cafe located?
  • What did you wear? (If you're in the photo too)
  • Would you go there again?
  • Are there any other cafes like this?

There are so many angles that you can come from. The trick is to only choose a few so that you don't get overwhelmed. Remember, it's not an essay!


Step 3: Add more photos and links

If it's considered bad manners to Insta-spam all your vacation photos at one time, then throw your manners out the window. When you blog, you're supposed to include as many photos as necessary. It'll take the pressure off of the writing too. (You just have to write a few lines after each photo)

Another strategic thing to do when you're converting your Instagram post is to link any mention of a brand or business to their website or social media profiles. It's a great way to make them notice you if you're interested in collaborating with them in the future.


Step 4: Hit publish and promote your blog post!

After you've added some meat to your blog post, it's ready to be published! Now comes the important part: you have to promote your blog post.

If you don't promote it, nobody is going to read it. This isn't like the blogging scene in the early 2000s. During those days, your blog could get discovered through "blog-hopping". Nowadays, if you don't point readers to a link, they're not going to see the post.

So don't be shy! One good tip is to choose a different photo from the Instagram post you converted (but still on the same topic/thing) and use that to promote the blog post on Instagram. That way you'll still feel like you're posting something fresh.


Important tips when converting Instagram posts into blog posts

  1. You can convert old Instagram posts into blog posts. Blogging isn't about the most recent things you do. You can talk about the things you've done last year or last month -- no one is going to check the dates with a calendar.
  2. You don't have to write essays for the blog posts. People don't want to read essays anyway! As long as you can add a few more details, your blog posts are A-OK.
  3. Add useful bits of information for the benefit of your readers. The best blog posts are useful to their readers. For example, if you're blogging about a restaurant, be sure to include a link to the restaurant's website, highlight the prices or state the name of the dishes. Your readers will appreciate this.


And there ya go! Finding things to blog about is actually as easy as scrolling through your Instagram feed. And the more you blog, the more you'll be inspired. You'll start seeing blog topics everywhere. Hey, I can use that in a blog post! -- at a wedding. (At least that's what I do)

Which Instagram post will you be converting into a blog post?



5 Critical Elements You Can Study From Your Competitor's Instagram


Here's something we've heard all too often:

Ignore your competitors!

Don't be a busybody and copy others. Want to be a copycat ke?

Don't be such a jerk lah. Why do you want to follow other people?

And you know what? I'm hereby declaring that this is the wrong way of looking at it.


Learning is not plagiarizing

Learning from your competitors doesn't mean that you're cramping their style and copying every single thing they do. You're actually going to copy the principles and adapt them to your own brand.

A huge part of branding is about differentiating your brand from others. To do that, you have to know what they're doing. If you don't know what they're doing, what's stopping you from becoming just another cookie-cutter brand? 

In fact, you can't afford to not study your competitors. A thorough research will very likely reveal a gap in the market - an angle or potential that hasn't been capitalised on before.

So it's important to know what they're doing right, what they're doing wrong, and what they haven't done. If you want to save time, money, and energy in moving your business forward, then learning from your competitors should be part of your strategy.


Who are your competitors?

Your competitors can be divided into two categories:

  • Direct competitors: People or businesses who provide similar products/services, uphold similar qualities and charge similar prices.
  • Indirect competitors: People or businesses who provide alternative products/services. They could uphold similar or different qualities, and charge similar or different prices.

It makes sense to study your direct competitors, but why indirect ones? Indirect competitors are still in the same industry, so they could still be targeting markets that you are also targeting. For example, a vegan restaurant might be an indirect competitor of a normal restaurant. The vegan dishes are an alternative to normal, non-vegan dishes.

Make a list of your competitors (direct and indirect). Aim for at least 3-5 of each category, but the more the merrier! The best way to study them is through their social media profiles. Social media is casual and customer-centric, so it's advisable to study them there to know exactly how they appeal to customers.

For this article, I'm focusing only on Instagram, but you can apply it to other platforms too. You should compile their Instagram accounts, as well as their other platforms like websites and Facebook. That will make it easier for you to monitor them regularly.

Now, what to study?


1. Photography style and quality

Photography has always been an integral part of marketing. If I had to rate the critical elements, this would be at the top of the list. (Well, it already is)

People remember images easily, especially if they have managed to make an impact. Social media is all about images.

There are many photography styles that your competitors could be using. They are (but not limited to):

  • Muted (or vintage)
  • High contrast
  • Black and white
  • Monochromatic

Try scrolling through their profile and see the style that they consistently use. A consistent style is soothing to the eyes and makes a brand look streamlined.

You will want to copy this "consistent style" principle, but you don't have to copy the style itself. Is there a different style you can use to best showcase your brand personality and products? If the photos of other brands all look similar and then along came you with your unique style, it'd make a great impression.

Another important aspect is photography quality. The best competitors have beautiful photos, no doubt about it. They have good lighting, good angles and most importantly, they exude professionalism.

Nothing screams unprofessional than taking photos of your products on your flowery bedsheets in a dark room. A good camera is important, yes, but the intention you put into getting a nice photo will show the most. Pick the best lighting (natural, morning light) and background. 

There are tons of websites that can teach you how to DIY your own photoshoot, so never say you're not capable! It's easier than you think.


2. Captions and hashtags

Brands must have a well-defined voice. It needs to show a personality, preferably one that people like and can relate to. 

The best way to use this "voice" is through the captions. You will face your fiercest competition from brands that have great captions. Their voice isn't stiff and annoying. Customers will actually respond to these brands based on their captions. 

How long are your competitors' captions? Is the length dependent on the subject matter? We've found that there is no reason why you shouldn't write long captions if they're relevant. It's important to clearly explain anything that needs explaining. Otherwise, you run the risk of communicating the wrong message. 

If your competitors indulge in lazy grammar or emotional rants, it's a principle you shouldn't copy. Some customers might like or are indifferent to that approach, but becoming a household brand requires a different one. Always strive to present a professional face because it's classier, more sustainable, and will open more doors for collaboration.

Note the hashtags that your competitors are using as well. How many do they include per post? Don't hijack theirs. Instead, try to come up with your own and make them easy to remember. And never cheapen your own brand by using a hashtag like #sayajualmurah!


3. Subject matter of photos

What is the subject matter of your competitors' photos? This is the easiest way to study your them and gain insight into what makes them successful (or not successful). It's usually a combination of these things:

  • Products/services only
  • Products/services and other items related to the "theme"
  • Brand items like packaging and business cards
  • Other unrelated items
  • The business owner
  • Brand employees
  • Customers and products
  • Customer testimonials
  • Influencers or sponsored parties
  • Places
  • Other

Each of the subject matter has its own pros and cons, so it's critical to analyze your competitors' combos. Are those working for them? You can follow their combos or create your own. It certainly depends on the brand goals and personality that you want to pursue.

I've found that the most successful and well-known brands have photos that show a certain lifestyle, not just the products alone. Their photos say that "this could be you". People are inspired to buy the products because they want that lifestyle. Think Adidas and Rolex.


4. Frequency of posts

This requires a little bit more effort to study, but is still worth it because it could directly affect your sales. Analyze the frequency of your competitors' Instagram posts from at least a month back. What's the average in a day? You can also do this automatically using IFTTT, but it will only track future posts and not previous ones.

One? Two? Three? A number starting with 0. ? I've always advocated for at least one post a day to remain visible in Instagram's fast-moving feed. But because I'm focusing on our Diving Into Branding newsletter for now, I've decided to reduce ours to just a few per week. 

It's up to you. If your competitor's posting multiple times a day, you can take the playing hard-to-get route by posting only once a day. If it makes sense for your brand goals, why not? But don't sacrifice quality for quantity. All your photos have to contribute into making you appear like a great brand.


5. Interactions with audience

How you interact and engage existing and potential customers is also part of your branding. If the way you interact is friendly and helpful, then you'll be that kind of brand. And if you're more aloof and mysterious, that's how people will categorize you.

How are your competitors behaving with their own audience? You can spot patterns by looking particularly at the comments and captions. Are they:

  • Responding to comments?
  • Answering questions?
  • Responding to criticism?
  • Mentioning and tagging their customers in their posts?
  • Asking for feedback and suggestions?

Another method is by going through their tagged photos. Do they thank their audience for tagging them, or responding in any other way? A friendly and warm brand would go out of their way to comment on those tagged photos, while those that go for a 'premium' feel would not necessarily do so.

But no matter how what kind of personality you want to project, don't neglect customer service! Your customers are what makes your brand sustainable, so if the customers don't feel appreciated, it'll hurt your sales.


Competition is great. It forces you to create a better brand than what we have in the market. When you are focused on staying ahead of your competitors and making customers happy, you will never stagnate. 10, 15 years from now, you will still be here! So don't be intimidated or frustrated by the competition. They will be your best help after all.

Who are your closest competitors?