So you want to write a blog post, here’s how you can do it well

So you want to write a blog post?

Step one, tick, you have the will.

You might also have a bit of an idea. “I want to write a blog post about blogging and why you should have a blog.”

Step two, tick, you have an idea.

The next question to ask yourself is why anyone should want to read your blog.

There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of blog posts about blog posts. Yours will be one of them. We’ve shared tips on keeping a good, optimised blog, but how can you make yours more interesting and valuable than any other?

Through storytelling.

Which brings me to step three, nailing the purpose of the blog post.

The Mutant team writes blog posts on behalf of a number of B2B and B2C clients and we work with them to identify fresh angles to topics we know their target audiences are interested in. The key is to narrow down onwhat your audience is looking for online, and what fresh insights you can give them to assert your authority on the topic.

So, for example, if you were appealing to business bloggers, your post might be about how new blogging tools could boost the searchability of business blogs in 2014.

There you go – you have a topic that is interesting, newsworthy and that will demonstrate your own ability to think ahead and to offer guidance in this very competitive, and constantly evolving digital world.

Before sitting down to type out your post, figure out what you’re going to say. Old school mindmaps still work in the digital age and this is how I recommend you begin.

Step four is to write down the ideas you have around the topic and then organise them into sub-groups of ideas. These subgroups will form your paragraphs.

Number the paragraphs in order of how you want them to flow in the post – there’s your skeleton!

You’re now ready to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – and move on to step five, telling a story.

Storytelling is not just the fabric of fairytales. As a blogger, you need to think of yourself as the Aesop of the business world – sharing messages in a way that resonate with readers. Rather than circulating a bullet-pointed to-do list, you want to be drawing parallels with your readers’ everyday life, painting pictures they can relate to.

In order for them to both enjoy reading your piece and walk away feeling like they have learned something, you also want to make sure you build a cohesive argument.

Start with an engaging opening paragraph – or introduction – that develops a rapport with your reader. You might like to start with something controversial “breakfast is not the most important meal of the day”, or with a question “despite what we have been raised to believe, is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?” Sometimes it works to paint a picture – “whether it was grandma serving stewed fruit and porridge on school mornings, or your mother handing you a banana as you rushed out the door, we’ve been lead to believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, new research shows that…”

Move through your points seamlessly, as if you were engaging your reader in a conversation, and make sure that every sentence you write contributes to the purpose of the paragraph, and that every paragraph reinforces the purpose of the post.

You’ll want to wrap the post up with a sentence that wraps up your argument and leaves the reader feeling pleased they made it to the bottom. You might also like to add a call-to-action to download more information or a contact (find out how inbound marketing techniques can boost your business here).

The idea of a blog is to both demonstrate your thought leadership and hold your readers’ attention on your website. Pepper your blog with links to other posts or pages on your site, or on other sites. This will not only offer your reader a chance to deepen their understanding of the subject, but also boost your SEO as visitors will be spending more time on your site.

Understanding the function of the blog on your site, as well as the purpose of your sitting down for an hour or more to write it should be clear right from the outset, and right through the post.

If you do it right, you should get to the end and find you sitting nicely between the golden 600-800 word count, and have created something that entertains, informs and boosts your brand’s presence.

I’m at 778 words now. Over and out.

If you’d like to discuss your blogging / content marketing strategy, or if you’d like help crafting riveting blog posts, get in touch with us at [email protected].

Human Writes Performance Installation at UN Geneva image by United States Mission Geneva is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


More bang for your blogging buck: How to keep a good blog

One of the things I love about PR and marketing is how aware we have to be of consumer trends, and I’ve come to realise how differently consumers act in a social-media / technology-led era compared to the past. Engaging the crowd is now a more sophisticated affair and requires being fluent in the language of content marketing, SEO, web analytics and of course, blogging, among others.

There were one million blogs in 2004 and a whopping 152 million in 2013 – that’s one blog being created every half a second, according to a HubSpot webinar on blogging. Blogs are truly a phenomenal force and if well managed, can definitely help build a connection with the audience and generate leads.

Competition is stiff and you’ll need to be smart about your approach to stand out. Develop the habit of staying up-to-date on the blogosphere’s evolving trends to ensure you stay relevant and write interesting blog posts that gel with your ongoing marketing and PR efforts. HubSpot recently shared a few tips on successful blogging, which are bound to boost your blog readership and generate leads.

Long Tail Keywords.

Since the introduction of Google’s Hummingbird search algorithm, searches are now more effective with additional keywords and more context. For instance, Google “coffee shops” and you’ll get more results that you can handle – looking for that good ol’ cuppa joe is not so simple anymore. Being more specific and typing “coffee shop Singapore”, “coffee roasted beans Singapore” or “chill café Singapore” will yield more favourable and useful results.

Instead of specific, singular keywords, the focus has shifted to long tail keywords, phrases that are a combination of keywords to deliver targeted results (think Chinatown chicken rice stall or Tuas chemical factory, for instance) and keep in mind that the longer, more specific keywords are less common, individually, but add up to account for the majority of search-driven traffic.

So start brainstorming long-tail keywords that can help people find your business and include them in your blog posts.

Sharable content.

Your blog content needs to be accessible. People enjoy sharing news through social media – be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+ – and news feeds are broadsides of the digital sphere. Social media and content depend on one another, and content that is enjoyable, shareable and insightful – and better still if it’s viral – results in higher visibility as it makes its way around the Internet.

Encourage comments.

The comment box used to be spam bait, but is now regarded as an important tool to help foster relationships and stimulate discussion. If you haven’t already, set up a comment box and get readers involved. Encourage them to voice their thoughts, listen to their suggestions and complaints, and respond diligently. Always remember, it’s a two-way communication.

Guest blogging.

Guest bloggers with wide appeal might seem like a great idea but approach this with caution. Yes, the links can increase your SEO rankings and visibility but only if the blog post is unique. Duplicating posts from your own site could actually drop your own search ranking if Google reads you as having copied from another more popular site.

Topical vs Evergreen content.

Topical posts are trendy, time-sensitive content that include press releases, announcements, and lighthearted photos or memes on social media. While it helps to spike page views, you will need to push content regularly to maintain the numbers.

Evergreen content is relevant today, tomorrow and for a long time to come. This relevance ensures a steady stream of readers who can always refer to the content for insights, regardless of how long the article has been published. Writing tips, advice on changing engine oil in an automobile, or suggestions for a personal savings plan all fall under that category. For a healthy balance, it’s advised that 80% of blog content should be evergreen, and 20% topical.

Content Calendar.

Plan what topics you’re crafting and when you’ll be putting up your blog posts. We find this easiest with a spreadsheet clearly defining the topics, targeted upload date, listing specific owners and deadlines. Ensure that you’re uploading content at least once every week for the next six months.

One voice.

Whether it’s a blog, a Facebook status update, Tweet, or thoughts regarding a news article shared on LinkedIn – make sure you use a common voice that applies across all platforms. The audience will grow to relate to and trust this voice and more importantly, start connecting with you.

All this seems like a long list, but will soon come as second nature with practice. I find it helpful to go through these points as you review your newly written blog posts. You’ll optimise your content by heaps and ensure your brand is associated with quality by every reader and potential lead.

If you’d like to discuss your blogging / content marketing strategy, or if you’d like help crafting riveting blog posts, get in touch with us at [email protected].

7/52 – ghosts in the night {life on pause} image by PhotKing ♛ is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Why you need content marketing, and 5 simple ways to kick it off

Consumers today are smarter and more discerning than they used to be. They know what they want, know where to get it, and more often than not, can see right through fancy hard-selling or in-your-face marketing. Instead of blindly reaching out through paid ads or cold calls, arm your marketing arsenal with a trove of informative, interesting content that give your audience something they are looking for.

You’ll find customers react far more favourably to free information than they do to a free balloon or sticker, and by releasing commentary, you establish your brand as a thought leader and trustworthy, industry guru. Those who actively seek out your content are more likely to develop trust in your brand, products and services, and over time become valuable leads, and customers.

Is it top-level executives in sharp-looking suits and expensive ties, spatula-wielding housewives with a penchant for cooking, or geeky high-schoolers who want to lay their hands on the newest tech gadgets? Understand the profile of your target audience in your markets and, more importantly, the common problems they face.


What you create should focus on accomplishing the following – solving the problems faced by your target audience or providing insight into relevant issues and topics. This establishes your brand as a thought leader and problem solver, building trust with your audiences. To maximise your searchability, make sure you weave in terms your audience is likely to be seeking answers to.

Company blogs are one of the best ways to share uninhibited, long-form content and well-written pieces are bound to drive hits and keep people coming back for more. For instance, a recruitment agency developing content for its target audience of job seekers and employers can gear its posts towards solving commonly-faced problems and providing useful information – job seekers might want to know about the hiring landscape, how to fine-tune their CV and tips for job interviews, while employers would be keen to learn about hiring through social media and the best ways to headhunt and attract talent.

Social media is undoubtedly one of the main spheres people share and consume content – the common denominator among excellent content is that they either provide insight or entertain in a manner that’s compelling and engaging. Be it cross-posting your blog post, sharing a relevant industry news article or posting a meme, it needs to be interesting to your followers.

Snippets of company-branded content in the form of tip sheets, infographics and snazzy posters are neat content offers that brands can also share with followers to up their game. Visually appealing, entertaining and oozing of brands’ individuality, these pieces of content can help build brand recognition through insights and advice.


Company blogs can easily be housed on your website, and creating an extra tab on the website menu makes it more likely to gain readers and followers. Harnessing the power of social platforms is a must for businesses, but the key is to only jump on board the most appropriate networks for your needs. Take time to decide which one works best for you.

B2B brands might find LinkedIn to be much more effective than Facebook as it reaches out to the right target audience who are willing to spend time consuming content for professional insights, instead of browsing cat memes. B2C brands such as fashion companies might prefer Instagram to showcase its products on a visual-driven platform


Start with baby steps – create one piece of content per week and share two to three social media updates, dependent on your desired platform. This could be a blog post on an industry trend, a Facebook update with offers for customers and a LinkedIn update with a link to a news article. When you’ve established a consistent content push, you can aim for publishing two to three blog posts a week and daily social media updates. To help boost hits, the best times to post on social media are often during daily commutes and post-lunch.


1) Define your target audience

Map their profiles, problems and goals.

2) Consider the most suitable platforms for your content push

Which social medium works best? Is a company blog the best platform to air your views?

3) Draft up a content calendar for 3 months

List relevant weekly blog post topics, consider interesting angles for social media and populate the calendar with non-time sensitive infographics, memes or news articles, then set aside time for content creation and social media updates, and assign deadlines.

4) See how others do it

Check out your competitors, take notes on what they’re doing well and how they’ve messed up – reference good ideas and make tweaks to your content marketing strategy.

5) Track your results

Don’t let your work go to waste without knowing its business impact. Track daily site visits, find out which sources your leads come from, understand what articles gain the most traction, then tweak your content approach to ensure best results.

To find out how Mutant can help with your content marketing needs, get in touch with us at [email protected]

Say no to cold calls: What the Do-Not-Call Registry means for your business

You might have heard of the new Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry, which kicked off on 2nd January 2014, enabling Singapore consumers to put an end to those irritating unsolicited calls, text messages, and should anyone still use them, faxes. While the much-anticipated DNC Registry rids the everyday Joe of pesky sales calls, concerned businesses that regularly employ telemarketing tactics now have to find new ways to reach out to consumers.

Under the new rule, organisations will generally be required to take the following three steps when contacting consumers:

1)   Check their marketing lists against the DNC Registry unless they have obtained consent from individuals or an exception applies.

2)   Provide contact information about the organisation that sent or authorised the telemarketing messages.

3)   Make sure the organisation’s identity is not withheld for voice calls.

An exemption applies to businesses that have existing relationships with customers, and they will still be able to share marketing offers related to the subject of the ongoing relationship through texting or faxing, but not voice calls, with the caveat that there’s an option for consumers to unsubscribe.

Fines and fine-print

The costs of phone number checks rack up – businesses have to purchase credits to run numbers through the database and each phone number costs between one and two cents depending on the bulk of purchase. 500 free credits are provided annually. From now till 31 May, the results of each check will be valid for 60 days, but will transition into a 30-day validity period after that date. This means businesses that choose to conduct telemarketing will have to run routine monthly DNC Registry checks.

Delinquent business will have to pay the price, with maximum fines of up to $10,000 per offence bound to make even the most unwilling of business owners acquaint themselves with the DNC Registry.

You can’t spam, but you can preach

Although consumers will spend less time politely refusing unwanted sales calls, non-sales related communication including service calls, reminder messages, market surveys, and messages related to religious or charitable causes are still allowed. Other businesses are also not exempted as B2B marketing calls are still given the green light.

In the grand scheme of data privacy, the DNC Registry falls under the Personal Data Protection Act, which protects consumers’ personal data and ensures it’s used responsibly by businesses. Enforcement for additional data protection rules will begin in July this year.

More details on the DNC Registry and its application in different scenarios can be found in the Advisory Guidelines.

What this means for your business?

The establishment of the DNC Registry reaffirms two facts – consumers value their privacy more than ever before, and most people dislike hard selling through cold calling. On the day the DNC Registry was launched, 400,000 numbers were listed, according to The Straits Times.

But many marketers still prefer to pick up the phone and speak with strangers on the other line, even though it’s proven to be ineffective most of the time. Cold calling doesn’t work 90.9 per cent of the time, costs at least 60 per cent more per lead and results in meetings only 2 per cent of the time, according to an article on Hubspot.

Help your customers find you instead

Consumers today don’t appreciate in-your-face marketing advances. Just think about the times you’ve hovered your mouse impatiently over the “Skip Ad” button on YouTube, or contemplated hanging up on a cold caller. The very people you’re selling to are smart, discerning individuals who can easily find out all they need about your product through Google, social networks, the media they choose to consume and your very own website.

Instead of bugging your potential customers, it’s more effective to let them come to you – and they’ll only do so when they trust your company and your products. That’s where content marketing comes in. There’s a deluge of information out there and you’ll not only need to be interesting, but also relevant to both your potential and existing customers for them to look to you.

What exactly is content marketing?

Creating engaging, targeted content to establish your company as a subject matter expert and thought leader is the way to go. This could take the form of social media posts, company blogs, how-to videos, opinion articles for the media, targeted newsletters for your existing customers, and much more.

The DNC registry marks the descent of cold calling and hard selling in Singapore. But businesses that have traditionally relied on such methods will find themselves better placed marketing through good content people want to read, watch, listen to and share – and this applies to any kind of business.

Just consider real estate agents, who frequently rely on mass texting. They can leverage other outlets such as social networks to share tips and answer questions on property investment, blogs to comment on the housing market, and relevant media to offer thoughts on the industry and position themselves as thought leaders. Keen property buyers are much more likely to seek real estate experts who have demonstrated industry knowledge, rather than blindly trust a name at the end of a text message.

There are numerous outlets available for you to share your brand, products and services, and the demand for interesting content and commentary isn’t waning anytime soon. Instead of slamming it down their throats when they least want and expect it, get creative and help them find you, on their own terms.

To find out how Mutant can help with your content marketing needs, get in touch with Joseph at [email protected]