It all starts with a spark; an idea… something that needs to be said. It may be because no one else has ever thought or written about it before. Or it could be something completely original and inspired.

It may be your opinion or someone else’s. Maybe you’re promoting a product or maybe you’re writing for your business. Maybe you’re just that excited about homemade sourdough bread that you want the whole world to know.

Whatever your reason for writing, you can make sure your blog or article stands out by following our simple, yet effective, tips.

Remain focused

You’ve got an idea. Now you need to focus and consider the bigger picture. What is your article or blog post trying to achieve? Depending on your answer, you may have to structure your piece so that it reflects that goal.

To do that you will need a clear plan and a defined outline. As long as you remained focused, it won’t be too hard to stick to your plan.

Know your audience

This one’s a bit tougher, mainly because it’s something you might not be aware of right away. If you’re just starting out, it might be hard to know who your audience is and what they want to read.

Maintaining a close relationship with your readers is important, and you can always guess what kind of audiences your writing is likely to attract. You can always start somewhere and see where it goes.

It always helps to think of your readers when writing. If you know your audience, everything seems more intimate and personal. The more your content resonates with your readers, the more likely it is that they’ll be coming back for more.

If you’ve already attracted a considerable following and want to try out something new, you can always ask for your readers’ opinion (by creating a poll, for example).

Be you

This piece of advice may sound cliché and unoriginal, but it’s probably the best advice we can give you. We’re all special in our own way. By putting forward the real you, you’re making a statement: This is me and here’s what I know and can do.

In the battlefield that’s called authorship, honesty and originality are your two biggest weapons. Sure, your readers will come to your blog for information and knowledge acquisition, but let’s be honest. You’re not Wikipedia. No, that would be boring.

We’re not saying that Wikipedia is boring, but if your readers wanted that kind of knowledge they would just use Wikipedia instead. Your readers will keep coming back to your blog because of you.

You may think that this only applies to personal blogs, and while it’s true that intimacy works best in these kind of contexts, companies and business owners can benefit from similar approaches.

No ‘erorrs alowed’

See what we did there? No matter how interesting and informative your blog is, spelling errors, as well as  grammar and style mistakes, will stand out and can have a negative impact on your blog’s image.

Make sure you proofread everything that you write more than once. It’s considered good practice to have someone else go over your text before hitting that submit button. You can always use online grammar and style checkers, but make sure you’re not relying just on software.

Some errors will inevitably make it through final versions, which is fine. After all, we’re only human.

Formatting is also crucial.  Make sure you use fonts that are appropriate to your content and that you list everything coherently with enough spacing in between. This ensures that everything looks neater and is easier on the eye.

Images attract more visitors

You probably know this already, but we’ll say it again: Images make all the difference. Apparently, it’s all about psychology. This is what Allan Paivio’s dual-coding theory claims in something he calls the picture superiority effect.

In short, Paivio claims that pictures are accessed by our memory with much more ease than words are. Words are loosely tied to concrete objects (and are often used to describe more complex abstract notions and ideas), while on the other hand, images offer a much more vivid and self-explanatory insight to the world.

An image can be used to break the monotony brought on by chunky wordy passages. An image can be refreshing, visually pleasing, and is, of course, worth a thousand words.

Okay, maybe not, but you get what we mean. Don’t be afraid to add some extra pictures to your own articles and blog posts. It will make your content pop, and your readers will thank you for it!

Don’t forget SEO

The SEO Gods demand worship. Luckily for you, the only sacrifice Google demands of you is that you take some time to ensure maximum SEO optimisation when you compose text.

Why is it so important? Well, statistics show that most people don’t even type web page URLs by hand anymore.

As far as online searches are considered, it comes as no surprise that everybody uses Google’s search engine. Keywords are important, but “content is king”. And you need to play fair because meddling with the dark arts and black hat SEO techniques could lead to penalisation.

Another way to ensure of bigger traffic is to optimise your content to be mobile friendly. With more searches on mobile than on desktop, it’s imperative that your articles and blog posts are optimised and formatted correctly in both mobile and desktop.

Last word

And that’s about it for today. Blog and article writing doesn’t have to be complicated. There are of course many more things to consider, and what works for one writer might not work for another.

Just remember to keep writing and to have fun while you do it. It is this format that gets people talking.