You need to write lots when you’re blogging on the Internet, but more than that, you need to write well. Cutting corners when it comes to grammar just won’t do and while colloquialisms are good at adding flavour in some spots, boys is spelled with a y in English and not a z. In other words, you can’t lean on the easier, softer way all the time if you want to be taken seriously as a content writer.
That doesn’t mean you need to write like everything is a term paper for the economics department either—stuffy writing turns off would be readers just as fast as grammatically bad writing. Granted it’s a fine line to balance on, but one of the generally accepted techniques that can help you through is adopting a conversational tone.
That’s especially important when you’re working exclusively on the web. Keep in mind that visitors to any website don’t want to be preached at. You need to talk with them and not at them when you’re trying to get a point across and throwing in some value added information is a good way to get them to look at you as an expert in the field.
Be aware of the way that people read on the Internet too. Long attention spans are things of the past and that means that longer paragraphs can look like skyscrapers you’re asking readers to scale. Shorter paragraphs and subheaders break things up into much more manageable orange traffic cones they can easily step over.
Make sure you take the time to do more than just a Spell Check when you’re done the blog before you publish it. Not everything is about automation and innovation when it comes to good writing. Some of the programs that look for bad and clunky English identify potential problems but don’t always apply the right context.
For example, the Microsoft Spell Checker lets you know there’s a difference between using ‘it’s’ and ‘its’ but it doesn’t let you know if you’re using the right spelling. It alerts you to a potential problem but doesn’t supply any context.
The bottom line is you need to take the time to learn the rules of grammar so you’ve got the tools to do a good job as a content writer. Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style is a good resource for the fundamentals. You can get it on the Internet, but having a pocket version of this small book will serve to remind you these rules haven’t changed just because a large portion of today’s writing is done in cyberspace.