Except for literary websites, online writing is far different from writing a book or manuscript. There are certain English language techniques you need to use to get the right meanings across to the right readers. Besides the right tools to use for creative writing, you need to use the correct form of English. English is the primary language in many countries but the spoken and written form is different in each one. In some countries, like the US, various regions use their own form of English.
English as a Second Language
If English is your second language, what form of English do you speak? Is it American English, British English or something else? An online friend of mine writes in British English, though I doubt it’s the way he speaks it. He told me, at one time, he preferred to write in British English because it’s more elegant than American English. I write in American English and I really can’t argue with his logic.
There’s a page on Wikipedia that compares American and British English and it’s a good place to start when you need to know the differences between them. You can get away with using the incorrect form of the English language on social websites and instant messengers, where mistakes are common anyway. You can’t get away with it when you target the public.
Your English Language Writing Level
I mentioned the Flesch Reading Ease test in another article and it bears repeating. You need to target the right age group with your online writing prose. The higher the score is, the easier it is to read. If the score is lower than 60, your audience may not even attempt to read it.
It’s easier to adjust the reading level of what you’ve written if you use a software tool like “After the Deadline” for proofreading. Unfortunately, it can’t differentiate between the different forms of the English language yet. It’s a free tool, so don’t expect too much out of it. If you’re serious about your craft and you’re not writing in American English, you need to invest in a commercial grade grammar tool.
With Practice, Online Writing gets Easier
Online writing in the English language takes a lot of skill. Not only do you need to use the correct form of English, but you have to use related words and phrases throughout the text to convey your main idea. It’s a good idea to use synonyms when you don’t want it to look like you’re repeating yourself.
I’ve practiced my online writing techniques for several years (since 2006) and I’m still learning ways to do it better. Although my grades were always A+ in the English language throughout my school years, my school years were more than 35 years ago. Not only that, but the courses were specific to American English.