To write a great blog, write about what you know – your passion, well researched and reported. Employ the skills of a news columnist, crafting a personal, first-person voice that readers will find engaging, comfortable and honest. When you don't know something, do not be afraid to admit it. Great bloggers see their posts as the first comment in a conversation, rather than the final word on that particular topic.
No one person can maintain a discussion board 24/7. You'll need help, from both your board members and your software. But you can set an example with thoughtful comments and questioning that other board members can follow.
Active voice: "Do it," don't "will have been done" it. Reserve passive voice for situations where you don't know the subject, such as crime and court reports. But even then, try to cast as much of the action in the active voice as you can.
Strong verbs: The best verbs demonstrate action. If you're writing a string of weak linking verbs, think about the action that's happening in your post, then rewrite a new draft using nothing but nouns and verbs in an attempt to better engage your vocabulary.
Attribute sources: If you don't tell your readers where you got your information, many of them will assume that you are just making it up. You aren't, are you? Attribution brings you credibility, because readers know that you've got nothing to hide if they want to check you out.
Contextual hyperlinking: Online narratives should allow readers to "branch off" and click through to other, more detailed, supporting content, depending upon a reader's level of interest. Almost all journalism refers to other sources, but online, a writer has the ability to link readers directly to those supporting sources. Note the URLs of those sources when reporting, and work those into your piece with contextual hyperlinks.
Try to link those URLs to the relevant proper names, keywords and phrases, rather than to the URLs themselves written out, or worse, the over-used "click here."
Use formatting: Break up that boring mass of gray type by using:
One topic per URL: If you are using a contextual ad system on your site, such as Google's AdSense, help the program select the most appropriate ads for your page by limiting each URL to a single topic. Don't write "catch-all" blog entries or discussions covering a wide range of subjects. Build those out on their own, separate URLs and you'll get better targeted ads, and better ad click-through rates.
Easy to read: No block of text more than five lines on the screen.
Spell check: With both an automatic checker and a manual re-read. Beacause no won wants to look like an idiot. ;-)