Best Advice For Non-Native English Bloggers
The language used on the Internet is English. You are unavoidably limited to an audience the size of metropolitan San Francisco if you are a monoglot citizen of a nation like Denmark. English is the only language that can be used as a gateway to a worldwide audience, even for native speakers of a major European language like German.
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Because of this, almost everyone blogs in English nowadays. But learning how to write in another language is not a simple task. I'm not saying that reading this essay would instantly make you a proficient writer. However, I can guide you there and highlight some of the most dangerous traps along your path.
7 Steps You Can Take To Start
1. Know It Is Possible
Every year, writers who learnt English as a second or third language, often much later in life, produce novels in English. Just to show you that any idiot can do it, (I have managed to get one of these books published.)
At the upper end, you have writers like Vladimir Nabokov and Joseph Conrad, who have created true works of literature. Writing factual, descriptive writings in English is reasonably simple at the low end of formal ambition, which explains why English is not just the language of the Internet but also the dominant language in academic discourse.
The English language will always provide the means to express yourself clearly, simply, and succinctly. Therefore, stand in front of a large crowd while holding your heart in both hands and simply do it.
2. Drop Your Regional Accent
Accents are speech patterns you picked up through speaking your mother language. Although we are most used to them in the form of sound, they may also be found in the text. You'll want to do away with them.
Thankfully, this is simpler in writing than it is in speech. Although Nabokov and Conrad may not have completely shed their spoken accents, no one has ever accused them of using “Slavic” mannerisms in their work.
As much as you can, read and listen in English to pick up the language's rhythms and speech patterns. (Make it a habit to read The Guardian or The New York Times every day and to tune in to BBC Radio 4. Just one click will get you there.) Get a sense of the unique challenges that authors who write in their own language face.
Any English text produced by a native speaker of your language will suffice; consider airport and public transportation announcements as examples. Brochures for travel may also be quite helpful. Always think if something is good. If it isn't, why not, and how? Where was this that I could have done better?
3. Avoid Translating
Even the drafts of your writings should always be written in English first. Don't give in to the need to write exposes in your mother tongue. The sources of any such manuscript will always be obvious unless you are a really skilled translator. (Good technical translators don't really “translate”; instead, they take a statement and consider how a native speaker would have phrased it in the target language.)
4. Do Not Push Yourself Too Much
Ensure simplicity. Don't try to write anything literary. Don't strive to wow your readers with your command of English. Consider yourself as someone who just got a new pair of ice skates and is still getting used to them. The goal now is to cross the ice safely from one side to the other. The triple Lutz can wait till later.
5. You May Never Achieve Perfection
You can write in decent English whether you can or can't. There isn't one point when you can declare, “That's it, now I can write.” Simply said, learning is always a long process and doesn't happen that way.
There is no assurance that you will ever achieve a level where people may mistake your writing for anything they would read in the New York Times, even though you will become better the more you write.
And even if you do, there could still be the odd word that your English- or American-reading audience will stumble over. I'm afraid that's just how the game is. Accept it as is.
6. Have A Working Knowledge Of The English Language
English is a conversational language with a fair playing field. Like other languages, it gives the speaker the chance to reveal information about himself (by using the word “loo” instead of “toilet,” for instance; see also the old U vs. non-U style of speech), but its primary goal is to convey information as simply and succinctly as possible.
You have never read anything written by a German scholar. If you are wondering now: Isn't that the primary objective of any language? To put it another way, English is not one of those languages that are mainly used to transmit the status of the speaker.
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So keep things basic. Avoid being arrogant or intimidating. Make things simple for the reader. Use a term that is widely used and that the majority of readers will likely understand.
A complicated manner is seen as affected and unpleasant in English. Use the Anglo-Saxon term as a general rule instead of the “French” word. Don't say “commence,” say “begin.”
Write in a conversational tone. At a table at a bar, imagine discussing something to a person. Use caution when using your blog as a platform or pulpit in a classroom. Avoid using the “me-speak-you-listen” approach. This may be considered the official language of intellectual discourse in various nations.
People in Anglo-Saxon nations will give you the same attention they do the shouting lunatic in the park. Also, keep in mind that lighthearted humour is usually appreciated. Especially if you want your audience to laugh at you. An occasional self-deprecating comment may be quite effective.
7. Vocabulary And Grammar Alone Do Not Constitute A Language
Cultural allusions are crucial. They are an easy method to demonstrate to your readers that you are a member of their “pack” because, if you weren't, why would their interest in your experiences be piqued?
History and literature, especially Shakespeare and Dickens, are the traditional sources of cultural allusions, but sports, Hollywood productions, and TV are becoming more common. Here, authors who have lived in England or the US (and maintained contact) have an edge.
Some individuals may find it odd that a significant portion of bloggers write in English even when they are not native speakers. Nevertheless, they may still be featured on reputable sites online and even get lucrative book agreements. What can a fresh, ambitious blogger from a different nation do to join the group, and how is that even possible?
Here Are Four Bits Of Advice
1. Read Voraciously
I apologize for the profanity, but I want to highlight this. Speaking and writing in English are two very different things. It is considerably less complicated for you if you reside in an English-speaking nation since you may regularly practice your language abilities.
But if you don't, you'll need to find other methods, and reading is by far the greatest. Additionally, reading is fantastic for a lot more things than simply honing your English, so I probably don't need to explain why. So what should I read?
Studying books and articles in your area of expertise (your niche) is advisable. You'll pick up their particular language in this manner. There are usually a few strange terms and expressions that are often used in a certain setting.
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You'll sound more like a native speaker after you've mastered them. For example, keywords and phrases for the blogging niche are blogospheres, quality content, guest blogging, freelance writing, monetization, all WordPress-related terms, and so on.
I believe Amazon is the best place to purchase books. You may get any publication quickly if you own a Kindle. If e-book readers aren't your thing, you can still get a paperback from Amazon, and they'll ship it anywhere around the globe.
2. Vigorously Edit And Proofread
Let's face it: As a non-native blogger, you will inevitably use incorrect grammar and writing style. And you don't want to distribute an article with such mistakes.
You come out as incredibly unprofessional doing this. However, I'm also astonished by how few bloggers proofread their writing. It's really simple to determine. Some mistakes are simple to make while writing, but they're also simple to catch when proofreading.
I don't want to be a Grammar Nazi, but you must get your act together and check your work to death. The first indication of your professionalism is proper grammar. When your customer reads your work, this is ALWAYS the first thing they will notice.
I'm serious; you may lose the customer if your grammar is poor. If you're using WordPress, you can obtain assistance from a plugin, After the Deadline. A sophisticated proofreading script examines your work and recommends potential changes. This tool is much more than just a typo correction.
3. Use Tools For Productivity
The difficulties faced by non-native bloggers are sometimes relatively comparable to those faced by their native counterparts. For instance, productivity is a significant issue in the writing industry.
And when I refer to productivity, I'm talking about things like becoming motivated to work, scheduling your time effectively, knowing what to do next, organizing your duties, and so forth.
Because productivity is such a broad issue, I won't provide you with any specific recommendations in this article. I'll only direct your attention to a few techniques and tools that will simplify things:
- The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: Getting Things Done is an excellent system for organizing your time and workload. I've been using it for a long time and think it's incredible.
- Remember The Milk: This is a resource for managing several types of to-do lists. Excellent features, keyboard shortcuts, and other elements make it easy to use and enjoyable.
- FreeMind: It is a fantastic mind mapping software. Every feature you need for productive mind mapping is available for free and is simple to use.
- Google Calendar: You probably already know about this one, but I'll mention it anyway.
- Dropbox: Gain access to your work from any internet-connected machine. Additionally, you don't need to be concerned about your laptop failing…
4. Base Prices On Quality
My last piece of advice concerns your fees and the quality of the job you are putting out. If you've been in the market for more than a month, you're undoubtedly aware that some sellers will sell you 500-word articles for $5 or even packages of hundreds of articles for as low as $10. This is not your rivalry.
Your competitors are all the local bloggers who do great work and want decent compensation. Regarding your prices now. Don't strive to be a deal only for being one. Always establish fees that are convenient for you. Avoid settling for anything less.
You may configure your rates using the following method:
- Set an hourly rate that seems reasonable to you first.
- Calculate the time it takes you to create, edit, and proofread a 1,000-word article.
- Divide the 1,000 words by the number of hours.
- Divide your chosen hourly rate by the result of the preceding calculation.
- Your desired word rate is what you come up with.
Steps To Improve Your English Language Skills
1. Read Educational Resources
Make it a habit to read everything that might enlighten you and help you to improve your grammar and vocabulary, including novels, periodicals, encyclopedias, and academic publications. The goal is to improve your command of syntax, sentence structure, and spelling. The sooner you learn spelling and sentence structure norms, the more you should study educational resources. Highlight unfamiliar words, phrases, and sentences so you may look them up in a dictionary or grammar book.
2. Increase Your Word Power
As you read texts, keep a list of your own terminology. Write down words, sentences, phrases, and expressions with a pen and notebook. Making your own dictionary will enable you to refer to the words and expressions you use regularly and will give you more confidence each time you add a new term to your extensive list.
3. Develop Your English Speaking Ability
You cannot write well until you are a proficient English speaker. Use online chat rooms, forums, and blogs to connect with native English speakers and have conversations with your family, friends, and coworkers.
You may speak English more fluidly by conversing with native English speakers. Therefore, if your English writing assignments include interviews and surveys conducted in English, you will eventually have greater influence over them.
4. Participate In Online Communities
Keep a personal blog where you may express your insights, viewpoints, and remarks about a certain subject. This fantastic technique sharpens your writing abilities while facilitating communication with your intended audience.
Many of the online users who read blogs often work as professional writers. As a result, you will also have the opportunity to interact with established authors and bloggers who speak fluent English.
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5. Creating Is Reproducing
You cannot be considered a proficient writer unless you are skilled at editing your writing. As a result, carefully proofread each assignment, and split writing tasks into drafting and rewriting. To make your final draft orderly, polished, and free of any grammatical, spelling, or punctuation issues, you will first compose your first thoughts before revising them.
When editing or rewriting your work, have a grammatical dictionary and reference book nearby. Long hours of revising, rewording, and rephrasing are necessary for editing. You may complete the changes quickly by keeping the study materials nearby.
6. Feedback From English-Speaking Natives
While you are writing your projects, get assistance from native English speakers. Request them opinions on your use of verbs, word choice, and idioms. You may get assistance from a native English speaker with your writing's topic, tone, and style.
7. Respect Constructive Criticism
Be receptive to advise and criticism that is helpful. Accepting your errors with a smile is the key to learning. Maintain a frequent reality check and evaluate your writing abilities through critiques and analyses of the work of others. Without starting to be honest with yourself and recognize your areas of weakness, you will not advance as a writer.
8. Blog = Casual Language
Most websites employed “dry” and humourless terminology in the early days of the World Wide Web to look professional. However, contemporary websites and blogs now have a more laid-back tone. Because they are more relevant and interesting to the typical reader, bloggers increasingly use informal phrases. In other words, bloggers pose as friends when they communicate. This casual approach should put you at ease and significantly aid your long-term blogging efforts.
9. Accept Mistakes
Not only should mistakes be accepted, but also be encouraged. My blog postings, including this one, very doubt include the odd typo. And what about that? That's OK. Informing readers that you are still learning how to blog in English can help them to change their perspective from “He's such an amateur!” to “Okay, that's reasonable.”
Also, remember that even native English speakers sometimes make errors (for instance, many individuals cannot distinguish between it's and its). And once again, no problem! Applying the knowledge you've acquired through time is crucial.
10. Utilize The Videos And Images Of Others
Another fantastic benefit of blogging nowadays is that you don't have to provide all the material yourself. Why not use a YouTube video already in your content instead of attempting to give instruction or a specific scenario?
This is entirely legal, and several websites support it by offering vital embedding tools. Then, in your own words, write out whatever the video could have overlooked. The same applies to photos, provided that the owner grants written permission or offers comparable embedding alternatives.
11. Keep Famous Quotes In Mind
There is a quotation for almost anything, which is a good thing. You can always count on a strong quotation to significantly reinforce the overall theme of your article, whether it be about travel, science, or technology.
Regardless of linguistic ability, I advise often employing quotations since they may function as your blogging hallmark (meaning, something readers would always come to expect from you). Goodreads and BrainyQuotes are two sites where you may discover inspiring quotations.
12. Utilize Solutions Like DeepL
An innovative online tool for translating texts across languages is called DeepL. I must say, for the most part, it works pretty darn well. It makes use of artificial intelligence to comprehend better context (for instance, understanding whether to use “he” or “she”).
Because of this tool's superior intelligence than any earlier service that first appeared in the early 2000s, your total blogging productivity should be much increased.
The best way to utilize DeepL to strengthen your English blogging efforts is as follows:
- Create a blog entry in your language of choice.
- To translate the material into English, use DeepL.
- Put the translated blog article up.
Finally, examine and learn from the translated content instead of naively depending on this technology.
13. Always Seek Criticism
After their writings, most bloggers solicit reader feedback and thoughts. You often encounter questions like, “What do you think about XYZ? Please provide your feedback in the space provided below”. Why don't you use this chance to ask for grammatical tips or for anything else related?
Say something like, “Thanks for reading! Since I'm still learning the language, I'd appreciate any helpful criticism from my readers. Additionally, you might request email guidance from others and even thank those who regularly assist you (with a simple mention or acknowledgement within your next blog post, for example).
14. Keep Blog Posts Brief / Concise
If you think this is too much, don't stress about getting to a set word count. While it's necessary to publish as often as you can, it's also crucial to keep your attention on realistic objectives rather than attempting to appease search engines.
Even shorter blog entries may be beneficial, particularly if you use infographics and YouTube videos. This lets you practice at a fair rate while minimizing mistakes.
15. Employ An Editor (Optional)
Consider the following continuing situation:
- An editor for your blog postings fixes any errors.
- Then you return and evaluate the modifications.
- Request editorial input or move the discussion to a forum on the internet.
Additionally, many editors would gladly proofread your writing for a fair amount on Fiverr and Upwork. This is particularly advantageous if you have a limited budget and don't usually submit fresh blog entries.
Although it ought to be obvious, many newcomers are unwilling to go outside of their comfort zone and read literature written in a language other than their own. Make it a point to read other blogs written in English and even watch some TV in that language (or at least enable English subtitles). Interact with English-speaking people in well-known forums and other online groups as well.
You must also utilize the aforementioned DeepL to submit English text for translation into your local tongue. This clarifies specific allusions and provides greater context for the blogger's points.
Use all the resources at your disposal, don't feel pressured to pick up a new language quickly, and don't allow the odd, complicated phrase to hold you back. You'd be astonished at how quickly your talents would improve if you were consistent and disciplined.
I trust you enjoyed this article about the Best Advice For Non-Native English Bloggers. Would you please stay tuned for more articles to come?
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