Blogging in a foreign language may feel like an impossible task, but discipline and consistency truly is the key to success (as cliché as that sounds).
Today we’ll go over valuable strategies and resources to help improve your English blogging skills over time.
With that said, let’s explore some effective blogging tips for non-native English speakers to ensure that your content passes with flying colors.
Blogging = Casual Lingo
Back in the early days of the World Wide Web, most websites used “dry” and humorless wording to appear strictly professional. These days, however, modern websites and blogs have adapted a more relaxed style.
Bloggers have now embraced casual sentences because it’s far more relatable and engaging to the average reader. In other words, bloggers pretend that they’re speaking to a friend.
This casual approach should put you at ease and greatly help in your blogging efforts over time.
Mistakes should not only be acknowledged but embraced. I’m sure my own blog posts have the occasional blunder, including this very article. And you know what? That’s okay.
Let readers know that you’re still learning to blog in English, as this will shift people’s mentality from, “He’s such an amateur!” to something like, “Okay, that’s understandable.”
Also note that even English natives make mistakes all the time (for example, many people don’t know the difference between it’s and its). And again, that’s okay! What’s important is to apply what you’ve learned over time.
Leverage Other People’s Videos and Images
Here’s another great thing about blogging these days: You don’t need to create all the content yourself.
Instead of trying to explain a tutorial or any particular scenario, why not embed an existing YouTube video into your content?
This is completely legal and many websites encourage this practice by providing robust embedding options.
If your blog is about productivity, you could say:
“Being more productive requires proper time management. The following video gives you a pretty good idea of what I mean (then, embed video here).
Then you can write whatever the video might have missed, in your own words.
Same goes for images, as long as the owner gives written permission or provides similar embedding options.
Don’t Forget Famous Quotes
There’s a quote for just about everything out there, and that’s a good thing. From travel to science to tech, you can always rely on a good quote to drastically strengthen your content’s overall message.
In fact, I personally suggest using quotes regularly regardless of language skill, as these can serve as your blogging signature (meaning, something readers would always come to expect from you).
Use Services Like DeepL
DeepL is an advanced online tool that translates texts between languages. It uses the power of artificial intelligence to better understand context (for example, knowing when to use “he” or “she”) and I must say, it works pretty darn well for the most part.
Note that this tool is far more intelligent than any previous service that emerged in the early 2000s, which should drastically improve your overall blogging output.
Here’s how you could ideally use DeepL to improve your English blogging efforts:
Write a blog post in your native language
Use DeepL to translate the text into English
Publish the translated blog post
Finally, analyze and learn from the translated text as opposed to relying on this tool blindly.
Always Ask for Feedback
Most bloggers ask for comments and opinions from readers at the end of their posts. It’s not uncommon to see something like, “What do you think about XYZ? Please let us know in the comments section below.”
Well, how about using this opportunity to ask for grammar advice or anything related?
You could say, “Thanks for reading! I’m still learning the language, so I’d love some constructive feedback from my readers.”
You could also ask people to email you with advice and even reward those who frequently help you (with a simple mention or acknowledgement within your next blog post, for example).
Keep Blog Posts Concise / Short
Don’t worry too much about reaching a certain word count if you believe this is overwhelming.
While you should certainly write as often as possible, it’s important to remain focused on attainable goals rather than trying to please search engines.
Shorter blog posts are still incredibly helpful, especially if you use YouTube videos and infographics as mentioned earlier.
This helps reduce errors while still helping you practice at a reasonable pace.
Hire an Editor (Optional)
Think about this ongoing scenario:
- An editor corrects any mistakes in your blog posts
- Then, you go back and compare the changes
- Ask the editor for feedback or take the conversation to an online community
Editors can be quite affordable, too, as many would happily proofread your pieces for a reasonable price on Fiverr and Upwork. This is especially ideal if you’re on a budget and don’t publish new blog posts frequently.
Surround Yourself with the Target Language
It should go without saying, but many beginners refuse to get out of their comfort zone and consume content in a non-native language.
Make it a point to read other English-based blogs and even watch some TV shows in said language (or at least enable English subtitles). On that note, also interact with English speakers on popular forums and other online communities.
You should also use the aforementioned DeepL to paste English text and have the tool translate it into your native language. This helps you understand certain references better and gives more insight into what the blogger is explaining.
You’ve Got This!
Use every tool at your disposal and don’t feel obligated to learn as fast as possible, and certainly don’t let the occasional complex terminology hold you back. You’d be surprised how much your skills will advance in several short months with consistency and discipline alone.