What do I know about non-native English bloggers? Well, I’m one of them….
Of the multi-million active English blogs out there a large number has non-native English bloggers as authors. It’s difficult to find any official statistics, but according to WordPress, over 409 million people view more than 24.6 billion pages each month.
Further, users produce about 87.6 billion new posts and 44.6 million new comments each month.
When it comes to distribution of different languages, WordPress host blogs written in over 120 languages. “Only” 71% of the blogs are in English, and the second most important language is Spanish with 4.7% of the blogs.
It’s unknown how many of the English blogs are actually written by non-native English bloggers. However, according to Internet World Stats, only 26.3% of the total number of the world’s Internet users are coming from countries with English as their official language.
Being aware of the nonscientific method, the stats can at least give you a hint of the relatively significant number of blogs written in English by non-native English bloggers.
In my case, Swedish is my mother tongue. After almost half my life in different Latin American countries, Spanish is my second language. English is my third language.
When I started my blog two years ago, I had two versions of the same blog, one in English and another one in Spanish. My goal was to reach out to a big audience in Latin America. To write the blog in Spanish will without any doubt increase the number of Hispanic followers.
Let Your Goal Decide The Language Of Your Blog
The initial idea was to write the English blog post first and translate it into Spanish. With only basic plus knowledge of a language, you will notice quite soon that this method doesn’t work.
A language is not only a toolbox of words for communication. It’s a whole cultural set-up. A language is in a way a mirror of the people speaking the language, and you can’t translate a culture to another language.
After the two first blog posts, I found out that my bilingual blog needed double work, one for the English part and another one for the Spanish content. The necessary homework to do was to figure out if this double work was worth the effort or not.
Every blog has an end goal, and if it is a commercial blog, it will always attract people to purchase or sign up to something. The goal for my blog was and still is to help people to take the next step into the world as an independent entrepreneur. And the next action is all in English.
So, if the next step requires knowledge of English, what is then the purpose attracting people in another language?
With this simple but meaningful analysis, I stopped my Spanish blog after 50 something blog posts, and the Hispanic followers with sufficient skills in English continue on the subscription list.
To Think About As Non-Native English Bloggers
Fear is one of the first obstacles holding you back before starting your blog in English. Fear of not having sufficient language skills. But what does adequate language skills really mean?
No one will ever speak or write a language better than your own native language.
That’s the language you have trained the most, in reading, writing and speaking.
Thus, the path to consistently improve your skills in English is to read, write and speak the language as much as possible. Easy like that! Do not wait for the perfection, because it will never come.
Use your “disadvantage” to your advantage!
Can you imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking English without his German accent? His accent is an important part of his personal brand.
People from U.K. and U.S. will always discuss on spelling and grammar issues. Who is right and who is wrong?
Last but not the least, with a world being more connected every day, there is a tendency to a kind of leveraging between languages and cultures. For example, the word blog used in all languages I know of is an English word coming from the word weblog.
Read, speak and write as much as you ever can, and the skills as non-native English bloggers will improve daily.
Toolbox For Non-Native English Bloggers
The nice thing about the digital world is that there are a lot of shortcuts, to get things right from the very beginning.
As a blogger, early I came across Grammarly® which is a fantastic tool to get spelling and grammar right in your post. First I signed up for the free version, and later when the advantages were more than obvious, it was worth every cent for an upgrade.
The other tool that helps me a lot is Yoast SEO. It’s a plugin for your website, and besides the feature to improve your SEO ranking, there is a feature for better readability. All non-native English bloggers will get a lot of help from this cool plugin.
As a blogger, nothing can replace the experience by actually doing it. The shortcuts to accelerate your improvement can be summarized like this:
• Read a lot in English
• Talk and write a lot in English
• Sign up for your FREE version of Grammarly®
• Install the Yoast SEO plugin
• Do not hide but use your language “disadvantage” to your advantage
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Jan O. Nilsson – 5 Golden Tips For Non-Native English Bloggers <== Go to the top of page