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Do you want to improve your English writing skills and start blogging in English today?
As English is not my first language, writing in English is the thing I’m most insecure about when I work on my blog. While I know I have great stuff to share, sharing your blog with the world in English with is something else. I do blog in my native language, Dutch, as well. But my English posts attract way more visitors! Why? For the simple reason, more people on this planet can read them. 😊 The Netherlands is a small country. So, If I’d be blogging only in Dutch, I’d miss out on many opportunities and visitors.
Being fluent in English is not the same as being able to write an entire blog post from scratch in English. When I started to write in English, it felt like I needed to learn the language again from the start. The grammar didn’t make sense anymore, I began to doubt how to spell words, and my vocabulary wasn’t sufficient enough to be able to write full blog posts without the use of a dictionary… Aarrgh! I never had this problem with speaking or reading in English. This is why I needed to find ways to improve my English writing skills fast. I wanted to become a part of the world wide blogging community, too!
Does that sound familiar?
Is this what keeps you from launching your blog as well? Or do you already have a blog, but are you still feeling insecure when you are writing and publishing blogs in English?
Well, then this article is for you! In this post, I have listed some great tools and tips for you that have been very useful to me. They will help you to improve your English writing skills and to get rid of your writing-insecurities. I hope this article will give you the courage and confidence to be a part of this beautiful blogdom as well!
And if you wonder if your English skills are enough to blog in English, my answer is: Yes, it is good enough! Only by actually doing it, you can improve your English. Besides, blog posts written by native speakers can be hard to read for a non-native speaker. Even when their English is excellent, it’s not the language we’re raised in. Which means, it doesn’t always come naturally to us.
But this means there is a market out there for your blog! There are so many non-native speakers out there who may find your blog much easier to understand. Because you don’t use all buzzwords and urban language. But apart from all this: if you wish to express yourself in English, do it. No law forbids it, we don’t have to be perfect, and your blog is your space to express yourself as you wish. And visitors who don’t like it are free to never return to your blog. So, yeah, DO IT!
Secret #1: Write your posts in your native language first
It can be very helpful to first write your posts in your native language. Even if you don’t plan to publish them in your language. Yes, it takes a lot of time, but you can express yourself much better and easier when you write in your first language. This way, you can share all the things you want to share. When I write directly in English, I tend to skip difficult words and expressions. And this goes at the expense of my message. In Dutch, I can express myself without any restraints. And when I know what I want to say and how I want to say it, I just need to translate it. And to me, translating is much easier than finding the right words in English first.
Plus: When you have your post ready in your native language anyway, you might as well post it in both languages! That’s our strength!
Secret #2: Read a lot!
Read as much as you can in English. The news, a magazine, other blogs within your niche… Frequent reading will help you to get used to the phrasing and words. And in time, it will get easier for you to apply it when writing new content for your blog.
Secret #3: Take your time
Take all the time you need to write your blogs, especially in the beginning. Choose quality over quantity. When you take the time to read and edit your texts, you’ll learn new things about the English language. It also helps to prevent visitors from losing visitors due to poor language skills. Believe me, your readers won’t leave your website because of some minor mistakes. Provided that the text is readable and informative, of course. They will forgive you for not being perfect. 😉
In the beginning, it’s fine not to publish new posts on a daily, or even weekly, basis. To write in a foreign language is a big deal and I recommend to spend enough time in it. In the end, you will see that you can write faster and become more confident about your writing skills!
Still insecure about your writing skills? In that case, here are a few tools that can you out with that. These tools help you to translate and correct your content. They check your content for spelling, grammar mistakes, style, and readability. I love to work with these tools!
Secret #4: DeepL Translator
This online translator is brilliant! It translates up to 5,000 words at once (for free), after which you can browse through all the words one by one. It suggests alternatives for each word when you place the cursor in front of it. DeepL translations are far from perfect at first. You have to puzzle a bit with the proposed alternatives, and then you can make excellent translations with it. The best thing about the DeepL Translator? It proposes translations and suggestions you wouldn’t have thought of yourself! Genius!
Grammarly checks for spelling and grammar mistakes, style, tone, and plagiarism. You can achieve quite a lot with the free version, but I chose the premium version. It’s a small investment, but this software is fantastic! It finds most of my mistakes and makes me feel more confident about the posts that I publish. I want to be able to use this software to its full potential, it’s worth every penny. Your blogs will be online for a long time. So, you want them to be worth reading, right? Grammarly is a great tool for that! You can use the Premium version starting at $11.66 per month if you pay upfront for a year; otherwise, it’s $29.95 a month!
Secret #6: Hemingway App
Hemingway analyzes your text and suggests where to improve it. It shows you the phrases that could be shorter, phrases that are hard to read, and words that you use too often. This app is very helpful when it comes to writing style. I use it last for the finishing touch. These features are all included in the free desktop app. Paste your text into the app, and Hemingway will highlight the text you should improve.
The Lingq application is an excellent method to improve your vocabulary and to improve your English writing skills! In the beginning, I used this app to learn new languages. But recently, I discovered Lingq is a great help with improving my English too. This is how it works: You open a lesson, or you can upload an e-book, text, or blog and start to read the text. You highlight every word you already know as “learned”. Every word that’s new to you, you highlight as “To learn”.
You can train the words you marked as still to learn within the application until you memorized them. The app keeps track of the number of words you already know in that particular language! (It’s said you need to know 10,000 words to be fluent in a language). It’s brilliant. Upload your favorite book and learn and read at the same time! This Lingq app costs $ 11.99 per month if you pay monthly, for the cheapest plan. Or you can upgrade to a premium plan, which includes tutor guidance!
As you see, there are plenty of ways to help you improve your English writing skills. We, as non-native speakers, can also do this! And whatever you can’t do, yet, you can learn while you’re doing it. Thank you so much for reading this post! I hope I inspired you to overcome your fears to launch or continue your blog in English. I’d love to see the links to your blogs in the comments below!