Improve your writing skills by starting a blog
Speaking and writing are two of those skills for which you need to be a bit more proactive. Sometimes you need to find a reason to speak or to write.
Even if you do have a reason to work on them, such as speaking with colleagues or writing emails, it’s great if you can develop your skills when you are not under pressure because of deadlines or your manager’s expectations. Then you can relax a bit more and allow yourself to be creative.
It’s true I’m writing this from the perspective of someone who loves to write. I have this blog, and also a beauty and lifestyle blog that I write in my free time. However, someone who doesn’t enjoy writing business emails might still enjoy writing about their favourite football team or what they’ve cooked recently. Sometimes you just need to find the write topic. Most people have ideas to share.
When my students are looking for ideas about what they can do to improve their English in their spare time, one of the things I suggest is writing a blog.
One of my students didn’t believe that people would blog in languages other than their native language, so I did a bit of research in a couple of blogging groups. I found out that people do indeed blog in other languages – for different reasons, ranging from improving their language skills to reaching a wider audience or keeping in touch with family members.
So, if you’re learning English, here are some reasons to set up a blog in English:
- It gives you a reason to write. If you’re writing about something that interests you, you’re more likely to do it.
- It makes you think about your words. This means you might have to spend some time working out how to put an idea into words in English. You might have to look words up in the dictionary, which is good for your vocabulary.
- You can reach a different, and perhaps bigger audience. You can communicate with English-speaking people all over the world using your blog.
- It’s a way to start conversations about topics that interest you because hopefully other people will read and comment on your posts.
- It’s a way to practice on your own, without other people in your class or your colleagues watching. Some people feel more confident about expressing their ideas in this way.
- It doesn’t have to be expensive – there are free blogging sites out there!
- If you have a teacher or a language exchange partner, you can ask for help or feedback about your writing and get suggestions for improvement based on real examples.
I know it takes courage to write in another language. I use German all the time at work, but rarely blog in German! However, when I think about all the other things I’ve done in German, such as commenting in forums or writing on social media sites, most of the time people were really supportive. Even though I have sometimes worried what people would think of my German, there were only a very few instances where people were unkind about it. You can read more of my thoughts on this subject in my what to do if people are unkind about your English post.
So, if you think that this sounds like an interesting idea, why not give it a go? Remember to leave the link to your new blog in the comments so we can check it out and support you.
In the meantime, here are 10 blogs on all kinds of subjects, written by people who don’t blog in their native language. I asked them five questions:
- What is your native language and in what language do you blog?
- Why did you decide to blog in another language?
- What would you say are the benefits of blogging in a language other than your native language?
- Have you experienced any language-related difficulties in relation to blogging, and if so, how have you overcome them?
- Where can we find you online?
Here’s what I found out!
1. Sazzy and Joanie
Our native language is German and we are blogging in English. We wanted to share our interests, loves and experiences with as many people as possible and English being kind of like a world-language gives us the possibility to do so. Also, I just really love the English language and find it to be more ‘aesthetic’ than German.
I love being able to engage with people from all over the world. Different cultures, different points of views. The opportunities the internet and language are giving us are insane! For example, we are really into watching English youtubers which is not a common thing to do in Germany – especially at our age (21). But it is elsewhere and by writing about our thoughts, we can talk to more people about our opinions. It’s nice being part of a bigger community and making friends all over the world.
Obviously our English is not perfect. I study English linguistics at uni and J. has given me the task to proof-read her writing. I think I’m doing okay, but I am not a specialist after all. But it is fun, it is fun learning new words when you can’t think of them or learning how to express a certain saying in another language. However, sometimes I want to say something but I am unsure about whether people might think it is offensive or not. I am by no means a rude person but in different languages words have different connotations and that is why, whenever I am not sure about something, I tend to not write it down. But that is also part of being on the internet. So I don’t really overcome that difficulty but if something like that occurs, I usually start googling away to find out how to express myself the right way. Again, it’s a learning process, but I really enjoy it.
Sazzy and Joanie from The Cozy Den.
I’m Polish and it’s my native language. I blog in English. I decided to do so because I feel that English blogs have a much wider audience as most people in the world can understand that. I’ve had views from many countries all over the world and I don’t think it would be possible if I was blogging in Polish. I think that English is the language that has the power to connect people anywhere in the world. I’m fluent in English so it’s my second nature but it doesn’t mean I don’t have any problems with it. Very often I lack the right vocabulary or my sentences get so tangled they don’t really make sense. I also cringe when I proof read myself for some reason. I use online dictionaries to help me or simply ask my English speaking boyfriend or friends for help. It makes it so much easier.
Julia from The Glass of Class.
This is a bit complicated, technically my native language is Spanish (my mother is Colombian), but I speak French way better and I live in France (my father is French). To blog, I use English only
I decided to blog in English so every member of my family, either from Colombia and France, would be able to read my blog
There are many benefits, especially with a blog in English because first : you can communicate with everyone in the world, even from a very different culture. Also, I wanted to improve my English a bit, and be sure that my skills wouldn’t decrease. Blogging in another language really helps, especially concerning the vocabulary !
I always struggle when I start to write my posts, because I want to write my exact thoughts and I don’t always know how to say something in English. In the end I always have to look up a word into online dictionaries, or rewrite entire sentences because I couldn’t manage to say what I wanted. The worst is when there is no actual translation because of cultural differences… I try to adapt as I can but I’ve realized I made lots of mistakes afterwards !
Oriana from Oriana’s Notes.
My native language is Romanian and my second language is English. I’m blogging in English.
I moved to the UK and it was a simple choice for me as most of my friends from Romania are fluent in English.
I’ve adapted my writing for an English audience. I would say that is an improvement as I developed my language skills. I also improved my grammar.
For example “maybe it’s not the best x I ever had” = this is awful, bleah, horrible. In Romanian, “not the best” means it’s not the best, like average.
Anca from Anca’s lifestyle & Cookstyle.
My native language is German and I love to write columns and poems in English. I also collect lovely poems written by others, however I will always mention that those are not written by myself. I have published all these here on Facebook under “notes“ as well as on my own website. Sometimes I also use Instagram for writing down my thoughts in combination with pictures.
Sometimes I’ve got that feeling that I can express my thoughts better in English than in German. Furthermore, I do it because of my enthusiasm referring practising and developing my English language skills. I love the sound of English.
It’s perfect to get a feeling for the foreign language and as you have got more time to find the right words while writing in contrast to speaking, it’s more relaxed in my eyes.
I am publishing in the hope to receiving questions from native speakers if anything would have been unclear to them. I am also open to corrections. A few sentences in columns of mine were a bit strange which I only realized years later, so I modified them (I think ;-)
My native languages are Polish and Silesian, I’m blogging in English. I blog in English because I live, work and do business in the UK.
It allows to improve communication skills. I also believe that it will give long time benefits as overall improvement of writing style. Writing in English also expose blog to international audience.
Yes. I’m aware that my vocabulary and ability to use culturally specific expressions is limited. I don’t feel fully comfortable when I want to express myself and can use just subset of this rich language to do that. It is like attempt to play guitar with some strings missing. How to overcome that? A lot of practice. And reading others.
Sebastian from Fashion but how?
My native language is Bosnian. I’m blogging in English, but recently I started writing in Bosnian as well, because most of my audience in Bosnia couldn’t understand English.
I wanted everyone to enjoy and read my content. Also I really like English as a language, so I decided to improve my skills in writing and just practice more I guess.
Blogging in English helps me reach more people around the world. It helps me to have large audience, followers from USA, UK etc.
I’m still not the best with grammar, that was always a weak side of my English. I know vocabulary very well, but grammar is the problem. Still I think I’m doing a lot better than I used to.
Azra from Simple Serenity.
My native language is Dutch, my second language is French and I am blogging in English I am blogging in English because I am now living in the UK and because I am able to reach more people by blogging in English
When I visit Belgium, I find that I have forgotten words, but I do not know all English words either
I speak Maltese & English. I blog in English because our main audience is in the UK and US
It helps me develop my writing skills and opens up new opportunities not available in Malta
Grammar and spelling aren’t perfect but is helped by using the Grammarly Chrome extension. I also sometimes don’t get some English expressions but the other people on the blog help explain them.
Christian from Fullsync
German is my native language and I blog in English. I blog in English because my viewers are mainly from the UK.,
Blogging in English means more readers as many people speak English these days Words and the meanings can be difficult. I sometimes mix up words or can’t find the right word I’m looking for. Just expressing myself correctly is my main issue really
Shelley-Anne from Shelley Morecroft.
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