If you ever asked me about the #1 thing that contributed the most to my online successes, I'd not hesitate one second to say that it was my ability to write well in English.
While it was not my native language, I've learned a lot in the past 5+ years of consistent writing.
To put things into perspective, here's my first ever post published on August 4th 2010:
I've come a long way right?
In today's post, I'll be sharing with you the 7 tips that got me from knowing almost nothing about the language to now where my writing is being read by thousands of people every month.
1. Read a lot
Before becoming a good writer, you need to be a good reader first. Consume as much English materials as you can. My favorites were blog posts and ebooks.
You can read on whatever topics that you like. Just make sure you read a lot.
2. Write a lot
Writing is a skill. And it can be sharpened just like any other skill with deliberate practice.
When I first started out, I wrote like it was my only hobby in life. I did it daily and published several articles per week.
At the time, I didn't even give a damn about my writing quality or what my readers would think about it. I just enjoyed writing and wanted to keep doing it even if my blog wasn't making me any money whatsoever.
If you encounter writer's block easily, then just start small. Don't think that you have to write a 2000 word long article.
Start with 200 word article. Or even write just the title and one sentence. Just do something small and simple to get the juice flowing.
You can also practice by writing blog comments on other blogs, writing emails or participating in forum or group discussions.
No matter what you want to do, and what skills you want to learn, you will never just wake up one day and suddenly become an expert. Keep improving by doing, and never give up.
3. Don't bother learning grammar or vocabulary
Don't get me wrong, if you know some basic grammar, it's gonna help.
But don't get caught up in trying to have the perfect error-free grammar or use the most polished words in your articles.
This may sound crazy to some people but for the first 2 years of writing, I didn't know any grammar and my vocabulary was pretty limited too.
What I did was really simple.
Read a lot of blogs and ebooks. Noted down cool phrases or sentences that I liked. Paid special attention to the context that they're being used in.
Then when writing, find opportunities to use the exact phrases or sentences in the most appropriate way possible.
Doing this a few times and you'll memorize the meaning of that phrase or sentence deep into your conscious mind. The next time you'll write it out naturally without even thinking about it.
I did that for years and I'm still doing it now. And believe me it worked!
4. Follow a writing template
Keep notes of some basic writing templates that you can follow when doing a new post.
This will help to save time while increasing the quality of your article instantly.
For example, the post you're reading is a list post and all the most important points are in bolded sub-headings.
5. Ask friends for feedback
Sometimes it's very hard for you to judge your own writing because you're too personally attached to it.
So it's a good idea to ask your friends for feedback. I'm sure you know someone who is better at English than you. If you have a native English speaker friend, then it's even better.
6. Engage with other writers and bloggers
Whatever you're writing about, it's likely that there are other people doing the same.
Connect with them via emails or commenting on their blogs. Make friends. Then ask for their feedback. Bloggers are friendly and generous by nature and they'll be happy to help.
7. Educate yourself
Apart from taking daily action, you need to actively learn from successful writers as well. There are lots of good resources on this topic. Some of my favorites are:
If you're reading this, then you know it's possible for a non-native English speaker to write well in English 🙂
My writing now is by no means perfect but it’s good enough to effectively communicate my ideas and thoughts to thousands of people from all around the globe.
If you're committed to put in the efforts needed to practice, then you'll get better no matters where you're now with your writing skills.
Are you trying to get better at writing? Do you have any questions that I can help you with? Just leave a comment below.