How difficult is it for a non-native English speaker to be successful in internet marketing?

41 replies
I'm a newbie blogger and I'm into the eight month of my blogging journey. It has been an incredible journey so far - the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, the excitement and frustration - well, I have enjoyed every bit of it. I have always wanted to be a blogger and I'm glad that I have found my moorings in a tough and competitive niche like MMO (make-money-online). What prompted me put up this question was a comment in one of my blog posts where the person said:

"I see that you are a non-native whose mother tongue is not English but I think you should find someone whose first language is English, have them proof your writing before publishing it. I did find some words to be a stumbling block for people who might not be as educated as you clearly are. Is there another word that could take the place of 'prolific' that comes in the first paragraph of your post?"

See? This this more of a feedback and not a comment and hence I did not approve it on my site. However, it has left me slightly distraught. To a non-native like myself, I thought the word "prolific" is a perfectly normal word, an ordinary word, in fact and I had used it to describe someone who's a prolific writer.

I have not quoted the full text of the person's comment but I felt a hint of racism in the tone. Anyway, let me not dwell into that.

So, is it really difficult for a non-native to be successful in online business? Let's be honest. What are the disadvantages? How do I overcome the "stumbling blocks" (the above person's words)?
#difficult #english #internet #marketing #nonnative #speaker #successful
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    What we need to see is not that person's comment but the paragraph YOU wrote that he/she was commenting on.

    The person did you a favor - if you want to promote to or sell to English speaking countries it will be difficult if your site/text is not in fluent English. You are focused on the comment you received - and should look critically at the reason for the comment.

    "prolific" is a 'normal word' IF you used it correctly. Without seeing your text, we can't advise you on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    Originally Posted by sukumarthingom View Post

    How do I overcome the "stumbling blocks" (the above person's words)?
    1. Pay attention to detail.

    2. Ask for assistance from someone qualified to proof your copy.

    3. Work hard, every day, to improve your skills.

    Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author NKOfficial
    You should think like a businessman I have seen people succeed without English, hire writer you handle only marketing part, this is the better way.

    Businessman gets their work done from others that's why they are there, its not a hurdle.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by NKOfficial View Post

      Businessman get their work done from others that's why they are there, its not a hurdle.
      He's blogging, not making explainer videos. Getting someone to convey your thoughts, in your voice, would prove to be a significant hurdle. Any businessman should know that.

      Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Key Assort
    There is a youtube blogger, Marina Mogilko. She is not a native but her English is great. Marina has been living in San Francisco for a couple of years but she still uses 1 of the services where native speakers check her texts. Just as an example. I mean it's quite ok to ask natives for help. I am an English teacher myself with over 10 years of teaching experience but I can't say that I feel the English language perfect in all the situations.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Unless you are getting numerous similar comments, I would not worry too much. It may be that the 'stumbling block' was caused by the reader's education rather than you're word choice.

    If you want some insight, google around for a copy of Paul Myers' "Wombat Report." I think it will prove enlightening.
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  • Profile picture of the author affilorama-portal
    I agree with the comments above, hire an expert for the things that you need help with. In this business, you need to invest wisely and investing on good content, is worth the money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Riki kurniawan
    If you are a non-native speaker, this is not a signal for you to close the book. Bridging the English gap requires only empathy and effort to overcome cultural differences.

    like JohnMcCabe said:
    Unless you are getting numerous similar comments, I would not worry too much. It may be that the 'stumbling block' was caused by the reader's education rather than you're word choice.
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  • Profile picture of the author pyarasarishta
    Very difficult to pay attention
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  • Profile picture of the author salsym
    Originally Posted by sukumarthingom View Post

    I'm a newbie blogger and I'm into the eight month of my blogging journey. It has been an incredible journey so far - the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, the excitement and frustration - well, I have enjoyed every bit of it. I have always wanted to be a blogger and I'm glad that I have found my moorings in a tough and competitive niche like MMO (make-money-online). What prompted me put up this question was a comment in one of my blog posts where the person said:

    "I see that you are a non-native whose mother tongue is not English but I think you should find someone whose first language is English, have them proof your writing before publishing it. I did find some words to be a stumbling block for people who might not be as educated as you clearly are. Is there another word that could take the place of 'prolific' that comes in the first paragraph of your post?"

    See? This this more of a feedback and not a comment and hence I did not approve it on my site. However, it has left me slightly distraught. To a non-native like myself, I thought the word "prolific" is a perfectly normal word, an ordinary word, in fact and I had used it to describe someone who's a prolific writer.

    I have not quoted the full text of the person's comment but I felt a hint of racism in the tone. Anyway, let me not dwell into that.

    So, is it really difficult for a non-native to be successful in online business? Let's be honest. What are the disadvantages? How do I overcome the "stumbling blocks" (the above person's words)?
    Today, Language is just a means of communication. As long as you are able to communicate your ideas, it is OK. I can see that you are reasonably good in your English. So don't worry, carry on with the good work.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxDavis024
    Maybe it is so difficult, especially if you from Slovenian countries
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  • Profile picture of the author Shubho C
    Hahahahaha. Do not worry. The whole paragraph you have written reads excellent for me.

    It doesn't matter if you write English straight out of literature books or use slangs from the streets of Texas.

    What matters is how well you convey your message. And I think you have done it perfectly in the above paragraph. So I see no problem and didn't even feel that you are not a native english speaker.

    As Les Brown said "Someone's opinion of you doesn't have to become your reality".



    However, that also doesn't mean that you should stop putting in efforts.

    Keep Hustling, Keep Winning!!... Everyday..

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    Fighter at Heart, Always...
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheeroh
    Interesting comments. We have a good number of SUCCESSFUL Indian bloggers who don't exactly have a good grasp of the English language. They are earning a great income from their sites, despite this challenge. I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'd focus on writing great content that is helpful and letting my personality shine through.
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    • Profile picture of the author vadecompras
      Originally Posted by Sheeroh View Post

      Interesting comments. We have a good number of SUCCESSFUL Indian bloggers who don't exactly have a good grasp of the English language. They are earning a great income from their sites, despite this challenge. I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'd focus on writing great content that is helpful and letting my personality shine through.
      A really good example of this would be the entrepreneur Neil Pattel. At the end of the day is not how fluent and perfeccionist you are in the English language but of how much valor can you contribute to the readers who are investing their time in your content.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Not at all....when you face, feel, embrace and remove your doubts about succeeding as an ESL blogger. You can do it. Many of my readers are ESL and run rocking blogs.
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  • Profile picture of the author superowid
    The person who wrote a feedback to you was a fiverr seller who tried to sell you his/her service (English writer/proofer).
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  • Profile picture of the author mjaco
    Don't bother! We are many non-English writers with a huge amount different flavors of the language. See in your spell checker how many types of English they address. Canadian, South African.... The list is long.

    I learned at the beginning of the internet to have a wide-open mind regarding different people abilities to speak and write a correct English.

    However a tip. I'm using the free version of Grammarly to take care of the worst cases of my bad spelling and grammar.

    Keep writing and if it's not entirely correct it's more the problem for the reader. You will also get better over time.
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  • People want authenticity, and something different. If you are yourself, work hard and provide something people want than you can be successful.

    Others have made it in the same situation you are in.
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  • Profile picture of the author ctrlaltdelete
    There are many bloggers out there who are successful in their niche but aren't native speakers and don't write in grammatically perfect English.

    Native English speaking people will even hire non-native writers. Heck, I know a Brit who has Filipinos write for his website. Even I do it too.

    Having a good grasp of the English language does help in getting your message across a wider audience. But in blogging, it's often advised that you stick to conversational English and stay away from "big" words. This way, more people can understand you.

    Don't give up now. It's clear that you love what you're doing. Just keep on practicing your writing and expanding your vocabulary.
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  • Profile picture of the author affmarketer101
    It's hard, but if you try your best, you can have big success.
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  • Profile picture of the author chenbui
    Please write a lot to improve your English level. It is difficult for your customers to buy your website if you use English is not native
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  • Profile picture of the author Cybernetmarket
    Any one regardless of language can make it
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    Surely it's easier for a non-native speaker to work within their native language market. Plus it will surely be less saturated?
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  • Profile picture of the author 3936296
    "Don't judge a book by it's cover". It is not difficult for a non-native English Speaker to be successful in Internet Marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sneha Yawalkar
    It's hard, but if you try your best, you can have big success.
    its true
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanDezoysa
    1 person saying it means 10 to 100 times that number are noticing it too.

    Why not have someone proofread for you? As a blogger, words are your value. Might as well make them the best they can be!
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  • Except content writing , sales page , web copies .. i think you've the same oppurtunity as native english speaking people ..though it depends on individuals ))
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I'm glad that I have found my moorings in a tough and competitive niche like MMO (make-money-online)
    Based on the population of this forum, and comments I've seen on MMO blogs, most of your readers are probably not native English speakers.

    On the upside, I have become surprisingly proficient at deciphering pidgin.

    Brent
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  • Profile picture of the author Monica Meiers
    I have written plenty of english posts most of the time, and this person is quite nitpicky, I should say.

    But I have to agree with Kay King, we need to see the paragraph first.

    However, I can deduce from the comment that maybe "prolific" was a next-level word in the context you were talking in.

    But still, any 5th grader knows what prolific means. So, I believe you're in the clear.
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  • Profile picture of the author Les Blythe
    That's actually a great question.

    As a professional copywriter writing for some big companies (Fortune 500), I have to be spot on with my writing. You can't demand top dollar if you don't consistently produce the goods.

    But, you're not a Copywriter, you're a blogger in the internet marketing space. You're delivering information designed to help people make money online. Your first priority should be delivering valuable, actionable information that works.

    With that said. here's a couple of tips to help you out:
    1. Get yourself Grammarly (find it with a google search). There's a free version to get you started and I use it every day in my business. Grammarly will pick up A LOT of your typos and mistakes.
    2. Take a look at a site called Write Worldwide (run by a friend of mine Nick Darlington), they specialize in helping writers who don't have English as their first language.

    Finally, don't let ANYONE put you down or discourage you. Keep blogging, keep delivering value and know that you're achieving so much more than the detractors who probably haven't even made a start yet.

    Hope my tips help.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sunganani
    It would have been great to see the blog post in question. With that said, the English in your post seems okay to me (I'm also not a native speaker but school does wonders). You lose nothing by spending a little bit more for your posts to be check through the grammar gauntlet.

    Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Bridgen
    Not every one online speaks English If you speak another language market to that language it is that easy. When you advertise in facebook only advertise to people that speak your language it is that easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author ehlee
    Your writing is fine. English is a complex language even for native English speakers. Blogging is totally different from scholarly or academic writing.

    Try this:

    1. Use the free version of Grammarly.
    2. Copy and paste blog post to hemmingway app.
    3. Spend time on editing and launch post.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author DropshipPower
    You write very well, especially for a non-native speaker. Sure, there are a few odd phrase here and there but it's certainly not impacting your message.

    While the commentor may have been rather blunt, I do see the point he was trying to make. You certainly have the intellectual ability and written language skills needed to run a successful blog, the fact that you're not native means that your writing doesn't have the conversational flow and certain colloquial nuances that are part of a native speaker's spoken language.

    The most effective and engaging bloggers are those who write like they speak. They're informative but informal and fun.

    Your writing is very literal. It's clearly the product of written language rather than verbal thoughts put into writing.

    Does that make sense?

    I'd advise you focus your efforts on learning more conversational English, idioms, and slang.

    Don't try to pretend to be someone you're not, of course, but loosening up your writing to make it more informal would likely help you in the long run.
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  • Sukumarthingom,
    Originally Posted by sukumarthingom View Post

    So, is it really difficult for a non-native to be successful in online business?
    That depends on a lot of factors. Niche is one.
    Imagine a blog that's targeted at native English speakers wanting to improve their conversational tone and style during presentations at academic events.
    That's likely to be a challenge for many non-native English bloggers ...

    Now, imagine a blog that's targeted at teaching inexperienced native English machine builders and AI developers of assistive devices for the retail senior market.
    It's likely for a non-native English expert in robotics and neural networks to operate a successful blog in that niche.
    Especially if his or her content provides up-to-date industry info, technically accurate details, helpful tips and valuable advice.
    More so if it's packaged in a coherent outline with easy to skim sections and simple to understand prose.
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  • Profile picture of the author as11311
    No go ahead
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    This thread is a tad old but one thing to keep in mind - there are many affiliate programs and niches outside of English countries. If you don't speak English then why not work on sites and properties for your native language?
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    • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
      Smart Chris. I do see folks blogging and selling stuff more in Hindi these days. India has like almost a billion people market with ample digital storefronts. Roll with it guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tmt Aba
    It could be hard but if it was easy maybe you never want it then. No matter what it is you can always learn stuff. Learn and grow.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bortnite
    Improve your level in English and you will be good.
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