Sometimes when I have conversations with people who read my Blog on a regular basis, they are surprised to hear that English is my second language.
Until I was around 9 years old, I didn’t know a single word of English except for words like “okay” and “hello”.
My family and I moved to Canada, from Poland, when I was 9 years old and when we first moved here I couldn’t communicate with any of the kids in my class.
In high-school I did well in math, and computer science and other subjects, but English was always a challenging subject for me.
I detested having to read books and writing essays.
If there was a Coles notes available on a book we were reading in school I would buy it and read that instead of the book.
My spelling and grammar were never really that good. Paragraph structure? Not really my thing.
So if you want to be a Blogger but English is not your first language, or you’re worried because your spelling is bad, or your grammar is bad, or you suck at writing, in this post I will reveal how I got over all of these things and ended up producing well over 700,000 words of content on my Blogs.
Get Better at Blogging by Reading
One of the little “secrets” I learned about 20 years ago was that reading CAN be fun *IF* what you’re reading about is interesting to you.
I hated reading books in high-school because I found them so boring and annoying, but when I was 19 I decided to try buying a book that I thought I might enjoy reading.
And you know what? I did!
It was one of my first ever personal development books and I really enjoyed reading it.
Then, I bought my first novel, a book called “Total Recall” which was later turned into a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
That book was around 400 – 500 pages long and I was so captivated by it, I read it from cover to cover in like 2 days.
I couldn’t put it down.
Sometimes I hear people saying that they don’t really like reading books, and I totally understand what they’re saying because I used to hate reading as well.
However, I think what it really comes down to is that if we have never been exposed to content that is ENJOYABLE to read then we will hate reading.
It would be like if all you were ever allowed to watch on TV was some boring TV shows that your parents like or your teachers like and you have never seen any TV show that you find interesting.
You would probably think that TV is boring too then right?
But the second you put on a movie or a TV show that you actually like and find interesting, then watching TV becomes fun.
It’s the same thing with reading.
So how does reading relate to becoming a good Blogger?
Reading can help you become a better writer in two main ways:
#1 – Reading Trains Your Subconscious Mind
As you read your favorite books by your favorite authors, you will automatically absorb their writing style at a subconscious level.
You’ll pick up vocabulary, sentence structure, paragraph structure and writing style automatically just by reading.
Virtually all published authors have their work professionally edited and proofread so you’ll be learning from a reliable source.
When your subconscious mind reads sentences in books that have been proofread and edited, it begins to form patterns of communication in your mind.
Your thinking will literally change to model the writings of the authors that you read.
Reading blog posts or watching movies doesn’t always have the same effect as most blog posts are not professionally edited or proofread, and TV shows and movies are scripted to speak in conversational English that doesn’t really follow any structure.
That is why books are so powerful. They TRAIN you on becoming a more structure thinker and writer – automatically.
Also, as you read books in the genre that you’re most interested in, which will most likely also be the genre that you write about in the future, you also learn how authors communicate in that genre.
For example, as I’ve read through over 1,000 personal development books in the last 20 years, I’ve learned that the authors in these books communicate in a certain way with their audience.
There’s a certain style that works well in this genre, and it’s different from other genres.
So by reading books by authors in the niche market that you’re in, you’ll develop the ability to write in a similar style.
#2 – Reading Gives You Ideas for Content
One of the reasons I hardly ever experience what people call “writers block” is because I have read over 1,000 books myself.
When I read books, I get ideas from all of these different authors and then my mind goes to work to reconcile and amalgamate all the content that I’ve read and to form ideas and opinions and beliefs about how I perceive the world to be based on all these things that I read and my life experiences.
Not only that, but if I ever feel lost for things to write about, I just turn around and walk over to my library of books and pull one book off the shelf and flip to any random page and get an idea for what to write about.
What most people enjoy reading about is not just concepts that you learned from someone else, but how you applied those concepts in your real life to produce certain results.
Reading books gives you ideas and concepts, and then living your life and applying some of those ideas and concepts gives you CONTENT to write about.
Get Better at Blogging by Journaling
Another great way to get better as a Blogger is to start a journal.
I have been journaling for almost 20 years now.
Every few days or so I’ll sit down and write in my journal.
I write about anything and everything that comes to my mind and I don’t filter out or censor anything.
That is one of the most powerful things that journaling can do for you.
It allows you to express yourself fully, with total honestly, with no filters and no censorship and no judgement.
NOBODY is allowed to read my journals except me. I keep them private and I don’t give anyone access to read them – ever.
By doing this, I know that what I write in my journals is safe and nobody is going to judge me for it.
Knowing that has made it easier for me to start putting my thoughts on paper without feeling any form of judgement.
See most of us go through our lives never having the opportunity to say what we want to say without the fear of judgement.
When we speak to our friends or family about something, they usually only allow us to say a few sentences or paragraphs before they reply back in the conversation.
That’s normal. It’s what conversation are supposed to be like.
However, that doesn’t really give us an opportunity to express our thoughts in a cohesive way for more than a few moments.
That is why most people struggle to write blog posts that are longer than a few paragraphs as well… because they NEVER practice THINKING in a certain direction for more than a few moments.
Journaling can help you to become good at that.
I’ve sat down many times and have written in my journal, non-stop for several hours!
It’s so freeing and liberating to be able to express how I think or feel, on paper, without someone interrupting me as often happens in normal human conversations.
Doing this also allows you to develop your ability to write blog post content that is longer than just a few sentences or paragraphs.
Most people notice that most of my blog posts are over 1,000 words long and I’ve had many people ask me “Paul, how the heck do you write such long blog posts?!”
The answer is because I journal! 🙂
Also, of course as you write more blog posts, you’ll get better at writing better blog posts automatically!
Get Better at Blogging by Expressing the Real You
Reading books and journaling are two things that can help you become a better blogger long term.
However, there is one more thing you can do that will help you become a better blogger RIGHT NOW.
… what you want to do is you want to just sit down and think about the main message that you want to communicate to your audience.
Before you write a single word, just close your eyes and visualize a person in front of you and just think about the message, the feeling, and the energy that you want to communicate to them with your blog post.
Like if that person was in your home, sitting in your living room, and you wanted to help them out by teaching them or explaining to them this concept that you want to write about in your blog post.
Don’t worry about the words that you would use at all, but just imagine a scenario playing out in your head where you’re having a conversation with the person, without hearing any “audio”.
Just see yourself talking, your lips moving, and maybe you’re moving your arms around and explaining the thing you want to explain to them.
And then see the other person GETTING IT. See them understanding the basic premise of what you were trying to communicate to them.
See them smiling and thank you for teaching them this thing that you’re wanting to teach or communicate in your blog post.
Then, open your eyes and just start writing your blog post, writing down whatever words that naturally come to you.
Don’t worry about spelling.
Don’t worry about grammar.
Don’t worry about sentence or paragraph structure.
Don’t worry about ANY of that stuff, because here’s the truth…
… the truth is that 99% of what you write and communicate in your Blog posts is expressed in the ENERGY behind the words, and not by the words themselves.
It really doesn’t matter if your spelling and grammar and sentence structure sucks.
The only thing that matters is the energy that you have to wanting to communicate and help another human being.
If you come from that place of wanting to help, to share, and to inspire someone else with you writing, it makes no difference how well you write.
The right message will communicate even if your writing is horrible.
And as you do this, over time your writing and your blog posts will get better and better and better.
99% of the value in a blog post is your INTENTION and ENERGY behind the words that you write… all the other stuff like spelling and grammar and everything else is only like 1% of it, so don’t worry about it at all.
Just start blogging today and keep blogging.
Don’t worry about being slow at it. You’ll get faster.
You’ll get better and better over time anyways.