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I am not a native English speaker, and I would like to start a blog in English. I cannot say that I have a lot of experience blogging, but I had a blog in my native language for more than an year, and kept it up for around 200 posts. I feel I really want to give this a try.

The blog will be minimalist and on the technical side. I want posts to be fairly short, the equivalent of a page, but hopefully very thoughtful.

I'd like to learn from the lessons of others, how can I find out what these bloggers have done badly and what they've done well. Is there any information available on successful blogs written by non-native English writers, perhaps a study or a survey? What other sources of information can I seek out to obtain useful information?

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Go, write! Or to use the words of the old Greek goddess of victory: Just do it! –  John Smithers Sep 22 '12 at 20:21
    
Eduard, this question is one that will start a discussion, and is not answerable in its current form. In particular, asking people to all provide their personal experiences will result in many answers that are all equally valid. If you want to edit this so it's more answerable, we'd be happy to consider reopening. –  Neil Fein Sep 23 '12 at 2:26
    
@NeilFein Edited but I still may have some inadvertences –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 23 '12 at 9:50
    
@NeilFein I edited my post but it still may not be enough to reopen, so if you would like to review it and tell me what to change, thanks! –  Eduard Florinescu Sep 23 '12 at 9:53
    
Eduard - Thanks, your rewrite is helpful. Now that I understand your question, I was able to do a final polish on the question before reopening it. (Just in case you're not aware of this, you can see all changes in a post by clicking on the last edit time, like so.) Am reopening the question, and thanks. –  Neil Fein Sep 24 '12 at 13:51

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Colloquialism.

Most successful blogs (technical or otherwise) are written as we speak, not as formally as news or media content. The trouble is, English learned from a book is not the same as English as it is spoken by native speakers.

If you think about the difference between what is spoken in the US versus Canada, or Australia versus New Zealand, you'll realize that every locality (no matter how geographically similar) develops its own regional dialect. This is perfectly natural, but doesn't make it any less of an issue.

The difference is even more marked when formal English is used in an informal setting. Directly translated metaphors can be funny, but not conducive to a thoughtful voice. The only way to correct this (without being able to live in the target area) is through experience - read, read, and read some more... specifically content catering to the same audience you wish to reach.

I do not know if there are any studies or surveys as you suggest, but to be honest, if a non-native English blogger were successful, who would know they weren't a native speaker?

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Very thoughtful answer, you nailed for me all the basics needed, you are a very astute observer. Thanks. –  Eduard Florinescu Jan 21 '13 at 19:57

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