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Writing online - tips for Asian and non native English writers

Updated on April 2, 2011

Online writing - writing for HubPages

I discovered online writing and HubPages by accident, but I remain and write here by choice. Writing online is not an easy business for those whose native language is not English. The non native English speakers have a slight disadvantage in that, the language they speak is colored and flavored with some scents of their native language. There are certain peculiarities that creep into the language, as most people think in their native tongue naturally and transcribe the thought into English as they type. At the very outset I would like to tell you, non native English writer that, you need not despair. I would also like to tell you my reade, that if you have mastered all those languages and their nuances, English is not a major hurdle. A few adjustments are all that you have to make and you will be able to master yet another language, it is no big deal at all.

I hope to make this hub as useful as possible so that non native English speaker can benefit from this. The aim of this hub is not technical advise but very simplistic basic tips for writers from countries where English is not the primarily spoken language, especially Asian writers. Let us begin with the first things first.

Tips for writing online - Asian and non-native English writers

Write what you know and what you are comfortable with. Stick to this, until you feel your writing flows easily. Having sound knowledge in the subject area is a huge advantage. When you write on topics that you are confident about, it shows through in your writing. It does in some ways make people look past minor flaws and appreciate what you have to contribute.

Write to provide useful information. Do not write for the sake of numbers or populating the internet with your articles or becoming popular instantly. Ask yourself what is the purpose of writing an article? Will the reader benefit from it? If you have positive answers to both your questions forge ahead with your online writing.

Learning is a slow process. It takes time to adjust yourself to a new environment, adapt yourself to the place and also learn the nuances of writing in your second language. Be patient with yourself and don’t look at your earnings for the first six months of your stint as a online writer. Focus on learning and learning alone. This is the best advice that I received as a newbie, which I would like to pass on to you.

Focus On learning to improve your online writing skills

Don’t believe all the hype about making quick money on the internet or making thousands of dollars by writing. I am not saying it is not possible, I am saying that this will not happen over night especially if you are a first time writer or a non native English language writer at that. It would be wise to spend time reading articles written by others on the internet and to educate yourself about online writing. Learn how to approach a subject, handle the discussion and take it to a smooth conclusion. If you are thinking only about money, you are not going to learn much because I can assure you that you will be frustrated by the amount of work you have to put in, apart from writing the article itself. Instead, focus your energy on learning how to write and write well online. There are many forums on the internet where you will find a lot of help forthcoming; make use of them.

Developing your online writing skills - HubPage expectation

Write simple. It is very important to keep sentences clean and grammatically correct; otherwise your reader will soon hop away to another page. Long winding sentences do not hold the interest of the reader nor do they enable you to render your message effectively. There are various tools available at your fingertips to find the meaning of the words that you use and ensure that they are apt. Poor sentence construction is a major put-off for an online surfer who has very little patience. I have found some online writers using words without understanding their meaning, just because they sound good. Words are your tools; use them sharply.

Avoid redundancy at all costs. Repeating the same idea or the same words again and again would make the article very boring. Make good use of synonyms in places where you have to repeat a word.

Tenses and numbers Another huge problem with Asian writers is the fact that they get confused with their tenses. Make sure that if you are speaking in the past tense, you stick to the past tense throughout the whole article. It is always safer to use the past tense.

Make sure that you get your numbers right. When you are talking about a singular subject, make sure that your verb agrees with the subject.

Refining your online writing - Improve your online writing skills

Develop your own writing style. Copying or imitating others’ styles could land you into trouble, since there can be some cultural clashes. An authentic style is always fresh and welcome.

Proof reading: Proof reading is a very important part of online article writing. Every writer needs to proof read his/her article at least a few times before publication. I have always had this problem of overlooking certain typos and errors because; I read what I want to. Proof reading calls for a more disciplined eye for details. This is a skill that you develop over a period of time.

Editing. Never be shy of editing. Whenever you see an error, edit. Keep editing an article until you feel comfortable about it. This is the only way to learn. Editing is a process of refining and bringing your article to great shape. Shying away from that would only show your attitude and lack of desire to learn.

Learning from members of the HubPage community and other resources

Openness: Openness to new ideas, methods and styles of writing is very important for a writer. If you aspire to be a writer, be prepared to learn, learn and learn some more. A good writer never stops learning and no idea is too dumb to be considered.

Critique: When you are a new writer, always put up a couple of your articles for critique. Never take comments personally, embrace them as ways to improve yourself as a writer and for your overall personal development. When you have asked for critique, do not argue. Try to put to use what experienced writers have to say on the subject. If you have a problem there, you are not going to learn much.

Read the TOS The most important thing for you as an online writer on HubPages or anywhere on the internet is to make sure that you have read the rules and terms of the particular site. It would be worthwhile to respect the rules and regulations of the site, if you want your work to progress smoothly.

Being an accepted online writer and a community member

Follow the etiquettes of the internet and you will be well on your way to not only being a writer but also one who is respected by most people on the site. Participating in the forums makes you a useful member of the online community. Avoid spamming sites with unwanted material and discussion.

Being negative, complaining and crying foul on forums give a very poor impression of you. Ask questions and receive the answers in a professional manner. Indulging in fights and crying foul is in poor taste. Remember, as an online writer, your primary task is to learn how to write, so be focussed on that.

Don’t assume that everyone is against you. There are many wonderful hubbers in HubPages whom I have found to be helpful and friendly. Being a first time writer myself, I have found HubPages to be a very conducive atmosphere for learning, helpful, open and a friendly place to be in. I do write on a few other sites but I always feel at home writing in HubPages. I wish you a pleasant learning experience and growth in HubPages.

A few words in conclusion

This hub was written keeping in mind the number of hubbers who had had most of their hubs unpublished after a few years of being successful (?) online writers. While Helping a few of them I realized that these were the common mistakes that led to the current sate of affairs. I truly hope that this hub has been of some use to you. I have been greatly helped by some wonderful hubbers here, I would like to extend what I have received from them to others through this hub. If it has been, please do let me know how and if there is something else that you would like to know I would be delighted to be of some help.


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    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Ruby, there is always scope for improvement, at least for me. I believe in continuous improvement. No matter who you are you can always raise the standards. Thank you ruby for the read and the comment. It is highly appreciated . God Bless!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is really great. I want to take a creative writing class this summer. One of the poets i follow, ( Doug Turner ) said that he took a class and his writing is wonderful. Thank you for the info.


    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      OriginArtz, I am glad that this helps in some ways. Proof reading is a difficult task for most of us, read up Website examiner latest hub on proof reading, it is really helpful.

      Yes, a little effort is needed, but with determination almost any hurdle can be overcome. Yeah, you may not make fast money, but you would have done yourself a great favour by learning to write well, and polishing your skills. Best wishes to you and welcome to HP :)

    • OriginArtz profile image


      8 years ago from Ask me! I'm free

      I've found that this hub is really informative for non-native English speaker like me. Although, proofreading is still a problem for me.

      Maybe, I'll have to brush up on my grammar.

      Thank you for creating this hub and thank you for reminding that success won't come fast.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      You need not be offended, this is meant to help those who have problems here. I have seen some people leave HubPages in the last few weeks; some I have known, some I haven't ...but it still hurts. This hub was written to help such people. I thought with a little help they could have still stayed and excelled ... you will find out sooner than later.

      Best wishes to you and God Bless Raghav!!

    • raghavrathi profile image

      Raghav Rathi 

      8 years ago from Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.

      I am an Indian and i do understand English quite well.

      But still, the hub is very helpful...

      thanks for sharing... :)



    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Tim, your comment means a lot to me. I know, I have come a long way but not without help from you and some others. I want non native writers to know that nothing is impossible and they could with a little help achieve much more than they think they could. With effort and determination the sky is their only limit.

    • timorous profile image

      Tim Nichol 

      8 years ago from Me to You

      Really good article sofs, and succinct advice. I know it must be hard for non-native English writers to get their message across correctly.

      I've seen your own writing improve by leaps and bounds since I first started reading your articles a few months ago. You're setting a fine example for others to follow. Nice going.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Paradise7, it is so good to see you back again. You are always very encouraging, thank you for the read and the comment. I hope that this hub is of some use to newbies and those from Asia who want to write on line. Thanks once again and God Bless!

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      WE, most of these things are what I learnt from you in a short time. You opened my eyes to some of the flaws in my writing and I decided to share what I know. Thank you WE, this means a lot to me, and I do hope, that people from this side of the world would read it and be helped.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Terrific hub, you really said it all. Excellent advice!

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 

      8 years ago

      Sofs, you have really done your homework here. It is a very thoughtful, well-researched article with excellent advice. I hope that many will come to read your work.


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