Recently, I had someone write to me about how to start a freelance writing business when English is your second language.
Now, I want to preface this blog by saying I would highly recommend finding another successful writer that also has English as a second language and see what you can learn from them. English is my first language, so just bear that in mind.
That being said, I’m going to do my best to help anyway! So let’s get into it.
Start by gaining writing experience in your native language
Okay, so the first thing I suggest that you do is to look for writing clients who need writers in your native language.
For instance, say you’re from France, and so you speak French. You might want to start out by seeking writing work for businesses that are targeting French-speaking customers.
So that’s just going to make things a little bit easier to build up your experience and start bringing in some money relatively quickly.
So my first tip is to start finding your first clients in your native country.
Now my second tip, if you are wanting to work for English-speaking companies, is to take advantage of all these AI tools that are coming out now like ChatGPT. I think AI is great, I use it myself every day.
AI is great to generating a first draft quickly. Or if you’ve written something in your own language you can use it to translate. I don’t know how good CHatGPT is at translating because I haven’t tried it myself. But it’s something to test.
You could also write something in English first and then put it into a tool like ChatGPT and then get the AI to edit it for you and make it better. It’s pretty good, but it’s not perfect.
Team up with an English-speaking junior editor
So that brings me to my next tip. My next tip is to team up with a junior editor who has English as their first language. You want to look for someone who is at the beginning stages of their freelance writing career too, as they’ll be more affordable.
What I would suggest you do is team up, you do the writing, and then the junior editor can do the edit and make it sound natural.
Side note: One of my clients, is a company based in Pakistan, and they are targeting an English-speaking audience. So they brought me on as an editor and all of their writers have English as a second language.
And so the writers produce YouTube scripts, blog articles, and that sort of thing, then they send it to me and I go over and just make it sound natural.
So the thing I found when working with non-native writers, is that while the writing normally makes sense, and all the content is accurate, the thing I most often find is that it just doesn’t sound natural.
It doesn’t sound the way an English speaking person speaks.
So I would highly recommend teaming up with an editor, someone who’s at the beginning stages of their career and just trying to get their first clients as well. And maybe you can agree to split whatever money you’re making, just to get the ball rolling.
Watch Western TV shows
Now my final tip to get better at sounding natural in your writing is to watch American or English TV shows and listen to how people speak because that will help you improve your writing as well!
Okay, so those are my tips if you’re a freelance writer just starting out and English is not your first language. I do hope you found these tips helpful!
Once again, I would recommend seeking out a successful writer who doesn’t speak English as their first language and see what you can learn from them.
If you have any more questions about this or how to get your first writing client, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer your questions in my next youtube video or blog post.