How to Make Your English Content Writing Sound More Native


Hi, I’m John and I’m the founder at Writesaver. Today I’ll be going over a document from one
of our clients to demonstrate some of the common mistakes non-native speakers make when writing
in English. I’ll also be showing the differences between
native English and non-native English writing. And it’s not all grammar mistakes or misspellings. It’s a lot of syntax errors and different
word choices native speakers use and sentence structures and other things that you can use
to make your writing sound more natural and native to English speakers. So, let’s get started! So, let’s start with the title. “What we should avoid when starting in social
media marketing?” “What we should”, so, with a question, if
you want to add this question mark here, if you want to make it a question it should be
“what should we avoid” because we put the verb before the noun in questions. “What should we avoid when starting…” and
I would actually say “starting out” in social media marketing. It’s one of those phrasal verbs that native
speakers like so much we like using our phrasal verbs and “starting out” is one of those, “starting
out in social media marketing”. Now we have a good title, “What should we
avoid when starting out in social media marketing?” You could also keep the original, though I
would keep the ‘out’ regardless “What we should avoid when starting out in social media marketing”. No question mark, fine. Good. But I am going to keep the question mark here
because it seems like the writer wanted a question. There we go, “what should we avoid when starting
out in social media marketing?” “Marketing activities in social media give
the brands many possibilities.” We haven’t talked about what brands there
are, you would need some sort of specifics to say “the brands”, right now it just gives
all brands many possibilities, so we just say ‘brands’. And I would say actually “on social media”
here, this is one of those things you just have to learn, on vs. in, with social media
we say ‘on’. “Check out their post on Instagram”, “you
just wrote about it on Twitter”, so “on” is mostly used for social media in this case,
whereas up here, “in social media marketing”, starting up “in marketing” is fine. So, you just have to learn the words that
we use, the word pairs there. “For many companies they give them a chance
to promote their business,” ok, so ‘they’ is not specific enough. For many companies, social media marketing
gives them a chance to promote their business to win… non-native speakers tend to use
‘some’ too much, we just wouldn’t use ‘some’, it’s kind of like saying ‘uhh’, when you’re
speaking, it’s just, I don’t know, it’s not a word that we use very often in writing. “To win customer loyalty”, and warm up their
image”. “Fast”, “rapid”, this is another word pair
you should know: “rapid development”. “The rapid development of social networking
sites has meant that even small industries can take action online and engage their potential
customers.” That’s fine. “There is still no ideal recipe for running
brand profiles, but it is sure that avoiding a few bugs will definitely simplify the already
complicated path to success.” Ok, this needs some work. So “definitely”, and “it is sure” are more
or less the same, and also “it is sure”is something we just don’t really say very often
in native English. It sounds very strange. But we can just say “but avoiding a few…bugs…”
brings to mind software development too much, where I think she’s talking about more, as
we’ll see later, not having a strategy, or having the wrong approach to negative comments,
so ‘bugs’ isn’t really the right word. I would say “avoiding a few key mistakes”
in the context of this article. “…will definitely simplify the already complicated
path to success.” “Often one bad action…” I would say “one misstep”, it sounds cooler. “Often one misstep can cause that…” so “cause
that” doesn’t make sense, so we can say “often one misstep can cause even our long-term work
on building an image on social media, “can cause even our long-term work on building
an image on social media…to fall into ruin.” So let’s check that sentence again… “Often one misstep can cause even our long-term
work on building an image on social media to fall into ruin.” That sounds good. “Today, let’s talk about what mistakes in
marketing on social networking websites should be avoided?” So, that’s not a question, that’s a statement. Let’s talk about it, period. “Let’s talk about what mistakes in marketing
on social networking websites should be avoided.” Ok, sounds good. “Lack of Strategy” “Starting marketing activities on social networks
without precise strategies is balancing on the edge.” So, “starting marketing activities…..without
precise strategies”, I would say “without a well-defined strategy”, that sounds better. It just fits better with ‘strategy’, ‘strategy’
is usually singular. Not always, but in this case it would be. You can use tactics, plural, those are the
methods you use to execute your strategy, but generally you would have one social media
strategy and a lot of tactics you use to make that strategy happen. And then, “balancing on the edge”. So she’s saying that it’s risky to do social
media marketing without a strategy. “Balancing on the edge” doesn’t sound right
here, I would say “playing with fire”. That’s another cool idiom we can use, so she
wanted to use an idiom, something fun, so I’m just going to replace it with one that
fits better in context. “Playing with fire.” “Thinking like…” Like doesn’t make sense. “Thinking,” and this isn’t the start of a
sentence, even thoug it is in a quote. “Thinking ‘everyone is on Facebook, we also
want to be there!’ or ‘Instagram is so nice, let’s throw some photos…’, ‘on’. … ‘on
there’. “…can rather be unsuccessful…” So, we want to put the verb together, “can
be”, rather than splitting them up. “Each medium has different purposes and capabilities,
and also, after selecting the areas of activity, it is necessary to think about communication
strategy.” She’s combining two thoughts into one here,
so let’s do this, “Each medium has different purposes and capabilities,”
period. “Also, after selecting the areas of activity,”
I would say “the social media channels to use, because I think that’s what she’s talking
about, “the social media channels to use”, “you need to think…” So, “it is necessary to think about communication
strategy” is not wrong. Grammatically, it’s totally fine, but what
we want to do here, and this is one of those things that native speakers do naturally but
that non-native speakers often don’t, is use this ‘you’ form, this kind of ‘third person
you’ I call it. Basically, when native speakers say “one should
go to the store to buy groceries”, or “one should think about their social media strategy”,
a native speaker would just say ‘you’. And it doesn’t mean ‘you’ like you specifically,
this one person, ‘you’, it’s just saying ‘you’ as a general, ‘one should’. Not a lot of languages use ‘you’ like that,
there are a few and English is one of them. Colloquial English anyways, and it’s a really
nice tool in writing because it makes your writing seem more personal, more like you’re
talking to your reader, but you’re also not being aggressively pushy towards them, because
we use it in this sort of informal, non-specific ‘you’ form. So, “after selecting the social media channels
to use, you need to think about communication strategy.” “You need to think about communication strategy.” Good. “We should think about what kind of content
we want to share, and goals… the goals we want to achieve with our channel.” There. So just a couple words that were used in the
wrong place, generally pretty good. “It’s important to set ways…” So, “set ways to measure effects and use tools
that will improve our work.” “Set ways” doesn’t sound quite right to me. “It’s important to have a method to measure
the effects of our efforts and use tools that will improve our work.” Now it sounds good. The same plan will not work on Instagram,
Facebook, and Twitter, because the audience and capabilities of these sites are completely
different.” Somehow this sounds confusing to me. I understand what she’s saying, but the way
she’s phrased it doesn’t quite make it clear. I would say… let’s see… “The same plan will not work on Instagram,
Facebook and Twitter.” “You cannot use,” let’s use that informal
‘you’ again. “You cannot use the same plan for Instagram,
Facebook and Twitter, because the audience and capabilities of these sites are completely
different.” “Chaos in managing your profiles,” because
there’s multiple, “your profiles and illogical,” because “unlogical” isn’t a word, and ‘illogical’
content are really easy to notice and have a negative impact on the perception and impression
we make…on our readers.” First of all, we’re not making a perception
on our readers. Just the sentence structure doesn’t really
work. I would actually just delete this, “and have
a negative impact on the impression we make on our readers,” still makes perfect sense,
and it gets her point across perfectly. The ‘perception’ word just isn’t needed, since
it’s so similar to ‘impression’. “Even if it works temporarily,” so ‘it’ is
chaos, so “even if a haphazard,” I’ll say, “approach to social media marketing”, or to
“your social media profiles,” let’s do that, “works temporarily, problems will arise after
some time.” “Lack of strategy is also a big problem in
the case of,” this is also a big non-native speaker phrase that non-native speakers like
to use that native speakers use very rarely. “Lack of strategy is also a big problem in
the case of changes in the team of people dealing with social media.” “Preparing a document that would talk about
the tactics of our media activities will make it easier for our new coworkers…” Ok. So “lack of strategy is also a big problem”,
she’s saying when personnel changes, so lack of strategy is also a big problem when changes
to the,” ‘team of people’ isn’t necessary because we know it’s people working on our
social media accounts. “Is also a big problem when changes to the
team dealing with social media occur.” “When personnel changes” just to make it even
more clear. So ‘personnel’ means ‘people changes’, so
someone leaves and gets a new job, someone else gets hired, those are personnel changes. And I would just put a period here, this dash
doesn’t make sense, the n-dash. “Preparing a document that talks”, not ‘would
talk’, just ‘talks’ “preparing a document that talks about the tactics of our media
activities will make it easier for our new coworkers to understand their duties, and
also remind us what is…” “Remind us what we are most focused on.” Ok, I think that looks good. So, we’ve made some changes to make this author’s
writing a lot more native and a lot more clear to the readers. You can see that I was able to understand
what she was saying in all parts of her writing, she actually is a very good English writer
and English speaker, I would say she probably writes at a C1 to C2 level which is really
very good. But it’s not quite idiomatic, there are some
words and some mistakes, and also some things that aren’t quite native that sound strange
to a native speaker’s ear. And by fixing those things you can make your
writing more clear, you can make your writing more effective and help get your point across,
and you’ll sound much more natural, and much more readable to a native English speaker,
and you’ll have people who want to engage with your content and continue reading it,
rather than having to put in effort to understand what you’re saying, which makes a huge difference
to your business. So, if you like this video subscribe, leave
a comment, let me know how I’m doing, if you have any questions on the grammar in this
video or if you’d like to have one of your documents proofread in this manner so you
can see your own mistakes send me a message and I can make a video with your document
and you can see all the changes that I would make to your docs. If you just need a document proofread you
can check out writesaver.co and our native English speaking editors will go through your
document and nativize it for you. So they’ll do exactly what I did except without
the explanation, and give you back a nice clean document in perfect English with all
changes tracked so you can see your mistakes. Check out next time I’ll be going over part
2, I’ll be going over the rest of this document and in future videos I’ll be handling different
industries, different words, different topics and different mistakes, so we can all keep
learning from the differences between native and non-native English. Thanks for watching!

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