There is a lot of confusion among entrepreneurs about blogging and developing their business speaking their own language instead of English. Most think that there aren’t many opportunities using any other language online, that they won’t be able to monetize and their market will be to small. The rules for the online English speaking world are not the same as they are for others, and in a good way.
No matter what you hear, English is not the language of the internet.
There are plenty of websites in foreign languages (some of which you visit on a daily or weekly basis), but you don’t notice them as those sites, because now you have your attention on blogs. Online shops, business websites, portals, etc. are just some of the examples. English seems to be the language of the internet because
a) the world wide web was created in English language
b) many people still search for more complex answers in English.
The truth is, other markets and opportunites aren’t tapped into properly yet.
If English is the language of the internet, does that mean that in 5-10 years when everyone in China gets online (and a lot of them already have) and start creating content and businesses, Chinese will become the language of the internet? No, of course not. You won’t even notice it because it won’t be in your search domain.
This is where everyone gets confused. You think Chinese is not the issue because their letter is different then yours, but it’s actually not about that at all. You can search for anything in English because there isn’t any content for what you are searching in your language. It’s about quantity (and quality) of the content.
Markets are too small, non responsive and without any significant monetization opportunities.
This is common belief, but completely untrue. Foreign markets and people whoes first language isn’t English are soaring for content and information. They want experts who are closer to them, they want people who they could actually meet if they wanted to, they they want to feel more connected to the person and their common interests in a way (cultularly speaking); people tend to trust more people who are closer to them geographically, intelectually…
If they had enough experts and businesses who wrote in their languages who would help them to solve their problems or feed their interests, they wouldn’t have reasons or the need to go out and search for them internationally. You can listen to a really interesting interview that Yaro from Entrepreneurs-Journey did with a French online entrepreneur here. He tells his story and reveals how he created great success in a short period of time, how the market responded to him and all the things that might not seem logical to you at this point.
Besides, foreign markets (non-English speaking) will always be more responsive because they are not used to so much content being published every day, they have the cultural advantage of knowing how to approach their people (those lines have been almost erased in the English speaking online world), and because there were, and sometimes still are, many scams associated with English speakers online, as well as just about everyone caling themselves experts.
Building trust is easier to do.
What about existing European blogs? The only thing about European blogs is that they still haven’t built such strong connections and communities between them like English wrriten ones have. They are still hosted mostly on free national blogging platforms and the ones that are most read are those that discuss politics. Though, Europeans are discovering more and more the value and potential in big blogging platforms and they are slowely gaining traction. It would happen faster if someone was there to guide them and show them what works
It works for online and “offline” businesses with blogs.
Blogging is sometimes still a new concept for some in business. But since business websites are becoming blogs or are integrating blogs, and since they are really good business development tools, they have their place in both online and brick and mortar businesses.
The common question that business owners have when they start using their blogs for business is whether their blog should then be in English. Most blogs are, shouldn’t mine be, too?
It doesn’t matter if your business is online or if you decided to use a blog as a tool to connect and take advantage of free marketing, you should almost always choose to write in your native language, whichever it is. First of all, if the rest of your website is already written in your language, why confuse everyone with an English written blog. And the other thing that still applies; it’s a lot easier to break into a your market then an English speaking one. Less competition and the need for experts means not only an easier path, but more opportunities, faster growth of your business and your community.
Another important thing is that you will be able to build credibility fast. Since many of the most lucrative and basic markets weren’t tapped into yet in most other languages, even in French, German, Spanish, etc. Imagine how people would react if they found your blog where you shared a lot of value about something they need, in their own language. You would have a new follower instantly, and probably even a customer as easily as that.
But you don’t have to blog in your own language, except…
Blogging for local businesses and businesses that target international markets is not the same.
When your business is focused on a local market you have, of course, no reason not to blog in your own language. But the bigger question here is usually whether you should blog at all if you are only serving the local market, which I talk about more here.
If you have a business that is targeting a global market, then your website, online shop, blog, etc. should all be in English because English is the most widely spoken second language.
If you are focusing your business efforts internationally, on certain cultural groups, countries that speak the same/similar language, your better option is again to go non-English. For the same reasons; better connection, more relevance and credibility, faster growth.
If you have any questions or doubts yourself share them below or send me an email (you can find my address in the contact section). For more articles like this one subscribe by RSS or email (form on the top of the side bar).
photo courtesy Ezilon Maps