Successful Blogs And Best Resources For Freelance Translators

Look:

Most freelance translators think, “I have just launched a website and now I am ready to get direct projects!”

But what comes next?

Frustration…

…because no one will end up on your freelance translator website accidentally – the Web is just too big.

The bottom line?

If you want people to visit your website, you NEED to follow best practices to get translation projects from your website.

And today I have prepared a post where you can find superpowerful tips and resources: freelance translators.

Scientific and technical translator.

Sofia Polykreti

I created my blog, Earthlang, in 2012, the same year I started working as a freelance translator. I chose that name because I am both a map geek and a language nerd. In my blog, I write about translation, language, culture, as well as about geography, maps, and places. I also post practical advice on learning new languages.

I can’t really say my blog makes me an expert; however, I enjoy researching and then writing my posts as well as picking the right photo to accompany them.

My blog is read mostly by translators, but there are many other people who read and enjoy it. I am trying to bring new resources for freelance translators, to give my own perspective to things, and to explore different topics each time. Moreover, I have seen that my blog has been the starting point of interesting conversations, and at times, of new collaborations and friendships, a fact that makes me very happy.

  • That’s amazing; this way, they got to know me more as a person before picking me for a project.

Apart from its tremendous value as a community builder, my blog has also helped me professionally. Before my website, I had noticed that whenever a new client contacted me, they visited my blog and read my posts. That’s amazing; this way, they got to know me more as a person before picking me for a project.

When I created my professional website, www.sofiapolykreti.com, I put a link to it in my blog (and vice versa), and I have noticed that many visitors to the website are visiting through my blog. The reverse is also true but not so common. I believe this is so because my blog includes much more content than the website, and thus it pops up more often in search engines. In addition, the blog’s content is more fresh, and it’s updated more often that the website’s content, which is also why blog posts appear more often as search results. Finally, since I am sharing my blog posts online, and so do many of my readers, my blog is read more than my website.

In the future, I will be writing for my potential customers as well as my colleagues and other readers, exploring topics that project managers may be interested in, such as translation quality etc. This way, my blog will help me establish customer relationships on a more personal level.

Tweet about Sofia’s translator blog experience
Game localizer

Marianna Sacra

When I decided to switch from being an in-house game tester to becoming a freelance translator, I had gazillion questions. But I couldn’t find many resources online to get answers to those questions. Later, after working as a translator for a few years successfully, I wondered whether I could make things easier for the next generation, and perhaps share something with the community at large in the process.

I’m not much of a talker. Writing, however, is what we translators do all day long. So I knew that would be my medium. Still, I wasn’t sure that I had something of value to share. I wasn’t even quite sure exactly who my audience would be.

resources freelance translator

The turning point came when I wrote Confessions of a Game Translator: 12 Actual Reasons Why Some Game Translations Suck. This article is my most popular blog post so far. Based on the response to the article, the main reason for its popularity is the fact that it revealed to many people exactly how complicated and difficult it is to translate and localize a game.

By way of contrast, another popular post I wrote, How to Translate a Game — A Beginner’s Guide for Your LocJAM Success, only got 200 views in the first month. But even one year later, the number steadily remains about the same. I wrote the article for beginner translators, particularly those who want to take part in the LocJAM game translation contest and don’t know where to start.

  • There is a third portion of my audience that derives an entirely different kind of value from my blog: clients!

These two posts made me understand the value I can bring to the community. For fellow (aspiring) translators, I can provide educational material, share lessons learned, and exchange bits of wisdom. For the gaming community in general, I have enjoyed providing an often hidden perspective on the fun and the challenges of game localization. Thanks to this blog and the publicity it has attracted, I have landed some fun projects and awesome new clients, for which I am naturally very grateful.

When clients encounter me by way of my blog, and therefore through my thoughts and experience with localization, they get a much more personal and informative look at what I am like as a translator than they would get from a social network profile or a CV.

But what really makes this all worthwhile are the many lovely messages I get from fellow translators, students, and gamers asking me for my opinion, thank me for writing that blog, or just saying hello. These exchanges point to the real value of writing on the Internet: the chance to be part of and to interact with a community.

Tweet what Marianna as a game localizer writes in her blog
BA in linguistics

Kelsey Ray

I’ve recently migrated from hobby blogging to writing about my professional interests. Since I began experimenting with this platform in 2014, I’ve found that keeping a blog is less about competition and more about education. A strong blog helps to educate clients, start conversations among colleagues, and strengthen the writer’s expertise.

But I’ve never felt that I could limit my posts to technical topics. I like to have a few posts that convey who I am as a person: Why I fell in love with German, what I find amazing about languages, and so forth. While I try to keep the topics closely related to work, I hope that these miscellaneous articles will help the clients match the person to the translation.

I also feel like a blog can increase client confidence. After all, if you can clearly explain your work, you understand it well enough to be an expert.

Tweet why Kelsey keeps blogging as a freelance translator
Business translator

Maeva Cifuentes

I’ve been working since I was 15. I worked 20-30 hours a week through the end of high school and all throughout my bachelor’s degree. Then I kept working. I always felt the need to be independent. When I was studying for my bachelor’s degree I translated for fun. Eventually, I realized I wasn’t made to have a boss (and any boss probably didn’t like me as an employee,

stubborn as I am), and I knew I was meant to plunge into the endeavor of living a self-employed, language-filled lifestyle. I spent my time translating in the day (improving my skills with revisers, working on my specialization, reaching out to clients only to often be rejected) while bartending at night. It took about a year before I could afford to quit my night job and enjoy the sweet fruits of being a professional translator.

I started working with agencies; they are easier to find and access, and as a beginner, they help you understand the translation process (sometimes!). Through years of work, recommendations and networking, I was eventually able to branch out and get some direct clients. Most of my clients are still agencies. You need to network, know people, and get recommendations to land direct clients. Networking and marketing are crucial, not only to get your name recognized but also to meet colleagues and be aware of what’s happening in your profession. Sometimes people ask me how to become a translator as a side job. My answer? No idea. This is a profession that requires constant training, outreach, and practice. In short, it’s always full-time.

What’s even more important than marketing and networking is providing premium quality. It’s important to start working on your quality from the beginning: always try to get revised by an experienced translator, ask for feedback from clients, and never stop reading in your subject matter. Get a mentor and connect with people in your specialization. It doesn’t matter whether you think they’ll eventually become a client. They are key resources for freelance translators that can help you understand your texts.

There are a lot of resources on the internet for creating a good translator CV. The repeating themes are showing language pairs and specializations first, somewhere the client can easily find. Include your professional experience before your education. If you have zero translation experience, start volunteering or make some translation samples, paying an experienced professional to revise them with detailed feedback. Include what CAT tools you work with, references, and any professional associations you may be a part of. If you aren’t part of one, consider joining one. I’m a member of three associations, all with different benefits.

It’s a great adventure – a challenging one, but worth every ounce if it’s what you want to do.

Tweet Maeva’s Tips
Business translator

Flavia Luz

After many years translating on the side, I decided to start my business. I have worked with several agencies and a few direct clients throughout the years, but last year I wanted to take a decisive step towards my career and to become an entrepreneur. I believe that our mindset will determine what we will accomplish. I got a domain, made a business email, designed my business card, built a website, got to social media,

started networking, and started blogging.

Blogging sounded a bit scary at the beginning but I decided to start writing, anyway. I started recently, but from the get go I can say that it is an efficient way to get yourself noticed, to generate traffic to your website, to gain knowledge, and to networking.

On my blog, I share my experience, stumbles, recommendations and expertise with other translators looking forward to learning from their experience as well. I did it all by myself and I use everything that I find online to get inspiration to write. I started with a couple of blog posts where I recommend other blogs that offer a great deal of information and guidance for new translators and another on how to set up a business email. I hope that I can give valuable information for new translators by sharing with them what I have learned all those years.

I also want to attract direct customers. To get there, I am working on a series of posts with useful information about translations for non-translators. I will offer all sorts of information about the translation business, how translators work, how to hire them, how much does translation costs, etc. I want that people who don’t know much about translations have the opportunity to understand how important translators and interpreters are today, yesterday and in the future. I will talk about translation’s history hoping that I can help to demystify the profession and its importance. This is the point where I offer a unique point of view not only for translators, who will have great content to share with their current and future clients but to everyone else.

Even if I started blogging recently, my blog is already driving a fair amount of traffic to my website and generating some direct customers leads. I am glad I started because I can see the results immediately and the things you get to learn by doing it are worthwhile.

Tweet Flavia’s Tips
By | 2017-05-24T19:42:40+00:00 April 12th, 2017|

About the Author:

Translator & localization specialist, Wordpress website developer, SEO and online marketing expert. Able to develop and shape your company's voice and style in Russian & Ukrainian to ensure that it’s clear, accessible, and culturally relevant for your customers and partners throughout the Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking world.

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