By: Ekaterina E. Tarasova
Of what good can blogging be to a professional translator? For that you have to go to the beginning and ponder why people blog in the first place? Is it just a way to pass time and have fun with your ability to write or does it solve a larger purpose?
Blogging is certainly more than just a fad despite the fact that millions of blogs are being created all over the world every month and 99% of them are abandoned after the first blog post. For some it is a creative outlet while some call it the mightiest PR tool the civilization has ever come across. Some label it as a useless medium where people discuss their dog’s potty habits and what they had for breakfast and what they are going to have or not going to have for dinner. Different people have different opinions, but the reality is, from school going kids to globetrotting CEOs of many Fortune 500 companies, everybody is blogging these days and some entrepreneurs have etched out entire careers out of blogging.
When we talk about the commercial aspects of blogging people confuse it with publishing blogs in order to sell advertising space. Although there is nothing wrong making such use of blogging you can blog to promote your current business too. For instance if you are a professional translator you can blog to promote your professional translation and interpretation services. This is all the more important if you provide your translation and interpretation services mostly through the Internet where people find you via various search engines, websites, online forums, social networking websites, and last but not the least, blogs. A blog certainly increases your visibility. Through this article we are going to observe how your blog can help you promote your translation and interpretation services.
- A blog helps you establish your personal brand: Establishing personal brand is highly critical if you are providing professional translation services as a freelancer because your prospective clients need to feel comfortable with you before they give you their translation assignments. They need to have trust in you, and your blog—that is regularly updated with useful and relevant content—gives them ample scope to know you and establish a sense of trust. On the Internet the only way your clients can know you is by reading a lot about you, from you and from the others. When you blog you expose your thoughts in front of your current, past and prospective clients. Your blog content also encourages other bloggers and online publishers to talk about you and about your writing. This creates a kind of buzz around your name and your profession. When lots of people talk about you in a positive manner it instills confidence among your clients. Since your blogging theme would be translation and interpretation your readers are most likely to be more interested in this topic, so sooner or later many of your readers would like to hire your services in case they are looking for a professional translator or interpreter.
- A blog helps you build traffic: Blogs by nature are updated with great frequency. Some bloggers update their blogs multiple times in a single day, although this is not possible for a professional person. Nonetheless if you can update your blog once every day the search engine crawlers start crawling your blog on a daily basis. Among its multiple benefits the greatest benefit is that your messages begin to appear on the search engine result pages the very next day. The focus of your blog—in this case it would be translation and interpretation—will communicate to the search engines that if they want to present some really relevant and helpful information on translation and interpretation to their users then your blog contains lots of it. Since your blog will be vertically focused on the topic of translation and interpretation the search engines will find it as a great resource whenever their users are looking for information pertaining to your topic. Apart from this bloggers and online publishers love to link to each other in case the content they are linking to adds value to their own content. Hence, without spending big bucks you get lots of quality incoming links (consequently, a higher page rank); this not only leads to more number of targeted visitors but also higher search engine rankings.
- A blog helps you become an expert: Frankly, you get stuck in a rut if all the time you are doing professional assignments. Although you will continue learning when you are working on various translation and interpretation assignments the real learning happens when you learn, you teach and you implement. When you publish a blog regularly you are constantly learning new stuff to share with your readers. Once your readers begin to interact with you, begin to consider you an expert, begin to ask you questions, finding answers and then publishing them on your blog becomes sort of addictive.
- A blog helps you protect your reputation: A good thing about the Internet is even a small idea can spread like wildfire. In some cases it is also a bad thing. Let us suppose there is some confusion, there is a communication gap and you end up with a disgruntled client and that client starts a hate campaign against you and your service on the Internet. If nobody has ever heard of you, if you don’t have a platform to express your own side of the story the people are very easily going to believe that negative hype from that client. Unknown people who don’t communicate much anyway seem shady especially when it is so easy to establish and promote your identity on the Internet. Contrary to this, when you have your own blog you already have a ready audience who is loyal to you, who trusts you and respects you for your knowledge and who can vouch for you in case your reputation is being tarnished. In fact if people know you they will defend you even at other places like other blogs and online forums. Many businesses start blogging when the damage has already been done. It is not suggested that you start a blog simply to defend yourself in case a disgruntled client launches a campaign against you, but this can turn out to be a great asset lest such an unfortunate event unfolds.
- A blog can easily become an alternative source of income: Finally we come to the selling ad space part. On a business blog it is not advisable that you sell all kinds of advertisements but you can easily promote related products and services once your traffic builds up. For instance if you have got a couple of thousand visitors reading your blog everyday you can easily promote translation and interpretation related tools and products on your blog and earn good money on the side. Selling ads on your blog also gives an indication that the traffic is high and targeted on your blog and therefore you must be publishing something of great value. A successful blog that can sell advertisements in itself is an indication that the person running the blog is professional, driven, committed and dedicated.
These are some of the great reasons why you should have a blog as a professional translator and interpreter. Of course the downside is that once you have committed yourself you will need to post on your blog continuously and sometimes this causes lots of strain. But once you have attained an equilibrium that properly balances your professional commitments and your blogging schedule you begin to enjoy it and start reaping the overwhelming benefits of blogging.