blogging tips for translators

Five Types of Blog Posts You Should Write for Your Clients

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Writing a blog, in general, can be very good for your business. If you decide that the purpose of the content on your website is to serve your clients, then sharing your ideas and expertise via a blog can boost your credibility among clients. It can also bring up your SEO ranking in search engine results significantly, and rather quickly. And perhaps most importantly, it can increase buy-in from clients.

For more information on blogging for clients, check out Why Your Translation Business Needs a Blog.

It can sometimes be hard to know what kind of content to write for clients. And while you may start out with some great ideas, and feel very motivated in the beginning of your blogging ventures, it’s important to continuously think up new ideas and content that you can share with your clients in order to keep them coming back for more.

Here are five types of posts you can write and schedule for your blog today.

1. Tips and best practices

When it comes to some of the most effective blog posts among general readerships, those that are chock full of tips and tricks tend to be very well received. Create a blog post, or a series of blog posts, on best practices for working with a professional translator or interpreter in your area of expertise. Try not to be too self promotional. Instead, allow the reader to draw the conclusion that you want them to draw simply by becoming more informed and demonstrating your expertise in the area.

2. A “how to” article

People love these! Teach your readers how to do something that most would not typically know how to do. Try to relate this to language and/or translation or interpreting in some way. You could write something basic and simple, like a post on how to work with a freelance translator. Or you could be more creative and write a post on how to prepare a text for translation in your given area of expertise with key items to consider before requesting the translation. You could even write a fun post on how to greet someone in the language(s) you speak. This is useful for trips, in meeting new or potential clients, etc. Remember one thing, however. Keep the post simple and to the point.

3. A checklist or list of resources

 Who doesn’t love a good checklist? Or a well curated list of resources that cuts out one to three hours of work on their part? Think about what kinds of things your clients often request. What would need to know to do their jobs better (bonus points when these relate to your language pair), or simply something that would make their jobs (or lives) easier? Even if you cannot directly relate the checklist or resources to your language pair, the simple fact that you have taken the time to prepare the list of resources for them shows that you are dedicated to ensuring your clients’ success, while allowing you to further demonstrate your expertise.

4. Frequently asked questions (and answers)

In addition to number 3 above, putting together a post that answers the most frequently asked questions you receive will allow you to direct new clients to these responses without having to answer the same questions over and over again. Try not to frame this as an FAQ page on your website. Instead, draft some engaging content based on the questions you are often asked, and provide your best answers to them. Anytime you get a new client inquiry, you can use this post as part of your onboarding process. Include a link in your reply email to your client as a way to both answer potential questions and to demonstrate that you have created content with your clients in mind.

5. Current trends or information that is relevant to your clients

One great way to further demonstrate your knowledge on a subject area is to provide clients with current information that is relevant to them in their area(s) of expertise or on items that might affect their line of work. For example, if you have clients who frequently market their products or services in Europe, you could create a post for them how they might be affected by regulations on data collection and protection. Of course, you’ll want to refer to more authoritative sources within your post, and perhaps include a disclaimer that you are not a lawyer, etc., but just by getting them to think about what they might need to do in order to prepare shows that you have their best interests in mind and that you are aware of current issues. Of course, there are many trends and events that you could write about. So, take some time to brainstorm a few and decide which would be of most interest to your client readership.

It is vital to truly understand your clients if you plan to write for them. This means you have to ask them questions, understand their problems, talk to them! It is also essential to use the kind of language or register in your blog posts that your clients use. If you are in a very niche market, then it may be okay to use jargon that is industry-specific. But if you serve a variety of clients, then it is probably best to avoid jargon or specialized terminology.

Don't be afraid to talk directly with your clients to find out what it is that they struggle with in their positions or within their industries. You will often find that the answers you receive are things you were not expecting! And this is your chance to shine and show how you can help them. Be creative and open to writing content for them on a regular, consistent basis. This is the key to “showing up” for them, even when you are not currently working on one of their projects.

One final tip is to use your client email list to let clients know when you have published a new blog post. Don’t assume that just because you are writing for your clients that they will be waiting for your next post to be published. Let them know and include a link to the post. This will drive more traffic to your site and will keep you (and your services) top of mind.

Why Your Translation Business Needs a Blog

Why Your Translation Business Needs a Blog | Madalena Sanchez Zampaulo | translation blog for clients

I want to start this post out by debunking a couple of myths about blogging.

Myth #1: Blogging is dead. There are some who believe it is, and while video and social media channels with mostly visual content are very much desired by current users, blogging still works as a massive driver to bring people to your website. No matter what you may have heard, blogging is not dead. And yes, many people do still read!

Should you need any further proof of whether blogs are a worthwhile addition to your site, talk to anyone who has one for their business and ask them about their analytics. Specifically, ask them what the most popular pages on their website are. I will bet that most will tell you that certain blog posts rank the highest when it comes to visitors and conversions.

Myth #2: Blogging will take up tons of your time and give you little return. Absolutely untrue. The return itself may take some time to see, but the tags and phrases you use in your blog posts will show up in search terms on search engines, which directly push traffic to the blog on your website.

I am of the opinion that if you have a business and a website, you need a blog. Period. Whether you are a freelancer who works from home, or if you have a small translation agency, you need to be writing a blog on a regular basis. I know so many business owners and freelancers who have the best intentions of starting a blog. They may write a post or two here and there, but consistency is not their strong suit.

In my own business, we typically write 6 to 8 blog posts a month, but you can start with twice a month or once a week if that suits you better. You'll see that it's not nearly as much work or as stressful as you might think. Over time, traffic will be driven to your site and you will reap the benefits with keeping up with your professional blog.

Determine your audience

First and foremost, when you're thinking about topics for blog posts, it's best to remember who your audience is (or better, who your ideal audience is) and connect with them through your blog posts. Create a customer avatar based on your ideal client and write directly to that person in your posts and marketing content. Think about your customers' pain points and how you, as their expert translator, can relieve that pain. What can you do to better serve your customers? What value can you provide and share via your blog, social media posts, direct emails, etc.?

One of the key things to remember when you write blog posts is to write about topics that interest your ideal clients. Remember, if your goal is to drive potential clients to your website, make sure you don't use terms specific to the translation industry that a layperson would have a hard time deciphering. The common client doesn't know what a TM is or how post-editing works. So, try to write for your customers and not your colleagues.

Promote your blog

Use key search terms in your blog posts (and elsewhere on your website). If you are translator who specializes in Japanese to English automotive translation, make sure to use key terms in your blog posts that your ideal client would enter into a search engine. For example, you could write about key considerations in the translation of car manuals. By using terms your ideal client would search for, and simply by writing the blog post at all, you increase the chance of your website showing up in search rankings.

I also cannot stress enough that the more often you update your website with a blog post, the more often you will show up in search engine rankings because blog posts are considered NEW content by today' algorithms. And since blog posts tend to be lengthier than other text on your website, there is a higher probability that simply writing a blog post will increase the search terms that drive traffic directly to your site.

Another way to promote your blog posts in addition to the designated page on your website is to share your blog posts as articles on professional social media channels like LinkedIn. Showing up in social media feeds that also drive traffic to your website is a great way to get further exposure.

Blogging drives people to your website and helps you to direct traffic with intention. You can establish yourself as an expert, gain trust among potential clients and provide the information you want your audience to know simply by writing consistently. Blogging regularly is key.

You can also add your most recent blog post URL to your signature in outgoing emails. You can let your clients know about your blog posts through a monthly newsletter to current clients or by sending potential clients a link when you get a new inquiry. We've found the email marketing method to be very effective and you can easily track email marketing efforts by seeing what your audience opens and clicks on within each email.

If blogging has been on your radar for a while, or if you just want to try a new method of marketing in your translation business, take an hour and create an editorial calendar for this quarter. Decide how often you're going to blog and make sure you schedule days to create the content so that you are sure to follow through. Don't forget to schedule time to promote your blog posts. If you don't tell anyone about your blog, you cannot expect any engagement, especially when you're first starting out.