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.