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Your own websites?
Thread poster: Eric S.
Eric S.
Taiwan
Local time: 16:55
Chinese to English
Dec 9, 2016

I assume that most serious translators have their own websites, so I'd like to pose a hypothetical question (hypothetical as I'm not sure many people have tried it, though I'm ready to be wrong).

When you create a website for yourself, do you find it's more useful to make the website look like it is for you, as a one-person-show freelancer (what I assume everybody does), or may it be more useful to make a it look more like a website for a big translating agency? No lying of course, just making it look big, and therefore perhaps more trustworthy, something people are more willing to take a chance on than a cold-calling freelancer. The reason I ask this is because I've noticed that, when looking for direct clients, the companies in question at times still quote me prices as low as, or even lower than, the price I would ask from an agency (lowest $0.06). On the other hand, when looking at agency websites, I always see price ranges that are much higher, generally around $0.13~$0.19 per word.

For this reason, I was thinking it may be beneficial to focus on looking like a big agency, at least on one's website, when trying to advertise oneself to direct clients. I'm sure just about everyone's had their own experience with marketing themselves online - I'd love to hear your opinions?


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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Electronic business card Dec 9, 2016

I think our websites should just be a glorified business card. There would be so little chance of being found via search engine, it wasn't worth even considering anyone finding my website without the link. Therefore rates, for example, aren't even mentioned. It's just another thing to tick on the list, in front of the Facebook business profile.

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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:55
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
...not necessarilly... Dec 9, 2016

Hi Eric.

At the early stages of planning my website and while talking to other translators, marketing professionals and SEO team, I heard the suggestions like: Why not make it look bigger? Why not make it look like a large international translation company? As mentioned in “make it look more like a website for a big translating agency?” After all the discussions, and while talking to a colleague, I had the insight of making it look professional, big and, at the same time, with that personal touch, offering my professional and technical services and where clients feel that I will be around (online) supporting with any queries that might come up after delivery. I know this is not enough, but most clients I have they deal with shortening and localization issues.
On the other hand, I e-meet people who say that I need to insert more content onto pages, etc., in order to make it look like a big company. My aim is to make it look professional, technical, committed, with that ‘personal’ touch, and the most important thing: ‘try to’ make my USP visible. I have been successful so far.

Hope it is close to what you expected.

Good luck.


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Eric S.
Taiwan
Local time: 16:55
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
, Dec 9, 2016

DJHartmann, I agree, though my focus isn't really so much on what people will see if they search me - I usually use my website as a 'business card' in the sense that when I'm looking for direct clients, I like to link them to my site once I've gotten a reply and they are willing to talk to me. So my thought is more in the realm of, should I be emphasizing that I'm a one man show, or should I be more subtle, and focus more on promoting my 'service,' which could come off more like a big company, depending on how my site is set up.

Paulinho, I've looked at your site, and, like the other sites I've seen made with websitesfortranslators, I think it looks very professional, and great for promoting yourself as a freelancer. I suppose based on your answer you would say you have found more success promoting yourself rather than your 'service' in some sort of way that may imply that the service is more like a big translation company?


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:55
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Do we really need dedicated websites? Dec 9, 2016

Eric S. wrote:

I assume that most serious translators have their own websites, so I'd like to pose a hypothetical question (hypothetical as I'm not sure many people have tried it, though I'm ready to be wrong).

For this reason, I was thinking it may be beneficial to focus on looking like a big agency, at least on one's website, when trying to advertise oneself to direct clients. I'm sure just about everyone's had their own experience with marketing themselves online - I'd love to hear your opinions?


Hi Eric,

I am not 100% sure that having you own website is the best way to go. A good ProZ profile might be all you need. Have a look at the following 3 ProZ profiles.

http://www.proz.com/translator/49165
http://www.proz.com/translator/2107949
http://www.proz.com/profile/2166749

You might have to work hard to improve the SEO of your website to achieve the same results you can achieve with a ProZ profile.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:55
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Own web site = own control Dec 9, 2016

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:
I am not 100% sure that having you own website is the best way to go. A good ProZ.com profile might be all you need. Have a look at the following 3 ProZ.com profiles.
http://www.proz.com/translator/49165
http://www.proz.com/translator/2107949
http://www.proz.com/profile/2166749


One advantage of having one's own web site is that one can prevent this sort of thing from happening:

falk1

falk2

falk3



[Edited at 2016-12-09 09:59 GMT]


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:55
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Not sure what you are talking about Dec 9, 2016

Samuel Murray wrote:


One advantage of having one's own web site is that one can prevent this sort of thing from happening:



[Edited at 2016-12-09 09:59 GMT]


I am not sure what you are talking about, are you referring to the garbeld images? Why does it not surprise my that it is you seeing, this nobody else reported this before. May I ask you what browser you are using? And why do you believe that we have no control to correct it? I you can tell me what environment is causing it, I might be able to reproduce it and to correct it.

If you are however referring to the small advert on the left of my profile (to one of the best translators into Italian (http://www.proz.com/translator/1034995) - THIS IS ON PURPOSE - I PUT IT THERE and I assume that this applies to the other problems YOU spotted too. These are no problems, thes are called features, and WE CAN CONTROL THEM.

Sometimes a bit or research is better than just HAVING an idea or an opinion.

[Edited at 2016-12-09 10:20 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:55
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I was referring to fit-to-window Dec 9, 2016

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
One advantage of having one's own web site is that one can prevent this sort of thing from happening:

I am not sure what you are talking about...


I was referring to the lack of fit-to-window offered by ProZ.com profiles. The authors of these three profile pages all assumed that clients will use their browsers at a certain minimum window width.

...are you referring to the garbled images?


The garbling was applied by me, for privacy reasons. It is done in an image editor, before uploading.


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:55
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Is this a real problem Dec 9, 2016

Samuel Murray wrote:
I was referring to the lack of fit-to-window offered by ProZ.com profiles. The authors of these three profile pages all assumed that clients will use their browsers at a certain minimum window width.


This is correct to display the full width of the page, you need to have at least >1600 pixel. My smartphone (6 years old has a higher screen resolution) but anyway, a) it is scaling nicely to higher resolutions and I have no problem as long as I benefit from the high SEO ranking of ProZ, and who knows what ProZ might do to improve it. I am happy with my profile, it brings good traffic, specially from search engines. I am not using a dedicated website. I had one for years, too much work to keep it updated, too expensive in my opinion.

I am not saying "don't get your own website" all I am saying is "there might be professional translatorsusing other options" and one option is to have a ProZ profile that differs from the rest of the profiles.


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yinnyann  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:55
Spanish to French
+ ...
Customized ProZ profile Dec 9, 2016

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

Hi Eric,

I am not 100% sure that having you own website is the best way to go. A good ProZ profile might be all you need. Have a look at the following 3 ProZ profiles.

http://www.proz.com/translator/49165
http://www.proz.com/translator/2107949
http://www.proz.com/profile/2166749

You might have to work hard to improve the SEO of your website to achieve the same results you can achieve with a ProZ profile.


Hi Siegfried,

May I ask you how you created your profile? Is that some "InDesign like" code cut&paste?
And how do hide the standardized information display?

Thanks in advance.


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John Holland  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:55
Member (2012)
French to English
Why not have both? Dec 9, 2016

I have a customized ProZ profile with clickable images that lead to more information about my services and work, including a QR code.
I also have a web site, in my source and target languages, from which I get a meaningful amount of good projects even though it's not yet complete (I need to finish writing the FAQ page).
https://jhollandtranslations.com
I'd say that I generally get more inquiries from agencies at Proz and more from direct clients at my site. I find the two complement each other and that it's definitely worth having both.

For SEO, I suggest following Google's recommendations (you can test your site for compliance and get more information at varvy.com) and getting meaningful local citations (that's jargon for getting your site listed in reputable local business and other professional directories).

(PS: you can view the HTML code of any web page in many browsers. For example, in Firefox right-click and then choose "View Page Source". Also see: http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000746.htm )

[Edited at 2016-12-09 21:08 GMT]


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Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:55
Member (2011)
Spanish to French
+ ...
And by the way Dec 9, 2016

all three Proz profile owners have also their own website (or a Linkedin one) .
So I guess it doesn't hurt to have both!
Which reminds me that I have to keep working on mine...

[Edited at 2016-12-09 18:17 GMT]


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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:55
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
That is absolutely right Dec 9, 2016

I get many emails from 'companies' saying that my website SEO is not good. It might not be, but I have also checked on some of these 'companies' and found out they are scammers.

:/


You might have to work hard to improve the SEO of your website to achieve the same results you can achieve with a ProZ profile. [/quote]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:55
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Surely it should promote the website owner(s), not some other entity? Dec 9, 2016

Eric S. wrote:
I was thinking it may be beneficial to focus on looking like a big agency, at least on one's website, when trying to advertise oneself to direct clients.

You may not be wanting to mislead potential clients from the outset, but you are actually doing exactly that if your website gives the impression that you're some company with employees etc. I can't understand how it can be negative to advertise what you really are: a highly experienced professional who can provide a personal, customised service. If the potential client can't see the benefit of that, perhaps s/he isn't such a great prospect. OTOH, if a client collaborates with you on the basis of you pretending to be some big corporation, and then finds out it's just you, they'd have a very valid reason for being upset.

But I can only give my gut feeling. I spent about 10 years going through various website builds before eventually accepting that it wasn't going to happen. I've finally stopped paying to host my domain name. Retirement is too close .


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:55
Member
Italian to English
What's the point? Dec 12, 2016

DJHartmann wrote:

I think our websites should just be a glorified business card. There would be so little chance of being found via search engine, it wasn't worth even considering anyone finding my website without the link. Therefore rates, for example, aren't even mentioned. It's just another thing to tick on the list, in front of the Facebook business profile.


To be honest, I couldn't disagree more! If the purpose of a website is simply to be a "glorified business card", then why bother having one at all? I was at a conference a couple of years back, and one particular speaker said "A website without a blog is like a Lamborghini on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria" (i.e. always dotted with roadworks holding up the traffic, meaning that a fast car is next to useless). While I don't necessarily believe that every website should have a blog, it's a way of driving traffic to your website, and I think this is what we should be concentrating on - making clients come to us rather than the other way around.

As for rates, I know there's always a lot of debate as to whether or not to include them. I have, because it immediately tells prospective clients what my rates are, and I'm not contacted by anyone offering below what I'm willing to accept.


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