Does creating your own website pay?
Thread poster: deutschenglisch

deutschenglisch  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2003)
German to English
Jul 19

Would be interested in translators experiences in terms of increased profitability/exposure after setting up a *static* web site as a translator.

How many Purchasers from major companies would still google language1 language2 translator?
Would a more dynamic site attract visitors with real-time translation, on-site payment, term lookup, etc?


 

Onur Inal  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:05
Member (2015)
English to Turkish
+ ...


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A kind of corporate identity Jul 19

I have my own website and I don’t remember anyone getting into contact through it. But I know people/clients who look at my website before assigning me a job. In my opinion, a personal website and an email with your own domain (instead of gmail, hotmail etc.) is an indication of your corporate identity, even though if you are just a freelancer doing home-office.

deutschenglisch
Ester Vidal
Ricardo Suin
Johanna González
Matheus Chaud
John Fossey
Hedwig Lugaro
 

deutschenglisch  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2003)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting.... Jul 19

Onur Inal wrote:

I have my own website and I don’t remember anyone getting into contact through it. But I know people/clients who look at my website before assigning me a job. In my opinion, a personal website and an email with your own domain (instead of gmail, hotmail etc.) is an indication of your corporate identity, even though if you are just a freelancer doing home-office.


this would suggest that some clients would refrain from doing business from a freelancer without a 'corporate identity'- would be interesting to see if there were statistics to support this idea.


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 12:05
Member (2016)
English to German
The cost is small anyway, and it improves your profile Jul 19

As with other advertising efforts, you cannot really find out if it helps driving customers to you or not. But if you ask if it "pays", you should also consider the cost of building a website, and the cost is rather small, particularly compared with other kinds advertising. Therefore simply do it. Being found cannot do any harm, or can it? Of course your website must not seem amateurish, but you don't need expensive bells and whistles, you simply need to show what you do best, for example delivering perfect and stylish text.

I am sure one or the other client or agency do a minimal background check on their translators, and in any case you should check how your name googles and what others see when they google you. (By the way, "deutschenglisch" does not sound like a professional handle to me, but that's just me.) I am not sure that a website will drive clients to you, but I am rather sure that a poor google search situation might drive clients away from you.


Teresa Borges
Ester Vidal
 

deutschenglisch  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2003)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Simple static would probably not cut it Jul 19

Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:

As with other advertising efforts, you cannot really find out if it helps driving customers to you or not. But if you ask if it "pays", you should also consider the cost of building a website, and the cost is rather small, particularly compared with other kinds advertising. Therefore simply do it. Being found cannot do any harm, or can it? Of course your website must not seem amateurish, but you don't need expensive bells and whistles, you simply need to show what you do best, for example delivering perfect and stylish text.


I am sure one or the other client or agency do a minimal background check on their translators, and in any case you should check how your name googles and what others see when they google you. (By the way, "deutschenglisch" does not sound like a professional handle to me, but that's just me.) I am not sure that a website will drive clients to you, but I am rather sure that a poor google search situation might drive clients away from you.



I am not sure even a modest outlay would pay as there is a certain expectation which goes beyond simple static sites, and these cost money. Even a live chat function is not necessarily cheap.

deutschenglisch idea was for SEO purposes though I am going to have to change it when establishing a new company soon


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 12:05
Member (2016)
English to German
Live chat? Jul 19

deutschenglisch wrote:

Even a live chat function is not necessarily cheap.


Live chat? That would fall under the category "bells and whistles" mentioned above. I believe that a totally static website would be the best choice, because everything else causes not only more cost but also more effort for you. I don't know the scope of your work, if you want to offer more agency-like services, it might be different, but for a "translator only" I think that live chat and similar functions are overambitious. Apart from that, you can always add a link to Skype or Whatsapp and chat away there with your clients.


deutschenglisch
Kevin Fulton
Ester Vidal
Ricardo Suin
Matheus Chaud
José Henrique Lamensdorf
John Fossey
 

deutschenglisch  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2003)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
yes, makes sense Jul 19

Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:

deutschenglisch wrote:

Even a live chat function is not necessarily cheap.


Live chat? That would fall under the category "bells and whistles" mentioned above. I believe that a totally static website would be the best choice, because everything else causes not only more cost but also more effort for you. I don't know the scope of your work, if you want to offer more agency-like services, it might be different, but for a "translator only" I think that live chat and similar functions are overambitious. Apart from that, you can always add a link to Skype or Whatsapp and chat away there with your clients.



It would indeed solely to showcase one freelancer's work.


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:05
German to English
Inexpensive marketing tool Jul 19

I've had a web site for a number of years. It's a static site that does not collect visitor data and covers my competencies and interests, providing more personal information than a CV. I get queries from time-to-time, many of which are unfortunately of the "please translate my fascinating life story" variety. However, it is an indication that I'm a serious professional, and my résumé contains a link to the site.

Whether it's a worthwhile investment is uncertain, but the annual cost is less than a bottle of medium-priced wine, and unlike the wine, is tax-deductible.


deutschenglisch
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
the more fishing grounds, the more prospects as clients Jul 19

One can diversify not only incomes and activities, but also ads and clients.
In this view, the site is but another fishing ground, one more chance to get another client.

However, I don't like similar sites without interesting and genuine content, let alone free-hosted constructor templates. On the other hand, I bear in mind in the digital era it takes a few clicks to clone the best-looking and content-rich site, not to mention credentials.

Why, I even met phishing sites referring to real/social accounts, that's why I prefer "non-digital" personal meetings, telephone talks, or detailed emails, checking it at every stage.


 

finnword1
United States
Local time: 06:05
English to Finnish
+ ...
It's good to have Jul 20

I don't know if it actually "pays" to have a website, as nobody has ever mentioned having even seen mine. I use it as a link, an alternative to sending out a CV. It did not cost me anything to create it. There are ready-made templates available for designing your own. If you can copy and paste text and pictures, you can do it. The only thing that costs money is to have it hosted.

deutschenglisch
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:05
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It certainly does, but don't get anxious about results Jul 20

There are few points to consider in doing it.

1. Free or paid hosting?

There is no free lunch.
If you choose 'free' hosting, you'll have your web site packed with irrelevant advertising. Is it worth it?
I spend about USD 159~200 per year in hosting, the package includes 10 e-mail addresses, tech support, and I have storage space to spare (10 GB, I guess). Very stable host, usually 100% uptime; at worst 99.9% thoughout an entire month.


2. DIY or hire a web developer?

My elder son is a top IT pro. After I had developed some content, it took 18 months for him to find time to build my first web site. He did it on my computer, using the Windows Notepad; it took him less than a couple of hours to have it up, online. He wrote in HTML, PHP, Java, and Javascript more 'fluently' than I'm writing this post in English, typing much faster, and without typos (or the page would freeze). Visitors were impressed with my site. Later I developed a few more pages, using the most varied apps, but they weren't too good.

As I didn't want to wait 18 more months, I scouted the web for a solution. There are now some apparently pretty good free web site building programs, but I have no idea on their downside.
I eventually found WebSiteX5, tried it, bought it, and have been using it ever since, gone through 5 or 6 successive versions.

With WSX5, I only care about content. I still don't know squat about HTML, Java, PHP, whatever; the program takes care of it for me. The key point is that I am free to add/change/fix content as often as I want, without any additional expense. Now and then I buy the version upgrade, though the program itself is pretty affordable. I think I'm using about 5~10% of the resources available there.

If you hire a web developer, of course, you'll still have to develop content. While you won't have to buy and learn to use any software, you'll be their hostage. Changing a web developer may involve starting from scratch, as most have their own methods, and tend to discredit the way others do it. You'll either be stuck with a monthly maintenance fee, or you'll be charged every time you want to fix a typo.


3. SEO or worthy content to get visibility?

You'll be flooded with offers to do SEO for you. Some people will offer you inclusion in umpteen hundred search engines within a week. While there is definitely some science in choosing and including keywords, you can get free advice/checking on this. It's your choice to pay people to do it for you. The point is that these rules change from time to time, and you'll probably have to get it redone.

Paying, say, Google, for privileged placement works as long as you keep paying. A friend, who had a small translation agency, paid Google some USD 250 per month for top ranking. It brought her a relatively good stream of business. One day she had to cut some costs, and this was one of them. The inrush of prospects came to a screeching halt. She would call her landline from her mobile to check whether it was still working.

If you can develop valuable and unique content, useful information, and make it available to anyone through your web site, your site will get more and more visits, and search engines monitoring that will automatically improve your ranking. The rationale is simple... if your site gives out valuable information, the search engine that points to it earlier will automatically become more valuable.

However don't get anxious for results... I chose this latter option, and it took 7 years for my web site to become my #1 source of new clients. The advantage is that this option, on top of being free, is sustainable, regardless of the criteria search engines use to sort web sites on keywords.


One final tip

There are certainly more people trying to sell you stuff/services than others who want to buy your wares. The tip here is, if you have a web site, have a special, separate e-mail address for contact published there. Robots are scouting the web 24/7 to find e-mail addresses to spam with offers, phishing, scams, and other junk.

Even if you surround the @ with spaces or underscores, or if you publish the address as a picture, so they have to retype it, you'll get tons of spam every day. So have a special e-mail that allows you to bulk-delete trash without opening, and forward the legit first contact messages to your main e-mail address before replying.

Another bonus here is that you will know how many worthy contacts your web site is bringing you.

My web site is at http://www.lamensdorf.com.br


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, it does! Jul 20

Run-of-the-mill, low-pay customers will not care much about who you are: they want some translation product to deliver and that's very much it. In exchange, they treat you like a monkey and will offer peanuts.

The type of customer you want to target are the people who look very closely into who, with what qualification, with what experience, works on their files. They are the ones who are ready to treat a professional nicely, pay a reasonable rate, and propose reasonable deadlines. And, yes, this type of customer values the possibility of seeing who is behind a name and who invests time and money into a bit of a business image.

I agree with the colleagues: you do not really need any bells and whistles, but instead C-C-C (clean-clear-concise) information about yourself as reassurance of your capabilities.


deutschenglisch
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
as a reference Jul 20

Do you remember ProZ is your* website too?)

I meet people who on purpose use even free-hosted yet personalized sites (usually in every working language) mostly as a business card--just a short intro with contact info, sometimes coupled with relevant links or data/samples. As a rule, pictures are watermarked and texts are digitally signed for a good reason.

By the way, it's possible to host a personal site both on (1) a local PC and (2) a decent router.


Ricardo Suin
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
FWIW Jul 21

We were in the Yellow Pages and it just generated junk

We had a website and it just generated junk

I tried being a member here and it just generated junk

Now we fly below the radar and rely on a steady trickle of word-of-mouth, which should be all you need


 

Anthony Teixeira
Japan
Local time: 19:05
Member (2011)
English to French
+ ...
Yes Jul 21

I agree with my colleagues above. A website can benefit you from several ways. Even if it generates 0 traffic, just having your own domain will give you a more professional image and be a powerful marketing asset. It shows you're committed.

As a sales tool, don't expect immediate miracles. It takes time to build authority in search engines. But if you build solid content, focus on your specialization keywords and follow basic SEO best practices, you should ultimately get there.

Overall, a website is a very good thing to have in your toolset, just don't see it as a silver bullet. It's only one of the many ways to improve your profile and generate leads.


Chris S
Ricardo Suin
 


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