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Poll: Has having your own website increased your turnover?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:06
SITE STAFF
Aug 13, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has having your own website increased your turnover?".

This poll was originally submitted by Jessica Ariño. View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't have one Aug 13, 2012

In my case, it would be pretty much a waste of time, more bother than it's worth. Rather than obsessing about "increasing my turnover", I am currently more interested in simply ticking over, and hoping that nobody offers me any more work until at least mid-September.

Chance would be a fine thing...


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:06
English
+ ...
I use my ProZ profile Aug 13, 2012

as a website, more or less.

 

XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:06
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Yes definitely Aug 13, 2012

I've only had my website for a couple of months, but already I've found it's made a big difference. I don't expect people to find me on a Google search, but it adds to the professional image, particularly these days when there are so many scams and "fly-by-night" translators. I've had several new clients who've agreed to my prepayment terms, which I think would have been unlikely without a professional window onto my business.

I might add that I also think we should practise what we preach and not expect a website to be "free" or "cheap". You get what you pay for.

[Edited at 2012-08-13 13:03 GMT]


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:06
Member (2006)
German to English
No Aug 13, 2012

But I have been wanting to have it done for about 5 years now, just never had the time for it.
And Suzan, as far as I can remember (as there was a similar poll not so long ago), your ProZ site is great


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:06
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Must liven up my Proz.com profile Aug 13, 2012

It seems to work fairly well, and normally I don't have time for more work.

So often flashy-looking (literally) websites are extremely disappointing - under the waving flags and buzzwords that buzz around too fast to read half the promises... there is very little real information. If they are are 'last updated several years ago', then I move on elswhere fast, and most clients probably do as well!

I don't have much time for blogs either, but a really professional, informative website might work. That means taking time to maintain it too.
A website is not a thing that should be done by halves. It is easier than ever to use the Net as a graffiti wall... while a good profile here and plenty of activity is not to be sniffed at.


 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:06
German to English
+ ...
No Aug 13, 2012

I have had my website for a little over a year now.

It has not resulted in increased turnover that I know of. No-one has sent me an e-mail saying that they have found my website, anyhow. I do know that it has the occasional hit referred from my blog, but my guess is the people looking at it are either translators, or curious surfers of the Internet.

What it does do is set out those bits and pieces that do not fit easily into profile pages, and gives some idea of the kind of person I am. If this strikes a chord with a client someday, well, good.

On the back burner is a project to have the website in all three of my source languages, but as long as work keeps coming in, I find that this energy-draining exercise stays firmly planted on the back burner. Besides, I am determined to pay someone at least the rates I expect to translate and/or edit it, and I do not think the style of the website as it stands will translate easily into French, German or Portuguese, so will entail rewrites. I will not be embarking on this project until I have organised my own domain, invested in CAT tools, a new computer - oh, the list is pretty long.

Even in one language, websites require maintenance, even if nothing much changes.
Ha! one more thing for the to-do list!


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:06
Hebrew to English
Maybe has an impact but hard to see a correlation...... Aug 13, 2012

I can't say that I saw any immediate or noticeable increase in business after launching my website, about a year ago. The site consistently has a trickle of guests/views, so it probably isn't totally pointless, but I'm yet to be convinced it is the magic pill some people claim theirs to be....although I need to revamp my website, a task I've been putting off for months. I think it's one of those things you see more reward from it with the more time and effort you put into it, but I'm only willing to spend so much time on marketing....

Marketing Reports

capture1pmh.jpgcapture2ljq.jpg

These are my marketing reports for the past eight months. 716 views, not bad all in all (I do work in a smaller language pair). However, it's difficult to see a direct correlation between website traffic and turnover seeing as the months with the highest website traffic (January and March) were rather quiet turnover-wise. And the months with seemingly less traffic (July and August) have been busy as hell....but then it's not really possible to say whether clients stopped by and came back to me a month or two later, which might explain the discrepancy.

All in all I'm glad I have a website - my "professional" email account is tied to it too (even though the vast majority of clients carry on using my personal email account). My website renewal is looming though and I'm still trying to decide what to do:

a) renew and revamp (no more procrastination)
b) let it lapse and have another website somewhere else
c) just forget it and not have a website.

I think for this year I'll probably renew and revamp and see if the revamp has any effect at all. I also think of /treat my ProZ profile as a website too though.

[Edited at 2012-08-13 10:47 GMT]


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:06
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Yes, definitely Aug 13, 2012

I've had a website for just over a year now and I've noticed a difference. People reach it through searching the directory here, and then clicking through my profile to my website. They also arrive there through my blog (which is ranked much higher on Google because it is constantly updated and gets far more hits).

Direct clients usually contact me through my website for one-off jobs, so I must admit that most of my income still comes from my regular agencies.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:06
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Same here Aug 13, 2012

Suzan Hamer wrote:

as a website, more or less.


And it serves its purpose.icon_smile.gif


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:06
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The chain reaction takes a few years Aug 13, 2012

My "web site" began as a collection of unconnected web pages with standard replies to recurring information requests. Each of them was built with a different software package, while I was trying to find ways of doing it without learning HTML, Javascript, PHP, whatever. FYI I haven't learned any of it, and don't intend to.

I eventually found WebSiteX5, IMO an affordable way to pack together and expand all that information into a web site. I know there are other options out there, some of them free, but this one suited me.

Of course, the-mail I have published on the site is not my main one, as it collects an unusual volume of robot-driven spam. I bulk-delete the spam on webmail, re-route the useful messages to my main e-mail (to reply from there), and I guess one out of every 100 messages I get through the web site results in one worthwhile client.

The site offers the visitor basically three options to communicate with me:
a) using their own e-mail program to send me a message;
b) using an online e-form to send me an e-mail;
c) using job-type (e.g. plain translation, sworn, video, DTP, etc.) specific e-forms to provide me the information I need to give them a cost estimate.

Options (b) and (c) are Captcha-enabled.

I often get requests from people who need a book translated for their graduate course or just because their cousin lent it, or want a full-feature video subtitled, thinking such work should cost less than $50. It's part of the game. However I get serious requests via the web site that turn into valuable jobs and subsequent business relationships. Some of these have been my clients for years already. And quite often I get a one-night-stand job, however (months) later I get phone calls from people they recommended me to, which turn into more permanent clients.

One typical case was a client who found me via my web site. He needed a sworn translation of his daughter's school records. Two years later he needed the same for his other daughter's (no idea how many more he's got - if any) records. Three months later he called me to translate some business agreements for his company, and then more business docs. Then the lawyer of one of his clients saw my name on one of these sworn translations, and called me. And so on...

Bottom line is that it doesn't happen overnight, however it spreads, as long as you provide good service.

I never spent one cent on SEO, though I've followed, to the extent of my skills, the advice on keywords and other SEO data on my site. Most of all, I offer some valuable, useful, and unique information on my web site. The result is that for some searches that are interesting to me, I come up #1 on Google.

Another trick is that I didn't hire anyone to build my site. Among those early "pages" I had, I developed the content, and asked my elder son, a top-flight IT pro, to develop it. As such a skilled pro, he had no time. It took him 18 months to find the time to come to my place and, using my computer (not his) and typing in fluent HTML/Javascript code on the Windows Notepad, in two hours he had built the first thing I ever had that resembled a web site. People said it looked great, however I couldn't update it, not even add a missing period to my content.

So I chose a web site building app that let me focus on content alone. Maybe I'm using 10% of its features/resources alone. However I can quickly and easily fix, update, or expand it, unaided.

Though it may take a while, it is well worth the effort. The earlier one starts, the sooner they'll get the payoff.

As a final comment, a blog (I don't have one, though WebSiteX5 allows it) seems to offer a faster track. I wouldn't know. My take on a blog is that it entails a commitment to keep adding new stuff all the time. As most of my content is permanent or quite stable by nature, in my case it might convey the idea that stuff that I wrote ten years ago must be obsolete by now, while it isn't. That's why I don't have one.

I hope these tips are useful to those who are thinking about it.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 17:06
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes-ish Aug 13, 2012

However, I also include my Proz and LinkedIn profiles as part of my Internet presence.

My website is whimsical and is more or less buried, but I do refer clients/customers to it since it does answer a lot of questions or queries they may have. It's also entertaining over an afternoon cuppa! And, with my super-beefed up CV, they basically have very few questions left to ask other than "Will you work for us?" and "How much do you want to be paid?" (The latter was wishful thinking.)

What I do recommend is whatever you do and wherever you do it, do it professionally so that you shine out above the competition. And keep it short 'n sweet and concise 'n to the point -- clients/customers hate to wade through mountains of superfluous information. icon_biggrin.gif


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:06
English
+ ...
Thank you, Michael. Aug 13, 2012

Michael Harris wrote:

And Suzan, as far as I can remember (as there was a similar poll not so long ago), your ProZ site is great


I forgot to mention one of my favorite bits: I keep adding to my collection of favorite quotes under the Personal tab.

(Not to nag, but Michael, don't you think you could add just a little bit more to yours? Or are you that busy?)

(Maybe our profile could be called the lazy/busy person's website?)

[Edited at 2012-08-13 14:25 GMT]


 

Emin Arı  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 11:06
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
no difference Aug 13, 2012

I used to have a web site presenting generally what I have in my proz.com profile. People would like to see others comment rather than your self marketing efforts.

I believe that too much shinning web site even repels the outsourcer. A plain profile with full of confirmed expertise and positive WWA is much more atractive and reliable.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:06
French to English
Hmm! Aug 13, 2012

I did not consider this was that interesting until I noted that of the 899 replies, 10% only say that it has made a difference, but I note also that 54% don't have their own website.

As with any professional website, it has to be just that. If you are selling professional services, you are first of all selling a professional image. Unless you really know what you're doing, like a translation, get a professional to do it for you. Simple, smart and to the point.

There are some excellent websites out there but also some truly dreadful ones. You can be an excellent translator and a lousy website maker. Quite honestly, I'd be put off by a poor website. Potential clients are also then judging your ability as a linguist, consciously or unconsciously, through a visual. What a risk, unless you really know what you're doing!

All in all, it's usefulness will be limited if referenced on the search engines in such a way that it never comes to the surface. However, I imagine it can be extremely useful to refer potential clients to for information, as long as they are not over-faced, in which case it is probably a waste of time.

[Edited at 2012-08-13 15:01 GMT]


 
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