Why I won’t have a blog

Diary of a fledgling translator, part 6
A year has past since my last post… A busy year spent doing many things among them prospecting, training, networking and of course translating.
My inability at keeping this diary a regular feature makes me fully appreciate the commitment and the talent a blog requires.
Two weeks ago, I attended a conference for women in business and a free Search Engine Optimization workshop run by my local Business Gateway. At both events, I was described the many benefits a blog can have in terms of peer recognition, traffic and publicity. Yet, deep down I know this is not for me. Being a rather slow writer, a blog would definitely take too much of my time. Also, I do not want to take the gamble to ruin the professional image I have tried to build through my website by boasting a blog with one update every six months. Moreover, as the diary of a fledgling translator would not be appropriate as part of a professional website, I still cannot think of a blog at the moment which would not be a pale imitation of the excellent translations ones that are already available, Naked Translations ticking all the boxes of my dream blog.
In terms of marketing strategy, there is no such thing as the perfect recipe. I am convinced that you have to adopt the strategy that suits best your personality and your schedule. At the moment, I feel more comfortable with conferences and networking events. This is partly because after a whole day spent at home in front of the computer, I am dying for a proper chat face to face.
I try to attend both specialist and non specialist events. Last November, I attended a Proz conference in London entitled “the Translator as strategic partner” which was a great experience. I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the presentations, the friendly atmosphere and the work opportunities that resulted from it. I came back buzzing with new ideas but most importantly with the comforting feeling that I was on the right track. I have also joined my local CIOL society and I am planning to join the ITI one in order to be even more in touch with colleagues and the latest developments in the industry.
On the other hand, as I have tried from the start to diversify my client base by working directly with individuals and businesses, I like going to general business networking events and meeting people from all sorts of industries. Not only do I find it personally enriching but it also helps generating word of mouth especially since I am often the only translator there.
On those occasions, I have noticed how little people tend to know and understand about translation and language services in general. That is why I recently jumped on the opportunity when my local Women in Business club asked me to give a presentation on my services, the benefits of languages services for businesses and the pitfalls to avoid. The feedback was great.
Therefore, informing and educating future clients, helping them to think their translations needs through in order to know what to ask for is more and more a route I would like to explore…Wait, a minute, that could be an idea for a blog, couldn’t it?
To be continued…
Marie.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

By | 2016-10-18T15:49:10+00:00 April 23rd, 2009|Guests|5 Comments

About the Author:

Celine
I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.

5 Comments

  1. Claudia Alvis April 26, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    I’m sorry to see you’re not going to continue the blog. Although I’ve never posted here before, I read your entries on a regular (and not-so-regular) basis; I found them not only very helpful but also very enjoyable.
    But since you’ve found a better direction for your business, I guess this is good news. I wish you the best of luck and I wouldn’t mind the occasional every-six-month update.
    Have fun in what you do.
    Claudia Alvis

  2. céline April 27, 2009 at 8:38 am

    @Marie: I totally agree with you that when it comes to marketing, there isn’t a perfect recipe, it’s all about what you feel comfortable with and what you feel will work for you. If a blog isn’t for you, that’s not a problem and it sounds like you excel at other forms of marketing anyway.
    However, I don’t necessarily agree that a blog has to take up a lot of time. It certainly does if the owner decides to update it very regularly, but she can also update it more sporadically, whenever she feels like it. It would be more difficult to maintain a relationship with readers, but it would still provide content for her site and an outlet for her thoughts.
    @Claudia, this post wasn’t by me but by Marie, who’s been publishing guest posts here about her budding career as a translator. I have no plan to shut this blog down.

  3. céline April 29, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Wow, I’ve just realised it’s been two years since you’ve started! As most translators think that it takes about two years to become “settled” and make a proper living, where would you say you’re at in your budding career?

  4. Marie April 30, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I would say that I am still in the building phase.
    If my turnover has been multiplied by 5 this year, the money I am earning is being so far mostly reinjected in the various costs needed to run a business (memberships, website, advertising, software, IT equipment, etc).
    Yet, this year, I won’t declare a loss. I should just be even.
    It is a good thing I’ve kept one class at the university to bring some regular income.
    My client base keeps getting bigger, but if I were living on my own with bills to pay, I would not manage.
    Maybe, it is the way I have decided to do things: not contacting all the agencies in the UK, but trying to diversify working with individuals, businesses and some agencies.
    At the moment, I would say I need another year, to feel more secure. Quiet periods are still frequent.
    But at the moment, it is frantic after 4 weeks of nothing. So, must dash.

  5. Marie May 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for your encouraging words about keeping a blog, Céline…I’ll think about it.

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