Building a website for your freelance translation business can only be beneficial and bring rewards! A website can help you have a virtual place where you can direct your clients, collaborators and colleagues. It’s also useful to have a more personalised way to introduce yourself and what you do (other than via LinkedIn, for example). If you add a blog, you have the chance to share your thoughts on the profession, write for your clients, share useful tips or work experiences with colleagues, etc. What’s more, if you decide to build it on your own, you’ll learn about web design and thus you’ll be the one who manages the site later on, which will definitely save you a good deal of money on the creation and maintenance of the website. And what’s more important, you’ll acquire a new skill that will always be an asset for you and your business. In this post, you will find some tips and steps that may help you create a website for your translation business. And hopefully, I’ll inspire you to build one on your own!
Before you start the actual process of building the website, there are certain aspects related to your freelance business that you need to take care of, like identity, brand name, logo, colours, target market and audience for the blog (if you decide to add one).
Steps you Can Follow to Build your Website
1. Platform. The first step is to decide with which platform you’ll create the site. There are many, like WordPress, Google Sites, Webs, Blogger, etc. I decided to use WordPress because I very much like the end result that can be achieved even if you are not an expert on web design. Besides, you can make the site look professional either with a free template or with one that you buy. Moreover, WordPress’s dashboard is user friendly and when you have to modify the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), it’s not so complicated and there’re many answers to problems organised by topics in WordPress Forums.
2. Hosting. Choose the web hosting service. Do some research and evaluate which is the best option for you. In my case, at the moment I’m using Host Gator. Their main advantage for me: they have a Live Chat 24/7/365 that provides quick and useful support. As I’m new to website design, their help was handy and helpful at the beginning. Host Gator also allows you to register your domain name for free.
3. Skeleton. Plan what information you want to include and how many tabs you’ll need for that. At this point, it may be a good idea to see what colleagues are including on their sites (don’t copy, just get a general idea). Then, step away from the computer and concentrate on the specific why that has moved you to create a website for your translation business without being online. At least for me that was the trick: turning off the computer, consider what I wanted to include in my site, going for a run, coming back to start…
4. Building process. Start building the site. How to do it? Well, before starting to work on this site, I watched the following video by Tyler Moore and created a trial website just to practice. Even if you don’t choose to create your site with the same template he uses, you’ll get a clear idea of the whole process of creation. Once you get the basics, it’s pretty easy to move on and build a site using the template you really like.
Then, of course, you’ll need to get used to do a lot of research to solve problems that may appear and to improve the features and functions of your site. But that also gets easier once you get used to it and learn more about WordPress!
This is another video by Tyler. I watched only bits of this one, only the segments I needed.
Following the steps, I can guarantee that you’ll build your site!!
5. Writing. When writing the different parts of your site, I think it’s better to keep it simple at the beginning. First concentrate on having a basic structure and build on it later on. Mine is of course not perfect, but I’m always improving it, and it really helps to read about marketing, branding, story telling, about me pages, etc. It’s a process that will not end after you launch the site. Once it’s ready, proofread, proofread and proofread. And have a second pair of eyes (or more) to read what you’ve written too. As solopreneurs, it’s difficult to rank high on Google searches, so yes, do care about SEO (Search Engine Opnimisation), by using certain key words and a clear description of your business, but don’t write for SEO, write for your audience.
6. Social Media. Integrate the site with your professional social media, like Twitter, Facebook, LikedIn, Google+, etc. and promote it, use it on your email signature and CV. Never stop advertising it!
7. Improvement. Always improve it! It’s not that you build it, launch it and then you forget about it; the site is a living creature that needs care!
One last recommendation! I usually do webinars to know more about some specific topics related to my fields of specialisation or to learn about business, marketing and branding. There’s an eCPD Webinar by Tess Witty on Creating and Optimizing a Website for your Freelance Translation Business. You get the recorded video (so you can watch it whenever you have time) and you receive the PDF file with all the info. “This presentation shows you why you need a website for your translation business, how to create a website at no or low cost and without knowing any HTML, what content you should include and how to market the website to make it more visible online, plus some dos and don’ts in website creation and maintenance.” I did it and I highly recommend that you do it too before beginning the actual building process. Of course there’s plenty of info on the web, but this is a summary specially targeted to translators or interpreters.
I hope that you’ve found this post useful and that if you don’t have a website yet, you do build one soon. Do leave questions because I’ll be happy to help! If you already have your site, can you share your experience? Thanks!
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