How to turn your translation skills into a content writing career

July 24, 2019
How to turn your translation skills into a content writing career

As more and more businesses enjoy the benefits of globalisation and extend the sale of their goods and services to other countries, a number of supporting industries are enjoying a positive impact as a result. Professional translation services are highly prized by those looking to expand overseas, as are content writing services in a variety of languages. 

The need for multilingual content

In our competitive global marketplace, establishing a business as an authority can make a huge difference both in terms of customer perception and search engine ranking. As such, many companies are turning to multilingual content writers in order to blog in multiple languages on topics that are relevant to their geographically diverse audiences. Talented writers who can produce content in two or more languages are therefore much in demand. 

Becoming a multilingual content writer

If you already translate for a living, then you’re used to working with languages and helping to deliver word-perfect copy on a range of subjects. It’s therefore not a huge leap to become a multilingual content writer. The benefits of doing so are multiple, from establishing an additional source of income to enjoying greater variety as part of your daily working life. To give you an idea of income levels, this page on content writer salaries from Glassdoor states that the average base pay for a content writer in the UK is £22,031 per year. 

If you’ve decided that you want to write for a living, as well as translate, the steps below should help guide you through establishing this new income stream. 

Setting up a content writing service

When you first start out as a writer, be prepared to ‘pay your dues.’ Your first few jobs are unlikely to pay much, as they are all about establishing your abilities and building up an online reputation for the quality of your writing. If you already have a blog of your own, be sure to include a link to your best (or most relevant) articles in any applications for writing jobs, as this can help to show your skills from the outset. 

Freelancing sites are a good place to start. Upwork and Fiverr have plenty of clients on them looking for multilingual writers, so invest a little time in setting up a profile and bidding for your first few jobs. They’re likely to be low paid until you’ve earned some positive feedback, but you can quickly put your rates up once you can show evidence of satisfied clients. 

If you already work for a translation agency, be sure to approach them as well. They will already be familiar with the quality of your work, so you won’t have to set your content writing rates as low as you will on the freelancing platforms. When it comes to finding content writing work online, reputation is everything!  

Remember that you can also approach any translation clients that you work for directly too. You never know which of them might be in need of fresh content and happy to use a familiar face in order to source it. 

Building up your content writing experience

As you build up your experience and reputation, you can begin to increase your rates and be more selective about the jobs that you apply for. Remember to ask satisfied clients for testimonials in various languages, so that you can demonstrate your abilities in all the languages in which you write. This will mean that you can apply for jobs in all of the languages that you speak and back up your applications with positive feedback. 

The ultimate goal is to find high-paying, loyal clients who want regular work and who stick with you in the long term in order to use your multilingual content writing abilities. If they also have translation needs that you can fulfil, so much the better! 

Final thoughts

Writing content can be a thoroughly enjoyable career and a good source of regular income. If you speak multiple languages, you have the added advantage of being able to service a far wider range of clients. So, are you going to put your language skills to good use and start writing content?

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.

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