Aquí Mati Ortiz para hacer la introducción a un nuevo guest post. En este artículo, Natali Lekka nos cuenta cómo un traductor puede duplicar sus ingresos como redactor de contenidos.
En mi guía gratuita para traductores recomiendo dos empleos emergentes con los que ampliar nuestros servicios y generar más ingresos. Ambos están relacionados con las lenguas: uno de ellos es el copywriting y el otro es la redacción de contenidos.
Porque hoy el contenido es el que manda.
Pero quien quiere contenido de calidad, necesita lingüistas de calidad. Nosotros, los traductores, lo somos.
Ahora te dejo con Natali, una redactora excepcional que nos cuenta las similitudes y diferencias entre la redacción y la traducción, y algunos consejos útiles para atraer clientes.
A pesar de hablar y escribir un perfecto español, Natali se ha sentido más cómoda escribiendo el artículo en inglés.
So now my dear reader: Enjoy!
Double your income by becoming a writer
As translators we are all writers at heart. We love learning new languages and playing with words, we spend hours looking for the right turn of phrase and, let’s face it, we can be annoying pedants with people’s grammar too.
I’ve been a translator and a writer all my life.
I grew up in a house with a French-speaking mother who instilled in me my love for languages, reading and writing. And when you love languages, reading and writing, the obvious next step is to become a translator and a writer, isn’t it?
The similarities between translating and writing
Although I studied Translation Studies on an academic level, I became a writer almost seamlessly. For those of us translators who work with marketing texts especially, writing is very close to translation, as an activity.
Both writers and translators have at least one niche or are advised to get one, as soon as possible.
Both writers and translators can work in-house or as freelancers. And as freelancers, we have to market ourselves pretty much the same way. With a website, a LinkedIn profile and e-mail outreach to agencies and direct clients.
And of course the actual job of writing is not very different from translation itself either.
How to reach your niche as a content writer
If you know your niche inside out, writing comes easy. If you don’t, you do exactly what you would do as a translator. Research.
You read a lot of previously published articles in the same niche to get ideas.
In translation we call that “studying the terminology”. In writing we call it, “studying the niche-specific keywords”.
You also need to respect deadlines and may be asked to do a second draft too, if your Editor or PM wants you to have another look.
There are lots of similarities between the two activities and not as many differences as people may think.
One difference, though, is that there are a lot of different types of writing.
I always advise translators to go into content writing first because as translators we are already very familiar with working with companies, and companies outsource to both translators and content writers.
What was the last text you translated? That was written by a writer.
But this is not the only type of writing you can do. I, for example, started writing for magazines first. After doing countless translations of travel articles and websites, I fancied myself as a bit of an expert for my country Greece and so I started writing travel articles about Greece for in-flight magazines.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to transition from a translator to a writer.
There are no special or different rules for writers. As long as you are diligent, responsive, respect deadlines and allocate time for your marketing, you can succeed in both professions.
About the challenges we have to face as writers and translators
The challenges are the same too.
Finding clients, especially as a beginner, can be rather daunting if you don’t have any previous experience.
As translators we sometimes translate for free or for a lower fee at first to build that body of work. As writers we write sample articles and guest posts.
As translators we send out e-mails to translation agencies and sometimes have to wait for an entire year before we get any work from them. Content writers who work with content marketing agencies have reported the same.
On how to approach clients
But there are two significant differences in how writers approach their work that’s worth mentioning here:
1. Translators usually send a CV but there is no such thing as a writer’s CV. Writers tend to send a link to their published portfolio instead.
2. When you go through a slow period of work, what do you usually do? As a translator you can send e-mails and CVs to new agencies or direct clients, you can re-contact your old clients, tweak your website copy and update your LinkedIn profile but you cannot magically create a translation job for yourself, if that job doesn’t exist yet.
As a writer you can. You can contact your existing clients with an idea for an article and if you’ve done your research and know what type of content they are looking for, 8 out of 10 times, your idea will be accepted.
And so, when my translation work is a bit slow, I turn my attention to writing. And I think it’s great if translators can diversify too because this is a very effective way to beat the feast or famine circle.
Where to find clients
Finding writing clients works pretty much the same way as finding translation clients. My favourite platform for this is LinkedIn.
Every now and then, when I am looking to approach new clients, I build a list of clients based on my niche, I find their exact contact names and e-mail addresses, I research their company blogs to see what type of writing they publish and I send personal, targeted e-mails with a few article ideas.
I also make sure I keep a very strong LinkedIn profile that attracts work.
A common mistake
Unfortunately, a lot of new writers make the same mistake a lot of new translators make. They send impersonal carbon copy e-mails to Dear Sir/ Madam, without researching the company first to find out who is handling freelance pitches or what type of writing they are looking for.
As a result, their e-mails end up in the Trash, they never receive an answer and they get discouraged after a while about pursuing a freelance career.
Don’t forget also that this is a number’s game and you need to persevere. In your first year as a translator or writer, you are expected to send hundreds of emails or cold pitches.
Do not get discouraged if you don’t hear back from anyone at first but remember, the more focused and targeted your e-mail is, the more chances you have to receive an answer…and a project.
How to become a successful writer
If you are interested in becoming a freelance content writer, build on the skills you already have as a translator first. Which language are you going to write in?
Hone in on your grammar and syntax skills. Editors run your text through Grammarly and Copyscape (the plagiarism tool), so make sure your writing passes both those tests.
And keep on learning. Continuous Professional Development is very important for us freelancers.
So, do you think you could become a freelance writer?
If you are up for it, I’ve got a little challenge for you. I am running a FREE 5-day writing challenge starting April 22, which aims for participants to have an article and a list of clients to pitch to by the end of the week. There will be prizes and giveaways too.
Find out more here.
About the author
Natali Lekka is a freelance English <> Greek translator and writer. She writes for companies, agencies, magazines and websites.
You can visit her website at www.worldsofwords.com