Some of the questions I received related to blogging about translation covered the more technical aspects of setting up, running and analysing a blog. Let’s deal with them first.
1. Where to set it up?
One of the first questions regarding blogging is where to start blogging. If you have your own website (or planning to get one in the near future), I’d recommend blogging under your own domain, just like I do. Setting up a blog on your own website gives you full control over it and has enormous SEO benefits.
However, if you’re not thinking of getting a website just yet, there are plenty of blogging platforms out there. The main differences between them are related to user bases and interface, so I’d suggest trying a few of them first to see what works for you.
2. How to be found?
After setting up your blog, it’s important to make sure that it’s actually found by people you’re writing for. When I was starting out, I made sure that my content was interesting for other translators to increase the likelihood of them sharing it. I also made sure that my posts were SEO-friendly, using the right keywords among others. I shared my posts on social media (especially Twitter, Facebook and Google+). Commenting under posts on other blogs will also draw attention to your own blog.
If you’re interested in making your blog more popular, you should definitely check this article out. You’ll find some great tips there, including adding a link to your blog in your email signature, signing up to Help-a-reporter-out, or using business cards to promote your blog.
3. How to capture readers?
Once you manage to get the readers see your blog, it’s quite important that you capture them. In other words, don’t let them browse away without subscribing to your blog. Now, I’m assuming that you want to blog for your business. If it’s a hobby, capturing your readers is not essential. But if you blog for professional purposes, you want these leads to subscribe so you can stay in touch with them and remind them of the services you provide every now and then.
On my blog, you can either subscribe through an RSS reader or sign up to my newsletter with a monthly digest of posts. I used Feedburner for my RSS, and I use Aweber to handle my email subscriptions.
Setting up Feedburner RSS and Email subscription for your blog
How to Convert Casual Blog Visitors Into Dedicated Subscribers
How to Get a Ton of New Subscribers to Your Blog
20 Simple Ways to Generate More Blog Subscribers
4. Which add-ons and plugins to install?
Every blogging platform, including self-hosted solution, allows you to install add-ons and plugins. These are the little “extra” bits that make your blog work better for your readers. For example, I’m using social media sharing buttons, about author box, and a SEO plugin.
Other options you may want to consider include a translation manager plugin (if you want to blog in different languages), a Twitter feed, a back-up plugin, and similar.
5. How to manage an editorial calendar?
Blogging for professional purposes requires consistency and regularity which can only be obtained if you follow an editorial calendar. I started with writing blog ideas down on pieces of paper and then digging them out every week to write a post. When I started using TeamBox to manage other projects, I also moved my editorial calendar there and hooked it up with my Google Calendar.
You can use a simple document and a calendar to manage your blog editorial calendar, or you can use some of these tips:
Essential Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template Every Marketer Can Use
How to Put Together an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing
Download the Template: Blog Editorial Calendar
Improve Content Strategy with an Editorial Calendar: 14 Free Downloads
6. How to run analytics?
Again, if you’re hobby-blogging, you’re probably not going to care about your blog’s analytics. But if you’re using blogging for professional purposes, you want to know where your readers come from, how much time they spend on your blog and which articles are more attractive than others. I’m using Google Analytics and Alexa to check which other sites are linking back to mine.
7. Where to take images from?
A real problem for some bloggers, finding images you’re free to use on your blog doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many resources where you can find images for non-commercial use. I recommend finding free images with Google’s advanced image search.
There are other resources, too:
I hope you’ll find these resources useful! If you came across any other resources, please share them in comments! If you’d like to know more about the topic, I’m going to be delivering a workshop on blogging and social media in Leeds soon – join us!