Lesson 77: All the geeky techy things around blogging about translation

Lesson 77: All the geeky techy things around blogging about translation

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.

Resources:

How to Choose the Best Platform for Your Blog
The 15 best blogging and publishing platforms on the Internet today. Which one is for you?
Which Blogging Platform Should I Use?

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.

Resources:

21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic
5 Ways to Make Your Blog Appear in Search Engines
57 Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic

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.

Resources:

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.

Resources:

10 Must Have WordPress Plugins of 2013 Every Blogger Should Know About
30 Must Have WordPress Plugins For Bloggers

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.

Resources:

20 Analytics Tools For Blogs
10 Blog Metrics Bloggers Should Track Through Web Analytics Tools

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:

Flickr Creative Commons
5 Places to Find Free Images for Your Blog
Top 6 Sites to Find Free Photos to Use on Your Blog

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!

2 Comments

  1. Raphaël Toussaint , on Jan 14, 2014 at 09:32 Reply

    Good morning Marta,

    and congrats on yet another great post with tons of useful ideas and links!

    One point which which I find interesting is the differentiation between blogging for business purposes and blogging as a hobby (or rather blogging for non-financial reasons) although I have to disagree with your reasoning: even if you don’t blog as a freelancer or from a business account, it seems interesting and useful to me to keep an eye on metrics and keep your readers engaged, although if you are not trying to sell them anything.
    You are writing and thus you have knowledge, experience or other interesting content to share and who wouldn’t want to know what your reach is and if people are coming back for more?

    If you don’t mind sharing, I would also be interested what your blogging platform of choice is and for which reasons.

    Wish you a great day,
    Raphaël

  2. Marta Stelmaszak , on Jan 20, 2014 at 06:22 Reply

    Dear Raphaël,

    Of course, I do agree that metrics and measurements may still be important even if you’re blogging strictly for leisure, fun, entertainment or as a hobby. But it’s less of a requirement, I’d say. It’s something you may want to do, as you say, to make sure readers are engaged, but you don’t absolutely have to measure whether there’s enough “return on investment”.

    All my websites are built on WordPress.org and this blog is a self-hosted WordPress platform. Very user friendly and serves as a Content Management System at the same time.

    Marta

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