Translation and Content Writing: Matching Careers?

Perhaps you have never thought about it but translation and content writing have much in common.

In fact, in a fast-paced world where everything evolves in the blink of an eye, becoming versatile by offering our clients more than just one specialised service, may be key for a freelance translator.

The translation industry itself is not the same as it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago. It is now embracing areas such as localisation or machine post-editing, in response – whether we like it or not – to a growing demand from the market that has completely changed the way we communicate, promote and enjoy our leisure time in a very short period of time.

Many translators are already offering extra services, from teaching to DPT, even copywriting – Proz has added a dedicated section too… and then I asked myself “are translation and content writing potentially matching careers?”, to me the answer is YES and I would like to tell you why.

The common ground

Translators and content writers share major qualities that are critical for their (mutual) success:

  • Love for the written language
  • Exceptional written communication skills
  • Fluency in more than one language
  • Somewhat OCD for text formatting
  • Clinical eye for the smallest detail
  • Curiosity and passion for any field of interest
  • Drive, professionality, punctuality
  • Accustomed to the world of freelancing
  • Strong research abilities
  • Fast fingers that move on the keyboard and tools that are up to the job

These are just some, so many more could be included in the list, like flexibility or the ability to set and/or respect deadlines.

In a world that is more and more online, new gates can open for professional translators.

But what is the role of a content writer?

A content writer creates quality written content for companies or professionals. Most of this material will be published on blogs, websites, social media…

There is a high demand for quality web writers and the reason is Google, whose algorithm reshaped and revolutionised the concept of “visibility”.

In this moment, SEO and SERP are life to those online that need to appear in search results. The more optimised they are, the higher our ranking will be.

To do so, we need to please the already mentioned algorithm of Mr. Google that, today, prefers in-depth articles that are useful, relevant, original, naturally written and cohesive.

Therefore, there is a growing demand for skilled writing professionals, masters of style and with extensive knowledge of at least one “niche” of specialisation.

A translator possesses most of these qualities, to pursue this collateral career we only need to broaden our set of skills by learning subjects like:

  • SEO
  • SERP
  • WordPress

…among others.

Imagine you have been translating technical manuals for a certain industry for years, your competence in the field is now extensive and an alluring bait for specialised websites that need to write and renew content for their blog in order to gain a better ranking on Google, and thus more traffic.

Our hobbies matter too

A professional translator knows how to dig into a topic. We are naturally inclined to reading articles and books concerning our passion, and not only in our native language. This is how we become, more or less consciously, a perfectly efficient living bilingual or trilingual TM.

There are many specialised companies looking for people with our competencies and willing to pay to make good use of them; it is up to us to decide if we want to take advantage of this opportunity, creating a second source of income, or not.

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