Learn How To Make Money Online As A Freelance Translator
More people are quitting their day jobs and working for themselves as freelancers. Doing so enables them to increase their earning potential for one reason. Another is because it allows them greater flexibility in their lives. Especially if they have children in tow!
There are hundreds of ways to make money as a freelancer these days. One of the most exciting and lucrative ways is to become a translator. The only caveat, of course, is that you need to be proficient in a language other than English! You might not think it, but the demand is rising for translation services.
The Internet offers freelancers the chance to do online translation work. Their customers can be in the next town, or they could be on the other side of the world. There’s no denying the potential to make a living as a freelance translator is high.
[ image source : Wikimedia Commons ]
By now you may be wondering how to get started. By following the steps below, you’ll soon become a successful freelance translator.
Decide which languages you’d like to translate
It makes sense to translate a second or third language into your mother tongue. I don’t recommend you do it the other way around. Why? Because the scope for making errors in translation can often be high.
Instead, think of the languages you are most proficient in other than your native one. These will be the languages that you can translate on a professional level.
Improve your writing skills
In most cases, translators are already good writers. But, if you need to brush up on your spelling and grammar skills, do that first. Your clients will demand nothing short of perfection. Especially if you command a high rate for your services!
There are many ways that you can improve your writing skills. One example is to go on an advanced English Language course at your local college. Another is to complete a distance-learning course. Don’t forget you have a raft of online tools at your disposal to help you improve your writing.
Grammarly is one such tool that many people use. While it may not be perfect (it’s not a substitute for a human being), it can help a lot. Even Microsoft Word has built-in spelling and grammar tools to help you improve.
[ Image source : flicker ]
Offering newspaper and magazine-quality writing will lead you to repeat orders from your clients. Guaranteed!
Specialise in a particular niche or two
The thing about translation is people often prefer to translate things they know about. Why? There are times where certain words don’t have a direct translation from other languages.
For instance, some people use English words to describe things in foreign languages. The same also applies in reverse. If you have knowledge or experience in a niche area, you can use the best words for the job.
If you’re a technology geek, you could specialise in IT translation work. Those of you with a legal background could specialise in law document translations. And so on.
Spend some time in a country that speaks your language
Let’s say that you wish to offer Arabic to English translation services. Spending time living in a country like Egypt or the UAE can boost your translation skills. That’s because you’ll get to grips with conversational Arabic, not just the spoken version.
[ Image Souce : PixaBay ]
Often, you will find clients provide you with text written in a conversational format. When dealing with languages like Arabic, written and spoken words can be worlds apart! The idea is to gain more experience of both types. That way, you’ll be better prepared to deal with any translation work that comes your way.
Have a reliable computer setup
Online translation work means you will need some IT equipment. They will become the tools of your trade as it were. The most common things you will need are:
- Desktop Computer;
- Laser Printer (preferably an all-in-one device).
You might be wondering why I have suggested having both a desktop AND laptop computer. The answer is simple: desktops are more comfortable to use when you’re sat at a desk. Laptops are useful when you wish to do translation work on the go.
It’s also important you keep those systems maintained. If you don’t have much experience with computer maintenance, use Netstar. Companies like them can keep your systems in working order and support you if things go wrong. Plus, you can offset your IT support invoices against your profit to lower your tax liability!
[ Image Source : Wikimedia Commons ]
In the past, some people have asked whether Windows or Mac-based systems are better to use. To be honest, either will be fine for your purposes. You don’t need anything powerful or expensive as you’ll only be dealing with text.
To keep costs down, stick with Windows systems. If you prefer the look and feel of Macs, by all means use them instead. It all comes down to personal preference and budget.
Register as self-employed
The downside to being a freelancer is the need to organize your tax affairs. You might have gotten used to your employer doing that in the past. But, when you work for yourself, the onus is on you to sort it all out.
Registering as a self-employed person isn’t hard. You’ll get assigned a tax ID and get told when to file your tax returns. You can then have a bookkeeper organize your paperwork, ready for when you need to file. In fact, you could even have them file your returns for you.
To save money, you could do it yourself. But, I warn it: DIY tax returns and paperwork organization is boring!
Market your services
Last, but not least, it’s time to bring home the bacon! You’ll need to market your translation services online. The good news is you can do this in one or several different ways.
Perhaps the most obvious approach is to create a website. Use a system like WordPress to make it easier to manage. Plus, you can install a sleek “theme” with ease. Consider PPC (pay-per-click) advertising on search engines like Google.
You could also advertise on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites too. Online advertising costs are low and offer a high ROI (return on investment).
I hope you’ve found today’s guide useful. Thanks for reading it! Start Your Translator Journey Now