There are plenty of reasons to start a multilingual blog. Maybe you simply have an important message that you want to reach a wider audience. If your blog is part of your business, it only makes sense that your blog content will become globalized at the same time your business is. Still, there’s more to becoming a bilingual blog blogger than many people may realize.
Picking a Website And Blog Structure
First, you need to decide how your website and blog structure will be designed. For example, will you have a separate website for each language and a blog within each one? Another option is to have a single website with pages dedicated to content written in other languages. These are often called geotargeted subdomains. There is less overhead, but there can be SEO issues as credit for things like page visits can go to the main website until things are properly indexed.
If you use a CMS like WordPress take some time to explore your options for taking your blog global and translating your content. There are themes and plugins that are helpful.
Translation Localization or Both
What will you need to do to ensure that your audience can relate to your blog no matter where they are and what language they speak? In the vast majority of cases, you will have to translate. But, will you need to localize? That depends. If there are significant cultural differences, the answer may be yes. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Will readers understand my anecdotes and pop culture references?
- Will the use of slang be confusing?
- Is there content in my ‘home’ blog that could be culturally offensive to my new audience?
- Am I reaching out to an audience that is using the internet that may be monitored or controlled?
- What about the small details such as currency symbols and units of measurement?
If you answered yes, you may want to consider localization in addition to the translation.
Here’s an interesting factoid, in some cases you don’t need to be a blogger with multilanguage pages. If your new audiences are accustomed to consuming content in your language, you might consider focusing only on localization.
Getting to Know Your Audiences
Of course, you cannot decide how you will approach any of this if you don’t take the time to get to know your audience. Chances are, you’ve done some research in creating your blog and website. You probably understand that target audience pretty well. Now it is time to do the same work with new audiences. Start with gathering demographic information. Then move on to uncovering interests and concerns that your new audience members may share. Learn the social media sites they use and the publications they read. Even learning the top websites for a particular region or language can be helpful.
In some cases, you may find that in addition to translating your existing blog content, you may need to create some unique multilingual blog content.
Choosing a Translation Firm
If you happen to be multilingual, and you have plenty of time, you may choose to translate your posts on your own. Most bloggers aren’t in that position. This means you’ll need to find a translation provider who can do this work for you. You need a service that has a proven track record. You’ll also need a translator who can keep up with content that is produced on a regular basis.
To find a decent firm, start by reading our reviews. Then research some of the work they have done. Finally, conduct a price comparison. Just keep in mind that cheap can absolutely mean poor quality.
Predicting Potential Problems
Be aware that there are disadvantages to multilingualism in your blog. First, managing new content and the translation process can add quite a bit of work to your busy schedule. You also have no way of knowing how your new content is being received until you publish it and measure the results.