7 Steps to Blogging For Foreign Markets

thank you note for every languageA guest post from Christian Arno, founder and Managing Director of global language services agency Lingo24

If you’re an English-language blogger, you might want to consider exporting your blog to foreign markets. It’s not as difficult as you might think, and could be a great way of seriously increasing your readership. Here are few tips to get you started.

Invest in a local domain
If you want to be taken seriously in other countries and build trust amongst your foreign readers, it’s well worth making a small investment in a country-specific domain name. For example, if your English-language blog is on myblog.com, you should host your French and German versions of your blog using myblog.fr and myblog.de, respectively. This approach will help you to get ranked by local search engines and will encourage your readers to take you more seriously.

Reuse your English content
One of the toughest aspects of blogging is having to constantly develop new content. The beauty of moving into foreign markets is that you can recycle the content on your existing English-language blog. If you’ve been blogging for a while in English, you probably have enough content to provide a regular supply of posts on your foreign language blog, with very little extra work required. It’s often frustrating to think of your historic posts languishing in your blog’s archive – by recycling them into foreign languages, you’re giving them a whole new lease of life.

Use straightforward language
When you are writing new posts for your foreign language blogs, try to use clear unambiguous prose. This means avoiding the use of slang, unusual metaphors and abbreviations. By doing so, you will be creating content that can be more accurately translated and can be used in more of your foreign blogs. If you’re planning to reuse some of your older posts from your existing blog, it might be worth editing them to make sure the language can be easily translated.

Avoid specific cultural references
You should also be careful not to include cultural references which might not be understood in other countries. For example, if you refer to TV shows or celebrities which are well-known where you live, it’s possible that your foreign readers won’t know what you are talking about. It will also remind your visitors that they are reading translated content originally intended for readers in another country, which could be a turn-off for them.

Use a professional translator
If you want to be taken seriously in foreign markets, you need to ensure that your content is well translated. There are online machine translation tools, like Google Translate, but they are no way near as accurate as a professional translator. Badly translated content will give your blog an amateurish feel and put off your readers. The only way to be sure that your posts are accurately translated is to use a professional translator. If you’re going to the trouble of setting up a foreign-language blog, you might as well make sure your content is good quality!

Build links in the local internet
If you already have an English blog, you know the importance of link-building. It’s not only essential for SEO but it helps you to establish yourself as a respected member of the ‘blogosphere’. If you want your foreign blogs to be a success you will need to put some effort into link-building in the local internet. Having your posts professionally translated will be a big help, because other bloggers within your target markets are more likely to link to and comment on good quality content. Other link building strategies, like submitting to good quality, high traffic directories, can be replicated for your foreign blogs.

Promote within the local social media
All bloggers know the importance of social networks for promoting their blogs. You can get a lot of leverage by using social media within the foreign markets you are targeting. Try to make new Facebook friends within the country you are launching your blog. You may wish to provide a translated version of your bio in your Facebook profile and maybe include some posts from your foreign blogs in your Facebook feed. You could use your foreign-language keywords to search for Twitter users in your target countries. You should also research any country-specific social networks which may not be well-known in your home country.

About the author

Christian Arno is the founder and Managing Director of global language services agency Lingo24. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 120 employees spanning four continents and clients in over sixty countries.

Contact Lingo24 with a translation request mentioning www.nikkipilkington.com before 30 November 2010 and receive a 10% discount on your first order.


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Creative Commons License photo credit: woodleywonderworks

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