There are a lot of people giving me compliments because I have a bilingual blog. If you didn’t notice it yet, I’m writing my posts in Dutch AND English. But there are a lot more people asking me how I do it. Does it cost time? How do I actually do it? Is there a plugin for WordPress? Which language is the best if I decide to go bilingual? I will answer each and every question. Because besides my travelblog, my blog is also a blogging blog. Yes, I know. A lot of “blog” in one phrase, but I’ll clear it up in no-time. So you’re playing with the idea of translating your blog? Then keep on reading! I have many to discuss with you!
First things First
You have probably thought about it. And that’s great, because it’s necessary to overthink it. You won’t get a translated blog overnight. It’s a long process that you have to repeat every single day. That’s why I wrote down my top pros and cons before I started translating. What’s the most important pro and con? You’ll find it out here!
Translating means Time. A lot of time (CONTRA)
I’m a slow writer. It cost me about two hours to write an 700 word article. You can do it faster or slower, but that’s not the point I’m making here. Above your native language, or the language you’re currently writing, you have to count your translating work AND your routine of rereading it. That’s just long work, you guys. So let me start with saying that I’m writing about 6 hours for two articles (English and Dutch), with breaks in it. OK, you might have heard of auto-translating. But that hasn’t really worked out well for me. Besides that you have an editor or a translator. But those are quite expensive. So I rewrite my blogposts in English. About 6 hours: gone in one day. And then you have to read other blogs, be active on social media and so on. But if you really want it, you have to be glad with less is more.
Larger public (PRO)
Or course you have a larger reach if you go bilingual. Like I wrote in a previous post; “if you speak a language that’s rare in the world, then it’s normal to have a smaller audience. If you decide to write in English, then -on the other hand- you’ll get more audience. A whole world actually”. This doesn’t mean that you have to write in English. More world languages are French, Chinese, and Spanish. Also, important, if you want to collaborate with brands, you have this amazing and large advantage. After all, you have two articles, at least two tweets/Facebook-posts/Instagram-pictures/etc.
HOW TO: Translating a (Travel)Blog
Step 1: Ask yourself these five questions
Above this How to, you read that translating a blog to English cost time and a lot of effort. That’s why you have to ask yourself these five questions before you even start; 1) Do you want to put your time into translating? 2) Are you going to add more social media accounts (make things twice?) 3) Editor/Translator/or yourself? 4) Are you quite good at this language? 5) Are you going to make your whole blog bilingual or just some posts?
Step 2: Plugin for WordPress
Since using Polylang, it’s my one and only (favorite) translating plugin for WordPress. It’s easy to use and it can do so many things. It’s not only good for translating your posts, but it’s also good for translating pages, categories, widget, menus, etc. If you don’t really like Polylang (what I highly doubt), then you could use others like WPML. Some say that this is the best one out there, but I just love Polylang and that’s what I’m going to teach you here.
Step 3: Polylang installeren en opstarten
- Search for Polylang, install it and activate it
- Follow the instructions
Step 4: Translate!
Above this subtitle, you’ll see an arrow pointing at the section Languages. This is very important. So here it is; write your blogpost like you normally do (in your main language) and then schedule it or publish it. If it’s saved and only if it’s saved then you can click on the plus sign next to your second language. And that’s when you translate it. I always copy paste my Dutch article (I’m sure there are better ways, but anyway) and translate it to English.
Step 5: Set up your menus
Make another menu like you made your first. But now you’ll see that there’s a language switch in the left section. Click on this, add it to your menu. And that’s done. Now your blog is bilingual.
Did you already translate your blog? Why or why not?
If you need help, please ask me! (: