Every now and then, I hear people talk about the number of blogs that have shut down or are no longer updated. I’ve noticed quite the opposite. There’s been quite an increase of bloggers in the translation/interpreter community since last year.
Granted, a small percentage of them act like small children who treat their blog like a shiny new toy. They play with it for a few months and then throw it away – that is they never bother to update it again.
What I’ve also noticed is that none of them work with a blog editor. I guess part of the reason could be that most of those blogs are maintained by native English speakers. Why pay a blog editor to review posts you write in your own language, right?
Wrong! Even if you write in your mother tongue, it doesn’t mean you have perfect command of that language or that you can actually write an interesting article that people would want to read. Even if your ideas are nice and your writing is good, your formatting might be so bad that it drives readers away.
Like with translation, a second pair of eyes is always good if you’re blogging about your business. That’s why we decided to hire Samar when we started this blog (see the end of the post for more details about her). I met her via Twitter before we’d even thought about needing a blog editor.
She offered to go through my first ever guest post that I had written for a fellow blogger. She sent back a thoroughly edited post with detailed explanations of each and every change she’d made so that I’d know what to avoid in the future.
Let’s just say that the post looked very different after I applied her useful tips. Her invaluable feedback made me realize how important it was to work with an editor whose sole job is to make your writing shine.
This also gave us the opportunity to get to know each other a bit better. So, when the big day came to push the ‘Publish’ button, I knew who to contact.
Our blog might be in English but neither of us is a native English speaker. We both studied and worked in the UK which has made our grasp of English pretty good. We also communicate with our clients in English every day and of course we both translate from English for the past 11 years.
However, we didn’t have any experience in blogging or writing. So, we needed a professional with experience in both to show us the right way.
That’s exactly what Samar did. Reviewing the content of our first few posts was only a small part of her services. She advised us on blog titles, formatting, e-books, ideas for new posts, how to create a newsletter, how to invite guest bloggers to write for us and so much more! The only thing I regret is not sending her all of our blog posts for editing. After the first few months, we weren’t as prepared as in the beginning, i.e. most of the times we wrote posts that were published right away or the next day. It didn’t give us time to send them to Samar for her to review.
The idea for this blog began after one of many email conversations I’ve had with Samar. As always, the conversation included several useful and interesting ideas on Samar’s part on how to improve our blog and marketing efforts. I feel bad when a creative person let’s you pick their brain but won’t charge you for it, so I came up with this post as a way of thanking her and at the same time showing our readers how important it is to have such creative people in your life who will go above and beyond to help you and your business.
That said, let me close this post by also mentioning two more creative people we’ve worked with who have improved our business. The first is the company that created our logo (Orasi Advertising). We only told them we wanted something fresh and modern and that we liked blue and green. No more details. And they got it right the first time. Don’t you just love it when that happens?
The second is our web designer (Terataki Studio). He’s as creative and helpful as Samar. Except from our website and the lovely header of our blog, he is also responsible for our tagline ‘You create, we translate’, which he came up with in our first meeting! Just as Orasi Advertising, he got us right from the start, what our business is about and what we’d like. Our website header with the two people sitting on the grass with their laptops still makes us smile, it’s so us!
Here are the details of our blog editor:
Samar Owais wears many hats of which freelance writer, blogger and blog editor are the most prominent. You can find her on Twitter as @samarowais where she tweets about writing, freelancing, her toddler, lack of sleep – to name just a few. If you’d like to find out more about her, just visit her website, www.samarowais.com, and contact her for more info.