I’ve talked a lot in the past about how translators can make money.
And surprising (or not), translators can make money in other ways besides translation.
In fact, while a lot of translators make a significant amount of money from obviously their translation work, a little secret that a lot of translators don’t reveal is that they are making money in other ways as well.
I’ll be the first to admit that this is the case for me.
While I do make money from translation, most of my income actually comes from other sources.
There are various reasons for this but for me, I tend to like doing those other things more than I like translating.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy translating. But I’ve done it for so long that it’s nice for me to try new things and see them succeed. That’s where I am now.
And again, I’m not the only translator that is doing this.
Now, there are tons of ways that language professionals can make money. I even wrote a book outlining a lot of those ways called Second Language, Second Income.
In this article, though, I’m going to outline one of the ways you can start making money as a language professional.
Affiliate Marketing for Translators
OK, so the first thing is to understand what affiliate income is.
Affiliate income (otherwise known as affiliate marketing) at its most basic level entails earning a commission from promoting someone else’s product.
Let me repeat that so you are sure to understand:
Affiliate income means earning a commission from selling someone else’s product.
Think of a car salesman.
When a person sells a car, they earn a commission on the sale of that vehicle. That vehicle is not their own product. It belongs to the car company.
But because the sales person worked to sell it to a third party, they rightfully earn a commission.
This is obviously something that happens regularly in the “real world.”
However, affiliate marketing has also been around a long long time on the Internet, allowing internet marketers and others to make money promoting other people’s products.
Nowadays, though, affiliate marketing isn’t limited to internet marketers. Nearly everyone who has a blog or website aimed at engaging with their audience uses affiliate marketing to market products to their own audiences, recommending products that their audiences would find useful.
I’ve seen the following types of website owners marketing affiliate products:
- mom bloggers
- political pundits
- candy owners
And guess what?
Language professionals can (and should be) getting in on the action by doing their own affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing – The Why
OK, so now you understand a little about what affiliate marketing is. Now it’s time to look at why you should consider adding affiliate marketing for translators to your income strategy.
Remember when I said that for many language professionals, money earned from doing translations for customers sometimes only counts for a portion of that translator’s income.
The biggest argument for adding affiliate income to your income-earning strategy is that the more income streams you have, the better you can insulate yourself against the “feast and famine” lifestyle that often besets translators.
Just because you identify as a translator, or that’s how you’ve always earned your money, doesn’t mean that there aren’t other supplemental ways of earning income.
We know that as translators, there are times when we have tons of work. However, we also know that those times can be easily followed up by times when we can’t find any clients.
Having multiple income streams means earning money in addition to the main income generating activity (likely translation or some other language profession).
And doing affiliate marketing is a good option for one of those additional streams of income.
Another reason why doing affiliate marketing for translators or language professionals is something to consider is that it’s relatively easy and uncomplicated.
First of all, it’s easy because there in order to start earning affiliate income, all you have to do is start recommending the products you already use and are in love with.
Secondly, it’s uncomplicated because most companies have affiliate programs. These programs only require you to insert a simple link to the product into your website articles.
Affiliate Marketing – The How
OK, now that you know a little about why affiliate marketing for translators is something worth pursuing. Now it’s time to look at how to go about implementing it.
First of all, think of all the products and services that you use for your translation/language business.
At first glance, you might not think that you use that many.
But I guarantee you that there are literally dozens of products that you use in your business and personal life that you love. Products and services that make your life more convenient.
For example, in looking at my own business (which goes beyond translation and includes writing, photography, and videography), there are a number of products that I can’t live without.
You can find a list of them on my resources page.
The first step, then, is to make your own list of the top ten products that you use and would have no issues recommending to your fellow colleagues or friends.
Once you have your top ten list, its time to see which of those products or services have affiliate programs. Those programs where they pay people for sales of those products.
For example, one of the products that I really love and try to tell everyone about (at least those interested in building their own websites) is Bluehost.
Bluehost is a web hosting platform that language professionals (and others) can use to build their own online businesses.
I use Bluehost for my own webpages and have loved their service. Naturally, I want to tell others interested in building their own businesses that if they’re looking for a webhost, to consider Bluehost.
So, going to the Bluehost website, it’s easy to see that they have their own affiliate program.
In order to sign up, you fill out a simple application to become an affiliate. Once you do that, and Bluehost approves your application, you have access to your own online dashboard. This dashboard provides you with links and banners that you can use in your online content.
Then, when someone clicks on the link that you’ve provided (which takes people to this page) and signs up for their own web hosting from Bluehost, you earn a commission (currently set at $65 per signup).
Now, imagine if you have ten people per month sign up for web hosting through your affiliate income. That’s an extra $650 a month. Not bad, right?
And that’s only for one product that you use and love.
Imagine doing that with other products that you could recommend to people who follow you.
Affiliate Marketing – The Where
Now, where can you use these affiliate income links?
In lots of places, actually.
Hopefully, as a language professional, you have a website (if you don’t yet have a professional website, you really should get one through Bluehost!). Include those links in your website copy as you talk about those products.
Do you have social media?
You can also embed affiliate links in many of the social media platforms that you might be using like:
Another great place that you can use these affiliate links is through email newsletters to your audience.
Affiliate Marketing – The When
OK, so once you know which products you want to recommend and promote and where you want to start promoting them, it’s time to look at when you should do the promoting.
First of all, it’s important to remember that your audience doesn’t want you to advertise to them all the time. For example, you don’t want to plaster affiliate links all over your website or on every one of your social media posts.
You still want to provide your audience value without selling to them 100% of the time.
The second thing to consider about affiliate marketing for translators is that you only should market those products and services that you can in good conscience recommend to other people.
If you haven’t used a product or don’t know anything about it, you don’t want to automatically try to do affiliate marketing on it. You audience will be able to see right through it and feel like all you want to do is sell to them.
The best way to stay clear of that is to only recommend those products and services that you’ve used personally. Those that you can recommend through personal experience.
If you do it that way, your authenticity will show through. Your audience will appreciate it by checking out those recommendations.
P.S.If you’re interested in other ways to make money as a freelance language professional, be sure to read my book: Second Language, Second Income.