I'm working in online advertising since 1998 and finally decided to start my own blog.

How many languages does an affiliate have to speak?

HOW MUCH OF A LINGUIST DO YOU HAVE TO BE?

Here is a question I am being asked a lot : “Do I need to speak some foreign languages in order to make it big in Affiliate Marketing?” The answer is pretty easy to give actually, you should speak some English and that’s about it. English is something like the official language of the Internet, so you definitely need to speak some. I’m not trying to tell you that you need a university degree in English, but the better you are at it, the easier your life of an affiliate will be.

Majority of forums is in English, all the major bloggers are writing in English, all networks have English language support … we really don’t need to talk more about this. Obviously, you can start on your local markets and search for information written in your native language, but sooner or later, you will need to take it one step further and go international. English is your friend, study it.

BUT WHAT IF I WANT TO TARGET FOREIGN MARKETS?

Look at myself, I’m living in Slovakia : I speak my own language obviously and also Czech almost at the same level cause our languages are VERY similar. I’m pretty good with English and also speak some German and a very little Russian. BUT, I’m running a lot of campaigns in Thailand, Brazil, India, France or even Saudi Arabia, Egypt and even Pakistan … and obviously, I don’t know how to write a single words in Arabic 🙂

If I was to rely on my own language skills, I would limit myself too much, which would be a nonsense. But since we live in the internet era, it’s easy to get translation done quickly and almost for free. There is a ton of freelancers waiting for small jobs like this on www.upwork.com (former odesk.com) or www.fiverr.com. You wouldn’t believe how cheap it can be – I have had a page of text translated for as low as $5 multiple times, on both of them. A few times, people actually translated short text for free for me, in order to get positive ratings – those places are really that competitive 🙂

HOW TO PROPERLY HANDLE TRANSLATION REQUESTS?

I’m using these services all the time, so let me give you a few hints on how to handle these jobs in order to minimize the risks.

1. Always pick a native speaker – this is a must, using country specific “slang” can really help in some cases.

2. Choose a translator who can relate to your target audience – selling stuff to 18 years old? Don’t hire a 60 years old person to translate this for you.

3. Work with those who reply in a timely manner – the last thing you want is to wait a week for your translations.

4. Have the text prepared in a text file – use some common editor and file format, pay attention to special fonts and character sets, make sure the text is properly formatted and there are no errors in text. Translators will not think about your copy, they will translate what you send them, including errors and things that don’t make sense. Well, most of them anyways …

5. Is there something “unusual” about your text? Mention that – some people are not OK with adult text for example, make sure to mention this in the initial job posting.

6. Ask the translator to keep the sentences in the same order as you submitted them and keep the original text in the file too, for easy reference – with some languages it’s easy to spot where a word or sentence ends, but with some it’s not the case (Chinese, Thai, Arabic …). This can be a problem especially with texts for banners where you need to position CTA, Headlines etc …

Once you have the text translated, it’s up to you how you’re gonna use it. Copy the text and paste it to the proper parts of your banners or LPs. Double check the encoding and that the characters display correctly. With special-char languages like Thai, it’s a good idea to show a screenshot to the translator and have them verify that you copied all correctly.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER OPTIONS?

In case you don’t want to use freelancers and deal with the hassle, you can also use the more premium services that have some level of quality guarantee. The most know is www.onehourtranslations.com, but prepare to pay a premium price too. Here is a way cheaper alternative, with solid support and good turnaround times : www.transey.com.

There is also one more option – network with fellow affiliate marketers. Everybody needs a few lines of text translated from time to time. You speak your own language, they speak theirs … you might have some skills that the other side could benefit from. Trade your skills! Networking is powerful, don’t underestimate it.

Thanks for reading!


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4 comments

  1. Ahoj, tiež som sa sem dostal cez Attilu.
    Hovorím po maďarsky, slovensky (česky), anglicky, nemecky len aby som už konečne začal robiť kampane alebo produkt…

    Hello, I also found your blog through Attilas blog (FB page).

    I speak Hungarian, Slovak (Czech), English, German … now only thing to do is starting some campaigns or a product …

    1. Ahoj, to mas o jeden jazyk viac ako ja, madarsky neviem skoro nic 🙂

      Hi, that means you are speaking one more language than I do, my hungarian is pretty much non existent 🙂

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