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Starting a side hustle is the aim of many 9 to 5ers, and the dream can be taking that side hustle to new heights and have it replace full-time job income. With a translation services side hustle, this is entirely possible! Do you speak two or more languages fluently? Do you have the drive to work on your side hustle during evenings and weekends, and perhaps even early mornings too?
If you answered yes, you could start your translation services “5 to 9” today! I realize the “5 to 9” is more like “6 to 12” (!) but I’m sure you get my drift 🙂
Even if you only speak your native language and have some knowledge of another language, you could still start a translation services business and outsource your translation jobs to other freelancers proficient in that language. There are possibilities if you really want this and put your mind to it.
The keys to making this side hustle a success include:
- Excellent communication skills
- Willingness and drive to deliver on time – and for the right price
- Ability to produce accurate translations within deadlines
- Ability to build a rapport with clients
- Keen eye for details
Being reliable for your clients and always delivering accurate work on time, can go a long way to gaining repeat business as well as word-of-mouth referrals (which are a huge part of a successful side hustle).
Earnings within this side hustle will come either from charging an hourly rate or you could charge on a per-project basis, depending on the type of translation required. For example, if a Kindle eBook author contacted you to translate her 150-page book into another language for sale on Amazon, you would probably choose to offer a per-project rate rather than charge by the hour.
However if you were contacted by a potential client to translate a 2 page article, you could charge an hourly rate. This is where your communication skills would also come in though as you’d need to be accommodating to your client while still working at a rate that you are comfortable with. You may decide to have a price list listed on your website with a variety of options such as:
1 page A5 hand-written $a
1 page A4 hand-written $b
1 page A4 typed $c
10 pages A4 hand-written $d
10 pages A4 typed $e
Ebook up to 50 pages $f
Ad-hoc translation $ per hour
Etc etc etc…
This would then mean the client could purchase multiples of the services according to the amount of translation they require. And having your prices listed on your website also provides clarity and means that potential clients are more likely to use your service as opposed to another translation service who are not so transparent with prices on their website.
Imagine needing a virtual assistant on an ad-hoc basis for the next 2 months to help get you through a busy period… There are numerous virtual assistants with websites. You visit some of them but you find it difficult to make a choice because they all appear very competent.
Aren’t you more likely to choose a VA that has their services and prices listed conveniently on their website? It means you don’t have to call them or email them and wait for a reply, but rather, you know right from the very beginning what charges you’re likely to incur with the work you need assistance with. Much more simple and easy!
I’d also just like to point out – if you think you can rely on Google or another translation software to translate into another language, you’ll need to forget the idea. Translation is an art in itself, and you’ll need to be creative and extremely au fait with the both the languages you’re providing the service for (otherwise you’ll have to outsource to other freelancers). Of course you’ll learn along the way and add to your language repertoire the more clients and projects you have under your belt, but be careful not to think it’s as easy as pie to just go ahead and set up a translation side hustle!
Depending on the language, it can often be challenging to communicate the true meaning into the translated language. It can be time-consuming and your price needs to reflect this, so think carefully about your rates before confirming them on your website.
If you’ve decided you’d like to go ahead and give this side hustle a try, you’ll want to first set up your website and start promoting yourself. The best places for this type of service would be LinkedIn, Facebook groups and also advertising your services and adding helpful info-graphics as a means for promotion on Pinterest.
Setting up a website is simple with the following steps:
1. Buy your domain (website address) from 123-reg
This is the domain name provider that I use for all the domains I purchase. I also have my private email address mailbox service through them (step 5 below). Brainstorm potential names for your translation side hustle and then buy the best available name. My suggestion is that you always buy the .com and then the country specific extension, eg: co.uk. If the .com is not available, keep trying other domain names until you find one with the .com extension and your country extension available since you’ll be working with clients from all around the world and need a global website!
(Don’t worry if you’re not in the UK, 123-reg is perfect no matter where you are in the world).
2. Buy your hosting from SiteGround
SiteGround is an independently-owned company with the most amazing technical customer service support. You can call them up any time or chat to a support assistant online, so it’s extremely handy when you don’t know how to do something. They will even help you with linking your domain to your hosting if you don’t know how to do it.
3. Install WordPress
Install WordPress on your SiteGround hosting (just a few simple clicks and you’re done). Again, SiteGround support can help with this if you don’t have a clue or check out my course to walk you through all these steps mentioned here at the Financial Freedom Footsteps Side Hustle School.
4. Install a WordPress Theme
You can either install a free theme or a paid theme if you want to have more options for customization. To keep your costs down to start, I’d suggest just going with a free theme like Make. Your website only really needs a handful of pages including “about”, “services”, “contact”, and it does not have to be fancy, it just needs to look professional. A free theme can still achieve this objective, especially while you’re learning the ropes of WordPress which is not always so easy! If you prefer to have a theme with way more options for customization, I use Divi and found it easy to learn.
5. Set Up Your Private Email Address
Purchase the email address service from 123-reg for one mailbox (monthly or annual charge), so that you can have a personal address such as firstname.lastname@example.org and look way more professional than using a free email service like Gmail or Hotmail.
If you don’t feel ready to set up a website just yet, you could opt to start your translation services side hustle using a web platform for freelancers like Fiverr. This is how I started my own side hustle some years ago and I feel it’s the perfect place to start if you’re not ready for your own website or don’t know how you’ll promote yourself.
I created a course all about getting started on Fiverr. It walks you through from start to finish and afterwards, you should feel confident to begin your side hustle. I also provide a bunch of tips to promote yourself and your services. Check it out here or click the image below.
I hope this guide has helped you. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.
Good luck with your transcription services side hustle – I hope it becomes your full-time business if that’s your dream!
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