Best Paying Websites to Find Translation Job Online

Greater than 4 minutes, my friend!

Let me be honest, I created this title using keywords from Google analytics and Google Webmaster accounts set up for my personal business website —Russian Translator Pro. I regularly check my website statistics to see how people find me on the web. And these keywords were among other top traffic driving keywords.

Be patient, I will definitely tell you what is the best paying website for translators, but you may be surprised with the answer to this question.

When I started RTP site in October 2015, my main audience included translators, consequently, the content published on the website was developed for translators only.

Since that time I have prepared a bunch of articles for clients as well, however, translators’ search phrases still generate approximately 70% of website organic search traffic.

There are thousands of searches each month related to the online job for translators. In particular, translators regularly search for the best paying websites to find translation job online.

When I got back to freelancing 3 years ago, I had no experience in approaching direct clients — I worked as a freelancer for local agencies since 2007 and as an in-house translator since 2010.

Having explored the options using Google search, I found several freelancing websites. I created accounts on Proz (and purchased a one-year membership), Translators Café, oDesk, Elance (currently UpWork), and Freelancer websites.

I also registered with similar Russian platforms and started bidding on various projects.

Actually, I got several jobs from Proz within first 6 months of membership and I was really excited — I paid for the membership and it worked. But the jobs were offered at the ridiculous rates of $0.035-$0.04 per word. As you understand, there is nothing to be proud of in winning this kind of “bids”.

I saw that there were many translators who charged significantly higher rates. I tried to set higher rates and bid only for seemingly good projects, but gradually I understood that I’m spending my time in vain with Proz. Nevertheless, I was afraid to lose these cheap work opportunities.

I renewed membership for another year and I did not get a single job from Proz since that time (though I already had a good profile with a dozen of positive testimonials).

Stop bidding! Start living

Hopefully, I had several contacts from the times when I was an in-house translator and I got some random projects from Russian translation agencies that helped me to survive.

After more than a year of living from one random job to another, I understood that my chaotic search and bidding had no sense and everything I’m doing is completely wrong. Then I decided to find another approach and learn more about online business.

In autumn 2015, I met Dmitry Kornykhov – fellow Russian translator, who was just starting The Open Mic project (free blogging platform for translators).

I read his article about Proz (Is Proz Dead of Alive). After reading this post I decided to quit Proz membership and focused on my personal website development. I do not regret about time spent on my personal website as I already see the astonishing results of my work.

Today, looking back at those convulsive and unstructured activities, hunting for every job opportunity and price dumping, I feel really frustrated that I spent so much time for bidding instead of building a strategy for my freelance business.

The main thing I understood is as follows: it is impossible to build a business on a rented land. All bidding websites without exception are nothing but a rented land.

Today you don’t need to use any bidding platform, pay stupid membership fees for a doubtful opportunity to bid on low-cost projects from people who know nothing about such a complex intellectual activity as language translation.

At the same cost of one-year Proz membership, you can buy a year of hosting, domain name and a premium WordPress theme. If you have additional questions, read my recent post — Everything You Want to Know Before Starting a Personal Website with my interview for Translators On Air (former Blabbing Translators)

You don’t need specific programming skills to start a website. Use this simple guide and start your first WordPress site in 5 minutes. Nowadays everyone can create a personal website and start selling translation services online.

Of course, the website is not a quick solution — you will have to spend time and effort before it brings real income, but in a long run personal website is one of the best solutions for online business of a freelance translator.

Implementing the knowledge and skills learned since 2013 resulted in what you can see now on my personal business website. Over the year more than 30 thousand people visited my website, I managed to triple my rates, I met awesome freelance translators and found new wonderful clients.

I have developed a flexible marketing strategy for my translation business that includes both online and offline promotion methods. In addition to RTP website targeted at the US and EU audience, I have launched a local website and set up AdWords campaign that brings me 2-3 local customers daily.

In addition, I ‘m very active on three social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) and connect with translators from all over the world to establish good professional relations.

I also run this site and SFT group on Facebook to help other translators switch from exhausting and humiliating search of work on bidding platforms and start building their own online translation business.

I hope this short story helps you understand that the Best Paying Website to Find Translation Job Online is your own business website built to satisfy the specific needs of your target audience!

A wise content strategy along with continuous marketing efforts will definitely bring you more clients willing to pay your desired rates than random bidding on freelance platforms.

Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates about freelance translation business, join Successful Freelance Translators group on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

Also, register on SFT forum — I will be glad to see each of you in our community.

Like this post? Want more?
Subscribe to my blog and learn how to become a successful freelance translator!
We respect your privacy.
Simon Akhrameev

About Simon Akhrameev

Blogger, entrepreneur, certified English-Russian translator helping businesses expand to the Russian market since 2007 offering technical, legal, and marketing translation & localization services.

10 thoughts on “Best Paying Websites to Find Translation Job Online

  1. Should be noted though, that in many industries offline activities are often more efficient in terms of attracting good clientele. You might have the best-designed website in the history of the universe, but people still love buying from other people and they need this human connection which is not always possible to convey in web-design. A smile and handshake sometimes is worth million of brilliantly crafted web-pages 🙂

    Report comment
      1. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I don’t have and don’t want to have any local (Czech) clients, simply because translation (and services in general) are so undervalued in the Czech Republic that it would be a financial mistake and a loss of time.

        Report comment
  2. Simon, great post! I just read Dmitry’s article about Proz and I totally agree.
    I first ventured as a part time freelancer back in 2007 and found myself navigating the same waters that Dmitry mentioned. I payed for the Proz membership but found the rates ridiculous! I was always “higher” than the other bidders and never got one job during the whole year I had a professional membership. I decided not to renew. Instead, a contract came my way and it provided me constant work and a great income and I’ve been renewed from 2010 until now.
    Now, I’m back in the freelance wagon. I want to do more translation in different fields. I don’t want to rely on one source anymore because the truth is, that can dry up at any moment. That’s why I love that you guys share so much wisdom in your posts. Freelancing is a whole different world!

    Report comment
    1. Hi, Ginna!
      Let me express my special gratitude for reading our posts and for your support in SFT group!

      You’re right, freelancers should always consider backup channels of new job opportunities, therefore I target both direct clients and translation agencies, regularly searching fo the best options among US and EU agencies, as well as direct clients (local and worldwide).

      Report comment
  3. Great article, Simon! I read it a couple of months ago and just re-read it now, and it makes a lot of sense. I never bought membership on ProZ, because it looked too overwhelming to compete with thousands of people there. Those job platforms might be a necessary step for someone who is just starting and needs some experience, provided he/she succeeds in getting a project through them. In any case, I agree with you that being your own boss and having direct clients is the best thing.

    Report comment

Leave a Reply

The Open Mic

Where translators share their stories and where clients find professional translators.

Find Translators OR Register as a translator