Top Freelance Websites For Translators
How to sell your translation services on freelance websites
If you’re just getting started as a freelance translator, you’ll know how hard it can be to get your first translation projects. You’ve probably sent your CV to dozens of agencies already, but you might be missing out on a valuable way to get some initial experience in translation: freelance websites. Freelance websites are a great place to start getting some initial experience, because they allow you to get in touch with thousands of people looking for just what you have to offer. But how do they work? Imagine that the owner of a small e-commerce website wants to translate her website in French because she wants to start selling in France. She doesn’t have the budget for a big translation agency, so she goes on one of the websites listed below and posts her project, waiting for freelancers to bid, or she might just go through all the freelancers’ profiles and contact the ones which are suitable to complete her tasks. And you could be that freelance translator who will help her with her project.
This is a list of the top freelance websites for translators, and are all thoroughly vetted. They are great places to start when you’re first getting into online translation or even if you’ve been translating for years and want to become a full-time freelancer.
UpWork is the largest network for freelancers and clients. You can easily find jobs to translate documents into any language. Freelancers bid against one another for jobs, and clients choose who they would like to work with. One of the best reasons to work on UpWork is the payment protection plan for both clients and translators. It’s also a huge site, so both new translators and experienced translators can find jobs that will work for them. A big downside is the fee structure. UpWork keeps 10% of your earnings for every job. There is also a monthly fee that allows you to see what others are bidding on jobs, in case you want to try to under bid other freelancers.
Guru only works with the top 3% of freelancers. You have to pass an interview and some tests before you can become a Guru translator. That’s the hard part. The great news is that because Guru only features the top 3% of freelancers, you won’t have to deal with clients looking for the lowest bid. Everyone is a professional, and they expect professional work. If you have experience as a translator already, you can make a great living on Guru.
People Per Hour is a freelance website where you can hire people and pay them on an hourly basis, or get stuff done at a per-project price. As a freelancer you can list your services and ask for a fixed amount or set a price per hour. You’ll find that people sell their translation services starting at £10 for 500 words on average (about $15), up to £400 to translate a full website for example.
If you can offer other services beside translation (for example copywriting) you can create multiple “hourlies” (that’s the name of a gig on People Per Hour).
Because this site is exclusively for translators (unlike the other freelance websites listed above), you won’t have to spend as much time sifting through jobs to find translation opportunities. The site claims that you can translate up to 100 languages. The setup is similar to UpWork. Translators bid on the jobs they’d like to take. A major pro of working for Translators Town is that you can include past work on your profile (it’s harder to do this on other freelance sites). A major con is that with the free version, you are not allowed to bid on jobs. Clients can find you and invite you to bid, but to bid on your own you’ll need to pay $75/year.
Most people will tell you that it’s best to start with only one site to build up a solid reputation. Then you can take the work performed on that site to create your profile on other websites. Trying to gain clients on multiple freelance sites at once might be overwhelming. When you’re first getting started, don’t pay for any freelance sites. Try out the free version to see how they work for you. If you love a site and know that you want to continue with it, then you can decide if the benefits of membership are worth it.
As with any type of freelance work, it will likely take you a couple of years to build up enough of a client base to be a full-time translator. But the nice thing about these websites is that you can use them full-time, part-time, or even just a few hours a week. It’s a great way to get started in your new venture. Good luck!
Author: Kenneth Waldman is a freelance writer and content editor at essay writing service EssayMama.com. Kenneth draws his inspiration out of the traveling and sport. Get in touch with him on Linkedin.