Build an Online Translation Portfolio and Drive Traffic To It
Episode 050: A summary of the first 50 episodes of Marketing Tips for Translators
April 27, 2015
Episode 051: Market positioning for translators – Interview with Ralf Lemster
May 4, 2015

How to Build an Online Translation Portfolio and Drive Traffic to it

This is a guest post by Neil Adams, a writer at Bizzmark Blog.

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Your portfolio as a translator is a document that contains a selection of your professionally translated texts and it is one of the best examples of what your potential clients should expect if they decide to hire you. Although most of the clients will ask for a small sample text translation, before hiring you, portfolio is great for determining if you are the right person for the job.

The online portfolio is great for showing off your skills and expertise in certain areas you are specialised in. There are some common unspoken rules about how this document should look, and what should it contain.


Each text sample in the portfolio should be short and interesting to read. Pieces with more than 500 words will bore your potential clients and make them skip big parts of the document, and therefore not realise what are your best skills. In translator’s portfolio only professional looking fonts should be used, together with standard font size and color, without photos, clip art, emoticons etc.

Potential client should focus on your translating skills, not on fancy lettering. Source and target text should be next to each other preferably on the same page. Another important thing is to check all the links inside the document, since broken links in portfolio are highly unprofessional.


Portfolio shouldn’t contain the pile of randomly selected translations, but very narrow and highly specialized texts that will promote your expertise in the best possible way. These translations should emphasize your specialisation in one field and they should be the translations that you are particularly proud of. You shouldn’t mix different specialties in one portfolio, instead you can make several ones, specialized for each of your areas of expertise.

If some of your clients allows you to place their ordered translations in your portfolio, you can also point out the source of original text. If some of these translations are done for some famous company or individual and you get their approval, you should definitely use the chance and mentioned them in the document next to the translation sample. When using online texts as samples, you should also add the source where you found the original text.

Remember not to violate copyright laws and if the text you want to translate is protected by Creative Commons or any other license, do everything to give the proper attribution to the text author, including contacting an author and asking for permission if necessary.

Where to Share It?

Your CV or cover letter should contain the link to your portfolio. You should also send it to every potential client that contacts you and it should be wide available for download on your web site, if you have one. In addition to all this leave a link to your translator’s portfolio on all online translator market places, where you have a profile and all other freelance networks. Don’t forget to share your portfolio on social networks,because good social media strategy can bring you more clients. Linkedin network is the best for this kind of promotion, but Facebook, Google+ and even Twitter can also be very useful.

How to Draw Traffic to Your Portfolio?

Of course sharing your portfolio on social networks is just the first step in attracting more potential clients. Your portfolio should be regularly updated, and every update should be shared with your audience. Each post that follows your portfolio should have a short personal note and it should be thoroughly analyzed in terms of its reach and the engagement.

As we said in the previous paragraph, another great place to promote your portfolio is your company’s website. It should be SEO optimized, well-designed and it should also have fresh and high quality content. Placing your website in first pages of Google search will drastically increase the number of potential clients who are going to see your portfolio and hire you.

What Else Should Your Portfolio Contain?

Good portfolio could also contain all necessary personal information, and some more experienced translators with already developed translation companies could also place their company logo inside the document. Translator’s comments can also be very useful addition that will present your working methods to possible clients. These comments should come after every short translation and should contain few lines about each translation and some special methods you used while completing the task etc.

Good portfolio is the basic tool for presenting your skills and each translator should have at least one document like this.

Neil Adams

Neil Adams

Neil Adams is an Australia based entrepreneur and aspiring writer who’s been running his own online business for four years now. His interests are in the fields of marketing, startup culture, business psychology and self improvement. When not in his home office he loves adventuring around Australia and beyond.




  1. Tatyana Johnson says:

    Thank you, Neil. Your advice is very timely and useful. I just started creating my portfolio and had a very vague idea about the right way to do it.

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