The Secret Sauce of Victory

by Translation Guy on June 3, 2011

Translation Guy was a big winner in the Top 100 Language Lovers blog competition for language enthusiasts hosted annually by and Lexiophiles. Top Twitterer by a wide margin, and second place for the blog in general and language professional categories. Now last year, when we swept the popular vote but were denied the prize, I was struck by the unfairness of the selection process. But I’ve taken a new view this year, since our ranking was better than the two competitors who topped us in the popular vote. Hah! Losers!

I chalk up our rise in the eyes of Language Lovers to the new, kinder, gentler Translation Guy persona ordered up by our social media department. (Really runs against my grain, that Mr. Nice Guy stuff.)  That and lots of cute cat videos. But there are only so many kitten cards in your hand when you are trying to out-cute translating twins, like that pair over at Translation Times who won first place. I mean, evil twin I can do, but identical? And they can write too. Jeez. I think I’m going to move to video to build my audience beyond that narrow pool of nerds who read and write. Then I’ll show those twins…

So maybe because the Translating Twins don’t tweet, the Translation Guy Twitter Feed was our big win with Language Lovers, and readership has increased by leaps and bounds, doubling to 10,000 followers this year. The secret? Spell check. Should have thought of it sooner.

So, what did we learn? The purpose of this blog is to create link density and drive traffic to in order to raise our position in Google searches. Two years and 120,000 words later, it’s been hard to measure impact beyond ink spilled because I keep deviating from the program, since I only write about what interests me, one of the foolish privileges of ownership. And, so far, all the benefits of this social media stuff have been strictly social. Got to meet and study up on some really bright and inspiring people. But most useful and interesting are the observations of those who read and comment on what I write. Gentle readers, you few, you happy band of internet brothers and sisters who hold my hand along this precarious thread of prose across the phosphors of your flat screen. And that friendship and commerce grows from these thin threads of thought, why it’s just amazing, and all thanks to you.

So I stand before the gates of Oz and Kansas, this Medal of Courage from Language Lovers pinned to my virtual chest, and bow my deepest virtual bow in gratitude to all of you for your continued encouragement and support. Aww, shucks, folks, I’m speechless [Editor’s Note: Sure you are, Translation Guy, but how long is that going to last??!!]


  1. Robert A says:

    I suspect that your website would be much poorer ranked if not for this blog. This blog rocks and I can see the link juice here. I work for a large SEO corporation in the U.S. and I would die to have a few clients with this much web clout. I did run an analysis of your website and it seems as though there is nothing being done on a regular basis, the only thing that is contributing is this blog. Ken, you need to do search engine optimization, article submission, metatags, etc. on a monthly basis. I suggest hiring a professional (maybe you have a pro already?) – Robert.

    • Ken says:

      Robert, thanks for your wise advice. Since we got nailed in Panda, I’ve turned my attention to the site, and we are frantically updating content. Also, under the invisable tarp in the hanger is a Spruce Goose of a skunkworks project that we hope will be a viral as e-coli on Euro-spouts

  2. Aurora says:

    You’re mistaken about the twins, they can tweet and ranked #11 in that category.

    • Ken says:

      I’ll bet they’re good tweeters too, but at 10 positions behind they got a ways to go. Remember the old show-biz adage, ladies, “Never follow a chimpanzee act!”

  3. Ken, you are one cocky dude, but I guess you have reason… afterall you did dominate the Lexiophile awards this year.

  4. Erin Finch says:

    You owned these awards. How many people do you have working on your social media in house? You should almost quite the translation industry and open up a digital agency. Heck, I’d invest.

  5. Jan Brown says:

    Congrats Ken!

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