Should You Make Your Sex Blog Multilingual?
Multilingual sex blogging offers great benefits but can you face the extra workload? In this article, I will explore the challenges of multilingual content, as well as how to approach it if you are alone or in a very small team.
What benefits are there to multilingual sex blogging?
- Extra traffic
- Working with foreign businesses
- Collaborating with foreign sex bloggers
- Culture exchange and discovery
Working in additional languages means you can do business with more companies. It will also expand your choice of affiliation programs. If you sell products or services, you can gain a new audience.
For me, foreign discovery is the best benefit. French sex bloggers sometimes write about things I don’t see on English blogs. My partner and I also enjoy French sex toys that we don’t usually see reviewed in English. For example, a French sex toy called the Loica from Passage du Desir is Eve’s favorite bullet vibrator.
What are the downsides to multilingual sex blogging?
- It takes a lot of extra time. Time that you could spend writing more English content.
- Writing about sex in a foreign language has pitfalls (easy to cause offense or turn someone off with a wrong word).
- The tech behind multilingual blogs is more complicated.
- SEO and promotion in a foreign language are difficult.
How much extra traffic will I get from each language?
Depending on the language you are considering and the cultures tied to it, your extra traffic will vary. French generates 15 percent of my traffic, and that number continues to grow slowly.
Translations will only be as good as the translator’s skill, the content itself, and your foreign language SEO (particularly keyword research). That’s because in a tiny team your other promotion is likely going to be in English.
Domain name setup is also important. Let’s suppose German will be the second language:
- For best visibility in Germany, you’d use “yourdomain.de”.
- Next best thing is “de.youdomain.com”.
- The most basic (which I use) is “yourdomain.com/de”.
If you use “yourdomain.de” search engines will class it as a different website, which means it won’t share your primary website’s ranking. Search engines sometimes consider subdomains (de.yourdomain.com) as separate websites too. That’s why I use the basic setup. The downside to a basic setup (yourdomain.com/de) is that if your foreign content is weaker, it will bring your English SEO ranking down with it.
Can I use an auto-translator?
Auto-translators are very useful. However, using automatic translation without any revision by a human translator is a bad idea. Even the best translation tools make a lot of errors.
My partner Eve uses an auto-translator to produce quick first drafts of translations. Then she spends 30 – 60 minutes editing every 1000 words. Google Translate is reasonably good at translating simple French sentences. Yet all auto-translators suck at complex sentences and ideas (as well as expressions and abbreviations).
More worry is that you won’t know how bad an automatic translation is unless someone tells you. For me, that isn’t worth the risk.
Can I translate my own content if I’m not fluent?
It’s great to be enthusiastic about our language skills but we need to be realistic. Even if we use an auto-translator in combination with our intermediate language skills, we’re still going to make many mistakes.
I’m semi-fluent in French, yet French people browsing my website can tell when I translate content myself. Even if I make no spelling errors and few grammar mistakes, they notice a foreigner has written it.
I usually translate one article per month into French for practice. After proudly showing my translation to my French partner, the slow head shake of doom begins. “This isn’t French,” she’ll say, pointing to a sentence. It surprises me each time because I understand everything I write.
Even when semi-fluent, borrowed grammar constructions and direct translations of words/expressions can cause problems. Often, metaphors, imagery, and style can give us away as foreign writers too. At best, it sounds odd but sometimes it can be incomprehensible.
Better to use a human translator
Assuming you use WordPress, the WPML plugin offers great integration with human translation services. I recommend you try that out. Fiver could also be an option. I recommend you also ask your translators to do some basic keyword research in the foreign language.
It’s possible that foreign sex bloggers could be interested in collaborating with you. Particularly if they have a language switch on their website and haven’t been able to translate much of their content.
Go for quality over quantity and be strategic. Dodgy translations can negatively affect your SEO and ranking. Better to translate two posts well than two-hundred badly.
Is it difficult to set up a multilingual WordPress blog?
Multilingual blogging has a learning curve but with the right plugins and themes, you can reduce the burden.
WordPress specifies the language of your blog in the HTML of every page. You can’t just publish a blog post in French if WordPress is telling the search engines that it is in English. To change this default language code (as well as a host of other things), you need a plugin.
Multilingual WordPress Plugins I recommend:
My website currently uses WPML, which isn’t free but I highly recommend it (it even has some auto-translate options). Polylang has a free version but realistically you’ll need the paid version. There are more themes and plugins compatible with WPML.
Do not use the free plugin qTranslate/qTranslate XT. I ran my website with it for three years, and it was a nightmare.
Is multilingual blogging worth doing?
For some, multilingual blogging could be hugely rewarding. Yet the extra traffic and income you receive from a multilingual sex blog may not always correspond with the time you spend on it. There is more to be gained than just numbers though.
Over the years, I considered dropping my secondary language several times due to the extra work it requires. Yet it was French companies that first gave Obsession Rouge a chance by sending us sex toys to review and they continue to support us. Sometimes content miraculously does better in French than in English too, which drives more affiliate income.
Collaboration with foreign sex bloggers is also possible if you begin working in a foreign language. I’m in touch with just as many French bloggers as English ones. That more than anything has been worth the effort for me!