Posted by: Steve Vitek | August 30, 2012

A Brief History of My Blogging and Comparison of the Counters on My Website and on My Blog

I have a visible counter both on my website and on my blog. This afternoon (on June 30th, 2012), both counters were for a cosmic moment showing the same number of visitors, namely 86,500. A little bit later, the website counter was showing 86,505, while the blog counter was showing in the same moment 86,550.

Given that I launched my website almost 12 years ago in the year 2000, while my blog is only 2 and half years old, the logical conclusion would be that that my website has not been very successful, while my blog has been pretty successful in comparison.

In a way it is true. My blog was viewed 233 times in March 2010, which was the first full month of my at first timid blogging. After that, as links to the Diary of Mad Patent Translator started slowly appearing on blogs of other translators (I love you all), the 1,000 mark was reached in November of the same year, then the number of views hovered around 2,000 until September 2011, it went over 4,000 views in January 2012, then in April 2012 it jumped to 14,181 because I wrote this silly parody on a newly discovered disease, and now the number of views dropped back to between 5,000 and 6,000 a month.

These current numbers of the views of my blog are not exactly breathtaking, but given the obscure subject of my blog, namely “patent translation and related subjects”, and that I have been blogging only for a relatively short time, they are probably not too bad.

The thing is, although my website has on average only about 1 thousand views on a good month, while my blog can have easily more than 10 thousand views a month, the website is really important for my translation business, while writing the blog is just a hobby that helps me to bring a little bit of excitement into the tedious reality of my pathetic existence through a wonderful vehicle for self expression and interaction with far-flung readers on 4 continents.

The website is much more important for my business because unlike my blog, my website brings in translation business. I started counting how much business my website has been generating from new customers who found my website in 2003. For the first three years after the year 2000, my website was not really doing anything for me and basically all the work that I was receiving during these years was translation work from existing customers.

But as I kept improving the design and the content of the website by trying to anticipate what a typical customer who needs translations of patents might be looking for, the website started pulling in new business year after year.

So far this year, 10 new customers sent me work because they found my website, the total that they paid me for my translations for this work so far this year was $20,129, nine of these new customers sent me Japanese patents, and 1 of them sent me German patents or other documents for translation.

If I remember correctly, every year since 2003 I made additionally between 12 to 30 thousand dollars from new customers who found my website, and as quite a few of them stick with me once they find me if they need to have patents translated on a continuous basis, I have been able to replace in this manner old customers that one naturally loses through attrition, such as several patent law firms that went out of business.

I think I got two translation projects in the last 2 and half years, one from German and one from Japanese, because another blogger or translator who knew me through my blog suggested my name to a translation agency in one case and to a patent law firm in another case.

Oh, I almost forgot, I also got some work because I have been writing articles about translation for several online publications since mid nineties. In particular, I translated about 20 patents a few years ago for a British patent law firm because a Japanese translator who lives in Japan and translates into Japanese liked an article that I wrote more than a decade ago about machine translation for Translation Journal.

God works in mysterious ways.

Talking about numbers, since this is my 250th post in about 2 and half years, not counting a few I aborted before or after I published them, and each post has about a thousand words, this means that I have crammed so far about 250 thousand words on this blog for reasons that I myself cannot even begin to comprehend since the blog does not generate new business. It may even be putting some customers who may disagree with my worldview off.

That would be a book with about 500 pages that I wrote for no good reason.

There must be something wrong me.

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Responses

  1. I find it interesting that people, as a means of escape from work, usually take up an activity completely different from what they do for a living. Grossly generalizing, translators either read or write. There must be something wrong with us.

  2. Or maybe translators are able to appreciate what is really important more than people in other professions?

    Although translators are hardly the only ones staring at their blogs in desperation these days.

  3. ‘There must be something wrong me.’

    Well, it does say ‘Diary of a MAD patent translator’ on your blog. But I wouldn’t worry about it. You seem to be doing well and I really like your blog. So, please carry on. ‘There is method in your madness’. :-)

    Thanks!

  4. Thank you for your words of encouragement all the way from Brazil, I presume.

    Admittedly, the first meaning of MAD is MENTALLY UNSTABLE.

    But another meaning is mad as in being mad at something (the world, usually).

    I believe that I am a perfectly sane translator living in a mad world.

    But then again, that is what all mentally unstable people think about themselves.

  5. I discovered your blog recently and I find it pretty interesting. I like what you write about. Your style is different (and that’s probably why you stand out!). Good for Antonio Banderas dancing our Argentine Tango!!!

    • Antonio Who?

      I was so captivated by la danseuse that I barely noticed him.

      • You may be interested to know that a Uruguayan danseuse (to use your own term) won the recent tango world contest in Buenos Aires in the “stage” (escenario) category. http://bit.ly/O9I2Uq

  6. Websites are clearly a commercial tool, like being in a phone book with some detail thrown in, whereas blogs are, or should be, more entertaining, informative and participative (I myself don’t blog, too lazy I guess…). The main merit I find in yours, is that you somehow manage to write, post after post and day after day, of things that concerns us all as professionals and also as human beings. Keep it up, I am always waiting for your next post because I know it will be an awesomely good read!

  7. Oops…. “Of things that concern (not concerns) us all….”

  8. I am a potential client of yours and I enjoy reading your blog — haven’t yet visited your website. You do seem a bit cranky at times, but honest and fairly sane. You’ll be at the top of my list when I need patent translation services in your languages, because I feel like I already sort of “know” you from reading your blog.

  9. Thank you.

    So maybe there’s still hope for me.


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