Posted by: patenttranslator | April 2, 2015

Your blog was returned in a Google search for the following keywords


 
This was the first part of what the (optional) note on a price quote form e-mailed to me with an attached PDF file of a Japanese patent publication said.

Of course, I am not going to tell my dear blog readers which key words were typed into the price quote form by somebody in a patent law firm who just happened to be looking today for exactly the kind of service providing translation of patents that this mad patent translator has been offering for almost three decades now because I don’t want to give too many ideas to my competition.

By my competition I mean the 3 translation agencies who, as I discovered when I googled the same key words, had a paid ad placed above the entry for my blog, namely on top of the entries that were not paid advertisements, as well as 8 ads of translation agencies appearing to the right of the entry for my blog in the Google listings.

An article that I wrote for the Patent Translation Handbook, published by the ATA (American Translators Association) in 2007, and that I later published also on my website, was listed on the third position among the non-paid Google listings, also called organic listings, and another article about translation that I wrote for Translation Journal, also back in 2007, made it to number 7 among the first 10 organic listings.

I generally receive several e-mails a week from my website asking me to submit a price quote for translating patents from Japanese, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Korean and other languages because I happen to have a handy “Quick Price Quote” form on my website, in 4 languages. I should really add forms in more languages.

I thought that this was how most new customers find out about my services, but the blog apparently also works in the same manner because with a few clicks you can click your way from the blog to the same “Quick Price Quote” form on my website.

There are two ways to make it to the top of Google listings. One way is to pay for key words for an advertisement, while another is to have relevant content on your website or blog.

Some people will click on paid, advertised Google listings, but many are likely to trust more organic listings. I know that I generally prefer to do that. When I look for products, such as electronic toys, which has been a decades-long addiction of mine, (at this point I simply could not live without my iPod, iPad and iPhone), I sometime click on advertised entries. But when I look for services, I prefer listings with relevant content of businesses located not too far from me, especially if these listings have a “Comments” section.

Ecclesiastes (11:1) says:”Cast your bread upon the water because after many days, it will come back to you.” I think this also means that it is a good idea when translators who have been putting to use their knowledge and expertise for many years share some of what they have learned with other translators in blogs and articles online. I have been trying to do that for at least 20 years now.

And the bread does come back to me every now and then.

About 12 years ago, long before I started my own blog, and even before I had a website, I wrote an article about translation of Japanese patents for Translation Journal. When a lawyer in a patent law firm in UK was looking for a translator of a stack of Japanese patents about 5 years ago, he asked the guy who normally translated French patents for the firm whether he would happen to know a suitable translator. The translator didn’t, so he asked a translator in Japan who read my article in Translation Journal and was so impressed by it that she recommended me (fortunately for me, she did not translate patents).

I ended up translating Japanese patents for this law firm quite heavily for about a year, after the first year, occasionally for about another year. I have not received anything from them in the last 3 years or so – until 3 days ago, when I was asked to give an estimate for translating 7 Japanese patents. The last I heard, the firm is still negotiating with the clients the details of the project.

The bread may be floating on the waters of different oceans for many days or years, but it tends to come back to you, in circuitous ways, if you remember to cast your bread upon waters every now and then.

This is basically also the idea that eventually gave birth to the concept of blogs about 20 years ago.

Blogs are now one of the engines driving the business on the Internet, in fact already an aging engine, although not quite yet relegated to the status of steam engine for locomotives, as social networking, the new kid on the block, (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Instagram), is seen as an even more powerful engine capable of driving business, among other things such as uprisings, riots and revolutions, via Internet.

That is why every corporation has a corporate blog where an employee is trying to write something uplifting, positive and inspirational about the corporation that pays his or her salary, usually not an easy job, while other employees are in charge of laudatory tweeting emphasizing the many successes of the corporation that pays their salaries.

I don’t really cast my bread upon the waters because I expect it to come back to me. I do it because it’s fun. I like doing crazy things like that once in while.

But when it does come back to me, it feels so good that it motivates me to write yet another blog post or article and throw it upon the turbid, churning waters of the Internet, where mighty currents may take it in many unexpected directions, so that eventually, it could end up on my doorstep again.

UPDATE

My price quote was accepted the next day, which means that thanks to the Google ranking of my silly blog, a prospective client, namely a large law firm with offices in 10 cities in United States, became a brand new client.

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Responses

  1. I was about to go to my daily workout, but couldn’t move from my chair, when I was caught by these wise words and the fact that it is so true.

    ‘The bread may be floating on the waters of different oceans for many days or years, but it tends to come back to you, in circuitous ways, if you remember to cast your bread upon waters every now and then.’

    We always get back what we give, and, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t necessarily need to be attached to religion; it is how the universe works. Thank you for the great ‘Reminder’. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “We always get back what we give, and, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t necessarily need to be attached to religion; it is how the universe works.”

    I could not agree more. I like to quote the Bible, especially New Testament, but that does not mean that I like organized religion.

    Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Steve,
    Thanks for this post, I enjoyed it. I think you’ve really touched on something here. There’s a lot of talk about what to do to become successful, what the secrets are to getting clients and how to market to those direct clients that many of us are lusting after. Your post supports my own thoughts on this. Throw thine bread on the waters!

    Like

  4. Did you like the music videos too?

    I thought the one with scary Japanese women making threatening gestures at us was really cool.

    Like

  5. Wow, I had no idea the agencies were that devious. I mean, the porn industry is less insidious and more straightforward.

    “Fuzzy”, “non-fuzzy”, “not cuddly” it sure did not make me feel fuzzy inside, it is such bs! It made my stomach turn. I think it will implode in their face one day, because for some genres, you just can’t use translation tools, period.

    And it is true, you get what you pout out there. It is universal law. So, how are all these agency execs getting away with it? Or are they?

    Like

  6. “I think it will implode in their face one day, because for some genres, you just can’t use translation tools, period.”

    I don’t use any CATs. For my purposes they would be counterproductive.

    Like

  7. Steve, you’re an SEO god!

    In the hope that flattery will get me everywhere, I’d be grateful if you’d share the name of that low-fee international bank transfer service you mentioned in your blog some months ago.

    Like

  8. I’m sorry, parisblues, I don’t know what you mean.

    Maybe you are thinking of some other blogger?

    Like

    • You’re right, of course — it was on Corinne McKay’s blog. In case anyone else is interested, the company is called Transferwise. They charge a flat $10 for international payments — a substantial savings over what I’ve been paying the bank for years.

      Like

  9. “I don’t really cast my bread upon the waters because I expect it to come back to me. I do it because it’s fun. I like doing crazy things like that once in while.”
    Thanks for the inspirational blog post Steve! I think blogging is pretty much alive. There is a new name for it though: the cool kids call it “storytelling” which combined with social media and engagement can go a very long way!

    Like


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