A Short Guide to Multilingual Blogging

Multilingual blogging can be a great way to reach readers who might otherwise overlook your content. While W3Techs reports more than half of internet content is in English, only 25 percent of internet users speak English, according to Statista. Hosting provider Kinsta saw an 18 percent increase in organic traffic by translating its blog; in a post for Quicksprout, marketer Neil Patel reported a traffic uplift of 47 percent on his site.

Follow these steps to move your site toward international blog appeal and reap the benefits.

Is multilingual blogging the right choice?

While multilingual blogging is a worthy cause, it can be cumbersome. Before you jump in, check your audience demographics with the Site Stats module by clicking View more stats on WordPress.com, then Views By Country. If you have a steady audience in, say, Latin America, consider Spanish translation.

There are two options for publishing a single post in multiple languages: including the translation in the same post, or publishing the translation in a separate post.

Publish in the same post

Post your original version, then copy the translated version underneath the original, perhaps adding a marker to denote the change in language. Add a page jump at the top so readers can skip ahead to their language.

Publish in separate posts

Publish your original language, then create and publish a new post for the other language. Create a link between the two. If this is more than a one-off post, add categories to organize posts into languages, or a custom menu to bring together categories.

Want to go further with multiple languages?

There are many translation plugins available on WordPress.com, ranging from fairly basic machine translation to premium subscriptions. Polylang, WPGlobus, and Xili are some of the highest-rated plugins, while others like Google Website Translator by Prisna use Google Translate’s automatic translation service.

WordPress.com also has a built-in Google Translate widget. Remember that machine translation can be imperfect; human-led translation can ensure your readers aren’t turned off by clunky wording.

Google Translate widget for WordPress.com

Your site isn’t just your posts!

If you’re going to regularly post multilingual blogs, consider translating other elements, too. Decide whether you’ll keep your posts all on one site, or if you should set up subdomains or separate sites per language.

Your website’s metadata will also need to be translated. And what about customer service or audience engagement? Can you respond in each language you publish in?

Keep all of this in mind, and publishing posts in multiple languages could take your humble blog to truly international heights.

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