You might notice something new in the top menu of my blog. Both the British and Finnish flags are now displayed there. By clicking on them, you can switch from one language to another. Now that there are already several articles here, I thought of expanding the blog to a wider target audience. I localized the blog, which means that the blog can now be translated into Finnish or English. I’ll probably write a post later on how I actually implemented it in WordPress.
So why did I end up making the blog bilingual? The most obvious reason is, of course, to expand the blog’s readership. The Finnish-speaking audience alone is quite small in nerd circles. As a writer, I of course hope that my blog will reach as many people as possible. If my blog were only in Finnish, a really large number of people would miss out on my content. Of course, it is a different matter whether this would be a great loss to the world (probably not).
Related to the previous point, another reason for localization is the blog’s discoverability. With two languages, even search engines find the blog more easily. They can find content in Finnish or English. For example, now that I added English to my blog, it is much more likely that someone will find my blog since English is more used language.
The third reason is the correctness of the text and a better user experience for foreign readers. I myself have sometimes found myself reading blogs in foreign languages, and tried to find out what the blog says with Google translator. In that case, the texts I read are almost certainly wrong. Now on Instagram, I have already noticed that foreign accounts have also found me, and I don’t want you to get the wrong idea of what I say.
Yes, you can find many other reasons for localization too, but the ones I presented earlier are the most important to me. Other reasons that come to mind for localizing a blog are increasing the blog’s reliability, the possibility of making money with a blog for a larger readership, and, related to the previous one, increasing competitiveness. Let’s say, for example, that two similar blogs are trying to get commercial collaborations, and one is able to reach a wider audience with the help of several different languages, it is more likely to get a collaboration with a bilingual blog.
What does this localization mean for me? In practice, a little more work. The biggest work is already behind, i.e. implementing localization for the site. After this I have to write every post in two languages. Fortunately, this is not a big job, because when I have written the text in one language, translating it is a pretty straightforward task. But I can say that if you are going to implement localization for your own website or blog, I recommend doing it as early as possible. I still had a reasonable number of posts at the point of implementing the localization, but it still took a long time to translate them.
Hope you enjoy this new feature! Feel free to ask me questions related to it! And if you find any localization errors on the site, please let me know so I can fix it!