For those of you who want to start translating or a blog, I would highly suggest you not to self host UNLESS you know you’re able to make the cost back. Although 1&1 is cheap hosting, it will be $7.99 per month plus $14.99 for the domain for me this year. On top of that, I have to pay 13% tax because of the federal and provincial tax. So, it would cost me approximately $125 a year just to keep the site running.
Although I do make the money back from donations/pledges/ad revenue, there is no guarantee. Ad revenue can range from a few pennies to a few dollars a day. You also never know when people will donate or pledge. (People can cancel their pledges at any time).
You may think that I’m making a lot since I have been getting donations quite consistently, but please understand that I have about 2000 readers on the day that I release. Currently, I have around 22 patrons and approximately 4-8 donations a month. Let’s round up and assume it’s 30 people (that’s only 1.5% of my readers).
In addition, most of the readers can only afford to give/pledge $1 or so. (Nonetheless, I’m very grateful for any amount).
It is extremely difficult if you want to survive in this novel industry. Most people give up because they’re not being paid for their time. Imagine spending hundreds of hours translating and not making anything from it.
I would say you need at least 20k views monthly to qualify for wordads. Adsense probably requires a minimum of 50k views a month.
So, until you hit that amount, you’re not going to be making anything unless people donate/pledge to you. But remember, one/two out of a hundred MIGHT give you something. No guarantee. Some translators have never received a single donation despite translating for a year.
Hence, it is probably in your favour to translate for a company rather than to self host unless you know that you have enough viewership to keep it sustainable.
I would suggest that you use a free site if you want to blog/translate to start off (just go to www.wordpress.com and follow the instructions). If you think you can handle blogging/translating consistently and you have the readership, then you can go ahead and self host.
The only way you can get people to come to your site is if you’re consistent and they think you’re going to post something they want to read. It is really really hard. Most readers use adblock and there are also thousands who read from aggregator sites. Not to mention, there are so many novels being translated now. So, not only do you have to deal with the loss of ad revenue, you’re competing with other translators and sites.
Most translators don’t last because they burn out very quickly. There are many readers who refuses to even start a novel until 100 chapters have been translated. Imagine spending 300 hours on something and not ever getting a return from it?!
People may not read your translations or writing despite how good it may be. If they’re not interested, they’re not interested.
On volare, we have translators who hit a million views a month. But we also have translators who don’t even hit 5000 views. Currently, I am only ranked 19th on volare. It’s because very few people are willing to read Supernatural Girlfriend despite knowing that I’m the translator.
You guys are aware of my quality and some of you follow my site religiously and refresh constantly for updates, yet I still cannot convince you guys to try reading another work of mine. So, imagine how hard it is for a newbie to start.
Anyhow, I didn’t write this post to complain. I just wanted to let you guys know my thoughts on self hosting and to share how difficult it is for translators.
Thanks for reading!
Note: I didn’t even mention about the toxic readers. Sometimes, readers will tell translators to quit because they’re too slow. Personal attacks may or may not be involved.