Here’s another reply to a question about how to find paid work translating on YouTube that turned into a long response (can you tell that get paid per word?).
What normally happens on YouTube when someone translates one of your videos is that you receive a notification saying, “this person just translated your subtitles” and they ask you to confirm the translation before it goes live. So, they know who provided the service. You can sometimes put a little snippet at the end of the video or description saying something like “Spanish translation provided by Triston Goodwin http://www.opl10nt9n.com” – just make sure it’s ok with the channel owner first. They’ll say yes, but it’s a good idea to ask.
Now, for smaller channels, the best bet is to find them and talk to them as a group. I personally joined a few Facebook groups and find a project or two a week, but they’re small channels with small budgets. You’ll also want to look at Reddit. Another option is to create your own channel and join a Multi-Channel Network (MCN) so that you can have access to creator forums. You could even offer a discount to all the channels in the MCN and become their preferred translator – thousands of clients! Again, all of this is intended to build relationships with your clients. Talk to them, learn about them, and subtlety offer your services – like in your forum signature. We want to provide value. We hear that a lot, but what it means is that we want to be a benefit for those around us, to make their lives easier. When they trust you, they’ll come to you for paid help. I would personally recommend looking for larger channels, those with between 100,000 and 500,000 channels are good options because that’s usually where they start receiving more offers for sponsorships and affiliate deals. They also tend to start growing faster at this point so they’re hungrier for more.
How YouTubers Make Money
I think it’s important to understand how a YouTube channel makes money in order to understand our role as translators and how we facilitate their growth and income. Prior to the “Ad-pocalypse” (which is occurring right now), a YouTube channel would make between $2 and $10 per thousand views (CPM). So, a tech channel, which is usually on the higher end of the CPM scale, can invest $200 in a translation as long as they get more 20,000 views on their videos from viewers in that language. They’ll make even more if they’re monetizing the video in any other way, like sponsorships or affiliate offers (like Amazon). These are especially common with gaming channels since the CPM is a bit lower, but you’re able to get significantly more views. But some viewers are worth more than others. Let’s say I upload a video and it gets 5,000 views. CPM on my own channel is a little north of the middle, so I make $30 from YouTube ad revenue. However, I also have an affiliate offer from a hosting company that’ll pay me $50 per new customer. If I have horrible conversions and only manage to convince 1% of people to buy hosting, that’s 50 people, I just made $2,500. Now, if I translate the title, description, tags, and subtitles of the video and I’m able to double that traffic, I could potentially double my revenue from that one video. For gaming, I could be getting paid per view by a developer, so more views mean more money, especially if those viewers become subscribers and I can bring them back for future videos. I could have an affiliate offer to purchase the game through a platform like the Microsoft Store. I probably won’t make $2,500 from 5,000 views as a gamer, but I’ll still make some money if I know how to monetize correctly.
I even have an example that I can show you. I made a video about cheap cell phones for Pokemon go. The video is almost a year old and has a little over 10,000 views and I made about $20 from ad revenue (though the system here estimates that I made $15).
But, if you look in the description, you’ll find several links to Amazon for the phone, some comparable phones, and accessories that you’d need and/or want in order to enjoy playing the game (highlighted in blue).
I made $20 from ads, but I also sold 20 cellphones, 40 cases, and 10 chargers from that one video. I made about $400. There’s a new tool out that suggests prices for shout outs (a brief mention of a company in your videos) and dedicated review videos. For this channel, they recommend that I charge $25 per shout out and $100 for a review. That means that I can make $20 from ads, $100 for the review, and another $400 from my affiliates over the course of the year. Now, how much would I need to spend to subtitle a 6-minute video with about 250 words between the title, description (183 words), and tags? Keep in mind that this is a small channel. I have 138 subscribers with around 4,500 views per month and it makes sense, financially, for me to pay for translation. Unfortunately, most smaller YouTube channels don’t know how to monetize like that, so focus on the mid-sized ones to get started.
How to Make Money Translating on YouTube
Those are the numbers behind the translation and why it’s valuable. Like I mentioned before, when the channel owner sees the notification from you and the increase in traffic and revenue because of it, they’ll want more. This is especially true for mid-sized channels (100,000-500,000 subscribers). Another option is to look at the translation agencies that have been added to the platform by YouTube (still in beta). Just doing a quick check, to subtitle a 45-minute live stream, translate the title, description, and tags, and get the subtitles in Spanish, I’m looking at between $875.09 and $1,018.71 coming from Tomedes, Latinlingua, Translated Srl, and Sfera Studios. I’ve only worked with Tomedes, so I can’t comment on the others, but I didn’t hate working with Tomedes. So, if you wanted to go the agency route, get in touch with them and show them a few of your examples, and make some money.
You could also simply make a page on your website dedicated to subtitling video game YouTube channels and get organic traffic. Or a blog post. I know some have been critical of the idea that blogging will find you customers, but the idea isn’t that the blog generates money, it’s that you’re constantly adding more content to your website in order to capture organic traffic from search engines, to capture people looking for a certain service that you just happen to offer. A blog is just an easy way to do that. I think that will require its own post. The important thing to look at is whether or not your clients are using search engines to find your services.
Here’s a quick look at the average monthly search volume for YouTube transcription: 730 searches per month
And video translator: 3,000 searches per month
It might be time for me to make a website for those keywords and outsource all the work… Anyways, it’s clear that there are companies and channels out there looking for this service.
A YouTube channel, which you can already see that a video appears on the first page of the search results for both search terms, is another great option. I’ll write another post on how blogs, websites, and even YouTube can and should be used to find new customers. I might even make it into a full tutorial and show how to make one from start to finish.
I hope that answers the question of how to find paid translation work on YouTube for you all. Let me know if you have any questions!