How to make your English article for Habr read by tens of thousands of people: 3 simple tips
The English version of Habr has been around for some time. More and more users are trying their hand at translating their Russian-language articles and writing new ones. I write a lot in English about work, and I see some recurring errors that prevent such articles from attracting a large number of readers.
In this topic, I gathered three simple tips on improving the readability of habrastati and attracting English-speaking readers. Hope it will be helpful.
Adjust material length
There are studies proving that the preferences of speakers of different languages over the duration of the texts may vary. Of course, the format of the text, as well as the platform for its publication, has a huge impact, but certain trends can be highlighted.
So, if the Russian-speaking public, contrary to popular belief, reads long reads and texts of medium length (around 15 thousand characters), then for sites of the same category (in particular, IT) in English, much more popular are shorter articles - 5- 10 thousand characters. At the same time, it is impossible to say that nobody reads all long articles.
Source: my research (if interested - I can share the link in the comments)
Popularity of articles of different lengths on the ZDNet.com IT website
The conclusion from this follows: if you are confident in the “bombing” of your material, then translate it as is. At the slightest doubt, try to reduce it without losing meaning - this will make life easier for readers.
Work on readability
According to statistics, poor grammar is one of the most annoying factors for native speakers. So, according to a poll by Dictionary.com, in which more than 2 million Americans took part, about 59% more grammatical errors are enraged in published online texts.
Therefore, if you are not 100% sure of your grammar, and you don’t have the opportunity to involve a native speaker in the proofreading (this is ideal), you should use a specialized software. The easiest way is to install the free grammar extension directly into the browser, for this the Linguix.com extension is well suited .
It also does not hurt to lighten the language itself. In Russian, for this, it is often recommended to use the Glavred service, in English, you can study the recommendations of the Hemingway tool - it will highlight complex and very complex sentences that can be simplified, give an assessment of readability.
Take care of your habrasta’s PR
At the moment, there is not enough foreign audience on Habré itself, so that any post in English has a chance to collect some impressive number of views. Therefore, we should all help our favorite resource and try to attract readers to our content on our own. This can be done with the help of reposts (or as marketing experts say “seeding”) links to your article on different English-language resources.
The most obvious place for this is a resource called Hacker News . This is an aggregator of links to technological articles. The project was launched by one of the most famous startup incubators Y Combinator, it is visited by more than 13 million people.
Home page news.ycombinator.com
Good technical articles have every chance to get to the main page and get traffic, comparable to the fact that Habré receive quality Russian-language publications.
Do not forget Reddit. This, in fact, is an aggregator-social network, divided into many subsections (subreddits) with its own audience. Not all of them can publish links, somewhere only text articles are allowed, but you can easily select several sections for PR of your article. You can do this with a simple Google search of the form
«технология/ключевые слова из статьи на английском + subreddit»- you will immediately be shown a lot of articles listing the necessary subsections.
Some useful subreddits for IT publications:
- / r / netsec - devoted to the topic of information security, 295 thousand subscribers, there is a less popular analogue / r / cybersecurity
- / r / programming - everything is clear from the name, 1.8 million subscribers
- / r / opensource - about 70 thousand subscribers, all about open source
There are a lot of subreddits devoted to marketing, project management, usability and design - reddit covers all the topics that we write about on Habré. As a result, the publication in Hacker News + of several thematic subreddits may well bring tens of thousands of readers.
I hope the tips will be useful, supplement the material in the comments. If you have questions, I will be glad to answer them.