How to outsource people for your blog?

When you’ve achieved a certain level of progress in your affiliate operation, you may need help from an outside party with regard to the day to day tasks. This hiring of third parties for specific projects is called outsourcing.

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For instance, you may consider hiring writers to constantly update your website content or encoders to maintain your website.

Among web-based businesses, outsourcing is an increasing trend.

You may know of someone who is out on a Caribbean cruise while their website is being updated by hired writers and encoders. By hiring these contractors, you are able to accomplish more without having to spend so much time on the operational tasks.

Outsourcing is also one way of unburdening yourself of the daily concerns so that you can focus more on the more strategic decisions.

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When you learn how to outsource people for your blog you will understand it can increase profitability and efficiency as an affiliate marketer while inefficient outsourcing can also drain you of resources.

I experienced having invested a huge amount of money on contracts that did not turn out well and even resulted in me having to rehabilitate the damage done.

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On the other hand, there have also been successful partnerships with other contractors that resulted in remarkable gains, making me rethink the value of hiring outside parties for the same projects.

How to outsource people for your blog

So, if you are thinking of hiring contractors for some of your projects, here are my suggestions:

  1. Put together a business plan so that you can effectively map out your operation, including projects that you may need help with as you grow your business. This is your job and not your contractor’s concern.
  • If your resources are limited especially when you are still starting, take baby steps first and do not go full scale with outsourcing. Try to find out if it contributes to your viability, given your budget limitations.

I’ve read about a lot of successful and rich people who talk about not having to be a genius in order to be a success. All they needed to know was how to employ the right people to accomplish critical jobs in operation. After several years in this affiliate business, I can attest that there is truth in that.

As a beginner in this business, though, you may not understand enough to manage outsourced projects. Sometimes, you may invest money in contracts that do not succeed because you are unable to establish clear expectations.

Since you are a newbie, chances are you will be employing starters as well because it’s more affordable to do so. If you’re not yet skilled in the ins and outs of your online business, chances are you won’t be able to provide detailed instructions or even determine the value of these projects vis-à-vis its impact on your profitability.

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How to outsource people for your blog guidelines

1.  How to outsource people for your blog for image-based work

When I was still starting out, I contracted an artist to create my website logo. I did not have second thoughts about outsourcing this because I had preferred shelling out a few dollars for a professionally done logo according to my specifications than waste a lot of time just trying to learn image applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Paint and then end up with a mediocre logo just the same.

So, if you’re like me who’s not as skilled in image manipulation, you may want to do the same. Fiverr is one of those sites to find skilled image artisans to do the job.

I’ve noticed that many of Fiverr’s artists already work on templates so do not be surprised if the work they churn out is not completely unique. For a beginner’s website, this should be acceptable enough, I should think.

In Fiverr, you will be able to get a really good logo done by their artists for only five to ten dollars, which includes a maximum of two refinements.

There are also other freelancer sites that can match you with more professional designers who can create three to four drafts. Some of them offer unlimited edits until you’ve got the image that you expect.

The cheapest logo that you can have done there may cost you around thirty to a hundred bucks, while a very sharp one that’s utterly unique can cost about hundreds of dollars.

If you decide to subcontract other images such as charts, tables, and other infographic types, you may be surprised to find that there are a lot of good contractors available who can put them together for you  for several hundred dollars.

I once tried having an infographic done for my website. The project took seven days, including multiple edits. The designer charged me for three hundred dollars for the job, but it was worth it. The image was really stunning and since I get to use it permanently on my website, it was definitely worth my time and money.

2.  How to outsource people for your blogFor article-writing

     As a website owner, having consistently fresh content on your site is a priority since this contributes to better ranking by Google and consequently more visitor traffic. More traffic equals more clicks and sales conversions.

     However, unless you are passionate about writing and do not mind the daily consistent grind, content creation may exhaust you and take up so much of your time.

     So, if you feel not up for it, you may want to outsource this task. The contract rate for having someone write your article is not the same across the board.

     Some writers may charge you five dollars for a 5000-word article while others may only charge you for fifty dollars. It’s a bit unpredictable in this case and I believe that quality is a huge factor in determining the rate.

     If your budget is limited, you can hire a cheap job that will be accomplished by non-native English talents. You can even have articles on the internet rewritten by them that is plagiarism-free.

     There was a time when I did these but not anymore. Frankly speaking, it’s does not pay off in the end.

     More affordable rates that range from ten dollars to thirty dollars are offered by unexperienced talents. Some of them are native English speakers but not that well-informed with your subject matter.

     They will then have to invest time to do research on your subject matter and you’ll discover that some of them are able to turn in a pretty good material, despite their lack of experience. This has a lot to do with their love for the craft and skill in conducting research.

     I do, however, sometimes work with some of them that are able meet deadlines but turn in uninteresting material. It really sometimes involves some risk-taking if you’re new to this outsourcing stuff.

     If you opt not to take this risk, you can always set aside a bigger budget and really have some fantastic articles done. On average, the rate for this is around fifty dollars for a 500-word material.

     For a 1000-word article, which is the minimum for a blog, it could double to a hundred dollars. Also, be mindful that you contract an excellent writer who is an expert on your topic so that you get your money’s worth.

     If you require a highly specialized material, this rate could be worth your investment. Don’t forget that if the article is really that good, there is a huge probability that it will rank well with Google. This means substantial traffic in your website that you can convert to sales. So, the hundred dollars that you invest can earn you multiple times its value.

     Please note that the rates I’ve mentioned here are as of the current time and are just estimates.

     In my several years of outsourcing articles, I’ve come across some really good talents who are willing to produce a 1000-word article for around thirty to seventy-five-dollar investments. This is so because they are already quite knowledgeable about my subject matter.

     I’ve encountered writers who charge me less because they consider my topic to be very easy to write about while I’ve also worked with other contractors who charge me more for their expertise in the subject. If you also run into these types, you will want to hire the former.

     Another factor that also dictates the cost is the type of material that you want done. A full-text article may be cheaper than one that includes image curation, link inclusion, and other accompanying tasks on top of content writing.

     One of the blunders I’ve committed in the past was hiring someone that produced content that’s stretched unnecessarily just so it reaches my required number of words. Others just spin the topic using vague details or ambiguous information that can lull you to sleep.

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     At that time, my goal was just to fill up my website consistently with relevant content and it did not matter as much to me how the articles were spun. What I did was express my expectations to the contractors and did not monitor their work for half of the year. Huge mistake!

     I realized that after the project ended, my website was populated with so much fluff that these all did not do so much for me in terms of ranking or sales conversions.

     It was a costly mistake and a hard lesson to learn.

3. how to outsource people for your blog for encoding jobs

     I’m not an ardent fan of website editing, and I do not think I’ll ever be in the near future. So, for this particular task, I’m always looking to outsource it to those who are passionate about it.

     Online encoding is actually an interesting thing to watch for me, especially when the product turns out very well and goes beyond expectation.

     What I’d do is jot down all the tasks I want accomplished and give it as a task checklist for the contractor. I do this mainly because paying for one task at a time comes out much more expensive than outsourcing projects in bulk.

     Just think of hiring an encoder for about USD 15 just to tweak a code in your website. If this gets accomplished in say, 20 minutes, you shall be charged with USD 75 an hour just for the simple task. That would be inefficient.

     This is where personal deliberation is required. You need to weigh the pros and cons of having this type of alteration versus the benefit that you or your reader gets out of it. However, even if it may be a simple encoding task but its effects on your readers’ overall experience or your website traffic are humongous, this investment might be worth your while.

     Another thing, I enlist encoders only for my premium websites or important pages. Why? It’s because sometimes, the cost does not justify the long-term benefit. Why would you want to have a theme tweaked only to replace it with something different after several weeks? It’s not a wise decision.

     That said, you may want to outsource encoding projects such as adjusting your blog visual format, logo location, image or video upload, or template designing that can be beneficial for you in the long term.

     Just weeks ago, I enlisted the help of an encoder to vary the colors of my engagement section so that the comments appear multi-colored, which makes it interesting for my audience to see.

How to post your project description in hiring sites

Posting your job requirement is quite easy. You just follow the following template:

  1. Title
  2. Project Description
  3. Payment

Your title must be clear and concise. The description must not be vague nor ambiguous. To attract more applicants, try to word it in a more appealing manner.

The details of your required job should be contained in the second part, the project description.

I suggest that you exercise moderation in this portion. Do not outline too many details. Just focus on the expectations of the job and not on what your website is about.

Also break it down into shorter paragraphs so it is not too heavy to read. Take care not to overdose on descriptive words just because you need to make things very clear to the applicants.

In that case, edit your paragraphs and try to tighten your content such that you are able to explain everything in the shortest way possible.

Take a little bit more time in crafting your job description. The way you communicate your expectations projects how you are as an employer. The more effective you are, the better the quality of your applicants.

In Upwork, for example, I ask the applicants to type in a specific word or phrase atop their proposal. This request is placed somewhere near the end of my job description so that I can discern who actually read my description thoroughly and who did not. Later, after you solve how to outsource people for your blog, you will remember what i just write here 🙂

The latter type of contractors will be discarded from my list of consideration because their inability to follow my instruction gives me the impression that they are not mindful enough or that they just sent me a generic response without proper consideration.

With regard to payment, some contractors would prefer being paid by the hour while others opt for a per-project basis.

You will need to deliberate on how long the job requires vis-à-vis the rate.

In my case, I prefer an hourly rate for creative projects such as image curation. This is because these jobs take time and contractors for this job often charge you not only for expertise but for the use of their time as well.

For article-writing, I pay on a per-project basis especially if it’s just for a simple blog that does not really require as much knowledge with the subject matter that good research cannot help.

It then depends on the nature of your job and the level of quality that you require, you will, in the end, decide this by yourself once you learn how to outsource people for your blog.

Under the payment description, you’ll also need to be clear with your deadline for the contract or your expected time frame. For huge contracts that require specialized skills, I normally break it down into smaller ones just to determine the expertise of a contractor.

If I am satisfied with the quality of his work, I then re-employ him or her for a longer period of time.

During my early years as an online marketer, I considered hiring the less expensive talents because they were easily available, and I was working on a meager budget.

Eventually, I realized that this small investment was not doing me so much good in terms of visitor traffic or ranking because the quality was not up to par.

Those days have passed. Now, I no longer hire the cheapest even if it there is still a possibility of discovering a hidden gem. I’ve opted to employ the not so cheap nor too expensive, simply because I do not want to risk and waste time flicking through all the options.

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How to hire good contractors

1. Sifting through proposals

As soon as you post your job requirement, you’ll discover that contractors will start to pour in.

When I post at the end of the day, I normally receive some ten to fifteen proposals the next day. Don’t forget that this is just your first day. In the succeeding days, you’ll discover that proposals will start to diminish in number, and that's something that you gonna learn in this process of how to outsource people for your blog.

What I normally do is wait for two to three days before responding and do a shortlist of potential candidates. I shoot them a private inquiry and normally ask them to do a particular task for me just to test them out.

Do not succumb to those who are too enthusiastic in taking on your job. There are tons of applicants who present themselves as such and this irks me sometimes.

They may respond with, “I can deliver this job quite well so please accept my proposal.” I find this a bit iffy but maybe you can’t also fault them for their eagerness.

My suggestion is to consider your options well. It’s you who is spending anyway.

Hire when you’re ready.

2. Interviewing potential applicants

I do not conduct long interviews. I only ask a couple of questions in relation to the project just to find out how their English communication skills are. It’s also my way of determining if they really comprehend all my requirements.

Over the years that I’ve been outsourcing, I realized that applicants tend to confirm understanding just so they can get the job. Later, I’ll discover that they haven’t really completely understood what the job description is all about. That's why you should be very careful when you try to utilize how to outsource people for your blog.

This has happened to me a number of times and it is such a bummer! You had hoped that this contractor would deliver the goods only to find out that don’t have a clear idea of what the job really is.

Try to prevent this from happening by determining first whether they understood what your expectations are. Also, it depends on how clear you were in your job description.

You can also avoid this mistake by conducting a Skype interview, especially if it’s for a high-paying contract or critical assignment.

Willingness to be interviewed this way anytime shows the applicant’s eagerness to collaborate with you.

I seldom do this for jobs that are quite easy to do and only reserve this for really critical ones.

3. Start small

If you’re new in this outsourcing practice, it is always best, to begin with, shorter or smaller contracts. So when you think about how to outsource people for your blog think from small tasks.

This is to find out if outsourcing works for you with regard to a particular job. You’ll also get to find out if it really provides more value to your operation than if you were to do it yourself.

Testing the waters also helps you see what level of expertise in relation to your job are available in the talent pool and how long a certain project gets done by them.

If you shove a really big project, say a four week-long job, on someone and then later discover, after three weeks, that they aren’t really delivering the level of quality that you expect.

This could mean a rework which is not just time-consuming but may even cost you more.

When I find great talent after my test project, I usually offer them the next level of job and shoot them an invitation to bid.

4. Monitor milestones

While working with proven talents, it is still well-advised to monitor their work through the implementation of milestones. This is especially helpful with longer and critical contracts.

Sometimes, you will encounter even with the most able of contractors that they misconstrued a critical instruction. By establishing work checkpoints, you’ll be able to correct this early on and avoid additional cost and time.

You can also avoid this by first demonstrating to them how it’s done from the start of the contract. Also, you can show them a previous job result for them to have a reference.

As soon as you are satisfied with their understanding, you can then check back on their work after a certain milestone is accomplished. This way, you only need to focus on checking the partial job instead of reviewing the entire result which may expose you to possibilities of misunderstanding.

Of course, this practice is not applicable to all jobs. The essence of monitoring work, however, is essential to all outsourced jobs.

To illustrate, let’s say you need a 5000-word article done on a highly specialized topic. You can set a milestone or checkpoint for every 500-word accomplished piece which you can review and comment on.

Once you are satisfied with the draft, you can then proceed with the next 500-word milestone and so on. This is important especially when ensuring that your contractor is following your instruction on SEO or keyword optimization.

Avoid these blunders when outsourcing

1. Lack of ownership

     Do not think that just because you’ve outsourced your work, your contractors will already do the thinking for you the way you would as a website owner. If you harbor this expectation, it can cost you not only money but your entire investment.

     Remember that no one will have the same regard for the business as you do.

     When you outsource, the job is limited by parameters. Not so with you as the owner. Not only do you own the website, but you also own the responsibility of driving it so it can be a successful endeavor.

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     Also, even to the most diligent and hardworking contractors, you need to give out clear instructions, implement checkpoints, offer feedback, and provide support when necessary.

2. Overly conscientious about saving

     In my early days, I committed the mistake of hiring the cheapest contractors. Because they are inexperienced, I ended up spending a lot of my time training them than if I handled it myself.

     Some of my experience with cheap contractors was fraught with constant editing to ensure that my keywords were optimized. Others did not even know how the basics of grammar and punctuation or image handling.

     So, this is what I realized over the course of how to outsource people for your blog experience.

     If you want to save money, you’ll have to be willing to invest time in monitoring your hires or even training them. If you want to save time, you’ll need to invest more money to get a more experienced pool of talents.

     Now, I shoot for the middle ground especially for common tasks.

3. Totally dependent on goodwill

     Do not ever think that employed talents can invest as much care as you would in the business. Except with long-term and rare friendships, this will never happen.

     I’m not saying that all of these contractors only care about getting paid. Certainly not. I’ve met quite a lot who exhibited integrity and passion for their craft and were willing to go the extra mile with you as long as you are satisfied with their work.

     Picture this. You spend almost 24/7 just making your website a success. It does not make realistic sense to expect the same effort and regard from someone who is hired just to do a specific job but not completely owning it.

Final Reminders About how to outsource people for your blog

Even if you’ve outsourced everything, it still does not mean you have to take your hands off the responsibilities as an owner.

You still need to get down and keep driving it.

Before I go, here are some final thoughts to leave you with:

1.  Outsourcing is a very useful avenue for achieving efficiency. Just set clear expectations and be explicit with your instructions.

2. Do not scrimp on encouragement and constructive feedback. Communicate with your contractors.

3.  Do observe promptness when it comes to payment.

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