I have decided to take the plunge and try outsourcing some of my online work. While that can sometimes have a negative association, I don’t intend to outsource any content writing on my main site (other than the occasional guest post) – so you can breathe a little easier! Here are some of the things I can imagine myself outsourcing:
- SEO Work – I’ve been focusing more on SEO, but I still suck at it! If I could get someone to help optimize this site so that it picks up a few more Google visitors, I’d be really happy about that. I just want to make sure that I don’t go to that level where it becomes cheesy or unreadable by a normal human like some sites I visit. I want it to stay the same basic blog, but just one that Google sends a LOT more traffic to!
- FinanceIsEasy – In my 2013 goal article I talked about getting this site up and running, and my idea at that time was to outsource most of the work for that. Well, big surprise – I haven’t done much/anything with that! I did setup some cool guest posting info on there, but that’s about it. I think this would be perfect once I find someone good that can really run with the concept.
- Web Development – I have some minor look/feel items I’d like to change on the blog that I’ve given up on – I’m sure a competent developer could knock these out in no time at all. None of them are a big deal – just “nice to have” from my perspective.
- New Site Creation/Launch – I listed this as another goal in my 2013 goal post. This would definitely be a “down the road” project with anyone I work with in an outsourcing capacity as it requires a little more self-direction on their part.
These are the big items that I have in mind, but of course there are others that I’m sure I could think of if given time (and an unlimited budget!).
Who Will I Outsource This Work To?
While I could find a friend or a friend of a friend to do some of this work, I have concerns with this method. The main one is that it would be hard or even impossible to remain anonymous this way. The second concern is that I would be paying American wages, which would mean my money wouldn’t get me very far at this point! I’m not against paying a fair wage, I just don’t have the money set aside for the business to be able to pay $50+/hour to a web developer or $25+ to anyone else – it’s just not going to happen. I think my best option is to look at outsourcing overseas – or at least to somewhere where a lower labor cost than America.
Options For Finding People
Ok, so if I want to outsource some of my work, and I want decent quality at a lower cost, what are my options? Well, depending on my budget and the scope of work, here are some of the major options:
- Fiverr – This site allows users to post jobs that they will do for $5. I found several people willing to perform 2 hours or 3 hours of virtual assistant work, logo design, and wordpress customization all for the low, low price of $5. Of course, you will probably end up getting what you pay for, and the sellers do offer “Extras” which bump up the price and can include rush delivery, extra time, and other extra features.
- Craigslist – I could just put up a listing in my local area and see who responds. Of course, as all of my tasks are internet-based, I really don’t need someone in the same geographic area working on them – but it’s a thought. And, as we went over earlier – it doesn’t mesh well with a couple of my goals – so this one is out for me – but could be a good idea for you.
- Elance / oDesk- With these sites you have a few different options. The main method is posting what work you want to be completed – so I would post that I want someone to do x,y,z and then I would wait for proposals to come in from freelancers. Then I would pick out who I want to complete the work for me. The other option is to look through the profiles of various freelancers and contact them directly to see if they are interested in working with you. As I haven’t used the service before, I’m not sure which way works best – but I’ve heard that getting different freelancers to work on small projects first and then having them do more work for you if things go well is a good way to go.
- Virtual Staff Finder – With Chris Ducker’s VSF, things work a little differently. Chris has a staff recruiting agency in the Philippines, so anyone you get through this process will be located in the Philippines. You pay an up front fee (currently $395 I believe) and let them know what type of “virtual assistant” you are looking for – content writer, general assistant, SEO specialist, or web development. Then they will find you three candidates that you can interview and work out terms with. It’s actually a pretty interesting concept – as their company is located in the Philippines and can interview the person directly to make sure there’s at least some level of verification going on. For me, I might consider this once things got rolling and I had a consistent need for someone to work on things. At this point, I’m not sure I’d have enough work to keep someone busy 20+ hours a week, so I’d want to work up to that before taking the plunge. But it’s definitely a cool concept for once you get there.
For me, I need to find a few of the small tasks that I want to accomplish and just go for it with one of the above options. I may spend a few bucks on Fiverr seeing how that goes, but I think that posting my project(s) on oDesk or Elance will give me a much better shot. From everything I’ve heard about outsourcing internet-based work, the biggest thing you have to do is make sure you give out definable activities so you can track progress. If not, you may find out you’ve paid for 20 hours worth of “keyword research” with nothing really to show. I have a busy couple of months coming up, but hopefully I can at least start on some SEO work or minor web development work – it should be that hard with the resources available!
Have you outsourced any online work? Did you use any of the services I mentioned above? What kind of results have you had? Let me know in the comments, I’m eager to learn!