Become A Better Blogger - Getting Help and Outsourcing

Published: Mon, 11/17/14

It’s 2 am, I just finished a sponsored post that I spent way too long writing, I still have another hour of work to complete and I have to take my 7 year old to have a tooth extracted in 5 hours.

I don’t have enough time!

As a single mother, raising two girls and running a blogging business, I never have enough time. 

I absolutely have to get help and outsource.

But the truth is… the blogging business is very difficult to scale and it’s hard to earn enough profit to put back into growing the business to pay for outsourcing help.

So how do we make it work? I promised last week that I’d share how we outsource and get help with our blog.

But first, if you’re new here, you’ll definitely want to catch up…
The Challenge

If your business is primarily based on running a blog, as ours is with, you likely have the challenge of trying to grow and scale your business without having a ton of extra budget to put back into paying staff.

The fact is blogging is a tough business to scale.

It often demands your personal voice and talents and the ROI on individual tasks isn’t usually huge.

So it is much more difficult to outsource work for a blogging business than most other businesses.

The Best Tasks to Outsource

1. Tech Work

I come from a technical background - I used to be a software developer - but the very first task I chose to outsource was website development and related techie work.

I don’t enjoy the techie stuff and while it can be expensive to outsource, the amount of time I would invest in figuring out what I need to know is not worth it.

But the main reason you should outsource techie work is that it does not require “YOU”. Your time is better spent creating content or otherwise running your business.

2. Bookkeeping

I cannot stand bookkeeping so this is a critical task for us to outsource.

Again, the hourly rates for a bookkeeper can be on the high side, but necessary for us.

3. Graphic Design

It’s usually best to hire a website designer. That being said, we created our first design ourselves as we didn’t have the budget for a designer.

These days there are so many prebuilt Wordpress themes, that you may be able to simply pick a theme and add some customization to it.

We used to hire graphic designers to make various graphics and banner images for our site, but since Pinterest became popular, we improved our own skills and use picmonkey and canva to create the basic post graphics that we need daily.

4. Virtual Assistant

We could not survive without a virtual assistant to manage our email account and help us set up and administer sponsored campaigns and giveaways.

To clarify, this virtual assistant is actually more of a “blogging assistant” with specialized tasks related to social media. 

I highly recommend finding another blogger to hire part-time for this task. Most professional VA’s rates will be higher than what most of us blog-business owners can afford and those rates are based on having many skills that we don’t require… while they would lack other skills that we do need.

We actually ran a training program specific to this role and several of the bloggers who completed the program are now on our team. We ran the program twice and from the first group and the second group we found fabulous new team members.

(We originally called it an “intern” program, but later changed that as it didn’t actually fit the label. It was more of a training program. It's a huge time commitment for me, so I haven't yet been able to run it again... although I hope to do so.)

Nolie is our Virtual Assistant, Anna is our Editor, Dawn is our Disney Contributor, Lisa is our Travel and Lifestyle Contributor and many others contribute at various times.  

5. Social Media Assistant

It’s very helpful to have someone assist with scheduling social media updates. 

Even when you use scheduling tools such as Buffer and CoSchedule, you may benefit from having someone handle the task for you.

6. Editor

An editor or content manager is an awesome role to fill with another part-time blogger.

We combine the role of Editor and Social Media Assistant as it makes sense for Anna to schedule the social shares once she publishes a post.

7. Writers

Over the years we have had many contributors - some are volunteer and some are compensated. We try our best to compensate for writing when we can, but it does depend on the type of post and the specific arrangements.

Writing and other content creation is the toughest part to outsource. Having guest posts or regular contributors is a good option and often other bloggers want to stretch their reach by blogging on other sites.

Where to Look and How to Hire

We almost always look to our mom blogging community to hire help. 

There are also various Facebook groups these days where you can go to find VA's and other bloggers looking for work. Let me know if you'd like me to help you find one.

For some small tasks, such as simple video edits or quick graphics, we’ve used Fiverr.

I’m also in the middle of my first hire through Freelancer. I’m having a techie in Romania set up a Wordpess theme for our new design. I’ll let you know how that goes.

We always hire help as consultants or contractors who invoice us for their services. 

What About You?

I’d love to hear if you have a team working with you or if you outsource in any way.

What would you like me to cover next week? 

Shoot me back a quick reply and let me know.

Talk soon,

Susan (and Janice)
5 Minutes For Mom

ps. To tell your friends about this "Become a Better Blogger" ezine, you can send them here.