Ask any successful blogger running a profitable business, and they’ll stress the value in outsourcing work. If you want to grow a scalable business exponentially, outsourcing is a MUST.
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing involves handing off tasks from within your business in order to free up your own time to focus on new projects and truly become “the visionary” behind your blogging for business venture.
The benefits of outsourcing work are truly endless. I personally have had a lot of success in outsourcing various aspects of my business. I’ve gathered up some pointers for how I have done this, and I want to share them with you!
What does outsourcing mean?
It’s simple. Outsourcing creates sustainability! More gets done in less time, and your business is able to grow at a much more rapid rate, all while you feel less stressed.
If you want your business to grow, you’ll need to let go of the tendency to do everything yourself. Many of us feel that we can tackle each aspect of our business in order to stay in control or even save a few dollars, but it never works.
In fact, trying to do everything is a surefire way to experience burn out. If that happens and you begin hating virtually every part of your job, you won’t be able to do all the work yourself, will you? And, even if you are able to, do you really want to hate the work you do?
Probably not, which is why outsourcing is essential.
What if I feel like I’m the only person that can do my job?
If this is your mindset, you’re wrong.
To be totally frank, you just aren’t that special.
The truth is, there are countless talented individuals out there that can do parts of your job just as well as you! Many can even to do them better and quicker than you can!
People specialize in different areas of business. This allows them to focus on more specific areas and, in turn, have higher skill levels in said areas. Why not outsource to someone who is an expert in their field?
Save time with better results? It’s a win-win.
How can others accurately implement my ideas?
You are the VISIONARY of your business and you can hire INTEGRATORS to make your vision become reality.
Supply the ideas and then sit back and watch as – with your guidance – your team brings those ideas to life!
You CAN and should train others to mirror your voice and style and act as a clone of you within your business. This way, your products are still “you!”
How do I decide what to outsource?
When determining what work to outsource, there’s an easy method to start with.
Ask yourself what you like doing and figure out what you hate doing.
Then, hire people to take over the areas that you consistently dread!
You decided to become a business owner so that you’d have the freedom to be your own boss and spend your time working in a field that you love. What sense does it make to spend your time on tasks and projects that you loathe?
If you’re an expert at food photography, do food photography and hand-off everything else that takes you away from photographing recipes.
Moral of the story: Hire people to do the things that you hate and that burn you out.
Similarly, if there are tasks that you don’t hate but that take a ton of time, outsource those too! Even if you don’t mind doing something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. If it’s time-consuming, outsource it.
What if I can’t afford to outsource work?
In the beginning, you likely won’t have the ongoing income you need to outsource work to a VA, and that’s totally fine.
But, once you start making money, you NEED to re-invest that money back into your business if you ever want to scale your blogging business. Do this first in the form of hiring a blog VA.
If you’re unsure how to even start making money with your blog, take a look at this post where I share all of the ways I am personally making money on my food blog, along with ways that other bloggers are making money.
If you’re making $1,000 per month, you can afford to hire someone for a few hours a week to help with the odds-and-ends that running a blog inevitably brings.
You do not need to wait until you can afford to hire a full-time VA. Plenty of VAs will agree to work with you for just 5 hours per week!
Just think about all of the tasks you could have help with from someone in just 5 hours per week! That is A LOT of opportunity for you to work on other projects, or simply to take a well-deserved break away from your blog!
How to outsource work to a virtual assistant
You first need to determine what tasks you want to outsource and if you can afford them.
The list of outsourcing blog tasks is endless, really. Any task that you find yourself completing within your business is most likely something that can be outsourced.
Here’s a list of potential outsourcing work roles to get you started:
- Blog manager
- Social media manager
- Recipe videographer
- Recipe photographer
- Round-up recipe creator
- Tech person
- SEO expert
- eBook and graphic creator
- Site designer
- Inbox manager
- Facebook ads expert
- Email list expert
VAs generally provide a variety of specialized services, allowing you to work with one person on various tasks.
You can, however, hire and work with a general Blog Manager for blog management. This person can help you do all of the following:
- Insert photos into posts
- Write alt tags
- Write Pinterest descriptions
- Create Pinterest pins in Canva or an Adobe program
- Share all new posts across your social media platforms
- Respond to blog comments
- Insert affiliate links in posts
- Draft email newsletters
- Create and manage a content calendar
- Respond to emails
- Communicate with hosting company
- And, so much more!
A great place to get started before you move forward in the hiring process is to simply jot down notes throughout 1 week of work and determine what tasks you are doing consistently.
Guaranteed, you can outsource more than 50% of these tasks that you are constantly doing.
VAs can prove invaluable to your business and your growth!
Is it a repetitive task? Outsource it!
Repetitive tasks are some of the easiest to outsource. Usually, things like data entry, scheduling, planning, and behind-the-scenes management are tasks that are incredibly important to outsource.
I highly recommend outsourcing tasks like this because, though repetitive, these tasks are typically quite time-consuming. Assigning them to another team member can save you tons of time, effort, stress, and brainpower.
What is the best way for managing assistants for your blog?
When you bring on new team members, proper training goes a long way. It’s incredibly important to train people accurately. It will save you time and much frustration in the long run.
Consistently identify areas of improvement, always provide encouragement, and be sure to make your expectations extremely clear.
Task Management Systems for Outsourcing Work
For task management, Asana is a great tool that keeps everything very organized and allows you to outline specific instructions and expectations. My team and I use Asana for EVERYTHING.
We also use Slack to quickly communicate about the details of projects, urgent matters, and simply to get to know each better.
File and Project Storage for Virtual Teams
For file and project storage, cloud-based systems work well, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Plus, these programs allow you to keep everything off of your own personal computer and provide easy access for all team members. You only have to share folders once, and then your team has access to anything they may need.
Password Sharing with Virtual Assistants
When it comes to securely sharing passwords, LastPass works very well.
LastPass is a tool that allows you to store all company passwords in one place while providing access to team members. As a plus, the system provides detailed, complex passwords to keep security in check.
Where to find a virtual assistant for bloggers
When searching for team members so that you can start outsourcing work, Facebook groups are a great place to look! There are many great freelancing groups within Facebook filled with talented individuals ready to help you with your business.
Be sure to read any group rules, as some have specific guidelines for posting job descriptions. When you do post, make sure your descriptions are VERY detailed so that your expectations are clear for potential applicants.
Here’s a great piece on blogging-related tasks you can have a Virtual Assistant work on.
How do I know the blog VA and I will work well together?
When outsourcing work, I recommend hopping on a video call via Zoom or Skype to talk with the potential VA and asking them a variety of questions related to the position, as well as clearly outlining your expectations.
Then, write out a contract and have them review and sign it. You should then sign it and then send them a finalized version. Having a contract can safeguard both you and the VA from any potential issues in the future, as well as providing written expectations that each party has agreed to and signed.
I purchased my VA contract from Businessese.
I also highly suggest starting team members on 30-day trial periods. This gives you time to determine whether you mesh well and also shows you their work ethic and quality of results.
I’ve never had a freelancer object to doing a trial period; if they did, I would be concerned anyway and would most likely not bring them onto my team. If the freelancer is confident in their ability, they will not object to this.
After 30 days, a new contract can be signed, if needed, and then you can work from there!
Outsourcing work will improve every facet of your blogging business
Outsourcing work as a business owner is a no-brainer! I hope these tips provide some insight into its value.
Check out this piece for 10 more reasons to outsource your work.