If you’re reading this post, then congratulations are probably in order. Your website must be doing quite nicely or your blog must have a lot of followers for you to be considering outsourcing. And if you’re wondering whether you can maintain your website’s quality while sustaining its growth, you’re not alone.
Thousands of website managers from bloggers to dentists have realised the benefits of outsourcing, incorporated it into their regular routine and have successfully kept pace with growth in traffic. What have they learned? For one thing, there’s a certain point where you just can’t do it all alone.
Handling Growth in Your Website
Unless you have superhuman powers, you have limits to how much time and brain power you can give to anything in life. You must have worked very hard to get your site to a point where you need help to keep it going. Hard work is what is takes…but gruelling work is not sustainable.
If you find yourself in a situation where any of the following apply to you then it might be the right time to consider outside help:
- gruelling late nights
- 18 hour days
- no sleep
- bad food
- lack of any fun whatsoever: social contact, family, hobbies, exercise
Nobody can sustain that lifestyle. It’s just a matter of time until your brain rebels, you feel exhausted and you need to give yourself a break. Even if you push yourself to work harder and harder, the quality of your work will suffer, it’s a given. Remember, inferior work is not what your successful business was built upon.
You see, when you push your brain too hard, there’s a point of diminishing returns. The quality of your work will suffer because your brain needs a rest and isn’t functioning at its peak levels. You could take a nice long vacation and refresh yourself, but what happens to your website in the meantime? At a crucial point when you’re experiencing growth, do you want to put it all on hold?
There’s one way to fix this – find what you can outsource and get some help.
Don’t Make This Outsourcing Mistake
Now before you kick up a fuss and proclaim that the use of outside help spells the end of your site as you know it, listen up a for a moment. Outsourcing does not mean you’ve given up, and it does not mean you are relinquishing control. You control every aspect of hiring outside help. You have the final say on what goes up and what comes down. So please, don’t fall into the trap of thinking outsourcing is giving up control of your website.
After all, there are probably several things in your life outsourced right now, and you haven’t given up control. You ate at Pizza Express last week…are you still in control of your own kitchen? Eating out is outsourcing your meals but you chose the restaurant and you choose whether to go back. The chef at Pizza Express hasn’t taken over your kitchen…he simply stood in for a night. You were in complete control and it’s the same with outsourcing some elements of your website.
Advantages of Outsourcing
What is your area of expertise? Are you first and foremost a web designer, writer or programmer? Keep the tasks for yourself which highlight what you can do best. Outsourcing provides you with the opportunity to hone and develop your main skills while leaving the rest to someone else.
Too many web developers or blog owners experience growth and as a result spread themselves too thin. Are you a writer who spends way too much time changing the design of your blog? How many articles did you give up writing because you spent an entire week redesigning your site?
What’s more, prioritizing is not just about preference or developing your main skills. It’s eventually a cost vs benefit situation. Hire a designer to change the look of your site and that frees you up to keep your blog going, thereby sustaining growth.
How misguided would it be if you lost readership due to poorly written blog posts or no posts at all because you were too busy trying to do everything yourself.
How to Outsource
Find help for your website the smart way, the same as you might do if you were hiring someone in person:
- know what you want to delegate
- check out references
- ask for samples
- hire someone for a small job to check them out
- repeat steps 2 through to 4 until you find the right match
Forums are great places to find ways to outsource your website work. You’ll get feedback from other members who’ve used various outsourcing companies and services, and you’ll even get ideas on how to outsource.
Outsourcing articles, graphics, web design, research, security, technical issues, on site SEO are a few examples of what you could outsource, but did you know you could also outsource the commenting section of your site? That’s right, hire someone to manage the comments, approve them, and even answer questions and reply to your readers who leave comments.
To reiterate – you are not giving up control…simply getting help with the more “rote” tasks of maintaining a successful website. If some comments require your expertise, your freelancer can simply be instructed to hand over that type of task to you.
From the IT department to your blog writing, it’s all “outsourceable”.
Things to Avoid When Outsourcing
Beware the freelancers who promise you the world. Talk is cheap, so ask them to back up their claims by applying steps 2 through to 4 outlined above. It’s easy to make a splendid infographic promising all sorts of wild outcomes, but see if any claims can be substantiated.
Beware of very cheap sources of outsourcing. $10 to redesign your blog? Well maybe, but if you’re at all concerned with quality then you have to ask yourself – if it’s only $10 to get a beautiful custom new website design, then why isn’t everyone using this service? There are amazing deals out there and I don’t mean to be disrespectful to anyone from any country that offers such a service for such a low price, but even after relative currency conversion, I believe the old saying still holds true…You get what you pay for.
Beware the other end of the spectrum: over-priced services. There are freelancers who charge amazingly high prices for website services, and while certain types of programming may warrant $300 an hour, can you justify paying that much for someone to manage your comments?
Don’t take a good freelancer for granted. When you do finally find a good match for outsourcing part of your website, work to maintain a good relationship with that freelancer. If they’re good and reasonably priced, word will eventually get out and they’ll have lots of business. That means they’ll have to start cherry-picking their clients.
If you’ve treated them well by paying on time etc, then you’ll keep a good thing going. In the end, it’s all about relationships…that “good thing” you’ve got going with a good freelancer will become a vital component of running your site. Done correctly, outsourcing can be your best tool for future success.
Photo © Depositphotos.com/Mathias Rosenthal