Why Outsourcing is a Pipe Dream for Most and 3 Things You Should Never Outsource

Eric Binnion

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It seems like the Internet has really embraced outsourcing over the last several years with the creation of several websites such as Fiverr, oDesk, and Elance. You can now easily find a remote worker with a good portfolio and references usually cheaper than what you’d be able to find with local developers.

There’s no doubt that outsourcing can be a powerful tool in a blogger or Internet marketer’s toolkit. The problem is that most bloggers don’t fully utilize and/or misuse this tool. There are also 3 things that you should never outsource.

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Outsourcing is often understood as a way for you to hand off either the repetitive tasks that drain your time or the tasks that are out of your skill range. Outsourcing is meant to be a tool that saves you time and frustration.

The issue is that many business owners don’t trust the process and end up micromanaging on such a level that they might as well do the work themselves.

I recently read an article on Open Forum, a website of American Express™ , where they said:

If you have chosen to delegate tasks to people, great. It can free up your time, so you can do more important tasks. But if you follow it up by micro-managing them to get those tasks done, you have defeated your purpose. Any task that you feel can be delegated should also be free from micro-management.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Bottom line, if you want to use outsourcing, learn how to be more hands off. Work with people who have a good track record and an awesome portfolio. But, whatever you do… Never outsource these 3 things!

Business Planning and Idea Generation

Bottom line, never hand off the planning of your business to an online outsourcer. It is your drive that created your blog and it is full of your ideas. An outsourcer lacks the full understanding of where you want to take your blog/business, and they do not have a vested interest like you do.

While I understand that you may need some help guiding your business, an outsourcer who makes his income from places such as Fiverr, Elance, and oDesk is almost always not the answer.

If you are frustrated with the direction of your business, then by all means get help. But, do it the right way. Find someone that runs a successful blog or business and ask them for help.

There are tons of rockstars out there who do business and blog consulting. Peter Shallard is highly recommended, although I’ll warn you that he has a hefty price tag. The guys behind Fizzle are also great choices.

Your business plan is the foundation of your business. Do not skimp here with cheap outsourcing. If you need help, bring in the big guns with a record of success!

Web Content

In my dealings with outsourcers, almost every single time, they are not a native English speaker. This is not so bad when I am paying them to help with some programming or to process videos.

But, when it comes to writing content for your blog, you really should hire a native speaker, whether your language is English, Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish.

Why, you ask? Language is so much more than just words. As a prime example, in Britain, “loo” is commonly used to refer to a room containing a toilet. In America, we just call it a restroom or bathroom.

While that example may be awkward it points out a glaringly obvious problem with hiring outsourced writers….

If your outsource writer is not a native speaker, then there is a good chance that they could tank the conversion rate of your copy. As a matter of fact, we have hired outsourced writers in the past. When we got back the content they wrote, it looked OK at first sight. But when we published it, we noticed that the bounce rate was about 30% higher than normal!

Blogging is about much more than just getting content up. Your content must successfully convey a message, and if you’re running a business, you must always be considerate of how you’re going to convert readers to subscribers and buyers. Do you want to leave this in the hands of an outsource writer?

SEO

Art of Blog receives between 70-80% of its traffic from search engines. If Art of Blog were to lose rankings in the search engines, we would be dead in the water.

JCPenney™ experienced something similar to that when they lost some of their highest Google™ search rankings. Get more information from Just Outsourcing.

The question to ask yourself is this, can you afford to lose a large percentage of your search traffic because an outsourced SEO used black hat SEO techniques without your approval?

There are of course great SEO services out there that you can reliably outsource your SEO to. If you need help with your SEO, I recommend using PushFire (run by Suggarae), Kenny Hyder, or some other SEO professional with a proven track record and several verifiable recommendations. A good place to find good SEOs would be SEOmoz’s forums.

What Do You Think?

Outsourcing can be a great tool to help save you time and allow you to focus on the more important things in your blog and business, but only when used correctly.

What are your experiences with outsourcing? Have you had good or bad experiences? Will you use outsourcing in the future?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

Written by Eric Binnion

Eric Binnion is a computer science student at Midwestern State University. When Eric is not online, he is usually volunteering in his community or enjoying time with his family. You can find Eric on Twitter.

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Comments

  • Kirsty says:

    Completely Agree! I’ve outsourced for a design project before and what I got back was definitely not up to our normal standard, so I have spent more time sending emails back and forth to make changes/improvements than I would have if I did it myself. I have also sent lots and lots of small programming jobs and they have been amazing. I get the job completed very quickly and its very cost-effective so will continue to do so.

    I would definitely recommend using overseas companies for outsourcing programming jobs, but for copywriting or design projects, you should most definitely keep it in-house, or at the very least in the same country.

    Great article!