With the popularity of The 4-Hour Workweek and its recommendation of outsourcing, more bloggers are looking to outsourcing to improve their blog.
But is outsourcing worth it? I think if you give clear instructions and find the right people, outsourcing can definitely help your blog. Good outsourcing can free up a lot of time. Also, outsourcing allows you to focus on your strengths while delegating the blogging activities you’re weak at (or you don’t want to do) to other people.
Now obviously, you’ll need some money to outsource. You can spend some of your blog earnings or save up some cash.
Here are some things you can outsource.
Transcription – Many people find it much easier to “speak” their posts rather than write them down. If this describes you, check out Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. In my research, this site has the lowest rate for transcription services. Simply set up an account, add funds, record yourself in mp3 format, upload it to the web, and then link to the mp3 in your request. Someone will take your request and transcribe your mp3. I’ve been paying around six dollars for a transcription of a 30 minute mp3. By the way, 30 minutes of audio can run about 3000 words.
Posts – If you have more cash, you can hire someone to blog with you. An increase in post frequency is usually a good thing. Also, you can post less and focus on other things (like marketing, monetization, starting a new blog, etc.).
Blog commenting – Many people think outsourcing blog commenting is dumb and cheesy, but if you find someone passionate about your niche, it could work out well. Make sure they are on the same page as you and know what your blog is all about. Also, to integrate things even more, you can have the blog commenter post occasionally on your blog.
Forum marketing – This is something I’m thinking of trying. Basically, you have forum members create forum posts while linking to your blog on their signature. Because their signature shows up on each of their posts, all their posts will link back to your blog. The principles to forum marketing are similar to blog commenting. The forum marketers should a lot about your niche and your blog.
Link exchanges – Blogroll exchanges drive targeted traffic. However, getting them can be tedious. Hire someone to email relevant bloggers to see if they’re interested in link trades.
Research assistant – If you write long, in-depth posts, it might make sense to hire a research assistant. A research assistant can do the time consuming preliminary research needed to write a resourceful post.
Blog design – Not too much to say about this. A clean, good looking blog design does a lot for branding your blog. If you can’t design or don’t have the time, hire a designer to create a unique design for your blog. For more information, check out this post about blog design. It includes a podcast and relevant links. Also, check out the web design blogs on Eaton Web. Some of them are written by bloggers that also offer blog design services.
Linkbaiting – Whether it’s getting enough votes on Digg, building a viral web application, or just creating a top 100 list, there are people that are good at linkbaiting. Watch out though. Linkbaiters can cost a lot. In the long term, a good linkbaiter is worth it because of the quality links you will get.
SEO – Want more search traffic but don’t want to deal with building links and researching keywords? Then, find a search marketer. Again, like linkbaiters, search marketers can cost an arm and a leg, but the long term rewards are great.
What other things can bloggers outsource?