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Outsourcing: the Secret to Blogging Success

This guest post is by Mark Collier is the author of Link Building Mastery.

As an Internet entrepreneur, it’s easy to develop this sense of single mindedness—the if-I-can’t-do-it-no-one-can attitude. I call it RTODIY (refuse to outsource; do it yourself). Although the name does need a bit of work. Maybe I should outsource it…

The symptoms are: excessive DIY, penny pinching when you could outsource for little or nothing, and learning the basics of advanced theories in a vain attempt to save money.

RTODIY is also the major obstacle between your self-created job and a successful business that runs independent of you. As Keith Cunningham puts it, job is just an abbreviation for Just Over Broke.

Overcoming RTODIY

I have certainly done my fair share of RTODIYing, most recently with my experience in launching my relatively new website and writing and launching a new ebook.

I wrote all the content for my website myself and learned all I needed to know to create a website myself. While this is pretty common, this was only the beginning. I decided to write an ebook, and once it was finished, I knew I needed to create a sales landing page for my product.

Now for those who don’t know about landing pages, let me fill you in. Landing pages are designed to make all your ebook sales. Sure, promotion is crucial, and you need a great product, but without a great landing page, you’re wasting your time.

I recognized the value of a landing page and went about buying a template and customizing it, after, of course, I learned the basics of CSS.

This is what my landing page looked like:

That’s exactly what I expected would sell my $47 ebook! And I actually believed it would sell.

That was until I received the best business advice I have ever received from Glen Allsopp. I sent out an email to the 15 people I interviewed for the ebook, informing them of the new sales page. Glen said, “I hope you don’t take offence, but I really don’t think you’ll get a single sale with that landing page.”

And he was right. Not a single sale came from the first 300 people who visited the page.

So I decided to go and outsource—yes, I said outsource—the sales page design to a professional and the results were and are absolutely incredible:

What a turnaround! I certainly would be more likely to buy from a sales page that looked like this.

The results

When I talk about results, I mean money. While the orders certainly haven’t been unbelievable, they are far better than nothing, which is what my original page generated.

In the month since I launched the ebook—and I have no reputation or marketing budget—I have made seven sales. Okay, that’s not a mind blowing amount, but it’s $327 in sales, and the email sign up box has captured 120 email addresses.

I am more than happy with these results, having had no experience in launching a product, and no email subscriber list that I could promote the launch to. In fact, I didn’t even bother having a launch.

I expect sales to continue to grow, and my initial investment in that web designer to continue to pay off.

My learnings, your learnings

My reluctance to outsource to a professional web designer for $150 would have cost me $327 today, and what could be thousands in future earnings. I’ve learned that spending that extra bit up front distinguishes you from the competition, and is well worth the investment.

But I understand that not everyone will launch an eBook or create a sales page. So how can these learnings be applied to your blog, especially if you are a solo blogger?

If you find yourself doing all the work—and I literally mean all of it—you’re a class one RTODIYer, and you may need help. You need to learn the art of delegation and to commit to investing that extra bit into your blog that will come back and reward you many times over.

You need to stop acting like a one-person blog and starting acting like ProBlogger. After all, that’s how ProBlogger has been so successful: outsourcing and hiring (for free or otherwise) the best to do the work for them. Guest posts are just one example of that.

You wouldn’t have seen W.K Kelloggs out in the field growing the corn for his Corn Flakes, you wouldn’t see Michael Dell personally handling customer complaints against Dell, and you wouldn’t see Richard Branson micro-managing the 200 companies he has controlling stakes in.

All these great business people have committed to outsourcing. They have committed to investing in and trusting others, and ultimately they have overcome a human’s natural instinct to Refuse To Outsource and Do It Yourself.
That’s what your blog is, right? A business?

As a blogger, you should give up you RTODIY ways and move forward with your business in a more profitable direction. Trust in others and be prepared to invest in your blog, and you will reap the rewards. Here are a couple of ideas I know you’ll like:

  • Open your site up for guest posts. It’s a great, free way to take the writing pressures off you, while retaining full editorial rights.
  • Get a custom design made by a designer, or at least have a blog brand with logo and color scheme that’s consistent throughout your blog, Twitter, and Facebook page.
  • If you really want to step up to the next level and be an outsourcing master, why not hire a part-time writer or regular columnist? You can pitch their work to the big names in your industry and get a lot of exposure from them.

The general rule of thumb is to try to outsource your weaknesses (my big one is design), and give yourself more time to focus on your strengths. To control of your RTODIY and your blog will only go from strength to strength.

Have you outsourced any part of your blog, or are you a RTODIYer? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

Mark Collier is the author of Link Building Mastery, the best ethical guide to link building available on the web. With 86 powerful link building strategies and 15 interviews with link building interviews, including an interview with Yaro Starak. You can join the ethical link building revolution now.

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Comments

  1. Greg uol says:

    Outsourcing is the key to success online. Concentrate on what matters and outsource the rest.

  2. Can anyone recommend sites they’ve gone to in the past for outsourcing?

  3. pepper_mel says:

    I think outsourcing is an option for your business if you want it to expand considerably. More minds, more ideas. Just think of creative thinkers who are willing to work for your benefit. :)

  4. Chris says:

    We have had some great experiences with out-sourcers and some horror stories too. I’ll be honest if you do find a reliable and skilled team to work with make sure you look after them, you will want to use them again and again.

    If you recommend your out sourced labour to a client or friend make sure they understand your relationships that already exist too…

  5. Michael says:

    I’ve tried outsourcing before. The trick is to be good enough to be able to make it worth your while to outsource. You’ve got to outsource the easy work, and leave the hardwork to yourself, the hardwork is being able to make any little outsourced work valuable. Good post.

  6. Mark,

    The overarching topic you’ve covered here is a tough one for a lot of people: being willing to admit that someone else can do something better than you can. It’s really a two-fold problem.

    First, there’s the issue of pride. It’s hard to admit someone else is better than you at something. (Especially for me… I’ve got an ego that could crush more cars than a monster truck!)

    The other issue is allowing someone else to take control of an aspect of your business. I’m as guilty as anyone of being a control freak, so I can understand the difficulty here. But it is the mark of a truly great business person to be able to put the good of their business above their own pride and neuroses.

  7. Azad Shaikh says:

    Thanks for sharing your learning experience. Same was my problem few months back but now I started delegating some time consuming and not so productive tasks.

    Nice to read your story. All the best for future sales. :)

  8. Shaleen Shah says:

    Being in the outsourcing biz for over a decade, I’d say you have made the right choice. I know it can be scary at first, especially when you have trust issues on people who will work for you — thousands of miles away ( or at the other end of the world ). For those who think outsourcing is a walk in the park, it’s not. You have to do your homework first before you finally hire someone.

  9. Marija says:

    You are absolutely right, one should definitely consider outsourcing. It’s not an easy thing to do, for sure, but long-term it can bring huge benefits. Why try to master something that you don’t have affinity or basic knowledge for, and end up with mediocre results, instead of hiring someone who can do a much better job.

    But, how to find people to hire? How to select them and explain what you need? The most difficult thing is to start…

  10. Anne says:

    Outsourcing is key to online success, especially outsourcing time consuming tasks or tasks you’re not good at.
    Very good post, thank you.
    Anne