When Should You Outsource Website Content and Development?
Outsourcing can be a valuable time-saver for the online entrepreneur. While it may look at first that the do-it-yourself approach is cheaper and more effective, this is not always the case. It may be true for startups, but a time will come when your business grows that you’ll have to consider the possibility of outsourcing. Here are some things to consider.
Factors That Favor Outsourcing
Money is not your only commodity.
Don’t be fooled. Money isn’t the only thing you spend in life as well as in business. There is also your time and energy, which in a real way can be even more valuable than money. You can earn back money but not time or youth or energy. Outsourcing allows you to buy time in exchange for some money (often at a reasonable cost, depending on how and whom you outsource to). That time you free up can be allocated to other aspects of business maintenance, or just to give yourself a break.
Someone else may be able to do a task better than you.
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Sure, you can write content. You may know how to do basic web design or graphics work too. You may even be an SEO expert in your own right. But rare is the person who can be good at ALL aspects of professional website development at the level required for commercial success. And instead of investing your limited time in learning HTML, CSS, Photoshop and what not, you’d probably be better off passing on the work to another person. Someone with more expertise than you and who’d do it for a fair price. Again, this is when outsourcing makes sense.
It may be time to expand your business.
If you are lucky enough to meet with success with your ecommerce site or blog, you may wish to grow your business or create new websites. This will be very hard to do all on your own. More websites means more articles to write, more backlinks to build and more graphics and web programming to worry about. If you are serious about building a virtual empire, you should look into outsourcing some of your work to the right people. Then you could focus on the more important, or more enjoyable aspects of your campaign and be more productive.
Factors That May Not Favor Outsourcing
Now on the other side of things, you may NOT be ready to outsource. Check if any of this applies to you:
You are on a tight budget.
Most of the time this would apply to newcomers to the Internet marketing world. Many of us do not start off with six figures in our pockets. Ordinary men and women like that can’t afford to hire writers or designers on a permanent basis. If this is the case with you, hold off on the outsourcing until the money is there. Your online business is probably still small enough to be manageable by you alone.
Your web content needs to be highly consistent with your personality.
Consistency of voice and style is hard to achieve no matter how good your writer is. He or she isn’t you. If your loyal fans or customers expect everything in your site to have your personal touch, take care not to outsource the wrong jobs. Outsourcing articles, for example, can alienate your guests if they can tell you paid a stranger to make them. Remember that freelance writers are used to writing about ANYTHING, even things they have no real experience in. It’s of no consequence to them – you will own the content, not they – YOU will have to live with the results.
You are reluctant to share information about your business.
Some outsourcing jobs can involve a lot of dialogue between the client and the contractor. The longer the same person works with you, the more they know about your goals, your strategies and any concerns you have about your business. Bear this in mind before you attempt to outsource.
It’s hard to find an expert in your niche who will work for you.
Some niches are lacking in freelance talent, at least at the right price. If you cannot find a talent who has real knowledge and/or skills in the field you need, don’t push it. The worst thing you could do is hire somebody who doesn’t really know what he or she is doing. In that case, I think it would be more prudent to keep to yourself.
The decision to outsource all or parts of your business functions is yours alone. Weigh the pros and cons and issues involved before you decide. Like buying a domain and renting an office space, it’s an investment. Make sure it is the right one for you.
Article contributor L.J. (Blog Lady) is a full-time blogger and Internet marketer with years of experience in both US-based and offshore freelance writing. See also Blog Lady for articles on WordPress blogging, Facebook log in tips, SEO and related subjects.