Are you Overwhelmed Blogging? – Then Outsource your Tasks (Part I)
As a blogger, you have many things to do to make your blog successful. This can make you work like crazy and/or simply steal the joy of living from you like it did to me and render your golden dream a bane instead of a boon.
Yet we all know that a Jack of all trades is a master of none, no wonder you’re struggling so hard to grow your business but to no avail.
While it’s a good idea to keep tabs on everything that goes on in your business, you’ll burn yourself out fast if you tried to do everything yourself.
What’s the way out of this Blogging Dilemma?
Let’s call it leverage.
Leverage can only be achieved when certain non dollar-productive activities are outsourced enabling you to focus only on essential blogging tasks such as producing excellent and valuable content for your readers and doing marketing. These will help you have a strong following through which you can monetize your blogging efforts.
Now, how should you go about that?
If you were wise, you would heed the saying “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
Fortunately there are a lot of talented people out there who can perform many of your blogging tasks better than you. So it makes sense to outsource many, or even all, of these tasks and concentrate only on growing your blog.
Engage People for the General and Technical Aspects of your Business
The answer is to engage one set of people to handle the general matters of your business and another for the technical.
This makes a lot of sense as these workers are affordable, help ‘free the time’ in your working day, enabling you to shed business pressure thus allowing you to work without stress on your business, instead of killing yourself, working in it.
PART I: GENERAL MATTERS
In this first part we are going to talk about the roles of General Virtual Assistant (GVA) and of Blogging Assistant that the persons/companies you outsource the tasks to will be playing.
ROLE 1: GENERAL VIRTUAL ASSISTANT (GVA)
The GVA is your indispensable ally in blogging without pressure.
The main tasks they can take off your hands are:
Free yourself from, and let your GVA handle:
• 1. Answering support tickets (with the use of Zendesk)
• 2. Data Mining and Development or Lead Generation
• 3. Document Template Creation
• 4. Forms Creation
• 5. Online Research
• 6. Preparation of Training Materials
• 7. Liaison between you and other team members
• 8. Project Management and Training
• 9. Recruitment (source for other team members like writers or graphic artists)
• 10. Report Creation (on weekly tasks, deliverables, sales)
• 11. Sending Invoices
• 12. Simple eBook Layout or Formatting
• 13. Transcription (voicemail, video or audio, podcasts etc.)
Bookkeeping is not only a specialized activity but also time consuming for the blogger to perform. Besides, it has legal ramifications which could land you in serious trouble or even send you to jail.
The task you can outsource is;
• 14. Basic Bookkeeping (MYOB, XERO & Quickbooks)
However, if you are doing great business, it is necessary to look further than that. Luckily you can outsource your bookkeeping to a company like Bookly. This will save you time and money. See their powerful online bookkeeping solution and get in touch with them to learn more about how they can save you this headache.
Email Management Tasks
Email management can steal time from a blogger. Handing it over to a GVA is essential to being freed to handle more essential tasks.
The email management tasks you can entrust to the GVA are:
• 15. Building Database
• 16. Filtering Emails
• 17. Managing Spam
• 18. Database building (eg. updating email or contact lists on your CRM)
• 19. Following up with clients/customers (sending thank you and other reminder
Email Marketing Tasks
A GVA can help you better grow your list and market to it. In this regard, you should let them oversee:
• 20. Adding and Removing Subscribers from your Lists
• 21. Creating a New List in Email Marketing Software
• 22. Creating and Scheduling Broadcast Emails to Promote Content
• 23. Creating Email Newsletters
• 24. Editing Follow-up Emails and Auto-responders
• 25. Editing or Proofreading Emails
• 26. Setting up Autoresponders (Aweber, Mailchimp)
File Storage Tasks
During the course of a working day, hardly do you begin a task when others would be calling for your attention. This is highly distractive. Being organized therefore is important to remaining productive. This is where GVAs come in to help you organize files using:
• 27. Data Entry in Word or in Google Docs
• 28. Dropbox
• 29. Google Drive Organization
Live Web Chat Support and Receptionist Tasks
Live web chat software installed on your website helps you communicate with visitors and answer any questions they might have.
You may not have time to wait on your computer, which will make you miss some of your customers’ calls. But you can outsource live web chat to a service that has agents waiting to answer calls as they come in.
Feel like it? Then outsource your webchat services to a virtual service company like Davinci Virtual and let their agents take care of your customers.
However if you get a lot of calls, you may choose to have a receptionist in the office to attend to the phone.
You need to get organized. But what does handling such tasks bring you if they get in the way of efficiency? Therefore trust the following to a GVA:
• 30. Creating Spreadsheets
• 31. Managing Spreadsheets
• 32. Preparing Slideshows (Powerpoint Presentations)
• 33. Preparing keynote Presentations
• 34. PDF Conversion, Splitting and Merging
Schedule Management Tasks
The management of your schedule, although necessary, will not forcibly bring you money as a blogger. Therefore outsource:
• 35. Calendar Management
• 36. Reminder Services
Social Media Management Tasks
Social media is a great avenue for you to interact with your current and prospective customers, since that is where billions of people spend a large part of their free time. That is an important resource which makes some bloggers insist that you should personally interact with people on social media.
However, handling just Facebook can be a daunting task. Now, imagine adding the others? Yet, a GVA can take care of:
• 37. Facebook: Creating Fan Pages or Groups
• 38. Facebook: Posting and Scheduling Insights
• 39. Facebook: Promoting Pages
• 40. Facebook: Collating and Interpreting Insights
• 41. LinkedIn: Creating and Managing Account or Profile
• 42. Pinterest: Creating Pinnable Images
• 43. Pinterest : Scheduling and Tracking Pins
• 44. Twitter : Creating Account
• 45. Twitter: Managing and Increasing Your Following
• 46. Twitter: Scheduling Tweets and Track Mentions and Hashtags
• 47. YouTube: Creating and Managing Account
• 48. YouTube : Uploading Videos
• 49. YouTube : Moderating Comments
• 50. YouTube: Answering inquiries and Messages on All Channels and Profiles
• 51. Creating Slideshare Presentations
• 52. Setting up, Managing and updating other Social Media Accounts such as
Delicious, Diig, Google+, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, etc.
If you want your social media manager to handle your social media posts, first create some sample posts to give them an idea of the types you’d like them to create. Then review the posts they create and give them feedback for revision before they posts them. Continue doing this until you’re satisfied with their work.
Your social media manager can also deal with spam comments on your posts and alert you to anything that needs your immediate attention.
Other tasks to be turned over to the General Virtual Assistant could be:
• 53. Answering Customer Service Emails or Tickets or Chat Support
• 54. Appointment Scheduling with clients
• 55. Deadline or Deliverables Tracking
• 56. Hotel and Flight Booking
• 57. Participating in discussion forums or message boards (for more promotion!)
• 58. Preparing Online Meeting Minutes
• 59. Personal Errands (Purchasing Gifts Online, etc. for loved ones or family members)
• 60. Receptionist Duties (answering occasional calls)
• 61. Sending of Greetings eCards, Event Invitations, etc.
• 62. Training of New Virtual Staff (Check out VSF Academy)
• 63. Travel Arrangement and Planning
As the number and extent of general matters tasks show, they would be herculean to handle alone. Hand them over to GVAs who will do a brilliant job for you.
Don’t you have a GVA yet? – Click here to get one now!
ROLE 2: BLOGGING ASSISTANT
Blogging involves more than just writing.
To write and publish a post requires a variety of tasks which are research; the actual writing; proofreading; finding a photo or a piece of artwork to go with the post; uploading, formatting and optimizing your post; search engine optimization; traffic management; submission to directories for back links, and submission to social media. These obviously demand a lot of time and effort.
You can save much of this time and effort by assigning the following tasks to someone else:
Do you have an idea for a blog post? A research assistant can do research to flesh it out for you. He would scour the web for articles on that topic, summarize the main points and any facts and figures, and link to them.
Then you only have to refer to the research to write the post.
The research assistant can also consult the topics on your blog, do research and come up with a whole list of new blog post ideas.
Do you see how productive having a list of fresh fleshed-out subjects to write about can make you?
Content Writing Task
Some bloggers claim they can write an article in a few minutes. While giving them the benefit of the doubt, how many of us are able to write a blog post in even a day? Often we find ourselves grinding at a post for days and still having difficulty finishing it. Yet, regular fresh content is what your blog needs most. That is what will make Google happy with your site and reward you with traffic. But more importantly, it is what will make your readers keep coming back for more.
The solution to having regular content on your blog?
You can let people guestblog or ghostblog.
Alternatively you can buy articles at places like PeoplePerHour,etc.
When you locate a freelance writer you may want to work with, it is a good idea to ask for some writing samples, industry experience and rates.
You may also look for a writer from your local university or college. This collaboration with someone from your locality enables you to have more and closer interaction with them.
But blogger Chris Ducker advises not to outsource content often, especially if your brand hinged on it. However, if you’re involved in a lot of online marketing, especially if you’re into niche site creation and promotion, or even bigger, more authoritative sites, Chris suggests you save time on creating all that written content by teaming up with a good selection of virtual writers.
Rebecca Livermore also does not recommend outsourcing the actual writing of your blog posts, arguing that if a post has your name on it, you should be the one to write it.
As one man’s meat is another man’s poison, it’s up to you to see what’s in your best interest.
With that said, check Rebecca’s Blogger’s Quick Guide to working with a team.
I’m sure this has happened to you before. You take your time to proofread an article you’ve written and load it to your blog. Then a visitor points out blatant mistakes in it and you wonder how you missed them.
Don’t let that happen to you anymore. Have a proofreader review your posts before they go live.
Image Sourcing and Creation Tasks
Finding the right images to go with your blog posts can also be another time-consuming activity. This becomes worse when the search is for fancy-looking images for image-based social media sites like Pinterest.
Uploading, Formatting and Optimizing Tasks
Uploading, formatting and optimizing blog posts can be very time-consuming.
Non-techy bloggers like myself are often put off by technology. As for HTML, sometimes it might as well be a language from outer space.
Under the circumstances, the best thing would be to hire someone to deal with these tasks.
This would give you a lot of peace of mind as this same person can also add in keywords and write a Google- friendly description of each post using the free WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Web Marketer Tasks
An SEO task can go further than what I’ve said above.
The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) field is as changing as shifting sand. What worked yesterday doesn’t work today. What works today might not work tomorrow. And what might work tomorrow could be anything later on.
Yet social bookmarking, article submission, blog and forum comment submission, all require SEO. SEO has so many ramifications that it can even be a full time job.
Most bloggers are not experts in SEO. The best some may know of SEO is a general understanding of how it works and how to implement most of its crucial aspects. This may not be enough to implement reliable SEO strategies.
So it is better to hire someone with a good knowledge and experience of SEO or a good web marketer to handle it so that your content can be positioned and marketed in such a way that it will bring in consistent, long-term traffic.
Some of the tasks to hand over to the GVA are:
• 1. Moderating Blog Commenting – Off Page Optimization for a post or page (and to
increase links to your site
• 2. Competitor Analysis
• 3. Creating a Social Bookmarking Tracking Sheet
• 4. Creating Backlinks or Link Building
• 5. Forum Participation or Moderation
• 6. Keyword Research for Blog Content
• 7. Landing Page Set-up or Creation
• 8. Monthly Keyword Ranking Reports
• 9. On-page optimization for a post or page
• 10. Site Analysis
• 11. Sitemap Submissions
• 12. Social Bookmarking (Digg, Stumble Upon, Reddit, Digg, Delicious)
• 13. Weekly or Monthly Google Analytics and Traffic Reports
• 14. Webmaster Submission
Traffic Management Task
Apart from content, maybe there is nothing your blog needs as much as traffic. Not only do many bloggers not know how to drive traffic to their posts and offers, but an expert can better handle such traffic tasks as:
• 15. Driving traffic to your posts and offers
• 16. Sourcing traffic sources
Submission to Directories for Back Links Task
Submitting content to directories and optimizing your website to get more back links is another activity which can consume a chunk of your time. Instead of spending all this time completing submission tasks, you’d better use software and virtual staff.
This way, every time you publish a new blog post, your virtual staff automatically submits the content to directories and social networks. And with a click of a button and a few comments in the post, they create links using software.
Submission to Social Media Task
If you don’t feel like outsourcing your Social Media Management Tasks, you can use a tool called Hootsuite and schedule out your social posts throughout the week.
But since managing your social media tasks could be daunting, you may use Hootsuite and outsource the planning and scheduling out piece. It’d be a good idea to use Google Analytics or another analytics program to keep track of how your social visitor numbers are faring and tweak things if necessary.
Other Blogging Tasks
With Basic WordPress Skill, your GVA can also manage the following blogging tasks:
• 17. Adding Tags to Blog Posts
• 18. Press Release Writing
• 19. Newsletter Writing
• 20. Copywriting (Don’t Suggest Sales Copy)
• 21. Article Spinning
• 22. Article Marketing
Outsourcing the tasks listed above can free up your time to concentrate on growing your business, educate yourself and enjoy the perks of your new lifestyle.
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