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Outsourcing your blog, or parts of it, is actually quite common for some busy bloggers.

Today’s Lesson:

As Catherine Lawson points out in a recent article, outsourcing is a great way to save time in all aspects of your life. Although outsourcing does cost money, if the cost outweighs the benefits, it may be the way to go.

When I first started blogging, I would have loved to outsource the “mechanics” of my blog. I didn’t know anything about HTML, CSS, or any of the behind the scenes techniques. I didn’t know what SEO (search engine optimization) was, nor did I know it was important.

When I read the basics of blogging, I learned blogs are an online journal. Type our words, and the whole world can read them.

When I think back to what was necessary to learn blogging, it would have been much easier to instruct someone else to “set it up” for me.

That didn’t happen. I was on my own, and became self taught.

To me, all that I learned, has become part of the journey.

I’m proud of myself for sticking with it, and learning from my mistakes. Light bulb moments came often, as did pats on the back for meeting the challenge.

Now I read how some bloggers are outsourcing certain aspects of their blogs. It may be behind the scenes, or monitoring comments.

One form of outsourcing is the utilization of guest posts. A guest post could potentially save a blogger many hours of time, plus being attention to the writings of the guest writer and their blog. It’s a win-win situation.

With blogging becoming so popular, and bloggers becoming so consumed with their blogs, outsourcing may be the answer to alleviating some of their “not so favorite” aspects of blogging.

Today’s Assignment

Would you, or do you, outsource any part of your blogging activities?

Would you use a guest writer?

How do you feel about bloggers who use outsourcing?


Photo Credit: Librarian Avenger’s photostream

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  1. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I think the key is outsourcing the bits you don’t enjoy as much first. I outsourced my new design. I had intended to do it myself but I wasted so much time trying to work out how. I would definitely outsource design again.

    Also, I run guest posts sometimes. But I know some people also outsource many of their posts. If I did that, I would have to make it clear that the post wasn’t written by me. I don’t think anyone would recognise “your voice” anymore if you simply pretended an outsourced post was your own work.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..Dirty Little Secrets 3 – The Rule

  2. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the link by the way. I read the mention of my name but I hadn’t realised you’d linked to my blog. Sorry.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..Dirty Little Secrets 3 – The Rule

  3. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    That had to have been a real time saver to outsource you new design (and a beautiful one it is). Some things are better left to those that do it for a living. If the price is right, it would be a wise investment.

    Like you, a guest post is one thing (with the author’s name attached), but I couldn’t outsource a post and not let my readers know it’s not me. We write to share our “voice”, so that would be defeating the purpose of why we blog.

    Some blogs do have more than one writer, but I think most of those credit the writer’s work.

    You’re welcome for the link. I enjoyed that post of yours.

  4. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t outsource my blog but I’m definitely up to guest posts – which reminds me I need to contact a guy who wants to swap like you and Catherine did. I think this can be a great idea not only because of networking, but because it also gives my readers new content from another’s thought process and experiences.

    I think the only circumstance I can see where you might outsource your blog writing and then stamp your name on the “posted by” note would be if you’re posting statistics or some feature about a product or service. In other words, a blog post that isn’t real personable.

    John Hoffs last blog post..Fear Can Ruin Your Business From Within

  5. Interesting. I would inevitably like to have guest hosts. I’m currently past most of the difficult technical aspects of running my blog, so no outsourcing yet. But it’s a smart idea. Thanks for the reminder!

    Mark – Creative Journey Cafes last blog post..Who Was Peace Pilgrim?

  6. I hired someone to create a banner for me, but I couldn’t outsource the writing. If I subscribe to a blog, it’s because of the blogger, not so much the topic. So when I see a guest post, there’s a good chance I’ll just skip past it. I guess I can’t say I’ll never run a guest post, but I hope I’ll never have to.

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..More Bang For The Buck: High ROI Opportunities

  7. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    if it’s something i really can’t do, i dont mind asking for help, in fact, i have something i want to add to my blog, but can’t get it work. i’ve been thinking about asking the creator of a widget to do it for me and i will gladly pay, especially since it will save me time. i do outsource when i do website work, but haven’t with my blog, yet.

    Would you, or do you, outsource any part of your blogging activities?
    sure

    Would you use a guest writer? yes, probably for my money monday article, i’ve been thinking about asking someone from a blog i read, but probably not just for general posting. i did let my daughter do a guest post, but i did over see it

    How do you feel about bloggers who use outsourcing? if it fits their blog, that’s fine….can’t really judge them, it’s their blog. hopefully the post works or is at least is of similar content.

  8. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    I do outsource the mechanics of the blog – design, behind the scenes etc. I like the writing and comment editing bits. And driving clients and prospects to the site.

    Not the SEO, plug-ins, and structural design.

    I’d consider guest posts, but like others would have to make it clear. I may even have the odd article written on a paid basis on a topic that was of use to our clients, but I wasn’t the expert or it was inappropriate for me to write it (if that makes sense).

    I feel outsourcing is perfectly fine. But you have to be careful not to lose any personality that you have developed. If the blog and audience has been built on “YOU” then you can’t outsource it overnight – you’d have to gradually phase it in – probably over many months.

    And even then, you’d still have to have a presence.

    I think it’s different with a business-to-business blog with an audience of mainly clients. Particularly if the visit it for the intellectual content of the information and how it can help their business.

    If I introduced a guest writer or guest post on a topic that could save them money or increase their income using IT, then I don’t they’d care if I wrote it or not. As long as the information was facutally correct.

    Ian Dennys last blog post..Turn Your Paper Electronic – Creating PDFs From Word, Excel Or Anything Really

  9. J2RNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t think hiring someone for their expertise could be called “outsourcing”.

    If I hire a plumber to fix a leak in my bathroom, that’s what I’m doing. I’m paying an expert for his expertise.

    While I do think blog owners should understand every aspect of a blog, including HTML, CSS, SEO, etc, they might use their time better by spending doing things they’re expert : writting.

    I applaud you for having mastered all aspects of a blog. It’s easy to learn them, but quite hard to master them.

  10. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John,

    With all of the great subjects you touch on in your blog, guest posts would be a goof fit. It’s always nice to hear another person’s view point on a subject. I think it helps readers to be more informed.

    BTW: I like you avatar.

    Hi Mark,

    I know you’ve done interviews with other artists, so it would be interesting to read a post from one as well.

    Hi Hunter,

    Isn’t it amazing how we do get attached to the author? Some days they could write “a not so good post”, and we still follow them because they gained our loyalty.

    Hi Natural,

    There are some aspects of blogging that get confusing, especially if you’re technologically challenged, like me, so asking for help is a great way to get past the hurdle.

    Grab yourself another “A” πŸ™‚

    Hi Ian,

    I agree, a (personal) blog does develop a personality all it’s own, and if that gets lost, a decline in readership is inevitable.

    Business blogs like yours are a little different. You have posts that are great lessons, and like you said, they could be written by others without sacrificing your “fans”.

    Hi J2R,

    Funny, I was waiting to see if anyone would bring up the subject of what outsourcing really is. I’m finding the term is being used quite loosely.

    I appreciate your applause, however, I don’t feel I’ve mastered all aspects of blogging. For me, it’s like “continuing education”.

  11. Hi Barbara,

    I love having guest posts on my blog – I think they’re all part of the community aspect of blogging, and a great way to promote your blog. The first ‘heavy traffic’ I got to my blog was because of a guest post kindly donated by Damien of Postcards from the Funny Farm.

    I’m beginning to see blogging as a kind of ‘gift economy’ which is why it’s so good at creating community, so at least for now I’m exchanging guest blog posts rather than buying them.

    I would love to have a professional wordpress theme designed for my blog – it’s something I’m going to be looking into.

    Thanks again for a thought provoking post.

    David

    David | beplayfuls last blog post..How to be an Everyday Clown

  12. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi David,

    Blogging is a “gift economy”, isn’t it? As a community grows, we all learn new and intersting things.

    Changing the theme to match you and the personality of your blog is always an exciting endeavor. I’ll be watching for it.

  13. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    You’re always giving us something to think about!

    Would you, or do you, outsource any part of your blogging activities?

    I outsource to my husband all of the time. πŸ™‚ He knows all the coding stuff and has taught me so much. I certainly wouldn’t be where I’m at without him. I’m able to do a lot of it on my own from what he taught me, but he still helps a lot esp. when I’m doing something new.

    Would you use a guest writer?

    My husband will be making some posts on my blogs in the very near future. It’s something we’ve been working together on, but he has done most of it. It’s some great info I can’t wait for people to read.

    I have another blog I’m wanting to do in the future where I would have a lot of guest writers.

    How do you feel about bloggers who use outsourcing?

    Well, for me it depends on what they are outsourcing. If outsourcing frees them up to do the most important things, then great.

  14. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Ah ha, I have another student like Natural, who answers all of the questions. Grab yourself an “A” Jennifer.

    How fortunate you are to have a husband who can not only help you with the back end stuff, but will also become a guest writer. That’s exciting. I’m looking forward to reading his posts. You’ll be the first husband and wife team (bloggers) that I’m aware of.

    Some blogs do use tons of guest writers, and seem to do fairly well. It gives their readers a variety, and often that’s what visitors are looking for.

  15. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, Yes, I am very fortunate!!!

    Don’t get to accustomed to my husband writing though. He’ll be back to his school absorbed, nonblogging self in a few weeks. πŸ™‚

    Jennifers last blog post..Six Steps to Become Assertive (and Nice)

  16. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    @Barbara – thanks for the compliment on my avatar. I’m still having a problem getting them to work on my site. I think maybe I have another plugin mess’n with it or my template simply doesn’t like them.

    As far as I understand, you just simply activate the plugin and in the settings tell it to show gravatars, right?

    @Hunter – Copyblogger is a perfect example of guest bloggers. Anymore I think there are more guest bloggers than Brain’s articles. Does this make you not visit Copyblogger or do you never go there anyway?

    Just curious

    John Hoffs last blog post..Fear Can Ruin Your Business From Within

  17. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I can see the advantage to outsourcing and I’m not saying I never will, but I have a hard time letting go. If I let someone guest post, then I give up one of my days. Someday that might be good to have some help, but right now I’m too selfish. I like the idea of the behind the scene stuff, but I’m too small to mess with that yet. What I’d really like is for someone to read all the other blogs for me and comment on my behalf. That’s where much of my time seems to go!

    Debbie Yosts last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Mama’s Back

  18. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John,

    If you use WordPress, just go “options”. I set the size of the avatar to 80 and the rating to “G”. Then hit update. Email me if you’re still having a problem.

    Hi Debbie,

    Yes, reading and commenting does take a lot of time, especially if you want to read a lot of blog posts and leave meaningful comments. Sometimes I do leave short comments just to let others know I read their post. Other times, I get interrupted with work or life, and don’t have time to leave a comment…but then I will go back a day or two later and have my say.

  19. @ John, I do read CopyBlogger, so that’s a bit of an exception. However, I don’t read every post carefully, and I do look at who wrote a post before deciding if I’m going to read it.

    CopyBlogger is fortunate to have fabulous guest posters that complement Brian’s work very well, but that’s not what I’ve found to normally be the case with guest posting.

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..More Bang For The Buck: High ROI Opportunities

  20. Hi Catherine!

    I just want to give you some information about Outsourcing and SEO.

    Outsourcing is so efficient that you don’t even have to do a thing but advertise and market your product. Even product development and research can be outsourced. If you understand how to take advantage of outsourcing and where to pinpoint creditable, quality individuals or services that offer cheap outsourcing you can grow quite a business model through outsourcing.

    While, Search engine optimization is the course of creating a Web site for the search engine rankings that the traffic to your site. SEO is a continuous process, starting with the first optimization of the website, monthly maintenance of the site, the regular evaluation of the search results and the adjustments to the site.

    I hope this can help you.

  21. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Outsource IT Provider,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Your advice has added great value to the subject of outsourcing and SEO.