When you have a blog, there are many fixes and changes that many wish they could do to their blog to make it better, more user friendly or simply safer, but many bloggers tend to run into two problems. Either they lack the skills needed to make the changes or the amount of time it takes to do something outside of their comfortable skillset results in spending time that would be much better spent doing the fun blog stuff – like writing!
But many bloggers struggle with determining whether they should outsource some of the more tedious blog chores or struggle and do it themselves. So how do you decide whether you should tackle upgrading WordPress yourself or designing a custom template for your blog? Here are some things to consider before you break out your online checkbook – or close it up if you tend to open it too freely!
First off, does your blog earn any revenue? If it does, this often makes it a much easier decision if you decide to hire a company to design a custom template or to design a logo for your blog. When you look at your blog’s expenses versus revenue, you might decide to set apart part of the earnings from the blog to offset anything you’d like to spend money on. It is much easier to spend $200 on a killer custom blog design when your blog made $400 last month than it is if your blog only made $5 last month.
If it takes you a full day to do a simple upgrade on WordPress, you may decide it is worth the cost of paying someone to do the full backup and upgrade it for you, that way you free up that day to do something else much more productive. Regardless of what blog platform you use, there are people who do the backups and upgrades for a small fee.
Plain and simple, some people enjoy doing things like working on their blog template or finding and trying out new plugins, the same tasks that other bloggers find tedious and annoying. If you can happily spend an entire day trying out some new plugins or designing and tweaking a theme, then why would you want to take that away from yourself? If you love to do it, don’t think you “have” to outsource it unless there is a reason for you to do it.
Moderators just aren’t for forums. If you have a popular blog with lots of comments, especially if you tend to post many posts each day, it can take up a huge amount of time to moderate comments. While smaller blogs don’t have much problem with trolls and spam, if you have a large and popular blog, you probably have to moderate all comments instead of using the “only moderate first time commenters” setting, even when you have a spam filter such as Akismet in place. You can hire a trusted moderator (consider regular commenters or people in the industry you are close to) to deal with the moderating and then he or she can raise any issue to your attention as needed. Since this can easily be one of the most time consuming everyday blog chores, it can be valuable to outsource this to someone you know and trust. And yes, trust is a big thing, you don’t want to hire someone to approve and moderate your blog only to discover they have been sneaking in links to their personal viagra or adult site on the sly!
If your blog deals with a subject that requires you to keep on top of news in the industry, you could consider outsourcing some of the research, such as artices online and blogs discussing the topic. Then you have all the information at your fingertips when you go to write it. Some areas have huge amounts of news and updates that even someone doing it full time can have trouble keeping up. Hire someone who can weed out the duplicate stories and give you the best of the best and the most unique stories and points of view that you can then comment on or link to.
What about the content, can you outsource any of that? First, if your voice and/or persona is the draw on your website, you probably want to be careful how you approach this. For you, guest blogging is the way to go, where you hand pick either authors or entries and showcase them as guest bloggers. But if you are writing on something where it could be Joe Webmaster writing about it, such as your blog on Golden Retrievers, then you can more easily get away with outsourcing your content. But you first want to ensure you are getting quality, coherent copy - while outsourcing to India might be cheap, you don’t always get the quality you are looking for. And also, probbaly the most important, you want to make sure whoever writes anything for you isn’t just copying from someone else’s site or blog!
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide where the balance is between doing it yourself and the cost of getting someone to do it for you. If your blog is a money maker, that decision is made much easier, since it won’t cost you more than you earn to do so.