Note: This article is based on a roundtable presentation I gave at Blogalicious.
You may not know this, but many famous or “big” bloggers have an entire team of people behind them. This invisible (but essential) support staff can number into the dozens, and include all types of professionals – from photographers to attorneys to copywriters. Bloggers of that size may even hire people to do the hiring for them! However, famous bloggers aren't the only people who can use a little bit of extra help. Even if you're blog is still very small or very new, you may find yourself hiring someone, and knowing when and how to outsource blog tasks is extremely important. No matter what your blog goals are (though this especially true if your goal is to become huge), finding other people to work with is essential to your blog's success.
Why Hire Someone?
There are three big reasons for hiring someone to assist with your site. One, your blog is growing (congratulations!), but there's still only 24 hours in a day (so sorry). As your blog becomes larger – in terms of articles, visitors, members, etc. – it will require more maintenance. Updates, edits, SEO…it's all necessary and it all takes time. Before you know it, you're spending every free waking moment on your blog, and it's still not enough. When the work that needs to be done outpaces what you are physically capable of doing, it may be time to bring on extra help.
The second reason to hire someone is because there are certain tasks which need to be done that you don't have the skill set or education to do. Yes, you could teach yourself the basics of graphic design or accounting or app development, but expertise takes awhile to acquire. And because time is finite resource, while you're teaching yourself this brand new thing, you're not putting that time into your blog. Don't get me wrong, knowing how to do some html coding or photoshop editing is wonderful, but if you're talking about a complicated project which is going to take hours to complete (not including the time you need to become proficient in the first place), it's worth hiring out for it. Remember the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
The third reason is because of life changes. Maternity leave, sick leave, bereavement leave, travel…if a life event is going to pull you away from your blog for a significant amount of time, consider hiring someone to take over for even part of that time. I've had two incidences this year where I needed to take extensive time away from my site (the first for my wedding and honeymooon, the second for family medical leave), and I hired someone to keep everything updated and rolling along while I was away.
One last note. Ideally, you should have people that you'd like to hire in mind before you need them. There's nothing worse than a sudden emergency forcing you to take whatever help you can get…no matter how good it is or how expensive it is. Investing the effort now into making a list of people you'd like to work with in the future is time well spent. It doesn't have to be anything formal or fancy; a simple iPhone note or email to yourself (something like, “Keep XYZ Design in mind for graphics work” is enough). The point is that you don't want to start completely from scratch when you are ready to hire someone.
What Kind of Jobs Can You Hire For?
You can hire for almost anything! That doesn't mean you should, of course, but there are tons of people out there who specialize in working with and helping bloggers. Here's a quick (but by no means inclusive) list of some jobs you can hire for:
- Virtual Assistant
- Web Developer
- Graphic Designer
- Community Manager
- Beta Tester
- App Developer
- Social Media Manager
- Ad Salesperson
And I'm sure that list could go on and on; this was just off the top of my head. When you're thinking of bringing on help, ask yourself which tasks you're ready to outsource (maybe there's something you always avoid doing or, as mentioned above, there's something you don't know how to do), and prioritize them from most to least important. Once you know which jobs you're ready to hire for, then it's time to start looking!
Next week, in part 2 of this series, I'll cover where you can find people to work with, how to screen your new hires or potential hires, and how to communicate job responsibilities. In part 3, we'll talk about how to protect yourself as employer and the big payment question.
Have you hired anyone for your blog? If so, how did the process go? Please share in the comments!
I did =) I have techical support for marketing and design. Thank you for the article! ♥
I’m looking forward for the part 2 of this article. It’s a perfect timing because I am currently looking for contributors on my blog since I am very busy nowadays.
Did you ever find a good assistant? I’d love to know…..am looking 🙂
Thanks for writing this. I think it would be interesting to discuss the nuances of hiring including ethics and pay. I’m glad you didn’t suggest hiring an unpaid intern; I’ve heard of established bloggers doing this and think it’s wrong.
I hired a photographer but it was a kind of a barter- he needed pics for his profile and I for my blog 🙂
i hired a graphic designer who created (ofc. with me) the header of my blog, my business cards and who teached me about google analytics and stuff like that. well he also bought me my webadress and a email adress so hes managing the server as well. I also have a very good friend which studies photographie and she introduces me into video and picture editing and she helps me making some nice vids too. so i have a lot of ppl around me who help me with my blog – its so neccessary to get some help couse if you can see that your blog is growing, you cant manage all the things by your own, even if you work full time beside blogging (like i do) at the moment….
check out my new outfit post form today 🙂
I just hired and paid a Web Developer for a problem I was having with my sidebar widgets in WordPress. Paid him $75.00 and in 3 days he did nothing. I played around with the widgets and solved the issue myself. He was paid through Pay Pal and refuses to return the money saying he spent time “researching” my issues. Anyone know how I can get my payment refunded?
Anyone have a reasonable priced Web Developer who they trust? I still want to update my WP blog.
That sounds like a typical web developer lol. Sheryl, you can and should file a dispute via paypal. It’s easy and paypal is great about protecting buyers.
I’ve hired people on Fiverr to do edit things on wordpress for me — the last guy I worked with knew it was urgent so he did it before I even paid him (within an hour of me messaging him) and it only ended up costing me $25.
I stumbled across this article, thought it was interesting and saw your comment. I’m a web developer from San Diego, CA and I build/maintain websites. Sorry to hear about the bad experience you had with your previous web developer, we are not all bad. If you are ever interested in giving a web developer another shot I would be more than happy to help you out. You can take a look at my portfolio on my website (www.briankraker.com). Also I have no problem collecting money once the task is done, or even at the end of the month 😉
If you would like to contact me I would love to talk with you and see how I can help you out in the best way possible!
I have not reached the capacity to need to hire someone for my blog however, I am ready willing and available to be hired so if anyone is reading … I’m your girl. 😀
I think you are absolutely right about hiring people with specific area expertise and for making sure blog goes smoothly. In fact, I’ve hired a photographer, which is really good. What I miss is a technical assistance ref WordPress and for not getting lost in all platforms, affiliate programs, etc. Blogging is quite a challenge and still – what a nice passion.
Lovely WE girls!
Yes, for one of my blogs I hired a friend who was looking for work to run the blog for me. It was a HUGE help and she has been doing an awesome job. The issue is, the vast majority of bloggers, especially style bloggers, aren’t making an income on their blogs so hiring isn’t practical, unless you outsource it, get someone from one of those micro work sites, or find an affiliate marketer who works for cheap ($5 to $10 per post).
I was hired an intern for oneof my blogs? I wasin a working trip and needed help urgently since I did not want to disappoint my readers. She did an incredible job, Paid and unpaid interns are relevant for every blogger.
This is a wonderful post. I have long been an advocate of outsourcing tedious tasks. Case in point – I make a moderately successful living as a blogger and writer – lets say my time is worth $70 an hour. I outsource things like web maintenance and online research. I’ve used Odesk ( and I highly recommend it) and hire 2 VAs – a higher skilled one (for web things) at $12 an hour and a research /email assistant at $4 an hour . The trick is to start slowly. Managing an assistant remotely takes time and practice. And you will get ‘screwed’ once in a while. I did, but fast forward 2 years later I am managing about 5 remote workers quite well and my blog is doing wonderfully because of it.
Thanks for your comments. Do you have a recommend for an assistant? Or where to look?
I completely agree that we can’t do it all. I think I will be hiring someone to create a social media strategy for me and maybe help me out with that as I just leave it for a last minute.
If you guys need help with your blog designs, please contact me or visit my shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/kotrynabassdesign
I would love to hire someone to work on the branding my travel blog.
Hi Sometimes She Travels!
Would love to help you with this, let me know if you’re still looking! XO
Courtney, would love your info!
Not sure what you need but I may have referral. Am a big outsourcer.
Looking for a photographer for my blog in the nyc area. Anyone know where to look?