Behind the scenes blogging part 7

Running a blog is often a one-man (or one-woman) show. You, the blogger, run every aspect of the business, from writing posts, to promoting them, to fixing the site and juggling the numbers. And I’m sure you’ve found that there’s a LOT more to blogging than you expected when you first started out.

This is especially true if your blog is doing well. A hobby blog can be neglected, just updated when you have time and motivation. But a successful blog needs attention to keep running successfully — and there’s always more to do. At a blogging conference I once attended, a non-blogger mentioned that bloggers could do a particular task during their slow time, when everything else was finished. Everyone burst out laughing — bloggers don’t have a slow time!

This feeling of always having more to do can be overwhelming, especially if the things that you have to do are:
1. Really boring or
2. Not in your skillset.

But luckily, you aren’t alone. You can outsource some of the many tasks on your to-do list, to leave you time to work on the fun and profitable part of your business.

How to know what to outsource

You might find it helpful to take some time to write down everything you do when you work on your blog. Consider every step, from brainstorming topics, to writing the post, to promotion. Also think of things that aren’t necessarily day-to-day tasks, like accounting or dealing with website issues.

Then, look at your list, and consider:

  • Which items absolutely have to be done by you?
  • Which do you enjoy doing?
  • Which do you hate doing?
  • Which are not really a good use of your time?

You’ll probably identify a range of tasks that could be outsourced, which are specific to you and your situation. Some of the best blog tasks to outsource are the following:

1. Accounting

In my opinion, the very first thing to outsource is your accounting; an informal poll I recently ran indicates that many bloggers agree. I spent far too many hours every week running the books for my first business (a small tutoring company) and I’m glad to have passed off most of that work on to a bookkeeper and accountant. The fact is, I’m not an accountant, and I don’t know all the ins and outs of tax law — I’d much rather pay someone to ensure my accounts are in order and the tax man is happy.

We use Xero accounting software to manage our finances, and a bookkeeper spends an hour or so a month reconciling accounts within the system. Xero makes invoice creation and payment really simple, so I do that myself — that’s the fun part, right?

We also have an accountant who is worth his weight in gold; he does our personal and business annual income tax return, and offers us great advice whenever we need it. Because we use Xero, his job is a lot easier, and we’re happy with what he charges us. It’s important to get an accountant who understands your business — we went with someone who is based in our home country of New Zealand, since our company is registered there and subject to the laws of that country.

You can outsource your accounting
You can outsource your accounting

2. Content creation

Outsourcing content creation can also be a great way to save time. Of course, which content you outsource will depend on your blogging style. If you want to be the author of every blog post you publish, outsourcing blog posts isn’t going to work for you! You could consider including a guest post once a month, though.

You could also hire someone to come up with a list of topics for you to write about, or to do the research for posts that require facts and figures. You could hire a copywriter for blog pages or email newsletters, or welcome contributors for blog posts.

3. Preparing blog posts in WordPress (uploading, formatting, optimising and proofreading)

Many bloggers hire Virtual Assistants (VAs) for basic tasks such as preparing blog posts for publication. It’s surprising how long it takes to copy and paste a post into WordPress (or whichever content management system you use), add tags and an excerpt, format the post’s headings and quotes, and generally get it ready for publication. It’s one of those things that shouldn’t take as long as it does, and is a major time suck.

Hiring someone for this kind of work is most successful if you can write batches of blog posts at a time, and have the VA edit them all at once.

4. Image sourcing and editing

A VA can also help with image creation — either finding images to illustrate your posts, editing photos you took yourself, or creating graphics like Pinterest pins and infographics. There are plenty of tools out there to help with this — we like Canva. Remember to remind your VA to compress images before she uploads them to your site, to keep your page speeds up.

photo-1430760903787-4d91bbf15384
You can outsource graphic design

5. Audio or video editing

If you’re creating a podcast or have a video blog, you could outsource the editing. If you find someone you work well with, this could save you hours every week!

6. Social media promotion

There are plenty of tools you can use to automate a lot of your social media promotion (Ahalogy and Buffer are two of many), but if you want to get good reach on social media, you need to invest quite a bit of time. Or, hire a social media manager to spend time on it for you.

If you hire someone to look after your social media, make sure to spend some time showing him the kind of posts you’d like him to create, and talk clearly about aims and expectations. For the first few weeks, review the posts he creates before publication, to make sure they are in line with your style.

7. Website maintenance

Your website is your livelihood, and it needs to be kept in good condition. But, just like taxi drivers don’t necessarily do their own car maintenance and chefs don’t repair their own ovens, you don’t have to spend all your time working on your site. If your site is running well, is loading in less than two seconds, and you know enough to keep your security and software up to date, you might not need a web technician on your team.

But if you’re spending more than an hour a month on tweaks, if you’re seeing frequent downtime or slow load times, it’s worth considering getting outside help. You can either identify issues on your site and contact a developer to fix them for you, or use a service like Performance Foundry’s Managed WordPress Hosting to leave the tech stress on someone else’s shoulders — and see great performance improvements too.

Have a technician on your team
Have a technician on your team

What else to outsource?

There are hundreds of other tasks and roles that you can outsource to save you time and stress — it depends on you and your business. However, some tasks are best handled by you, the blog owner. Those will also vary from blog to blog — what excites you might be deadly boring to the next blogger — but I’d recommend you always do the final edit of all blog posts before publication to make sure they fit your style.

How can we help you?

We know that as a blogger, your time is limited — and we can help save you time and get results. Our managed WordPress hosting and maintenance package saves our clients hours every week, and makes sure their sites are performing well. One of our new clients has seen his site loading time drop from 12 seconds to around 1 second, and the extra ad revenue he’s seeing as a result of this improvement is paying the cost of the hosting for him. Plus he knows his site is in good hands. Check it out to see if it’s for you.

Note: some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means we get a small commission if you purchase after clicking through, but it doesn’t cost you any more!