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Outsourcing Tech Tasks When You’re Not Making Any Money Yet (Episode #32)

From a listener question, (Karen from kipkitchen.com)… Like many blog owners, she is faced with certain technical tasks on her blog which she doesn’t have the experience to handle. And she asks, “Many internet marketeers’ advice is to outsource the work but we have concerns as we’re not making money yet. What would you recommend?”

This one came in from Karen. And Karen, you are the first person to submit a question to me for the podcast since I brought it back so I appreciate that very much. So, this question came from Karen and her blog is KipKitchen.com. And her question is probably one that many people feel. And it is this:

“So far, we have been doing the maintenance of our food blog KipKitchen.com ourselves and it is often tough. We are not PHP programmers. Fixing broken links and other webmaster tasks are difficult to handle. Many internet marketers advise us to outsource the work but we have concerns as we are not making money yet. What would you recommend?”

So, this is a great question to bring forth early on here because I know this is one that many people feel. You are up against that technical glass ceiling, so to speak, where you don’t really know certain things with your blog or possibly you just straight up do not have time to do it but yet you do not want to spend any money at all because you are not making anything yet.

First thing that I want to do before I talk about a solution to this is I want to talk about that catch-22 situation that you are in, Karen. It is a very common catch-22 but realize this…

You are going to continue not to make any money with your blog if you spend all your time doing all these things or trying to do these things that you are not any good at.

And that is probably the basic foundation of the advice that you are getting from many of these other marketers is the fact that you do not know how to do it, you should not be trying to spend your time figuring it out.

And I agree with that advice because here is the thing…

If you want to make money with this blog at KipKitchen.com, you are going to need to do certain things to allow the money to come to you. Probably in the order of building your list and building products to sell, making offers… Those are the things that are going to be the shortest path between where you are at and bringing that business in. And that really is where your time should be spent.

Any time that you are spending not doing that but instead going around and trying to fix broken links or doing little maintenance tasks on your blog, that is time you are not going to be spending building those assets that are going to make you money. So it is a catch-22 but it is definitely one that is self-imposed and I would encourage you to question the assumption that you can’t spend money if you are not making it yet.

Now, if you go out into the real world (and what I mean here is go off the internet), you probably will see that no business out there is going to making money before they ever spend anything. Generally, we kind of know that there is going to be an initial investment upfront in order to put the place of business upfront, to invest in product that you can sell, things like that.

In the regular world, we tend to have that expectation that for some reason when it gets to the internet, we think the rules are different and that we should be able to build up a nice income stream without ever spending a dime. I don’t know where that expectation came from because it is actually not true.

And this situation is proof of that concept.

So you need to be willing to spend money before you’ve actually made it. And in fact, I’ve often found, and I’ve experienced this myself that your best chance of success is going to be found when you invest a little bit of money into it. Because until you have invested a little bit of money into it, it is almost like it’s less serious. And that when you finally invest a little bit of money you got a little bit of skin in that game, you are more likely to pull it off so you didn’t waste your investment.

So with all that being said, I encourage you, Karen, to focus on what you need to do in the short term to build your business and be willing to outsource those things that are not an effective use of your time.

If you are not technically inclined, it’s not a good use of your time to be sitting there trying to figure out how to be your own webmaster. It is perfectly okay, and I think a good idea, for you to have other people jump in and do some of these things for you.

Now, with all that said and done, nobody says that you need to invest a ton of money into these types of things. And there’s a few resources out there that some are maybe familiar with and I’m going to go over them real quick…

One of them is Fiverr. In Fiverr, you can hire people to do many, many kinds of things. Some of them are very odd ball, some of them are quite useful and you can do that for 5$. Now, the average price is 5$. You will see that many of what is called “The Gigs” on Fiverr have upsells for various things. But generally this is really cheap stuff to have done. And you can have people do things on WordPress on Fiverr and it is a 5$ purchase. And if you take an upsell on anybody’s gig, you’re talking maybe $10 or $15 and I think that we can afford those types of things.

Now, another resource to check out is wpcurve.com. Now, this is a service that you will pay a monthly fee for. It is $69 a month, at least at the time I’m speaking right now, and you basically can have a WordPress expert on your team for $69 a month. Now, obviously this person does not work for you full time. So this is one of those things where you go in there, you submit a particular task. And I believe they have got a set up that if that task takes less than half an hour, they promise same day service on that. And it is a flat rate of $69 a month and it gives you access to this pool of service providers to wpcurve and they can jump in there and do various things on your WordPress blog for you. So that is a really good asset for $69 a month, you can essentially add your own IT guy. And that’s  just with the course of recognition that they don’t only belong to you, not like they are an employee but you probably don’t need somebody full time so that might work out very well for you.

Lastly is oDesk at oDesk.com; very popular outsourcing service, it’s kind of like an eBay for freelancers, so to speak. But what you can do is post a job on there for what you need. You’ll get a bunch of bids; you got to have to go through them, what have you. But if you find that one person that it seems like they’re doing pretty well, you can basically have them as your “go-to” person to take care of things on the blog. And you work out a rate on that which is affordable to you and fair to that person and you manage them through the oDesk interface. And it is a very, very popular way to get things done and have essentially, somebody on your staff without ponying up a lot of money and also without having to hire employees and stuff like that.

So those were the three quick resources for you… That’s Fiverr, Wpcurve and oDesk. And I definitely recommend that you check them out.

And again, all that under the umbrella that I mentioned earlier and that is: be willing to outsource where it makes sense.

You should be willing to invest some money into your business in order to make the money that you think is going to come later. It is going to be really difficult for you to do this from scratch without investing anything. So I really encourage you to change your mindset on that and not artificially put a big wall there that doesn’t have to be there.

Okay, Karen? Once again, that’s Karen from KipKitchen.

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