I have been getting a lot of questions lately about how I found my outsourcers and if I have any tips to provide regarding outsourcing. I don’t have any vast knowledge and/or experience with outsourcing but I figured I will just share my own story of how I found my amazing outsourcer from the Philippines and I’m sure it will provide some answers.
I am also sure some of you might be surprised how easy it was. It turns out that outsourcing is really isn’t as difficult as some of the so called “gurus” with all those outsourcing courses would like you to think.
I have been thinking about getting a full time employee for quite some time. I had some minor experience with project outsourcing but I never had someone work for me full time.
I have outsourced my Pingback Power plugin on Elance which was a great experience and turned out great. I used oDesk to outsource the work on version 2.0 of Pingback Power and since you didn’t hear anything about it being launched you could probably guess things haven’t been as good as with the first version.
I also used Fiverr quite a bit for different types of services and I personally think Fiverr is awesome and I am amazed to see what people will do for only $4 ($1 goes to Fiverr). I strongly recommend you check it out and see if you can get stuff done for you for only $5. I am sure you will be surprised to learn how much time you can save by paying others to do stuff for you.
With such little experience I really didn’t know how to go about finding my self a full time employee from the Philippines. The obvious (and usually stupid) thing to do is to start looking for some kind of product about outsourcing.
And I did that.
But I am happy to say I didn’t buy anything. I am glad to say that I’m starting to overcome my happy trigger finger .
I knew exactly what I was looking for and I also knew where I can find them so why the hell do I need to pay for something that will tell me what I already know and will only waste my time and my money.
What Was I looking For?
I wanted to find someone from the Philippines to do all my link building for me. I am sick of link building and I have been really neglecting it because of that. In my case, when I don’t like doing something, I will simply won’t do it and when you run your own business it could be a major problem;).
I also wanted to find someone that has some basic experience with SEO and link building and that will be able to learn what I had to teach him quickly. So I knew what I was looking for and I decided to look for it on oDesk.
I posted a job and called it SEO (big mistake) and added a very general description (big mistake). In under 24 hours I had 106 applicants.
If that sounds great to you, than you are wrong and I will explain. It took me days to go over the different applicants and pick 20 that I started emailing with some questions in order to see which one will be the best fit. It took me about a week to filter them out and hire my first full time worker.
What I learned from this first attempt is that you must be as specific as possible in your job posting. I created myself days of work that I could have avoided by simply providing a better job title and job description. That would result in far less applicants and far less time wasted going over their info and picking the one you want.
Bottom line was that I had my worker who was part of a big SEO firm meaning he knew SEO and link building and I decided to let him start working using his own methods just to see how he works and how things progress before I reveal my methods.
It Doesn’t End Here
I was quite excited to have my first full time worker doing SEO work for me but it turns out that it wasn’t the end. A good friend of mine opened an account at http://www.onlinejobs.ph and told me that if I wanted to post a job I can do so using his account.
I heard a lot about OnlineJobs.ph and since my current worker wasn’t from the Philippines and I wasn’t sure about him I decided to check it out since I had nothing to lose.
I started going over their database of outsourcers using the various filters to filter the results and I noticed that I see the email address of the different outsourcers. So instead of posting a job and waiting for applicants to apply I decided to find several good candidates and simply email them.
I emailed 5 outsourcers and got replies from 4. In order to see who is really serious about what they are doing I asked them some basic questions which I expected to get specific answers for. Only one provided me with the answers I was looking for and it was also the only one that answered my first inquiry with the most detailed and honest reply you could expect so I decided to go ahead and see if I can hire him.
I was able to hire him for a very low price and so now I had two workers working for me and building links for my sites. I gave the second worker a different set of URLs and keywords in order to see what he can do. After 3 weeks I quickly learned which one I should keep and so I remained with the worker from the Philippines that I found on OnlineJobs.ph.
He was cheaper, showed better results, better communication and was very eager to learn new things. On top of that, he was also able to write content which turned out to be awesome since he is now writing and submitting posts for my BuildMyRank account saving me tons of time and money.
How I Manage My Outsourcer
Having an outsourcer is great but in order to make full use of his abilities and time you will need to know how to manage him and his work. The good thing is that it is very easy to do these days. Here are the tools I use to manage my outsourcer work.
I use Time Doctor to track that my worker is putting in the hours that he should put in as agreed and I can also see how much time it takes him to do specific tasks. It helps me see improvement over time as a new task that I only showed him will take longer to complete today that it would in a month or two.
Time Doctor also supports screenshots just like oDesk does and that will help you make sure that the hours worked are actually being used for work and nothing else. Time Doctor is free to use as it is in beta and I would gladly pay for using this great tool.
Dropbox is the best cloud service in my opinion. There is a good reason why Apple wanted to buy them a couple of years ago and offered $800 million for that. You will be surprised to know that Dropbox declined that very generous offer but I am getting off course here.
I use Dropbox to share a folder with my outsourcer and I store my excel spreadsheets there with the links I would like him to work on. He also uploads a daily report to the folder for me to check. It makes sharing files so easy and instant and it is simply an amazing service.
I use Excel to create easy to follow and update spreadsheets of the links I would like my outsourcer to focus on at any given time. Excel is without a doubt on of the best tools to come from Microsoft (along with their Windows Live Writer). You can also use Google Docs and share it with your worker.
Skype is what I use for communication. Don’t know of any better or easier solution and I’m sure I don’t need to explain more about it.
What The Future Holds
Even though I have a full time VA doing SEO and link building for me and doing quite a great job at it, there is only so much one person can do. I can’t teach him everything mainly because I don’t know everything myself but also because it would take too much time and money. And more importantly, there is a limit to the number of sites one person can work on at any given time.
This is why I am going to explore outsourcing SEO and link building using one time projects. I am going to test link building services that are offered on the following sites:
The Main Goal
The main goal of this big experiment of mine is to be able to find some outsources that I can use over and over again for every new site I create and get them to the top of the search engines. I would like to find out what type of services work best and which ones don’t work. I would like to find out where is the best place to go when you are looking for one time link building projects.
Bottom line would be to find and create a working plan to follow for every new site I create so all I will do is the keyword research and the website creation. All of the link building will be outsourced which I think is a better way to go and to build my online business.
I will be updating you on this subject in the coming future once I get some results.
To your success (and mine ),