This is a guest post contribution by Chris Ducker.
One of the biggest pain points that comes up when I talk to bloggers about growing their blogs is that there simply isn’t enough time in the day to do everything they need to, to truly start to catapult the growth of their blog/s.
As someone that is all about productivity and helping other entrepreneurs achieve the ability to ‘buy time’ and inject that additional time into their businesses and lives, I’ve seen dramatic changes in not just productivity levels, but also income levels, after strategizing with content marketers on the way they can simply get more done by working with, and building a virtual team.
So, what I’ve decided to do is put together the following list to help you discover the different tasks you can outsource to virtual staff, along with the type of worker that would naturally handle those tasks, to make your delegation as easy (and pain free!) as possible.
I’ve included the different type of virtual worker in this list, because its important to understand that there is no one ‘Super VA’ that can do everything for you. If you want to experience real success in working with virtual assistants then you need to hire for the role, not for the task (unless of course you are literally just outsourcing a task that needs to be completed, such as a logo being designed!).
I’ve also broken the list up into five clearly different sections for easy digestion and additional brainstorming, as follows:
- On-Going Marketing
Remember, this list is not final in any capacity. Some of these tasks you might never get around to delegating, there might even more others that I’ve not included that you’d be rushing to offload, if you could.
Making time to properly research and prepare for your content creation is an important part of the process. However, many bloggers simply don’t spend the time they sometimes need to get all their ducks in a row, before the ‘creation’ begins, because of time constraints, which is a shame.
1. Make a list of topic ideas in any niche, using Google Keyword Tool. (General VA, Writer, SEO VA)
2. Group similar topics and figure out if they can be turned into a series of posts, or even more – ebooks, etc. (General VA, Writer)
3. Figure out what TYPE of content should be created to serve the topic best. Written, audio, video, etc. (General VA)
4. Produce an outline for posts, videos, podcasts, or a rough storyboard for other type of content, such as Slideshare docs, etc. (General VA, Writer)
5. Find similar online content and create a ‘Likewise List’ to use later on, when promoting. (General VA)
6. Identify Facebook and LinkedIn groups, which can be used to promote and share content when published. (General VA)
A lot of bloggers and other types of online content creators have real problems ‘letting go’ of this part of the process. However, there are so many different tasks involved here that its simply impossible to be good at all of it.
I do want to say, however, that there is one thing that you should NEVER outsource – and that’s your actual CONTENT. Meaning, write everything yourself, shoot and record everything yourself. It’s your voice, your personality, your stories and experience that people are following you for, and tuning in for.
7. Edit video, including intro and outro bumpers and lower thirds. (A/V VA)
8. Transcribe the entire video file into Word, to use as blog posts, YouTube description, and more! (Writer, General VA)
9. Edit and finalize podcast session, including intro, outro, CTA’s and list episode mentionables. (General VA, A/V VA)
10. Transcribe the podcast episode for use as additional SEO content. (General VA, Writer)
11. Transcription into a free PDF download (General VA, Writer)
12. Create ‘Draft Post’ in WordPress, adding bold, italics, etc., to your pre-written content. (General VA)
13. Format the Post: Add H2 and H3 tags to sub-headings and sub-sections and bold, as needed. (General VA)
14. Find and add an image to the post, if needed. Best to use your own images whenever possible. (General VA)
15. Add image title, alt-text & caption into WordPress. (General VA)
16. Embed related video content. (General VA)
17. Capture video screenshots if required, then resize and insert them into the post if needed. (General VA)
18. Embed any audio, or podcast sessions if required. (General VA)
19. Put the post in the correct categories, and be sure to also include relevant tags. (General VA)
20. Optimize the post for SEO using the correct plugin’s. (General VA, SEO VA)
21. Create ‘Tweetable’ images to use on Facebook, etc. (General VA)
After all that research and content creation, its time to share your work with the world. Not exactly super time intensive, but with some solid procedures in place, you will literally never have to do any of this stuff again.
22. Upload video to YouTube, with title, links, keywords, categories, as well as transcribed text. (General VA)
23. Add video to relevant playlist. (General VA)
24. Upload audio file to server, tagged and with podcast image attached. (General VA)
25. Final proof read for spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. (Writer, General VA)
26. Draft and schedule ‘Broadcast’ email in Aweber. (General VA, Writer)
27. Schedule post, or simply hit ‘Publish’. (General VA)
Once your content has been published, promotion takes over. After all, there’s no point in spending all this time to solve problems and answer questions for your audience, unless you work just as hard in getting as many eyeballs on your work as possible.
This can be incredibly time-consuming in today’s very savvy, social world. The following list will get you moving faster than ever, all with the help of your virtual workers.
28. Share your content on your personal social media accounts, as well as your blog’s Facebook page. (General VA)
29. Share your content on related Facebook and LinkedIn groups. (General VA)
30. Schedule Tweets to go out every 6-hours for the next 48-hours after publishing content. (General VA)
31. Social bookmark the content on StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, etc. (General VA. Writer)
32. Contact anyone you mentioned in the content with a pre-written email, as they might like to share it. (General VA)
33. Comment on the Top 5 posts from your ‘Likewise List’. (General VA,Writer)
34. Wake up your Email List by sending that drafted ‘Broadcast’ message. (General VA, Writer)
35. Social bookmark any content commented on, helping to gain more traffic to the post. (General VA)
36. Share the featured image of your post on Pinterest, Flickr, etc., including a link back! (General VA)
37. Share infographic’s on the top distribution sites. (General VA)
38. Share PDF transcripts of your video, or podcast content to Docstoc, SlideShare, etc. (General VA)
39. Promote your SlideShare content on LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook in order to get homepage exposure. (General VA)
40. Post your ‘Tweetable’ images to all your social media profiles and pages, to promote clickthru’s. (General VA)
There is a big difference between ‘promoting’ and ‘marketing’ in my eyes. Promoting is what you do to ‘get the word’ out there about something you’re in the process of, er, well, promoting!
Marketing, on the other hand is an on-going way to create opportunities and bring in traffic, opt-in’s and ultimately, business – this is exactly the type of area that a lot of bloggers take their eyes off of once their content has been published and initially promoted.
Silly move – why stop telling the world about your stuff? Keep doing it – whenever relevant, I say!
41. Add this recent content to your ‘Blog Bank’, for easy access when creating fresh content and linking. (General VA)
42. Build internal links to new content from your new archive. (General VA,SEO)
43. Create a summary of the content and include it on Tumblr. Add media and a ‘Read More’ link to original. (Writer, General VA)
44. Social bookmark the summarized content on Tumblr, as well as StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, etc. (General VA)
The big problem here is that a lot of bloggers are quite trapped in their ways of doing it all themselves. This is not surprising considering that starting, growing and running a blog is a pretty lonely caper, lets face it!
However, as you can see, the General VA role is the one person you need to start looking at bringing on full-time as soon as you’re able to. How much more could you get done, how many more posts could you publish, products could you create and events to could you attend if you had someone handling the majority of this for you?
I know a lot of bloggers haven’t ventured done the outsourcing road yet, so I’m happy to answer as many questions as you can fire at me, in the comment section below and if you’re attending the ProBlogger Event in August, I simply can’t wait to meet you in person – it’s going to be a lot of fun!
Chris Ducker is a serial entrepreneur, blogger, podcaster and speaker. He is also the author of the new book, Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive and Build Your Dream Business. You can follow him on Twitter.
Great post – there are so many menial tasks that we bloggers do ourselves as we start a blog up from nothing and we tend to get into the habit of doing it that way.
Do you have ideas of where to source virtual staff? Problogger jobs is a good place to start, but are there other places too?
Funny you should ask! I can help! I work as a VA based in England. I can provide an excellent quality of service, always timely and efficient. I would love to know more about your needs so that I can reply to your query in more detail. My website is currently under construction, but please feel free to email me maddyredpen at gmail dot com
There are plenty of places to find VAs online. The job posting sites like Elance, etc., are a good place to start, with one-off tasks, etc.
Recruitment firms like the one I own, Virtual Staff Finder are a good place to go for team-based outsourcing needs.
Really usefull for me.
your blog always has a good thing to motivate and let me think big, every time i visit it.
And now i am thinking to visit it again.
This things will definitely help me in creating virtual staff and creating team in my college in future for blogging and other projects.
Yolanda, I use odesk.com to source virtual staff. I’ve found the most reliable assistants are in the Philippines though I’ve outsourced to most of Asia and Indian subcontinent.
The key is finding someone who understands English well and is prepared to say no or say when they don’t understand something – one of the big cultural challenges.
Thanks Ed, I’ll have a look there see how I go. Your advice is much appreciated!
yes,its quite informative post.blogging is vast field and we always get healthy information from your blog.
I am new on blogging, and I am really thankful to the bloggers like you who share their experience and information with us. I appreciate your work.
I love this list! Thanks Chris for such a thorough list of blogging related tasks that can be outsourced. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to do everything yourself.
There’s certainly no need to do everything yourself anymore, thats for sure, Gabrielle.
Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the comment.
You said it right, time constraints often play spoil sport, when it comes to the growth of a blog. I’ve been facing it in the past and present! In the past, due to my college and studies related commitments, I couldn’t devote time, as I originally wished to, towards blogging and growing it.
And now, at present, it is my day job that can be blamed for time constraint issues! And this post, I must say, is very handy for folks like me.
Outsourcing is something that I’ve never really thought about as of now. But hey, there’s still time to ponder about it and give it a try! And that breaking up of the process, listing the different sections and explanation about different sections was really informative!
I would like to hear more about how to know when a task is worth outsourcing. Like yes, everything is easier. But what about ROI?
It all comes down to what you value your time at, Rob.
For example, when I consult I charge $750 per hour. So, I simply ask myself if this task is going to take, lets say an hour, is it truly wroth my time – or could I (should I?) be doing something with more value attached to it, for me… and my business.
Likewise, getting an ebook designed by a VA that costs $180, for example, and then selling that ebook for $20 over and over again – thats also a great ROI.
Excellent article Chris, I believe that not just Bloggers but Entrepreneurs in general are “quite trapped in their ways of doing it all themselves.” This is very understandable, as their blog, or business is their baby and they’re reluctant to bring in a “baby sitter” to free up their time, to concentrate on content creation and business growth. One of the advantages of working with a VA is that you can take “baby steps” with task delegation. Many VA’s, including myself, work with clients on an as needed basis, requiring no monthly hourly minimum. This presents a great opportunity for bloggers and entrepreneurs to test run a VA’s services and see whether that particular VA is the right fit for their personality, business and work style.
you have just mentioned 44 awesome points here,this is great.Thanks a lot for such an informative post for us.
Thanks Chris! This was really helpful for me and where I am with my blog. Now is as good a time as any to start delegating tasks so I can focus on what really matters for my business and blog.
Glad that the post resonated with you so much.
Many entrepreneurs dig the idea of working with a VA, but get a bit lost when it comes to finding the actual tasks they want to outsource. This is a nice list you’ve put together here, Chris, and a great jumping off point for entrepreneurs new to virtual staff to start putting their tasks together.
The tasks on this blog post are primarily around content, but you go into much more detail in your book regarding a host of other uses, examples, and case studies. As someone who lives in the Philippines and works regularly with Filipinos, I can say the book was spot-on regarding virtual staff in the Philippines and a must-read for someone looking to get started. Nice job, man.
Appreciate you commenting, and thanks for the kind words on Virtual Freedom, too.
Just trying to change the world… one entrepreneurial mindset at a time! :-)
Freelancer is my option virtual staff.
Interesting article, but finding a PA with all those disciplines isn’t going to be easy! ;)