A Beginners Guide to Outsourcing

When you talk to different entrepreneurs and successful online marketers and ask them for advice, there seems to be one piece they all agree on: get help!

Not mental help (though that may help some days), but rather help with what you are doing. In other words outsource your work!

What is outsourcing?

What exactly is outsourcing? Well, it’s the act of hiring someone, a freelancer, to do a particular job.

It’s quite different from hiring an employee, as generally contracts are on a single “project” basis, whether that project is to write a single 1,000 word article or work 20 hours a week indefinitely doing admin.

With the growth of the internet, the online jobs market has boomed, and there are numerous websites that you can frequent to find freelancers. Some of these are very general in nature, and some cater to more specific needs and niches.

Why should you outsource?

Barring heeding the advice of successful entrepreneurs, there are numerous reasons why you should consider outsourcing:

To free up time

This is the big one when it comes to reasons to consider outsourcing.

By getting others to handle more of the menial and repetitive work, you free up your valuable time.

This time can be spent on more important things, such as aspects of the business you love, growing the business, spending time with family and friends, experiencing life, trying new projects, and much more.

Remember, you can earn more money, but you can’t earn more time!

To get help with work

This is similar to freeing up your time, but in that sometimes you will have simply too much on your plate to get everything done, and it will just pile up.

Hiring one or more freelancers to deal with different aspects of your work can help bring this workload under control.

When you need particular skill-sets

Let’s face it, we do not and cannot know everything. In fact, being a jack-of-all-trades is often detrimental, as it makes you believe you can cope with everything and instead you end up being pulled in multiple directions at once.

As well as that, sometimes others just know more about something than you do. If my car breaks down, I for one would go to a mechanic, because the extent of my car knowledge doesn’t extend beyond my gas tank.

If I need a suit, I’ll head to a tailor. Why then not do this with aspects of a business?

If your site looks crappy, hire a designer. If you need certain site functionality, hire a developer. If you struggle to write more than 200 words a day, hire a writer.

Very little red tape

Another great reason to hire a freelancer, is the lack of red tape: you say you want X thing done, agree a price and timescale, they do it, you pay them. Job done!

There’s no lengthy contracts, no unions, no healthcare, no taxes to deal with – the freelancer has to deal with any of that which is applicable to them, all you ned to do is pay them when the job has been done to satisfaction.

Is outsourcing right for you?

Only you can answer that, but generally if you are lacking a particular skill set, or are struggling with work load, and you have the cash to spare, then outsourcing is a must.

The cons of outsourcing

While outsourcing is a great way to get things done, there are a few issues with it that need to be noted and thought about, both before jumping in and even while you are hiring people.

Cost

Cost is definitely a problem for most people beginning to outsource work. How do you find the right skills, the right quality for the right price?

Generally, people want to pay peanuts for outsourcers, and with international workforces available and happy to work, paying peanuts isn’t hard.

Paying very little for the work is often a backwards way to handle things though. Poorly paid workers will often produce poor quality work, and you often end up having to pay to get it redone by someone with more skill.

You can still find quality workers for less than the norm, but it’s like finding a diamond in the rough: you have to work for it.

Quality

As mentioned above, quality can be an issue, and really it doesn’t always matter whether you are paying below or above the average for the job. Sometimes people advertise they can do something, but simply under perform.

To help counter this, really review the potential freelancer. Check out their previous work and clients, look for testimonials as well.

Most decent websites for finding freelancers will also allow you to ask questions and request samples; make use of these features as they will help you quickly filter out the unsuitable.

Of course sometimes you simply need to take a risk. The best advice here is to give them a small job to assess their work, and “fire” them if it’s not suitable.

Don’t be afraid to fire a freelancer, the worst thing that you can do is hang on to dead weight, it will merely cost you in sanity and pocket.

Initial time cost

To begin with you might feel that you are spending more time looking for the right freelancer than you are doing your own work!

This is always how it goes, but fear not because once you have hired a few freelancers, you will quickly realize just from profiles and their portfolio which ones are more likely to fit with your needs.

It won’t be exact, there will still be ones you need to fire, but that’s how it goes. Persevere to begin with and reap the rewards later down the line.

Where to find freelancers

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of places on the internet where people sell their skills and expertise and it can often be daunting to even start looking.

I’ve outlined below a few of the key sites that should get you off to a good start.

There are two broad types of freelancer sites (I’m not talking individual here, but more marketplace type sites): general and niche.

General freelancer sites

These sites cover pretty much every type of job that can be done online. Think of them as malls of the freelancing world.

Fiverr.com

If you need something doing, and you need it to be cheap, then Fiverr is a good place to start. IT offers a variety of work types from graphic design to videos, article writing to programming.

The price is often the only reason people use Fiverr, as the cost starts at $5 bucks per “gig”. They do allow their sellers to offer increased pricing for additional or more complex work, which can work out very well for everyone concerned.

Personally I have never had much success with Fiverr, often finding the quality matching the price, but your mileage may vary.

Upwork

This is the combination site for Elance and Odesk, and I often call it the Amazon of freelancers, because it covers such a wide variety of work types and has such a large number of freelancers.

You can also find a wide variety of skill levels here, but even in the broad bands they segment people into the skill range varies.

It differs from Fiverr in that you generally post a job and people will apply and bid on the job. This means you can find people who are interested in what you are trying to get done, once you cut through the chaff that is.

Freelancer.com

Freelancer.com is very similar to Upwork, being a large marketplace where you post a job and have people apply for it. In fact Freelancer, was certainly the biggest one before Elance & Odesk merged into Upwork, so now it’s debatable. Either way, there are a lot of freelancers there hungry for work.

Guru.com

This is another large marketplace, but has a smaller focus, mainly supplying freelancers in the IT, development, design and writing areas.

Specific freelancer sites

While the general freelancers sites are good, if you need a specific thing doing, you may want to look at a marketplace that caters solely to that niche. Here are some examples, though it’s far from an exhaustive list.

Writing

There are many writing services out there, but let’s focus on article writing. The 3 most popular that I’m aware of are:

Each has its own pros and cons, but they cater purely to those wanting to find writers.

WordPress

If you are looking for someone to help with your WordPress site, whether it’s a small job or a custom plugin build, the following sites can help:

Graphic Design

When you need some beautiful designs it’s a good idea to check out the freelance networks that focus on graphic design.

  • 99designs is a design contest website, where a brief is given and a price, and multiple designers submit work and you choose the one you want from the selection.
  • DesignCrowd is similar to 99designs, with Design Crowd, you post a brief for free and users submit a design for you.
  • Behance is a network for creatives to showcase their work, but also has a jobs section. It costs a lot to post a job here.
  • Dribbble is very similar to Behance and started out as a site to showcase design work, but now allows job posting. Dribbble is a great resource for finding skilled designers, but does cost a lot to post a job, unlike a lot of other sites.

Other sites

There are plenty more sites out there, catering to a wide and narrow niche alike. Google is your friend here, but make sure to do your due diligence with both the site and potential hires.

How to hire a freelancer

Each freelancing site has different ways to go about hiring, but in general you would follow this procedure:

Write a brief

A brief is a description of the job you want to get done. It should be relatively short but cover the details as much as possible.

For example “I want an article written” won’t yield many responses, but “I would like a 1,000 – 1,500 article for an online marketing website. Topic to be provided to the successful applicant” would make a better brief.

You can and should provide requirements for the job. To keep with the writing example you could say:

  • I require a native or fluent English speaker
  • Articles must be unique, not spun, and must pass Copyspace plagiarism checker
  • Article must be a minimum of 1,000 words max. 2,000 words

The more details you can provide the better, but of course the exact details such as the article title, can be excluded until you have a successful applicant.

If the system allows questions set some, otherwise set some in the job posting itself.

Questions can be used to gauge the skill and appropriateness of the applicant so make sure to set some that would directly help with this.

Alternatively, or in conjunction with, ask for samples of previous work.

Pricing

For me, one of the hardest things to do is set a price, and one of the best things to do is set a price and learn from it. Most applicants will bid on your pricing anyway and you can encourage that in the job brief.

You will get pricing wrong, but after a while you will learn how to set and accept a fair price.

I would recommend searching the very site you are posting on for similar jobs to see what price range they posted at, as it will give you a ballpark figure to work with.

Most networks like Upwork also allow you to modify the price (with agreement from both parties) after the fact, as well as give bonuses etc.

Set a price, whether hourly or a fixed price, depending on the job and post the job brief.

Choosing an applicant

Once posted, you will then start to receive applications. Personally I recommend leaving the job open at least 24 hours before you even look at the applicants as it will give people time to see the job posting and apply for it.

Once you start looking at applicants, quickly go down the list and discard any that obviously won’t be suitable for the job, for example:

  • Anyone without the appropriate skills
  • Anyone with poor spelling or grammar in their application
  • Anyone that failed to answer or incorrectly answered any questions you set.

Once that is done you can start fine combing through the other applicants. If need be contact them for more information.

Depending on the task your are hiring for, it may be worth hiring multiple freelancers and giving them all the same or similar small job. The one/s that succeed with it should be hired, the others fired.

Communicate

I really can’t stress this enough: communicate with your freelancers!

Normally they only have the brief to go on, so make sure you provide as much information as they need to get the job done, and make sure they know to come ask a question if they are unsure; it’s better to reply a couple of times to questions than have a poor job done and have to hire someone else.

I hired a freelancer, now what?

Well, hopefully all went well and you got your work done satisfactorily and for a fair rate for both parties.

If so, then make sure you rate them on the site you hired them from as this will help them get work later on.

Just remember to be fair and honest.

Then, hire them again! The whole point of outsourcing is to make sure that whatever you consider menial or difficult tasks are handled by someone else.

If your experience didn’t quite go as planned, don’t worry, it happens. Pick yourself up, and go find someone else. You may have to go through a few freelancers before you find ones you like that can do the job.

The Bottom Line

Outsourcing your work by hiring a freelancer is really the only way to go if you want to grow your business and free up some of your time, without taking on an employee.

Yes it has some risks associated with it, but no more than most things that you do when running your own business.

Take your time, ask them questions before hand, give them a test (cheap) project to do first and never be afraid to fire them.

How to Avoid a Binary Option Scam in 2020

After today, we will no longer be publishing reviews on Binary Option Scam programs.

We have extensively covered HUNDREDS of these programs over the last 14 months. We’ve said just about everything we possibly could have on these scams.

We also seemed to have made quite a few “review” sites angry by not actively promoting ANY binary option programs.

It’s hard to promote something you willingly know will be robbing people of their hard earned money. The people affected by these programs are the ones who usually have it all on the line and stand to lose the most. I could never comfortably live with myself knowing I was making money in that way.

These fake review sites like to point fingers and claim we’re lying to deceive folks. They essentially accuse us of the exact tactics they are using. It’s definition insanity.

Why I Don’t Deposit Money into Binary Option Brokers

A new binary option program pops up daily, sometimes 2 or 3 open shop, each and every single day.

These programs are designed for one purpose: to get you to deposit money into a foreign brokerage account that is not regulated by any U.S. law.

Meaning, you have little to no recourse at ever getting any of your money back, filing a complaint, or sometimes even withdrawing the money on the off-chance you win one of your bets.

These programs typically have a $500 minimum deposit.

With two popping up per day, I would have to spend $1,000 of my own hard earned money, every single day just to test their claims.

Listen, I don’t need to punch myself in the face to know it’s going to hurt.

And I also don’t need to send $1,000 per day overseas to know I’m not going to become a millionaire just by pushing a button or by following some secret algorithm.

Here’s the Million Dollar Reveal…

There’s a program being touted as a guaranteed winner right now.

Numerous fake review sites are popping up promoting it. It’s called Fast Cash Biz and they 100% guarantee you’ll earn $10,000 per day on average JUST BY PUSHING A BUTTON.

I am not personally exaggerating this. These are the exact claims made by Fast Cash Biz, taken DIRECTLY from their website.

Here is a screenshot directly from their page…

Let’s think about this rationally for just a second.

If it were that simple to make $3,650,000 per year, why on Earth would I ever advise against joining?

We could all be millionaires overnight!

There is literally no reason for me to ever say a bad word about this program.

Unfortunately, reality falls far from their claims.

Here’s the Binary Options Fraud:

Did you know that Fast Cash Biz pays out $250 in affiliate commissions?

That means, any of those fake review sites are paid $250 every time a new user follows one of their recommendations.

Last time I checked, my Fast Cash Biz review was averaging over 100 views per day.

If I were to review it positively and recommend that people join it, I suspect I could convert on average 10 people per day.

This means, I would make $2,500 per day in affiliate commissions from Fast Cash Biz ALONE. This is close to A MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR just for one article.

Hey… are you starting to see why so many of these fake review sites are popping up?

And this is just ONE PROGRAM.

We have HUNDREDS of these reviews in our database. I am comfortably sitting on millions of dollars worth of commissions if I were to give these scams a positive recommendation.

Why on Earth would I ever advise against joining a Binary Option program?

You already know the answer to that…

Because what they claim isn’t possible.

The only people making money here are the scammers suggesting you deposit money into these shady brokers.

Not you.

That’s all there is to it.

How to Avoid Getting Scammed by Binary Options

1. Ask yourself “is this too good to be true?”

And really, this list needs to just be one item long.

Most of the time, these scams are advertising guaranteed wins on binary option betting.

If you’re unfamiliar with binary options to begin with, you’re betting on whether or not a stock will go up or down within an incredibly short time span.

You are basically betting on a coin flip.

Would you trust me if I told you I could predict heads or tails with 99.9% accuracy?

Dear lord I hope not.

Now what if I told you that I could turn you into a millionaire overnight just by guessing heads or tails.

You’d think I went crazy and you’d immediately stop talking to me.

Apply that level of sense to your online interactions.

2. Check to see if the Exchange is registered with the SEC

You can view a list of all approved SEC exchanges here.

If the advertised exchange isn’t on there. Don’t do any business with them.

And really, this is all there is to it.

Use common sense, and research where you are sending thousands of your own dollars.

The Good News

The FTC is currently on to these scams.

I suspect we’ll start seeing some of these fake review sites shut down in the coming months. Expect to see headlines where they issue millions of dollars in fines and possibly even jail time.

It’s happened before with scams we’ve covered previously. It’s only a matter of time at this point.

The claims being made by these programs are also getting increasingly outlandish.

Their marketing methods are becoming ineffective and these are last ditch efforts to attract new victims. This is a cycle we’ve seen time and time again. And I will continue to work behind the scenes to make sure these scams are properly persecuted.

On our side, I’ve Tried That has been around since 2007 and has become one of the most trusted voices on the web.

We’ve celebrated our 12th anniversary this year and we are happy to continue to work tirelessly for all of you for years to come.

What’s Next?

We’re going to be bringing the site’s focus back around to the reason we started this site in the first place. We’re going to keep providing you with high-quality internet marketing information, legitimate work from home jobs, and in-depth looks and the testing of claims made by credible products.

At this point, I’ve said all I can about Binary Options scams.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll no longer be covering them.

Stick around. I think you’ll quite like the direction we’re heading.

RIP Amazon Product Ads and Text Ads- What This Means For Sellers

This summer, Amazon announced that it would discontinue its Amazon Product Ads (APAs) program and replace it with Amazon Text Ads. Then, in a somewhat unexpected move, Amazon announced that it would also discontinue its text ads. Both the product and text ads are due to be discontinued this October 31st.

Typically, the product ads were purchased by sellers who did not necessarily have an Amazon store. Oftentimes, this was due to marketplace restrictions, budget concerns, etc. The one major advantage to having the APAs was that consumers would be redirected to the sellers’ sites instead of completing their purchases on Amazon.

Another advantage was lower cost: As opposed to Amazon marketplace sellers, who had to pay a percentage of their sales revenue to Amazon, APA sellers only paid for their click costs.

APA products could appear side-to-side with Amazon products, thus actively competing with Amazon for sales. APAs could even appear all alone on a product page if Amazon sold no comparable product of its own. Thus, the APA seller who researched which products Amazon didn’t sell, and then marketed them on Amazon, could gain a real advantage.

And all for the price of a click.

Amazon Product Ads end on Halloween

Although Amazon doesn’t explain exactly why it’s ending its APA and text ads programs, the reasons listed above suggest that the engine was seeing too much competition from sellers who were merely paying for clicks and directing traffic away from Amazon. In fact, according to the 2015 Online Retail Survey published by ChannelAdvisor, over a third of advertisers noted APAs as providing the most return on their investment.

Perhaps when Amazon was smaller and in need of revenue from any possible source, the APA program was a good idea. But now that Amazon is the 800-lb gorilla in the online shopping world, it is saying goodbye to its lower revenue generators.

What’s a retailer to do?

While the demise of APAs and text ads will leave a hole in many a retailer’s arsenal of sales tools, there are alternatives that can take their place.

Amazon Sponsored Ads

Amazon Sponsored Ads (ASAs) still operate on a pay-per-click revenue model where sellers bid on keywords and pay only when their ads are clicked. The difference between ASAs and APAs is that the ASAs keep the consumer on the Amazon site. Otherwise, the ads look almost identical.

sponsored ads

Google Product Listing Ads

A while back, Google sat up and took notice of Amazon’s highly profitable advertising format. The result was Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs), which had a similar look and feel to the APAs and ASAs. These ads are now a great way for sellers to direct consumers to their own websites while still just paying for a click.

google plas

eBay Commerce Network

eBay is another massive shopping site that some sellers don’t immediately think of as an ecommerce platform. However, the eBay Commerce Network (ECN) enables sellers to feature their products not only on eBay and Shopping.com, but affiliated blogs, online magazines, and ad exchanges.

shopping

Bing Product Ads

According to ComScore, Bing gets 15% of all searches compared to Google’s 66%. While Bing is certainly not the search engine behemoth that Google is, it does have some unexpected market advantages, including exclusivity deals with Apple and the Amazon Kindle devices. As a result, it is more likely to be used on iOS-powered mobile devices.

Bing Product Ads make it easy for sellers already using Google as their advertising platform- there is a process in place that enables product data to be imported from AdWords.

Nextag

Another alternative to consider is Nextag, which not only gets over 30 million unique visitors/month, but also seems to garner an exclusive audience of shoppers that don’t shop anywhere else.

nextag

Nextag product ads have an eBay look and feel to them; however, they direct the shopper to a third-party site. Sellers deposit a starting amount of money to get started on a campaign, then pay only when shoppers actually click on the product ads.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads, which are operated under Facebook for Business, enable sellers to target product ads to audiences based on age, gender, geographic locale, and interests. Much like with Google AdWords, sellers can set spending limits and obtain reports of how well their campaigns are doing.

With Facebook Ads, sellers can achieve many different marketing goals, including promoting a post, Facebook page, or video, sending viewers to their own website, increasing downloads of an app, etc.

Twitter ads

Twitter ads have taken a while to really gain momentum, but they are now a staple of Twitter and offer sellers yet another viable platform for offering their wares. With Twitter ads, sellers can promote their brand, website, promotion, etc. Shoppers can be redirected to the seller’s website or Twitter page. Best of all, the ads can be retweeted, enabling them to go viral.

twitter

Summary

While the sad reality is that APAs and text ads are going away, the good news is that there are plenty of other platforms to fill the void. A savvy advertiser need not worry about losing significant market share, even if a giant like Amazon is getting tighter with its advertising allowances.