If you’re a newer blogger, the thought of hiring team members for your blog may have never crossed your mind. Or if it did cross your mind, you may have swatted the thoughts away as if you were swatting away a pesky fly.
Perhaps the thought of building your blogging dream team does, indeed, seem like nothing more than a pie-in-the-sky fantasy, best reserved for those who dream about building a successful blog rather than being for those who actually know what it means to buckle down and blog.
If you’ve felt this way, trust me, I understand. I’m a solopreneur, and I’m definitely on a budget. On top of that, I’m the queen of frugality, and not into spending money for the sake of spending money.
In spite of that, I finally realized that if I’m going to grow a successful blog and business, I MUST embrace the importance of building a team for my blog.
If you just looked in your wallet and realized you don’t have two nickles to rub together, I’ve got great news for you! There are both low and no cost ways to blog faster and better with the help of a team.
Yes, I mean it. There are inexpensive and even some F.R.E.E. options for recruiting team members for your blog.
[tweet_box design=”default”]There are inexpensive and even some F.R.E.E. options for recruiting team members for your blog.[/tweet_box]
Intrigued? Good. Let’s dive in to some common questions and answers about how to build a team for your blog without breaking the bank.
Q: How do you describe “team”?
A: This is one of the most important questions that can be asked when it comes to building a team on a budget. Looking at the concept of team in a new way opens up all kinds of possibilities! The deal is, when most people hear the word, “team,” they immediately think of employees, or at the very least, independent contractors. In other words, people you pay. While employees and contractors can certainly be a part of a blogger’s team, my definition of team is much broader than that.
In short, members of your blog team can be anyone who helps you or contributes to your blog in any way.
[tweet_box design=”default”]Members of your blog team can be anyone who helps you or contributes to your blog in any way.[/tweet_box]
This includes both paid and free team members. Even better, some of the paid team members can work on a very limited basis, at a very low cost.
Q: What are some examples of unpaid team members?
A: Unpaid members of your team can include other bloggers who are willing to help share your content, mastermind members, blogging buddies that hold you accountable, writers groups, and in some cases, family members or friends who are willing to do things for free or to exchange services.
They can also be people who are willing to guest post for your blog, or, as Ms. Ileane is doing for me, allow you to guest post on their blog. No money has changed hands between Ileane and myself, and yet both of our blogs benefit as a result of our partnership.
Q: Do you have any examples of small blogging tasks that I can hire other people to do for me without it costing too much?
A: As a matter of fact, I do! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Calendar management. If you’ve thought about starting a podcast but didn’t want to mess with the hassle of scheduling guests, and/or you want to appear on other people’s podcasts, you can hire someone to handle all of your calendar-related tasks. You can use a tool such as TimeTrade to automate the bulk of the job. Then, have an assistant follow up to make sure the process is a smooth one for everyone.
- Image creation. Images have long been an important part of blog posts, but images are more popular and more important today than they’ve ever been before. Tools like Canva and PicMonkey make it easy to create images. In spite of how easy they are to use, if you’re not very handy with design, or if you simply don’t have the time to do it, you can hire someone to create your blog post images for you. You may be able to negotiate a lower cost if you pay for several images in advance, or promise regular work.
- Uploading and formatting blog posts. It’s one thing to write blog posts and it’s another thing to upload and format them. If you like to write posts but don’t like the other aspects of getting a post ready to go, the good news is that you can easily train someone how to upload and format your posts.
These are just a few examples of low-cost blogging tasks. The exercise in the next question will help you come up with specific ones that are right for you!
Q: What are some ways to determine what types of blogging-related tasks to outsource?
A: First, make a list of all of the blogging-related tasks that you don’t enjoy, but that have to be done. Second, make a list of tasks that you enjoy, but that take up a lot of your time that could be perhaps better used on other more profitable things. Finally, make a list of things that you really aren’t good at. For instance, if you want to include images in your blog posts (and you really should!) but aren’t handy with graphics, that could go on the list.
List items in order of priority, and one by one, hire them out as your budget allows.
Q: Are there any benefits to hiring family members?
A: I’ve had a lot of work done by family members, and have really enjoyed that. For me personally the biggest advantages to getting help for my blog from my team members is that they are loyal to me and really care about my business. I also feel a great deal of trust and am comfortable giving access to things like my bank accounts to my family members, something I wouldn’t be as comfortable doing with people outside my family.
I also like being able to keep the money in the family when it makes sense to do so.
Q: What are some of the drawbacks of hiring family members?
A: It can be harder to “crack the whip” with family members, and you may be tempted to let things slide if a family member doesn’t do work well or in a timely manner. It’s also possible for other team members to be jealous or resentful of family members, particularly if there is any perception of favoritism.
Q: How can I make sure that a potential team member has the right skills before I actually hire them to help with my blog?
A: One of the best ways to go about this is to hire people for some smaller projects first and see how they do. If multiple people are in the running for the job, give them all a test assignment or two to see how they do on those before making the decision on which person to hire. You can also ask to see samples of their work, and of course check with any of their references regarding their stated skill set.
Q: Where can I find inexpensive contractors?
A: Word of mouth is a great place to start. Ask other bloggers you know who they use and recommend for certain tasks.
From a budget perspective you can’t beat Fiverr , but the quality of the work can be hit or miss. Be sure to check out the ratings and reviews before buying a gig. After the work is done, be sure to leave a rating and review, as that will help out others trying to decide who to hire. I also like to make a note of who I’ve hired and a bit about what it was like to work with the person.
I love Fancy Hands for small, quick tasks. The main thing to keep in mind with Fancy Hands is that tasks need to be small enough to be completed in 15 minutes or less. It’s also important to note that with Fancy Hands you won’t have a dedicated assistant. All workers are based in the U.S. and English is the only language offered. Up to this point, my experience with Fancy Hands has been very positive. Packages start at a very affordable $30 per month.
If you want a dedicated assistant and yet budget is a big concern, you’re probably better off hiring an assistant for your blog that is located in the Philippines, rather than the U.S. Two agencies to consider are Virtual Staff Finder and OnlineJobs.Ph. It’s cheaper to get started with OnlineJobs.Ph than it is with Virtual Staff Finder, but VSF does a lot more legwork when it comes to finding an assistant that is right for you.
The important thing to remember is that even if your budget is very limited, you can indeed hire help for your blog for as little as $5 per project.