April’s Outsourcing Update

Several people have asked me lately about how things are going with the outsourcing, so I figured it was about time to update the blog status on that front.

If you’ve been around here a while, you might remember that I’ve wrote about replacing myself (outsourcing) a while ago. Back in February I hired someone full time from the Philippines. She started on a half time basis, then after two weeks requested to go full time, so I agreed.

She’s been very communicative, and as requested, has sent me an email report every day.

So far it has worked out well. I’ve kept her busy with a ton of linkbuilding, using a packet of links I get from the Warrior Forum each month. I’ve had her do article writing, bookmarking, blog & forum commenting, and some work in WordPress as well. Recently I’ve started teaching her to build linkwheels and we’re going to start using that strategy to promote some sites as well.

Payment

Several people have asked me how I pay someone overseas. The simple answer? Xoom.com. That was the service requested by my employee, so I thought I’d at least give it a shot. Turns out it is SUPER easy to use. In fact, I just processed a payment there and it took me less than a minute. It remembers all the details of my transaction, so I can easily repeat it month after month. Literally, you login, then it is about 2-3 mouse clicks, and you’ve paid, emailed the recipient and yourself a receipt, and you’re done. Very straightforward. It costs me about $14 per $350 USD payment, which isn’t the end of the world either.

What’s Next?

I find myself wishing sometimes that I had a full on web designer working for me, so if I can really get the first one nailed down and busy on a long term basis, I might yet consider adding a second person.

The reason for this is it would be great to have someone with the capability of creating and tweaking customized wordpress themes, as well as doing site design for my consulting clients. I currently outsource most of those projects on a one-off basis, but it isn’t the most cost effective way to go, neither is it great if you really need something done in a hurry.

Plus, if I can get the two of them working in tandem, that could be a potent duo, creating and promoting niche mini-sites.

What About You?

I’m very curious to hear if you have experimented with outsourcing yet –  if so, what have your experiences been? If not, why not, and is there a particular thing holding you back?

8 Responses to April’s Outsourcing Update
  1. Paula
    April 29, 2009 | 12:42 am

    Hi,

    I found your review looking for information about ReplaceMyself. I haven’t started outsourcing yet, but plan to pretty much right now. Do yo use ReplaceMyself? Or do you work together with your virtual assistant over Odesk? I haven’t made up my mind about ReplaceMyself yet.

    WHat is holding me back in general is just the time it takes to set everything up. So much to do, so little time… :-)

    Cheers,

    P

  2. Jonathan
    April 29, 2009 | 2:24 pm

    Hi Paula,

    I tried ReplaceMyself, and used them for a few months. I found the training they provided a little bit different than what I was looking for, though it is good stuff.

    I haven’t used ODesk, we’ve just been communicating via email, which has worked just fine so far.

    I suppose having a site or some sort of structure to work on projects together could be useful. It really depends on what you’re goals are for having an outsourced worker…

    Cheers
    Jonathan

  3. steve
    April 30, 2009 | 4:34 am

    You are lucky enough to get a right person for replacing yourself but my experience is very bad. I hired someone, he worked very well in start and then vanished after having plenty of my link building resources and money. What are you paying her for full day job and how you get her?

  4. teevee
    April 30, 2009 | 3:15 pm

    Great Blog!

    Web design was the deciding factor for me… i had to have someone be able to do that.

    She is not great yet, but she is getting there. Her expertise was Joomla and I wanted to exclusively use wordpress. She is coming along well. The added benefit to her is that is photoshop, and is also competent in audio and video editing.

    teevee\\\´s last blog post..Just finished putting together my design…

  5. Jonathan
    April 30, 2009 | 3:58 pm

    Hi Teevee – sounds like you got a fairly ideal candidate! That’s pretty much the skill set I’m looking for as well. Considering adding on a second one (would focus on web design & graphics), but if I do that I think I’ll probably try out that OpenGoo you mentioned.

    Had a look at the demo btw, it looks pretty cool, though I didn’t spend much time in it.

  6. teevee
    May 1, 2009 | 9:53 am

    Jonathan,
    Let me know if you have any questions.

    :)

    teevee\\\´s last blog post..Just finished putting together my design…

  7. medschoolbuddy
    May 7, 2009 | 11:38 am

    Hey Jon,

    Read your update and it’s nice to know you’ve found a good candidate for your outsourcing. I guess making her work full time also increased her productivity and enthusiasm to work? Because this is also the same in my case…

    As I’ve mentioned in your January post, we’re working on a startup company and I hand my fulltime VA in the Phil. currently training on the tasks that he would encounter during the development of our website. Actually my VA is a web developer so I’ll have no problem with building WP minisites in the event that I choose the mini-site niche route. What’s best also is he’s some sort of jack-of-all-trades guy, he does podcasts editing, has good photoshop skills and I’m curently training him for SEO/Keyword research tasks, which seems he’s also getting good at…not to add the his communication skills are great!

    About the payment, Paypal works for us, though he told me that he incurs some fees once he claims his salary but its seems minimal and reasonable enough for him…

    I’ll update you of my VA’s performance and newly acquired skills as he goes along…

    Regards,
    Ray

  8. Jonathan
    May 7, 2009 | 6:18 pm

    Hey Ray,

    $350 USD per month for full time… from what I can tell that’s probably a touch on the higher end, though not unreasonable. Sounds like you got a great VA!

    Funny he’s willing to take PayPal payments – but lucky for you I guess.

    Cheers
    Jonathan