Do you Outsource or Do all Yourself?

by jazzd1
55 replies
For the ones who work at home, do you outsource your work (what do you outsource) or do you do everything yourself? Just curious..
#outsource
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    I now "insource", as I call it (that's to say, I employ full-time VA's who, between them, cover all the stuff I used to outsource and do some other work for me as well).

    Before I had the VA's, I used to outsource "techie stuff" sometimes, because that's far from my forte, though I'm gradually learning a little about it.

    When I started off, I outsourced too many things, much too early, and it was a big mistake, that held me back, overall, because (a) I didn't learn how to do things for myself, and (b) I wasn't even well placed to judge what I was outsourcing (and that can be really hazardous!).

    I may be stating the obvious, but it's much easier to outsource things you do know how to do, yourself, than things you don't know how to do!

    Outsourcing has a skill-set all of its own, and I think it's often quite a bit more difficult than some realise. I usually advise people starting off to outsource only what they really have to, to be very careful how they do so, and to get some guidance from others they trust, who have outsourced whatever-it-is successfully before.


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    • Profile picture of the author dana67
      I tend to do most everything myself. No one will work harder for you than you.
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    • Profile picture of the author QueenMelanie
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      I now "insource", as I call it (that's to say, I employ full-time VA's who, between them, cover all the stuff I used to outsource and do some other work for me as well).

      Before I had the VA's, I used to outsource "techie stuff" sometimes, because that's far from my forte, though I'm gradually learning a little about it.

      When I started off, I outsourced too many things, much too early, and it was a big mistake, that held me back, overall, because (a) I didn't learn how to do things for myself, and (b) I wasn't even well placed to judge what I was outsourcing (and that can be really hazardous!).

      I may be stating the obvious, but it's much easier to outsource things you do know how to do, yourself, than things you don't know how to do!

      Outsourcing has a skill-set all of its own, and I think it's often quite a bit more difficult than some realise. I usually advise people starting off to outsource only what they really have to, to be very careful how they do so, and to get some guidance from others they trust, who have outsourced whatever-it-is successfully before.


      .
      I was kind of the opposite to you when I first started.. IN the beginning I did absolutely every aspect of everything myself because of lack of funds, i became educated at many things, not to an expert level, but there are many many aspects of IM where I am knowledgeable and can "Get by" as a result.. for example, from learning the basics of html5 and css to do a minor tweak on a site actually made my whole wordpress designing skills and understanding so much better, and I remember at the time wishing I could just outsource the css edit..

      I think it was good I did it this way because I have experience about how everything works, and now I can afford to outsource, I can clearly teach and explain what it is that needs to be done..
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    • Profile picture of the author LV1203
      Very true Alexa. I've had to do things myself rather than outsource due to finances and I didn't regret it because I learned… and I later was able to tell whether or not others did the job correctly.
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      • Profile picture of the author niles
        I have outsourced a lot of things like ebook covers, graphics, article writing, wordpress repair, header design, and logo design.


        One time a spent 2 hours trying to fix an error on my WordPress site so I finally went to Fiverr for help. He had it fixed in 30 minutes for 5 dollars. I should have just outsourced in the first place.


        If there are things that I am not sure about, I would rather just outsource it. Why mess with it? There are people that have done it hundreds and thousands of times. You will not be able to compete with them.


        Why would you waste your time? I do the basic stuff myself. But, it is probably better just to outsource anything that takes you too long, you hate, or you just suck at it.
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  • Profile picture of the author fpforum
    I try and do most work myself.. If I do it myself then I have no one to blame but myself if no sales come in, lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    Apparently, my biggest problem seems almost the 'exacting' opposite of Alexa's post above.

    I have never outsourced anything. As a result, it has taken years of study and I am still not as proficient as I had hoped to be. In essence, I am starting to regret having not outsourced some of the tasks, as I now believe doing so would have saved me from the on/off love affair I have had with all things marketing.

    Truth is, roughly 10 months ago I got pissed off over a $300 purchase that I made to implement a membership idea I had. Having used the sellers product before, and having had success with it...my expectations were high this purchase would be a stepping stone to me utilizing everything I had learned.

    For the record, I don't want the above statement misinterpreted as having purchased some easy button to riches or some shiny object done-for-you bs...not at all.

    Anyway, that measly $300 purchase of what can only be described as junk... Had me so mad, I let my entire online marketing business go, and jumped back into a brick-n-mortar business. One that did exactly what I despise... Cost me more time, more money, physical labor, etc... And while I did see a profit of 5x my initial investment... I hated the fact (outside of earning a living) that I easily could've outsourced the pieces that burnt me out online.

    I think it's important to outsource. I also think it's important to know about what your outsourcing, or you wouldn't know if those tasks were being done to match your desired outcome.

    Having spent years running small businesses offline (mostly myself) it often baffled me that some business owners don't care about the customer, or delivering a quality product or service. Heck, many of those who I contracted labor from would flat out tell me to do just enough to get the check...

    But, as I refused to work for halfass contractors offline, I too felt it was important to study the indepth role being an online business owner shares in similarity.

    Sadly, there are dynamics on all sides to business. And one is educating the customer to know the differences between quality and dogshit...cause many simply do not know.

    Thus, if you don't know anything about a certain component your business requires to be successful (online or off) -just remember; "when you outsource those tasks...You are essentially the customer, and You need to due your due diligence to determine if the work you recieve is quality or dogshit?" and it will reflect in your success or failure.

    While I believe the only way to truly succeed is to leverage other talented peoples knowledge and abilities (as is so offline) - it remains Your responsibility to ensure Your customers recieve the highest quality or Your success will be short lived.

    All the Best,

    Art
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  • Profile picture of the author ronyoung
    Banned
    I like to do it myself it helps save money and time. I dont like waiting for people
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I do all the work myself. I mean... i do have all day to do it myself, so why wouldn't i? I dont do crap anyway. I'm starting to learn about graphics design and creating those "image style" / "graphic style" sales pages. I could probably pay a Wordpress guy to do the technical stuff for me... but i think it will benefit me in the long run to learn how to be excellent with Wordpress functions myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeTX
    I outsource almost everything. The key is to know where to find capable and reliable people that can do the work cheaper and faster than me.
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  • Profile picture of the author James McAllister
    I outsource what I know I'll get a return on, but still do a lot myself. I'm looking to outsource even more this year.

    I do run one niche blog though which is almost completely outsourced (writing, admin, paid services for sale.) I handle the email marketing side of things as well as product creation and promotions. I'd love to do that for another one of my sites, but I'm a huge focal point and I know I'd have a lot harder time selling if I wasn't the one writing the content. I'm very distinct with the way I go about things so trying to hide it isn't an option.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    I have a pretty simple system.

    1. Devise.
    2. Plan.
    3. Setup (often outsource portions).
    4. Get it turning a profit.
    5. Operate to stability.
    6. Outsource.
    7. Rinse, repeat.

    Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author Social Media Ava
    Currently do it ALL myself! I'm not to the point yet where I can outsource the work. Working toward that...
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  • Profile picture of the author Hain
    Usually I do everything myself. But sometimes I outsource small things to people from fiverr. Usually when I have lots to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I am at the point where I may have to outsource some work. I do have a webmaster for that side of my business but my work is flowing in so fast at the moment that I may have to hire somebody else to do some of the writing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      my work is flowing in so fast at the moment that I may have to hire somebody else to do some of the writing.
      Time to increase prices a little, possibly (and my guess is that "the outsourcing experience" and maybe the difficulty of finding a professional enough outsourcee may perhaps encourage that perspective, too)?

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
    I outsource all the jobs I hate doing, and cherry pick the jobs I do myself.

    It does help I have built up a team of contractors, who work with me all the time and we have weekly Skype meetings to make sure deadlines are being met, and to discuss future projects.

    All that comes with time and experience though, but out sourcing the jobs you hate to do is usually the easiest route to take with outsourcing
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      The main thing I do not and will not outsource is the thing that makes me the most Money and that is Email Copy



      - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
        Originally Posted by discrat View Post

        The main thing I do not and will not outsource is the thing that makes me the most Money and that is Email Copy



        - Robert Andrew
        You might try outsourcing that as well, and then rewrite it.

        I find that a fresh perspective sometimes gives me a huge boost in writing emails and general sales messages.

        I agree that seldom is it good enough to pass my muster (unless you pay a professional copywriter of course) but generally I can get a whole new prospective on adcopy when I rewrite what I get back from outsourcers
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  • Profile picture of the author TeKn1qu3z
    I used to do it all myself, but that's mainly because I couldn't afford to, and I had a lot more free time back then.

    But I've been fortunate enough to grow so fast, and I have so many other priorities, it's hard NOT to outsource. The hardest part is just finding people you can trust and training them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by TeKn1qu3z View Post

      The hardest part is just finding people you can trust and training them.
      Always. It's really difficult, finding and keeping good VA's, isn't it?!

      I've certainly had my share of "trial and error".

      I do (finally) have three good permament full-time ones, now, and a part-timer, but I claim no great expertise on the subject, and eventually found them and put the team together as much by luck as by judgment.

      I have one in India, one of whose relatives is a young doctor in Europe who works for my mother, one I found through a funny sort of agency in Delhi and London (the agency is actually no longer trading but I still have the employee!). The other full-time one and the part-timer I found through a Filipina student over here who saw a notice I put up on a college notice-board and passed it on to a friend back in the Philippines. I think this is potentially quite a good way to look: Philippine immigrants always have families back home, and their English is often pretty good.

      One thing I've always done, however and wherever I've looked for VA's, which I think really does help, is to use a short ad, giving a link to a very detailed one-page job-description on a blog/site announcing the initial email application procedure in great detail. This immediately checks who can read and understand and pay attention, and send email in English, and follow all the instructions carefully and accurately, so it's a really useful screening process (and easily done at virtually no cost, too - just requires thought and planning). I wouldn't want to try to do it, any way, without including that.

      I pay more than the "going rate", in exchange for real reliability, and I make clear at the outset that this is my attitude to it.

      I do think that any kind of "personal recommendation", even a second-hand or third-hand one, is probably likely to be a reasonable approach.


      .
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      • Profile picture of the author TeKn1qu3z
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Always. It's really difficult, finding and keeping good VA's, isn't it?!

        I've certainly had my share of "trial and error".

        I do (finally) have three good permament full-time ones, now, and a part-timer, but I claim no great expertise on the subject, and eventually found them and put the team together as much by luck as by judgment.

        I have one in India, one of whose relatives is a young doctor in Europe who works for my mother, one I found through a funny sort of agency in Delhi and London (the agency is actually no longer trading but I still have the employee!). The other full-time one and the part-timer I found through a Filipina student over here who saw a notice I put up on a college notice-board and passed it on to a friend back in the Philippines. I think this is potentially quite a good way to look: Philippine immigrants always have families back home, and their English is often pretty good.

        One thing I've always done, however and wherever I've looked for VA's, which I think really does help, is to use a short ad, giving a link to a very detailed one-page job-description on a blog/site announcing the initial email application procedure in great detail. This immediately checks who can read and understand and pay attention, and send email in English, and follow all the instructions carefully and accurately, so it's a really useful screening process (and easily done at virtually no cost, too - just requires thought and planning). I wouldn't want to try to do it, any way, without including that.

        I pay more than the "going rate", in exchange for real reliability, and I make clear at the outset that this is my attitude to it.

        I do think that any kind of "personal recommendation", even a second-hand or third-hand one, is probably likely to be a reasonable approach.


        .
        Great stuff. I've been looking at India, and more recently to the Philippines as well. It's still very hard to find consistent workers. I just have to pick out that one diamond in the rough!
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Yes, Lexy, I have been increasing prices a little and am considering outsourcing IF I can find the right person. That is the hardest part.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    You make really good points. I know they were aimed at someone else but I will also keep them in mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author skyro
    If you are just starting off to save money you can do it yourself but once your business has grown it would be a good idea to outsource some of the smaller task.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    I also did things myself.

    When I did article marketing, I wrote everything myself and added them myself to all sorts of directories.

    Adding funds to my pay per click account, tweaking ads, tweaking my website.....I have done everything on my own.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      I outsource all the mundane, routine, time consuming and of course specialized or technical chores, including some copywriting, editing.

      I do all consultation, advising and most of my own writing. Note: I do outsource some consultations when overwhemled.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketing Fool
    I do what I can myself and outsource what I cant...
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  • Profile picture of the author nicoli
    If I may :

    If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you're putting yourself out of business.

    Lee Kuan Yew
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  • Profile picture of the author ACandi
    Originally Posted by jazzd1 View Post

    For the ones who work at home, do you outsource your work (what do you outsource) or do you do everything yourself? Just curious..

    Hi jazzd1;

    Simple answer for me is I do it all myself.

    However I can identify tasks I would like to outsource - only when I can AFFORD it.

    LB.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheWriteOne
    Well, everybody should start by doing everything themselves. When you know it and work comes in a bulk, then you can outsource. You have to find people that are capable of doing the same level of work as you or higher. You still got to check their work if its at par with your expectations.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slade556
    I would say it depends on what you do.
    For instance, on my websites, I write all the content myself. All of it. No one will care more about my websites than I do!
    However, some work you can definitely outsource. A logo design, a whole website design, some of the SEO work or even all of it... depends on what you are able to do yourself and what you could do yourself, but maybe someone else will do it better, and you can focus on something more important in the meantime.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Brown
    As some successful businessman said, "let your money work for you". I outsource things I can't do as it will save me more time and money. I can then spend those time looking for other opportunities. You just need to look for people you can trust and who can work for you in a regular basis.
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  • Profile picture of the author SandowJ
    I outsource everything that I don't already know how to do, or will take me too much time
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    • Profile picture of the author smedia11
      I'm at the point where I want/need to outsource a few tedious tasks per day, so outsourcing is going on my to-do list of "figure out how to do that (right)"
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  • Profile picture of the author LimitlessTraffic
    It will eventually come to a point where your time is more important than the money spent on outsourcing. For some, it will be sooner than others.

    It all depends how you value your own time.

    I for one, built a small team of VAs that I closely work with and trained. Of course, looking for VAs is a job in itself.

    Is it worth it? Heck yes!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
    Some good points here, Much depends on what you want to do, in some cases it is very difficult to manage an engineering project if you have little or no knowledge of software development.

    That is not to say that you can't get it done, but its likely to cost you a lot more just because of the "communication gap" that is the biggest problem that affects most "would be" outsourcers.

    You can get really amazing work done for less than you ever imagined, but there is a learning curve, you really do have to know what your doing and what you want done.

    Which means, identifying the technology you want to use, how you want it done and writing it all down in a spec, when you do that you can often get work done on a far cheaper basis because the provider knows that they are not going to end up spending hours trying to figure out what you "really" want.

    That is the biggest stumbling block to getting projects done by outsourcers or freelancers.

    Outsourcing is a great way to get big things done...

    It can also be a great way to spend a lot of money and get little in return, its all about the experience level and knowledge of the buyer.

    Communication is the key to outsourcing success.
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  • Profile picture of the author extrememan
    I first started with creating my own content so I could get the methods down tight and to understand them. Once I got to a point in my business, I then started with outsourcing. To focus on more marketing promotions and save time.
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  • Profile picture of the author gabelumagui
    i do it myself mostly, but outsourcing crosses my mind a lot..
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  • Profile picture of the author PLR Basket
    Depends on how I feel and how much I want to make. Sometimes I do the work myself , but if I don't feel like doing it, I hire someone.

    I once outsourced some php work I needed done for a website I was building for a client in my area. I'm no professional, but I know basic html, wordpress etc.. So I did the simple stuff and had someone from India do the php work for pennies. I basically got paid 300$ for putting up an html template.
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Funny. but sometimes Outsourcing itself can take up a lot of time too.

      Giving all the necessary and relevant information for people to do the job can be tedious

      Just saying



      - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author anyaantonia
    Originally Posted by jazzd1 View Post

    For the ones who work at home, do you outsource your work (what do you outsource) or do you do everything yourself? Just curious..
    Most of the time, I work myself. sometimes I hire some freelancer for SEO work.
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  • Profile picture of the author mark toughill
    I do most of the stuff in house as I like to be in control of my business and I like things done as soon as possible. In saying that, I do on occasion outsource some of it. I try and stay focused on the things that are more importsnt to me and only outsource things such as graphics as they are so time consuming at times, so it would not be viable for me to spend too much time on this.
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    • Profile picture of the author ChrisNosal
      Banned
      If you're in it for the money you outsource, and end up with mediocre results. If you love what you do, and look at your business like your child, you do it all yourself, because you want to be proud of the result and all you've accomplished.
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      • Profile picture of the author taxtorpedo
        Originally Posted by ChrisNosal View Post

        If you're in it for the money you outsource, and end up with mediocre results. If you love what you do, and look at your business like your child, you do it all yourself, because you want to be proud of the result and all you've accomplished.
        There is a key concept that many are missing.

        The key to attaining wealth IS THE EFFECTIVE USE OF LEVERAGE.

        In the online marketing world OPERATING LEVERAGE (as in the hiring of workers)
        is the most relevant fundamental form of leverage.

        Operating leverage can be understood in terms of OUTPUT PER HOUR.

        If instead of doing everything yourself, what if you hired 10 workers??

        Obviously, your OUTPUT PER HOUR would go way up.

        WHY OUTSOURCING WORKS IN THE ERA OF THE INTERNET

        I went on the site http://fiverr.com and hired someone to edit a logo I bought
        for $5 (US). I live in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

        The individual I hired lived in a country where $5 (US) has the purchasing
        power that $50 (US) would have here. So, in relative terms, he was doing
        the work for $50 (US).

        Thus, you have to understand that you can get very high quality work done
        by extremely skilled individuals at a minimal cost if you come from a country
        with a high cost of living.

        In summary, the cost of outsourcing is so low that you can skyrocket your
        OUTPUT PER HOUR with a judicious outsourcing strategy.

        Finally, the output per hour increase can be PROMOTIONAL (as in advertising
        and marketing) as well as PRODUCTIVE (as in the production of goods or the
        delivery of services).

        With the proper use of social media you can gain a monumental increase
        in your PROMOTIONAL OUTPUT PER HOUR by a solid outsourcing strategy.

        Hope this deepens your understanding of the value of outsourcing.

        Best of success,

        Robert
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  • Both

    For most marketers and bloggers, it's recommended to start by keeping costs down

    (And investing more time)

    However, outsource is the way to maximize, and scale to effectively use your time
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  • Profile picture of the author NeedBucksNow
    I think it is important to outsource some things as they will give you better results and often a second opinion about what is actually good towards adding towards your blog. It is important to also double check everything and make sure it is the quality that you are looking for before you use it. I have outsourced articles but will often spend a couple hours adding to them, fixing any spelling errors, and overall making it something that I enjoyed as well
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  • Profile picture of the author maxsi
    We have our Experts for our marketing campaigns. After that, new tests (new campaigns) are outsourced to professionals because you save money and get more back
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  • Profile picture of the author AuthorityBuilder
    As AlexaSmith says above that outsourcing is a skill by itself, so I agree. So whether you need to outsource any or do all yourself depends entirely on you. If you have the moneyto invest and want to grow successful in a short period, outsourcing is needed. That way you can do what you are best at and let others do what will take you time yo learn and implement.

    But I have seen many not willing to invest a single cent before earning anything. So for them, it takes a long time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I outsource a lot of writing.

    I tried outsourcing graphics but I do a better job then all the freelancers I've tried.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben West
    I wouldn't call it outsourcing, but I guess I do.

    I have worked with a lot people over the years, and 3 or 4 of those people stood out to me, so I kept working with them again and again. I would call it a kind of team, although I don't directly employ them and we don't directly work together, but when I need something they offer I always go back to them because we have formed a bond and I know I can trust their work.
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  • Profile picture of the author aminaamerica
    If you think you do not have enough time to do the work or, you do not know how to do the work, in this case you can hire freelancer. On the other hand, if you think you can do the work yourself, you should do the work by yourself. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author web lover
    I Do All Tasks myself , First Because I don't trust To Freelancers , Second No One Know My Project Details More Than Me

    Just My Idea And I don't Force any One To Do It

    Good Luck ,
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    • Profile picture of the author alvinguy
      It's really hard not to outsource, especially if you are trying to scale, limited on time and not as technically skilled. I guess it depends on the business though.
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      • Profile picture of the author ireshsl
        I outsource mainly for content writing and their work is excellent. Further a graphic designer to design vector based graphics (ex: logos) and two virtual assistants to do time consuming tasks (ex: link building)
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