1) One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch -- If you have a bad outsourcing experience, don't give up on the concept. I used to finish every bad outsourcing experience thinking, "See if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!" Well that would be great if you could clone yourself, but you can't and you will limit your success tremendously if you don't hire other people to do tasks. Now I finish any bad outsourcing experience thinking, "well I won't hire them again" or "I'll try a different outsourcing resource next time".
2) Try to hire someone with a proven track record -- Elance, Odesk, Fiverr (probably others) include individuals ratings. There is usually a reason for people being the highest-rated.
3) Try to give a small task first. Obviously Fiverr is setup like this. But Odesk, I just hired someone for 10 hours at $7 an hour. If the job isn't done properly, I'm out $70 -- really? who cares. If they DO the job then awesome, because this is a task that I've had on my to-do list for a couple months and I am just not getting to and it could REALLY help move my business forward
4) Do say please, thank you and give a little love! What goes around, comes around! And practice passing on positive thoughts and appreciation to others will help YOU in the long run.
5) I like Microworkers for getting some social media movement going. With a Microworkers job you describe a small task (it can be as little as posting to a wall on Facebook, Liking a page, Tweeting a message) and the website suggests what you should pay people to do the task. One thing I really like about Microworkers is since you are potentially someone who might do the work, you will be able to browse other jobs. I find often someone else has done a great job describing a task (for instance if they want a blog post written that links back to their website) -- and I can take their job description and then alter it to fit my needs. This ends up fixing a lot of situations where you might think, "It will take me so long to explain it, that it isn't worthwhile." There are other things I like and other things I don't like about this website, but I don't want the whole post to be about them.
6) Do Outsource! Others have said it, but it's worth repeating. Bill Gates didn't write all the code, make the ads, order the CD's or packaging, handle the customer calls, etc at Microsoft. You shouldn't try and do everything at your company. I think a lot of people think, "I'll hire someone else when my business takes off." or "I can't afford to hire someone else right now, but I will once I earn some money." But then the business never takes off because you are making such slow progress.
7) Read the 4 Hour Workweek to help get the right mindset. If you don't have the money, there are libraries with a copy and bookstores that allow browsing (just don't abuse the privilege and spill coffee on the book while at the cafe).
8) A good outsourcing experience can be a lot of fun. You might end up making a new friend. Or you may have tasks that have weighed on your mind, "I should...." and now, they are DONE!!!
That's it. Gotta go! Good luck!