(Note: Elance is now Upwork. You can use Upwork to outsource as you would with Elance. In fact, it's a better system!)
As an internet marketer, one thing that you’ll find is that there are just not enough hours in the day in order for you to grow your online business as fast as you’d like.
Not to mention that some of the activities that you need to do to make great commissions online require work that you may find to be boring.
Some people enjoy article writing, other people find it tedious, some people find graphic design to be painfully difficult, others struggle with getting their website online and so forth.
The great news is that you don’t need to hire someone full time in order to get these kinds of tasks done and one of the best resources on the web for outsourcing one-off projects is a place called Elance.
At Elance you can outsource one-time or occasional tasks for a one off fee. These may be contracted to experts in various areas of affiliate marketing including: writing content for your websites (including newsletters, articles, free reports etc), graphic design (e.g. for your website header graphic, or free report cover, etc), programming, voice over work and more.
Just to give you a little more detail, the Elance services categories go beyond those just used by an affiliate marketer and expand out to include:
* Programmers – web, software, SEO, mobile, blogs, database and others.
* Designers – graphic, logo, animation, illustration, banners, brochures and others.
* Writers – articles, web content, blogs, translations, copywriting, technical writing, ghost writing, e-books and others.
* Marketers – advertising, SEM, social media, sales lead generation, telemarketing, e-mailers, research and surveys.
* Administration – customer service, virtual assistants, data entry, web research, e-mail handling, transcription, word processing and others.
* Consultants – accounting, finance, engineering, legal, product design, human resources, management and others.
There are more than 150,000 experts in various fields available on Elance.
A good post will result in many bids on your project, often dozens.
It pays to be very specific when it comes to your job posts, that makes it easier for Elancers to bid, and gives you a greater chance that you’ll receive what you expect.
For example, if you wish to have someone create a 20 page report on ‘The 10 biggest mistakes people make when trying to quit smoking’ then I recommend that you post this project as a ‘mini ebook about how to quit smoking – 7500 words minimum’
You can provide more specific details about the exact title of the report, etc, once you choose your successful bidder. If you really want to be private about it, you can just say that you need a mini-ebook written that is 7500 words, and then you can tell them the topic after they have bid. You are more likely to get a bidder that knows a thing or two about your topic though if you specify it in your project headline or description.
The reason I prefer to put the word count in is that everyone has a different idea of what font size is appropriate, what margins your page should be and so forth. If you only specify the number of pages that you require then you could conceivably end up receiving half the number of words written than if you specified the minimum word count. It’s much better to do it this way.
It also pays to make sure that you request at least 2 samples of your elance bidder’s work. Post that in the job description. If the Elancer doesn’t read the project properly and doesn’t list any samples, then just ignore them and more on.
When it comes to graphic design, I usually prefer to receive at least 5 samples of their work (as it is not as time consuming looking at graphic design samples as it is to compare writing work).
Also remember, don’t necessarily choose the cheapest bidder. Remember that when you create content for your websites, real people are reading your articles, real people are deciding whether or not they wish to subscribe to your newsletter, and real people are deciding whether or not to read each of your emails and so forth. So it pays to provide them with content that they will enjoy and learn from, not just a collection of words that vaguely resembles the topic they were searching for.
When selecting a bidder, I prefer to choose someone who has at least 10 feedback ratings and who has over 95% positive feedback (if not higher). After that I look at the quality of their sample work. If I’m still not sure, I put a test project through them, e.g. I might ask them to write a couple of articles for me for $20 or something.
Once you find a good Elance worker who does a great job for you, it pays to invite them in future when you have new projects, as it’s better to build a relationship with someone that you can trust, rather than having to sift through different applications every time you have a job to post.
If your need is for programming work then you should probably utilize rent-a-coder.com services because the responses will be greater in number, and I find that the work is just as good if not better than programmers that you find at elance.
Once your project is underway, you communicates directly with the contractor through Elance in the project workroom or via the messaging center. Progress reports are made through this medium, as are submissions of the completed project material. The workroom and message center are also used to communicate any editorial needs, corrections or adds and extras to the contract.
Through the Elance Workroom for the project, you may work with the provider until you are satisfied that the material or service meets your expectations.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I’m keen to hear your comments and questions. While I have a lot of people working for me in house, I’ve just ticked over $100,000 in spending on Elance, so it is certainly a place that has been very helpful for me, especially when I have more projects going on than my staff can handle.
Staff? You have staff? I hear you say. Yes, that’s where this online business can head for you (if you want it to). Eventually when your online business is booming, you may find yourself outsourcing tasks very frequently so you may wish to hire someone full time to fulfill those tasks for you and only you. I started out with just me, then I hired a student to work for me for 10 hours a week (before I knew about elance), and now I’ve grown my online presence into a collection of multi-million dollar web properties. The ability to delegate work to other people who are more skilled than myself in various areas has been one of (if not THE) biggest reasons for my huge success online and will be for you too.