8 Jobs You Can Outsource Using Elance & oDesk
November 17, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park
After launching the Internet Marketing Top Blogs list, I received quite a few questions about the script behind it and how I put it all together. The tool has been extremely effective in gathering exposure for Winning the Web and I envision it to be a top resource for the community for many years to come. What you may not know however, is that there’s no way I could have possibly created that list myself. I’m not much of a programmer and even if I was, I wouldn’t want to spend time away from my business to work on it. What I did was I hired an extremely competent programmer from India to take care of the grunt work for me. He has simply amazed me with his skills and work ethic and I couldn’t be happier with the results. It definitely was not cheap (I paid in the low 4 figures range) but in the long run I believe the benefits will be worth the investment.
Everyone running an online business should consider outsourcing work to third parties. Not only can these providers do a better job, but it’s also cheaper. You should be focusing on your core business, doing what you do best. Everything else can be outsourced. You need to let go if you want to scale your business and take your income to the next level.
2 of the best places to find remote contractors are Elance and oDesk. Between the two sites, there have been over $200 million in service transactions since 2005. They offer solid marketplaces that connect jobs with service providers. If you’re looking to outsource work, Elance and oDesk are must-haves. Below are some of the services available.
Web & graphic design
There are a ton of free and paid WordPress themes that you can use for your websites, but if you decide you need your own custom design or logo, finding someone on Elance or oDesk isn’t a bad idea. The quality probably will not be as high as a dedicated web design agency, but it’s definitely a more affordable solution. Also, take a look at 99designs, a designer marketplace where you can launch logo design contests to find the best work (tip from QuadZilla of SEO Black Hat).
This is the primary reason why I use Elance and oDesk. Professionals from Russia and India are extremely skilled programmers and they’re usually willing to work for much less because their cost of living is lower. If you want to create a new tool or software application, definitely post a job at Elance or oDesk and see what the bid amounts come out to. You’d be surprised at the quality work you can get for cheap.
I haven’t really experimented with outsourcing multimedia, but I assume that it’d be much more difficult than programming. Unlike coding which is fairly straight forward and technical, multimedia requires a larger sense of creativity. You wouldn’t want some random guy in India recording the intro for your podcast in broken English, would you? Technical jobs like video and audio production are probably more worthwhile in this category.
Blogging / Writing / Translating
I’ve had pretty good success finding bloggers and writers using the Problogger Job Board. However, Elance and oDesk both offer similar marketplaces for services such as blogging, copywriting, translation, article writing, and business plan writing. Honestly, I don’t think you’ll find the best writing work at these marketplaces, but it is worth a shot.
How many hours do you waste every day checking email and taking care of administrative tasks? I’m guessing a lot. Elance was made popular by Tim Ferriss’ endorsement in his New York Times best seller The 4-Hour Workweek. In the book, Tim describes the benefits of a virtual assistant to help you take care of mundane administrative tasks. Sure you can always just do everything yourself, but think of the lost opportunities and the lost time. A VA might be just what you need to increase your productivity.
Marketing / Sales / SEO
Personally I would never outsource marketing and SEO. It’s what I’m good at and what I’d like to focus my attention on to gain a competitive advantage. However, if you’d rather leave the sales and marketing for your business to someone else, you may find some opportunities on Elance. Beware for scams though. There are many marketers out there who promise results but can’t deliver on them.
Book keeping, business plan development, tax preparation, and business analysis are just a few options in this category. You definitely want to be careful when outsourcing finance jobs. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to trust just anyone on Elance to work with my finances and my money. This is one you might want to hold close to your business.
Finally is legal service. If you’re dealing with copyright issues or patent law, it might be a good idea to hire someone to do the research for you. However, remember that it’s highly unlikely for certified lawyers to come looking for work at an online marketplace. Use with caution – there’s no replacement for a real lawyer.
Do you outsource work to various service providers via Elance and oDesk? What has your experience been like? It’s been great for me so far, but you may have a different story to tell. Leave a comment below and let us know!If you like this post, subscribe to the RSS feed. Get the latest updates delivered straight to your email or news reader.