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Common Mistakes Bloggers Make When Outsourcing to Upwork or Fiverr

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There is a point when your blog is going to grow beyond your ability to manage everything yourself. This is going to be one of the most exciting parts of your blogging career. It is also going to be one of the points when you need to make some difficult decisions, such as which contractors to hire and how to manage them. You can find some decent freelancers on Upwork or Fiverr, but you need to be realistic about the quality of the work and the number of resources you will need.

You have built a successful blog by following a proven methodology. You have developed considerable expertise and it has paid off. Unfortunately, freelancers on Upwork or Fiverr might not have the skill sets to match your expectations. You need to choose employees carefully. You need to train them well, oversee their work and be mindful of their limitations.

If you hire the wrong person or fail to monitor them properly, then you could tarnish your blog. All of your hard work getting to this point could be wasted with the wrong freelancer.

Here are some common mistakes that bloggers make when outsourcing projects on these platforms.

Neglecting to look at previous feedback from other clients

When you first post a gig on Upwork, you will probably receive at least half a dozen applications within the first hour. How do you determine which applicant is the best?

Many clients will only look at two things:

  • The hourly rate of the freelancer
  • Their average rating

Surprisingly few clients will look at the feedback other employers have left. This is a huge mistake for several reasons.

For one thing, the freelancers average rating is barely a good indication of the quality of their work. These ratings are very subjective. Employers also have a tendency to conflate these ratings, unless they are extremely unhappy with the freelancer.

One blogger that hired someone on Upwork made a surprising observation while reviewing their profile. They saw that almost all of the previous clients gave four or five stars to them. The average rating was 4.5. However, the feedback that they left was not nearly as positive.

One previous client said that the freelancer had branded themselves as an expert, which is what the client was asking for. However, the client said that they were disappointed and felt the freelancer was only average at their job. They said the freelancer was able to handle some more basic responsibilities, but not more advanced projects. Despite the somewhat harsh feedback, the client still gave the freelancer a perfect five-star rating.

Good freelancers learn from their mistakes and grow from them, but some will repeat the same mistakes frequently — such as not taking negative feedback lightly. This is something that could quickly damage your account and reputation, so it’s important to follow up and try to get the most out of each review and paying customer.

Another reason that you need to look at the feedback is to see what types of projects they have actually worked on in the past. Keep in mind that many freelancers on Fiverr and Upwork offer a broad range of services. The same freelancer could offer blogging, Pinterest marketing, translation and back-end programming.

You might find that 90% of the projects they have worked on were unrelated to the project that you need them for. The fact that they have earned an excellent rating with previous clients could be totally irrelevant to you. That simply means they are very good at a task that you don’t intend to hire them for.

When you look at feedback from other clients, you can let these freelancers better. You will know whether or not they have experience working on a project similar to what you need.

Neglecting to look at the job success score

Nothing is more frustrating than onboarding a freelancer, training them, paying them to do part of a project, only to have them fail to finish it. There are a lot of reasons that this can happen. Some freelancers simply are not very self-motivated. They may have chosen to freelance on Fiverr or Upwork because they don’t have the work ethic to run a more intensive business or handle the responsibilities of a regular job. They might also have a tendency to take on more clients than they can handle. They could also have a problem following directions, so they have to drop clients out of frustration or the clients terminate the agreement.

Fortunately, Upwork tracks the job success score for every freelancer in their network. If a client regularly fails to complete jobs, you will obviously not want to hire them.

It is a good idea to look for freelancers that have a job success score of at least 75% to 80%. This indicates that they are better at servicing their clients and follow through with their commitments then people with a lower score.

Expecting that the freelancer will be able to make the same high-level executive decisions as you

As a blogger, you need to be highly independent and self-motivated. You understand the importance of taking initiative and making crucial decisions.

You might not be able to count on a freelancer from Upwork to do the same. One blogger discovered this when they used this platform to find someone to help with his Pinterest strategy. They initially instructed the freelancer to make their own decisions about which images to use for each pin. This created a lot of confusion and lead to a number of back-and-forth questions between the blogger and the freelancer.

The blogger realized that they needed to provide a lot more structure to make the relationship successful. They created a spreadsheet and clarified which images to use with every pen. The assignment of each image was completely arbitrary, so the blogger was able to randomly assign them quickly. As simple of a change as this was, it provided clearer direction to the freelancer, so they were able to get the job done with fewer frustrations.

You are an entrepreneur. You are used to making strategic decisions all the time. People that choose to freelance for a living are not used to you making the same choices. As intelligent and qualified as they might be, they are going to have a preference for regimented directions with a lot of direction. Things will go a lot more smoothly if you provide that.

Not being willing to pay enough for good results

The quality of freelancers on Upwork and Fiverr varies tremendously. This is often reflected in the rates that they charge.

There are some dedicated workers that will be willing to handle your projects for a surprisingly low price. However, most decent freelancers are going to charge more than their less qualified colleagues.

You need to keep in mind that you are usually going to get what you pay for. If you always hire the cheapest contractor, then you could be jeopardizing the future of your blog.

The best examples to illustrate this point are if you are hiring a contractor for writing blog articles or linkbuilding. Contractors that charge low fees to build links are going to generally do a lousy job. They will use spammy linkbuilding networks that could get your site penalized or even deindexed by Google. Writers that charge $5 an article are going to also offer lower quality work, as well. Some of them outright plagiarize content or use article spinners, hoping that they won’t get caught. Using these writers could also seriously damage your reputation with readers were standing with Google.

For example, if you are blogging about a complicated topic, such as ‘custom printed magnets, then you need to make sure that you are hiring a professional writer that can step up to the plate, learn about your niche and do a great job. You can see some of the best performing content and blog posts from Jukebox in the screenshot below, and how they are also targeting their customers needs and then fulfilling them as a service.

I understand the temptation to keep your costs low. Bloggers are used to having the mindset that they don’t have to pay to make their business a success. However, if you do need to start outsourcing work, it is better to pay a bit more upfront to get the quality that you need.

Of course, you don’t want to overpay freelancers either. But you need to make sure that you are paying enough to get the service that you need.

Acting like too much of a pushover

Bloggers that have just started delegating their responsibilities are not used to some of the tougher parts of being a manager. One of the hardest things is knowing how to hold people accountable.

A lot of bloggers have very easy-going personalities. They don’t find that calling people out on their mistakes and telling them that they did the job wrong is something that comes easily. You are going to need to find a way to get over this challenge if you expect to get value from your freelancers.

Some bloggers decide that they need to accept a low standard of quality from the freelancers they use. Rather than telling their contractors to go back and rectify their mistakes, they decide to make the changes themselves.

There’s a point when this is going to negate the benefits of hiring a freelancer. You are paying them to make your life easier. It completely defeats the purpose if you have to do most of the work yourself.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t accept certain limitations of your freelancers. You might decide that there are certain tasks that you need to continue doing yourself or ask another contractor to handle them for you. However, it is important to make the distinction between excepting reasonable limitations and being too passive to demand a quality service that you expect.

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Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?

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Writing and self-publishing eBooks scares bloggers.

I piddled in my eBook writing pants until 2012. People told me I should write ’em. I looked for every reason in the eBook NOT to write eBooks. Nobody would listen. Nobody would buy. Nobody would care.

Turns out, people listen, buy and care enough to publish 5 star reviews for my eBooks. Look at the featured image for this blog post describing this eBook:

7 Tips for Writing Successful eBooks Quickly

I locked down five, 5 star reviews because I taught my readers how to write successful eBooks fast. But years prior, fear clouded my mind concerning writing eBooks to the point of me refusing to write one. You may be in the same cyber boat; but you better not miss the eBook writing boat. Lucrative profits serve as one part of the picture. Digging deeper, writing eBooks brands you, distancing you from the herd. Plus you feel good writing short reads and gain trust and extra credibility in the eyes of readers.

Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?

Fear is the core reason. Fear of failure, criticism or wasting time sit near the top of eBook-related fears. I did not know how to sit down and write the darn things. Fear arose in my mind; how would I do it? Who would teach me? Could I find the process? Would I need special editors? How could I learn the technical steps for conceiving an idea to shipping the eBook on Amazon? Tech stuff really scared me; I had no idea how to save Word files with different, web-based extensions, let alone creating covers with proper dimensions via Canva to meet Amazon’s diligent standards.

From my trip to Oman.

Rather than learn how to do these things I allowed fear to get the better of me, refusing to write eBooks. But during a trip to India I met a reader and friend who begged me to write eBooks for a while. He had been on me for a minute. Meeting in person, he finally convinced me to write and self-publish an eBook on a lesser known digital platform. Later, I went with Amazon, and never looked back.

I had to dive into and nudge through deep fears related to failing and being criticized because I believed nobody would buy what I offered in eBook form. As my friend convinced me, I waded through ideas like wasting my time, getting terrible reviews and promoting my eBook to the tune of zero sales. Did it feel good to embrace these fears? Heck no. But the benefits of self-publishing far outweighed a few unpleasant emotions experienced during these fear-feeling sessions.

Nothing to Lose Everything to Gain

Gain by writing eBooks; if you take experience with you, loss is impossible. Even if you sold not a copy you take valuable writing, marketing and selling experience with you any time you write and launch an eBook. But if you generously help people and make friends, you will sell eBooks and help more people, reflecting gain back to you in physical form.

Digging even deeper, facing and releasing fears associated with criticism and failure benefit you across the board with your blogging campaign. Apply that same fearless nature to other aspects of your blog to boost your blog traffic and profits.

Write and ship.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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1 Tip for Being an Intelligent and Prospering Blogger

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My eBook: 10 Tips to Be a Smarter and Richer Blogger

possesses an interesting cover for anyone not familiar with my eBooks.

For anyone familiar with my 100 plus eBooks, my cover is par for the course. Every single one of my eBook covers has been personally snapped by me. Images of paradise preserved by yours truly fit my brand, blog and eBook covers perfectly. Blogging From Paradise means retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. Sometimes I visit islands. Sometimes I visit mainland spots. In all cases, my eBooks and courses – as well as my blog – bleed travel images because this approach fits my brand and is unheard of in the blogging tips niche.

I totally respect any blogging tips blogger who posts featured images for their blogs and eBook covers consistent with content titles. Imagine a light bulb and dollar sign for the above eBook cover, for starters. But I went with a photo I snapped in gorgeous Rawai Bay in Phuket, Thailand for my cover image. Why? Nobody else on earth uses their travel photos as eBook covers and featured post images in the blogging tips niche. If nobody else does it and the move completely aligns with my brand message, this is the starting point for being an intelligent and prospering blogger.

Smart and Prospering Means Different

Every successful blogger I follow sticks to basic fundamentals but deviates from the norm in some regards. Different means bigger bucks and smarter prospering because readers notice that different flavor stepping away from normal. Folks enjoy my covers and blog post images, even though the content and eBook title technically have nothing to do with travel images. Guess what? Adding my brand logo aligns the eBook cover with my blog and brand. People clearly see I am about blogging from paradise. Why not add travel images to each eBook cover?

From my trip to Oman.

I follow a high number of basic blogging rules; create value, build connections, be generous and have fun. But if you do EVERYTHING just like most bloggers, you get lost in the herd. Nothing makes you stand out if you do not choose to stand out with at least one element of your blogging campaign. I stood out with eye-popping eBook images I snapped myself, in a blogging tips niche. How do you stand out? Ask yourself the question. Be straight with yourself to answer.

Bigger Profits from a Smarter Energy by Being Different

Cindy Crawford kept her mole. Muscle Man Arnold kept his accent. Steve Jobs made computers and peripherals outrageously expensive and designed quite weirdly compared to other computers and peripherals. Guess what? Crawford, Arnold and Jobs are legends who we won’t forget for a long time. Different makes you a serious fortune because people notice folks who stand out in some way, shape or form. This different approach bleeds intelligence; why work your butt off if you look just like the next guy and offer a mimicking service?

But Make Sure You Follow Some Fundamentals

Steve Jobs did not attempt to make computers out of cardboard. Arnold did not try to speak German in Hollywood movies. Cindy Crawford did not try to rewrite the foundations of modeling by wearing a fake beard of photo shoots. All icons followed basic rules for their industries because being too far out in left field usually makes you forgettable, or, impossible to spot. Follow blogging fundamentals to stay in the game but find that one thing that distances you from the herd.

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Why Should You Help Other Bloggers Succeed?

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If you build it AND if you help other bloggers build it, then they will come.

We have all seen the famous line from Field of Dreams rehashed many times, regarding blogging. Building a blog solo ain’t good enough. Platitudes of content being king and networking queen get bandied about, and I do not disagree.

But I wanted to put a spin on the line; if you build your blog and help other bloggers build their blogs, THEN people will visit your blog, hire you, buy your stuff and endorse you.

A few moments ago, my friend and power house blogger Julie Syl Kalungi tagged me on Facebook with kind words.  She mentioned a common mistake we both see often; bloggers pitch us content with nothing else to show for the pitch, other than mediocre or OK content from an unknown blogger. If it were that easy to get featured on Blogging From Paradise or on Julie’s blog, we would both place 5 to 10 to 20 guest posts daily, or a helluva lot more.

Of course, landing features on established blogs is not easy at all. But struggling, failing bloggers mistakenly believe it *is* as easy as tempting pros with a helpful post, or some other lukewarm incentive, and wonder why they never get featured on top blogs. Plus bloggers do the silly thing of offering a $1 or $3 bulk discount for 25 posts. Having a poverty consciousness makes you do silly things.

Anyway, these strategies NEVER work because the pitching bloggers are trying to build it – aka their blogs – before building other blogger’s blogs. Build your blog and other blogger’s blogs. Grow your friend network. Be genuine. Be generous. Help. Expect nothing. Ask for nothing. As you help other bloggers succeed and improve your writing skills, something neat happens; you befriend a bunch of skilled bloggers who boost your traffic and profits through endorsements, promotions, by buying your stuff and by hiring you.

From my trip to Oman.

This is why you should help other bloggers succeed. Make friends. Profit. 100 is better than 1.

100 Is Better than 1

I learned years ago the efforts of 100 blogging buddies beats my individual efforts. I am not super connected to 100 plus blogging buddies, but at least that many folks promote me or endorse me routinely across a wide range of channels. Imagine how much 100 bloggers can expand your reach, compared to your individual, singular efforts?

Why do 100 plus bloggers help me out? I have helped thousands of bloggers grow their traffic and profits over a decade online by commenting genuinely on their blogs, by promoting them on social media, by endorsing them, by promoting them on my blog, by inviting them to guest post on my blog and by guest posting for them.

I benefit too, of course. This marks my 6th guest post of the day. As I promote my 71% blogging course discount (use the discount code in the first paragraph) across a slew of these guest posts I gain profit potential and boost my blog traffic too. But I also drive free, passive traffic through each guest post. My 3 blogging buddies living in India who I guest post for wake up to free, passive traffic. I help them succeed. My blogging buddies help me succeed by giving me platforms for reaching their readers.

Do you see why building it and helping other bloggers build it makes you incredibly successful over the long term?

Julie became a wildly successful blogger by generously helping other top bloggers succeed. Now, her blogger friend network expands her reach far and wide.

Give What You Want

Do you want money? Help other bloggers make money. Promote them on your blog. Link to them. Buy and review their eBooks. The number of friends you make by being generous will astound you. As this loyal tribe grows in size and scope, and helps you make more and more money, you will be even more astounded.

Blogger Outreach Resource

Are you looking for bloggers to help? Buy my eBook:

27 Influential Bloggers to Follow

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