When you’re running a small business, particularly if you’re the only one involved with 90% of the operations, you have a lot on your plate. You have to deal with all of the content creation, all of the decision making, all of the development, all of the coding, all of the customer support, all of the advertising, and more.
The problem is, out of all of the work you have to do to run a successful business, chances are good that you’re only enjoying doing some of it. No one enjoys every single aspect of running a business. Maybe you like the marketing and the coding, but not the development or the copywriting. Maybe you like the customer service, but not the traffic generation.
As a business owner, however, you have the power of money on your side. Even if you’re not an incredibly successful business, you can use some money as an investment in the stability, growth and security of your business ventures. Outsourcing the parts of the business you don’t like does two things; first, it puts them into more capable hands, hands of people who very likely enjoy what they do, because they specialize in it. There’s no shame in hiring a writer, contracting a coder or outsourcing your customer service, after all. Second, outsourcing gives you more time to dedicate to what you love about your business, without draining your energy on tasks you don’t enjoy.
When it comes down to your traffic generation, you might worry that it’s too personal and too subtle a task to outsource properly. Many people share that worry, which is why the businesses that successfully outsource it are able to pull ahead almost effortlessly. If you want to be one of those leaders in your niche, you should consider outsourcing this time-consuming aspect of business growth.
One part of successful traffic generation is content in large volumes. If you enjoy writing, particularly in your niche, by all means continue to do so. Feel free, however, to lighten the load and outsource some or all of your content to ghostwriters and freelancers. You can find these writers through Craigslist, through freelance hubs like oDesk, or through content mills like Textbroker. You will have to vet your content carefully to make sure it’s not copied and that it’s sufficiently high quality, but as long as it fits your standards, you can use it on your site’s blog.
Pulling in traffic through press and media is tricky, because it can be hard to attract the attention of the right kind of media people. If you have friends in the industry, you might have a foot in the door, but chances are you probably don’t have the right kind of connections.
What you can do here is get involved with Help A Reporter Out, or HARO. This site is a marketplace where reporters and business owners – or experts of any stripe – connect. You tell the site what you’re an expert in, and reporters can come to you to interview you as an expert. Boom; instant press.
Sometimes, your niche is tricky enough or your process is unique enough that you can only manage your traffic generation successfully in-house. The best idea, then, would be to train an employee personally in the art of generating traffic for your business.
Finding this employee is a matter of taste. Do you search Craigslist for applicants? Do you go to a freelancer portal? Do you put out a general job message on Indeed? Do you advertise in other ways, or approach freelancers with the opportunity?
It’s up to you whether you try to hire someone fresh out of school or someone who knows what they’re doing already. Feel free to choose depending on the level of training you require before you can start teaching them the basics of your business traffic generation.
In this case, “local” freelancer means someone in the same country as you. If you’re operating out of the United States, and your business is managed online, chances are you don’t need someone direct in person. The quality of today’s online communication, from Skype to Hangouts to instant messaging and email, is all very good. It’s easy enough to find a freelancer you can work with remotely, and teach them everything they need to know about managing your traffic generation, be it through PPC or through social media.
The most common source for biased, poor foreign outsourcing is typically India or Bangladesh. These countries are extremely inexpensive to live in, which means you can hire a contractor and pay them pennies to do any sort of work for you. The problem is, the quality of the work is generally poor, English comprehension isn’t very high and you never know what issues might come up.
Instead, savvy business owners opt for the Philippines for their outsourcing. A “personal assistant” from the Philippines can be trained to manage your traffic generation much more easily than you might expect. Sure, they’re going to be more expensive than someone from India, but they’ll have better English comprehension and a typically higher quality of work. Oh, and don’t let the term fool you; a personal assistant in the Philippines is essentially identical to a jack-of-all-trades freelancer here.
Maybe you read through all of that and determined that outsourcing sounds like a lot of work. You have to find the right person and train them, you have to manage paying them for their services on time, you have to check their work to make sure they’re on target; it’s almost as much work as doing the traffic generation yourself.
Why not hire a third party outsourcing company? There are companies out there who will act as middlemen between you and quality freelancers or specialists willing to do the work for you. All the work of finding, training and managing them is out of your hands. The one downside to this method is that it typically costs more than paying the freelancer yourself, but you make up for it in free time.
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