As a startup founder, the boundaries between your personal life and your business grow blurrier the more your business grows.
Forget about work-life balance – many startup founders work long hours every day, with some (like Elon Musk) claiming to work 80-100 hours a week, and advising others to do the same if they want to be successful. And forget about overtime – an average $50,000 salary is all that many startup founders make.
But it’s not all drudgery. You’re following your dream and building a successful company.
And while you know that all the multitasking and working long hours aren’t healthy in the long run, who else is going to do all the work?
You know that outsourcing can be an effective way to save time and leave skilled work to the experts, and maybe you’ve already outsourced your HR, accounting, and other specialized tasks.
But is your startup’s blog really a project that you can successfully outsource, and still get great results? Or are the risks too great?
When done right, the rewards of outsourcing your blog can be well worth it, though there are a few pitfalls you should look out for.
Why Outsource Your Startup Blog?
You might be able to squeeze in building a blog in between all your other tasks and projects, but the end result might not be what you envision.
Starting a blog is only free if you think your time is worth nothing. As a startup founder, your time equals money, and it’s in finite supply. Instead of busying yourself with mundane tasks that others can do, you could better invest your time in growing your business.
You may be able to squeeze more work into your day, that’s not often wise: long hours make you less productive. According to a study by John Pencavel of Stanford University, productivity falls drastically after a 50-hour workweek. Up that to 70 hour weeks, and you’re producing nothing in that extra time. People who work long hours also face greater risk of sickness and injury, according to researchers at the Center for Health Policy and Research at the University of Massachusetts. In the end, it isn’t worth it to compromise your health to squeeze in more tasks just because you can.
But blogging for your startup should be part of your growth plan. A blog can be a platform for connecting and communicating with potential customers, investors, and influencers, building your brand, and boosting your website’s SEO. A blog is definitely worth investing in. The question is, what can you invest?
Besides the obvious benefit of saving time, there are plenty of ways outsourcing your blog can be better than doing it yourself.
Consider your skills and expertise. Most entrepreneurs are multi-talented and multi-passionate, and given time you may well be capable of building a great blog. But when you’re also trying to start a business, can you really devote the time and energy it will take to do it right? When you outsource, you can focus on your core proficiencies, and spend your time growing your business instead of worrying about the details.
When you outsource to the right person, you get a professional that will have all the necessary skills and practical experience to manage your blog. They’ll know how to write to reach your target audience, what topics to write about, how to craft headlines that hook a reader in, and how to use your blog to build your brand and grow your business. Outsourcing means you don’t have to wait for you or an employee to learn how to build a successful blog – you get expert skills right off the bat.
While there are plenty of benefits to outsourcing your blog, there are also risks you should be prepared for.
In the first place, it can be tough to find a qualified person who’s a good fit for your needs. You need someone…
…who has all the necessary skills and experience to build a successful blog for your startup.
…who cares about your startup and wants to help you succeed. Even if they’re not a founder or employee, they should be motivated to help your blog be a success. By hiring someone outside your company, you take the risk that they won’t care as much about the blog as you, and that that will reflect in their work.
…whose work style is a good fit for yours. Though there’s always a learning curve when working with someone new, you should feel comfortable with their communication and work style.
…whose fees are in line with your budget. Good writers aren’t cheap, and if you decide to pinch pennies when outsourcing your blog, the end result could do more harm than good. You may even end up spending more time to fix it than you would have spent doing it yourself in the first place.
You also have your brand voice to consider. If your startup brand already has a strong, established voice, or is centered around your own personality, outsourcing to someone who can’t replicate that voice could alienate your existing audience. If that’s the case, make sure to seek out a writer who’s skilled in replicating your style.
Even after you find the right person, it’s important to clearly communicate your goals and expectations in order to get the results you want. However, there’s a balance between being explicit in your expectations, and micromanaging. If you have difficulty handing over control of your blog to the person you hire, then outsourcing will be counterproductive and not save you any time.
Should You Outsource Your Startup Blog?
If you’re looking for a definite, one-size-fits-all answer, there isn’t one. It depends on you and your startup.
However, there are some guidelines you can follow in reaching your decision. If…
You just can’t fit yet another project on your plate.
You don’t have experience building a successful blog.
Your writing skills are lacking.
…then you should consider outsourcing your startup blog.
You have an established brand that’s centered around your voice and personality.
You don’t have the budget to hire a quality writer.
You’re a micromanager who has difficulty delegating.
…then you may want to look at other options, or at least be aware of the issue and take it into consideration when outsourcing your blog.
How Do You Manage Your Blog?
Does your startup maintain a blog? Do you manage it yourself, assign it to your staff, or outsource? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below.
Article by KeriLynn Engel
KeriLynn Engel is a copywriter & content marketing strategist. She loves working with B2B & B2C businesses to plan and create high-quality content that attracts and converts their target audience. When not writing, you can find her reading speculative fiction, watching Star Trek, or playing Telemann flute fantasias at a local open mic.