No matter how dedicated or determined you think that you are, at the end of the day, you are still just one person. That means you have the same 24 hours as everyone else, the same 7 days in a week. And while you may be fueled by some unbridled enthusiasm and passion in the early days, working yourself to the bone is only going to lead to burnout. And that goes precisely against the mantra of the dot com lifestyle.
Because you only have so many hours (and because you likely want to work fewer hours), it is in your own best interest to outsource tasks that would otherwise occupy your time. This way, you free up more time to focus on tasks that are uniquely yours (and that no one else can do), as well as simply free up more time to enjoy that dot com lifestyle.
You may be tempted to tackle of these tasks and projects yourself, because they might look relatively simple and straightforward on the surface. However, you’ll quickly find that they can consume a lot of your time and resources… time and resources that you’d be better off spending elsewhere.
You might see yourself as the voice of your blog. And depending on your niche and the way that you’ve positioned your brand, that might be true. However, you really need to think about how you can keep up with producing that great content on a reliable schedule when you’re just one person. What can you get someone else to do?
As John wrote several years ago, “When you outsource your blogging work, you’re in a sense, living on arbitrage. I do not write the sponsored reviews on my blog. Instead, I have Michael Kwan write it. I charge $500 for a sponsored post. I pay Michael less than that. The difference between what I buy it for and what I sell it for is the arbitrage profit.”
It’s true. He works less and makes more.
Unless you’re already graphically inclined and you are especially talented at design work, this is probably something you want to leave to the professionals. Even if you already have PhotoShop and InDesign on your computer (and especially if you don’t), it’s a much more efficient use of your time to let a professional designer come up with a cover for your ebooks and print books.
Yes, it’s true that there are free tools out there (like Canva) complete with templates for ebook covers. And you might end up with something perfectly respectable too, but you could end up spending a lot of time on something that looks rather amateur. People who know what they are doing can do it better and do it faster.
Video is the name of the game these days. While the videos you post on YouTube don’t necessarily need to have an intro sequence or an animated brand logo intro, they do add a certain level of polish and professionalism to your videos. And they help a lot of with branding too.
Whether you want to utilize a “glitch” animation with your own photos, a video montage that highlights what your channel is about, or a 3D animation of your logo flashing across the screen, it’s easiest (and remarkably affordable) to outsource the intro to someone else.
The most affordable options will likely utilize a template for After Effects or something similar, but with suitable customization, none will be the wiser anyhow.
Every blogger wants to be a YouTuber, and every YouTuber wants to be a podcaster. As popular as video has become in the past few years, podcasts have seen a huge resurgence too. Audio appears to be the next big battlefield (if it isn’t already). And if you’ve got a podcast, you want to make sure you provide the best listener experience too.
This doesn’t just mean providing good audio quality and ensuring your podcast is available through most of the major distribution channels. It also means having great show notes, so people will know how to find what you reference in each episode. You can also go a step above and offer full transcripts, perhaps for your patrons on Patreon.
Show notes and transcripts are relatively simple, but they are awfully time consuming. Outsource this task to a freelancer who can do it faster than you can.
Save Time, Make Money
There are two basic tenets to living the dot com lifestyle. First, you’ve got to work less and make more. Part of this comes from developing passive income streams, and part of it comes from removing you from the business to some extent. To this end, you’ve got to spend money to save time and earn more money. Outsourcing can do that.
Second, the work that you do have to do should be something that you’re good at and that you generally enjoy. While there will always be some undesirable tasks on your plate, you need to make the conscious decision about how you want to spend your time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Wouldn’t you rather explore a new creative endeavor or spend an afternoon playing with the kids than going through your podcast, line by line, transcribing every word? Yeah. That’s what I thought.