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Why outsourcing can help your blog and how to get started

Happy Sunday all! Today I wanted to share my journey of outsourcing work-how it’s helped my blog, how easy it is to get started and why you don’t need to be a limited company to do so. Outsourcing is something I’ve been experimenting with since the start of the year and it first, I wondered if I was doing it far too early (I worried I was being a bit pretentious or felt it was only something huge bloggers did).

However, it’s revolutionised the way I work and has helped me take on so many more projects. Today I’ve teamed up with App Paye a super-simple, effective payroll solution for small businesses and bloggers like me- to share my journey of outsourcing and tips to get started.

Why you should Outsource

‘Outsourcing’ is when you take the jobs you hate the most (or perhaps the ones that are the most time-consuming or you know that you aren’t great at) and pay someone else to do them instead. The beauty of freelancing today is that this can be super flexible. You don’t necessarily need to take on permanent employees but might want to find some ad-hoc help for things like…

  • Making pins: If Pinterest is part of your traffic strategy, it can be way quicker to pay someone to create a bundle of Pins for you.
  • Checking broken links. Who has time for this?
  • Social Media scheduling: Even more important now Twitter doesn’t allow duplicate tweets.

It might seem counter-productive to outsource these things, but they’re often things that take the most time and could be done far more efficiently by someone else. If you spend an hour faffing around finding the perfect pin-then you may well be able to earn more money in that time; if you dedicated an hour to pitching for sponsored post or networking, and paid someone who’s much better at it to create a bundle.

How to manage outsourcing

So far, so good. But how to go about it? Do you need to set up as a limited company? How can you do everything above board? Here are some of my top tips for managing outsourcing…

-There’s no need to set up as a limited company-unless you want to. A limited company has many benefits but if you’re happy as a sole trader, you can still outsource and pay workers! App Paye is a new payroll system that allows you to pay workers without being a limited company.

-Sometimes it’s worth spending a little more. When I first outsourced, I used sites like fiverr and also found a VA that offered low rates. I thought it made sense to pay as little as possible, but the time I spent chasing them and redoing the work meant it was actually worth spending a little more!

Now, I outsource a lot to my lovely friend Emma (here’s her blog; I’d 100% recommend her for VA work) and we’ve built a great working relationship. It was worth taking the time and money to find someone reliable; it will SAVE so much hassle and money in the long run.

-Make sure payment is secure. One thing that worries me about Paypal is that things can obviously be refuted and I’m always nagging people to send invoices. Once you invoice, you’ve no idea if that person is declaring it on their taxes etc and  AppPaye keeps payment in one place; with payslips and the ability for them to upload hours and then helping ensure tax is deducted.

The freelancer/contractor can also just press ‘pay me now’ button; making payments secure and so much easier than faffing around with bank transfers. I can log on to the app and see the hours I’ve outsourced and clear record of payment. I’m hoping that companies I work with in the future might also consider this as a payment method-as freelancers are offered benefits like BUPA healthcare that regular employees would have!

 

-Use the time gained wisely. The whole point of outsourcing is to maximise your time; so make sure you put the time you’ve gained to good use! You might choose to dedicate one hour a week to a passion project or tackling introductory emails! There are a few books worth reading about outsourcing, such as The Four Hour Work Week (although that takes it to the extreme!)

I hope you’ve found this blog post useful. And remember: don’t be afraid to outsource! You don’t need to be earning lots of money to do it and you may very well find it boosts your blog traffic and earnings! Once you’ve set up, do take a look at App Paye to help you navigate payments. I’d love to hear your experiences of outsourcing:would you do it? has it helped?

*This post is in collaboration with App Paye*

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what to do when your invoice is overdue

I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages but have only just got around to doing so. It’s something I’ve mentioned many times on Twitter or in my Facebook group but I wanted to sit down and write a proper post about everything payment related-and specifically what to do if you’ve not been paid.

When should you expect to be paid?

Blogging is a funny old business as we do all the work before the post goes live. Therefore, it’s frustrating that we’re often waiting for payment when the post is doing its thing and getting traffic and engagement! Sometimes a company will specify payment conditions upfront but otherwise, you can revert back to the government who state: Unless you agree on a payment date, the customer must pay you within 30 days of getting your invoice or the goods or service.

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5 ways to save money as a freelancer

I don’t blog about it much on this blog, but I’ve been really into ‘money saving’ for a few years now. Over on my main blog, you can find my ‘how to get FREE gluten-free food series’ where I share my tips on being gluten-free on a budget. Starting out as a freelancer, money can be tight so I’ve teamed up with Latest Deals today to share my top tips for saving money and budgeting.

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The multi-hyphen method review: The book every freelancer needs to read.

I’ve written a few times about how much I devour books about blogging and freelancing. I’ve already shared my favourite blogging books that I can’t live without, and I recently wrote about the best new books for entrepreneurs for The Independent. However, I’ve often felt there are not many books that sum-up the reality for myself and many of my readers: those who juggle several different job titles; make an income from their blog one month and not the next and have about twenty ideas for side-projects in their notebook.

That’s why when I came across ‘The Multi-Hyphen Method‘ by Emma Ganon a few months ago (whilst researching for the article I mentioned previously); I was incredibly excited. I’d heard Emma on a podcast talking about how she struggled to always define ‘what she did’ -and that was ok! Her concept of a ‘multi-hyphen’ approach to work perfectly summed up my journey of going from a teacher to blogger with two blogs; a freelance journalist and now blog outreach manager of Chronic Illness Bloggers Network!

Sadly, the pre-release copies weren’t available in time for me to include Emma’s book in my previous articles; but I remained curious and was so pleased when an advanced copy landed on my mat this week (yes, I really have read the whole thing in less than a week!)

This multi-hyphen method reviews explains why this is one of my favourite books and why every freelancer needs to read the multi-hyphen method!

Emma starts her book by highlighting just how common going freelance is becoming and, as someone who is still relatively new to the world of self-employment, it’s great to know!

I really loved how she also addressed the idea of ‘success’ in this section too. After ploughing my way through business books, many talk about concepts of success that don’t resonate me: earning millions, working four hours a week. Success to me, I realised as the book progressed, is flexibility: to work the hours you’d like, focus on projects your passion about and be in control of your career.

But this isn’t a ‘go freelance now’ type of book (or a book on ‘being an influencer’ as Emma quickly points out!)

Emma highlights how not every project you work on has to be monetised (something, I admitted I struggled with in my post ‘the blogging lies I’ve told‘ and actually it’s perfectly okay to define yourself as a writer, creator, artist, podcaster, YouTuber or whatever else you see fit; without actually bringing in an income from it. In other words: it’s SO not just about the money.

Encouraging flexible approaches to work is a big aspect of the book and part of Emma’s definition of success. She acknowledges the very valid point that not everyone can quit their jobs instantly (Thank you! It took me many years to finally quit the teaching game) or perhaps they won’t want to at all.

There are tips on developing your ‘multi-hyphens’ without burning out and considering things like job sharing and talking to your employer. Most business books share case studies of multi-millionaires but Emma shares those of real-women who love all the different parts of their job; from the senior nurse who has a book deal to the full-time paramedic who runs a blog: these are the types of women we should be reading about in business books!

As the book progresses, there’s plenty of practical tips to apply too: such as Emma sharing her tips on using energy wisely, working for free and how to gain your confidence. It’s such a gem of a book and I know I will keep dipping back into it in the weeks and months to come!

I rarely take the time to write in-depth book reviews, but I just really wanted to take the time to blog this one and share it with you. The Multi-Hyphen method isn’t available until the end of May but if you are a blogger with a ‘day job’, a new freelancer or ‘not quite sure which of the twenty things your juggling best defines you’ I’d 100% recommend you pre-ordering this now.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of the book with no obligation to review. Post contains affiliate links.

 

How Much Do Bloggers Charge For Sponsored Posts?

Hi everyone! Today’s the day: I’ve finally managed to make sense of, and write about, my sponsored post survey!

One of my most popular posts is: ‘How much should I charge for sponsored posts?’  And whilst this is still a useful post that breaks down the key things a brand might be looking for; how to create different package costs and work out a fee right for you; lots of you still ask me about the specifics. So I decided to create a survey that answered questions such as: how much should I charge for a sponsored blog? what about sponsored social posts? and how much should you charge for guest posts, use of images and giveaways?

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NEW EBOOK: Everything you need to grow your blog in 2018

Today I’m back! With my second ebook finally complete. After talking about the power of ebooks in my post on passive income projects, I set about creating my second-and it’s here! The Blog Growth Toolkit!

 

What is the blog growth toolkit?

The blog growth toolkit is an ebook which is full of practical tips on…

  • Planning content people want to read and share
  • Using social media to boost traffic
  • Getting all the views on Pinterest
  • Setting up and making the most of a mailing list.
  • How to grow your blog and take it to the next level in 2018

As well as plenty of printable pages to track your stats, growth and ideas to take your blog to the next step. All this for only £5.99!

Is it Right for Me?

  • Do you already have a blog and social channels? This is not a guide for those who haven’t yet started a blog. Instead, it’s for those who have already got the basics of the blog set up, and want to take it to the next level! However, if you’re already an established full-time blogger, this might not be the best purchase for you as you may already have nailed your blog growth and traffic.

 

  • Are you cautious about spending lots of money when you’re not making very little blog income? All my ebooks are set a very reasonable rate (of £5.99) as I strongly believe growing your blog shouldn’t have to cost the world!

 

  • Do you want a steady, realistic increase in growth and NOT millions of followers? If you want to grow your blog but aren’t daydreaming of millions of followers, then this is the blog for you. I don’t have millions of followers. I hate ebooks that promise this (because I’ve read them and I still don’t have a million followers. If I did, I’d be selling toothpaste ads on Instagram instead of blogging here. Instead, this is real, practical tips to grow your blog steadily month on month.

What if I need extra help?

For the first time ever I’m offering two options for my ebook. The first option is the ebook itself but the second choice is the ebook plus a personalised blog audit! This involves…

  • You filling in a questionnaire, outlining your key goals and focuses that you need support with.
  • Within seven days, you’ll receive a detailed blog critique from me (approximately 2 pages long) via email; full of suggestions on how to grow your blog targetted advice and areas of development.
  • You’ll then have an additional seven days to send unlimited follow up questions via email to ensure you know exactly how to grow your blog.
  • This service can include me looking at your media kit and pitching emails- if one of your targets is to make money from your blog. The price of this is £31.99

Testimonials on my previous ebook: Pitching Toolkit

Steph from Colitis to Ostomy: I found the Blog to Business: Your Pitching Toolkit to be really useful and easy to understand. It has enabled me to think about how I will approach brands and how to narrow down the brands that fit my blog.My blog is written with young people having ostomies and pregnant women/new moms with an ostomy.

Becky from The Owlet: Jenna you’re amazing! Just got my first EVER sponsored post thanks to yo. Also after our conversation on Twitter, it’s really helped me come up with blog content. Thank you so much!

Laura from Mum on A Mission

This ebook has given me the confidence to start pitching as well as ideas on who to target and how to find their contact details. Since I read it I’ve successfully pitched to several clients and have recommended this guide to other bloggers too.

Where can I buy?

Buy the ‘Blog Growth Toolkit’ here.

Buy the ‘Blog Growth Toolkit+audit here.

The BIG Blogging Money Survey 💰💷💰

HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR SPONSORED POSTS? PLEASE HELP US SHARE INFORMATION FOR BLOGGERS!

Hi everyone; so today I’m back with a survey that I’m keep for to join in with. One of my most popular blog posts on here is: Help, how much should I charge for sponsored posts?

The post is a useful starting point, but I needed more data- what about follow links? charging for use of images? Instagram? None of the info I found covered it all, so I decided to create my own!

This only works if everyone joins in, so PLEASE take a moment to fill this out. Just a couple of points….

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Everything bloggers need to know about their tax self-assessment

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably left your tax self-assessment return to the very last minute. Perhaps you’re even worse than me and didn’t realise the Self Assessment submission deadline is midnight on the 31st January! But it is fast upon us and most of us avoid it until we really have to face it; last year, 33,000 people filed in the final hour, while a staggering 840,000 people missed the deadline altogether. If it’s late, HMRC delivers a straight £100 fine; with even more penalties if it continues to be missed.

You get the idea. It’s a faff but it needs to be done. To avoid getting stressed,  I’ve teamed up with SimpleTax to share lots of expert advice and tips on filling in your tax return properly as a blogger. Make sure you read to the bottom of the post so you can claim a 14 day completely free trial (bank details not needed) of SimpleTax to help you fill in your return with zero effort!

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10 mistakes bloggers make when emailing PRs

Today we’re going to talk about emails. I’m sure you’ve sent lots of emails to brands this week; with a renewed sense of purpose with growing your blog and the companies you team up with. However, lots of the time, bloggers can make vital mistakes in the emails they send out!

I often get asked to proofread bloggers pitch emails so wanted to share the biggest problems I’ve noticed with lots of them. However, I don’t claim to be an expert, so I’ve also asked two of my favourite PRs-Sam from Socially Sam (if you haven’t already, read my interview with her here, it’s full of tips for working with brands) and Charlotte from Smoothie PR (if you are a food blogger, read my interview with her in which she explains how to work with food brands) to share their biggest bugbears.

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How to create your first paid download+make money from it!

Hello and happy new year! I’ve taken a bit of a break from The Bloglancer over Christmas but now I’m back, ready to inspire you for blogging in 2018! One of my biggest revelations in 2017 was learning about ‘passive income’; something I’d thought as very American and pushy in the past! But in 2017, I decided to release my first ebook: a pitching toolkit for bloggers wanting to work with brands, and couldn’t believe how simple it was!

As someone who had previously had my own book published in print with a publisher, I loved being able to create my own project on my own terms- and, this time, get the vast majority of the revenue too! But what I loved most is the fact that once you’ve written the product, you can earn money from it each day, without having to do anything at all! I was pretty addicted to seeing a sale come in when I’d not even gotten out of my pyjamas yet (newsflash-I’m publishing this and still in my pyjamas!) Somehow that money (even if it was just a single sale) seemed far more exciting than the usual work I’m paid for.

But I don’t think I did anything revolutionary-I just decided to get out there and create a product! So today I wanted to share my tips on helping you do the same. A product that you’ll need to spend a bit of time creating, but you’ll be able to make money from days, weeks, months and even years after putting the work in!

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