Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Progress Update on my New Content Writer

In my last post, I described how I hired a content writer out of the Philippines for what I expect to be a fantastic return on investment. Here's where you should go to learn how to outsource.

My writer has been working with me for 2 days. In that time, she has written 6 articles for me. You might be thinking to yourself, "Hey, 6 articles should take only one day!"

Sure, that's true. But here's the best part. She has been helping my other worker (who speaks less English) with his tasks. She understands SEO, blogs, wordpress, and other tools that he doesn't yet understand. She is on his time zone, and she's connected to him with Skype. So not only is she writing articles, she's training my other employee for me in an effective manner.

Even if you were to completely ignore the help that she's providing to my other worker, these articles are costing me $2.65 each at the rate of 3 per day. I'm only counting work days (M-F), not weekends. That's pretty good.

How is the quality? To me, the gold standard is what I have been getting from an American writer that I hired for other jobs. His articles were really easy to read and keyword optimized. He made zero grammar or spelling errors. So let's call that a 10 out of 10. He charged me 4 cents per word, so the average article ran me $18.

My new writer from the Philippines is easily an 8 out of 10. Easily. And I'm convinced she can become a 9 with some small training.


  • She writes fluent English, with zero spelling errors
  • I find only a few minor grammar mistakes per article (3-4), and I can literally fix them in under 5 minutes per article.
  • She isn't doing perfect keyword optimization yet, but I haven't explicitly asked for this. Given her obvious intelligence, she will easily improve this.
  • Her articles are useful and interesting. That's pretty important if you ask me!
The beauty of having 2 people working with me is that one can write fantastic content, while the other can do keyword research to figure out what to write about, he can also go post the articles to article directories, do social bookmarking, etc. They don't feel like they are alone because they are in the same time zone.

Just this morning I went online at 6:30am while having breakfast. They were both on Skype having a text conversation with each other to work out some minor problems. I joined the conversation to answer a few questions and then I went on with my day. Wonderful!

Should you hire someone?

If you are running an online business that involves content creation and mechanical tasks such as article submission, bookmarking, blog setup, etc .. the YES you absolutely should.

Can you afford it? Beginners ... you may not feel "ready" to take this step, but let me pass on some basic advice. You simply CAN NOT grow your business if you try to do everything yourself. You'll plateau. If you are making only $20 per day you can easily afford to get a full time employee in the Philippines. If you are not yet making even that small amount, consider what you are otherwise spending $200-300 per month doing. Spending it on beer? Too many dinners at restaurants? Wasted money at Starbucks when you can make better coffee at home? FIND a way to get the extra cash and get some help to grow your business. You'll be glad you did.


  1. Hey Chris,

    If you have the time could you fill me in on what techniques are effective in terms of evaluating new remote employees? Do you look for or ask for experience? Are the people you have found referred to you by someone else?


  2. Hi Victor,

    I follow the recommendations from John Jonas over at replace myself. If you get his free audio he explains some of it there, but I signed up so I got access to all of his training.

    Basically I interview via Skype first, then if I like the responsiveness and communication abilities of the person, I offer them a job. I give them tasks that I need done and I don't overload them with all kinds of training. Stick to one thing, and teach them more stuff as you go. Get them to send you a daily email describing what they did that day, what problems they have, and how you can help.