If you dont know what youre doing, outsourcing blunders can wreck your online business.
The Philippines is the call center outsourcing capital in Asia. It only makes sense that content creation there is also doing well. Its a good place to look for decent writers...but as with any other market, there are some things you need to know before buying.
Make sure you know these things before you outsource there.
- There is an existing fear of foreign contractors. Many good writers have been scammed. This is because a contractor is just an email address or profile somewhere. Many unscrupulous contractors from Asia, Europe or the Middle East pose as Canadian or American citizens in an effort to gain free content. Try to validate your identity as soon as possible, so they can focus on the content you need. Showing them your blog or website can go far in reassuring the writers.
- Writer rates are as low as you want them to be. You can get your work done for a pittance if you want to. Someone is bound to accept the job. However, the writers who apply at those rates are normally those who have little or no experience. Experienced writers will be comparing rates and looking for competitive wages. Outsourcing already saves you a lot of money, theres no need to go overboard on cutting costs. Offering a competitive rate will get you the attention of experienced writers.
- Writers want to know that theyll get paid. As I said earlier, there are a lot of scammers out there. Identify yourself as a proper online businessperson by dispelling their fears regarding payment. Theres no need to pay for their work in advance. Doing so before you are sure of their work would be a mistake on your part. What you should do is ask them to make an article for you. This will serve as their writing sample AND their initial submission. If what they submit is to your liking, PAY for the article IMMEDIATELY. This will dispel their fears of nonpayment. Then tell them that the rest of the work will be paid normally. You can then tell them your payment structure. Normally, writers are paid upon completion of 10, 20 or 50 articles (depending on the length of the articles), or once a week.
- Lets be Pals! Paypal is the preferred mode of payment in the Philippines. This works for both parties. Paypal will make it easier for the contractor and the writer to complete transactions. You should make it an applicant requirement in your job post. This will be convenient in the long run. In case of special payments or rush payments (bonuses, delayed payments), use Western Union.
- Make sure they know they can talk to you about things. Be aware of cultural communication differences. It's very possible your contractor won't be as outspoken as you are. That means that if they have a problem, they may just suffer in silence, and youll find out about the problem when its too late. Its your responsibility to talk to them and ask if theyre having work issues every now and then. Make sure they know they can talk to you about things.
- Meet Craig, Lance and Odie. Craigslist, Elance and Odesk are where the better writers can be found. Craigslist Manila can connect you with all worker types, without paying any fees. But, the screening process is manual. Elance is where the more experienced Filipino writers can be found, but the rates tend to be higher since it is a global marketplace. Odesk is another good place to find writers, however the low rates there tend to drive the better writers to Craigslist Manila. Each site has its pros and cons. But theres no need to worry about which is the best one to use. Just post your job requirements on all three. Eventually, you will be able to distinguish which service is best for your needs.
Thats all you need to know before outsourcing to the Philippines. This should also cover basic online jobs that you may need such as content creation, linkbuilding, BMS and forum posting, web design and web development. For more serious outsourcing projects, such as large content needs, program development or database management, you'll need a project manager/outsourcing consultant to advise you on finding the right people, managing staff offshore and the Philippine Intellectual Property laws, registrations and processes.