The Basics of Outsourcing

When you talk about outsourcing most people think of big factories in third world countries where they pay workers 12 cents an hour to work on an assembly line. In reality outsourcing is essentially hiring people from outside your company to do work for you. If you hire a person to mow your yard, you are outsourcing. In the world of the adult internet there are many kinds of outsourcing. This article will focus on some of the more basic points of outsourcing and will include some tips on how to hire good people and make sure the job gets done and done correctly.


This is a big question and it depends on who you are and what you need. If you are large company with a bunch of employees you may never need to outsource, but for the webmaster who works by himself and finds his/her day flooded with endless ideas and things to do, outsourcing can really be a huge help. The main question to ask yourself is, “How is my time best spent?” In essence you are asking yourself what will make you the most money. If you are very good at submitting TGP galleries and you make a lot of money doing that, then you will want to focus your efforts on that. If you are good at SEO you will want to focus your attention on that. Outsourcing jobs other than those main tasks that make you money can help you focus your attention on what makes you money. Another question you can ask yourself is, “What is the value of the job?” For example, if you buy 5000 pictures and you want to use Photoshop to crop them all to a certain size and to make thumbs for each one it could be a pretty time consuming task. Will your time be better spent cropping these pics, or working on other things? If the answer is ‘working on other things’ you may want to outsource the job of cropping the pics. Decide what your time is worth. If it is going to cost you $100 to hire someone to crop and thumbnail those pics, is it worth that $100 to you to stay focused on other tasks.

It is all about adding value. You want to focus on things that add the most value to you and/or your company. By hiring other people to do some of the more time consuming jobs you can continue to add value and let them do the lesser valuable tasks.


This can be a tricky road to navigate. You want to find someone that will do the job correctly, for the price you want to pay and within any time constraints you may have for the job. If you have a one time job, or will have occasional stuff to do it is probably best to find your worker through other webmasters. Time and again as I researched this article I was told that the best way to find someone for a small job is to either contact people you know that outsource work and ask them if they can recommend someone or post on the webmaster boards that you are looking for someone to do a one time job and ask for recommendations. Many of the best outsourcers work strictly off referrals. They are good, so they are in demand. 

If you don’t get recommendations or can’t find the right person for your job from other webmasters you may have to just post on various boards that you are looking to hire. These types of posts will often get you slammed with responses. The easier the task, the more responses you will get. Here are a few ideas to help you decide who to go with:

-Do they have examples? If the worker has examples of similar types of work they have done in the past that would go a long way to show you that they are capable of doing the job. 

-Will they give you a sample? If it is a job they haven’t done before or they have no examples of past work there is nothing wrong with asking for a sample. If you are having them crop pics send them a few and see how they do. If it is something else you can send a small sample or example of what it is and have them give it a try. This way you both know they can do the job the way you want it done without having to make a huge commitment only to find out they can’t do it.

-Ask for references, if it is a big job you might want to ask if they have references from people they have worked for before. One of the bad things about the internet is that anyone can say anything about themselves and you have no real way of knowing if they are lying or not. If they have others who can back up their claims it will help show they are pros and will deliver for you.

-Pay after the work is done. If someone has no references and no examples and demands you pay them in advance that should send up a red flag. I have been told by several people that a fair pay schedule is to offer them 20% up front so they know you will pay them then give them the rest on delivery.

-Be specific with the job you want done. I have had people ask me how much I would charge for a job and tell me what they want done then I give them a quote and we start the work. Suddenly they start adding more stuff to it and it becomes a lot more complicated. This starts the whole thing off on the wrong foot. When you first contact a person or company that you are going to outsource to make sure you are very specific about what you want them to do for you and make sure you both understand what you want and what they are going to deliver.

-Don’t agree to long contracts up front. It is not wise to sign or agree to a long term deal with someone before you have any experience with them. Try them out for a little while and see how it works first, then move on to long term deals. You don’t want to commit to the wrong person.


If you need a full time employee you may want to use an outsourcing company to help you find this person. There are good and bad things about these types of companies. The good is that these companies will filter out people that have certain skills. If you need a PHP programmer and they have one it can make you search for one a lot smoother. They also often have management onsite so you don’t have to worry about whether or not your job is being done. They also tend to have a larger pool of workers so if you suddenly need a huge job done fast they can probably accommodate you.

The downside of these companies can be that you may not have direct contact with the people doing your job, but instead you have to go through the management. Also a source I spoke with that has worked for outsourcing companies says that many of the companies keep about 89% of the money you pay for the job. Because they pay so little to the actual worker there is often a big turnover in employees so you may never be guaranteed to work with the same person month after month. Another source told me that some outsourcing companies oversell their workers and so you end up having things delivered late or they are done by many different people in order to deliver it on time and the work ends up not being what you wanted.

As with hiring someone from a board, you should look into any company you are going to hire and ask around about their reputation. Try doing searches on Google or Yahoo and searching the different webmaster boards to see if people have posted good or bad things about the company you are considering.

 Much of your decision making will be based on what type of work you need done. If it is simple “grunt” work you may not have many demands and just about any company will work for you. If it is specialized work you will want to find a company that will let you be very involved with the process. The last thing you want is to get a finished product that is done wrong and needs to be redone from scratch. It is okay to ask a lot of questions of these companies to make sure they can provide you with exactly what you need.


One mistake a lot of people make when outsourcing work is that they use price as their only way of selecting who to hire. This can sometimes be a huge mistake.  The first bidder may charge you $500 to do something and the second may say $700. Don’t pass on the second right away. If the first person is cheaper and will do the job just as well as the second, great! But if they don’t have as much experience or they are not as familiar with the job as the second one you might be doing yourself a favor when you go with the second one. That $200 is well spent if it means avoiding headaches. The old saying that you get what you pay for can often be true with outsourcing.

One of the best things about internet outsourcing is that it allows you to take full advantage of different economies. If you hire someone in the for a job they may charge you $20 per hour. But if that same work can be done by someone in another country for $4 per hour you can save some big money. Some people might say you are exploiting those people, but it really does depend on their economy. Where I live $20 per hour might be an average wage, but in some other country $4 per hour may end up being three times what they might make somewhere else.


Most people have had jobs before they were adult webmasters. I would imagine it is safe to assume most people have had a job or boss that they didn’t like. If you are honest with yourself you will probably admit that you didn’t give your best effort to people that treated you badly. The same goes for outsourcing. You are now the boss and these people are looking to your for direction and leadership. If you constantly crap on them and treat them poorly they are likely to not give you 100% effort and they will eventually leave and put you in a position where you are looking for help again. You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, but you don’t have to be an ass. 

There was a webmaster I worked for a while back that loved to talk down to the people he hired. He knows nothing about me or my life, but he assumes that because I am doing a job for him I must be a loser and he treated me as such. I didn’t stay around very long and when I left he asked me why and I told him I was leaving because he was a dick and I didn’t need to put up with it. He told me I was leaving him hanging and he wanted me to help him find and train a replacement and I told him no, he should have thought about that when he was explaining to me in detail how he was so much better than me and  how I must suck because I’m working for him. It never occurred to him that 100% of the money I made doing jobs like his went into a savings and investment account and I was doing just fine as a webmaster on my own. My point, for those that have never managed before, is that you want the people you hire to respect you and want to work hard for you. The best way to get that is to respect them and treat them fairly. 


In the end it is your business and if you hire a person/company to do some work for you and they don’t deliver you shouldn’t feel bad about firing them. This is especially true if you are doing long term ongoing projects. I spoke to webmaster who hired a person to do some ongoing work for them and he told me that often times the work would come back half done or done wrong and he would have to fix it. He didn’t want to fire the guy because the guy gave him a sob story about needing the job to support his family and made the webmaster feel bad. Eventually he fired the guy because the work kept getting worse and worse. It’s okay to feel sorry for him and his need to support his family, but in the end you have to think about yourself. I would suggest you tell them what they are doing wrong and give them an example of how to do it correctly then give them a little time to fix their mistakes. If they still don’t deliver the work on time or correctly, move on. In the long run it will be easier to find someone to do things correctly the first time then always fighting to get things done correctly with others.


I personally have done outsourcing work for a lot of different people doing a variety of things over the years. For me it is a nice way to do something different and get away from the daily grind of doing galleries and sites. I have heard stories of great success and I have heard some real horror stories. For me the decision to outsource is a big one. If you decide to do the work yourself you lose time, but you know it will be done exactly how you want it. If you find the right person to work for you then outsourcing allows you get the work done correctly and still spend your valuable time doing what makes you the most money and adds the most value to your business. If you maintain the outlook that you are essentially hiring an employee for your business and you don’t just settle on the lowest bidder, you can really get some good results. Outsourcing can help you take your business to the next level. It can also cause you headaches. If you use common sense and stick to some of the points I have mentioned you should be well on your way to outsourcing success.


Reader Comments: (1 posts)

Klondike says:
In awe of that anwesr! Really cool!
October 28th, 2011
at 6:38pm EST
Rating StarRating StarRating Star


Post Your Comments

WARNING: Any comments you post are solely your responsibility. accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever in connection with or arising from such content. Defamatory, derogatory, or other comments that we feel should be removed will, at our own discretion and ours alone.