In December of 2013, I hired someone to help me with my business… and my blogging.
I don’t know if it will be controversial to tell you this. But it’s out there now! Her name is Emily, and she’s a contributor over on my food blog, Laughing Lemon Pie.
I’d been thinking about hiring a virtual assistant for a while, but I wasn’t sure I could pay the rates of the “professional” virtual assistants I was finding. (This is not to say those professionals aren’t worth every penny—because I’m sure they are!—just that I couldn’t afford one.) Then someone suggested hiring a local mom to help me out.
That’s when everything clicked. I knew Emily from a mom’s group we both belong to, and I had heard her mention in passing that she was looking to pick up a little work here and there—but she needed it to fit in with her schedule. (She’s got a 2-yr-old, just like me.)
I approached Emily with the idea, and she was excited. Not only that, but because I would be training her to do most of the tasks as we went along, she was willing to help me out at a rate I could much more easily afford.
It wasn’t until after we got the ball rolling that I remembered something: Emily is a former pastry chef. She’s a total foodie mom. She would be a PERFECT contributor to my food blog!
Admitting you have a problem.
Hiring Emily came at the perfect time for me, because I was strongly considering whether or not to let Laughing Lemon Pie go…
For the entire last two months of 2013, I had relied on guest bloggers to keep some fresh posts happening on that blog, because I was just too busy to post for myself! I knew I needed to stay in my zone of genius to create my first ecourse for this website, market it, etc., and I simply didn’t have the bandwidth to do that and write posts for the food blog.
Laughing Lemon Pie is a passion project, but I knew I needed to take the pressure off of myself around creating content for it. At the same time, it’s my sandbox for trying out new things, it’s got a big list and a thriving community, and I wasn’t ready to let it die.
Finding and hiring Emily was the perfect solution, because she can help me maintain the flow of content, and I can still create posts for it when I choose to—but the pressure is off.
Asking for help.
As a ghost blogger myself, it was a little strange asking someone to do something very similar for me. But there are a few key differences between what Emily is doing for me, and what I do for my clients:
- Emily is a contributor to my blog, rather than a ghost blogger. She posts under her own name, not my name or just as the company. While I would be totally willing to be a contributor to a client’s blog (as opposed to a behind-the-scenes ghost blogger) no one has asked me to do that yet, and mostly I am uncredited, writing in my clients’ voice on their behalf. (For the record, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either setup; different situations call for different treatments.)
- Emily is not a trained copywriter or a professional blogger. In this situation, I’m OK with that. There aren’t any sales riding on her words, and I know she will grow into her skill as a food blogger. In other words: the stakes are lower. We can afford to experiment on that blog. I would not, however, want to hire an inexperienced writer to contribute to this blog, since it’s the calling card for my business—and I wouldn’t advise you to do that, either.
- I’m still at the helm. Like the executive editor of a magazine, I’m approving her blog post ideas, reading over everything before the posts go live, and managing the overall style, thrust, and strategy of the blog. Like a columnist, Emily is providing a small part of the content.
Balance is one of my core desired feelings for 2014, and Emily is definitely going to help me find that. She’s helping me streamline my business, increase my sales, and still have a life!
And one of the ways she’s doing that is taking some content creation off my plate.
Finding someone like Emily is a viable option for a business owner who needs help creating content and is willing and able to put in the time to manage it. Yup. You read that right. I’m telling you there’s a cheaper option out there compared to my VIP Ghostblogging service. I’m actually not afraid of telling you that, because if you’re looking for the cheapest option, my service is not going to be the right fit—and that’s OK!
But if you need to hire the executive editor—the person who is going to craft the strategy and create the vision for your content marketing, then execute it without you having to look over their shoulder or wonder if it’s good enough—then the VIP Ghostblogging service is perfect for you.
I’m just thrilled that I got the opportunity to take a little of my own advice and delegate some things to keep me in my zone of genius! Which, by the way, is helping you stay in yours. 😉