Outsourcing and Automation Presentation

Hi all, it’s been a while since I posted, basically been crazily busy with both business and life in general. I enjoyed and spoke at another Think Visibility conference at the weekend, awesome group of people with some great speakers.

I spoke on outsourcing and automation, a subject I’m pretty passionate about and I think it went okay, so I’ve shared the slides above, any questions at all post in the comments and I’ll go into more detail. I’ve also done a round up of what other people have posted and some of the most important links:

Any others please let me know and I’ll add links to them here

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.


  1. really great talk Al - going to go through the slides to find help - unless you know of an ‘outsourcing butler’ I can hand it all to 🙂

  2. Hi Al,

    Thanks for sharing the slides, there are some great tips in your presentation, especially the value of the daily thumbnail galleries.


  3. Thanks for posting your presentation slides Al, I couldn’t make Think Visibility this time around, and as a fan of Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week your talk was one I would have wanted to see.

    Think it would have been great if you’d hired someone to make the presentation, outsourcing to the max! But guess Dom wouldn’t have been too pleased?!


  4. Great presentation Al, I’ve been reading SMM for a couple of years now so it was good to meet you, even if we didn’t get a chance to chat for long.

    I was really interested in what you had to say about hiring writers - that’s something I’m looking to do as I want to outsource and my writing skills are not the best 🙂

    The problem I have is that I need writers with technical knowledge, for example to write for the loft conversions website they would need to have some knowledge of the building trade or the property market. Its not the kind of thing where you can get away with a quick 5 minute research on google before writing a post or article. Any advice on finding writers with the correct techical background?

    • That’s a bit of a tricky niche, I’d advertise on related forums and/or search on twitter for people that are talking about loft conversions

      • I’m pleased to say that I’ve completed my first bit of outsourcing - had an article written by FreelanceContent. Very pleased with the quality of the article - it was about loft ladders which needs a bit of imagination to write about, I was happy with the result and will use their service again. I’m not connected to freelancecontent by the way, that’s just my honest feedback.

        • Hi Jon,
          Were they happy to just do the one article then?
          I have a couple of tough niche sites that I can´t do the content for. But most ask for a minimum number of articles (usually far more than I need)

        • Hi Andy, yes they were happy to write just the one article. Turnaround time was pretty quick, for the price I thought it was good value, I will be using them again - although it might not be for a while as I’m tied up with a new project at the moment.

        • Hi Andy - what did it cost for the article? I’m also interested in outsourcing writing as I have too many other things to do, though cost and the quality of the work are what are holding me back.

  5. Hey Al, thanks for sharing the slides. Was wondering then have you used every outsource for content source listed on your slides? If so, which was the best one for you?

    Do you hire writers for brand new blogs or prefer to be the main writer first and then hire on as it becomes more profitable / sustainable?

    • I’ve not used all the services listed, I did tweet for recommendations. My best source has always been advertising on the actual sites. When II start a new site I general put one of my current writers onto it.

      • Hi Al - where did you find your ‘current writers’? Were they from people that you found over time on content sites that did a good job and so you regularly use them, or are they people you know directly?

        Content writing is something I think I need to get help with as I just don’t have time to do everything myself, and the slides in the article are a real help and have given me some ideas for places to check out.

  6. Great post Al, I have been experimenting with your gadgets thumbnail plugin, do you think it’s actually useful to send out those posts? Help with SEO???

  7. I MUST go to the next one… Should kick myself really as I live in Leeds.

  8. Something I am looking into right now is content writers for a load of domains I have sat idle. I wanted to test out a few writers but most of the ones I have spoke to already only take large orders - not much good if they aren´t up to scratch so I´ll have a look at a couple of these.

    • Are they UK domains, or US based? If US you could try out textbrokers.

      • Nah - these are all UK domains in the DIY product sector (something I know absolutely nothing about!)
        Is their any UK equivalent of textbrokers?
        May also be interested in someone who can provide WordPress datafeed options as I´m a bit stuck on implementation as well…

        On another note was this Think Visibility the same as the one where there were some tickets given away last year? i thought it was an annual event?

  9. Al,

    Thanks very much for popping my site in, much appreciated mate I owe you a beer or two!


  10. Extremely good presentation, Al. Picked up quite a few important tips from it. 🙂

    Till then,


  11. glad to hear this information, I was thinking about using daily thumbnail galleries previously so good to know they are useful

  12. I like your slideshow presentation. Nice and graphic rich, serving to cement brands whilst you’re verbally filling in the details. I like it, thanks for sharing it with us.

  13. Wish I’d made it to think vis now. Those slides look like the talk that goes with them would have been valuable 🙁

  14. I’m pretty much sure there are a lot our writers we can outsource from the Net. It a matter of choosing the best among them. Outsourcing is in and we should take advantage of it because cost is cheaper and the work by far exceeds my expectations.

  15. Great presentation,dude. Thanks for the share.

  16. After reading your post and checking through oDesk it really sounds like exactly what I have been looking for! Thank you!

  17. I regularly outsource everyhing but allways seem to struggle getting good SEO companies, will definately give these guys a try.


  18. I’m not a big fan of outsourcing, ’cause if you need soemthing done, do it yourself! but automation i am a big fan of, tools are made to make your life easier

    • The key to making the outsourcing work is getting good quality at a good price - its easier said than done. Getting cheap outsourcing is easy, but for example getting good writers who understand your subject matter well is much harder.

  19. The slide tells it all. I’m only limited to Odesk before, now I got more options and alternative. Finding excellent providers are one of key success of outsourcing.

  20. My partner and I are about to possibly open a sporting goods/screen printing business. For the first couple of months we may need to outsourse some work before we can get the proper equipment such as embroidery machine and trophy making tools. What would be the procedure in approaching someone about outsourcing some of my work? For instance, if i need some trophies done is it typical to supply the outsourcing business the supplies or do they purchase? Would I be paying as much for the product as if someone off the street came in and ordered the same thing? I know most of these question would vary depending on who you try to get to outsource your work but just looking for some ideas from those of you that outsource or do outsourcing work for others. Thanks

  21. Great presentation… but I’m having a problem with one point above. Outsourcing SEO.. while I’d love to do that, these can get very expensive to me because I own a small business. I saw the SEO companies that you’ve referred to in the presentation and may be it’s time to contact them to see if the price would be good for me…

  22. I have heard ODesk takes screenshots of the workers screen at regular intervals. That just seems like very intrusive to me. As long as the work was done to a high quality I wouldnt really care how long it actually took them or if they watched youtube clips while doing it !

  23. Hey Al,
    My first time on your site and am already loving the your content as well as some really good sites you happen to refer.

  24. cfa practice test says:

    I have heard ODesk takes screenshots of the workers screen at regular intervals. That just seems like very intrusive to me. As long as the work was done to a high quality I wouldnt really care how long it actually took them or if they watched youtube clips while doing it

  25. Just ref your slides, looks like rentacoder has been rename to vworker.. Great slides and great to see you at thinkvisibilty

  26. I’ve not really seen a huge benefit when outsourcing, in terms of quality. I’ve seen lots of links built, but usually of a very low domain authority (seomoz metric). Every outsourcer i have used promised the world to only delivery work of dubious quality. Some outsources even outsource the work you give them, so who knows whose performing seo on your behalf and were they are generating links from, methods used etc.

    IMHO stay within the UK when looking to outsource.

  27. When I saw the name Tom Critchlow I thought i recognized that name..
    But now i’m not so sure i am not confusing it with Michael Crichton

  28. Great list Al. Personally I think everyone should try and outsource as soon as possible. By doing so you will save a lot of time which you can spend on more important things where your knowledge really do matter.

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