This is a question that’s been rolling around my brain for some time now. Do you need a team to be a successful blogger now? I’ve been hearing it more and more from fellow bloggers and friends about what help they have with blogging. I’m talking more than a well trained Instagram Husband,. I’m talking PA’s, pro-photography, videography, web design, graphic design, social media, management teams and beyond.
To be fair, there are individuals out there in the blog/you tube world who have built themselves into mini empires. I can very much see why having help isn’t just a luxury, but essential. But I’ve also heard of others who are on a smaller scale utilising the services of virtual PA or interns to help get some of the leg work of running a blog professionally done.
I’ve looked into it in a few different ways. From a virtual PA, to help with filming. But there’s always been a couple of things holding me back. One being the finance side. I need to have it really clear in my head how investing in external help will pay off financially for me longer term. At the moment, I’m not sure I can see that so have held back. Then my other hesitation comes down to what I could simple label ‘control freakery’. It’s not quite as simple as that really, although I’m sure a big part of it is that I want to keep a handle on things. It’s mostly about the fact that since I started the blog it’s been all me. Bar the odd re-design, where I’ve had some help on that front. But to hand over something that would really feel like it saved me time would be something like the photos, social media writing, or emails. All of which I either really enjoy, or just feel like it wouldn’t be quite as ‘me’ if I had help doing it.
The big question that I have around it all though is: is not having any help holding me back? I have never and don’t have vision of myself as being a mega-blogger. I’m quite happy as I am, but I want to maintain where I am and not rest on laurels. Plus for my own sake I want to keep pushing and challenging myself so that I can always feel pleased with what I do. And ideally avoid a sense of total overwhelm.
But what I’d love to hear from anyone else reading is what you think of this topic. Do you think it’s ‘the norm’ to have help in the form of a PA/photography type thing? Can you see how something like a Virtual Assistant would help you? Or are you maybe a little more old-fashioned like me and generally quite happy as a true ‘one man band’. I’ve always been proud that the blog is very much me from start to where it is now. But am I sort of shooting myself in the foot by not being open to taking on help, building a team or just outsourcing the admin?
I am very much a team of one at the moment. Apart from the occasional help from fellow bloggers if I’m on a trip, or Ollie if I ask very nicely… the only help I have is on the finance side as I do have an accountant who makes sure all of that side (both personal and as a business) are covered off thoroughly. I often wonder if it’s one of those ‘you need to spend money to make money’ sort of situations, where if I was to invest in some part time admin help or photography or even start doing videos again. Would this help me up my game and in the long run be a better business decision.
What is the cost of building a team?
Having looked into different types of help over the last year or so. I wanted to include a few ball park costs to give you an idea (again, ball park – this is sort of a ‘how long is a piece of string’ topic) of what it might cost to use professional services to build your own support team.
Photography: From street shooting to support on product photography. Cost: From £30-100 per hour. Plus editing time and costs for travel.
Videography: Filming and editing of video content. Cost: Hourly from £50+ Day rate £200-500. Plus cost for travel.
PA/VA assistant or Intern: Admin, expenses, emails, diary, proof-reading, scheduling. Cost: £25 p/h for VA work. Assistants and admin can vary from travel expenses & food only (intern) upwards to full time salary.
Or am I actually quite happy just being me and working my little butt off each day to do the best I can on all areas of the blog. I should probably state here, that if I was to take on admin type help, it would span more than just the blog but on my consulting side too I think.
I’ve spoken to a few fellow bloggers about this, some who have help in the form of boyfriends/husbands who are really skilled photographers. Others who do invest in professional service. Others who have admin help, full or part time to take the load off on managing diaries, answering emails and adding in links and proof reading posts or scheduling social messages. Of course the general view is that those who don’t have help are quite happy and those that do are also quite happy. Which doesn’t exactly give me an answer to the question in the title.
Of course, as with everything in life and blogging. It mainly comes down to your own individual circumstances and preferences. And what success looks like to you. What I’d love to know is your view – as when I’ve talked to others, the view has often been quite strongly in favour or against the idea of paying for help. What’s your view? Is having help something you aspire to? Does it seem indulgent to you? Or does it just make good sense to manage all the tasks required of running a blog as a business?
If you’re building an empire – go you. If you’re running the show solo – go you.