Outsourcing for Productivity


Found an interesting thread on WebmasterWorld today about outsourcing some tasks to places like Fiverr, mturk, cragslist, odesk/upwork, etc. For those of us who don't oversee a business with dozens of employees, do you use outsourcing sites to scale up your profits and get more done?

Personally, fiverr has always seemed like a total crapshoot to me. If you've got some money to burn and are willing to proofread and double check work until you find someone you trust, it might not be a bad idea. But only if the tasks are relatively simple. The more complext they get - like writing content - the more likely you are to get bad work in return, I feel like. The services are so cheap, I suppose it's to be expected.

Here's what a few people in that thread had to say:

Leosghost: "Outsourcing, unless it is for code writintg ( and even then you need to be able to understand what you get back ) is a way to expose yourself to a potential world of hurt..and for 25% margins ..! No...way..."

goodroi (OP): "We also need to be careful not to be short sighted. In my theoretical example I used profits for one year. A more accurate number would probably be profits for multiple years. The beauty of an evergreen article is that it should relevant for many years. Some of my sites have been earning money on 10 year old content but to be safe probably best not to assume your content will be profitable that long."

ciml: "Outsource a new logo? Web design? Content? Ad creatives? Give it to three different giggers and pay them each their $5. Then spend a few minutes thinking about what you don't like and write a proper brief for a competent writer/designer/whomever. For me, this is easier than starting with a blank slate and it helps get past my own inertia."

What would/wouldn't you outsource? How can outsourcing increase productivity and profits beyond the risks that come with it?