How to hire a Virtual Assistant to manage your Blog

Many professionals have a hard time keeping up with the tasks that come with managing their businesses. And while in today’s world quality content is more important than ever, creating that content can feel like just one more thing demanding your attention that needs to get done quickly. However, you can’t and shouldn’t rush to create your content, as poorly written work can be a death sentence to your business.

Your website blog is a key part of your marketing strategy, so it needs to be articulately written, engaging and relevant. The content you publish should be regular and fresh, and structured appropriately with strong keywords to help keep you high on Google’s search results.

Beyond developing great content, there are many technical tasks that accompany your blog, such formatting, uploading, and finding good images. If people start to interact with your posts, you’ll need to respond in a timely fashion. You’ll also have to study the analytics and market your blog strategically to get it in front of the right people. All considered, blogging is time consuming; there’s no doubt about it.

How are you going to find the time to do all this, in addition to running your business? If you’re having to ask this question, the answer could be this: hire a virtual assistant.

Do You Need a Virtual Assistant to Manage Your Blog?

You could definitely use a virtual assistant (VA) if any of the below pain points sound familiar:

  • Your writing skills are not polished.
  • Your schedule is already hectic.
  • You struggle to come up with fresh content ideas.
  • You don’t understand SEO.
  • You find analytics confusing.
  • You’re not particularly technical.
  • You don’t have a strong understanding of marketing best practices.

Virtual assistants are trained professionals who provide services to those who wish to outsource aspects of their business. VAs come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak; most specialize in particular areas of business.

When hiring your VA, you’ll need to make sure that he or she is experienced in content creation and marketing. They should also be conversant with SEO and the web software you use. It goes without saying that your VA should be highly organized and able to stick to a regular schedule.

Let’s take a look at the duties your VA will need to perform:

Content Creation

You might have ideas about the content you wish to create. That’s fine; you can pass this guidance onto your VA. However, since they are the ones with the core skills, it can be prudent to let them run with their own ideas.

Your VA should have proven experience and an articulate writing style. They should fully understand SEO (search engine optimization) and be able to write each post with this in mind. They’ll be adept at finding the most appropriate keywords; they should understand the consequences of keyword stuffing and be familiar with link building.

Assuming you’re using WordPress, they will ensure that the correct SEO plugins are installed in order to manage the optimization. Lastly, your VA should be able to select compelling, relevant images to help highlight your post. Formatting posts should be done in accordance with SEO best practices, too.

Organisation

Your VA must be highly organized. It helps if they have some kind of system to help them regulate your posts and plan in advance. An editorial calendar is a useful tool – you can even get a plugin for one on WordPress. The VA then has a schedule to refer to and can come up with relevant content ideas well in advance.

Your VA will need to be on the ball when it comes to responding to and engaging followers. If your blog is good (and marketing is done correctly, you’ll attract followers to it. Some of those followers will have something to say about your content.

One of the worst things you can do is ignore comments and feedback on your blog; you should have your VA respond to notifications as quickly as possible after they come in. He or she should also filter out any spam your blog attracts – this is annoying, but common!

Your VA must also organise the technical aspects. Again, assuming you’re running your blog on WordPress, then you must be sure to have the latest version operating at all times to avoid glitches and security issues. Your VA should also ensure your blog has up-to-date plugins.

Lastly, it’s crucial for your VA to back all work up regularly. We don’t need to tell you that losing your posts can be a total disaster!

Marketing

Marketing your blog is crucial. Clever content alone just won’t cut it – you have to make an effort to spread your blog far and wide. Every post you put up will need to be promoted. There are several ways your VA can do this. He or she should post it on your social media channels, even paying to have it channelled to carefully chosen audiences. This also means you’ll need a moderate marketing budget to boost your posts.

Your VA can also connect with influencers to spread your content as far as possible. They can locate other blogs related to your type of content and comment on them, with links back to your blog, so that you’re reaching people who are already interested in your niche. Guest blogging is also a great way to promote yourself. Other bloggers will be happy to host your content as it will bring more traffic to their sites; it’s a win-win situation for all.

A content aggregator is a person or organization that gathers online content from different online sources for resale or reuse. Content aggregators can be a great way to make a side income and generate traffic, so get your VA to find out who are the best aggregators are for your niche, then submit your feeds.

Your VA should submit your blogs to RSS directories, too. An RSS feed directory is a site that hosts RSS feeds. These are searchable through RSS keywords, topics, or categories. RSS feeds increase exposure and brings more traffic to your site.

Your Time Is Precious… So Spend It Wisely.

Hopefully it’s now clear just how much time a virtual assistant can save you by managing your blogs. Virtual assistants can take care of content creation, marketing, the technical aspects and all of the related organization. By using a VA to manage your content, you’ll free up precious time so you can focus on other aspects of your business.

With your blogs taken care of and your own time dedicated to other operations, who knows… you may even have a life outside of your business! That’s practically unheard of for most start-ups and entrepreneurs. Good luck hiring your life-saving VA!

 

Does hiring virtual assistants sound too futuristic and unfamiliar?

Well, hiring a virtual assistant is the same as any other outsourcing process, the difference being that instead of a team the assistant is just one person – completely and utterly dedicated to your individual business needs. Essentially they are your secretary, simply based in a separate location.Image of mouth of consultant isolated on a blue background

Your virtual helper will be just as efficient as your regular employees, and the tasks that he or she will be handling would be equal in quantity and quality. Most entrepreneurs still haven’t made the final decision to outsource simply because they don’t have clear idea of what tasks they will outsource to begin with.

Take a look at just few of the tasks businesses can easily delegate to their virtual assistants:

  • Bookkeeping – your assistant can keep track of all your invoices, outstanding bills and keep your books always up to date
  • Database Management – any kind of data administration work will be carefully handled by the virtual assistant: data entry, data verification, data cleansing, etc.
  • Receptionist duties – answering incoming enquiries over the phone
  • Email management – monitoring your inbox, allocating emails, answering inquiries, following up with clients
  • Transcription (transcribing voicemail, video or audio, podcasts etc.)
  • Online research
  • Managing calendars and creating schedules
  • Social Media updates – your virtual assistant can also update and monitor all your social media pages, comment on blog posts and follow industry trends
  • Travel arrangements
  • And many others

Does this give you an idea of what a virtual assistant is capable of doing? It seems like a lot of work off your back now, doesn’t it?

To help convince you further that outsourcing is the way to go, here are just few of the benefits for your business:

  • The cost is up to 50% less than the average cost per employee
  • Hassle free recruitment processes
  • Saving time on small tasks so you can focus on developing your business
  • Projects are completed in timely fashion
  • Ability to scale your workforce at any time

When it comes to outsourcing, the possibilities are endless. Getting a virtual assistant is just a small part of many other services that your business can take advantage of, but if you haven’t outsourced just yet, hiring a virtual assistant is surely a great place to start.

For more information please contact us.

Why You Need a Virtual Assistant in 2019?

For the past decade or so, virtual assistance has seen a large rise in popularity. Virtual assistants offer a wide array of skills, and they can cater to your needs in ways office-based administrative assistants can’t. VAs can do regular office-related tasks like email management, bookkeeping, and schedule tracking as well as the more IT-related tasks like network management, social media management, and lead generation. Though not all virtual assistants have the same skill set, they still offer a lot of services you can’t get with office-based ones.

Due to their diverse skill sets, chances are there is a virtual assistant out there for every company. From large corporations to small startups, there are virtual assistants in nearly every business sector. More often than not, they can cater to your needs, and more. In 2017 especially, there was a boom in virtual assistance. Many companies saw the need for one, and virtual assistants all over the world got busier and busier. But there are still some companies out there that are hesitant to hire one. From their viewpoint, virtual assistants can be a risk considering they work offsite, and it can be difficult to monitor and guide their work.

But there is a reason why virtual assistance gets more and more popular every year. For a lot of people, the benefits of hiring them far outweigh the risks, and they are relatively more affordable to hire compared to an office-based worker. Some companies are seeing the benefits of getting a virtual assistant in 2019, and we lay out some news in virtual assistance here.

What’s happening in the virtual assistance scene?

In any field or industry, it has been accepted that implementing smart strategies, as well as properly managing time and resources are the two most important factors for success. But in this day and age, despite the fact technological marvels are happening at a fast pace, business owners and companies are getting even busier. They have more things to do, and efficiently managing time is almost impossible for them alone. This is partially the reason why virtual assistants are getting more popular.

They have the skills and experience necessary to do tasks normal assistants can’t, and they have proven to be able to handle jobs effectively and quickly. For this year, there has been growing competition in online businesses, and more and more people are taking the risk in becoming entrepreneurs. Because virtual assistants are so effective and helpful especially to small businesses, they will become even more in demand here on in. Having a virtual assistant can streamline the work process to the point it flows almost flawlessly, and for a business that just started, this is crucial.

Virtual assistants are also gaining popularity due to blogging. The digital landscape is currently experiencing a trend where blogging is being acknowledged as one of the most effective strategies in content marketing. Virtual assistants are also useful in this, as they can be trusted to handle the scheduled posting of the content, as well as updating the plugins and WordPress itself. A lot of companies have already taken the chance to have virtual assistants create content themselves, showing just how varied their skill sets can be.

Presently VAs come from the younger end of the spectrum, but that may change within the year. A lot of stay-at-home parents who don’t have the luxury of being able to commute to work in the morning are discovering the benefits of working from home as virtual assistants. Aside from them, some retirees are also choosing to start working again as virtual assistants in order to have something to do, or if they feel their pensions are insufficient to support themselves.

A popular thing to consider when thinking of how to increase sales and ROI is cost cutting. A lot of businesses try to cut down on office expenditures and other aspects of the business, where laying off workers are usually the last resort. This is one reason why lots of startups have taken to immediately hiring virtual assistants instead of in-office administrative staff. They are relatively cheaper compared to the latter, and their working times are flexible because some of them already work thousands of miles away. Experts have even calculated that choosing VA services can achieve around 40% savings in business expenditures, and this is only the beginning.

This is only for this year. The demand for virtual assistants is only going to get even higher, and their skill sets will also widen accordingly. Writing skills, video editing, and content production in general is emerging in virtual assistance, and it might even be a matter of time before they become standard skills to be found in a virtual assistant.

Why you need a virtual assistant

So seeing all of the trends and accomplishments in virtual assistance, it is already clear why it would be advantageous for you to consider hiring one. Here, we lay out some additional reasons why you will find a virtual assistant useful.

  1. You can increase productivity, as well as avoid the possibility of burning out
    There are times when work is just too much, and you wish you could just quit. This is especially true for some business owners who just started out. Owners of companies like these usually do different roles because they are still trying to do as much as possible when they’ve just begun their business. But no matter how good you are at what you do, you are going to need a break every once in a while. Investing in virtual assistants will get you that much-needed break. When you have someone helping you in various tasks, this will give you more time and energy to divert into other pursuits.
  2. You can get more while also saving money
    Though it has been said before, it is still worth repeating: despite virtual assistants having a wide skill set, they are still relatively more affordable compared to office-based employees. Let’s face it, there are always going to be needed resources for companies that have cheaper alternatives
  3. You can hire virtual assistants only as needed
    Despite emphasizing just how much productivity a virtual assistant can achieve, they can also be the ideal candidates for jobs that require a low volume of work. There are companies who need some help with a bit of work, but they don’t really need someone who works full time, and there aren’t many part-timers for these kinds of duties they need. Or there are also times when certain seasons you have dire need of help, but there are months where it’s slow and you don’t need assistance anymore. In come virtual assistants. You are free to adjust the hours you need them in a week or a month. You can even suspend their services for certain times, and then make use of their services again in the future. This kind of flexibility is hard to find anywhere else, and sometimes, this is exactly what a company needs.
  4. You can make use of their services 24/7
    Most of the time it’s no longer enough to have somebody work in the usual nine-to-five shift. A lot of companies have customers depend on them at all times of the day and week. A solution to this kind of predicament is to hire a virtual assistant who is in a different time zone. Many companies who offer customer or technical support during their daytime hire virtual assistants to cover the night shift. This is a win-win situation because the virtual assistant you are hiring will still be working during their daytime, which will ensure there is no drop in performance due to lack of sleep, and your own employees won’t be hurt with the arrangement as well.
  5. You’re already behind
    One thing you need to remember about virtual assistants is that some companies have been making use of their services for many years now. These companies have been reaping the benefits, getting more work done, while at the same time saving more money, and are spending more time in other ventures. Several other companies realized the same thing you are realizing now, and they immediately went to action. This does not mean you should just go ahead and hire a VA out of nowhere even if you have no work to give it.

You still need to assess if there is a certain part of your company that would benefit with the assistance of a virtual assistant. Because of their flexibility and ability to adapt, there usually is something in your company a virtual assistant can improve. Just make sure you have the VA do what you need, and they will make sure to do more than what you expected of them.

25 Tasks to Outsource to a General Virtual Assistant

One of the biggest reasons why entrepreneurs nowadays struggle to grow their businesses is because they are simply wearing too many hats.

They do everything in their business. They ARE the business!!!
It’s just plain smart to leverage your time with talented workers on your team, than try and do it all yourself.

Getting started is the Biggest Hurdle

However, from speaking with hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs over the last couple of years on the subject, the biggest reason why they procrastinate and not pull the trigger with outsourcing, is because they really don’t have a clue what tasks they would outsource in the first place!

They help you ‘buy more time’ in your work day, alleviating entrepreneurial stress and allowing you to start working ON your business, instead of being trapped, working in it, instead.

25 Tasks to Outsource to a General Virtual Assistant

  1. Email Management/Filtering
  2. Setting up Autoresponders (Aweber, Mailchimp)
  3. Booking appointments with clients
  4. Following up with clients/customers (sending thank you and other reminder emails)
  5. Receptionist duties (answering occasional calls)
  6. Calendar Management
  7. File Management (organizing files using Dropbox etc)
  8. Database building (eg. updating email or contact lists on your CRM)
  9. Research on certain topics for blogposts, newsletters or others
  10. Personal errands (purchasing gifts for loved ones / family members online)
  11. Hotel and Flight Booking
  12. Transcription (transcribing voicemail, video or audio, podcasts etc.)
  13. Taking down minutes of meetings
  14. Creating basic reports (reports on weekly tasks, deliverables, sales)
  15. Preparing Slideshows (Powerpoint Presentations)
  16. Liaison between you and other team members
  17. Recruitment (source for other team members like writers or graphic artists)
  18. Set-up Social Media Accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube)
  19. Manage and update Social Media Accounts
  20. Manage your Blog (Basic WordPress Skills)
  21. Publish posts on your Blog (content you provided)
  22. Filter and reply to comments on your blog
  23. Answering support tickets (with the use of Zendesk)
  24. Blog commenting (to increase links to your site)
  25. Participating in discussion forums or message boards (more promotion!)

A versatile VA becomes your team Member, not your Task-Taker

What’s the difference in hiring a versatile virtual assistant who is on your team for the long-term, vs. hiring task-based VAs on freelance platforms? We think the difference lies in quality. Not only the quality of your remote help, but the quality of the relationship you form with that person. And that relationship makes a real difference in the ways which they can help you actually grow your business, not just take a few things off your plate.

Our premium virtual assistants are multi-talented, and bring a breadth of experience to the table that will not only help you get things done, but help you navigate the best ways for doing them – which will benefit your entire team for the long-term. But don’t take it from us.