For years businesses have had office staff and personal assistants on their payroll, but times are changing and it can work out more economical to hire a virtual assistant (VA). There are systems available that allow business owners and their teams to collaborate with their VA, or even their virtual team, without ever meeting in person. We shall take a look at some of these systems in a later blog. However, in the meantime, what is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office.
The key point here is that the VA is self-employed, and this is where the savings to your business can be made, as there is no cost associated with holiday pay, sick pay or tax where there would be with a permanent employee. A VA will take responsibility for their own training and personal development and will own their own equipment. Although there may be a cost to your business for any licence fees required for specific tools that the VA would not normally use.
To top all this, the fee that you pay your VA is for the time actually spent working on tasks relating to your business alone. For example, if you only have four hours work to be done on a Friday, you pay your VA for those four hours. Whereas, if you were paying a full-time employee you would pay for a whole days work. I know what I would rather do!
A VA should really be an extension of the small business owner, and whenever you make a concerted effort to establish a strong, professional and long-lasting relationship it can pay off exponentially.
Over the next few weeks we are going to look at various tasks that you can outsource to a VA, but today we are going to look at outsourcing your blog maintenance.
Ideas for Outsourcing Your Blog Maintenance Online
According to simplemarketingnow.com companies that blog receive 55% more traffic to their website. So it makes sense as a business owner to include a blog on your website. However, where blogs are concerned, consistency is key and must be updated on a regular basis, but this can take up a lot of time where you would be better off spending it on core aspects of your business, and handing over the blog maintenance tasks to a VA. A blog may be seen as a way of communicating with clients and prospects, something that a typically static website is not easily able to do. So how can the business owner use a blog successfully?
A blog is a fantastic way to ensure that when a news story breaks out that is pertinent to your niche, you as a business owner are in a position to take on that story, with potentially positive benefits to clients and prospects. This requires that the business keeps a finger on the pulse, and this can be really time consuming. A VA on the other hand can be taken on to look for potentially powerful breaking news stories in a variety of different locations.
When information has been sourced it must be converted into a format that is readable by your audience, and a blog is a perfect tool for doing this. Taking this content into consideration a VA can create a blog that focuses on a particular topic that can affect the company’s clients and prospects.
Longer blog posts are known to have better Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) performance, but if this means that you are less likely to write content for your blog then it’s probably more ideal to create a shorter post of around 350 to 400 words so that you are posting content on a regular basis. Remember, consistency is key!
Formatting and Tagging
A blog post should never be too cumbersome, tedious or difficult to read. It should be formatted in such a way that is easy to read, quick to interpret and also of benefit in terms of search engine optimisation. A VA will be able to format your blog posts correctly and add tags with the correct keywords in favour of SEO.
Any webpage that has no graphics whatsoever is likely to put off visitors from reading your blog and spending time on your site, as imagery can focus the attention of a potential reader and is more likely to get them to read the associated content. A VA can locate appropriate imagery for each and every blog post and can ensure that is it inserted correctly as part of the layout of the page.
One thing about blogs is that they are dynamic and two-way, and commenting can help attract further interaction and is likely to attract more visitors. A VA will be able to respond to your visitors when somebody comments on your blog, as they are aware that the entire process of maintaining a proactive blog is to ensure that dynamic commenting activity is encouraged. A VA can also ensure that spam commenting is not accepted, or erased as and when it appears. Keeping up with the commenting alone can be a challenging and time consuming task.
I hope that this has helped you to understand some of the benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant, and how it could be advantageous for your business, and how they can help you maintain your blog.
Next time we shall look at Ideas for Outsourcing Your Social Media Online.