Maybe you have been blogging for 6 months, or a year and your blog is starting to take off. You are gaining page views, subscribers and social media followers.
The more you learn about blogging, the more blog tasks you have to do. Do you focus more on writing posts or promoting them? Do you spend time being active in FB Groups or working on your next freebie?
How do you split up your time?
How does one person do it all?
Is it Time to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
When to hire a VA, can be a difficult decision to make. You want your blog to grow but can’t do everything yourself. You have tons of great ideas for posts, promotions and giveaways but limited time to implement them all. You are experiencing Blogging Overwhelm, not because you don’t know what to do, you know exactly what to do but lack time. There are simply not enough hours in your day.
As any new blogger has learned, your TTD list – Things to Do, will never run out of items! Every time you write and publish a new post, it will need to be promoted. After all of the initial promotion, it is time to work on the next post. Whatever new skill or media you have mastered, there are three more new things to learn or polish. Before you schedule some older posts for re-sharing, you will want to be sure they are updated with newer info and features. You will never run out of blogging tasks!
It may be time to get some help from a Virtual Assistant and it is okay to start small. My first VA started just one hour a week!
How Much Money Do You Spend?
I didn’t want to pump more money into my blog but I knew I needed some help. If your blog is making some money, how much of it do you reinvest? You are already paying for hosting and other services. Now it is time to decide how much you can budget to hire some help.
At first I had more questions than answers:
I needed to hire some help but how do I decide on the right person?
How much money do I really have to spend?
Will I communicate effectively with someone only remotely?
How do I find someone to work within the same time zone?
Can I trust this person to do what they say they will do?
How am I able to see that they are doing what I am asking them to do?
These were many of my doubts and questions when I was trying to grow my blog by hiring some help.
In general, VA pricing varies greatly from $15/hour to $75 or more per hour. You may be charged by the hour for work or by the assignment or job. From what I have seen, pricing varies greatly based on the types of jobs being requested and the experience of the VA.
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How to Choose an Assistant?
I had many reservations about spending too much money and not really being sure what an assistant would be doing? If I taught myself all about blogging, why couldn’t I just teach someone else?
That is how I decided to start small by training my own Virtual Assistant. I have a relative who lives within driving distance and we had spoken quite a bit about my blog and how it was growing. She was genuinely interested in learning more and becoming involved. I am sure many of you have friends and family members that still aren’t quite sure what a blog is and how it becomes your job. So finding someone close to me that understood my vision and business plan was a bonus. As a result, she became my first VA! We started very small with just one hour a week.
This VA was gracious enough to work for the first month without pay while she was training. Since she had no experience and needed guidance on setting up her own Pinterest account and learning promoting, I trained her. When she was ready, I gave her a job list to complete and when it was done I gave her more jobs.
I meet with my VA face to face every other month, otherwise we use mostly email and messaging to communicate. When needed, we get on the phone to catch up, problem solve and strategize. This communication plan has worked well for both of us. When we need to talk we do, otherwise email works well for us. Many people can work just virtually, at the minimum, I need some actual phone time.
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Getting Started with Your Own Virtual Assistant
- Find a family member, friend or acquaintance interested in learning about blogging and social media. Aside from being interested in learning about blogging and social media, internet access is a must. Although many people do much of their work from their phones, I need my VA to have some sort of computer or laptop.
- Start small, pick a task or two to slowly turn over to a VA. My first important tasks were proofreading with corrections and constructive feedback, sharing on social media and and lots of pinning. Once you start sharing a task with your VA, you will figure out other jobs that they can assist with.
- If your VA has their own social media accounts they can use for promoting, that is a big bonus. That helps to increase your reach through your Assistant. If they don’t have accounts, they can start them. You can train your assistant and this way they learn everything you have already learned. Teach them not only how to promote but how to increase their following as well.
- Train your VA step by step to complete tasks for you. Many of the jobs I chose were repetitive, simple tasks to learn. For every hour of work I turned over to my VA, I had that much more time to work on my writing and research.
- If you haven’t already started using automated programs like Tailwind or Buffer for scheduling your sharing – start now! Tailwind not only saved me time with pinning and promoting, my Pinterest followers began to immediately increase. Get a Tailwind discount Here!
- I also use Buffer for scheduling Twitter, Facebook and Google+ sharing. The same increase happened when I started using Buffer for Tweets. Buffer not only saves me time, my followers increased due to my increase in sharing more consistently.
- Work side by side with your VA at first, (or over the phone) until they can complete certain jobs on their own.
- When they are ready, give them more responsibility. This frees you up to concentrate on jobs that only you can do. Some blogging tasks can only be completed personally; you will need to keep those. Other jobs can be shared or turned over completely to your assistant.
Whatever way you choose to get started using an Assistant to help with your blog is up to you.
I started very slowly and I now have two VAs working 4-6 hours per week. They each have specific jobs and tasks to complete. Now that I have been using them, I don’t know what I would do without them! I am now freed up for several hours to work on my writing. If I do get sidetracked and can’t work for a day or two, my VAs are still working promoting my blog.
Hiring and training my own VAs was my frugal solution to solving my Blogging Overwhelm problem.
How are you using a VA to help grow your blog?
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