My guess is that when you started your blog, you probably didn’t think you’d ever be wondering how on Earth you would hire a virtual assistant. The truth is, not many of us (myself included) started our blogs with a view to outsourcing the workload. The whole point of starting a blog is that it’s your own; your space to do with as you please, run the way you want it to run, and hopefully make a bit of cash on the side.
But here’s the thing, hiring a VA doesn’t take away from any of that. Your blog is still your space, your virtual baby, and good VA’s will follow your guidelines to the letter. They will respect your wishes and needs, and totally engage with your vision for your blog.
When should you hire a virtual assistant
Knowing when to hire a VA will be unique to you. It will depend on how quickly your blog is growing, and how quickly you want it to grow.
There is no right time to hire a virtual assistant, but what I will say is that the sooner you dip your toe in, the sooner you will see the benefits. There’s no rule that you have to jump right in and give 10 hours worth of work every week to a VA. It can be just as useful to outsource an hour or one off services to begin with. Most VA’s offer one off services that can take away the headache of those niggly blog tasks you’ve been struggling with.
If you’ve just made the decision that you’re going to really forge ahead with your blog biz plans, then now really is time to start thinking about your productivity processes so that you can get more done in the time you have. Hiring a VA can be a huge asset to your productivity overall.
When your workload outgrows you
As your blog grows to the dizzying heights that you probably never thought was actually possible, the reasons you should hire a virtual assistant will really start to rack up. Even if you didn’t start your blog thinking it’d ever become a fully fledged business, once you’ve made the decision to take your blog’s growth seriously, you’ll probably find that your workload becomes seriously hectic.
We all know as bloggers that anything is possible, but everything at once is most certainly not!
For your blog to really grow beyond the hobby it maybe began as, the chances are you’ll probably need a bit of help. Asking for help, especially with something that you’re so emotionally invested in, can be one of the hardest things to do. But when you really break down what a VA can do for you, your blog, and your business, it becomes a bit of a no brainer.
Don’t repeat yourself
Are you spending hours on repetitive tasks? These are hours that you could be spending doing things to move your business forward. Imagine if you had the 2-4 hours back every week that you usually spend filling up your social schedulers. Think of all the content you could create in that time.
Maybe you struggle with the tech side of blogging, and as a result waste hours of your valuable time trying to get code to work, or tech to integrate with your site properly. That’s all time you could be spending pitching to brands, creating opt-ins, or virtual products of your own. The things that will actually make you money.
So what can a VA do for me?
Every virtual assistant will offer different services and packages. Lots of VA’s specialise is specific areas of business, or have very specific skills. For example, my own VA services include WordPress tech (things like setting up plugins or themes, and adding Google Analytics code to sites) writing anything from blog posts to subscriber emails, or setting up emails, automations and lists in MailChimp.
Those are pretty specific services, and they are mainly focussed around blogging and bloggers. Of course, these services are totally transferrable to business areas and websites other than blogging, or even to businesses who have a side blog.
Finding a VA who will be able to take control of your unique tasks is simply about finding a VA within your niche. While lots of VA work, skills, and services are generic and transferrable, I really believe that working with a VA who has a working knowledge of what you do will make for an amazing working relationship.
Why does a relationship matter?
You might think that by the very nature of a VA being, well… virtual, that you won’t really get to know them, or need to get to know them. But that’s really not the case. Your blog and biz is your baby, right?! You really don’t want to be leaving your baby in the hands of someone you don’t like or trust.
The process of hiring a VA should definitely start with a certain amount of getting to know each other. Of course, you need to know what your VA can do for you, what their skill set is, and what they’re really good at. But you also want to know what they’re passionate about, and if those passions align with yours and your needs.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying you have to like all the same things. In fact, if you hate Pinterest it’d be amazing if you found a VA who loves Pinterest, right?! (this VA totally exists btw, and she is amazing. Check her out here)
What if we don’t get on?
There’s always a chance that once you get started with a VA, you might find that you just aren’t working well together. The very simple solution to this is to just see out any work and time that you have already agreed to, get the most out of that time as you can, and then respectfully explain that you’ll be moving on.
It doesn’t need to be negative on either side, sometimes good working relationships just don’t happen or develop the way they could. That’s life. You might even find that you go through a few VA’s before you find someone you work with like a dream, but don’t be disheartened. Rather go through a few and find someone you love, than settle which could potentially leave you stressing and worrying more than you were before.
Okay, so how do I hire a virtual assistant?
A simple Google search will have you covered on the front. Try searching for the words ‘virtual assistant + [your niche]’ or ‘virtual assistant + [service you require]’. At least a few results should jump out at you just by scrolling through them. Have a look at their site, the services they offer, and their availability.
Once you find someone you like, contact them using their contact form or buttons, and outline exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re not entirely sure what you need, but just know you need more time, then be honest about that! Ask them what services they would recommend, or what they have time in their diary for.
Some VA’s might offer an introductory rate, or even some free time so you can see how you would work together without feeling like you’re committing too much too soon.
How can you help me?
I founded and run the site The Blog VA, where I offer all my own VA services. When I first started my blog, I had no idea how much I’d come to love the tech side of blogging, and all the behind the scenes stuff involved with creating and running a successful blog.
I’m fully aware that lots of bloggers don’t enjoy this side of blogging, though, which is where The Blog VA comes in. As a blogger running my own blog, I understand exactly what it takes to keep a successful blog going. Almost everything I know about blogging is self taught, so all the tech struggles you’re experiencing, I’ve experienced. I’ve been frustrated trying to get my Google analytics code into my header tag, I’ve fretted about how to set up rich pins for Pinterest, and I’ve battled with elements of my blog design that just didn’t look or respond the way I wanted them to.
Too scared to change your permalink structure in case you can’t make the redirect work? I’ve been there!
You can find my VA services here, and contact me about your specific and unique needs using my contact form. If you’re already totally convinced, and ready to book some time or a one off service with me, you can find my booking form on the site too.
Look forward to seeing you over at The Blog VA!