Successfully create your future! Get the help of a virtual assistant to help start a online business about your fun hobbies! It’s that easy – I have done it and I’ll show you how you can do it, too.
Start an Online Business
Ideal Helper moves to WordPress! After long years on a previous hosting platform (SBI or Site Build it), all the best lessons and news about working with VAs will be presented to you on a fresh design on WordPress.
Luckily, I don’t have to do this alone, and working with my VA on the setup of this WP is a bit like Christmas. I look at what I see, tell my VA what I wish for, and he makes it happen.
It would be doable on my own. But if you have an assistant taking care of detail-oriented work such as setting up plugins, researching documentation, playing with the code…
It’s hard not to lean back (and also focus on some other tasks, like working out content).
Pre-researched Themes for WordPress
Although my VA does lots of the work behind the scenes, the final decisions are left up to me. In this case, he researched the best WordPress themes along with alternatives for which sort of themes it should be. We went with Genesis after him comparing different alternatives.
Then, he gave me a choice of 5 good premium themes based on my budget and his assessment of the website’s content. Let me know in the comments if you are interested in his research and I can post it as an update to this post.
I went with the “Executive” theme you see right now (as of 2016) and purchased it. My hope is that the content is clearly readable and easy to find for you.
Installing the theme
To be honest, I just left this task to my VA as he is more adept in WordPress as I am right now. Since there was no problem for him, I assume the setup is pretty straightforward for anyone familiar with WP.
Setting up the page layout
As I want to optimize the layout for readability and especially the mobile format, I am not re-creating 1:1 the old design from Ideal Helper.
Although I was happy with that old design so far, I feel that the fresh design as you see it now makes the site look a bit more professional.
I believe that Virtual Assistants are professionals and their potential employers (you perhaps?) are also looking for a professional behaviour. That’s why a professional look is what I am shooting for.
Also, I felt that the previous design was a bit too “busy”. My goal now is that my site gives you a clear direction where to go next to reach your goal.
Reworking all the existing content
To move the content from one platform to another is not copy-paste easy, unfortunately. But it’s the perfect example of a task that should be handled by your virtual assistant. Of course, you can always do it yourself. Be prepared to work for a few weeks on nothing than optimizing and fine-tuning your content.
Or, you just train your assistant and let him do it.
Or, you simply contact us for a quote for doing it for you. This way, you don’t have any headache with hiring, managing and training your assistant.
On my second website, there are around 700 Creative Commons photos from Flickr used as illustrations. My virtual assistant helps me heavily setting them up.
- Researching the pictures.
- Placing an attribution back link to the source.
- Commenting under the picture in Flickr with the back link back to my page. This presented some link views.
- Keeping track of all the illustrations in an organized database.
- Replacing broken links as they arise and replace pictures if they are not up to date anymore.
All these tasks saved me a great deal of time. But then there was one problem.
What Happens if A User On Flickr Leaves the Platform And The Pictures Are Not Available Anymore?
That’s exactly what happened. Quite a bit of my pictures, at least a few dozen, were all from the same Flickr user. Although I received his expressed content via Flickr mail, I don’t have access to that mail anymore as he left the platform.
Did I have to remove all those great pictures which I originally have the consent to use?
Since I could not place a correct backlink to attribute the author anymore, this would collide with the creative commons terms of services, I thought.
To remove that many pictures and research new ones would:
- First, be hard work
- Be a bit shame because the pictures from the first author were great.
Solution Attempt #1- Contacting the Original Author
My VA helped me track down the original authors of the Flickr photos. That’s because he uploaded some of his photos to other photo stock banks.
By using a reverse image research tool called TinEye or Google reverse image search, he was able to track down the same user in a few other photo banks. Also by researching his nickname, he found him on social media like Pinterest and Twitter.
So, it was possible to contact them this way.
What to Do When the Original Author Is Not To Be Found Anymore?
My contingency plan if the author would not respond and/or we would not find him:
Find the official solution of what is to be done when Creative Commons photos are not found in the source anymore. For that, my virtual assistant took the initiative and contacted the team from Creative Commons.
The Answer in short: Keep the pictures
You can continue using Creative Commons photos.
As long as the pictures were Creative Commons in the first place, meaning that with attribution that one could use them, the license is still valid unless the author changes it.
Since the author has just left Flickr, the license is still valid.
Preventing this Problem from Ever Coming up Again by Stamping Every CC Illustration with a Time Stamp
Since I cannot afford to waste so much time every time a Flickr user chooses to leave the platform, my virtual assistant researched an elegant solution to the problem.
However, I would have never implemented this system if it were not for my virtual assistant who invested lots of time and hours to mark each picture and their attribution license.
Save time in the long run:
Timestamp every Creative Commons picture with their license and attribution as long as they’re still up on Flickr. Luckily, there is an online tool available for that, which my virtual assistant used extensively.
- It is called ImageStamper.
Using this service, it’s possible to retain a proof that you had the license in the first place. This way and under the agreement of Creative Commons, if the photographer revokes his license then you can keep the pictures on your web properties as long as the author does not tell you otherwise.
Feel free to implement these tactics sooner rather than later. You cannot know when all your great Creative Commons photos, on your blog or website, will not be attributable anymore.
For the picture managing task alone including all the problems discussed in this page, a virtual assistant more than pays back his money.
If you want to learn nuts and bolts of working with virtual assistants from experience then we recommend you learn from our free email coaching.
Thank God for the audio recorder! When writing website content, I’m possibly one of the most writing-lazy persons you can imagine.
Still, I have managed to create two websites full of written content. By the way, you’re right here on the second website, it’s ideal-helper.com.
You need to know that I wrote the first one myself. It was very hard to do, especially the writing. Here’s how you can make this happen in a smarter way.
With the help of a virtual assistant, you could outsource yourself out of the equation of writing, too.
Instead of writing website content, you can easily use audio recordings to create the written work. Of course, you need the help of a transcriptionist to do so. But in the end, this results in extremely fast blogging or article “writing”.
What would you do to blog faster?
Honestly, to maintain a blog is a little bit more work than most people think. You surely have seen this before: 99% of people who’ll start a blog, stop blogging after a few posts.
Only the 1% continues on because they are truly motivated or because they make money with it.
Since ideal-helper is a website about using a virtual assistant, my extremely easy method for writing website content with the help of audio recording and voice transcription.
Why is it important to produce content fast?
- If you try to follow along with the hundreds of discussions that happen in real-time in your niche, you cannot possibly focus on writing website content.
- If you focus on writing enough stuff, you cannot focus on promoting it online like Facebook or other social media.
- The more content you write, the more traffic you get!
Now to speak of tasks like podcasting, creating interesting e-books and so on: by working together with a virtual assistant, you can get much more of it done.
It really is doable.
What about the money?
Of course, hiring a virtual assistant costs you money. A critic could say that you’re wasting your money and that you should do it yourself.
How important a virtual assistant can be to you
The questions you must ask yourself are:
- How much is your time worth to you?
- What can you do with your time to make money when you’re not spending it with basic tasks?
For example, writing website content, illustrating your posts:
- research the right picture,
- place it with HTML
- and optimize it for the size
All of these tasks take a lot of your time.
This is a process I have outsourced for years now. It has been some time since I last illustrated a post.
Of course, if I don’t like the illustration my virtual assistant makes for me, I’ll tell him and he will propose alternatives.
I feel that your time is better invested in managing the “how” of using a virtual assistant rather than looking for the right illustration.
Perhaps you are blogging about a very specific topic that only you can really talk about.
What’s more important:
- getting your word out, your message,
- or researching basic stuff about how to run a blog or a website?
I’m happy that I’ve used Site Build It! as a method to build my websites. With this system many of the tedious web-building tasks are already taken care for me.
Also, their web-building method follows a systematic strategy that results in traffic with less meaningless work.
But you want to read about how to outsource content, right?
Well, here is how I did it.
- Almost all content that comes to mind spontaneously, I record it in real-time.
- Then, a transcriptionist transcribes the recording for me.
- Then my main virtual assistant optimizes the transcript and inserts links, pictures, all that you like to make the website readable and nice.
Of course, you must have a final proofreading before it goes online.
How to easily stay on top of your niche
In order to discuss topics that are of real interests to the world, ask your virtual assistant to send you daily a summary what’s going on in the world.
Get a list of keywords, questions and topics that are currently discussed. Give it your expert opinion in voicemail form and then watch as it gets involved into buzzing places all over the world.
Be it your website, your blog pages, Facebook, LinkedIn, forum posts, blog discussions, you name it, I’ll be there.
It’s hard to work full-time while maintaining a web business. I’ll completely agree that not everyone is able to maintain a web business.
You need perseverance and a lot of time to do this. This is why outsourcing is so important. Everyone has a message to share. Make yours be heard.
Are you a writer? Are you a hunter? Do you love to photograph? Do you love to party?
I don’t know what your passion is but you have something worthwhile to share with the world. And you don’t have the time to learn blogging and creating websites 90% of the time.
The compromise I have found for me is to learn each step of the way and immediately teach it to my virtual assistant.
This way, you can take yourself out of the equation.
What remains is your passion and your message. You can share your experience freely. Your virtual assistant or your team of virtual assistants makes sure that your passion and your experience gets out to the world.
What happens then? Well, I’ll leave it up to you.
(Hint: Like, Share, Comment the heck out of my stuff!) 😀
I can’t predict if you like my message or not. I can only try to do my best when sharing my experience with you.
What you can do is, of course, to share your feedback if you like reading my thoughts or my ideas about writing website content.
Is what I’m telling you too simple or too overwhelming?
- If what I say is too basic for you, feel free to call me on it. I’ll teach you more advanced stuff then.
- Sometimes when you’re so immersed in your passion and your subject, you lose your sense of simplicity. So if what I’m talking is too much far away from your real world experience, call me on it!
Tools for targeted keyword research
Keyword samurai… AFL?
Different sort of keywords
long tail keywords
Using a VA for targeted keyword research
research keywords with lateral and vertical brainstorming
optimize the text
Re-read for usability and natural sound
Here is the story behind this website and its creators, me and my virtual assistant. Together, we are collaborating to start a online business that will teach you how to profit and gain more free time.
What is this “Ideal Helper” all about?
Here is my bottom line:
I believe everyone should find and work together with an ideal virtual partner and co-worker to save your most valuable good: your precious time.
Even if you are not planning on creating a website, there are still tons of stuff – all that you do on the computer, actually – that you could outsource.
The tips to find and work together with an “ideal helper” that you’ll find on these pages are addressed to normal people like you and me – not some big shot corporation bosses.
Perhaps, you never thought about building your own future with a website. I didn’t either, just a few years ago. Read on to learn why I changed my mind…
Outsourcing has become my hobby and passion
You can start a online business about virtually anything.
I have used outsourcing for private projects over the years. It was such an effective, ruthless and modern way to approach those overwhelming to-do-lists that I had lying around…
Getting involved with virtual assistants was the best things that ever happen to me.
That is why I built this very site about “ideal helpers”.
This is actually my second site. I have built another before, without the help of a VA. Although it worked out, but I learned how to jump start a online business when a VA, trained by me, helped me out with every step on the way!
- Read this post from the early days of my website when my virtual assistant provided me with keyword research service.
- The only acceptable way to outsource writing website content.
- Tired of working through tedious and repetitive tasks like repairing broken links? Personal assistant wanted to help you out on the little things?
- Here is my top tip to speed-up your email marketing efforts: Use an email marketing assistant for help
- If you ever need a second opinion from “the crowd”, check out how my VA helped me use a free online survey tool to its fullest potential.
HTML-based tasks with the help of a Virtual Assistant
Working with HTML can be very time consuming. There are:
- the learning curve on how to work with HTML for you
- the tedious day-to-day tasks
- the research of finding HTML solutions when your knowledge runs out
In my experience, your VA can be very helpful when you let him take care of your HTML related tasks. Some examples…
Start a online business – It’s not always easy and it takes time
When working on my website businesses, sometimes I had trouble making hard decisions. Having a virtual assistant at my side that knew my web business as well as I did greatly helped me out every time.
Check out how successful other “normal guys and girls” have been!
If you think: Building a website is not for me – I know nothing about it… Stop.
When I started building websites, I did not even know what SEO, HTML or all that crap meant.
But, I was willing to learn, if it was explained to me in a down-to-earth, layman’s terms sort of way.
Luckily, SBI! does not only take care of website hosting, but also comes completely equipped with a step-by-step training system that simply cannot fail, if you follow it to the letter!
Really, everyone? I couldn’t believe it either
Don’t fall for any tricks, be sure to double check any claim you read on the internet. Yes, even what I am telling you.
I was very skeptical, too. I needed every bit of information before trying out Sitesell’s system – but I have never regretted it ever since.
You can actually see how others start a online business and successfully make money online simply by talking about what interests them most: their hobbies and their passions!
Check out these examples of successful SBI websites!
The website hosting costs exactly the same, no matter how many thousands of visitors you get on your website, is a nice “side-effect” 😉
This makes the secure hosting system from SBI a true bargain compared to other web hosts.
My advice to a friend
I was asked if a virtual assistant really is useful for a website owner.
My opinion is that hiring virtual assistant support is one of the smartest online business strategies you could come up with.
Use the right system with your VAs:
All the virtual help in the world will not help you if you are stuck with the wrong system. If you are serious about making your online home based business ideas come true, you need to use the correct system!
More Web Business Related Articles
Managing Creative Commons Photos and Stock Photos
After you implement the tips in this article, you can use Creative Commons photos absolutely free.
Sometimes, stock photos look more professionally, though. My Virtual Assistant shares his method of legally finding totally free stock photos.
Posting to Craigslist in the US for Traffic Generation
My virtual assistant researched a few good solutions to post to Craigslist in the USA even if you are residing outside of the USA. With our tips you don’t have to worry about the craigslist phone verification anymore.
Ever thought: “Personal Assistant wanted”?
Here is a story of my website building efforts that encouraged me to hire a virtual assistant.
How it all began
One of the latest Google changes called “Penguin & Panda” attacked websites which have a lot of broken links and missing information.
Sitesell’s proven philosophy that works, the C->T->P->M model helped out thousands of SBI website owners overcome these algorithm challenges.
Personal Assistant wanted to overcome Google’s algorithm challenges
- One of my other websites which has grown pretty large due to many guest submissions. After some time I had easily hundreds of broken links that needed correction.
- I also had some pictures on this website which were taken from creative commons and used to illustrate my blog entries or guest submissions.
Needless to say that I worked with my virtual assistant and he researched pictures for me. But I will discuss this on another blog post.
The pictures were outdated and many attribution links did not work anymore.
Google is penalizing websites with too many broken links and I was experiencing dropping traffic levels due to these changes.
Personal Assistant wanted to replace hundreds of pictures
First, I asked my virtual assistant to research through hundreds of web pages for broken pictures or pictures which have been licensed.
Working with pictures that are licensed is very tricky. You can run into trouble and might end up paying hefty sums of money because a licensing company thinks that you are stealing their pictures. Even if you took these pictures from Creative Commons before and the user changes the licensing level of the picture afterward.
The legal consequences are unclear. If you don’t want to risk losing much money, you better make sure that all your licensing information is up to date.
If you are a small (one man) online company, this means that you take care of your website all alone. As long as you have hundreds of pages of content with pictures, this task is almost not doable.
A virtual assistant is crucial to keep you updated and fresh on all the tasks you have.
So what did I do?
I asked my virtual assistant to help me update all my pictures and the attribution links on my website.
Since I am using the content management system of SBI, my personal assistant wanted me to first explain to him how to do this. This was easy by using a screen recording software. I just recorded every step of the process by talking, explaining and clicking and pointing.
Then I asked him to do the same on a specific example which I showed him step by step. Afterward he was pretty much able to do everything on his own. The guest submissions which all have pictures are good and bad at the same time.
Personal Assistant wanted to manage hundreds of guest posts
One of the strengths of SBI is their Content 2.0 system. This functionality makes my website grow quickly because visitors want to contribute to it.
I got many long blog entries written by guest writers for free. That was the good part.
The bad part is that we have to clean up all pictures and information which was not up to date anymore. Alone, it would have been an excruciatingly long task. With a virtual assistant that was very doable.
- Has this convinced you to try out working with a virtual assistant?
- Or is taking care of hundred of pictures within you blog and website pages not enough to answer the question: “personal assistant wanted”?