Here is a story from my day to day life where voice transcription services save me tons of time.
To use the hundreds of hours that I spend commuting daily in a productive way, I started writing my blog posts on my mobile phone.
This way, the time was not completely wasted.
When compared to the effective writing speed and output I achieve when I ask my virtual assistant for voice transcription of my dictations, then my mobile phone can just pack its back and get the hell out of here.
Voice transcription is affordable
To anyone, and I really mean anyone who is writing English texts of whatever nature:
Team up with a freelancer from India or Pakistan or from the Philippines.
Transcription work can be done for you for as cheap as 1$/hour.
I’m not kidding.
Transcription services are useful for anyone who writes online
If you always wanted to
- Write a book
- Start a website or blog
- Or simply wanted to be a much more active and eloquent communicator via email…
then invest this small amount and get your dream from your brain on the paper!
By the way, the prices I mentioned are for when you hire a voice transcription worker via oDesk, an outsourcing company.
7 Steps: How to get text transcribed
Here’s how to create written content super fast:
- Get out of the house. Take your mobile phone with you. It’ll do you some good to see some sun and breathe fresh air. Don’t worry, I won’t go all “New Age” on you, I’m sort of a geek anyways.
- Open your dictation app. Personally, I use Evernote for Android and iOS.
- Relax and talk into your phone.
- Specifically say it if you are just thinking aloud or if you are dictating.
- Save your recording. Send it via e-mail to the other end of the globe.
- Your faithful transcription expert will have it written down in no time.
- Review and correct. That feels easier than fighting writer’s block, right?
You’ll never go back
It’s like using Swype or other fast writing technology. Once you start getting used how fast it goes, you never want to do it the old way any more.
There are times when transcription is not useful for writing text, though:
- When you need to write a short note to anyone that needs to be sent out now, you’ll better sit down and type it yourself
- When you are dealing with many foreign words that will get messed up in the transcription process
- When you’re writing down confidential information
But those are exceptions.
For books, articles, website content, emails, you’ll be faster using transcription services in most cases
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.
I’m using my own SiteSell Virtual Assistant to help me run my websites.
- He’s hired externally and trained by me. That makes him much more affordable!
- He helps out with my websites full time; it’s like doubling my efforts!
Here’s how you can do this, too!
Disclaimer: This article reports my personal experience with virtual assistants outside of the official SiteSell Program and is in no way endorsed by SiteSell. Use at your own risk.
FAQ: Often asked questions
SBI! Tasks your Assistant can do for you
All these tasks come from personal experience.
Sometimes, you have an idea for a quick blog post or article, but no idea where to put it in your site blueprint. Have your SiteSell Virtual Assistant work out the keyword blueprint for you (work on it together). Then he can insert newly brainstormed keywords from vertical or horizontal keyword searches.
Have him research Adwords information for the keyworth of your article to set up the best monetization avenues for you.
Keyword optimizing pages
Using the AnalyzeIt! tool, your VA can help you optimize your pages for the search engines (SEO your pages). You simply review the pages when they are prepared to make sure they still have your unique “voice” in them.
Then, another profitable content page goes live!
Content Research with SearchIt!
The SearchIt! tool is very under-used. If you really invest the time, you can research some great stuff for your SBI!-pages.
One example are quotes. My SiteSell Virtual Assistant has researched many quotes and placed them on my pages.
Researching Pictures – Never worry about illustrations any more
Either on free sources like Flickr or stock photo banks like Fotolia. As taught by SBI!, a SiteSell Virtual Assistant also optimizes all pictures for size and keywords and uploads them into Site Central.
He also takes care of placing the illustrations into your webpages.
Format Articles in HTML and in Site Central
Simply write down your article or Keyword Focussed Content Page (KFCP) in Word.
- Your assistant can change the format into HTML.
(This useful site can help your assistant to do that!)
Then, he either uploads it to your server using the UYOH function.
- Or, he simply formats the KFCP in Site Central for you.
Audio transcription for fast content creation
You can read more about transcribing your voice recording into fast web-content here.
Generating Traffic and Analysis
Help with Link Building
One of the most dreadful tasks of a web owner: building links.
- You cannot build too many or automate the process or you’ll get whacked by Google
- You don’t have the time to do it yourself
- You need someone to build your links in a way that is consistent with what SBI! teaches us.
Give your assistant the ebook Make Your Links Work found in your SBI! resources! It provides the perfect training for him.
Examples for the occasional high quality blog comment link:
Your VA can research recent high traffic and high quality blog posts, for example with Google Alerts, and propose the best posts to you. You record your answer, he transcribes it and you are done!
It works similar with link opportunities from Yahoo Answers:
The VA find a good question
- He sends you the link
- You share your thoughts for the answer in an audio recording (less than 5 min of work)
- He submits the answer
- Optional: he follows up to increase his changes of getting “best answer”.
I got a ton of traffic from Yahoo Answers to one of my other websites this way.
Managing Social Media
Tasks like submitting your best new content pages to social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Digg and Diigo can easily be outsourced to your assistant. One task less to worry about.
Google Analytics assistant
Make your assistant a co-user on your google analytics account. Let him help you with
- Split Test Experiments,
- Analyzing traffic data
- Optimize conversions
Preselling your Visitors
Managing your MOM newsletters for you
Chances are, that you don’t follow up with your MOM newsletters as regularly as you should. Send your SBI! assistant a voice recording for your newsletter, and he can set up everything.
- He inserts relevant links from your website.
- He adds a few links to new guest submissions.
- He can research a video from YouTube and insert it into your newsletter.
- He adds illustrations and cleans up the look and feel of your newsletter.
Setting Up Emails for your email marketing funnel with Aweber
Just record the email via voicemail, get it transcribed and quickly grow a useful and profitable email funnel. This task alone is so important, that you can read more about an email marketing assistant here.
Monetization of your Website
Monetization with Adsense
Give your assistant user access to your Adsense account. Let him
- Set up your ads
- Monitor Click Through Rate (CTR)
- Manually split test CTR on your pages weekly
- Optimize Ad layout and position for maximum profit
Monetization with Affiliate Links
Give your VA access to your affiliate venues. He can
- Research affiliate products that go well with your content
- Connect with more affiliate merchants
- Insert the best products into your website or newsletters with HTML.
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Administration tasks that would eat up your time
Managing other contractors
Working with a team of virtual assistants can be stressful and will take time if you want to do it right. Getting a hiring manager to take care of this for you will boost your team’s productivity.
What Do I Delegate To My VA?
Almost everything except content creation.
You must coach your SiteSell Virtual Assistant through every step of the way.
Use SBI’s tools to teach him how to run an online business for you.
The first step:
Have him read every bit of the Action Guide. Twice!
Free Teaching materials for your assistant
Always make sure your SiteSell Virtual Assistant has read and understood
- Make Your Links Work!
- and this free ebook
before working on your site(s).
My Virtual Assistant used to rely on Paint to edit pictures. The results are not optimal. I asked him to use Picmonkey instead.
He used stock photos as examples to illustrate what is possible with this online picture editing site.
The advantages of using Picmonkey
- You can learn how to use this tool in less than an hour with our user guide.
- The results look way better than what you could ever achieve in Paint.
- It’s great for watermarking stock photos that you got on Fotolia or other stock pages.
- You don’t need to purchase and learn using Photoshop.
- You can optimize the file size of your picture for fast loading speed of your pages.
- You can share your best picture edits right after you finish with major sharing sites.
What you or your VA will learn from this ebook
You will learn how to
your illustrations with the push of a button.
Another task that you can easily do is touch up and embellish portraits and photos of people. This includes removing red eyes, whitening teeth and applying make up virtually to a person’s photo.
One of the most beautiful applications is to put great frames and photo backgrounds around your illustration.
How the picture editing process works
Here’s what’s cool when you have a well-trained VA that knows how to use a picture editing tool.
When you want a picture changed in a webpage, ebook or anywhere else, you simply describe what you want.
Your VA takes care to save different variations of what the edited picture could look like, and you simply choose which one looks best.
He takes care of implementing the chosen picture.
Want to save time instructing your VA?
Your VA can figure out how to use the Picmonkey site in a few hours. Accelerate this and save the money you would have paid him and simply send him a copy of our user guide.
All we want, is for you to share the word about it, with the push of a button.
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”?