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.
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).
If you want to have maximum efficiency when working with your virtual assistant, three tools are absolutely essential for your success.
- A headset
- Screen recording software with voice recording
- And a shared Dropbox folder with your assistant
You know the saying: “An image says more than a thousand words”?
Well, a video recorded with a screen recording software and voice instructions says more than a million pictures.
Save time and record your instructions via video
Instead of losing time and thinking long and hard about writing and formulating instructions via email, why don’t you just show your virtual assistant what you want from him?
It is much easier and much faster! Here’s how:
- Open your computer
- Go to the issue you want to show your virtual assistant. It can be a mistake in a file, a miscalculated field in an Excel-sheet or anything else where a virtual assistant might need additional instructions.
- And then record your screen and make video instructions on the fly.
Imagine your virtual assistant would not be sitting on the other end of the globe but right beside you looking over your shoulder, as you point, click and show exactly what you want.
That’s how you should talk when you record your video message.
It is most efficient to show your assistant if he has made a mistake. Point out exactly how you would like the solution to look like. This way he can efficiently work on doing things better.
Over time, your VA will anticipate your wishes more and more.
Video instructions communicate your emotions
Recording a screen video profits from many aspects of communication which are more effective than email instructions.
- The tone of your voice lets your assistant know if a task is very urgent or not
- Your VA will know if he has made a mistake and if it really makes you angry or is not such a big deal
For many freelancers working for you it is very important that they feel they haven’t upset you.
Note from Francis’ outsourcing experience
have had a provider from the Philippines stop working with me because she felt scared that I might be angry with her.
It is that extreme.
It’s that much more important to communicate right.
Example: Instruct your virtual assistant to illustrate your web pages
If you use a computer screen recording you can simply click and point on a page and explain where you want your virtual assistant to place a picture and what you want the picture to show.
You can go through the work diary together with your assistant, if you have hired him on oDesk, and discuss different screenshots of his work directly together with him.
Learn skills from video instructions made by your VA’s
A neat side effect is that you are easily able to explain technicalities to your virtual assistants. In my experience, many data entry specialists are wizards when it comes to Excel-sheets and Microsoft Office.
If you are interested in these skills, you can simply ask your virtual assistant to use the same screen recording software to teach you there skills.
Leave your virtual assistant no doubt
Do you want to make a 100% sure that your virtual assistant understands the instructions?
The bad way is to write him an email with the instructions and ask him if he has understood everything…
He will always answer “YES!”
Here is a more effective way:
- Start computer screen recording your instructions, pointing, clicking and explaining as you go.
- Then sent the video to your assistant and ask him the following:
“Do you have understood everything well?
Please make a document with instructions how you have understood it.
You can use screenshots from my video to illustrate what you have understood.”
There are several advantages of teaching your assistant instructions and skills this way:
- You are making sure your VA understands everything well.
- You now have a well formatted set of reusable instructions at your disposal that you can send others.
- Indirectly get important feedback about your leader skills. If your instructions are very poor, you will often get the feedback from your virtual assistant that he hasn’t understood everything completely.
Passively, you will adapt your explanations to your VA.
You are a more efficient employer and your assistant is more efficient worker for you.
Your instructions can be valuable for others
Sometimes, your instructions can be of further use to you. If you can re-use them more than once, convert your computer screen recording to a YouTube video – or outsource this task to your personal assistant, too!
Recording a screen video is probably the fastest way to create online videos possible, especially if you do not want to show your face to the internet.
How I give video instructions to my VA on a routine day…
How does my use of a free screen recording software look in my day to day work with your virtual assistant?
I use it, record videos, share them via Dropbox with my virtual assistant and “forget” about them.
I know that my VA will take the time to go through each and every one of them, writing me feedback emails as he does.
I use my recorded notes to
- share and discuss ideas for new concepts and new projects,
- ask and give feedback and instructions
- and to show specifically what I need.
In fact, my VA has to deal with a lot of those recordings. 🙂
I would never be able to write as many detailed emails as I am doing instructions via recordings.
What my VA thinks about watching screen recorded instructions
I asked my VA what he has to say about me using video instructions and voicemails, sharing everything via Dropbox and let him go through the mess.
Here is what he has to say: