Using a Virtual Assistant to Manage your Blog
Having a successful blog and creating compelling and engaging content are some of the most effective marketing tools today. As such, they do require a lot of your time which, it is safe to assume, is already probably quite scarce.
Running a successful business means using your time wisely and choosing which areas of it need your focus the most. A solution to this issue could be a Virtual Assistant. Hiring someone to whom you can delegate blog management tasks would free up much of your precious time which can be put to better use.
When it comes to content creation, the job might seem straight-forward and not so challenging. However, as with any job this one comes with many routine elements which can easily be outsourced.
Hiring a VA can also be very beneficial for the skills they possess. Imagine how much of an improvement you can make if you give the job to someone with the skills you’re lacking in and how much of a positive impact it would have on your overall income.
Choosing the right person for the job could be the toughest task of them all. When hiring, think about their skills, how good they are with technology and their personality. They need to be knowledgeable in the field and have experience so you can trust them completely to manage your blog.
Let’s look at some of the tasks a VA can help with:
1. Writing, editing, reviewing and proofreading the posts for you.
You may want to check your own content to ensure it reflects “your voice” before it goes out but any one of the steps taken in publishing a post can be delegated to your virtual assistant.
For example the basis of this post was researched by a virtual assistant. The introduction, headers and a short body of text were written for each point. Then I simply spent another 20 minutes widening the scope by adding my own experience of outsourcing this particular kind of work to a VA.
2. Brainstorming new ideas for blog posts:
Whether you have a well defined content strategy through SEO research or you just have a few keywords your virtual assistant should be able to come up with some potential ideas that you can further develop.
They can also research what your competition is doing and mirror the content that brings your competitors the most traffic.
3. Formatting and fine-tuning
Your VA can make sure all your posts have the right call to action button in them, make sure they link to other blog posts where appropriate.
They can spend time researching quality links for your content, to provide great value to your readers and make sure each post has the right headers.
4. Scheduling content
If you choose to write your own words there is no reason that your virtual assistant cannot format them, attach tags and publish or schedule for you. Platforms like Squarespace have a simple scheduling calendar so you can get your blogs out at the same time every week.
There are also a number of different software options available online to create a content calendar which you can use to gather ideas and create an upload schedule for your WordPress site. Some of them are Trello; CoSchedule; ContentDJ. These programs also enable your assistant to add their own ideas and update projects.
5. Creating graphics
No blog is complete without a nice header and potentially some high quality shareable graphics to go in the body of the text.
Your virtual assistant can research images for you as well as prepare a nice header image, perhaps formatting it at the same time for use in an email and when sharing the post on social media. Canva.com offers the options to magically resize graphics for just this purpose.
Your VA can also ensure the image is named correctly to make the most of keywords and ensure it is optimised for search engines.
6. Managing the comments section
Comment sections do not always attract the crème de la crème of humanity however they are also important tools to engage your audience. So the best way to manage comments can be to approve them – filtering out the odd person looking to cause general offence and ensuring your readers (and potential customers) have their views aired. However, more often than not you end up forgetting to check and manage comments, so those replying to your scintillating blog post are also discouraged from engaging further. This is where a virtual assistant comes into his or her own. Set up a schedule or alerts to ensure comments are monitored and published in a timely way.
7. Sharing on Social Media & Medium
Sharing your blog content gives it the best chance of reaching a wider audience in a shorter period of time. This means tailoring your messages and graphics to be optimised for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and perhaps LinkedIn to reach your network - those most likely to share your content. And, have you considered Medium where people are actively looking for content?
8. Keeping an inventory
It can get to a certain point, especially when working off the back of a lengthy SEO content plan, that you repeat yourself. You want as much content as possible but you may also risk writing the same things twice with a different heading.
Keeping an inventory of content to avoid duplicates and to inspire social media updates, through associated keywords can be a lifesaver. Your VA can help you keep track with a simple Excel spreadsheet.
9. Backing-up your blog
Losing all your hard work doesn’t bare thinking about so it is worth outsourcing this task to someone to ensure it gets done on a regular basis.
Here are some of the best plugins that are easy to use: BackupBuddy, UpdraftPlus, BackWPUp.
10. Updating WordPress and plugins
This is also highly important if you want to make sure that your site is up-to-date with the most recent version of WordPress and also if you’d like to avoid any security issues.
Updating plugins is very mundane and time-consuming but essential as they need to be compatible with WordPress updates as well as any security fixes.