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Topic: virtual buzz assistant

Marketing with Virtual Assistants

If you have ever tried working with virtual assistants, you know that it is hit or miss.† You have to treat it just as carefully as hiring an actual employee.† You also have to cut the relationship if your gut tells you that things are not going to your liking and you have provided clear directions and expected outcomes.

Getting a marketing Virtual Assistant – a VA that has been trained in Internet marketing will increase your odds of success.† Here are 7 tips for better web results with a Virtual Assistant.† You will not like these, because they all involve more work for you.† But get over it and get your marketing plan done in advance of hiring your Internet marketing Virtual Assistant.

  1. Hire 2 or 3 Virtual marketing Assistants for small projects and test which one does the best job.
  2. Either write a detailed, step by step description of how to do the tasks you want done, or provide a video that serves as a† virtual assistant training video.† There is no arguing with clearly documented directions.
  3. Set specific deadlines.† For example, do not say you want the Virtual Assistant to write 5 unique blog posts in May.† Instead, state that each Friday the Virtual Assistant needs to mail you the link and keywords targeted for that particular blog post of the week – by noon your time.† Also include a summary of how the last weeks blog post is now ranked for the keywords targeted.
  4. Keep talking to your Virtual Assistant.† Do not set them loose and forget about them.† If you want to keep them you need to make them feel like an important part of the team.
  5. Do not believe Virtual Assistant resumes – Just like job applicants, people often exaggerate skills and likely outcomes.† If the Virtual Assistant does not live up to how they sold themselves, move on quickly.
  6. Expect to get what you pay for.† More than any other position, Virtual Assistants pay rates vary from a couple of dollars and hour to several hundred dollars an hour.† If you go for a cheap virtual assistant, be ready to do more training and management.
  7. Treat exceptional Virtual Assistants like gold.† Just like any profession, you have some people that are far and away better than average and if they are motivated, making you money and exceeding your expectations, show them you care.† Send them a gift certificate, a bonus, a card, flowers – and if you are sure you are not going to need them full time, send your exceptional virtual assistant referrals.

Find exceptional Virtual marketing Assistants.

Internet Marketing Assistant

I just wrote a post over on the Virtual Buzz Assistant blog called Internet Marketing Assistant.

It is very relevant to this group as well and includes a link to John Cow, where they are discussing the virtues of using oDesk to hire virtual assistants – and the challenges that it poses.

Go take a look

Social Media Manager or Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Buzz Assistant can easily also be called a Social Media Manager.

What are the differences?

  1. A Social Media Manager is full time and explores all kinds of ways for developing relationships and great information online.† A Virtual Buzz Assistant focuses on the specific social media tasks as defined by their client.
  2. A Social Media Manager can handle complaints, bad reviews or negative comments.† A Virtual Buzz Assistant will point these items out to clients and the client should act on them.
  3. A Social Media Manager is doing many social networking tasks.† Virtual Buzz Assistants focus on fewer high value tasks and leave experimentation up to the client.
  4. Social Media Managers need to create great original content about the business.† Virtual Buzz Assistants might create content, but rarely are they the main messenger of the organization.
  5. Social Media Managers monitor the web for information EVERY DAY.† A Virtual Buzz Assistant can, but rarely do clients schedule enough hours to include the service.† It is time intensive.
  6. If you employ a social media manager, they should go to all kinds of conferences and group meetings, because those online relationships actually get stronger when you meet people face to face.† A Virtual Buzz Assistant can do that for you, but it is unlikely you will want to send a VA.

This post is not to say that Social Media Managers are better than Virtual Buzz Assistants.† It is a budget issue.† They are both great options.† If you cannot afford a full time social media manager then a Virtual Buzz Assistant, with some great involvement from you, is the next best thing.

Read: Example of what a Social Media Manager would do

Internet Marketing Formula

Workshop of Hildegard Dodel, luthier in Cremon... I was once at a great workshop where they discussed the business formula.† It basically broke down your business into some simple elements and said – If you increase your prices by 10% + Increase your number of customers by 10% + Decrease your costs by 10% you are going to have a very sizable jump in your income.

This same kind of formula works with Internet marketing.

If you increase your traffic by 10% + increase your pricing by 10% + increase your conversion by 10% + create products with low or no delivery cost – you are going to be very successful.

This internet marketing formula breaks down for people for a variety of reasons.

  • Zero Sales – 110% of zero is still zero.† Work on conversion or hire someone that knows internet sales.
  • Too Busy – You get a couple of clients and are then too busy to keep taking new work – create easier products, outsource or hire people.† Keep growing the base.
  • †Fear – Are you afraid to increase prices?† It depends on your market, but this is often overlooked as a source of additional income.† Test new prices and if it slows sales, use a coupon code or special offer to bring it back down.
  • Delivery – You have to have a good way to deliver what you promised.† Your Internet marketing formula will break down if you are losing customers.
  • Strategy – Internet marketing is a long term process.† Very seldom can you set something up and forget about it.† It takes continuous effort or eventually other people will take your traffic and visibility.† Need help?† Hire a virtual buzz assistant.
  • Too tricky – don’t get too tricky.† Custom development of applications is expensive and should not be done without good reason.† A low cost WordPress blog with a little customization can yield huge internet marketing results with good writing.

Measure everything you do in terms of your custom Internet marketing Formula.† Strengthen every area and watch your profitability soar.

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According to Google – We are HOT for Buzz Marketing

I have been publishing this blog for years, trying to write good content at least a few times per week.

If it was not for the speaking and newsletter sign ups, I might have given up at some point.† Sometimes it seems like you are talking and no one is listening (probably because you are actually babbling, like I am doing now.)

So I felt a great deal of satisfaction today when I saw we are now the #2 expert site for the keyword “Buzz marketing.”

Buzz Marketing Expert Site

The fact is, I optimize the site for the keyword but I do not try to go out and solicit links and things.† I hope people link to the site because of the great content, and I put my effort into that.

This blog holds a very steady 2nd page ranking for Buzz Marketing, but getting to that first page has not happened in a while.† And I do not know how long it will be before we are knocked back down, but for today, we are the #2 highest authority for Buzz Marketing.† (I am taking out that #2 site that is just a definition of buzz marketing)

The take away, if you want to go after a term that is fairly broad and competitive, is that you have to create an expert site and keep writing.† And in the future, that is going to be even more true.† It is well known that Google has started factoring in content freshness and expert status of sites.

That is why we formed the Virtual Buzz Assistant Network – you have to be passionate about writing in your industry, or outsource content creators to help you develop your expert site.† Tomorrow my ranking might slip – but my goal is not any given day, but the long term strategy of creating content that matters.

Social Media Careers

The old door...Are there really careers in social media and networking?

Thanks to Womma for pointing this one out – The 7 Best Jobs forFacebook Addicts.

The fact is, online social networks are places of vast influence.† Any company that wants to tap into these groups needs to either hire a full time person to just focus on these audiences, or† hire a Virtual Buzz Assistant to do it for them.

I find that the biggest problem to running a successful business on the web is that marketing takes up so much time that I sometimes forget about the product and the business.† Social Media sucks you in.† Hiring someone dedicated to only growing influence online is a smart move.

Secret Quality Inbound Link Generation

My Live EarthImage by NoŽl Zia Lee via FlickrThis is less a sneaky tactic and more of an accidental discovery.

If you want really good inbound links from popular sites, you can develop content with links on many of them.

If you are a regular reader, you know about Squidoo, Humpages and Gather.

But what about an expert site that lets you build html into it?† For example, I recently set up a virtual assistant job board at Jobamatic.com.† I did it because I thought it would be another source for leads for my Virtual Buzz Assistant Network.

I customized the header to look like the site and added some important links.

The end result is that it is a link to my sites from powerful domain that is updating the page constantly with fresh content.† While it does not have page rank yet, it is a quality link that makes my sites have more credibility with certain keywords.

I am in the process of setting up a Virtual Assistant Radio Show – and guess what, another set of links that come from an expert site that should add some great juice to my site credibility over time.

Too often we are looking for those big publishing places or little social bookmark places – but this is an example of great in between opportunities.

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Marketing Assistants – You can afford them!

I got my copy of Traffic Secrets 2.0 yesterday and stayed up until 2AM watching some of it.

So far, so good.† John Reese did a nice job.

He stresses that the only way to be successful online is to build a content factory.† I am not talking in a spammy, crappy content way.† You need to publish good stuff all the time to own more of the internet and get better results.

That is why you need to work with blog writers, such as our Virtual Buzz Assistants.

Since there is no cost to you for submitting your project, why don’t you run over there and request someone to set up a blog for you and start writing content on a regular basis for you?† Everyone currently in our network understands blogging and some of them are hungry for more work.

Some of them are also maxed out – so I would suggest you not wait too long.† 4-5 new projects may be all that it takes to max everyone out for a bit.

Submit Virtual Buzz Assistant Project

Auto Posting to WordPress

Recently I was interested in building a larger network of blogs that my Virtual Buzz Assistants could auto post to.

It seemed like a simple thing, but with a lot of research I found that remote submitting to a WordPress† blogis tricky.

There are several reasons that auto posting is not super easy.† One reason is that it is a security hole – if you made it easy to submit data to wordpress, it could be exploited to wreck someone’s blog.

Next, there are a lot of ways to do it but no standard, best way that is easy to set up.† I am going to post my findings and an explanation of my solution to help those of you that are looking for information about auto posting to WordPress.† Just keep in mind this is not the only way.

Why auto submit posts to WordPress?

The first thing you may be wondering is why?† Well, in my case, I have paying members of the Virtual Assistant network I run.† I wanted to set up some industry specific blogs and let these trained people write blog posts to these blogs to help them generate more buzz and inbound links for their clients.† No, it is not the only tool and technique they have, but it is one weapon in their buzz arsinol.

Submit Posts to WordPress Via Email

The first solution I came up with was to set up a form that would then (hidden) submit an email to the blog.† The blog would then pick up the email and post it.

While this technique should work, I spent several hours trying to get the wordpress plug in to work and I finally gave up. † It was also going to be tricky to set the whole thing up and get it to post into the correct category.† Plus, there was always a chance that spam filters could filter out some of the posts or mess them up with the parcing.† Ultimately, I just stopped trying because it did not work.

Then I discovered WP-o-Matic.† This plug in posts rss feeds to your blog on a regular schedule.† I suppose a lot of people use it to import data from other sites, but it is a very useful tool for taking your RSS stream and posting it.† It only took me a day to build an interface that stores the articles people write in a database and output it in RSS format via a secret rss link.† The WP-o-matick plugin then checks the rss feed every few hours and posts new posts.† I even added some things like delays on posting, by making the articles date adjustible up to one week in the future.

Once this was figured out for one blog, it was super easy to do for all future blogs, taking less than an hour to set up and configure a new blog with this capacity.

The key to auto-posting in WordPress turned out to be not posting in WordPress at all.

Other Advantages to this WordPress Strategy

There are some other advantages to this strategy.† If I want to allow other people to have their blogs in our network to recieve auto submitted articles, it is simple.† I simply send them instrcutions on how to set up the wp-o-matic plug in and the links to their rss.† They do not have to give me access to their blog at all.

Also, because RSS is a simple stream of data, I have a lot of flexibility with it.† For example, I could later put summaries up of all posts in another blog automatically, if I so chose.

One Disadvantage

The one big disadvantage I see in this auto posting strategy is that I cannot confirm that a post has happened.† I could maybe scrape the site and check later, but that is more work than I want to do.† So right now, you just have to check the blog later and see that the post has happened.

Non-technical people

I know there are some non-technical people out there that will not like this article because any coding is a barrier.† In your case, you may want to keep playing with the email feature to get it to work.† However, if you have some basic coding skills, it is easy to add data to a database and create an RSS feed that you can then import for auto posting into WordPress.† I am getting glowing feedback from the users and it has been a great tool for distributed publishing.

Good Blog Writers vs Cheap Blog Writers

A good blog writer is able to write an interesting, informative blog post that has a organic search engine goal as well as being people friendly.

A cheap blog writer is someone that will produce blog content quickly to keep the blog fresh.

I suppose there are some good, cheap blog writers out there – but I have never met any.† It is not so much because you cannot be cheap and good, but more because a good, effective blog post is going to be a great resource.† Not a quick post about something in the new and something common sense.

Want to know more about the differences, read cheap blog writer on the Virtual Buzz Assistant blog.†† Ultimately it has less to do with the blog writer and more to do with your goal and budget.† Great content takes time.

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