Hiring a Virtual Assistant and Clearing the Plate

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What is a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant is usually a self-employed professional that provides administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant and Why?

Back in June 2011 I hired my first VA through oDesk. Like many people out there thinking about hiring a VA I had some fear about hiring someone I didn’t know, let alone hiring someone for the first time. I was worried about relinquishing that control over the work I do. Worried that it wouldn’t get done, or wouldn’t get done the way I wanted it done or as good as I would do it myself. Sound familiar? I have to tell you it was the best thing I’ve done for myself since I started doing niche sites and oDesk helped to eliminate that fear. I’ll tell you how they eliminated my fear of being ripped off  down below.

First off, I hate backlinking. Completely hate the mundane chore of sitting here for hours and backlinking so I can raise my Google Search Engine Results. Not only is it a waste of my time because I could be best using my time elsewhere, but I tend to procrastinate when I try to do backlinking. I tried some of the automated backlinking softwares like Article Marketing Robot with little success except to sandbox my sites that I used it on. The only thing I have found that is working reliably for me is to use a real human to do my backlinking.

The method of backlinking I use is Joseph Archibalds 40 Day Challenge that he had on the Warrior Forum for a while. I used this method to teach the VA I hired how I wanted my backlinking done. I gave him the eBook to read and drew him a diagram on how it should “look” andoff he went. It’s worked so well that I have 12 niche sites that are in the #1 position of page 1 of Googles SERPs for the keywords I wanted them to rank for. Of the 32 niche sites I have they ARE my main bread and butter winners of the niche sites. These sites have consistently ranked #1 on Page 1 of Google for the past7-8 months now. These sites DO NOT include the dating sites I also run which also bring in a healthy flow of income.

So how did I land the VA I hired on oDesk? Here are the steps I took:

Work Accountability

After opening an account with oDesk I reviewed several listings and a few VA for hire to get a feel for the place. I also looked into how they prevent people from taking a job and not doing work and getting paid for it. What I found is they have a software that the worker has to log into in order to accumulate hours. This software takes screen shots of the workers desktop for you to look at and review. What this means is you can actually watcht eh person working on your stuff while they are logged in. This is the ONLY WAY for them to attain billable hours for you. So they can’t just accept a job and do nothing and get paid for it. This was the clincher for me. I was worried about giving someone a job and them not doing anything and me having to pay for it.

Posting a Job in oDesk

We you first sign up you have no jobs posted. So you create one. After looking at some jobs that were posted and people that did those jobs I came up with my own job offering.



odesk-job-posting

oDesk Job Posting



After posting my job I sent a job offer to several VA’s I looked at and liked, and had several dozen more applicant within several days time. I picked on of the guys I offered the job to initially. The hourly rate I am paying him is about $2.80(American). To some of you this may sound like a rip off or being cheap but in all actuality it’s not. My VA is from the Philippines and their cost of living over there is nothing like it is here in the USA. For them, $2.80 an hour for 40 hours a week is a good paying job that they can support a small family on. He is very happy to have the money and never complains and I always give him bonuses.

Monitoring The Work

Once you’ve talked out the details with your newly hired VA you set them to work and monitor the progress they make through screen shots like this:



odesk-work-diary

oDesk Work Diary



These screen caps are expandable and include more info when you expand them. If you see something wrong or questionable you contact your VA and correct it. You can also do checkups with your VA via email to just get status updates. I’ve also asked my VA to send me a list of all the backlinks he’s done and the placed they were placed at so I have a further check on the work he’s done. After working with my VA for 9 months now, I trust the man and rarely look at the screen captures anymore. I still get the link reports and occasionally check those. And with the help he’s given me with my link building I’ve attained the #1 spot on the 1st page of Google for 12 of my niche sites that bring in money every day now. And by money I mean between $50-$200 a day. A service well worth the money I’ve been paying, which is a fraction compared to the money I’ve been making.

Relief of Stress and The Mundane

Thanks to my VA, I’ve gotten rid of much stress because I dreaded backlinking. It took me a long time to do and he’s very fast at what he does and has a great system down. Not only is the stress of backlinking gone, but the feeling of well being has replaced it now since my work at building these niche sites is paying off.

The Difference Between Spot # 3 and Spot #1 on Page 1 of Google

Each week I give my VA a list of URLs and the keywords I want linked for that URL and tell him to either do so many links per URL or do as many as he can, depending on the age of the URL. The older the URL the more links it can handle in a short period of time without Google penalizing me. New sites get maybe 10 new links per week until they are a few months old and I start adding more links per week the older they get. Since working with this person in this way I’ve had no sandboxed sites and they all start ranking within the first week or two, and all have made it to #1 on page 1 of Google and stayed there.

When I started working with my VA I had a few sites ranking on the 1st page of Google and they would get some hits, but it wasn’t that great. After a few weeks of him building backlinks for me my sites started to move up in rank and I kept adding new content. I hit the #3 spot for most of my sites in a few weeks and the traffic was great but after a few more weeks and more new content my sites pushed out the #1 person and the traffic has tripled and quadrupled since. I pushed the #1 person out of the #1 spot and have been there ever since in several niches I have and the traffic amount different from #3 spot to #1 spot is very very big! So big it’s why so many people are jockeying for that #1 position.

Important Advances

Getting a VA is the single most important thing I’ve done since doing these niche sites and it’s enabled me to be more location independent and freed up more of my time to do other things like build more niche sites. It’s also allowed me to pay more bills on time and to take a 2 week family vacation that I just got back from at the Grand Canyon. This was my goal since I started building niche sites and reading the 4 Hour Work Week. Of course I still run several successful dating sites and have 3 very small IT clients, but the bulk of my income since 2011 to now has been from the niche sites and the dating sites. No more day job for me.

BTW there is another place you can get a VA and that’s Elance.

Notable Mentions:

Joseph Archibalds 40 Day Challenge (Affiliate Link)

oDesk (Affiliate Link)

4 Hour Work Week (affiliate Link)

Elance

This blog is successful because of your support, and I'd like to thank you for that. Some of the links are affiliate links and I make a small commission that helps to support the family.
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