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When I launched my business in 2007, I only provided virtual assistant services. And while I was okay with that, I yearned to write and help other bloggers with their content and blogging efforts. Guess what? I found out I love it! And bloggers really appreciate the help because it allows them to focus on other things.
If you’re a virtual assistant looking for a new niche or if you’re just starting out, supporting bloggers could be what you’re looking for.
WHAT IS A BLOGGER VIRTUAL ASSISTANT?
A virtual assistant (or commonly known as “VA”) is a home-based worker who provides administrative services virtually. A blogger virtual assistant provides virtual services specifically to bloggers.
Is there really a market for blogger virtual assistants?
According to Statista, in the United States alone, there were 30 million bloggers in 2017. That number is expected to rise 31.7 blogs by 2020. So yes, I’d say there’s work to be had for a blogger virtual assistant!
What experience do you need to be a blogger virtual assistant?
While not a requirement, it really helps if you have a blog of your own. If you’ve never blogged before, Suzi of Start a Mom blog has a fantastic book to walk you through the entire process. Already have a website? Great! Just add a blog to your current site and you’re good to go. Potential clients would love to see you blogging also because it shows your expertise.
Tools you’ll need
All virtual assistants, regardless of their niche, will need:
A computer. This is a no-brainer. The decision comes down to what type of computer you’ll need. I’ve used a PC, a Chromebook, and now I’m using a MacBook. There's no need to rush out and buy a new computer if the one you have works just fine. Just roll with it! You can always upgrade as the clients start to roll in.
A stable Internet connection with a backup plan. Having Internet in your home office is an absolute necessity. But sometimes stuff happens, right? A storm rolls through and knocks out your power but your client needs that blog post - stat.
Or your adorable kiddo spills a drink on your computer and kills it. (Ask me how I know). You've got to have a backup location where you can do your work. Don't use excuses as to why you can't get a client's work done. It's your responsibility to have contingencies in place. Have a backup computer, a tablet, a smartphone, go to the library - something.
Click for my post with other free resources to launch your business.
Other tools you’ll need will depend on what services you will offer as a blogger virtual assistant. For example, if you schedule social media updates for bloggers, you’ll want to know how to use tools such as Buffer, HootSuite, Planoly and Tailwind.
Many bloggers get the majority of their website traffic from Pinterest. If you’re not familiar with Pinterest and you want to work with bloggers, I highly suggest you get to know the in’s and out’s.
How important is Pinterest to bloggers?
If they’re anything like me, Pinterest is really darn important! If you think Pinterest is just for finding recipes you’ll never make, then you’re totally missing the boat. Pinterest is a powerful search engine with over 150 million active users. Used correctly, Pinterest is a valuable traffic source.
Most bloggers use a scheduler to schedule their pins. The preferred scheduler is Tailwind, the only approved scheduler by Pinterest. Another popular choice is Boardbooster. Get acquainted with either one if you plan to offer Pinterest services to bloggers.
➡️ Try Tailwind free for one month, on me. Tailwind also has an awesome free tutorial that will show you how to use it effectively.
➡️Check out this Pinterest case study to see how effective Pinterest can be.
A few helpful Pinterest resources:
Summer Tannhauser has an awesome free course
Gina Horkey and Kirsten Larsen's Pinterest Presence course
Another useful tool is this blog planner, where you can not only plan out posts but keep track of your progress, month-to-month.
How to create profitable packages as a blogger virtual assistant
The key to creating a profitable service package is to put together a few tasks in a package and price it accordingly. Packages are much more attractive to bloggers over hourly because a package spells out exactly what they are getting for the price. A sample monthly service package might look like this:
- Create two blog posts (includes research and writing the copy)
- Upload two posts into blog
- Create graphics for two blog posts
- Create 10 Facebook posts and 20 Tweets per month; upload into schedulers
To figure out how much to charge for your package, determine how long it will take you to do the tasks in the package and multiply it by your hourly rate. Using the above example, let’s say it takes you 10 hours to complete the tasks and your hourly rate is $45, making the total package price $450. Packages are charged upfront as opposed to working hourly.
What should you charge and how much can you make?
With so many bloggers out there, you can potentially make quite a bit by providing high-value packages. Specialize in a few things, like web design, content creation and email marketing where you can command a higher rate.
The minimum hourly rate you should charge is $25 per hour. Remember, you are responsible for paying your taxes and expenses. The more technical the task, the higher you can command.
Where can you find a blogger virtual assistant gig?
Facebook groups are a great place to find niche jobs like this so get out there and promote yourself. Here are a few groups to get started:
Join a mastermind group and connect with bloggers. The right mastermind group is supportive and a lot smaller than some of the bigger groups, giving you the opportunity to not only share but connect on a more intimate level.
Also, try pitching to bloggers by sending an email proposal. Create a list of bloggers you’d like to work with and send a pitch. Grab my swipe file of the exact proposal I use to send to clients.
Services you can provide
There's a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into blogging. That's where a blogger virtual assistant comes in. Regardless of your skill set, there's something you can do to help a blogger be organized, productive and successful.
Take a look at the following services. Decide which ones you're already skilled in and which ones you may want to learn.
If you're a social media wizard, use those skills to help a blogger. Here are just a few ideas:
- Content creation (posts, Tweets, status updates) - Bloggers need help creating posts to promote their blog posts on social media.
- Group moderation, deleting spam and responding to comments - This is a pretty cool niche. Lots of bloggers have Facebook groups because it’s an effective way to get in front of their audience. But it can take a lot of time, time taken away from creating content. That’s where you come in. Add community management to your list of services and you’ll be pretty busy. Here’s some info on how to create a Facebook group and build a community.
- Create images for sharing on social media - You like pretty pictures, don’t you? Well, social media users like pretty pictures, too. And bloggers need pretty pictures to accompany their posts. Some of the tools you can use to do that include Canva, DesignBold and PicMonkey. Links to tutorials are included below.
- Designing and scheduling pins on Pinterest - While I’ve included Pinterest under social media, Pinterest is actually a visual search engine. Folks go to Pinterest to search for solutions and not really to interact and connect with people. But as much as I love Pinterest to promote my blog, it takes time away from other tasks. You’ll save your potential client a whole boatload of time by learning how to design and schedule pins using a scheduler like Tailwind.
Have you ever looked at a website and thought, "I can make that look better?" Then you've got a niche! Bloggers want their website to look like the bomb and if you've got an eye for that sort of thing, you'll have bloggers seeking you out instead of the other way around.
The two most common platforms bloggers use are Wordpress and Squarespace. Learn one, learn both and you’ll be pretty busy with work.
I call this the "heavy lifting" of blogging. Someone's gotta do these things -- why not you?
- Come up with new blog post ideas - Bloggers create content around keywords and topics. You’ll save the blogger a lot of time by taking on this task.
- Creating a content calendar - Take your keywords and start developing topics. HubSpot has an editorial calendar that will help you plan out blog content.
- Upload and schedule posts - Take the content you or the blogger has worked so hard to create and upload into the blogging platform. I suggest creating the content in a Google Doc, Microsoft Word or other word processing software and then copy into the blogging platform to avoid any loss of data. Yep, I’ve learned this the hard way - that’s why I’m sharing this tip with you :)
- Roundup posts and coordination - First off, let’s answer the question: what is a roundup post? Simply put, a roundup post is a compilation of information from other bloggers. Let’s say a blogger wants to feature tips from mom bloggers on how to get their baby to sleep through the night. A well-run roundup includes coming up with the right questions to ask other bloggers, collecting the information into a blog post and promoting it. Done well, a roundup post can draw a lot of website traffic.
After you've set up a website, it's time to start collecting email addresses so bloggers can keep in touch with subscribers. Here's how you can help:
- Design and create newsletters - You’ve heard the money is in the list, right? Well, bloggers know that to stay in front of their audience, they need to send out regular emails to their readers. But that takes time. Learn about these popular email marketing platforms and bloggers will love you!
- Write content - Write email sequences (think of sequences as a series of emails sent to interested readers over a period of time) or weekly newsletter. Provide value in each one and not just a sales pitch. Emails should nurture readers over a period of time rather than just going for the jugular.
PRODUCT LAUNCH & AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
Bloggers can create a course and promote it through an affiliate program. There are a lot of steps that go into creating one but if you've got the skills, there's work to be found!
- Launch Marketing - Many bloggers create products, like courses and ebooks and promoting those products takes a lot of work. They will need your help during the product launch stage. Read more on how to run a successful product launch.
- Upload content to Teachable, Udemy or Skillshare, to name a few - Take the blogger’s course content and upload into a platform for users to access.
- Create and manage an affiliate program - Bloggers can make more money from their courses by hosting an affiliate program, meaning bringing on others who will be a sort of ambassador and spread the word about their course. In return, the affiliate will get paid whenever someone makes a purchase from them. An affiliate manager handles all of the back-end tasks, such as creating promotional materials affiliates can use and paying out affiliate payments.
I hope this helps in your journey. And make sure to sign up for a complete checklist of how to launch a successful virtual assistant business. The checklist will outline everything you need to do in the first 30 days, step by step. Here's to your success!