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Category: Work from Home

How to Create a Content Calendar

How to Create a Content Calendar

If you are serious about your blog, you need a content calendar. Hands down. Creating a consistent posting schedule is the first step to having a successful blog. It gives you structure and goals to work towards. It also encourages you to post more often. Here is my content calendar and the various tools I use in it.

I use an Excel spreadsheet to track my content for my blog and social media accounts. You could use Google Calendar, too, if you are a visual person. I have my blog’s content calendar in the picture above. The columns are pretty self-explanatory; I like to keep it simple.

I usually plan out for the next month at the beginning of the month previous. The first post for a month is always the thoughts from the previous month. After that, I fill in the rest of the month from my list of ideas. I try to have an equal amount of all the categories in each month, which is easy to see when I have it laid in front of me like this.

The notes column is probably the most important. I use this to track where I am in the course of making a post. As I complete different pieces, I delete them from the list. This way I can quickly look at my list to see what I need to do next. Once a post is completed, I color it green. Until then, it’s orange.

You can use a similar model for posting on social media. I have rough categories for each day of the week to make it easier for me to brainstorm and I write out what the post will say. I schedule all of my content using Buffer.

I got started on my content calendar using a post from Mommy Sanest. Hers is a little more complicated than mine. I’ve made a Google Doc of my content calendar, which I encourage you to save and modify for yourself.

Please tell me about your own content calendars! Has it helped you with your blogging? Do you have any suggestions for someone getting started? Do you have any questions about getting started?

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Blogging Goals: 3 Month Update

Blogging Goals: 3 Month Update

I’ve been hard at work making my blog a more successful endeavor. It’s definitely not easy getting a blog up off of the ground, but I have to say that I love this work! That makes it worth the time and effort. Here are my new and improved goals, which is an update to my post where I discuss my previous goals.

Completed Goals:

  • Build Confidence
    • I want to shout about my blog from the rooftops!
  • Maintain Posting Schedule
  • Complete Needed Admin Work
    • I’ve done a lot behind the scenes, like making pictures easier to edit and actually having a social media presence.

Short Term Goals (3 Months, December)

  • Start Sharing Posts on Pinterest
    • I’ve found a lot of the blogs that I follow on Pinterest, so I need to establish a presence on there.
  • Finish Blogging Books
    • I have several blogging books that I need to finish.

Medium Term Goals (6 Months, March)

  • Add a Newsletter
    • This one requires some research on my part, but I’m starting to build an email database.
  • Connect with Other Bloggers
    • Time to start following and commenting!

Long Term Goals (1 Year, August)

  • Have Preliminary Monetization in Place
    • I want to be making some amount of money by this point. Even if it’s very small.
  • Have Readers I Don’t Know Personally
    • I want to have readers I don’t know in real life; it’s that simple!

If you have started a blog, please tell me how it’s going! I would love to hear the advice of more experienced bloggers. And if you are thinking of starting a blog, please let me know!

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Virtual Assistant Goals: 3 Month Update

Virtual Assistant Goals: 3 Month Update

I’m updating my last post: My Virtual Assistant Goals. I’ve achieved a few goals, worked on a few more, and added some more still. It’s important to keep these goals at the front of my mind, so I’ll be updating them every three months or so. I hope these goals might be able to help you envision your virtual assistant journey.

Completed Goals:

 

Short Term Goals (3 Months, December)

  • Get More Clients
    • Getting my first client is awesome! Now I need to keep working on getting more.
  • Build Social Media Skills
    • I do social media management for my client. I need to do a deeper skill dive so I am ready for how her business will grow.

Medium Term Goals (6 Months, March)

  • Get (Even More) Clients
    • I want to be able to fill my time working for my clients. I’ll probably be working on recruitment for a while.
  • Build Needed Skills
    • I know that there will be more skills I will need to expand on going forward.

Long Term Goals (August)

  • Be Part-Time Working at Home
    • It can take up to two years to build a strong virtual assistant business, I hope to be working part-time at home with a solid income at the end of a year.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. If you want to see the services I offer, please check out my Hire Me page.

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How I Got My First Virtual Assistant Client

How I Got My First Virtual Assistant Client

I’m just starting out as a virtual assistant and it’s scary. I know who my ideal clients are, but I have very little idea about finding them. I’m sure if you are starting out on your journey, you are feeling the same way. This is how I found my first client.

Cold Emails

I started my virtual assistant search by sending out cold emails. This means that I basically just started emailing bloggers and other people that I have services they might be interested in. I stayed with people that I already follow and fit within my demographic (web-based small business owners). That’s when I decided to email my current client. She literally emailed me back with “Call me” and her phone number.

It’s Who You Know

I know that old adage is frustrating to read again and again, but it’s true; it’s all about who you know. My client is a life coach that I met through my last job. I worked with her several times over the two years I had been there and had recently met with her. I knew that she owned her own business that appeared to be out of her home. She’s the kind of client I was looking for, so I decided to take the plunge and email her. As you read above, it paid off.

That First Talk

She said, in our first conversation, that she had been looking for someone to help her with her social media accounts and her website for a while, but hadn’t found someone she knew she could trust. My email was like a godsend to her (and her accounts definitely need some help, she’ll be the first to tell you). After that first conversation where we set my wage and hours, I got started. I already know I love this and I’m so excited to see where this leads her and her business.

If you are setting out on your virtual assistant journey, keep your mind open about the people you know. Sending a polite email never hurt anyone and the worst they can say is no! I’m going to be brainstorming any more people I might know who fit into my demographics. If you want help starting your business, please try out 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success. It is an awesome resource and has helped me so much in starting this journey. Good luck!

My Proofreading Goals

My Proofreading Goals

Proofreading for court reporters can be a really great way to make money at home. Since I’m done moving across the country, I finally have the time to devote to being a kick-butt proofreader. I’m working my way through Proofread Anywhere and once I’m done with that I can begin to make money from proofreading. Here are my goals for getting that done.

3 Month Goals (November)

  • Finish the practice transcripts in Proofread Anywhere (there are over 3,000 pages!)
  • Continue to work on my punctuation and spelling skills with Bad Grammer, Good Punctuation.

6 Month Goals (February)

  • Finish the Proofread Anywhere course and pass the final exam.
  • Obtain at least one client for proofreading.

1 Year Goals (August)

  • Be making a full-time income from proofreading.
  • Replace my iPad.

These are pretty simple goals, but I hope by making them simple they’ll be very achievable. If you have any thoughts or questions on these goals or the world of proofreading, please let me know!

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My Virtual Assistant Goals

My Virtual Assistant Goals

Before I share my goals with you, I think I should tell you what exactly a virtual assistant is. At it’s most basic, a virtual assistant is someone who works online for either a person or business to help them move their business forward or help them work less. This can include a lot of different things. It can be managing social media, proofing content, bookkeeping, or basically any skill you can show virtually. It’s almost anything you need it to be.

I want to work from home. I have or can build the skills that a lot of virtual assistants have. Recently, I started an online course called 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success in order to have a basis to launch my virtual assistant business. And with that basis building, I have some goals for my future.

Short Term Goals (3 Months)

  • Complete 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success
    • I’m giving myself plenty of time since I have a full-time job and am moving across the country.
  • Get (at least) One Client
    • It scares me to even write that! But I think throwing myself in is the best way to go.

Medium Term Goals (6 Months)

  • Have More Than One Client
    • The only way to build a business is to build the client base.
  • Build My Skills
    • I’m purposefully leaving this one open ended. I don’t know which skills are going to help me the most until I get through 30 Days and start working.

Long Term Goals (1 Year)

  • Be Part-Time Working at Home
    • It can take up to two years to build a strong virtual assistant business, so I’m hoping I can switch to a part-time job once I’ve been working on this a year.

Right now, this seems to be the most viable of my work at home ideas, or at least, it requires the least amount of training. I’m hoping to grow it a bit before I move, so I might be able to move with only a part-time job. We’ll see because the biggest thing I need to be while building this business is realistic. I definitely don’t want to be trapped in my big dreams and forget to look at the bigger picture.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please comment!

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What Is Proofreading?

What Is Proofreading?

One of the ways I hope to make money while working at home is by proofreading for court reporters. You are probably wondering what on earth that means (I know I did when I first read it.) Let’s start with the very basics. Proofreading is reading something and marking for any errors. These errors can include punctuation, misspelling, or formatting issues. It’s not editing the content, though. Proofreaders don’t make grammatical changes to the work. Seems pretty simple, yeah?

Court Reporters, Huh?

Now, what are court reporters? They are the stenographers that you see in courtrooms write down what everybody says exactly as they say it. They make the transcripts for trials, hearings, and ton of other legal stuff. As a proofreader for court reporters, I would take that transcript after they’ve formatted it and look for any errors. The skills involved in this are pretty specific. I need to know the errors to look for in the punctuation and spelling. I also need to know how a transcript is supposed to look, the proper spacing and the flow of each type of legal proceeding. It gets really complicated. This is where proper learning comes in.

Proofread Anywhere

I found this amazing online course that teaches people how to become proofreaders. It’s called Proofread Anywhere. It’s a very intensive course designed to completely prepare the students. I was skeptical at first, but I read the website and saw a few outside articles about it and I decided to give it a try. I love it and it’s also a lot of work. It’s also an excellent way of working from home. All I would need is an iPad and an internet connection.

For now, my work on Proofread Anywhere is on hold. I have a lot going on since I’m moving in 3 months (eek!). Once I’ve settled into life in the Pacific Northwest, I place to restart my work on my proofreading career. In September, I’ll give you a full goals list for this work-from-home scheme.

Do you have any questions or tips? Please put them down in the comments.

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My Blogging Goals

My Blogging Goals

I started a blog! (Obviously)

Blogs are a lot of work! They require lots time and creativity. But I want to try my hand at it. I also want to make this blog a source of income, that way the investment I’m putting into it is, in fact, an investment.

Over the next year, I hope to move towards my goal of having an income from this blog. Below, I’ve laid out a few goals to help achieve that.

Short Term Goals (3 Months)

  • Build Confidence
    • I need to feel confident about sharing this blog with others. I think accomplishing this goal is all about getting past my own inhibitions.
  • Maintain a Posting Schedule
    • As I said before, creating content for a blog is a lot of work. I need to learn how to manage my time well enough to maintain a consistent schedule.
  • Complete All the Admin Work
    • There are a lot of little things that go into making a blog run. Like… A LOT. Over the next three months,  I’m going to slowly chip away at all of the little things that add up to making this blog run smoothly.

Medium Term Goals (6 Months)

  • Get Readers
    • It would be really cool to have more than just myself reading TLR. I think this will come as I build confidence in myself and my abilities.
  • Improve Writing Skills
    • This will happen naturally as I write more.
  • Add New Blog Series
    • I have some series up my sleeves that sounds pretty interesting. I’m hoping to start on them once I move to Washington state and quit my day job.

Long Term Goals (1 Year)

  • Have Preliminary Monetization in Place
    • I want to be making some amount of money by this point. Even if it’s very small.
  • Have Readers I Don’t Know Personally
    • I want to have readers I don’t know in real life; it’s that simple!

Hopefully, I’ve chosen goals that are measurable and attainable. At the beginning of August, I’ll revisit these goals and report on my progress (or lack there of?). In the mean time, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this or if you have any advice for me.

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