Virtual assistants are a powerful asset when you’re short on time or don’t have the ability to do a task yourself.
Your business will be more efficient and more profitable by using a VA to offload work and start delegating assignments to a team.
Virtual assistants are generally paid by the hour and providing your VA with a constant stream of things to do can be difficult. Unless you’re breaking down your day and prioritizing projects, your VA won’t have a full-time workload and they’ll quickly start looking for another gig. By using the list provided below, you can keep your virtual assistant busy, working full-time to drive results and revenue for your business. First, let’s explore the benefits of hiring overseas.
Hiring Overseas Virtual Assistants
Most virtual assistants come from overseas, such as the Philippines or India. Common wages are 1/2 and sometimes 1/3 of what you would expect to pay for a qualified VA in the United States. Your VA might not speak the best English, or have the capabilities of a U.S. worker that has been trained and has used computers their entire life, but they are more than capable of completing some of the repetitive tasks that consume you on a daily basis.
The projects or jobs they are best suited for are simple tasks that are easily understood. This generally means data entry, publishing blog content, etc. You will get more for your money by sticking to the basics in the beginning. If you assign your VA tasks that are overly complicated, they either won’t get much done, or they will require extensive training. The last thing you want to do is cause confusion or stress, as they may end up finding another employer if you make things too difficult on them. Remember that you’re paying them hourly (usually), so they have to remain efficient at their job. That doesn’t always mean getting the complicated tasks done. The simplest tasks are the ones that consume a business the most and eat up your time.Below are 16 internet marketing tasks that can be easily outsourced to a VA without extensive training:
1. Guest Posting
I wouldn’t ask a VA to write guest post articles for you, because they likely have broken English and the quality of their work might not make the cut. However, there is another aspect to guest posting that virtual assistants are perfectly suited for.
Making the initial contact (emailing)
Getting an article published on a top quality blog is hard work. Writing the content and producing an article that’s worthy of the blog is difficult on its own, but making contact with the blog and getting them to respond to you can be even more challenging. It often takes a lot of cold emails to land a good guest post. Waiting for responses, following up with leads, it gets pretty tiresome.
Virtual assistants are more than capable of sending emails. If you can gather up a list of websites for your VA to contact and provide them with an email template, they won’t have to actually communicate with the blog owners and they can easily make the initial contact for you. Once you start getting replies, you can handle all of the communication and facilitate the process from that point forward. Let your VA focus on what they are good at and you can handle the rest.
Quality is Key
Be extra cautious of using your VA for guest post content or preparation, then sending them off to users on a site like Fiverr for publication. In my experience, lone freelancers can’t do guest posting correctly. It takes a well orchestrated team. Between the outreach, networking, building connections, and writing the content, there’s just too much work to handle on your own.
Healthy publishing relationships with established blogs can take years to build. They don’t start to genuinely trust you as a writer until you have submitted multiple posts, and it takes only 1 bad submission with poorly written content for them to revoke the publication rights forever. Generally, the guests posts you get off Fiverr are from webmasters that own the blog your content is featured on. There’s no real outreach, which means the sites are only mildly related and the content quality is often really poor. Fiverr is good for some things and terrible for others. This is just one of those categories.
2. Data Presentation
Do you have content that could be shared, if only it was share ready?
Data presentation is an excellent task for a virtual assistant. You can have them prepare Powerpoints, audio files, infographics or other types of presentable data.
They don’t have to do any of the content writing since it’s already done for them, and the design work can be provided by using free Powerpoint templates, audio tools and infographic templates. The tasks required of the VA will be simple, copy and paste work.
This is a great first step if you intend to do link building on Powerpoint directories, infographic directories, audio directories and more.
Having a hard time staying organized? Need someone to help you with file management?
Organizing your business can get complicated, especially when you stress or over think things. One way to mitigate that stress is to have your virtual assistant handle some of the small tasks that can go a long way with staying organized.
If you need some help organizing Google Docs or Dropbox, VA’s are generally more than capable of this. They can rename files and folders, move items around and keep things organized neatly for your business.
4. On-Page Search Engine Optimization and Other General Website Tasks
Although content writing is typically outside the reach of an overseas virtual assistant, there are many on-page search engine optimization tasks that don’t require exceptional writing skills. You could even prepare the data beforehand, so that the actual process is just copy-and-paste.
Simple on-page tasks a VA can do for your website:
- Add images to posts and optimize them using image alt text
- Add relevant videos to posts
- Optimize H1 tags for your posts
- Add relevant tags to posts
- Add internal links to other posts
5. Off-Page Search Engine Optimization (Link Building) and General Promotion
If you use web 2.0 properties, article directories, press release directories and other platforms that are free to submit content to, you could train your virtual assistant to do these types of link building tasks.
However, keep in mind that off-page SEO can be very repetitive and for that reason, not very fulfilling. Most virtual assistants prefer not to do this type of work. Registering and submitting content to the same websites repeatedly generally doesn’t provide the best job satisfaction. However, if you can mix things up and allow your virtual assistants to work on other projects periodically, they shouldn’t have any problem staying attentive.
Submission tasks you can outsource:
- Article directories
- Press release distribution
- Web 2.0 properties
- Web 2.0 profiles
- Wiki sites
- Video directories
- Tutorial directories
- Powerpoint directories
- Infographic directories
- Audio directories
- Social bookmarking sites
- Local business listings
- Link directories
- Blog comments
- Forum profiles
- Software directories
- Blog aggregation sites
- Feedback/Website review sites
6. Find Targeted Leads
Whether you’re contacting your leads by phone or email, a virtual assistant is a great way to harvest more leads.
Do some research on your own and find niche related websites that are targeted based on your demographic profile. Make sure these websites have phone numbers, contact forms, or email addresses available. Even if the site has security to prevent bots from submitting a request, your VA should still be able to get through manually. Paying a virtual assistant to copy down the leads for you could be worthwhile if they turn into potential customers. This is often the next step to scaling an outreach campaign, such as with cold email. The first bottleneck you encounter is harvesting the leads at a faster rate. Once that’s nailed, your sales team just has to keep up with the incoming requests.
You’ll find this tool mentioned again later on in this post, but Ninja Outreach is the best way to send your emails once your VA has created a list of leads. There are other tools out there for sending cold email, but none have the additional features that Ninja Outreach provides, and many are the same price or higher.
If you’re looking for something with features geared more toward email outreach and the cold sales process, try Klenty.
7. Keyword Research
Finding keywords with low competition, high commercial intent (searcher’s likelihood to buy), and high search volume on Google can take time. If you have access to keyword research software, training your VA to use it can completely eliminate this from your schedule.
Software makes keyword research considerably easier. Instead of using your own research to determine the difficulty or competition of keywords, the software will use its own algorithm and display competition scores for every keyword. It makes analyzing and comparing keywords take only a matter of seconds and it can be done for every blog post that you publish on your website.
When you need keyword research for your clients or own websites, you’ll only have to send your virtual assistant the website’s niche. From there, they can handle the remainder of the process and have profitable keywords delivered to you by the day’s end. They don’t have to speak great English either, if they include an irrelevant keyword in the report, you can easily remove it for them. The software does the heavy lifting though and finds only phrases that closely match your initial seed keyword.
8. Find Valuable Domains
Domains with high Domain Authority, Trust Flow, and Citation Flow can be valuable to an SEO campaign. These are metrics provided by Moz and Majestic. They essentially replaced what was once PageRank, a retired metric that Google used to indicate how much authority a domain possessed. Acquiring valuable domains is a great way to utilize a virtual assistant.
A domain with authority can be 301 redirected to your site (not recommended), transferring the authority, or they can be used for creating your own authority private blog network. This is the route I’d recommend you choose, as you then assume full control over those sites and can build them out into reputable brands of their own. If you’ve heard that private blog networks are ‘grey hat’ or risky, you heard right, but you don’t have to build that type of network. I have a free PBN guide here that explains how you can create a safe, high-powered network of valuable assets.
Training your virtual assistant to check the stats and backlink profile of expired domains can help you find opportunities for your network, or for reselling on sites like Flippa.
However, doing it manually is pretty time consuming and often, you end up having to use other tools and resources to get the job done. The likelihood of being able to train your virtual assistant to do this gets lower as you have to introduce more and more tools. The better option?
9. Competition Analysis
Knowing the backlinks of your competitors and evaluating their efforts will make you more knowledgeable and capable of outperforming them.
One way to do this to replicate their efforts by seeking out link building relationships with the same websites they have links from. As you begin to obtain those same links, while also building additional links, your site will begin to move up in the search results. It’s a great way to simplify link building and start with the basics, building a backlink profile that’s equivalent to your competition as the foundation.
On-page competition analysis can be just as important as off-page. Your competition is a great place to look to find ideas for your blog, learn how to do effective on-page optimization, and learn how to organize your website’s content.
SEO isn’t the only way to analyze competitors either. If you’re running PPC campaigns or engaged with your audience on social media, these are areas where there is plenty of data to harvest from your competitors. In fact, with pay-per-click campaigns, competition analysis is essential to your success.
The ‘all-in-one’ tools discussed earlier like SEMRush have powerful competition analysis features to automate the process and make this a whole lot easier on a virtual assistant.
10. Content Writing / Article Writing
An overseas virtual assistant generally won’t speak perfect English and expecting them to write quality content usually leads to disappointment. However, if you can find a VA that’s capable of doing article writing and hasn’t already found a better paying employer, you should jump at the opportunity to bring them on-board.
Good quality article writers deserve a higher salary than what the typical virtual assistant charges. Content writing is a great task to outsource if you have a reliable VA that can write to your standards.
11. Other Content Tasks
Whether you scrape, spin, or do a little of both, a virtual assistant is perfect for content related tasks that don’t involve too much writing. If it’s as easy as using software or if it only requires copying and pasting, then it can be outsourced.
12. Social Media Management
Increasing your Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook following can have a significant impact on your brand and reputation.
Scheduling Tweets and status updates, monitoring mentions and hashtags, and promoting your pages is something a VA can do without too much training.
Social media plays an important role in how your business is viewed and analyzed by your customers.
If you have prepared the content, it’s easy to train a virtual assistant to fire-up your preferred social media management tool and start scheduling posts.
13. Building Reports
If you provide services to clients or need to build fancy reports to showcase on your website, virtual assistants can be trained to create those reports.
There are many tools designed to produce reports for on-page optimization, backlink analysis, market research, competition analysis and more. Operating the software is generally a step by step process that can be taught by creating a screencast for your VA. You might even want to setup a schedule with your virtual assistant so that these reports are automatically done on a regular basis.
14. Find Trending Topics
If you’re churning out 1-2 blog posts each week, why not do some research first and find topics to write about that are trending and have the highest presence on social networks?
After all, social networks are responsible for the majority of today’s viral content and writing about popular subjects will provide more traffic to your website.
15. WordPress/CMS Tasks
Most websites today are powered by what is known as a content management system. WordPress has become the predominant CMS in the industry. It’s free, open source and supported by thousands of active developers.
Within a content management system like WordPress there are a lot of administrative tasks such as moderating comments, updating plugins, installing themes and more. Training a virtual assistant to use a CMS is easy and it will save you time by not having to do everything yourself.
16. Online Research
Research tasks generally only require finding and storing information. It’s straightforward work that’s easy to understand. Asking your VA to take on some of these roles for you is a smart decision that can save you time and money.
Think outside the box! This section is short but there is a lot of potential here. Every situation is different and how a VA is used for online research will vary depending on the unique needs of your business.