When you write for a living, it might seem strange to think about outsourcing some of that work. However, like any other self-employed or freelance creative entrepreneur, writers can benefit from having an assistant. With the growing popularity and availability of virtual assistants, and the flexibility of contracting one, it’s within your budget.
I guarantee that any busy writer will find outsourcing allows them to be more productive and focus on the work that matters most. I know this because as a virtual assistant, I’ve worked with many writers over the years. I’ve helped them develop everything from website content to books, and I’d like to share with you the top 5 tasks I do for my writing clients on a weekly basis.
1. Researching Topics and Publishing News
The research stage is essential for all types of writing, both short and long form, but it can be time consuming, and doesn’t utilize your brilliant writing skills! Instead of spending your most productive hours doing research so that you can write, let a virtual assistant do research for your next piece while you write another one. You’ll double your productivity and output, allowing you to write more books.
2. Developing Effective Keywords
Anyone who writes online content knows the importance of having relevant keywords. Incorporating the right keywords boosts your incoming traffic and the exposure your writing receives. However, doing the research, running the numbers and choosing the right keywords to use in the key metadata elements of a book and in your blog posts can eat up valuable writing time. A virtual assistant can give you a summarized list of which keywords you should be using, and at what frequency.
3. Creating an Editorial Calendar
If you write for certain clients on a recurring basis (weekly, monthly), or even plan your own blog out like this, you can pass on the task of coming up with topics to a virtual assistant. Use your time to write those topics, not spend hours brainstorming them. Let someone else do the legwork of grouping them into appropriate themes and making notes on what content should be included.
4. Writing and Scheduling Your Writing/Business Blog
Your work hours should be used for writing pieces that you’ll get paid for. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include keeping up your own blog, which is essential for maintaining an active online presence that shows clients why they want to hire you.
A #virtualassistant can ghostwrite blog posts for you on just about any topic.
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You can still make edits and additions to include your personal touch, while saving most of the time required to maintain an active blog. A virtual assistant can also edit your pieces, schedule them to be published to your blog, even look for great content that can be turned into image quotes.
5. Handling Social Media and Sharing Your Writing on Content Distribution Sites
Social media is something every business and entrepreneur, including writers, need to do. It’s an essential part of promoting your work, and unfortunately, can suck up a lot of your time. A virtual assistant can easily create social media hooks to support your blog, put a great article up on reddit, pin your blog post image on Pinterest, promote your work published elsewhere, like your Facebook and Twitter friends’ stuff, comment and retweet some of it.
You might even consider asking your VA just to read the first chapter of your book out-loud and share it on youtube.
There are lots of other tasks besides these that a virtual assistant can do for you, so think outside the box and inquire about whatever will help you be the most productive writer you can be.