Working from Home or While on the Road in your RV

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Being a virtual assistant is a job that can be done almost anywhere that you can get an internet connection. One of the reasons that I really like my job is that my husband and I like to travel in our RV and it gives me the freedom to work on the road. My husband is disabled and has several medical issues and needs someone to be close by so I stay at home with him. Freelance work gives me the best opportunity to work and be there for him as much as possible. I also love article writing, editing, blog posting, forum moderating and helping others so this is the perfect job choice for me.  If you are a full-time RV’er and you have marketable skills then this is something to really consider doing when you are out on the road.

First you will need to figure out what services you can provide and what your niche will be. Think about the skills you have and write them all down. Some VA‘s specialize in one or two areas but some offer a wide variety of services. Sometimes, they do this and then subcontract out what they don’t have the time or skills for. A good way to be able to provide a broader range of services is to collaborate with a few other people who are great at doing different things and then trade services with them.

There are several freelance websites that you can use, including Elance, Odesk, and others where you can bid on jobs. You could even advertise your services on Craigslist or other free classified ads and have the business come to you. You can try to get work by distributing business cards, flyers, community bulletin boards or calling local businesses to see if they would like to use your services. Just be sure to explain to them why and how you can save them money by doing tasks for them. Think of it as a business proposal because that is exactly what it is. Always, get a signed contract so that everything is spelled out so there is no misunderstandings about payment or services. Here is a example of a contract.

The great thing about being a “virtual” assistant is you can work for people whom you have known for years or people you have never met. This is great when working out on the road in your RV. One of the best ways to create a steady income is to offer packaged services for a monthly fee. Some VA’s even get paid retainer fees. Build yourself a good repeat customer base and you could have more work than you could ever want.

Some of the services you could provide include :

  • SEO
  • Link Building Services
  • Ebook Writing and Editing Services
  • Social Media Marketing Service
  • Data Entry, Data Management
  • Blog Setup and Management
  • Guest Blog Posting
  • E-commerce Website Setup and Management
  • Customer Service Followup calls
  • Logo Developing
  • Email Management Service
  • Ghost Writing
  • Internet Research
  • Pre-employment Background Checks
  • Virtual Recruiting and Interviewing prospective Employees
  • Book Travel Arrangements
  • Transcription
  • Contact and Client Management
  • Create Newsletters or Brochures
  • Google AdWords
  • Marketing Plans
  • Bill Paying
  • Press Releases
  • Appointment Setting/Calendar Management
  • Paralegal Services
  • Real Estate Assistant
  • Billing Services
  • Ebay Listings
  • Lead Generation
  • Pay Roll
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Tips for Starting Your Virtual Assistant Business

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Virtual assistants are remote workers who are usually diverse in their skills, backgrounds and locations. They use technology to deliver their services to clients all over the world. Most work from a home office and most have their own websites. Many VA‘s offer clerical or secretarial type services but there are several that specialize in areas like marketing. web design, social media management, accounting, legal services, tech support and more.

Clients are more likely to hire assistants to save money when they need temporary help or when they just cant afford to hire a full time employee. Most Virtual Assistants pay their own taxes, equipment, training and healthcare which can save a business a large amount of money. Real Estate, life or business coaching, financial services, accounting and legal services are the industries that hire most frequently.

Here are just a few tips to help you.

  • Decide just what type of services you have adequate experience in and will be able to offer to your clients.
  •  Determine your niche. You should consider specializing in just two to three services to make it easier to market.
  •  Decide how much time you have to commit to your business venture. Will you work part or full time?
  • Do some thorough research to determine the need for your services in your local area.
  • Outline who your clients will be and how to access them.
  •  Do  market analysis. Find out your niche and focus on how you will apply it to your business.
  •  Know your financial limitations and what your expected income will be, your possible expenses and how long you will be able to hang on until your business is running all on it’s own.
  • Write a business plan and go over it often to manage any future changes.
  • Make sure your equipment, software and office space will meet your business and client needs.
  • Name your business, secure a domain name and build a website. Try to use the same name for all to avoid confusion.
  •  Market your services continously. Othewise the clients won’t be knocking on your door and you will likely fail.
  • Consider joining a professional organization. It can be a great networking opportunity and you could reap big benefits.
  • Don’t be afraid to contact business’s who could possibly use your services. Send them a brochure or business card.

Freelance Writing as a Work from Home Job

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Finding a work from home job can be difficult but not impossible. Consider doing freelance writing from home. The jobs are not high paying in the beginning but residuals can build up over time. You don’t even have to be an English professor to write articles. But you do need to have a desire to write and topics to write about. You can write about things you are knowledgable or passionate about like hobbies, relationships, or sports.  If you can do enough research, you can write on just about any subject you want that interests you.

In the beginning apply to write at places like suite101.com, about.com, yahoo, and other similar websites. The pay is not great but the experience is worth a lot. You can use your work on these sites to build your writing resume. Post a link to your writer’s profile from these sites on your resume as well. If you have been unemployed like I have been, you know how important it is to have a something to write down as your current job when you are job hunting. Employers want an explanation for times you were unemployed. Freelance writing will help you “fill the gaps” on your resume even if you don’t plan on it being your full time career.

After you have some published work and feel confident in yourself, you can begin to look for “bigger” jobs. A really good place to find work is on craigslist. I found one of my higher paying jobs there but just be careful of scams. You can also use sites like freelancer.com, elance.com, and other freelance sites.

Ebooks are easier than ever to write. You no longer need to have to have a publisher and you can submit directly to sites like amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.  Just go to their site and research their requirements prior to writing just to make sure you are familiar with their formatting. You  will need to come up with a cover for your ebook, however.  The book itself doesn’t necessarily have to be very long either. It is very important for your content to be good and especially the first chapter since this is often used as a free sample if people want to preview it prior to purchase.

Writing is obviously not for everyone but I do think with enough research and practice most people can write. It is definitely worth a try and you don’t have anything to lose. You may find out you love it and want to make it a career.