The Complete Guide to Hiring an Assistant for the Blog

Scarlett Schreiber Scarlett Schreiber
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Running a blog can often be overwhelming, especially when you are worried about not having the time to juggle all of the necessary tasks along with working a full-time 9-to-5 job. To avoid overlooking any important aspects of the process, many bloggers prefer to hire an assistant and delegate routine tasks. A good assistant will take weight off your shoulders by managing your schedule, responding to emails, phone calls, and messages, managing your marketing campaigns, and more.

At Travelpayouts, we have been hiring freelance assistants for various types of tasks for many years. These assistants include industry experts, writers, proofreaders, and other specialists who provide you with the coolest and most relevant content. As we personally know all the challenges you might face when hiring an assistant, we decided to share our experience in this post. Read on to learn about the advantages and steps of hiring an assistant for your blog.

Benefits of Hiring a Good Assistant

Think of hiring a blog assistant as an investment into your business growth. The right candidate will produce revenue-generating content and help achieve excellent results. Here are some of the advantages that a good assistant will bring to your business.

Higher Revenue

With so many things to focus on, it can be easy to lose track of what is really important. Hiring an assistant will allow you to delegate routine duties and concentrate on tasks that will make a difference to your business growth. Thus, instead of manually inserting partner links and checking that they all work, you could delegate this routine task to your blog assistant, leaving you time to focus on tracking your campaign’s performance and upgrading your affiliate strategy to boost your income. 

Better Work-Life Balance

You need to share three to four posts per week to drive organic traffic, and there are many more tasks involved with running a blog than just writing itself. However, a competent assistant could take over admin responsibilities, so that you can focus on what you love to do or simply free up time for you to spend with family and friends. In the long run, you will have a better work-life balance and protect yourself from the burnout that so many bloggers risk facing at some point in their career. 

More Expertise

If you are an aspiring blogger, it might take some time before you master the necessary skills. Hiring an experienced assistant will support you with the expertise you need. This can mean finding the highest-converting partner tools, checking that all the links work, optimizing your content for search engines for higher conversion, and more. For example, if you are not the best writer just yet, hiring a copywriter will allow you to boost your blog content quickly and focus on tasks that you excel at.

More Traffic and Readers

Well-researched, high-quality posts generate more engagement with your audience and help you build trust. By regularly publishing such content, you’ll make your way to the top of the search results. 

As already mentioned, it takes quite a lot of time to do proper research, write a post, and optimize it for search engines. A competent assistant will help you create content that brings a stable flow of traffic and grows your community. Consecutively, a larger community is indicative of a trustworthy resource, so it all works to your advantage.

When You Need to Hire a Virtual Assistant

While the benefits of contracting an assistant may sound convincing enough, it still comes at a price. If you are working within a modest budget, it’s natural that you may wonder, “When should I hire an assistant?” to avoid spending too much. Hiring a blog virtual assistant will pay off handsomely in the following cases:

  • Develop Websites or Mobile Apps. Web development is not a task that can be learned overnight. By hiring a competent assistant, you can save a lot of time and avoid potential pitfalls.
  • Increase Traffic and Conversions. An assistant skilled in marketing, SEO, and sales will help you generate conversions in no time. 
  • Boost Affiliate Income. Affiliate marketing can be time consuming when it comes to integrating partner tools, tracking clicks and conversions, and more. An assistant familiar with affiliate best practices will help you generate income faster.
  • Build Links. Off-page SEO practices, such as link building require time and expertise no less than writing itself. The right assistant will help you get the right amount of quality links and connect with niche experts.
  • Write Content. By hiring a copywriter with a solid understanding of grammar and vocabulary as well as a passion for writing, you will not only boost your blog traffic but also save on editing or proofreading costs.
  • Promote on Social Media. Every social media platform has a unique ranking algorithm. So, to reach your target audience, you need to develop an efficient social media marketing strategy. The right assistant will help you create optimized posts and grow your social community.

Last but not least, hiring an assistant will allow you to dedicate your time to more important things that you excel at, while securing valuable blog content.

Where to Find a Virtual Assistant

How do I find a freelance assistant? If you ask yourself this question, check out the following ways to find a good blog virtual assistant, which vary from simply googling writers on the Internet to asking for referrals or exploring dedicated job boards.

Google Search

You can start your search with good old-fashioned Google. Be as specific as possible to yield the best results. Indicate the type of assistant you need, your desired price, location, and so on. A simple query like “assistant” or “VA” will generate millions of search results that have nothing to do with your particular business objective. You can also type your main keyword to find writers focusing on your specific topic. Don’t overlook ads, as they may lead to assistants looking for clients who are ready to invest in promotion. Shortlist five to seven suitable candidates and reach out.

Google’s search allows you to connect directly with assistants without paying membership or transaction fees (unlike on freelance platforms). However, you must be careful in your communications and remember that fraud is possible.

Freelancing Platforms

“What are the sites where I can find copywriters?” is what webmasters often ask after a fruitless search on Google. You can start with freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, which offer hundreds (if not thousands) of freelance assistants providing affordable prices (starting from $5 per post). On freelancing platforms, you can find a contractor who charges per hour or per project.

A screenshot of the search results for the “virtual assistant” keyword on Fiverr
Virtual assistant search on Fiverr

You can also sign up on such platforms and create a gig so that freelancers looking for work can apply directly. Make sure to give your project a descriptive title and detailed project description, specifying what kind of expertise and skills you’re looking for. You can add questions for candidates to answer to find out more about them before making your selection.

A screenshot of the virtual assistant search results on Upwork 
Virtual assistant job search on Upwork

Keep in mind that, if you collaborate with an assistant through a freelancing platform, you’re most likely to pay a fee for each project. On Fiverr, for example, this fee is roughly $2 to $3 per transaction. While insignificant for a one-time project, this may add up in the long term. We, at Travelpayouts, often use Fiverr to book proofreading services and place rather big orders instead of many small ones. This allows us to streamline our workflow and avoid paying service fees multiple times.

On the other hand, you’ll be able to open disputes for unsatisfactory work or fraud and the platform will take care of all work-related logistics.

Social Media

Social networks play an ever increasing role in connecting brands with potential employees. One study revealed that an overwhelming 92% of recruiters prefer to post jobs and search for talent through social and professional networks. Below are some of the most popular social media platforms to help you find a perfect blog virtual assistant.

LinkedIn

As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn boasts over 500 million active users worldwide, including roughly 200 million users with the Premium Subscription who are interested in building partnerships.

To begin your search, type in “virtual assistant” and filter the results by “people” to see potential candidates. You can also set additional filters, such as the number of connections, particular locations, current company, etc.

A screenshot of the virtual assistant search results on LinkedIn
Virtual assistant search on LinkedIn

Next, you can study experts’ profiles in the search results to learn more about their educational background, work experience, connections, client testimonials, and so on. You can also check to see if the assistants you found have previously worked with similar brands or projects and what customers have to say about them. This might be the closest thing you can get to referrals, so make sure to use LinkedIn’s functionality to your advantage.

A screenshot of the recommendations section on LinkedIn
Recommendations section on the candidate profile on LinkedIn

Furthermore, you can set up a LinkedIn page for your business and share a job posting there so that writers can find it in the search. Note that the platform offers a premium membership, which allows users to find and hire candidates faster.

Facebook

Facebook is another social media giant where you can find the perfect assistant to support your blog growth. Type in “virtual assistant” and filter the results by posts, people, groups, etc.

A screenshot of the virtual assistant search results on Facebook
Virtual assistant search on Facebook

We have rounded up some of the most popular Facebook groups that travel bloggers might use to search for blog virtual assistants:

The list above is not extensive, but it can give you an example of where to look for a potential assistant on Facebook. To ensure a more efficient collaboration, be sure to read each group’s terms before you publish any job opening for more efficient collaboration. Usually, you can ask the group’s admin if you have any questions.

Reddit

While Reddit is not primarily aimed at facilitating business connections, it offers space for conversations, which you can take advantage of to find a great blog virtual assistant. The platform provides subreddits for different topics as well as cover writing and freelance projects. Sign up on the forum, if you haven’t yet, and start by exploring the following subreddits:

Join the relevant subreddits to stay informed on the discussions that are taking place. You can also create a new post and offer an assistant job to the forum members. Every subreddit has different rules, so make sure to check them before posting your announcement.

Online Job Boards

The Internet abounds in job boards, where you can share your project. Some of these boards are specifically for assistants and writers. Depending on the platform, some of these sites will ask you for a fee in exchange for a single job posting or will ask you to sign up for a monthly subscription. This is a good investment if you are looking for a flow of writers or to post several gigs. Here are a few job boards to start with:

Job boards usually curate their postings carefully, but don’t hold themselves responsible for the quality of services and communication with the contractors you’ll find there, nor do they provide any logistics.

Blogs

If you want to hire a virtual assistant with copywriting skills, make sure to sift through blogs and online magazines with a similar focus to your topic of interest. Once you find writing samples that you like, contact the author and send them your offer. If their contact details aren’t available online, reach out to the platform hosting the post you found and ask them for the writer’s email. Given that it’s not their full-time employee, they might be willing to share this information.

The good part about this approach is that you can find precisely the type of writing skills that you need and get in contact with the author directly without paying any fee (unlike on freelancing platforms).

Referrals

If you don’t fancy picking a random person on the Internet, explore referrals via your personal or professional network. For example, you can share a job on LinkedIn or other social networks to show it to your connections. In addition, you can reach out to agencies, companies, and experts in the niche and ask for recommendations. Chances are that somebody can point you in the right direction, as word of mouth remains an efficient way to get referrals. Besides, it never hurts to let more people know about your business.

How to Find a Great Assistant

The next question that may come to your mind is: “How do I find a blog virtual assistant?” It might not be easy to stumble upon a great assistant, especially if it’s your first time looking for one. There are a few essential aspects you should pay attention to in order to find a true professional of their craft.

Experience

Hiring an experienced assistant will save you plenty of headaches down the road, as you won’t have to spend time explaining the basics over and over again. Look for an assistant with the skills that you need to run your blog successfully, depending on the tasks you would like to delegate. It also makes sense to look for an assistant in your niche.

References

Before hiring an assistant, another thing to look at is their clients’ testimonials, which most professional copywriters are usually transparent about. Dedicate time to finding out what other people say about them, as such social proof will provide them with credibility and help you make a more accurate decision.

Rate

The next thing you might want to check is their rate. How much does it cost to hire a virtual assistant? A true professional is worth their weight in gold, but with so many experts available on the web, you can certainly find one that matches your exact budget.

Assistant rates on Fiverr usually start from $5 per gig. This fee may sometimes cover more than one hour worth of work. When choosing an assistant, make sure to check their location, language, number of orders completed, available packages, skills, and more.

A screenshot of a virtual assistant’s profile on Fiverr highlighting important profile sections
Virtual assistant profile on Fiverr

Personality

Your assistant’s personality is just as important as any other factor. Pay attention to the vibe you’re getting from an assistant, such as the language and tone they use. Ideally, you will want to find an easy-going, positive person, who knows how to be persuasive through their writing and can work well as part of a team.

In addition, check to see if there are commonalities between the assistant and your brand, as well as what kind of image they portray. Naturally, capturing your brand’s personality in the content is the writer’s duty, but if you already have something in common, it’ll be easier to get off on the right foot.

Availability

Last but not least, check the assistant’s availability. For one-off projects, you can hire a freelancer, whom you can keep on retainer if the project turns into a series of posts. 

Some bloggers even hire full-time assistants, as they have regular tasks. This is a win-win situation. The assistant will have a constant flow of tasks and can build their industry knowledge, while you won’t have to bring them up to speed for each new task. As a result, you can establish a long-term partnership on appropriate terms.

While some freelancers announce their upcoming holidays in advance, others don’t. As a result, it is important to stay flexible throughout your cooperation and put in the time to get to know your assistant’s approach.

5 Things to Do Before Hiring an Assistant

To ensure the smooth integration of a new assistant into your blogging routine, make sure to properly onboard them. Here are a few important steps to consider.

1. Protect Intellectual Property

When hiring a copywriter assistant for your blog, it is important to complete a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to make sure that you retain intellectual ownership over the content. To ensure maximum security, some bloggers prefer to give out an NDA to their new contractors even before they discuss a business idea or concept. 

With online tools, such as DocuSign, you can streamline your workflow and sign documents online.

2. Give Appropriate Access

Running a blog often implies integrating multiple tools, such as email service provider, calendar, social media accounts, cloud documents, and more. However, it is better to provide your assistant with limited access to your technology (at least at first). For example, if you hire a copywriter, you can give them limited admin rights on your content management platform.

If you partner with Travelpayouts, you might want to leverage the Delegated Access feature and allow your assistant to only access certain tasks. In this case, the assistant won’t be able to change your personal data, create new projects, or submit any requests on your behalf. 

3. Choose Task Management Software

To track all the tasks and their completion, you can register on a work management platform. Tools such as Asana and Trello can help you and your assistant get an overview of the tasks to complete and streamline your workflow. At Travelpayouts, we actively use Trello to assign and manage tasks for freelancers and find it very convenient. This tool allows users to create multiple boards, change their design, and set tasks into several categories, such as “To Do”, “Doing”, etc. You can create a free account with up to 10 boards and unlimited cards, which is great for both small businesses and freelancers.

A screenshot of the Asana dashboard
Asana dashboard

4. Have Templates to Follow

You’ll save a lot of time by developing a template to follow or a style guide, and passing it off to every new freelance assistant that you collaborate with. You can explain your expectations, describe your target audience, desirable tone, and voice, provide lists of favorite sources, major do’s/don’ts, and so on. These templates can be used for drafting emails, blog content, social media posts, etc. If you have SEO strategies in place, make sure to introduce them as well. Affiliate marketers might want to share guides for the affiliate programs and platforms they use.

5. Choose a Time Tracking Tool

Most freelance assistants charge per hour. To calculate time, make sure to choose a convenient time tracking tool. Programs such as TopTracker will not only count the time spent on each task, but also the number of mouse clicks and keyboard hits, while taking screenshots every now and then. All you have to do is send an invite to the project to your assistant and ask them to install the tool on their computer. It is a very convenient program, which we use at Travelpayouts.

A screenshot showing the features of TopTracker in comparison to other programs
TopTracker features for time tracking

How to Hire an Assistant for Your Blog

Blogging can be a long journey, and hiring the right blog virtual assistant can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. Have you ever hired an assistant for your website or affiliate campaign? Do you have any tips and tricks that you want to share with your fellow marketers? If so, please feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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