18.4.17

MY TOP 5 FAVORITE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT TOOLS

My Top 5 Favorite Virtual Assistant Tools



If you're working online, there are tools that you need to have to make your life easier. There are a lot of apps and tools but I have my top 5 favorite virtual assistant tools that I can swear on.



My Top 5 Favorite Virtual Assistant Tools



Google Drive

Of course you need a place you can save your articles, documents, graphics, et. al. You can save it on your desktop, but what if your computer crashes? You need something online. I love Google Drive because you can save photos, spreadsheets, and documents, share specific files to specific people, and easily organize your files. You can even sync it on your desktop. It makes documenting easy breezy.

How To Use Google Drive



Canva

Canva is where I edit images I use on my blogs and on social media. It's easy to navigate. You can customize the dimensions of your photos although they already have templates available for different social media platforms. Like for example on Facebook, they have ready sizes for Facebook cover photo, Facebook profile picture, Facebook images for sharing, Facebook image for links to share. It's addicting to use.

Here are some images I created using Canva for About Life and Love blog quotes.


Hootsuite

You don't need to be online all the time or on specific times to post on social media. You can easily add and connect your social media profiles on Hootsuite. It is a social media marketing tool that schedules and takes care of your social media posting. I use it for my Twitter and Google + but you can add more accounts depending on your plan.

How To Use Hootsuite


Skype

Although it takes up a lot of data, Skype is still a great communication tool to use for conferences or a simple chat with your client. It's where I get interviewed for jobs, it's where I quickly send articles or photos, and chat with a contact. You can also share your screen so it's easier to explain a process or instruction. Of course personally, I use it to communicate with family and friends away.

How To Use Skype



Kraken

One way to conserve space on your blog is to compress photos. I use kraken because it can compress jpeg, png, and even gif images. You can compress individually or by batch and download them or import on your Dropbox or Google Drive. There are many photo optimization tools but kraken is by far my favorite because it's so easy to use and reduces the weight of the photo dramatically without changing the quality. They have cheap plans but you can use it for free.

How To Use Kraken




I use other Virtual assistant tools like Dropbox, Luna pic, SEO analyzers, and the like. It's like working in an office with file cabinets and equipment that make you do your job easily but so much better. It makes you finish and store your work in a few clicks, user-friendly, and you have an option to use it without paying.

What's your top 5 favorite virtual assistant tool?




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10.4.17

SIMPLE TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL BLOGGING

Simple Tips For Successful Blogging


You write a compelling content, you labor on your graphics, you even try to promote your blog on social media. But, nothing. No likes, no shares, no comments, and a very high bounce rate. WHY??? What have you not done? Oh, but what have you overdone too? Stop the self-pity and take note of these simple tips for successful blogging.



Simple Tips For Successful Blogging



It's not you, it's your font.

White font against a black background? Neon fonts? Font styles that are barely readable? Of course anyone who values their time---and eyes would not last 3 seconds on your page. It doesn't matter if you write as poetically as Maya Angelou or your message is as compelling as Michelle Obama's. They just won't read it if it hurts their eyes. 

Make sure your fonts are simple, legible, and does not hurt your readers eyes. Tweet!

It's not you, it's your font.



Grab your audience's attention.

The best way to grab someone's attention is to tell a story. Especially the one you know they can relate to. A good content--an interesting, relatable, easy to understand one, you're sure to grab your readers' attention until the end. 

Keep your audience hanging up to the last word. Tweet!




Keep graphics to the minimum.

You want your content to be the focus of your blog. You want to draw your readers to, well, what they'll be reading. Keep the graphics to the minimum. Too much going on in your blog could be distracting and will leave your readers confused. Notice the major blogs and how clean their pages are. It's more about the content and less about the graphics. 

Keep it simple. Tweet!
Keep graphics to the minimum.



Use images

Although your blog should focus on your content, it is equally important to use images to give your readers' eyes "a break" from all the reading. Images should be entertaining and related to the blog content. It must also be shareable on social media to increase the chances of your content being shared. 

Images are like ice-breakers--relevant ice-breakers on your blog. Use it well. Tweet!




Link up

Every new blog post is a chance to promote older blog posts. Link up to your existing blog content or another blog site. That's a hack in promoting without being so in-your-face kind of promotion. You're welcome.

Utilize the content of your new blog by promoting old ones. Tweet!

Link up



Share buttons

Don't make it hard for your readers to share your post. Add share buttons on your blog post or page so that sharing is only a few clicks away. Make sharing simple even for the busiest visitor. Provide them with the tools.

Add share buttons on your post and encourage sharing among your readers. Tweet!




Be patient

You can't make yourself an overnight success on blogging. Unless of course you're  a major celebrity who already have a big following online. All you have to do is announce it to your legion of fans and give them the link and traffic will start pouring in your page.

But for us mere mortals, it pays to be patient. 

Be patient in learning new things, be patient in failing, be patient in trying.

Be patient and in the end, you will see your patience will pay off. Tweet!

Be patient

Do you have some tips for blogging? Share in the comment please!


Gifs from Google images


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20.3.17

THE PROS OF WORKING FROM HOME

















Did you know that you can actually earn money without leaving your house? Thanks to modern technology, it is now possible. In my personal blog About Life and Love, I shared the pros of working from home.

Here are some of them:


THE PROS OF WORKING FROM HOME



No dress code.

Because there are times when you're just not up for dressing up---or even combing your hair (am I the only one?). You know you can be productive in your yoga pants anyway, so why bother wearing office attire?

No more commuting.

Especially helpful when you live in a flood-prone area--or country for that matter. And gosh the traffic! Horror stories!

No office politics.

We all have that boss. And we all have that colleague.

Easy to travel (or go on vacation).

You can seriously bring your work with you anywhere. (Well as long as there's a steady internet connection and power).

More extra time for yourself and others.

Some online clients allows flexi time so you can organize your schedule to spend more time with yourself, or your loved ones. Personally, I work while my dogs are sleeping on my bed or on the floor. That quiet quality time is priceless.


Click here to read the full article.


Have you ever thought about quitting your job, but couldn't because you don't know how to earn money if you would? Working from home is the answer.

Have you tried it? How was your experience so far?

Let me know if you're interested in the comment.
Or fill up the contact form at the bottom of the page.



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16.9.14

HOW TO INCREASE BLOG TRAFFIC THE NON-TECHNICAL WAY

How To Increase Blog Traffic The Non-Technical Way


There are different ways you can do to get more views on your page without laboring on SEO, HTMLs and other technical stuff. Here's how to increase blog traffic the non-technical way:


How To Increase Blog Traffic The Non-Technical Way


1. Guest Blogging.

There are blog sites with a growing number of readers that accept guest bloggers. Guest blogging gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills while promoting your blog site.

Guest Blogging
via Hello Teri Love

2. Join Blogging Communities.

You will find like-minded individuals who are willing to support you in your endeavors and even share with you tips about blogging. As a member of the community, don’t just dump your links.

Connect with other bloggers. Read their post and comment graciously. Give honest but tactful feedback that you think will help improve their blog. People appreciate concerned comments. They will show their appreciation by visiting your blog, leaving a good feedback and even sharing your link to their readers or friends.

Join Blogging Communities


3. Write sensible and interesting articles.

Write a topic that will catch the interest of your readers. Remember that it’s about what your reader want and not about you. Being a reader myself I look for 3 things in a blog post: a. It must be entertaining. b. It must be informative. c. It must be new or unique. If a content has all these 3 things, I’m hooked! I’ll keep on coming back and even recommend it to others.

Write sensible and interesting articles
via Rebloggy

4. Organize your page.

There’s nothing like a disorganized site to drive readers away. Loud background music, font that hurts the eyes, too much animation or gif, designs that are irrelevant to the blog are distractions. Remove all nuisances. Let the focus of the blog be on your content. Don't confuse your readers.

Organize your page
via Viral gif

5. Use eye-catching images relevant to the topic.

Most people are visual. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words. A picture can help get your message come across more clearly. It also serves as an added entertainment.

Use eye-catching images relevant to the topic
via Tenor

6. Write often.

Your frequent visitors want to see different and new topics every time. They expect to learn new things. You become their go to person for information, so you must always update your page.

via Brins Book Blog

7. Make a short but straight to the point bio or About Me.

Write a brief background about yourself. Your interest mostly give a hint as to what your reader can expect from you, i.e. traveling, book reviews, dating articles, current events or technology. Make sure to also include a photo or a caricature of yourself. People want to see real people and they need to know they are connecting with a human being.

via Tenor

8. Include your contact information.

Although there is a comment box, some readers would want to connect with you directly. Some will be asking you questions that they may not find comfortable writing in the comment box.

Include your contact information
via Tumblr

9. Include social media buttons

+1 helps increase your ranking. Share or Tweet button too helps make it easier for readers to spread the word about your blog.

 Include your contact information
via Pinterest

What other ways do you do to increase your blog traffic?


I shared this article on Etechexplorer as a guest blog.


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23.8.11

MY REJECTED ARTICLE



When I was starting out as a virtual assistant, I've had my fair share of rejected articles. It's tough because you invest your time researching, writing, and proof-reading five times or so. You spend your energy, squeeze your creative juices up to the last drop, and yet the client still says 'no'. My rejected articles, inadequate as they may be for some, is still precious for me. 

Every article is like a baby, like a work of art you laboriously create. So instead of tossing it away (or deleting the file to be more accurate), I'd like to share this here.


My rejected article on Payday Loans


Money is a necessity. The problem of the spending society nowadays is that the money they earn seems to be always not enough. 

This is where payday loans come to save the day. When an unexpected event happens or for some, just an itch to purchase something out of budget and salary pays seem to be light years away payday loans guarantee money on hand in no time.  

The process of lending money from your salary is easy. You just present a proof of identification and job certificate. The amount of money you can borrow from payday loans vary depends on the state you are at or the employer or company you are working for. 

The interest you need to pay clearly also varies. This is one disadvantage of payday loans. The high cost of payday loans often leads to employees’ bankruptcy. This is a good enough reason why payday loans should only be used short-termed. 


The Pros of Payday Loans

Payday loans for many are instant answer for their financial dilemmas. Why do many people prefer Payday loans over other credit methods?  Let me count the ways:

  • First, payday loans are hassle-free. You can apply in person, through the phone or the internet.  There is no need to present valid documentations for you application to be approved.
  • Applying for the first time is not a hindrance or an excuse for not being able to borrow an amount as high as $500.
  • Quick! Processing of payday loans may take at 20 minutes or less for some companies.
  • You are not required to give up-front payments
  • Paying the loan before the due date is possible to avoid late payment charges.
  • If unable to pay on the due date, the tenure of the loan can be extended by paying a certain fee.
Payday loans make urgent spending or paying possible and prompt.


The Drawbacks of Payday Loans

Although widely used, payday loans can cause more harm than good. 

They are short-term financial instruments often use for immediate spending while pay checks are not yet available.  Like other credit methods, payday loans have the downsides.  

One of which is that it has very high interest compared to credit cards and other types of loans. In payday loans, there is what we call “rollover”. It is a term used when you cannot pay on the due date so you just renew or extend your loan period. If done often, it can mean paying more than you have bargained for. This is why payday loans are not meant as long-term solutions to money problems.  There are also lending companies who take advantage of borrowers who are not able to pay on time. Depending on the state you’re at, the amount you can borrow varies from as low as $50.

Payday Loans Providers

They’re everywhere. Companies offering payday loans are scattered all over the globe.  

Per the update, there are more than 10,000 payday loan companies in the United States. These businesses were established for the benefit of the consumers. They are like fairy godmothers that are ready to “lend” a helping hand to those who are in dire need of getting quick cash or those who cannot wait for their pay checks to arrive.  

These companies are most often strategically located in more accessible areas. For obvious reasons, their office hours extend beyond banking hours. For convenience and business strategies’ sake, payday loan companies are now accessible through the internet.  

They are fast and reliable because they can deliver you your cash within the hour of transaction. They may ask you to deposit a post-dated check with the amount of your loan or may deduct the amount directly from your salary directly.

Answer to Life’s Demand

Human as we are, we have temporal needs. Although a cliché, money really makes the world go round.  

The problem is that money does not come easy for most of us. Though most of us are employed, money oftentimes comes late. Late in the sense that we need to purchase something very important or pay an unexpected bill right away and our pay checks are still out of our grasps. 

There is no need to worry about credit card loans or not being able to get your hands on that cash you need. Cash advance or better known as payday loan is the answer.  

This short-term, instant loan scheme offers certain amount of money with interests which depend on the laws of the states. Payable depending on the terms of the company you applied to. No more waiting for the loans to be approved and no more faxes.Who says getting the money you need instantly is impossible?

Overview of Payday

Times are hard and everyone wants to get everything they need in a snap so it seems.  Instant noodles, instant coffee. 

Instant cash? Not likely? Wrong. There is such a thing as quick cash. 

Thanks to payday loan, you do not need to wait for your pay check before you can spend, spend, spend. It is like a quick “fix” for those who find themselves in a situation where money is needed at that precise moment. Payday loans are small (sometimes huge) loans that do not need banking.  

They are loans from companies which are going to be paid by the borrower themselves through a check or may be withdrawn directly from their salaries. If paying on time is not possible, the loan can be extended or “rollover” can be used.

 It is when the borrower pays a specific fee and the interest being paid is increased. This is advisable for short-term use only.

What if you are not eligible for a loan in your bank

Or what if you have already maxed out your credit limit?  Where do you get a loan when you have a crappy credit record?  

There is one solution people turn to. Some as a last resort, for some it is the first on their list of “first-aid” for financial emergencies. 

Also called pay check advance loans or cash advances, payday loans offer a hassle-free way of obtaining money. You can access it even without leaving the comfort of your home by just logging on line. It is advisable though to check the company and apply in person so as to be sure that it is not a bogus business trying to advantage of consumers who are in need of quick cash. 

This loan like any other loans is government-regulated. The amount you can borrow and the interest depends on the state laws.

When your cash is short and you are facing a financial problem that needs instant solution, payday loans can help. There are pros and cons on this loan but many will agree that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in many aspects.  

The amount you can borrow varies and the interest that follows also depends on the law mandated by the state. 

Waiting for your loan to be approved can take as little as 20 minutes to 24 hours. 

The payment method also can be done by either paying through a check or allowing the company to withdraw the amount borrowed straight from your salary. In any way, payday loans play a big part to those who are trapped in debts or those who are having emergencies.  Extending loan payment though may worsen the situation of the borrower.  

At the end of the day, it is still your spending habits and mindset that can save you.


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2.8.11

THE DOWNSIDES OF WORKING FROM HOME



Being a virtual assistant, like any other careers also has its downside. 

Just because we work from the convenience of our homes doesn't mean we are already exempted from the hassles of the outside world.

Mostly, it's a problem on the world wide web. But what are the downside of working from home?


The Downside Of Working From Home



Slow internet connection

The major problem of course of working from home is having an intermittent internet connection. Slow connection turns your 5-minute task to an hour. Or maybe more. It makes you miss deadlines. And it beats the "working from home" purpose because you have to go out and look for a better wifi connection from your neighborhood cafe because yours is not working. So is your backup.


Power out

If you work from a country or place that losing power every now and then is normal, working from home could be challenging. You ask your client if you can compensate for the lost hours and instead of finishing the task on time, you have to extend. What if there's a deadline to beat or a customer to talk to? Nightmare! 


No SME

Working in BPO for a long time, I have no problem when an issue comes up because there are SMEs. Subject Matter Experts or people who knows every tiny bit of information about the tools you use and the process flow you follow. If you work from home, you can either ask your client who is most of time busy (that's why he hired you!) or spend time reading and watching tutorials. Honestly, working from home made me more acquainted with Google and YouTube. They're your unbeatable SMEs.


Lesser Holidays

You are exempt from most holidays because either your client is from another country or they just don't observe it. You work from home so you have no excuse of not being able to go to work anyway because your office is just a few steps away from your bedroom.

No social life

For extroverts, I don't think working from home would work. Aside from your pet or housemate, there is minimal to zero interaction with another living creature when you work from home. There is no office parties or events to celebrate. No one to talk to in the next cubicle because, well...there is no next cubicle.


More distractions, less productivity

Depending on your work system or your work area working from home has a lot of distractions. It's easier for the people in your house to talk to you, you can hear the TV outside, the dogs bark when there's someone at the door, you get the picture. The more distractions there are, the less productive you become.

When working from home, it's important to have a system and set rules for the people in your home to follow. They need to respect your working schedule and area. You need to stick to your priorities. But that's on another blog post soon.

Working from home may have its pros, but like everything else, there are downsides of working from home.


I guess the best thing to do now is to count the blessings and to to linger in this depressing feeling.
The advantages of working from home far outweighs the disadvantages after all.



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7.7.11

THE BEGINNING OF MY VIRTUAL ASSISTANT CAREER



I attended the Virtual Assistant seminar last June 28 by Jomar Hilario.  

There were some obstacles that I encountered going to the seminar which almost discouraged me from pushing through with it.  

First, the traffic was heavier than usual. Next, there was a long queue at the terminal and to top it all, I took the bus with a different route! Needless to say, I was late for the seminar.

Good thing though, I only missed the introduction part. I was not late for the Virtual assistant seminar proper so to speak.

The money that I paid for the Virtual Assistant seminar was so worth it. My eyes have been opened to the possibilities of what working from home as a virtual assistant can bring. Jomar Hilario did not sugar coat the seminar by just telling us the perks of being a virtual assistant. He also showed to us the disadvantages of working from home as a VA. But the pros outweighed the cons in a major way.

I have realized that rendering my eight hours everyday, five days a week is not well compensated and not a smart move at all. Staying at home also allows you to spend more time on the things (and people at that) that matters most.

This virtual assistant seminar was an answer to my prayer. A door for numerous opportunities that I know will then lead me to places beyond my imagination. 


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