Work from home as virtual assistant

I woke up one day and realised that my son was nearly 16 and I almost didn’t know how he got to that age. Hold on a minute – I thought – it was only yesterday that my Thomas was going to nursery, and then was in primary school. That time, that much more time that I could have spent with him, I realised I had spent working incessantly for corporate firms or for public bodies. I have been a working mother for the whole of my son’s life – but that does not mean that I have not missed spending more and better time with my son.Time for changes

That day, I realised things had to change before it was too late. And that is how – and I have said this many times, I know – I started thinking of exploring ways to make a realistic income from home.

So, if you are having a wake up call like mine, but don’t know where to start from, maybe you should look at your skill set and work from there. You have always worked in admin environments, have excellent organisational skills – those transferable skills which make you so desirable by so many different businesses. But you no longer want a 9-5 office based job. Well, have you ever considered working as virtual assistant?

Working from home as virtual assistant


In order to get this type of business going, you must have a sound background within the personal assistant or secretarial role working for corporate firms. This is because in order to get started working from home as virtual assistant, you will have to market your skill by sending out curricula vitae (or CV) showing evidence of your past experience.Having a stint at working from home as VA

In order to get your home based business going as a virtual assistant, initially you may want to use the help of specialised employment agencies (normally online based too) to circulate your CV to as many of their client as the agency feels you may match the requirements.

Once a potential employer has expressed interest, you may be invited to sit a phone interview – the potential employer must be given the opportunity to assess the validity of your claims to be professional, organised, excelling in multi-tasking and conversant with an array of word document softwares.

However, once the employer decides to hire your services, the contract of employment is between yourself and the employer directly, where the employer pays you directly.

All you need to do this type of work is a good computer or laptop and an excellent wi-fi signal. Otherwise, and like with many other home based jobs, your home with all its comforts become your castle, but it also becomes your ‘office’.

Who is suited to work as virtual assistant


I believe the biggest requirement to be a successful virtual assistant is the fact that you may have build experience in a previous corporate environment.

For this reason this job, I feel, is perfectly suited for newly parents, who have been successful personal assistants before having children, but now struggle to go back to work due to lack of child care or simply as they actually enjoy being at home with their babies. My biggest regret in life is not to have been brave enough to choose this career path with my son was little!Having a stint at working from home as VA

The one I outline just now is the perfect avenue to pursue this alternative career working from home. However, you may need to work from home as you may have to care for somebody, or purely as you want a change of scenery from the old office based employment. Whichever your motivation may be is irrelevant. What is paramount, however, is for you to have built some experience of personal assistant skills on the field, so to speak – working from home you are very much left to your own devices, and if you have not yet learnt how to cope with organisational skills or with self-discipline or even with the more technical Microsoft Office packages, there will be nobody else teaching you, as in fact you would have in an office. Working from home, and particularly in this role, you must have feet firmly on the ground!

Pros and cons of working as virtual assistant


Pros:

The pros are all around the same as working from home in any capacity. Organisational freedom is the main one that I can see.

But be careful on this point. You will still have a contract of employment with somebody – which means you will still have a boss of sort. The contract of employment may be short term, or renewable every so many months, but you will still have to receive instructions from the boss or manager that employs you.

The difference between working for a boss in an office environment and working from home as virtual assistant is however more detailed than this, if you look at it with business oriented eyes.

The arrangement between yourself and a boss has to be profitable for both. The boss may save in office expenses or in additional employment related expenses. For you the difference stands in the fact that you can work for more than one person at the same time. And because you charge your employer per hour, you can charge far more than the equivalent of a permanent salary. I believe the ongoing rate for professional VAs is in the region of the £40-50 per hour. That is far more than you would ever get paid by any firm for a permanent contract.Pros and cons of working as VA

At the same time, you benefit from the flexibility of going through your email inbox at 6am in the morning (which sometimes is required when dealing with other continents, where the time difference may affect the speed of a virtual conversation) and to organised the rest of your working day as you please.

Cons:

The only disadvantage of working as a virtual assistant, as mentioned above, may be in the fact that you work on short term contracts, and as such you miss out on the perks you may benefit from when working for a firm on a permanent basis.

Firms often do not pay you as well when employing permanent staff – and that is certainly the case of personal assistants, where the rate of pay is never even close to the £50 per hour! But they tend to compensate by giving you perk – these may include discounted membership at the local gym, or free entry to heritage sites, or meal vouchers at chains of restaurants. You get the gist.

The choice ultimately is yours. Personally, as I don’t go to the gym, nor do I like to dine out, I’d sooner get paid better and do without perks which I would use or enjoy.

Likewise, many employers offer competitive pension schemes. However, once you are paid a competitive rate as a virtual assistant, you can equally find competitive private pension deals, which will pay off substantial salaries later in life.

Virtual assistant, but not only


Working as a virtual assistant is one of the many forms of freelancing. As such, its applications are endless. Imagine how many different roles fall under the enormous umbrella of admin duties. From data entry clerk to customer adviser, to travel agent – the list is endless.

If you think carefully of how much can be done from home via internet, there is virtually hardly any job that could not be done from home.

Reduced costs of a VA

And if you look around enough, you will be able to find many virtual vacancies, from the most skilled project managerial or executive roles to the most straightforward clerical data entry.

There are many websites advertising virtual admin positions. As with all online based ventures, you must be careful and wise enough not to fall trap of scams. But there are also a lot of genuine opportunities which it’s a shame to miss out on, when they could change your quality of life.

My verdict


Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to test this method of home based opportunity yet. I am myself still working on a part-time basis as customer adviser and, although I have worked as personal assistant for many years in the past, customer advisory is where I would like to remain. But, whilst working part-time in an office, and the remaining of my time dedicating to my affiliate marketing business, I haven’t managed to actively seek virtual opportunities yet.

The question is: would I want to try it one day? And, do I think it is good business and good money?Working as VA is a Yes from me

YES, definitely YES to both questions!

And yes, I have mentioned the word ‘marketing’. Because of course, and like with all job opportunities, you need to sell your skills and your experience. Ideally you would want to put together a really strong CV, and initially you need to persevere in advertising your abilities on multiple online platforms. But once you start building your reputation through positive employer’s feedback, there is no limit to virtual job offers you will receive. The ball will be in your court as to how many hours you want to work on such avenue per week. And that’s where we can see the true benefit of working from home: you become your own boss.


If you have already had experience of working from home as virtual assistant, and can suggest a trustworthy online employment platform where to find good deals, please leave your comment below. Share with me and with my readers what your thoughts are below.


Do you want to work as a virtual assistant but do not know how to market your services?  A website is what you need

Learn how to build your own website and create a thriving virtual business with WEALTHY AFFILIATE.  Join for FREE today!

 

Jaaxy – the best SEO research tool

 

When writing online blogs, the strength of your written piece is given by its content as well as by powerful keywords – if you have missed it, have a look at my page on How To Write With Keywords to find out more.  In my quest to learn how to write blogs that would reach to the top of the main SEO rankings , when I started my online business some 15 months ago, finding out a strong keyword was my worst nightmare.  I have since then used several systems and research platforms.  Amongst others, I came across Jaaxy, and wanted to find out more about it.  Several reviews have questioned: is Jaaxy a scam?  Today, I would like to unveil the truth about what Jaaxy is all about.

Name:       Jaaxy

Website:   www.jaaxy.com

Price:       Trial version FREE, Pro $19 per month, Enterprise $49 per month

Owners:  Kyle & Carson (same owners of Wealthy Affiliate)

Rank:       95 out of 100

 

Jaaxy, the best SEO research tool


What prompted Kyle and Carson, the founders and co-owners of Jaaxy, to choose such funny word to name a keyword research tool, for the life of me I do not know.  But after testing Jaaxy on the ’30 Free’ trial, what I know for sure is that Jaaxy is the best SEO research tool available on the market.

If you have ever tried other platforms, the most painful thing about ‘playing about’ with keywords is the fact that you have  to manually find a strong one, or a set of keywords in a sentence, also called ‘long tail’, whilst at the same time interpret the statistical data that those systems are dishing out to you.

You ought to be a pro to be able to interpret all those data!!!  Quite off putting if you ask me.  If I am trying to set up an online business whilst learning how to do so along the way, but then find a platform that only speak professional jargon, how on earth am I ever going to learn?!?!?!  Those platforms are not designed to be user friendly, but, if you ask me, rather elitist.

Jaaxy is not like that.

The greatness of Jaaxy stands in the fact that it presents to you monthly searches and traffic against potential competition in an extremely user friendly way.  Let me show you in the below picture:

Jaaxy platform

What can you do with Jaaxy


Here’s what Jaaxy offers us:

  • Keyword search
  • Alphabet soup
  • Saved list facility
  • History search
  • Analytical search
  • Brainstorming
  • Site ranking

Yes, as well as searching for keywords, Jaaxy enables us to save our most successful keywords in brainstorming lists which we can then get back to for our future blogs.  You can also search keywords by your individual search history or by SEO or competition analysis.

But let me tell you a little bit more about a couple of functions that make Jaaxy unique: the alphabet soup and the site ranking.

Alphabet soup:

With this feature Jaaxy asks you to type in the search bar a word, or a group or 2 or 3 words at most, and comes up with a suggestion of sentences you can use your chosen 2 or 3 words in.  You can then check out through the Search function, how strong the sentences proposed are going to be, based on monthly traffic and search figures versus competition.

Normally, you would do the ‘alphabet soup’ search manually by going on Google and trying out all the different sentence options by inserting each letter of the alphabet to see which sentence Google proposes to you.  Jaaxy does all this for you.

Site ranking:

This facility is something that truly is unique for a keyword search tool.  Again, there are specialised online platforms which, for a fee, will tell you how your site is ranking.  But these sites are not keyword search tools.  They merely give you a ranking classification.  Jaaxy offers this as part of an overall package encompassing all the different functions.

Jaaxy Site Ranking

In the picture above, you can see that my article on Spike’s Disease in Border Terriers from my other website Living With A Border Terrier is currently ranking 4th on the first page of Google.  Just a little achievement which I go quite proud of 🙂

Three different memberships


OK, let’s cut to the chase.  Jaaxy offers a FREE trial which enables you to test drive the platform by allowing you 30 searches at no cost.  On the 30 Free version, you can make up to 30 searches of any nature for free; these can be keyword searches, alphabet soup searches or even site rank searches, but each of them count for one of the 30.

But Jaaxy, like all good websites, does build maintenance costs in the background, by those guys who compile the list of unlimited keywords used in the most prominent SEO search bars, such as the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo.  So, in order to keep Jaaxy alive, Kyle and Carson have put together another two levels of memberships, which for a monthly fee offer their members additional benefits.  So, here’s the breakdown of what you can get from Jaaxy:

Jaaxy Membership Table

I am currently on the Pro membership, where all the options that I could use for free have now become unlimited or enhanced:

Jaaxy Pro Upgrade

As you can see, the Pro option comes at $19 per month.  But if you want to take advantage of the yearly subscription for a total of $199, you can save a further $29 per year.

Jaaxy, learning and training tools


The beauty of Jaaxy is that, unlike with other platforms, it does teach you and explains to you how to get by on the platform.

Jaaxy has an extensive library of useful videos which walk you through the various tabs and functions.  I believe this to be the best way to teach newbies, or near newbies like me, how to get yourself acquainted with a new system at a time when you really do not know what you are doing – or not much.  At the same time as explaining, Kyle, the PR guru of the co-owners, does also talk you through more in details on what keywords or alphabet soup are, and how best they should be used to the advantage of your website.

In addition, both Kyle and Carson and their team of keywords experts keep posting regular blogs on the website which keep us up to date with the latest trends in the world of keyword search and use, as well as on how to best benefit from the many different uses we can make of Jaaxy.

It really feels to me that Jaaxy wants us to take the best advantage of the tool, given the fact that we are paying customers after all.

Jaaxy affiliate program – spread the word


If you have learned anything about me by now, you will have noticed my soft spot for affiliate programs.  That is my line of work as an online entrepreneur.  Therefore I could not overlook the brilliant, and generous, affiliate program offered by Jaaxy.

Very similar to the Wealthy Affiliate program (not a coincidence, given that the founders are the same winning couple Kyle and Carson), the Jaaxy one offers the following commissions:

Jaaxy Affiliate Program

But with Jaaxy you do not have to be a Pro or Enterprise member.  You can advertise Jaaxy whilst being on your 30 Free trial yourself, and for any 30 Free referral you get, you will be rewarded with an additional 10 free searches.

And you can advertise Jaaxy literally everywhere.  Not only on your niche related website, but also on your Twitter or Facebook accounts.  Or you can create a blog talking about the true beauty of Jaaxy on any niche related forum and then link your blog on other major social media account, such as G+ or Pinterest.

As I often mention, affiliate marketing is the winning card when it comes to online business.  And Jaaxy is a winning card when it comes to commissions and rewards.

Is Jaaxy a scam? – My verdict


As its Premium member, I have free access to Wealthy Affiliate keyword tool.  I use it every day, as it is most comprehensive and accurate in its search for successful and competitive keywords and alphabet soup sentences.

So, why did I also subscribe to Jaaxy?

For a start, Jaaxy offers a more broken down analysis of your search result – all again user friendly presented.  But the reason why I am with Jaaxy is because, whether you are a 30 Free member or a Pro member, Jaaxy offers a more comprehensive package – one that with other platforms you are not offered all at once under the same umbrella, and certainly not for as little as $19 a month!!!

All very good, but, like with all other keyword search tools, how do we know that Jaaxy does not make up the outcome of those searches.  In other words, is Jaaxy a scam?

Absolutely NOT!!

The genuine value of Jaaxy can be compared to a good restaurant.  A successful restaurant is the one where its returning customers recommend it to friends and family for the good food it serves and its varied but always high standard menu.

I can safely say that Jaaxy is 100% tried and tested, ranking regularly on page one of the likes of Google when searching for keyword search tools online for a number of years since it was founded in 2012.  And I would say, this is the proof of the pudding.  It is the level of customers recurrently using Jaaxy that makes this platform so successful, hence helps it rank top.  If Jaaxy customers are happy to keep paying to use its facilities, surely that speaks for itself in confirming Jaaxy reputable success as THE BEST SEO SEARCH TOOL.

 

Name:       Jaaxy

Website:   www.jaaxy.com

Price:       Trial version FREE, Pro $19 per month, Enterprise $49 per month

Owners:  Kyle & Carson (same owners of Wealthy Affiliate)

Rank:       95 out of 100

 


 

Do you want to build a reputable and successful online business, but do not know where to start from?  Learn with Wealthy Affiliate University.  Find out how to join here:

 

Can you make money drop shipping

Drop shipping, profitable but risky retail model

 

A few months ago, when starting establishing my home based business, I came across the concept of drop shipping as an alternative way to sell merchandise in the more original formats, such as from a retailing shop or a retailing website.  It took me a little while to get the gist of it, as it meant virtual business pushed to the limit as far as old fashion me was concerned.  But once I got the hang of it, my next question was: can you really make money drop shipping?

 


Drop shipping, how it works

The difference between running a retailing business and a drop shipping one is in the fact that the retailer does not hold stock, but order the merchandise directly from the wholesaler or manufacturers to be delivered directly to the customer or purchaser.  There are tons of advantages to this form of retailing.  The first that may spring to mind is reduced costs.  But I shall cross that bridge a little later.

When worded like this, drop shipping will sound ideal for those of us that want to specialise their home based business in buying and selling goods online.  And particularly if you trade through auction based platforms such as eBay.  Nevertheless, it is deemed that drop shipping is also used by smaller businesses or retailer who only have room in their retail units for one or two samples to display – the customer can view the item and appreciate its quality, but when the retailer has enough orders, he will place a buying order directly from the wholesaler or from the manufacturer at a discount rate, for the goods to be delivered directly to the customer (credit of Wikipedia).

When you think of it, the applications of the drop shipping business model can be truly endless!

 


Advantages of drop shipping

As mentioned at the beginning, the most resounding advantage to drop shipping is in the fact that the retailer saves money by not having to purchase stock that may not sell, nor to have to find (and sometimes rent) room to store the stock of merchandise.

Going back to the online auction platforms, the seller here often advertise the item with a reserve price which will include or surplus the buying price from the wholesaler as well as the selling fees, in order to ensure that, when the item is shipped from the wholesaler to the highest bidder, a profit is guaranteed .  In principle a lot of auctioning platforms do not recommend drop shipping.  In the case of eBay, their policy is based on the principle that the merchandise should have been owned by the seller before being sold over.  However, it appears that drop shipping is tolerated by eBay, so long as the seller keeps receiving positive feedback.

One of the dangers of drop shipping online is that your customer may realise they have been overcharged when receiving delivery of the merchandise directly from the wholesaler.  In that case, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the goods are shipped from the wholesaler with a ‘private label’ which may show only the retailer’s details as seller and as potential return address.

Some time ago, I wrote a short article on drop shipping.  Click on the below picture to find out here my personal take:Drop shipping pros and cons

 


Disadvantages of drop shipping

Drop shipping may sound very appealing when it comes to the possibility to reduce costs and increase profits.  Nevertheless the biggest disadvantage of drop shipping is in the fact that, as a retailer, you remain responsible for the faulty or malfunctioning merchandise.

If you benefit from added profits, as a drop shipper you are the one who ultimately will have to deal with the complaint part of the business transaction as well.  If you went and bought a radio from a shop or from the local supermarket and you went home to find out the radio is not working, you would take the radio back to the shop where you purchased it in first instance, and you would ask for a replacement or for a refund.  And if not satisfied with the service, as a customer you would be more than entitled to post a negative review on one of the many feedback sites online!

As a seller, you represent to the customer the same as what a red scarf represents to a wound up bull: you are liable for all the troubles they have endured since purchasing the item from you!

The difference is that, if as a shop retailer you may have been able to see the merchandise before selling it, or you may witness to the fact that it is malfunctioning once the customer returns it to you, as a drop shipper you never get to see the merchandise.

As the merchandise gets shipped directly from the wholesaler, you cannot ensure it is in working order.  Likewise, and unless arranged for the returns to come to you with a private label, you may not be able to verify whether the goods are truly malfunctioning.  In other words, you may be prey of SCAMS from both the wholesaler and from the customer alike.  You are the middle person, and this makes you double vulnerable.

Scam Alert!!

As a buyer from wholesaler, you may become victim of some wholesalers who advertise a product from their catalogue or online catalogue as brand new, when in fact the product is a knock off or imitation of an original brand.  And likewise, you may be lead to believe you are buying from a wholesaler when in fact you are buying from another middle person, who charges you over-priced figures, hence leaving you with very little or no room whatsoever for profit.

Finally, you may want to watch out for those primarily online based companies who yes give you access to a marketplace of wholesalers who deal in drop shipping, but demand that you pay a monthly membership fee.  Most of these companies will be genuine and legit: you pay for the privilege of being introduced to a vast plethora of legit drop shipping wholesalers.  Nevertheless, before you commit to paying monthly fees, you want to ensure that you your profits will cover the expense.

 


 

My verdict

Hands up: have I tried drop shipping yet?  No, not yet.  And that is for two reasons.

The first reason is that, as mentioned, I only sell the odd second-hand items online whenever I do not need something anymore or if I come across an old unwanted Christmas present, or if I find old and quirky goods at the local booth sale.  But the second reason – and call me a coward if you wish – is in the fact that I do not like unnecessary risks.  And, as far as I am concerned, drop shipping is too risky for someone as naive and still relatively inexperienced as me.

The truth of the matter is that I find affiliate marketing much more profitable and definitely less risky.  And that is the direction I have take for my home based online business.

As an affiliate marketer, I can review merchandise, goods or services positively or negatively, but the purchase is still made directly from the selling company.  If things do not go to plan therefore, the customer will contact the seller directly for complaints and for liability.  I will get my commission when goods are shipped to the customer, or my commission will be cancelled if the customer decides to return the malfunctioning merchandise.  But nothing more will come of it as far as I am concerned.

Not only that, but with affiliate marketing, you do not need necessarily to have a retail website or to advertise specific items.  A website blogger or the owner of any other form of website content can benefit from joining affiliate programs, as often programs will pay you a commission for the sale of goods or for generating leads to their site.

 


==>  I learned all about affiliate marketing from Wealthy Affiliate.  Do you want to know how?  Find out from Wealthy Affiliate University.


 

Have you sold merchandise on a drop shipping arrangement with your wholesaler?  And have you ever experienced a negative outcome?  Share your thoughts with us, leave your comment below.  Your advice and recommendations are valuable to us!