How to make money online as a VA (Virtual Assistant)?

Whether you are a college student looking for a side job for some extra cash or somebody interested in widening your field of from-home work, you can make money online as a VA (virtual assistant) or virtual secretary. Who needs VA-s? People who are involved with internet marketing services have numerous client websites to manage and look after, along with online campaigns and blogs running simultaneously. Hence they need to hire people to take care of their needs.

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Never heard of a Virtual Assistant (VA) before?

Well, a VA provides online assistance to a number of clients via emails, phone, texting, instant messaging, video chatting, etc. What a VA does is essentially what a normal secretary would do in a real office – answering phone calls and replying to mails, keeping track of events, article writing, link building, data entry etc. A VA can also offer specialized services like web designing, electronic publishing, editing, etc. If you are hard-working, efficient and punctual with your work, you will have amassed a number of clients, and maybe you will even derive your entire income by working online from home! Of course, as is the case anywhere else in the job market, you will be better able to carve out a niche for yourself if you have special skills, for example if you are an excellent editor, or are great at designing websites or are an incredibly fast typist. So basically all you need for earning online is a phone, a stable internet connection and a laptop or a PC, and then you are good to go!

It is advisable to pick an area that you are good at and get even better at it, by researching it, practicing it and by earning everything there is to know about it. Do this with every service you add to your resume. Mastering a few skills to the hilt is always better than knowing useless bits of everything. Resume-building is also essential for success – include your previous experiences, and if you are a fresher don’t forget to add details of all the skills you have that are related to the job you are aiming for.

A VA can earn around $80-90 per customer or anywhere between $12-50 per hour. It is however essential to build a solid and extensive client base for a stable cash flow every month. When you are setting your rate, keep in mind the internet and phone costs. As you get more experience and maybe acquire a couple of extra skills, you can raise your rate.

You should take this job as seriously as you would a proper 9-to-5 job. Set up a working space at home; sometimes having a specific set of clothes to wear during work also helps you focus. You should aim at working 7-8 hours for five days a week as any normal job.

Where can you get VA jobs?

You can create profiles in sites like Elance, oDesk, Guru, Virtual Assistant Jobs or in internet marketing forums. While Elance can cost you $20, oDesk and Virtual Assistant Jobs are free. Guru offers both free and paid options. In all of these sites you have basically create and attractive resume, promoting your skills and convincing prospective employers as to why they should choose you (the competition is very stiff indeed!) Then you have check out job listings and bid on the ones that interest you. While it might be tempting to apply for anything and everything during the initial stage, it is better to choose ones that have a good work and fees balance. Do not sell yourself out cheap!

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