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Spice Up Your Blog with a Virtual Blogging Team

This guest post is by Luis Cruz of Pepper Virtual Assistant.

Blogging is simple. You produce quality content, react to commenters, watch your stats grow, rinse, repeat.

Blogging is also labor-intensive, time-consuming, and tiring. Producing quality content regularly can be draining, managing comments can get exhausting, and don’t even get me started on dealing with spam.

Fortunately, blogging doesn’t have to be a solo affair. In fact, quite the opposite is true, and many of the biggest blogs are written and managed by teams of bloggers, not individuals.

One problem, of course, is how to build and manage of team when you don’t exactly have a ton of resources to throw at your blog. One solution: get a virtual assistant (or a bunch of them) to help you blog.

ProBlogger visited this idea a few years back when a reader asked Darren how he felt about VAs, and we’ve mentioned VAs every so often on the blog. The general consensus seems to be that VAs are great at administrative tasks for your blog, but have you ever considered having a VA write for you?

It might seem like a strange thing to do, but trust me, it’s not that uncommon. In fact, it’s something I’ve been doing, or rather, something I’ve been hired to do, for quite a while now. You see, I work as a virtual assistant, and one of my jobs, on top of administrative duties, is to produce content for some of our clients’ blogs.

Of course, you can’t just hire somebody to blog for you, leave them to their own devices, and expect great results. You need to do a few things to help us serve you better. Here a few things that, from my experience, you need to do in order to build an effective virtual blogging team.

Set your expectations

Are you looking for a team of bloggers that will churn out a half-dozen posts a day? Perhaps you’re searching for somebody to contribute one or two posts a week. Maybe you’d like to keep your blog a mostly solo affair, and you just need somebody to help moderate comments, do research on new topics, and handle a few other tasks. Whatever it is you want, you need to communicate it to your team.

Explain who you are

If your blog were a person, how would he or she sound? Is he a snarky, sarcastic, snob, or is she a bright and cheerful optimist? Does he jump from one idea or topic to another, or does she ramble on and on on specific topics? How does he like emphasizing certain points? Does she like lists?

Hundreds of different questions can pop up, but the main idea is to set the tone, or voice, of the blog. Each individual writer should still have a different personality, but it should be consistent with the voice of the blog in general.

Go for a test-drive

When you’re shopping around for a car, you don’t buy a car without going for a test-drive, do you? The same idea applies to your blogging team. You don’t hire a team until you have an idea of what they can (and can’t) do.

One way to test prospective members of your team is by inviting them to guest on your blog. Their guest posts tell you a few things: how well they write, how readers react to their voice or style, and how well they interact with your readers. I wager some people can learn a few more things about potential writers for your team, but I think most will learn about these three things.

Be an editor

If you find talented writers among your guest bloggers, you can promote them from guest bloggers to regular contributors. With a team of writers working for you, you now have a new role: editor. As editor, you need to make notes on your team’s writing, and advise them on what they’re doing well, as well as what they need to change.

Don’t forget the little things

Even if you’re not very comfortable with hiring other people to write on your blog, you can still benefit from having a virtual blogging team. Some of the simpler tasks my team has handled include doing research for new posts and monitoring trending topics. Even if your virtual team doesn’t produce new posts for your blog, they can still help you create fresh content.

Do it your way

This isn’t another tip, but rather, an invitation. How do you get your virtual assistant or team to help you create fresh content for your blog? Share some of your tips in the comments.

Luis Cruz is a writer for Pepper Virtual Assistant, a virtual assistant firm based in the cities of Manila and Davao in the Philippines.

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Comments

  1. I do this very thing: promote guest-writers to regular contributors and it works out marvelously. It also leaves me more time to create products to sell and build other business opportunities that help me pay for the expense of hiring writers.

    I recommend this tactic to any serious blogger.

    But remember, you have to make sure you can finance such a change. Track how much money you make per blog (usually your monthly blog income divided by the number of monthly posts) and make sure you don’t spend more than you make each post.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Johnson says:

    This is a wonderful post i must say, after reading this i felt so much better because i have been looking for a way to get fellow bloggers to write on my sites NEWS and REVIEW sections of http://Www.greenlandng.com which i think will be great for promoting there own blogs too, though i can’t say i have the finance for now but i know this well help us all to grow.

  3. Pedro Sttau says:

    Was actually not familiar at all with the concept of a “Virtual Assistant”. I am definitely beginning to warm up the concept.

  4. Gregory C. says:

    Side note: All of the text on this page is in italics for me, any reason why?

    On topic: great idea for a post, really lays out how to properly work with a team and good management skills for a blog.

  5. personalty i totally failed in making a team with schedule posts, but i’ve done it another way by contributing in guest blogging networks such as http://www.guest-blogging.org and raising by alot of activities there and on twitter too and sending many requests so i can ensure the minimum guest blogging for my blog.

    by time if your guest writers found good benefits in your blogs (ex. visits, ranking, care, etc.) they’ll diffidently come back again to you.

  6. I’m one of those people who is both a virtual assistant and a writer. So while I do administrative tasks such as tracking metrics, uploading blog posts, handling email, etc., I also do things for my clients like article marketing. I think the key is to find someone who is skilled in both areas and is already established in writing for the web. This is especially important if the writing is going to bear your name, rather than the name of the VA. It’s important to outsource only to those who represent you well.

  7. Brad says:

    I’ve tried VA and found its success hit and miss. The trick, as you said, is finding the right team…that of course, is easier said that done and can require just as much effort, if not more, than just cranking out solid content. And, perhaps even more importantly, your readers come back to hear you…not VAs.

    Brad

  8. Brad says:

    One more thing…if you’re going to hire VAs, unless you dominate your niche, you should probably consider bringing them on as a partner…particularly if you share the same competitive space.

  9. Atish says:

    every article on Problogger teaches me something. Just an awesome blog. thanks Darren Sir. keep them coming. thanks you

  10. Paul Meyers says:

    I like the idea of VA’s as my blog is fairly new. For a few of you guys that have commented, like Preston and Brad, how many VA’s are a good start for a blog? My blog is fairly new so I want to make sure I don’t go overboard. What are some huge con’s also? I’d like to maintain value in what’s published and not watered down material (it’s a fitness blog).

  11. I bought your book “Secrets for Blogging your way to a six-figure income” last month. Since then I launched my very own modeling beauty blog http://www.KrystleKelley.com, now I have growing traffic, newsletters, shopping cart, and so much more. I was determined to make my blog awesome from the advice and inspiration of your book. Before I bought your book, I had no clue what blogging was about, now I can truly say Im a professional blogger, and it all happened in less then a 28 days. I just registered for the bonus editorials, and Im learning even more stuff to implement into my business. Its been so exciting, I still model full time but now I found a new passion in blogging, which is awesome because now I can keep all my modeling memories writtened down to be remembered for years to come. Anyway I have recently hired ghost writters to help me with more content and to help with managing my website, so I find that this paticular artical is very helpful for me right now. Thank you!

  12. I hire VAs on an occasional basis, the income doesn’t justify them being there full time yet, but I’m thinking of starting with one full time in the new year if I meet my earning expectations, I will be sure to follow the list of things to do before hiring one Luis.

  13. I recently found problogger and i am loving this every single content here are so amazing and helpful thanks

  14. I hope I reach that point soon where I feel like I need a hand with my blog – can’t wait for that day.

  15. Great post Darren and Luis,

    Wow, great article! What a great example of how valuable a VA can be in different areas of any enterprise. As a VA “matchmaker”, I spend a great deal of my time coaching clients on the multitude of tasks that a VA can do for business owners. As you mention, blogging is extremely time consuming, however, it’s a perfect task to outsource to a virtual assistant, your VA will be able to update the blog regularly with tailor-made and purposefully written content and yes, it is crucial that you find the right VA, as working with a VA is very much like having a business partner.

    For all of you who haven’t worked with a VA before, start off small with just one, learn how to work with them effectively and go from there.