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Business Ideas for the Internet: Virtual Assistant (VA)

Oct 12, 2007
While you may not have heard of the term, "virtual assistant," you should know that it has become quite the popular profession to take up on the Internet. As it is close to the duties of an administrative assistant (or secretary as some would say) found in the usual physical workplace building, a virtual assistant actually lends a helping hand and supports employers as they attempt to expand their online business ventures.

A virtual assistant (also referred to as a VA) may tackle many different tasks, including conducting research on the Internet; replying to emails; entering data; and/or maintaining a web presence. Some virtual assistants will manage affiliate partnerships, which may include locating affiliate programs for clients to pursue with their promotion, aiding affiliates, or trying to bring aboard new affiliates that will serve the affiliate program of their client. Additionally, a VA could be assigned to market, write, design web pages, and also take on transcription duties.

While there are plenty of job opportunities to consider, it is quite common to see a virtual assistant offer specialized services that include one or two different kinds of responsibilities and skills. Some people avoid claiming the title of "virtual assistant" and will adopt a title that suits their specialties, such as "affiliate manager" or "online marketing assistant."

When it comes down to pinpointing the kind of skills that a virtual assistant should possess, it is pretty hard to narrow down a concrete list. Since there are so many different things that a VA may do, this is a topic that varies for each and every person, as well as in regards to the type of businesses one pursues with their services. Usually, a virtual assistant should possess decent skills in the language department, as well as have the capacity to accurately type in a moderate pace. A basic background in administration also helps.

When beginning a virtual assistant business, you will need a computer, telephone, as well as high speed Internet connection. It is also recommended to have Microsoft Office, as this is a common software title that the majority of businesses you will encounter may use. You need to also possess the kind of things that are most compatible to the company you will work for. When selecting a specific area to work in (such as transcription or maintaining a website), be prepared to acquire additional software if necessary.

Those looking for a virtual assistant gig should check job boards and freelance work sites. You can also submit an application to an online staffing agency. If you network with others across the Internet, jobs also become available. Also, don't be too shy to inquire about referrals from current clients, as they usually know about another business owner who could use a new VA.

In regards to any job, the pay rate is known to vary. Typically, a virtual assistant can earn from $10 to $15 per hour when just beginning. After more experience is gained and a good standing with clients is established, charging more is normal.

For people looking for a way to start working out of the home, this is a great opportunity. An increasing amount of people is beginning their own websites and need people just like you to oversee the affairs of their business.
About the Author
Robert Paul Williams is the Editor of Work At Home Business Website. Come Browse Our Free Article Library. Stay Informed with the Latest Home Based Business Opportunity News, Success Tips & Strategies.
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