Virtually Sorted provide Virtual Assistants, who can answer phones, organise social media, handle typing up documents, and assist with sales and marketing. They recently had an offer on the popular news website www.gadgette.com where they offered a free blog audit, and being one for a bit of a freebie, I thought I'd give it a shot.
Now, I'll be totally honest, I expected to receive some generic text that could apply to any website with a standard "to do list" with items such as "Spend money on advertising" or "Hire an expert to write blog posts for you", and it would come with a call to spend money for a personalised report – which for me, like many fellow bloggers, is not an option, blogging is just a hobby, and not one that I’m willing to put money into (if it was a job I’d be well below the UK minimum wage!)
So, I gave them pretty much the bare minimum information that I could be bothered to give - my blog address, some limited other information, but otherwise I left it a blank canvas to see what they'd make of it. I think I gave something particularly helpful like "here's my website address - go audit it"
Well, I have to say that my expectations were completely and very pleasingly wrong! I got the following:
- SEO Audit
- Blogging Prompts specific to the Blog of Thog
- Social media strategy document for tracking progress
- Blogspiration calendar for marking out my blogging year
- Goals document for adding tasks to
The report and documentation that they provided me was very detailed, specific to my blog, and there were areas where they had gone above and beyond, by going onto my YouTube channel and recommending ways how they should be linked together. The expert who had worked on the report had spent a good amount of time reading my blog (I'm very sorry for them), working out what it was all about, doing a good amount of technical website checking, and even came up with suggestions for future blog topics, and as any blogger knows, we all run short of ideas for topics sometimes.
|Don't let the Apple Mac put you off.|
In fact, I was so impressed that I emailed the founder of Virtually Sorted, Caroline Wylie, a few questions for this blog, which she kindly replied to:
Q: How long has Virtually Sorted been running?
A: We've been in existence since 2004, since before the dawn of VOIP or cloud computing... Or at least widely available services!
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Virtually Sorted?
A: A family member was thinking of setting up an internet cafe, and I said that since so many more people were getting the internet at home it wouldn't work - but what would work was having assistants who could do the computer work for the technophobes or the people who were simply too busy to get it done. The seed of an idea refused to go away... And I increasingly hated my suit - I now wear jeans to the office every day.
Q: What are the advantages of using Virtual Assistants?
A: Lots! But mainly we save clients time and money - we have clients who've spent 2 hours battling with PowerPoint presentations and been able to fix them in a couple of minutes. We've helped grow businesses from one-man-bands into international businesses with offices and staff all over the world. And we also help people who find it impossible to keep staff in tricky locations - being virtual you don't have to have someone sat in a grimy London office or the top of a mountain in Wales (well not unless they want to be there anyway!). You tend to find that VAs are more skilled than the equivalent temp staff you could get - and they have the advantage of continuity too.
|Disclaimer: Employing a VA does not guarantee that you'll win at Jenga. Unless I guess if you employ them specifically for you to beat them.|
Thanks to Caroline for her time answering my questions, I've found the concept of virtual assistants really interesting and full of possibilities, and the work that Virtually Sorted did for me in auditing my blog was certainly very impressive - I shall be looking to carry out their recommendations in the near future!