This is an outstanding article and it’s certainly generous of Yaro to share this type of first hand experience. I believe the key to any successful online business is to ultimately keep your overhead expenses extremely low. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to accomplish that with an online business like doing your own marketing, only paying for B2B services if absolutely necessary, etc. For example, most businesses, even if they are purely internet based, often benefit from having a fax number and using an email fax service compared with traditional fax is definitely an easy way to save money. Even though most people consider faxes to be a thing of the past, most would be surprised how often faxes are still used and using an online fax service that delivers faxes straight to your email is a great way to save time.
Great list here Yaro, thank you so much for sharing. I think combining some of these you can get a real steady income going. I agree with the fact that $250 is a great amount for reviewing other products, but like you said that can become something rather tedious and will not allow you to be truly free. As well you will not be writing what your passionate about.
Anything from Amember to Quickbooks is fair game here. In the hosting industry, iDevAffiliate and Plesk Billing were the pieces of software we would have paid a lot of money to have someone else deal with. The more niche and more complex/annoying/frustrating the software, the better! Even if the software company offers free installation, you can make hundreds or thousands of dollars training business owners or their employees on its usage. Focus on one piece of software and become the trusted expert. Create videos and tutorials using screencast software like Camtasia to increase your profitability; this may also lead into a niche product that you can sell. (Amember offers “free installation”, but it took my boyfriend and I over 10 hours to configure it properly. That’s definitely something I would outsource next time!)
The card game Magic: The Gathering was a big part of my life from the end of highschool to the beginning of university. Although initially I was just a casual player and then tournament player, I quickly became a card trader and really enjoyed the wheeling and dealing. Although my interest in playing the game wained, most of my early projects online were connected with the game.
There are entire books written on how to become a virtual assistant, so this job is definitely worthy of more research. My advice: Focus on one niche (I just hired Lisa Morosky of VA for Bloggers, for instance.) Also, reach out to potential customers directly and let them know what you can do for them instead of hitting up freelance web sites. Finally, you may want to consider resources such as AssistU, which provides training for up-and-coming virtual assistants.
My name is Angie Nelson. There was a time where I was right where you may be now. I’d had enough of the cubicle farm, and I was going to find a way to escape. Jumping to another corporate job wasn’t going to make me happy. I wanted to be in control of my future. I needed to get out of the office politics. I started a hunt to learn how to make money from home legitimately and for the long run. I read and researched and read some more and finally decided to start my online business was the way to go. I started my Virtual Assistant business in 2007.
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