Offer complete information. Never assume that service providers know exactly what you’re looking for. Offer them with detailed instructions when writing your project description. This must include the number of articles you need, the required amount of research, the keywords to target, your proposed topics, the length of each article, the SEO writing techniques that should be used, the deadline, and the amount of money you’re willing spend. Encourage service providers to voice out their questions and clarifications if they have any.
On the other hand, I favour the providers who clearly demonstrate that they’ve taken the time to read my My project description. Some of them provide a sample of previous work, which is excellent. A few have even gone as far as DOING part of my project as a sample, which is even better (but not essential for me).
For example, in the projects I posted, I said I wanted writing samples in plain text format, rather than MS Word. Nine out of ten writers attached samples in… yes, MS Word.
Because a virtual assistant is not an employee, you do not have to pay payroll taxes or provide any benefits. Your cost is limited to their hourly rate. In addition, you will not have to invest in any of that expensive computer equipment or software since the virtual assistant is required to provide all of that themselves.
If you’re a completely new writer, many buyers will baulk at paying you anything up front; that’s fine, write anyway, you need the experience. But once you have writing credits, get a deposit.
For instance, maybe you cant seem to find time to update your website each month. Perhaps your ezine is STILL not getting out constantly. Or maybe your direct mail campaign isn’t quite as direct as it should be; i.e. It is sitting without delay in the same pile it was a quarter ago.
What about it? Give a little more detail, or tell the providers that you’ll give more detail via a private message board if you prefer not to broadcast your ideas for everyone to see.
Hope you got value from these little tips, based on my own experience. If you’ve never used Elance before, I do urge you to consider it. It can really free up your time and focus.