Virtual Assistant for Writers

Writing is heavy work. It requires intense concentration, a distraction-free environment, and enough energy left over to handle the administrative and business duties that come with making writing work. In other words, it helps to have someone on your side.

Enter the Virtual Assistant. These days, writers can do just about anything they want to do over the computer. They can sign contracts, find work, and deliver their writing electronically. That means that just about anything a writer can do, a VA can do.

But how does hiring a virtual assistant work for writers, and what does the process look like? Here’s what you’ll need to know.

In this article:

What a Virtual Assistant for Writers Can DoHow to Bring a VA into Your Writing ProcessThe Reasons You Should Hire a Writing AssistantHiring Your VA for WritersFAQs about Virtual Assistants

What a Virtual Assistant for Writers Can Do

Young Female Writer

As a writer, you might be used to the idea that the work you do is solo. You do it by yourself in a room and you don’t need to lean on anyone else to make it work. And that’s great. An enterprising writer can accomplish a lot.

But there are still aspects of your writing and your business that can work even better with a VA. Let’s look at a few of the common tasks that VAs can perform to help writers:

  • Research. Whether you’re researching a book or putting together a fantastic piece of content for a business, it comes down to doing the right research. The writing needs to feel authentic. It needs to present interesting ideas. And it had better get the facts right. A VA can step in and provide the research that takes up too much of your drafting time.
  • Editing. No matter what you’ve accomplished as a writer, you could always benefit from an extra pair of eyes. It helps when your VA is an accomplished editor themselves, capable of taking your draft and identifying the issues that you need to iron out before it’s ready.
  • Phones and email. If you’re going to block off enough time to write, you’re going to have to eliminate distractions. Two common distractions? Phone and email. It’s hard to get to work writing if you’re constantly answering phone calls from clients and more. And if your email inbox is so cluttered that you don’t know where to start next, you’re going to have trouble concentrating. Let a VA take over.

How to Bring a VA into Your Writing Process

When it comes to the actual writing you do, you don’t always have to outsource it. That can be 100% you. But depending on what kind of writing you do, you may find that it helps to invite the VA into the overall writing process to varying degrees. Let’s take a look at all of the ways VAs can help:

  • Social Media: Sick of writing your own Tweets and Facebook updates? A virtual assistant for writers can take over the social media portion of your work so you don’t miss a beat.
  • Blogging: Bloggers who need a VA can easily make them fit into their process—including outlining, drafting, editing, and even getting the VA to become one of the bloggers themselves.
  • Proofreading: No matter what kind of writing you do, it never hurts to have an “author assistant” who stands ready to review your work.
  • Small business tasks: If you’re a freelancer, you can outsource a wide variety of small business tasks that may even have nothing to do with writing. Virtual assistance is about more than simply being a second writer on your team. If you have a writer’s podcast, for example, you can have the VA handle the logistics of managing that podcast.
  • Marketing for a published author: Already an author with a loyal stable of fans? Then you likely need a VA more than anyone. You can have a VA handle your email, respond to fans, and interact with them on social media. You can also outsource a number of marketing tasks, such as social media management and scheduling new announcements for your blog.
  • Other types of writing: You can have a virtual assistant tackle writing press releases, writing book reviews, or even handling a number of book marketing tasks that are vital for your self-published books, such as helping with outreach to bloggers and handling book summaries.
  • Dealing with Amazon: Speaking of self-publishing, you’ll find that your self-publishing efforts and Amazon don’t always see eye-to-eye. To resolve those issues, you can assign a VA to deal with Amazon while you focus on the bigger picture.
  • Expanding your online presence: Whether you’re traditionally published, engaged in self-publishing, or simply need to expand your online presence as a freelance writer for businesses, you’ll find that a VA can step in. Many VAs have experience with self-publishing that they can put to use right away.
  • Bookkeeping and other office administration: Even writers have to think about those other books! Bookkeeping and other office administrative tasks will take up much less of your time if you have somewhere to outsource them. To free yourself up for more content creation, make sure that you bring on board a VA who can handle these tasks with ease.
  • Dealing with computers: Need help managing Google and your search engine results? Need someone who can check your Gmail and make sure that you’re on task? Need someone who you can call whenever you have a computer issue? Some writers can be notoriously tech-averse; if you find yourself falling into that category, having a VA who can handle your tech issues can be invaluable.

These are just a select few of the tasks you can accomplish without having to do it yourself—at least, once you hire a VA. But we still have to get to that central question: why hire a VA in the first place? What are the benefits?

The Reasons You Should Hire a Writing Assistant

Young Male Writer

If you need a virtual assistant to get things done, it doesn’t mean that you’re not capable. If anything, it shows just how successful you’ve become. But you’d be surprised to learn that you don’t have to be a self-publishing superstar or a New York Times bestselling author to make virtual assistance work for you. Here’s why:

Cost

Did you know that it’s cheaper to hire a virtual assistant than if you were to hire a full-time employee? We didn’t just mean that because a part-time virtual assistant works so much less. According to BestOfBudgets.com, it can cost as much as three times more to hire a full-time employee than if you were to outsource to a virtual assistant. With a virtual assistant, you don’t have to worry about extensive benefits packages and a long-term commitment.

Remote working breeding more efficiency

Let’s say you’re an indie author in the world of self-publishing. Don’t you enjoy the freedom you get while working from home? It’s the same for virtual assistants, many of whom can dictate their professional life on their terms because they can work in their pajamas. And that shows up in the productivity of each remote worker, as Canada Life notes that remote workers tend to be among the most productive.

Hiring Your VA for Writers

How can you hire a VA for writers and have some confidence that they can help your self-publishing, your blogging, your project management—your everything? It starts by identifying what it is you need and then matching those needs to the specific experience of the VA. Here’s how we do it.

1. Communicate with a customer success manager.

Your success is our success. We want to put you in touch with a customer success manager to ensure that you can match your needs with the skills that our VAs have. Work with the customer success manager and be honest about what your needs are.

2. Review and select your virtual assistant.

Which is the VA for you? Are you looking for someone who can help you out as an indie author? A proofreader? Someone who can handle social media management? Now’s the time to weigh the choices.

3. Bring your new VA on board.

Create an onboarding document for your virtual assistant. This is going to be like your “Guide to the galaxy,” so to speak—except your galaxy is going to be your writing business. Whether that means you’re going to work together as bloggers or you’re going to outsource proofreading and editing, you’ll be one step closer to making your writing business work.

Start growing your business and reducing overhead with Delegated

1. Meet your assistant


We’ll ask you some questions to match you with one our virtual assistants as well as a backup assistant.

2. Create a workflow


Our platform gives you the power to create a workflow that fits your lifestyle. You choose how to track time, communicate, and share files with your assistant.

3. Start delegating


You have access to your virtual assistant 8am-5pm your local time. Start delegating tasks and grow as you need.
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FAQs about Virtual Assistants

What are some things a virtual assistant won’t help with?

Virtual assistants are limited by their location. Any in-person activity you could get from a full-time assistant at the office (such as dry cleaning, errands, and visiting local businesses) is obviously not possible. However, today’s digital world makes it possible for virtual assistants to do more than ever before.

What are the backgrounds of virtual assistants?

It varies! Some are generalists who have experience simply in being a VA. Other people might come from backgrounds like being an office manager or an in-person executive assistant. Others may even come from coaching backgrounds themselves.

What are the best tasks to use for a virtual assistant?

Anything you can think to delegate, such as travel arrangements, scheduling and followups, email, paying bills, handling invoicing, and more. Think about delegating the day-to-day activities you wish you didn’t have to handle yourself.

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