How My Business Has Grown in One Year
Well, we’re coming up on the one year anniversary of ProVBS! June 1, 2008, I officially “opened the door” to my new online adventure as a virtual assistant. I though I would get this post out now because over the next few weeks I’m going to be very busy with graduations, a visit from my sister whom I haven’t seen in 6 years, The Chosen Conference, The Big Ticket Festival, and all the other fun activities summer brings.
So, looking back to this time one year ago, I was well on my way to starting my new online business as a virtual assistant. I had gotten the VBSS kit earlier in the year, then went on a two week mission trip to Nigeria. After I returned home from Africa, mid April, I opened the kit and began taking the steps toward opening my new virtual assistant business. The services I offered were database management, blog post writing, event planning and more.
I was so excited about being a business owner, I quickly got a blog up on WordPress.com. I also joined Twitter and was beginning to take advantage of it’s power. Soon after I had my WordPress.com blog up, I was approached by someone who offered to help me set up a WordPress.org site on my own domain. Because I didn’t know that much about domain names and how important it was to have a dot com as opposed to a dot net or dot org, I went with dot org. Soon after, I learned why it’s important to have a dot come, had learned how to set up my own WordPress.org site (the one you see here), so I paid the gal that helped me, moved everything over to my own host and began being much more proactive in my business.
I also joined Mom Masterminds. This was the most important step I made in starting my business. I found huge amounts of support and camaraderie with other WAHM’s, who’ve been in business a long time and those who were also just starting out. If I wouldn’t have joined Mom Masterminds, my business wouldn’t be where it is today.
July 3, 2008 I joined Blog Evangelists, a teaching program by Kelly McCausey and Lynette Chandler. Kelly teaches you how to market to local business owner, to help them understand the importance of having a business blog and how it can help boost their business. Lynette teaches you how to customize a WordPress blog. You get all of this for a very low monthly fee and you receive several lessons each month. It’s more valuable than the cost of membership, and well worth every dime.
As I was learning more about WordPress, I was also working on getting my name out there. I was beginning to understand Twitter and was becoming more active. In October of 2008, Kelly posted a tweet asking if anyone would be interested in writing for one of her new sites. I immediately DM’d her back and said I was interested. Through a couple of email discussions, I was a new contributor for Profitable Mommy Blogging; my first paid writing job. I was so excited and knew having my name on that site would be a big boost for my business.
And I was right! A few days or a couple of weeks later, I don’t really remember, I was asked by the virtual assistant of another well know Internet Marketer to write for one of her sites as well. This site didn’t pay, but I knew getting my name out there was important and this was a huge site with tens of thousands of visitors each day. They did offer me some incentives to write for their site, which helped motivate me each month.
In November of 2008, I got a bright idea to start another blog. I wanted to focus this one on helping other people be as efficient as possible in their business and personal lives, and so Efficient WAHM was born. I got the site up and running with some content, and every day it’s still growing and evolving. I do product reviews; post giveaways that other’s are having (I love giveaways!); there are efficient cooking recipes of my own and recipes I’ve found on other sites-of course I always give credit where credit is due and link back to their site. There are also money saving tips, budgeting tips and so on. I’m currently looking at creating a newsletter for the site, filled with tons of great tips for my readers.
Shortly after I got efficient WAHM up and running, I was talking with my sister about working from home online. I told her about the many, many different ways there are to make money, and we decided to start a website called Open Talk Mom. My sister has diabetes and they are trying to determine if she as MS as well. She also has a brain disease that causes her brain to deteriorate more rapidly than normal, so Open Talk Mom was born out of a desire to help other people with disease and disability. But, OTM is more than that. We encourage anyone who just needs a place to vent or wants to talk about anything going on in their life. We have discussions about teen issues, parenting and more. We currently have 2 other authors, Alyssa Avant and Aurelia Williams, who signed on recently, and a contributor, Sheilah Warner-Blackledge. You can read all about them on the authors page and in their bios. As you can see, OTM is growing and thriving as well and continues to do so.
In December of 2008, the highly successful Internet Marketer I mentioned above, asked me to be on her writing team as a ghostwriter. Of course I jumped at the chance, and landed another paid writing job. This was fun, and I discovered I truly had a knack for this writing stuff, to my surprise! Not only did I have a knack for it, but I discovered that I actually love to write.
For Christmas, I received two Photoshop Tutorials from my hubby. I wanted to learn how to make custom headers for blogs and other custom graphics. I found a cool program online to help with the custom headers, and now offer that as a service as well. I’m still learning Photoshop on my own when I have time.
In February of 2009, another successful internet marketer asked me to do some ghostwriting for her as well. Wow! Three paid writing jobs now. It was then that I decided to switch my services and focus on offering writing services, custom headers, buttons and banners and setting up WordPress sites for others.
Since then, I’ve picked up another paid writing job, plus became the content manager for one of Aurelia’s sites. Because of all the work suddenly flooding in, I’ve had to actually outsource some of my own stuff, which is good, but was a big step for me. It’s hard to let go and place your work in the hands of others, but that’s what good business owners do; delegate and make room for more paying jobs.
As of right now, I’m currently working on finishing up the new business I received as part of the 10 Days of May Madness sale through Mom Mastermind’s. Through this sale, I gained several more new customers who are going to utilize my writing services and custom header services. I’m so glad I took part in this sale, and am a member of Mom Masterminds!
As you can see, business is very good and growing every day! Thanks to all of you who supported me, and to my clients for utilizing my writing skills to help your businesses. I am looking forward to another great year of growth in 2009!