How I Work With a Social Media Virtual Assistant to Promote My Money Websites

social media virtual assistantProperly constructing and growing your money websites has become a very popular topic on my blog that we use as one of our many side income creation methods.

Anyone who follows my regular niche website updates knows making these kinds of sites is not a one-step process.  You CAN’T just put it up and hope people will come.  There are many steps and actions that need to take place before you can ever expect to see even $1 earned from this effort.

Recall that the formula for success with these types of websites is:

Write quality content

-> Boost the visibility of your posts in the search engines using proper SEO and quality link building

-> Increase the chances that someone will visit your post and click on one of the advertisements

-> Increase monthly revenue! 

I learned this lesson the hard way with my first niche site (which I often call NS1).  The site was alive with content for about 4 months before I ever decided to start building links to it.  As far as Google or anyone else in the world was concerned, the site didn’t even exist!  And as you can guess, it didn’t make any money whatsoever.

But eventually I decided to focus on link-building and promotion for the site.  After months of effort, I was able to get NS1 up to the #4 spot in the Google search engines!  And as a result, the site now has brought in as much as $555 in a single month from advertising!  Pretty cool, right?


A Reader Question:

Similar to the questions I had when I first started, one of my readers recently reached out to me with a question specifically about the link-building aspect of this process.

It reads:

“One thing that I’ve yet to get a handle on is the social media aspect. I noticed several times you mentioned having a VA to build social media links for your sites. Can you please tell me a little more about how you have the VA go about this?”

Good question!

As you may be aware, links to your websites can come from any number of sources.  Even though Matt Cutts from Google denies it, there is a growing popular belief that social media signals and bookmarking are becoming increasing relevant to Google search rank.

If nothing else, they are a very easy way to get large amount of back-links from high quality sites and diversify your back-link portfolio to individual pages.

So if you’re wise, you’ll take advantage of this opportunity and figure out a way to integrate social media into your regular link building strategy.

Here’s how I do mine.


I Really Hate Social Media – So Hire Someone Else to Do It!

social media virtual assistantI’ve got something to confess: I hate social media.

There, I said it.  I hate social media.

Why?  As a regular person, I just don’t get anything out of it.  It seems like an incredible waste of time.  The only reason I have a Facebook account is because my wife created one for me.  I make a post on it about every 12 months or so.

So as you can guess, when it comes to doing social media for my websites, I can already tell that this is not a part of the process I enjoy doing.

So I simply don’t!

I hire the job out to a social media virtual assistant (VA) using a service like oDesk.  This is extremely easy to do because oDesk has hundreds of capable freelancers who are willing to do a good job.

And for very cheap!  My VA charges less than $2 per hour.  I can get a full month’s worth of links built for less than $15 per month.  And I have full control!


How I Work with My oDesk Social Media Virtual Assistant:

Notice I use the phrase “work with”.  That’s the first thing you have to understand about this whole process.  You could spend hundreds of dollars and find someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.  But chances are you’re going to be on a pretty limited budget and working with someone who isn’t a full-time SEO Jedi.

That’s okay.  You can still find success.  Here’s how I do it:

1. Make a set of instructions.

It’s been my experience that the quickest way to waste your money is to hire a VA and ask them to build links for you any way they want.  Do that and you’ll get 30 tweets to your last three blog posts.  That’s not going to do much of anything for you …

What seems to work really well for virtual assistants is to provide a specific set of instructions each week.  That way your goals are clearly communicated, and the VA doesn’t have to mind-reader when it comes to knowing your intentions.  Also if the VA happens to deviate from those instructions, I can use them to help correct mistakes and get things back on course.

My goal is of course to make this social media link building process as simple as possible.  Sometimes when your employee (in this case my VA) fails, the first thing I have to ask myself was “Am I the reason for this?  Was there anything more I could have done to prevent this?”

2. Target specific social media sites.

social media virtual assistantMy weekly list to my social media virtual assistant includes a list of 10 or so high-quality bookmarking sites that I believe to be the most beneficial.  Those sites include (but are not limited to) exactly the type of popular ones you’d probably expect:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Linked In
  • Reddit
  • Stumble Upon
  • Digg
  • More ….

How did I decide on those sites?  A little bit of research.  Some keeping track of my traffic through Google Analytics.  And a lot of trial and error.

In the past I have been burned by link building services or VA’s who submitted my sites to extremely low quality directories or social media services that absolutely no one has ever heard of or uses.  Again – that’s not helping anyone and is a complete waste of time and money.

3. Promoting Specific Posts.

The last element to this whole process is to specify exactly which posts I’d like the VA to target.  Usually what I’ll do is take – for example – my 6 latest posts and put them in order from newest to oldest.  Think of them like train cars on a railroad track going from left to right.

Each post will get 1 to 3 unique website assignments designated to it.  Then the following week a new post will be added to the left and the older posts will scoot out to the right.  Whatever links the posts received last week will be given to the new posts.  

This will continue on and on until I run out of posts to promote.  Occasionally I’ll bring one or two of them out of the closet to freshen up and diversify the link profile.


How’s This Been Working for Me?

I can say that this process has worked marvelously for months and I rarely have any problems with the social media submissions that my VA creates for me.  And I’d love to believe that it was a combination of the steps above that help to keep an order to it all.

Another thing to keep in mind:  You can also be a VA if you’d like to make some money yourself.  I’ve had a number of bloggers approach me about performing odd tasks for weekly cash.  If you’d like to find out more you can check out this post on how to become a virtual assistant.

Remember: Your money sites can only make money when people can find them and click on them.  Until then, they are just billboards out there in cyber-space waiting for a passer-by.

Why not increase the probability that you’ll make some advertising revenue on your site by making a small investment into gaining something as simple and white-hat as more social media links!

Readers – How do you go about getting more bookmarking links?  Do you use a social media virtual assistant?  How about a full-fledged link building service?  What has been your experience with either?


Related Posts:

1) Getting Serious About Building Up My Multiple Streams of Income in 2014

2) Your Residual Income Formula for Creating An Online Business

3) How to Make Money with a Website and Why Most Personal Finance Sites Don’t

Images courtesy of


    • says

      Good question. I just looked it up and the US Dollar to Bangladesh dollar (Taka) is 1.00 USD = 77.5000 BDT. Then I also found this:

      According to the World Resources Institute, in Bangladesh, that same dollar will buy you seven bars of soap, or one dozen eggs. A family of four interviewed in rural Bangladesh calculated that they spent about 80 cents a day on food and fuel, which allowed them to buy and cook two meals of rice and beans, and the very occasional piece of meat. Medical costs were abut 3.3 cents a day ($12 a year), mainly on cough and cold medicines. Other expenses included 4.1 cents a day on clothes ($15 a year), and 1.6 cents on school books ($6 a year).

  1. says

    Very cool MMD! It looks like you and I are doing a lot of the same things in this arena. I also suspect that social media is playing a bigger role that Matt Cutts is letting on to. There was a Neil Patel article from a week or so ago that showed it does impact SERP, with G+ being the big one (surprise, surprise). That said, I could not agree more with the “working with” mentality. I only give over things that I want them to work on and if something isn’t going right then it’s up to me to focus on. One question, what are you doing with LinkedIn? I want to submit my posts to that platform as well, but I don’t want to fill up my personal LinkedIn page to do so.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Taking the Plunge: Everything Happens for a ReasonMy Profile

    • says

      Definitely no surprise that G+ is a big, biased factor in search engine ranking.

      I really haven’t treated LinkedIn any differently than the rest of the social media submissions. This is probably my fault since I don’t have my articles connected to my personal page where a lot of people may find it interesting (the pain of being anonymous!) I suppose there are probably personal finance or financial adviser circles on LinkedIn that you could try to connect with and filter your articles through there.

    • says

      You’re absolutely right – the adversion certainly will cease once you try to churn more income from your blog. There’s just no way to take on more and try to do it all on your own. And the freelance help is so cheap and easy to find that it will make you ask yourself: Why didn’t I do this a long time ago.

    • says

      100% agreed! I’ve hired out some really, really terrible writers and so-called social media experts. Though some people may disagree with me, I like to do an “interview” to see how well their English and writing skills really are. My reason for doing an interview also has another hidden agenda: To see how quickly they respond to my inquires! That’s another common problem on oDesk, Elance, and Fiverr: Hiring someone and not ever getting what you paid for! A small email exchange prior to sending over payment can help to reveal a lot.

    • says

      No problem! I wish this was all there is to it, but I’m afraid I’m just barely scratching the surface of what others are doing for success. Regardless, I hope you can apply some of this to your promotional efforts.

  2. says

    I’ve generally had negative experiences with the cheap freelancers on oDesk, but I guess that is to be expected as quality comes for a price, usually. You have to do a lot of digging to find somebody that works for you, but I am sure that once you to, things go really great. And even if these social media links don’t work (I personally think that Google is smart enough to “read” the number of shares/likes and not just the link) they certainly don’t hurt.
    C. the Romanian recently posted..How to Pay Off Your Student Loan Faster than the Rest?My Profile

    • says

      Usually the “you pay for what you get” mantra is alive and well when it comes to hiring cheap freelancers. It can take a few tries, but it does happen.

    • says

      That’s good to hear! If you enjoy social media, then more power to you. I can easily see how people get wrapped up in it all and really get a lot out of it. In fact every big blogger I read about says that Twitter is their big secret for more success.

    • says

      All in good time. Just like any link-back strategy, you need to seek out quality websites to submit to and drip them in as slowly as possible. The last thing you want to flag yourself as is spam.

    • says

      You have to remember that a lot of the freelancers on these sites are from foreign countries where a few US dollars goes a long ways. This is no different than when large companies go to China or Mexico to find cheaper labor. It’s simply their market rate.

  3. says

    Wow $2/hour is great!!! I think the one area I’ve been failing miserably is blog carnivals, so I’ve considered hiring someone to submit links for those because I hate having one more blog errand. Thanks for the great tips!

    • says

      CAREFUL! You can use VA’s to submit to blog carnivals, but you have to be strategic about how you go about it. This was actually my first reason for seeking out a VA – I wanted to someone to submit to the carnivals for me. Then one day my posts stopped making it in and I found out I was blacklisted!

  4. says

    Thanks so much for sharing how you use a VA for social media. (Proud that I’m the one who asked you the question!)

    I also find myself feeling blase’ about using social media – socially and business wise. I’m definitely going to use your steps.

    I had winners and losers using Your advice about giving specific instructions is KEY!
    Karman recently posted..Top 5 PTCB Study GuidesMy Profile

    • says

      It’s worth a shot if you’ve never tried it before. Plus once you free yourself up from the routine tasks, you’ll be able to bring in more income with your blog which will only reinforce and fund your budget for outsourcing.

  5. says

    I suppose I see “bookmarking” as you mention it as rather different to “social sharing”. It’s certainly possible to bookmark sites on Digg, StumbleUpon and suchlike but I see Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit as rather different beasts.

    In essence I see “bookmarking” as a way to build incoming do-follow links to my sites. In contrast social sharing is more to drive traffic to my sites.

    To explain further, I have recently been experimenting with automating my social bookmarks through SocialAdr with some surprising results (case study coming soon on my blog 😉 but when it comes to building my audience on Twitter, FB, G+ and Reddit I’m far more “hands on” trying to build community and grow my followers rather than just dumping my links.

    Having tried things a variety of ways this is the process that’s currently working best for me.
    Richard @ Tech Toucan recently posted..How To Uncover Endless Guest Blogging OpportunitiesMy Profile

    • says

      Very true: I am lumping social media and bookmarking into one big generic category here. Clearly as you dig deeper there are differences and potential benefits to exploit from both (if you’re willing to put the time and energy into it).

      I used to use SocialAdr but found the majority of sites they use to be ineffective. I’ll be interested to see your case study and what results came of it. Perhaps they’ve made some improvements since I last used them that could be more beneficial.

    • says

      I agree that if it’s worth it to try – even if it’s just for a few weeks or a month. That’s such a small cost for what you get in return!

  6. says

    I’ve just hired a VA for my blog, trying to get some research done and some backlinks out there.
    I’m also taking on a VA for my new niche websites once they’re up and running.

    • says

      Good for you. A good VA can really help move things along and allow you to focus on the bigger more important things about building niche websites.

  7. says

    Great post–I outsource some of my social media efforts to one of my VA’s and its freed up a ton of time. Here’s a quick tip that makes the outsourcing easier: Make a video of what you want done on Google Hangouts; you can record it to your YouTube account for free and it’ll serve as a part of a video reference library for your VA!

    • says

      That’s a good suggestion. Instructions of any kind are great for VA’s. My specific instructions have got graphics and visuals in there to make sure that nothing gets lost in translation.

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