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How to Build a Successful Virtual Assistant Business
Second Edition

How to Build a Successful Virtual Assistant BusinessWritten by Janice Byer and Elayne Whitfield-Parr, this NEW book includes information and tips to help aspiring and established VAs with every aspect of starting and building a Virtual Assistant business.

From naming your business, to upgrading your skills, to expanding your business, we have put together everything you need to know based on our combined years in this industry and the input of successful VAs worldwide.

Read more and order your copy today!

Business Building Ebooks

Titles include:

  • How To Respond to RFPs
  • Easy to Understand & Implement Search Engine Optimization Techniques
  • How to Set-Up & Start Your First Blog
  • and many more.

See our Ebooks

Small Business & Web Design Blog

 Since 1999, we have been publishing Virtual Tidbits filled with articles, links, tips and resources to help small business professionals.
Now these articles and more are archived on our blog.

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Be an Expert Without a Budget: Write Articles (Part 1)
by Janice D. Byer, CCVA, MVA
Docu-Type Administrative & Web Services  

One of the most under-used forms of marketing a business that doesn’t require forking out your hard-earned money is writing articles. The only things you need to write articles are your expertise and your time.  

Writing articles helps you to be recognized as an expert in your field. I know what you may be thinking, “what can I possibly write about?” Well, what do you know a lot about? Is there something in your business or personal life that you are really good at, something that your knowledge on the subject would help enlighten others? Write about what you know.  

Writing articles when you are not all that familiar with the subject can take more time than if you are already familiar with the topic but the rewards of researching and providing the most up to date information will far outweigh the time it takes to write it.  

The following are just some of ways to come up with article topics, either those that you have experience in or those you will need to research in order to compile.  


  1. Article ideas can pop into your head at any time of the day or night but are soon forgotten. Think about having a notepad, micro-cassette recorder or PDA handy in your home & office to record ideas.  As you are watching TV, reading the newspaper or an industry magazine, jot down ideas. And be sure to carry it with you when you go out. Don’t throw away your list as it will then be handy when it comes time to write your next article.

  2. Take your cues from others that you deal with during your daily routine. When speaking with clients, acquaintances, or anyone, if they happen to mention something they are having problems with or that they would like to know more about, there’s an article just waiting to be written. Do some research and put together a knowledgeable article or list of tips.

  3. Current social, economic and environmental happenings, as well as current trends, can also be the subject for an article. How do these conditions affect your business or affect other businesses? How can your business provide a solution? Remember though that most editors don’t want articles to be blatant advertising so make it a helpful article that doesn’t come right out and sell your products or services.

  4. Another source for article ideas can be the discussion lists, message boards and chat rooms that you belong to. Use the ongoing discussions as your research for your article. Summarize what is being discussed and be sure to give credit where it is due.

    If you are going to use the discussion verbatim, be sure to ask for permission. Most will accept it as another great way to get free exposure.

  5. You can also write opposing opinions or follow-ups to other articles you have read in newsletters, newspapers or magazines. If the article was in one publication and you are writing a follow-up that will appear in another publication, be sure to include a synopsis of what you are responding to. However, if you are doing the article for the same publication, make reference to the original article (ie. date published, title, & maybe the author). Editors may omit this information when printing your article or they may add more to it.

  6. If you seem to be having writers block and can’t come up with a subject for an article, try doing a survey of your contacts to see if there is anything they would like to know more about. You could ask your fellow discussion list members and that may even generate an ongoing discussion that you can use as opinions in your article. Again, if you are using ‘word for word’, check with the originator before publishing.

In our next instalment, we will look at where you can turn to get your articles published. 

(To read both instalments of Be an Expert Without a Budget: Write Articles, visit our Article Archives at


Janice Byer, owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services, provides professional, creative and affordable virtual office assistance and small business website design. She is a Certified Canadian Virtual Assistant (CCVA) and Master Virtual Assistant (MVA). She is also the author of Surfin' The Net - Docu-Type's Virtual Collection of Links, which is filled with the secrets of her success. Visit her website for more information and to get your copy.


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