Kristina's Blog

Virtually Assisting You

Moving to http://kristinaleroux.com/blog/ June 7, 2010

Filed under: Blogging — Kristina Leroux @ 10:53 am

OK, OK, I know. This didn’t last very long. I’m not quitting though, just moving this blog to my site. It makes way more sense and I feel a little dumb for not doing it that way to begin with. Chalk it up to the learning curve.

See? I told you I would be telling you about the ups and downs of starting a web based business.

So join me over at http://kristinaleroux.com/blog!

(I am going to claim that URL over at Technorati as well just to keep that little experiment going. By the way, if you Google “Kristina Leroux blog” it shows my Technorati profile as the #1  result. So that’s pretty good.)

I copied the posts from here already, but unfortunately comments won’t carry over.

See you there!

Thanks,
Kris

 

Trying Something New: Technorati June 5, 2010

Filed under: Trying Something New — Kristina Leroux @ 6:45 pm

Pardon me for a brief interruption from our Adventures of Kristina Leroux: Virtual Assistant! Just think of this as an intermission…

When I started this blog, I admit I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it. But, by the end of the first post I realized it would be more about the ups and downs of starting your own business than it would be about my services as a virtual assistant (although the two will overlap more often than not).

So, often my posts will be a chronicle of what I am doing to further my business or about a new product or service I am trying. Just think of me as your internet guinea pig – no cage cleaning required.

Today’s subject is Technorati. Essentially, it is a search engine specifically for blogs. It was suggested that I submit my blog (it’s free) to get more exposure. I have also been told to recommend this to my clients. Now, besides being a geek, another thing you should know about me: I rarely just do something because I was told to. Especially if it has to do with my clients. So, I research. I like to research – goes with that whole “love to learn” thing I’ve got going on. In researching Technorati, I found good and bad things to say about it. With such mixed reviews, I figured the best way was to just find out for myself.

My first step was to sign up or “join” as Technorati calls it. This is pretty straightforward profile stuff – add your name, your website, bio, upload a pic, etc.

Then you have to “claim your blog”. This is how your blog gets picked up by Technorati. You submit your blog and rss feed urls, pick a category that best suits your blog and then you are asked to submit tags for your blog.  Tags, in this case, are simply keywords used by Technorati to categorize their search results.

Then you have to prove you are indeed an author for the blog (because who knows the disaster that would befall he who tried to get a blog that wasn’t his indexed on Technorati). I am told I will be sent an email with a code I have to insert into one of my blog posts. One of the complaints I read was how long it took to receive these codes. Imagine my surprise when I received an email from them with my code less than 10 minutes later. Point: Technorati.

The email tells me to go back to my profile and click the “Check Claim” button which again tells me to insert the code into a blog post. So, my code is TJX3NCBR4MFX. There, I inserted it. Sorry, there is no good way to sneak that in casually. I guess I could have done something like this:

Bob: “Hey Mike, did you see that new Jake Gyllenhaal movie?”
Mike: “I did! It was TJX3NCBR4MFX awesome!”

Eh…that doesn’t really work either. Maybe if the code had a few symbols in it like # % or @ in it.

Anyway, I have to publish this post and go back to Technorati’s site and verify my claim token to get the ball rolling.

Another complaint was how long it took for them to process your request after you verified your claim token. So I guess I will publish this post and see for myself.

A lot of other people say it doesn’t really do anything for your blog. Time will tell I guess. I am sure there are a hundred different factors involved as to whether it works for your blog or not. I will let you know how it goes for mine.

[Quick Update] Yes, I know no one has even read the post yet, but I already received an automated message from Technorati saying: Thank you for submitting your blog claim on Technorati. We have successfully crawled your blog and found the claim token, and your claim is now awaiting review.

[Update #2] Well, I went to go get some pizza and came back to this email from Technorati: Congratulations, your claim is now complete! Please allow 24 to 48 hours for Authority and recent posts to begin showing for your site now that it has been successfully claimed. Once they are there, we will update your site’s Authority once per day. At first you may not see your site listed in the Technorati Blog Directory for all of the categories you’ve selected. As you write blog posts around those topics, you should see your Topical Authority in those categories begin to rise. So much for it taking forever. Another point for Technorati.

Look for Virtual Assistant: A Day in the Life. Part 2 on Monday.

Thanks,

Kris

Have a topic you would like me to blog about? Recommendations? Think this post was great or awful or just so-so? Let me know in the comments section.

You can subscribe to my blog in the sidebar under the section strategically named “email subscription.”

Want to know about my work as a Virtual Assistant? Check out my website.

 

Virtual Assistant: A Day in the Life. Part 1 June 3, 2010

Filed under: Virtual Assistant — Kristina Leroux @ 7:13 pm

This post is dedicated to my friends and family who had never heard of a “virtual assistant” before (which pretty much includes all of them).

vir•tu•al adj.
Computer Science. Created, simulated, or carried on by means of a computer or computer network.

as•sis•tant n.
One that assists; a helper.

So, thanks to our friends at thefreedictionary.com, we can gather that a virtual assistant is one who assists, or helps, by means of a computer or computer network. Pretty straightforward, huh? And I guess if I wanted to write an extremely short blog post, I could leave it at that.

But I’m not one for leaving things, so go grab a cup of coffee (or perhaps something stronger to make this even more interesting) and welcome to the Captivating World of Kristina Leroux: Virtual Assistant! (I really want to add a “kapow” picture or something here, but maybe that’s pushing this a little too far.)

First, I tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of ambition and yawn and stretch and try to come to life. OK, OK…not really. I don’t drink coffee and 9 to 5 isn’t really how it works in the virtual world as many of you know.

On a typical day, I already have a few emails waiting for me first thing in the various inboxes I have. One of my client’s customers is having trouble logging into her account. It’s a simple fix usually, involving resetting her account in WishList, which is a plugin for WordPress my client uses that allows you to easily create and maintain online membership lists. I fire off an email telling her it’s all fixed. She now thinks I’m awesome.

My client is also giving a webinar today, so I need to download the registration report from GoTo Webinar and grab the registrants’ zip codes. I will use them to create a map that pinpoints all of their locations. A slide with the map will be added to the webinar’s Power Point presentation. I have to say I think it’s pretty cool when one of those markers in Google Maps pops up in some place like Belgium or Africa. What can I say? I’m a geek. Things like that amuse me.

Meanwhile, I receive an email from another client who needs me to do a quick project for her. She is transferring her website from TypePad to WordPress and some of the links are broken. I go into her account and fix those. She also needs to me to transfer all of her photos from the old site to the new site. And she needs it done ASAP. No problem for Kristina Leroux: Virtual Assistant! (again…fighting “Kapow” pic urge)

Seriously though, I always try to find a way to make my work interesting even when it doesn’t require a lot of thought. In this case, I found it very cool to track the trends in marketing over the years. This is one thing I love about being a VA, I learn something new every day. Whether it’s actually learning a skill so I can do a better job for my clients or some random tidbit of information, it’s knowledge I didn’t have before – and wouldn’t have if I wasn’t doing this type work.

I really, really, really love what I do. But this post is getting really, really, really long, so we will pause for now. (In case you’re wondering, no, I’m not even to lunch yet)

Thanks,
Kris

Have a topic you would like me to blog about? Recommendations? Think this post was great or awful or just so-so? Let me know in the comments section.

You can subscribe to my blog in the sidebar under the section strategically named “email subscription.”

Want to know about my work as a Virtual Assistant? Check out my website.

 

Insert Generic “This Is My First Blog Post” Title Here May 31, 2010

Filed under: Blogging — Kristina Leroux @ 2:57 am

You HAVE to Blog!

That’s what all of the internet marketing experts will tell you. One of  the best ways to get exposure about your product, service, or good cause is to blog about it. So I figured if I was going to tell small businesses and nonprofits how they should market themselves on the net, I should probably practice what I preach.

So, I went and got my very own blog on WordPress which I will be upgrading and fooling with quite a bit so be patient. I picked a title (original, huh?) found a theme (which I am not entirely thrilled with, but I like the colors) and sat down to write…

Now what? I think this has to be the hardest part to starting a blog – figuring out what you want to write. It’s intimidating to say the least. There are so many bloggers out there that already say what you want to say, but are often doing it ten times better with a ton of readers. So, why bother? Well, because you can bring something unique to the discussion – you. Your voice, your opinion, your sense of humor, your lack of humor, your angle, your passion. And that is the key – you and your passion. If you feel strongly about something, it shows and that can be contagious.

On the flip side, don’t try to be something you aren’t. Whereas your passion will draw people to you, inauthenticity will be your downfall, especially in business. Don’t act like your some big corporation when it’s just you working at home in your pajamas (not that there is anything wrong with that…at all). People need to trust you if you expect them to follow you.

So, back to me (this is my blog after all). I’m still not sure what direction I’m headed. I will be writing about helping your business or good cause, of course. But I think a lot of what I write about will be my journey from just doing some part time work for my sister to striking out on my own. Because I think what could help you the most is seeing what works and what doesn’t and knowing you can do it too.

Thanks!
Kris

Have a topic you would like me to blog about? Recommendations? Think this post was great or awful or just so-so? Let me know in the comments section.

Want to know about my work as a Virtual Assistant? Check out my website.

 

 
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