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About MakeshaRamelCaldwell

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  • Birthday 08/02/1980

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  1. As you know, I, Makesha Ramel Caldwell, work as a Virtual Blog Assistant but the reality is that I was not bred to be any one's assistant. I took a job blogging anonymously for a web site and that proved disastrous;not because I could not actually do the work but because changing my "voice" was out of the question. Then I realized ghostwriting IS being someone else! I suppose I did not think things through. Being a Virtual Blog Assistant literally meant being someone else. I have always believed that if you do not stand for something that you will fall for anything. I am me. I want recognition for being me. I do not want to be someone else or write like someone else. My logo is even ME! Blogging for someone else takes the fun out of blogging. Sure, there are a lot of ghostwriting jobs but I will not be taking any of them because there is no recognition. The Internet is fairly new but decades from now there will be archives of posts;blog posts and I want my name beside every one of them that I wrote. Being an entrepreneur is not only picking something that you love and going at it but it is also a journey of finding out what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do. Hence, the main thing is to stay true to yourself and that is what I am doing. Luckily, I do not need an immediate income right now. So, what I am going to do is blog on my own blogs for the next two years. After I finish my Masters degree, I know that I will have money-making blogs (The play-by-play journey of that can be viewed at MakeshaRamelCaldwell.net). Nevertheless, I will still take on some freelancing jobs and maybe a column or two but only the ones where I will be able to retain exclusive rights to my content. So, the point of this to anyone who reads this is to not be afraid of change, continue educating yourself, and be true to yourself by owning your own words! The Virtual "Blog" Assistant is dead. Makesha Ramel Caldwell
  2. Hi Jennifer, I use Frappr. It is a little cheesy but it looks good on a blog. You can take a look at it on my blog. It is really interactive. I also use whos.amung.us for real time stats. You can see how many people are on your blog at once. Whos.amung.us is also on my blog. Check it out! Good Luck...Ciao!
  3. Hi Kathie, I agree that filling in the same thing over and over can get tedious but I have a solution for that: download the Google toolbar that has autofill and fill in the information for each blog that you have. Then go to each site that is listed at one of my favorite sites HERE and submission should be a breeze for you. Good Luck...Ciao!
  4. Hi Kathie, I emailed to you my website and blog address. Let me know if you did not get it...Ciao! I still can't view your blog - have tried many times and it just says it is not available. Don't know why - perhaps if you email me direct at kathie@vadirectory.net with your URL I might get better luck. With respect to writing - most of my blogging clients are presenters, trainers, speakers, so they're used to writing - that's why I don't need to write their content for them. I just check it for errors and fix up the occasional spelling or grammatical error when I proof read it for them. But if I come across someone who is looking for that type of service, I know where to come! Glad you like the look of my blog - it's a work in progress. I was changing the template often but am now happy with its look and it matches my main site well so I'll leave them both as is for now, with the occasional tweak here and there.
  5. Hi, Thanks for clarifying the purpose of a logo:it does not change. Duh me! I did not think of that at all. Maybe I will get a logo but I have looked at a few and none of them say "Me". Everywhere a person reads about business start-up stress the importance of a logo. Because I could not find one that I liked, I put away the idea. I am going to attempt to find a logo sometime before I do not look like that anymore ...Ciao! It's all about recognition. Using whatever you decide on, i.e. an image, colours, style, name, etc - when people see any or all of these things they immediately think of you and your business. It takes time to develop that. You could even just turn your name (or a business name if you use one) into a logo so it gets a double-whammy so to speak. My business name is "A Clayton's Secretary" and the name is in the logo also and I've been using it since around 1996 - anyone in the VA industry or knows the VA industry would have seen it at some stage. And my team also use it on their websites, brochures, etc - it's about developing a corporate connection so when people see that logo they immediately know what it's about and who we are. If you use your photo, don't forget you physically change - will people recognise you if you change your hairstyle, hair colour or even have a change in your weight? I was using a photo for a few years where my hair was short and then when people met me in person last year they didn't recognise me because my hair was longer. I had to get new photos done!
  6. Hi Jill, Thanks for your input. Getting a logo is a somewhat a weird subject for me. I understand the branding of a business is important but what are the benefits of having a graphic logo over a picture. Being compared to a real estate agent isn't bad...or is it ? Ciao!
  7. Hi Kathie, It seems like we have complimentary niches;especially since I barely know the html for a hyperlink. Another VA mentioned the problem of customization of blogs and I am happy to find VAs who know about that area. I am more content based. It is interesting that you do not write the articles. Of course, that is the fun part for me. I ran this idea by Tawnya before I completely decided on this niche and she suggested charging by the hour. Because of her advice and the fact that you might run across a client who does not like to write, I just might put that I can charge hourly on my website. I will keep you in mind when a client wants customization. In addition, your blog looks very professional. If you look at my blog it looks semi-professional but soooo plain when it comes to the layout. That is because I have no design skills . Until next time....Ciao No, my clients write their posts. If they feel technologically challenged they'll email me the posts and I'll publish them for them. But mainly I monitor the comment moderation, tweak the templates, add the plugins, submit to blog search engines and generally just maintain the blog and make sure something is happening regularly for them - and prompt them to write new posts. Have a look at my blog - http://www.vadirectory.net/blog - I didn't do the header and had to get a designer to do that, but all the rest of the template I did modify and continue to tweak now and then. In the blogroll on the right-hand side is a link to Paddy Spruce, one of my clients and this is a new blog that I'm just helping to set up and have done some minor modifications to the template. Both are done in Wordpress and hosted on my own server.
  8. Hi AnnaLisa, You were not too harsh. Feeling like Kaavya...Never! Just joking! Let me guess;one of the services that you offer is proofreading. All of your comments are correct and are greatly appreciated. I will use them for my next article because I hate fixing messes. I guess that is why I do not proofread intensively nor offer the service. But now I know to whom to come! Now, you promised an elevator speech. I would love to read one since I have absolutely no idea what that is. If you post it elsewhere on the forum, please post it here as well. Thanks....Ciao! Oh no! I hope I wasn't too rough! Your credits are just incomplete. That's fixable and, in my opinion, forgivable. Hers, on the other hand, were left out entirely under circumstances that amount to nothing better than theft. There's a HUGE difference between you! Thanks for the clarification on the article. I understand now. As a summary of your research, the article works nicely. It does end sort of abruptly, though, so that would be my main composition suggestion, to work on the conclusion. (I have the same problem. I could write enough material to fill a book, but darned if I ever come up with a satisfying ending.) Here are a few specific edits: --Use the term "virtual assistant" consistently, either always capitalized or always lower case. --For this type of writing, use third person consistently. There are a couple second-person sentences that feel out of place. --Hyphenate "brick-and-mortar." --I'd suggest "sometimes" instead of "usually" in the third sentence in the second paragraph. --Same paragraph, fifth sentence has a S-V agreement error. Use "offers" instead of "offer" to fix. --Fifth paragraph, first sentence, delete "why" and change "because" to "that." (Why, because, and reason are redundant when used together.) --Last paragraph, first sentence, put the question mark before the end quote. --Do a little more general proofreading for fragments, punctuation, etc. Hey, here's an idea. You mentioned "tip-of-tongue phenomenon." Maybe that would be another good practice writing assignment--to personalize this with your own spin (specialty services or target market, for example), and then condense all of it into a 30-second "elevator speech." A bunch of the posters in this forum are really good at those. I'll bet you'd get lots of good feedback if you posted the result. Come to think of it, I ought to do that myself. Hmmm...adding it to my to-do list now....
  9. Hi kathiemt, Blogging is fun. Now, do you write the posts are just provide template modifications? Modifying templates is a skill that I do not have. I am always frustrated with the limits of the ready-made templates and if I am, I know my clients will be too. Maybe we could work out something.....Ciao!
  10. Hi Kim, Thanks for the input. I thought that my logo could be me. Does that sound stupid? Please tell me if it does. The weekly rate covers content rich posts that I write myself which are posted on their blog daily. I did not think about a client wanting me to post their own articles. I guess I would have to charge them hourly for that. But 30 a week is not expensive for articles that I write myself. That is only 6 dollars an article and even less per article but a lot more services for the client who signs up monthly. So, refer me to your clients who just do not have the time to write for their blog. A blog is a great marketing tool but is high maintenance. Thanks again...Ciao!
  11. Hi SignatureWorx, I would not set it up on their server. It would have to be on a free server. Blog setup and five posts do not take a lot of time;hour at most. If it takes you longer to set them up for clients then send them over to me. I am sure we could work out some type of compensation for the referral....Ciao!
  12. Hi Carol, I am sure that in your line of work, you have come across a client who knows absolutely nothing about setting up a one-click operation. They would appreciate someone to do it for them. I am not seeking the clients that want "web design" but who want content rich material ghostwritten for them regularly to increase traffic to their business and build customer relationships. I might be able to subcontract work if a client wants more customization because I will retain 100 percent of the ad revenue. That is the perk of doing Virtual "Blog" Assisting at such reasonable prices. So, I just might be calling you soon for your expertise! Ciao!
  13. AtypicalVA, You are correct! They are made using Blogger which is free. Setting up a blog and posting content rich material for a client for a week would take me about an hour total. The real time consumation is link exchange & submission, search engine optimization, url & article submission, & networking with fellow bloggers & WWW surfers. If you notice, I only offer those services if they sign up with me monthly. I think it is a great deal for not only the client but also for me. It will give me another reason to set up another blog; lol! If they do not want it, I would keep it anyway, take their name off of it, & continue to write on the subject. I would put a few ads on it to make my effort worthwhile. So, I am not losing and neither is the client. It is a great service for the professional who is just too busy and who does not like writing very much....Ciao!
  14. I appreciate your comments. They were all correct. I have corrected some of them but I still have some more tweaking to do. When I went back to my site, I had to laugh at myself because of the big font. What was I thinking; LOL? It is nice to have input. I debated on which page to put as my homepage but I believe that I am going to have to sit down and think carefully of what I am going to say to sell my service to the potential clients as quickly as possible. I have to get out of the blogging mode. In blogging we do not sell, we presell and give our opinions. We casually suggest. I just am going to have to learn how to say hire me, hire me or I am never going to get any clients. Thanks again for the input...Ciao! Makesha, I would suggest reducing your font size some, especially on some of the interior pages. A large font size like that looks a bit unprofessional. If you find you don't have enough content to "fill the page" with the font size reduced, consider consolidating some of your pages. You need to proofread your site carefully. There are typos in several places. Your homepage is ok, but didn't really convince me that you could help me to solve a problem that I have as a business owner. You have only a short time to sell on your website, so make the most of it.
  15. Hi everyone, I have just recently picked my niche. I did a rough draft of my web site. Please if anyone has a chance, take a look at it and tell me what you think. I can take criticism. I completed it in approximately 30 minutes. I know I have a lot of tweaking to do. Makesha Ramel Caldwell Virtual "Blog" Assistant
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