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Debbie Lynn

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Everything posted by Debbie Lynn

  1. Wordpress is a good choice. For my clients (non-profits and educators) with limited budgets, I now recommend Weebly.com. The design tools are simple and hosting and a domain name are free with the basic version.
  2. Thank you all for your support for Lisa! In a field of over 100 individuals, large companies, government entities, and educational institutions, your votes helped her come in at second place for the People's Choice award. She was also a finalist for Technology Educator of the Year and Technology Product of the Year. Thanks!
  3. Voting continues until midnight on March 28. The awards people have now updated the leaderboard to show each nominee's name in alphabetical order instead of ranked by number of votes. Thanks to friends and kind strangers in forums and on social media, Lisa has had people from around the world check out her SpanishTechbook (and, hopefully, vote for her too).
  4. Here is a new blog post for those who want to do their own Web hosting research. I'm sure members of this forum can also offer valuable advice.
  5. I have been recommending Microsoft Office Live Small Business Web sites (and hosting and design tools) in this forum for 5 years. Sadly, this free service will be discontinued April 30, 2012. If you are a current user, please log in to your account to the see the Microsoft announcement. This blurb also includes a link to a free 6-month trial Office 365, the monthly subscription service that will replace Office Live Small Business. Yes, The Butler Did It shared some "what should I do?" thoughts when the news broke (with more research to come). I don't regret recommending a free, quality tool to new VAs; I do regret the inconvenience this is causing so many friends and clients.
  6. Knowing what you are passionate about (and what you would rather not do, even for pay) is a great place to start. If you aren't sure, try virtual volunteering to see where your skills and interests intersect. This way, you won't waste time trying to market yourself to everyone--you can pick a niche--and you will make valuable contacts through your volunteering.
  7. I've used both WordPress and DreamWeaver and I'd vote for WordPress for ease of updating, options, online help, and (if you are using this for a client) cost.
  8. Thanks, Linda. Voting has been problematic for many people we know. Some, like you, had trouble with Firefox but Internet Explorer worked. Others failed with IE but succeeded with FF or Chrome. Thank you for trying again AND for voting for Lisa.
  9. Continued thanks to all those who are voting for Lisa and sharing the link at http://www.techquestawards.com/leaderboard with their social networks. You all are amazing! You are also making it possible for an individual--not an organization or a professor at a university with access to an alumni mailing list--to be at the top of the leaderboard. Thank you. Note: post modified because link worked but URL did not cut and paste.
  10. Thank you Ruth and Patty and everyone else who voted or tried to vote! Unfortunately, a number of people have had problems voting. Instead of seeing a clickable gold Vote button which turns gray once you vote, they are seeing an unclickable gray Vote button to start. Lisa hopes these people will try again when that Vote button is gold. No matter what happens, Lisa is encouraged about the amount of attention the SpanishTechbook is getting and how many students will be helped in the process. Thank you all!
  11. My daughter, Lisa, has been nominated for a PA Tech Award for creating the SpanishTechbook, an online beginning Spanish resource she is sharing with Spanish teachers and students around the world. She (and I) would appreciate your vote for her for the People's Choice Award here. Thanks!
  12. You can get Twitter to automatically post a link to your new blog post by going into Settings on the WordPress dashboard. Select Sharing then Connect to Twitter (or whatever social network you choose) and then remember to Save Changes. I know this is not the same as posting the blog in tweets, but I thought it might help someone else.
  13. Debi, Just a thought: an untapped market for you might be transcribing videos. So many people have jumped on the "improve my search engine rankings with videos of me talking" bandwagon. What they really need to offer is a choice of talk (for the auditory learner) or text (for the speed reader) abd that's where you would come in.
  14. Sandra, Welcome! You're off to a great start: you know it's important to introduce yourself by name wherever you go to network and you're smart enough to have picked this group!
  15. I agree with Dana. Offer a discount for signing and prepaying an ongoing retainer but offer it at a rate that reflects the value of your services NOT your desperation to get clients.
  16. I got my start, years ago, by volunteering in my community. It's a great way to do good, make connections, and hone your skills.
  17. Cathy, Because he has already said you're on the right track, I wouldn't send any more "samples" of your work. Determine how much time the project should take based on the pages you have already completed then get a signed contract and payment (or some up front money) before you continue. The difference between a contract and an estimate is significant. Clients prefer to hear "I will do x, y, z for $$$.00" NOT "this is what it might cost you" so be specific.
  18. Kelvin, Almost all of my Excel spreadsheet work for clients involves monthly tracking of some sort. It's a great way to show that the work you do is getting results: more visitors, more conversions, more affiliate sales, more comments, more retweets, more of whatever metric you choose--as the year goes by (and if you're not measuring, you have no way of knowing if you are achieving your goals).
  19. Dana, I don't know if you're still looking for input or not. I had a similar discussion with several Chamber of Commerce members. There seems to be an abundance of people who a)want to star in their own video and/or b)make money by producing videos but NO ONE said they wanted to watch someone else's end result. Are we all great readers or we overwhelmed with video junk?
  20. I highly recommend starting out as a virtual volunteer. It's a great way to meet people, hone skills, pick a niche (or decide what you really don't want to do), and make a difference in the world. As a volunteer, you will still have the time and energy to establish a good foundation for your VA business AND clients/income will follow.
  21. Chalk this up to the proofreader in me.... As a VA, you will have lots of opportunities to talk and write about VAs and the VA industry. Look like the professional you are by writing about multiple virtual assistants as VAs (not as VA's). Use an apostrophe in phrases like "the VA's client" (a client belonging to one VA) or "that VA's on vacation" (one VA is away). Fortunately, this rule applies to other professions that go by initials (MDs, for example) so you can make your clients look good, too.
  22. If you are extremely pressed for time, spinning or rewriting your own content using synonyms may be necessary though hardly the best reflection on you. Because I spend so much time creating content for clients, I HATE plagiarism. It is never right or necessary to take someone else's content and plagiarize, spin, or mangle it by rewriting it in synonyms. Use social sharing buttons or ask for permission to quote the true author's content verbatim and include a byline with a live link to his/her Web site.
  23. I haven't used wix but I recommend the free Web sites Weebly and Microsoft Office Liveto friends and clients. Both have free easy to use WYSIWYG editors (no added software programs to buy) and can produce quite professional looking results with little time or effort on your part.
  24. My tech expert recommends using ImageStamper to prove your rights to your Creative Commons images. This free tool currently works best with Flickr but I hear they are working on other options.
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