When Everything Falls Perfectly Into Place!

Don’t you love when you put a plan into action, and it unfolds just as you hoped? Even the smallest accomplishments in life can be satisfying. At least they are to me. As an optimist, I believe the small achievements give way to the major ones.

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I have been writing full time for six months now. Which has always been a desire of mine! The ability to do what I’m most passionate about for a living. When I started virtual assisting, I thought most of my work would come from social media marketing and management with a splash of writing tasks. In the past, it did, but as of lately the majority of contract work has been writing content for websites, articles, and research. I’m not complaining, in fact, I am excited!

Two Drops of Ink adds to my excitement! For those of you who do not follow Two Drops of Ink, first I say… “shame on you!!!” Just kidding, to each their own but you don’t know what you’re missing! I have noticed many of my followers here, and on Instagram and Twitter are now regulars on the site. The literary site has grown tremendously, conquering many obstacles. The move from Blogger to WordPress! The move due to growth served up a hit to it’s following, but Two Drops of Ink overcame it by leaps and bounds. When people love something so much, they will do everything possible to keep it a part of their lives. Along the way the site has earned many awards and is on its way to becoming the best literary site for writers. It’s already in the top 50 best writing blogs that achievement is huge!!! All the new features are a great addition to the site. The Book Shelf is for authors to promote their novels. Wall of Poets debuts the work of seasoned and upcoming poets. Hump Day Humor gives us writers something to laugh about so if you have a funny story or memoir piece submit it. Sunday Spotlight highlights contributors to the site. The site is excellent! I remember coming on board right after the transition. The growth I have seen along the way has been incredible. I also credit my growth as a writer to the site. The camaraderie of the team is like no other. I am ecstatic to be in the company of such great writers. As we speak, I’m working on my next three pieces for Two Drops, and I hope to read a post from you in the future as well.

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I will continue to Live, Love, Share!!! This blog is my baby, and yes she has been a little neglected, but I have a strategy. I can function on less sleep!!! LOL!!! For my love of writing and my future literary career, I’m willing to give up a lot!!! So my friends, until next time…soon, have an awesome week and may the power of the pen be with you!!!

 

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Two Drops Of Ink Literary Blog

 

 

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Outsource?!?! Tips for Hiring a Virtual Assistant.

 

Starting a business is very hard and time-consuming. Many tasks need your immediate attention.

  • Research
  • Data entry
  • Social media management/ marketing,
  • Email management,
  • Meetings or conference calls.

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These are just a few of the daily duties a busy entrepreneur encounters. Many of these daily tasks are daunting and are left incomplete at the end of the day. If you are a business owner, you know what I mean.

Lessen Your Work Load!

The best way to alleviate the daily stress of multiple tasks and being pulled in many different directions is through outsourcing. What business owner would not want the freedom to spend more time growing their business? Some tasks are tedious or require a deadline. Hiring a VA will help you to meet all of those needs.

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We as virtual assistants have the ability to not only relate to the needs of entrepreneurs but also to support business owners in establishing their businesses. Virtual assistants are also business owners, so we understand what all is involved with running and building a successful business. When you leave your business in the hands of your virtual assistant, it is imperative that all be in good hands. A good VA approaches all tasks in an efficient and professional manner. No matter how small or large the task. Our efficiency and knowledge are what determines the growth of our business.

Characteristics of a good virtual assistant?

You want to feel comfortable with the virtual assistant you choose. I feel an outstanding VA has stellar relationship building and communication skills. It is imperative that he/she not only has a bond with you but the ability to relate to your customer/ client base. At the end of your interview, you should know a considerable amount about the virtual assistant. They must be trustworthy and have you and the best interest of your company at heart. Trust is a major component as they will access to a great deal of your personal and business information.

What is their specialty?

Do they have the skills you need? Narrow down the tasks that they will accomplish now and in the future. Hire an assistant that has the experience to do these tasks. Virtual assistants have different specialties and skills they offer. This where your research and communication will pay off. Although, one- time tasks should outsource to a freelancer at a reasonable rate. The most important skills to look for when hiring are the following:

  • Social Media Management
  • Data Entry
  • Writing
  • Communication
  • Desktop Publishing

Reliability or Beyond the Call of Duty!

Consider availability; their availability should be convenient to your specific needs. Daily tasks, deadlines and last minute requests are critical to your day-to-day operations and growth. Are they flexible? Can they be reached during your business hours and weekends even when unscheduled? These are just a few details you want to consider when hiring a virtual assistant. As a virtual assistant, I feel incorporating these details into my business methods are what ensures my success.

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How do I find a good virtual assistant?

The field of virtual assisting has grown tremendously. Small and big companies have begun to hire more virtual employees. Small business is on the rise which increased the demand for virtual assistants. There are many online sites you can utilize to find a VA.

These are just a few avenues to search for the help you need. Word of mouth is also a winner! Reach out to fellow business owners to inquire about a good assistant. You will be surprised what you may find.

Outsourcing may seem scary at first. After all, your business is your baby, and it is imperative that the person you hire will nurture it. With the proper research hiring, a virtual assistant will pay off in big dividends.

 

Images Courtesy of:

Top Reasons for Outsourcing

Pixabay/ Geralt- Support

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5 Tips for Marketing Your New Book.

“Writing a book without promoting it is like waving to someone in a dark room. You know what have you done, but nobody else does.”
~Madi Preda.”   ― Madi PredaHow To Promote and Market Your Book

Congratulations on writing your first book. As an author, you must be on top of the world. You have basked in the joy of your new accomplishment. The beauty of its cover, your words, pieces of the world you created. Now. It is time to get serious.

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What’s next? My research has given me the knowledge to assist you in marketing your book. What good is a book that no one gets to read? The next step is to get the book in front of prospective readers. The most efficient way is through creating a marketing strategy. Thorough research will reveal several marketing methods. Take a look at a few of the steps in the journey.

1). Reviews: As an author feedback is valuable. This is where reviews come into play. Consider the options for free or paid reviews. Only pay for top quality feedback. Determine if your reviewer will base their comments on reading the book in full or an excerpt. Your ultimate goal is to make sure it is beneficial to you. Every author desires raving reviews and high recommendations.

2). Blog Posts: Guest posts and interviews on blogs is another way to build a fan base. You may also start a blog centered around the subject of your book. Your blog may be the forum for your future books. Be sure to follow the blogs of like- minded writers.

3). Media Kit: How many business or post cards have you passed out? Advertise locally as well as virtually the more exposure, the better your chances for sales. Keep in mind; image is everything! A professional head shot is necessary. Your biography will invite readers to get to know the books creator. Don’t forget to include a ‘one- sheet.’ A high-quality photo of your book cover on the front and a synopsis of the book on the back.

4). Book Launch Party: A book launch party is not only a way to celebrate your accomplishments but an awesome way to get the word out. Offer giveaways or reduced prices for the date of the event. The event can take place both locally and online. The more excitement you build means, the higher potential for buyers.

5). Social Media: We are in the age where the click of the ‘send’ button moves at a speed of light. Millions of people have the opportunity to view your content on a daily basis which means book sales. Although, sales should not be your primary focus. Build a relationship with fellow authors and writers. Support those with the same goals and those aspiring to reach the depths that you have in the literary arena. Social media marketing makes sense regarding book marketing. Embrace it and reap the many benefits.

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Now that your feet are firmly back on the solid ground, and your head is no longer in the clouds, put in the footwork. Start doing the research and making all the needed connections. It may be difficult but all of your efforts will pay off.

 

 

 

Tips for Marketing on Social Media.

“Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.”

― Brian SolisEngage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web

 

I find the quote by Brian Solis regarding social media to be relevant on so many levels. Social media managers, marketers, gurus and enthusiasts can attest to the validity of the citation. When used a user sets out to rally others in hopes to gain customers, support their cause or to spread information; carried out the correct way they will grab the attention of many. Are you attempting to inspire a movement? Are you confused about how to market your brand? My advice to you is to keep reading. This post will briefly unveil the first steps of building your social media marketing skills.

Where should I start?

Start by asking yourself who is my customer base. Who is interested in my brand? The answers are indicative of where you should focus your marketing efforts. Although it does not stop there, these are just the first of many questions that will build your marketing strategy. Discovering your audience is imperative to gaining loyal followers versus fair weather connections.

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Content is critical.

Your content should be compelling and sought after by your followers.  Make sure it is relevant and what’s trending for your brand and among your community of followers. This is where paying close attention to your followers is critical. They know what they want and will share what interests them. Once you have honed in on this information, share it frequently but be careful as not to become a nuisance. Cycle out data shared, you do not want your posts considered as spam.

Engagement or Relationship Building techniques.

The ability to engage your followers in conversation is excellent. These conversations can indeed prove to be fruitful. Moreover, relationship building is by far more valuable. Relationships built upon a common interest are more likely to be sustainable and increase your tribe. Genuine and consistent engagement with your fan base not only shows appreciation, but it makes your brand more personable.

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Caring is sharing.

Show those who share your content you care by sharing their content in return. When you are marketing your brand, you can lose supporters by not being supportive. “One hand washes the other.” This saying is true in the world of social media. It can also be your golden ticket. Taking time to visit the pages of others and share their content is time-consuming, but it is worth it in the end. Devote a little time each day to ensure your social media success.

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Social media marketing is not an easy task but is well worth the challenge. Research, patience, and persistence are qualities that are beneficial to marketing success on social media.

 

Images courtesy of:

QuietQuitter on Pixabay.com  

Johny_deff on Pixabay.com

Geralt on Pixabay.com

 

Pinterest Acquires This Popular ‘Save It for Later’ App — Fortune

Pinterest’s acquisition spree continues, this time with Instapaper, a service for saving articles and other reading items for later. On Tuesday, Pinterest, whose online service is best known as a way to collect images of food and home decor, said it has acquired Instapaper’s team and technology. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.…

via Pinterest Acquires This Popular ‘Save It for Later’ App — Fortune

Five Ways to Become a Kind Writer

I loved this post by CHRISTOPHER G. FOX, PH.D. This is a MUST READ for all writers. I have always tried to be a “kind Writer”. His explanation of the subject is awesome.

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By Christopher G. Fox, Ph.D.

As writers, we benefit from many resources helping us with grammar, clarity, and time-management. In addition to these practical guides, however, we also need beliefs that transform and inspire our writing. Becoming a kind writer can have an enormous impact on what we write and on whether it matters. Kindness puts how we engage with our readers at the center of our concern, whether we choose to inspire, convince, inform, entertain, or amaze. It deepens the feeling of connection we feel when writing, and which our reader, in turn, feels while reading.

With that in mind, here are five ways to become a kinder writer and channel the power of kindness.

  1. Put outcomes first

As you write, ask yourself intentionally about what you want your readers to know, feel, and do differently. Many times, we become preoccupied with what we want to say…

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Share your blog!

Sharing is Caring!!! Roberta Pimentel was gracious to allow other bloggers to #share their blog on her site. Show her love in return and reblog as well as tweet this post. Please and Thank You. Happy Blogging.

A Shout Out to My Blogging Comrades.

Many bloggers are avid readers and faithful followers of other blogs. As a blogger and social media coordinator, reading and commenting on the content of other bloggers is a natural part of my daily operations. I often share the posts of bloggers which consists of informative and entertaining information, authors of books and those who write about their lives. As we follow many blogs, there are some that we frequent more than others for one reason or another. Today, I will list some of my favorite blogs and a little information about the blog.

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Two Drops of Ink a literary blog that provides informative writing advice for aspiring and established writers. I love that Two Drops of Ink is devoted to all types of literature. Publishing contributing posts from writers looking for exposure seasoned writers and authors. The vote of the 100 best websites for writers is evident when you visit the blog. Subscribe, contribute and ‘Like’ Two Drops of Ink on Facebook.

From Addict 2 Advocate the title of this site describes it’s primary purpose to the letter. Informative articles about dealing with addiction as an addict or a family member or a friend of an addict. As we all know addiction is a growing epidemic in the U.S. Marilyn Davis, counselors and recovering addicts take a serious topic and simplifies it for all people to grasp and understand. She sprinkles a little humor in her posts as well. You can join in on conversations via the blog or on Facebook.

A Disciples Journey, a new blog by Scott Biddulph.  It is about the trials and tribulations of living a good Christian life. He brings it to the forefront through scripture and referencing his personal struggles. This amazing writer shows his followers that we are not alone in our pursuit to live a life pleasing to God. Scott Biddulph is also the creator and editor of “Two Drops of Ink”.

Poetic Parfait is a ‘Poetic treat for the mind’. This site is great if you are a lover of poetry, looking for inspiration or wish to talk about poetry. She states, “This site is a haven for you to gain insights through poetry about love, connection, endurance, inspiration, health and more.” I bear witness that this is a true statement. Christy first started Poetic Parfait as therapy to get her through a dark period in her life. The site gave birth to two books. I have also had the pleasure of writing a piece for her When Women Inspire blog.

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Opinionated Man/ Harsh Reality attracted me to the blog because of the title. I am very opinionated and reality at times can be quite harsh. I had to take the time to read what the ‘Opinionated Man’ had to say. J.C.C is a man that has a voice; he is not only opinionated, poetic and enlightening but inspirational. The opinionated man is worthy to be read.

On GobbledeGoox by Peter Giblett, you will find a mixture of posts about the subjects such as writing, social media, and blogging. The site is very informative. Peter shares his knowledge of these subjects in hopes of assisting others. If you are seeking advice as a blogger or social media, there are some informative articles to get you started.

Kitschy Chic Couture is for the ladies who love handbags. These are not just any handbag! If you are into handcrafted leather and fabric bags made with TLC, then this blog is an awesome site for you. Kitschy Chic blog takes you into the day and life of a designer. She also displays a wide variety of her creations.

Shehanne Moore is an author of ‘smexy historical romance’. Romance novels are not my first choice when I sit down to read, but the compelling story lines including jewel thieves and vikings are what grabs her readers. The unique way Shehanne Moore promotes and markets her blog and books is what sparked my interest. Every email notification of a blog post, interview, and new novel is a treat.

As bloggers, we should support each other. I not only love what I do, but I am also passionate about it. To pay homage to my craft, I support those who do what I do. Tweets, Facebook Likes, reblogging and comments are just a few ways I show love. Social media marketing/ management and writing are my main sources of income, but life is not always about the almighty dollar. How many writers or bloggers have you given a shout out lately? Where does your true passion lie? In the art or the pursuit to become the next famous author or a well paid blogger? The next time you sit down to create your next post, I encourage you to think about your fellow bloggers and take ten minutes to read and comment on their work.

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Social Media: The Etiquette of Sharing Content

As a #socialmedia coordinator and enthusiast, I wrote this article for “Two Drops of Ink” regarding the importance of #sharing #content. Many have commented that it was very informative. A great follow up to the reblogged post by Peter Giblett.

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

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“If you have a candle, the light won’t glow any dimmer if I light yours off of mine.” 
― Steven Tyler

The saying says… “Sharing Is Caring”!!! This is not always a true statement in the world of social media. If you are an avid social media user, you may have noticed the following:

  • Requests for page “likes” that are not returned.
  • Retweets unreciprocated or impermanent followers.
  • You visit blogs, share content, and receive no acknowledgement. There’s no comment of thanks or a brief visit to your blog or Facebook page.

I refer to these fair – weather Twitter tweeters, greedy Facebookers, and illiberal bloggers as social media vampires. Beware! They lay in wait, ready to pounce and suck the blood of what could be faithful supporters. Thus, leaving them cowering in a virtual corner reluctant to share the content of those outside their immediate circle. This type of behavior…

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The Purpose of Reblogging

Have you read awesome content on a blog that you felt compelled to share? Are you wondering how to get your blog content out to more readers? Peter Giblettt explains the concept of reblogging. I found it to be very informative.