What It Means To Be A Virtual Assistant


It may sound impossible to become a virtual assistant without experience, but it is very possible. And in this blog post, I will be giving you an overview of virtual assistant jobs for beginners and how you can become one even without any experience.

But first, let me share my journey into becoming a VA and how it has vastly influenced how I have transitioned from being an engineer to working in full-time copywriting.

My journey as a Virtual Assistant for more than a year

When I still had my day job as a civil engineer, I took a part-time job as a VA. I started working as a VA in December 2019 until now.

Back then, I was a full-time engineer and a part-time VA. Now, I’m a full-time copywriter and still a part-time VA. On top of this, I still do some freelance civil engineering projects on the side.

I know that may sound like many jobs, but my working schedule has never been as loose as it is now compared to when I still had my full-time engineering job. With my current working setup, I have the time and financial freedom I always craved before.

And being a VA helped me a lot in achieving this working setup.

How it started

I tell you. Desperation, coupled with the right amount of guts and determination, will always get you somewhere. I applied for part-time online jobs before because I was too desperate to earn on the side. But because my working schedule as an engineer was too hectic, I had to find one that didn’t require a time commitment.

I was also accepting writing gigs at that time, but the writing projects were never consistent. My VA job helped me earn consistent income. There are many VA jobs out there, which I’ll cite later on, but I’m working as a part-time blog VA to be exact.

I only have one VA client, but I’m the one who is managing all his four websites. Most of his websites are review sites where he can earn affiliate commissions from the products or services that he features.

My job scope includes the following:

  • Research the best products to be featured on the websites
  • Create an article outline
  • Reach out to writers (I don’t write the articles myself)
  • Edit/proofread article drafts
  • Format articles on WordPress
  • Do on-page and off-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Update articles

I don’t write the articles myself since my VA client has his own team of writers but sometimes, I write whenever there’s a need for website copy or short-form articles.

I wasn’t the one who applied for this VA job. He found my profile on onlinejobs.ph and messaged me. We then pursued the job contract in Upwork, a well-known freelancing site.

I am paid $8/hour, and to date, I have earned approximately US$5,700 or P270,000.

My total earnings as a part-time VA (Dec 2019-present)

This excludes the other earnings I got from this VA job, like 13th-month pay and additional bonuses.

I couldn’t believe I’ve reached this amount after only a short amount of time. I love that I can control the work I want to do and when it gets done. On average, I only work 10 hours or less a week. I also get opportunities to be trained for different software while still getting paid.

How to become a virtual assistant with no experience

Even if I did not have any VA experience before landing my one and only VA gig, I already have this website which served as an online portfolio that could speak my skills.

But just because I had an edge doesn’t mean people with no experience or portfolio don’t stand a chance. Still, I have to be honest with you. You can’t magically land a VA gig if you’re not willing to do the legwork.

The key is setting yourself on the right foot. The following is a brief overview of what you need to know if you’re interested in getting a VA job.

What is a virtual assistant

As a virtual assistant, you are expected to provide administrative and professional tasks to online businesses remotely. You will do anything a typical support staff does. Well, except bringing coffee.

Read My Guide: How to Become an Online Freelancer in the Philippines?

Is there a demand for virtual assistants?

With the current digital economy, the demand for virtual assistants is very high. This is because virtual assistants are an efficient and cost-effective solution to many problems.

For example, clients can hire VAs on a per hour basis or in blocks of four hours, which makes it easier for businesses to scale up their workforce when needed without the costs associated with hiring staff employees.

How much money do virtual assistants make?

You can charge $5-$15 for every hour of virtual assistant work you do. Executive-level virtual assistants may be able to get as much as $30 per hour based on the skills and experience they offer.

Are there any qualifications to become a virtual assistant?

Being a VA doesn’t really require much as long as you can deliver your client’s needs. In fact, my VA client doesn’t know that I have a background in engineering, and he doesn’t have to. As long as I can deliver my duties as a blog VA, we’re all good.

Although high-level tech skills aren’t required, as a virtual assistant, you should be at least proficient in using the following:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Google Drive
  • Project Management Tools like Trello or Monday
  • Communication apps like Slack

Being a virtual assistant also requires excellent communication and organization skills. You don’t have to speak English fluently since most of the communication will be written. But you should at least try to comprehend what is being said before writing your response.

Common Virtual Assistant jobs for beginners

1. Typing or data encoding

This is one of the basic jobs in visual assisting that doesn’t require any technical skills. Your duties will include entering data, maintaining databases and client files, and providing accurate information while following all regulations to maintain confidentiality for the job to get done effectively.

2. Researching

To stay competitive, businesses are outsourcing the bulk of their research to virtual assistants. The typical client will be too busy or unskilled in a particular field to conduct this task themselves.

3. Customer Service/Appointment Setting

We all know that there is a lot more to virtual assistant jobs than typing and cutting, pasting, or clicking on things. They are responsible for customer service in the digital world — they answer emails from clients, schedule meetings with other virtual assistants and clients via phone calls or video chat.

4. Troubleshooting

The world of technology is full of villains, and you know what they say: “the best defense is a solid offense”. Luckily for clients stuck with solving various technological problems, their dedicated virtual assistants can help them find their way out of those virtual jams.

5. Building/setting up systems

These are for clients who know how to do business but might not know about blogging or web design necessary to achieve success in their online businesses. Virtual assistants are skilled at these tasks and can help when clients don’t know where to start.

6. Content Creation

Virtual assistants are skilled in creating various types of content, from writing blog posts to advertising campaigns. 

7. Social Media Management

Virtual assistants can assist with all aspects of social media management. This includes customizing the client’s social pages, answering comments and questions, uploading articles to various sites, posting content, and much more!

Virtual Assistant platforms for beginners

You can explore the following platforms which you can use to find virtual assistant jobs:

How to become a virtual assistant with no experience?

There is a wide variety of virtual assistant jobs available. Still, it’s best if you can identify which skill set is most relevant and try out those before branching into other areas. You can also find virtual assistant jobs for beginners by contacting independent virtual assistants or those who are looking to expand their VA team.

I can’t stress this enough, but you have to start small. You don’t need to know all the virtual assistant tasks. Most clients provide basic training if you’re willing to put in the work. You just have to be willing and able to do what you can when someone has a task for you.

It is also essential to focus on one niche and grow from there. But if you have no idea what to focus on, you can apply to as many VA jobs as you like, and hopefully, you’ll find one that suits your skills.

Also Read: How to Get Your First Freelance Job? (My 6 Secrets!)

Final Thoughts

Just like any kind of job, becoming a VA is not an easy or quick process, but it can be rewarding in the end if you put in hard work and focus on learning how to do things that are outside your comfort zone. You will not get anywhere if you’re looking at job listings about virtual assistants, see something complicated, and start thinking, “I could never do that.”


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