|Real Bookkeeping. Virtual Assistance.|
|Volume 8 Issue 2||www.offassist.com|
Saying Thank You...
It reminded me that I needed to spread the love myself. I'm constantly looking for ways to thank my team members. Chocolate, flowers when they're sick, a gift card on their birthday, etc etc. But sometimes I forget that just the word "thank you" carries a lot of weight in and of itself. So, this February, I want to say a huge thank you to Lanel, Susan, Tom, Patty, Dyanna, Justin, Angela, Dian, Melinda, and Rebecca. You all make OffAssist into what it is - an amazing bookkeeping firm with heart and clients who love us. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. You guys are more than just my team, you're my extended family as well.
In other news, my daughter, Cassie, turns 8 this year. Yes, I said EIGHT. I know, I do this every time one of my kids has a birthday. But, it's my newsletter and I can gush if I want to! *laughing. Cassie is an amazing kid who loves to play violin and participate in robotics club. She also makes all As and yes, we're very proud of her.
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. Make sure to send
some love to not only your family, but to those that make a difference
to you every single day.
We were going to post something about disaster preparedness in the wake of Austin's great Snowpocalypse, but we couldn't find anything to fit the bill. Instead you get a few thoughts from our editor on how NOT to practice article marketing.
Article Marketing Isn't for Dummies
I spend hours every month on the various free article resource sites in my capacity as a freelance editor. One thing I see more and more of is people just plain doing it wrong. With that thought in mind, my top 4 ideas on how NOT to practice article marketing:
1 - Spell Check is for Wimps! No one cares about that stuff. If someone using an article finds an error they can just fix it themselves, right?
No. Most article resource sites spell out in their TOS that the content cannot be altered in any way. Which means if I want to use your article I have to take it typos, poor grammar and all. I don't want my clients to think I'm a bad editor, so, no matter how good your content, if your writing is sloppy I can't use your article.
2 - It's All About You. The Author/Resource box is the place to tell people everything they need to know about how you became an expert in your field, right?
Sorry, nope. People using free article content are trying to enhance their own newsletter or blog to promote their business, not yours. Giving credit where credit is due is one thing, requiring bloggers and business owners to use a 24-line bio box is another. I have rejected more than one well-written and nicely edited piece for this problem, including the disaster preparedness article I wanted to use this month.
3 - Be a Tease. Write just enough to get people hooked then make them click through to a blog or website for the rest.
You can do this; I see it a lot. Of course, if you do no one will ever reprint your article. The more time people spend on a site the more likely they are to become buyers. Why would anyone reprint an incomplete article that requires readers to leave their site or stop reading the newsletter that just arrived in their inbox? Yea, I can't think of a good reason either.
4 - Sell It, Baby! You're not writing these articles for your health, they're marketing. Make sure you include a pitch for your products or services in every article.
Umm, no. Just no. I see more garbage articles that are basically sales pitches with altered headlines than I care to think about every month. The purpose of article marketing is to market YOU, your brainpower and expertise, not a specific service or product. Write good articles to establish your expertise and people will notice and seek you out for your knowledge. That's when you make your pitch.
Now you know what not to do.
Want to do it right? Sit down and write articles that give people value for the time they took to read them. Take the time to make sure your grammar are spelling are correct. Add a small 1-2 line bio and a link to your website. Then relax and let article marketing work for you.
Dyanna Larson is the editor of
the OffAssist newsletter and woman behind the pen at Ink Think VA.
Check out her website at www.inkthinkva.com
for more info.
do I Handle Warning Pop-Ups?
Note: Check with your accounting professional before doing this to be sure that's how they'd like it done. YMMV!
This was on TaxMama.com and I thought it was cute. You can read more here: http://taxmama.com/category/asktaxmama/money-funnies/
Definitely! Someone has far too much time on their hands! DON’T FORGET TO SHARE IT!
Courtesy of Blakely Sanford, EA of San Diego
- Employees to File new W-4 with Employer
- File Paper copy W-3's with Social Security Admin, including copies
NOTE: 2011 Mileage Rates Released
Despite the fact that many predict that the cost of gas will inch up to $4 per gallon by the holidays, the standard mileage rates for 2011 are just slightly different than those for 2010. The IRS has announced the standard mileage rates for 2011 as follows:.
Rates are adjusted by the IRS each year to account for increasing
(or in some cases, decreasing) costs of operating a car, truck or
van for various purposes. The one exception is the lower rate for
miles for charitable purposes: that rate is fixed by Congress and
hasn’t been adjusted since 1998.
that time again...
As a rule, most computers should be cleaned every 5 months. Why? All that dust and dirt can do bad things to computer components. The dust restricts air flow inside the case and causes the computer to heat up. Hot computers tend to run slower and have shorter life spans than cool computers. Dust can also hold condensation that can cause your case, and important electrical connections, to corrode.
Here is a list of cleaning tips to help get you started:
Ok, I admit it: I mostly write this column every 6 to 9 months
to remind myself to clean out our computers. But, hey, you get a
nifty reminder as well! Get to cleaning those computers and know
you are in good company when you roll up your sleeves and jumpstart
on your spring cleaning.
Spotlight: YOU (why not?)
This column is my baby. When I was first starting out I was, like most new business owners, eager to get my name out there, to tell people who I am and what I do, and so I started a newsletter.
From the beginning I've made an effort to promote not just my business,
but other VAs, business partners, clients, and even products we
love here at OffAssist. I love that this column allows me to give
something small back to the community of clients and entrepreneurs
that helped me get where I am today.
I don't think it can.
If you've been a spotlight subject in the past, that's okay -- as long as it's been more than twelve months since the last time we featured you, your business, or your product, we'd love to do it again! Have a new service or product offering? Branching out or narrowing your focus? Congratulations! Let us help you spread the word!
We only say positive things. This column follows one of Mom's old adages, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
And so I ask, once again:
That's right -- we want to talk about you! (But only in a good way!)
Fine print: We do reserve the right not to feature anyone and a request is not a guarantee that you will make it into the newsletter. Also, if your news, announcement, etc. is time sensitive or tied to a specific date, please let Patty know in your email.
If you would like to be featured in the OffAssist spotlight column,
and have not been featured in the past twelve months, contact Patty@OffAssist.com
and we'll see if we can put you in the limelight.
Have an article you'd like to write for our monthly newsletter or want to be spotlighted? Have a QuickBooks question or something you'd like to see in the Tech Tip?
The OffAssist newsletter is made possible by the copywriting/editing skills of Ink Think VA, and the coding talents of Time Is Of The Es-Cents.
This newsletter is published monthly by Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist. © 2011Much of the advice in this newsletter is based upon the research, professional and personal experiences of the authors. If the reader has any questions concerning any material or procedure mentioned, the publisher and authors strongly suggest seeking the advice of a qualified CPA or other professional.