Working remotely as a Virtual Assistant or freelance business support professional can be a lonely existence. It’s not uncommon for much of the human interaction that takes place during the working day to be via email or over a business instant messaging platform. The water-cooler culture common to office life can be pretty non-existent for a lot of self-employed sole traders, as cats, dogs and goldfish, though good at listening, often have a pretty uninspired opinion of current affairs and the latest industry developments.
One way that you can keep up to date with industry specific news is by following the blogs of thought leaders from within your sphere of business, or the organisations who fuel your business by providing technology, training or other products and services that allow your business to work effectively on a day to day basis. Often, these blogs are filled with handy little nuggets of information about legislative changes, product developments, or just provide an insight into the team ‘behind the scenes’, and with the majority of blogs published under 1000 words in length, it doesn’t take too much time or brain power to keep up to date with the latest news and views.
Here are 18 of our favourite (and highly recommended) blogs:
Koffeeklatch – https://koffeeklatch.co.uk/category/koffeeklatch-blog/ – if you work with other freelancers and want to ensure that you, and they, are working as appropriately and efficiently as possible, embraced by the security of expertly developed contracts and terms of business documents, Koffeeklatch has the blog for you! With lots of helpful and topical GDPR content, this is a highly recommended read.
Hootsuite – https://blog.hootsuite.com – whether you manage other people’s social media accounts or want to make the most of your own business social media, Hootsuite is a great place to start. Watch out for this blog if you are looking for information about Social Media platform changes or handy hints and tips that anyone can implement.
Mailchimp – https://blog.mailchimp.com – if email marketing is on your to-do list this year, the Mailchimp blog could be a useful read.
Virtually Painless – https://www.facebook.com/VirtuallyPainlessVA/– if you’ve had a long and difficult day, or just have a 5 minute window you want to fill with something worthwhile, this ‘warts-and-all’ depiction of life as a Virtual Assistant comes highly recommended. It’s like having a colleague to laugh with, and is great knowing that you are not alone, no matter how mad your working day has been!
Forbes – https://www.forbes.com/– if you’re looking for a blog on a particular topic within business, you’re likely to find it here! From productivity to outsourcing, finance to time-management, you’ll find hints and tips from a variety of industry experts from all kinds of sectors here! (If you’re not a fan of listicles though, this might not be the read for you!)
Janet Murray – https://www.janetmurray.co.uk/category/blog/ – a PR and Marketing expert with extensive experience writing and editing for national newspapers like the Guardian, Janet has a beautifully written blog jam-packed with practical tips that can really help small businesses to find increased success with their PR and Marketing.
Active Campaign – https://www.activecampaign.com/blog/ – another email marketing blog, but with some great tips about automating your marketing processes to help you work more efficiently. Trust me, automating some of your marketing is definitely the way to go!
Todoist – https://blog.todoist.com – if you need a productivity boost, or just want to manage your time and workload more effectively to reduce stress and improve your work/life balance, this could be a useful place to start!
Talented Ladies Club – https://www.talentedladiesclub.com – if you’re juggling motherhood and running a business, or just passionate about your career, this is a great resource written from people who have been there and bought the t-shirt.
Infusionsoft – https://learn.infusionsoft.com – not another email marketing blog, I hear you say! But hear me out – the clever people at Infusionsoft HQ have a great way of making advanced marketing processes straightforward and accessible to all, so why not have a peek if you are looking for marketing inspiration but lack a Marketing team of 25?
Asana – https://blog.asana.com – another great blog for productivity ‘hacks’ and the low-down of how to use the tool like a pro; if you love Asana, you’ll love their blog.
Birds on the Blog – http://birdsontheblog.co.uk/blog/ – celebrate the successes of inspirational women in business with the help of this blog! With their core values of sisterhood, equality, femininity and business, it’s a wonderful, inspirational and supportive platform that’s well worth a visit.
Entrepreneur – https://www.entrepreneur.com – if you’re looking for general business advice on a broad range of topics, Entrepreneur provides short and interesting articles that are quick and easy to read, whether you’re on the move or grabbing a quick cup of tea!
IPSE – https://www.ipse.co.uk/our/news-listing.html – if you’re a freelancer or self-employed, the content put out by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed will be interesting, relevant and useful to you! From HMRC waiting times to topical business news, it’s a great place to catch up with events that are likely to be of interest to you and your business.
Practically Perfect PA – http://www.practicallyperfectpa.com – A great resource for EAs, PAs and VAs, this blog provides helpful hints and tips that can help you to work more efficiently and productively.
We Are The City – https://www.wearethecity.com/blogs/ – admittedly, this is a link to a whole host of blogs that might be of interest to you, rather than just one in particular! From dating to fitness to wealth management, the range of blogs you can find on the WATC site is impressive.
Information Commissioner’s Office – https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/ – if you handle or process data and want to ensure that you are taking your responsibility seriously (both under the existing Data Protection regulations and GDPR, coming into force later this year), then it’s worth keeping an eye out for new content on the Information Commissioner’s Office ‘News, Speeches and Blogs’ page.
ContentCal – http://blog.contentcal.io – if you want to improve your content marketing, whether that be your blog-writing or social media content creation – this is a great resource for you. VIP VA partnered with ContentCal in late 2017 as we’re passionate about their great content marketing tool, so you can trust that you are being given expert advice from the professionals in this blog.
Obviously, we would also recommend keeping up to date with our own blog for top news in the VA industry – hopefully you’ll stick with us! Happy reading!