“Tara is an encyclopedia. I would be lost without her.”
– Sarah Beldin
Until now, your to-do list has been running you ragged. You don't have time to do the things you're good at because you're always bogged down with things that seem urgent.
Or maybe you wish you could clone yourself because there just aren't enough hours in the day.
In either case, those days are over.
Feels Like Home has been internationally syndicated, and my writing has appeared on BabyCenter.com, DaySpring's (in)courage blog, BlogHer.com, and in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and on npr, in addition to numerous personal blogs and websites.
I know the business of professional blogging, and I will use my knowledge and experience to bring peace to your to-do list and organization to your blog or small business.
I would love for you to learn more about my experience, my skills, and the services I can offer you. Then hear from some of my past and present happy clients, get more information on how we'll work together, and if you're ready, you can buy some hours.
I've struggled, worked hard, and made more mistakes than I could count. I've been there, done that, and made my own path to online business success.
I started this blog in 2007 as a way to document my life as a new mom and keep friends and family in the loop about my daughter's life and milestones. It quickly developed into professional blog with sponsors and advertisers and paid content. I have been invited on sponsored trips, have attended and spoken at blogging conferences, and have loved every minute!
I am self-taught in the art and science of blogging. For the first six or seven years of my blog's existence, I did everything myself – graphic design, coding, maintenance, marketing – you name it, I did it. Now, with over 2,000 posts published, I can afford to hire help for the areas I don't enjoy – and I want the same for you.
My go-to hobby has always been computers and technology. In elementary school, I was mastering our family's Tandy computer and locking my dad out. By middle and high school, I was building websites, teaching myself how to code, spending time instant messaging and in chatrooms, becoming a Microsoft Office expert, and sucking in and implementing every little thing I could learn about computers, the Internet, and technology. I did it all, and I loved it.
Some other things I'm good at include:
- SEO – I've written and spoken on SEO extensively.
- Writing, Proofreading, and Editing
- Blog and Website Management
- Business Organization and Planning
- Coding (Mostly HTML)
- Contributor Management
- Customer Service and Customer Support
- Email Marketing
- Internet Marketing
- Internet Research
- Online Community Management
- PR and Advertising
- Product Launches
- Project Management
- Social Media
- Tech Support
- Website Design and Development
Whether you're afraid of HTML, a technology guru, or somewhere in the middle, I can help. In any case, you have more on your plate than you can reasonably handle, and I can pick up the things that are bringing you down.
I am your answer. I will help you to streamline your schedule, focus on what matters, and drop the minutia by the wayside. I'll pick up the slack, and you'll be on your way to your best year yet.
I know what it's like to spend my time on administrative tasks, leaving me tired and worn out when it comes time for the stuff that really matters. I don't want that for you.
You should be focusing your time and talent on doing the things that make you money, not the endless odd jobs that distract you from your goals.
That's where I come in.
Listed below are the most common tasks I provide. If there's something you need that is not listed, send me an email. I may already know how to do it, know where to go to learn how to do it, or know someone who can help us to get it done.
All pricing is done on an hourly basis in order to give you the best results at the lowest possible price.
Contact me today for a free consultation!
- WordPress site maintenance – I have over 10 years' experience managing a successful blog. Let me handle your blog writing, scheduling, posting, plugins, and updates.
- Blog management – Are your blog posts coming from contributors all over the internet? Having trouble managing them? I have managed several successful contributor sites, and I am able to organize your contributors, schedule posts according to an editorial calendar, and pay your contributors. No sweat!
- SEO – I increased my search engine traffic by over 900% in one year by implementing best practices of SEO. Let me give your old posts good SEO juice, and watch your search engine traffic soar.
- Writing – Take a look around Feels Like Home and let me know if my writing style would work for your site.
- Editing – A good editor will correct any obvious errors, but my main goal is to use my expertise and intuition to ensure your document makes sense, cut down on wordiness, and clarify ambiguity. As a successful blogger and editor with a Writing Specialist Certificate from Penn State, you can trust that I know my way around with the written word. I will polish your writing until it shines – and leave you to collect the accolades.
- Proofreading – Proofreading is the process of examining the final draft of a document or text ”” after it has been edited ”” to ensure there are absolutely no errors. I'll put on my teacher glasses, and give your text a once over to make sure it's perfect.
- Blog training – Do you need to know how to do something on your blog but don't have the time to research and figure it out for yourself? I probably already know how, and I would be happy to teach you.
- Business organization – Do you feel like there is probably a better way to do things than what you're doing now? In addition to taking some of your workload off your shoulders, I can help you set up a better system for managing the work you keep.
- Customer service – Do you need someone to read and respond to emails in a friendly but professional way? I can do that!
- Email list management – You have better things to worry about than who is coming and going. Let me take care of the details while you work on something else.
- Newsletter creation – Every blogger and business owner should send out a weekly newsletter to keep her name in front of her ideal customer. If you don't have time to write one, I can do it for you!
- Product launch support – I have launched several ebooks over the course of my blogging career, and I know what it takes to make a launch successful. I will help you create and carry out the best launch plan for your product.
- Research – With a graduate degree, you can bet that I am a skilled researcher! Research comes easy to me. Let me help you sift through the jargon and learn exactly what you need to know.
- Transcription – I am super fast, there's no other way to say it. I love typing, and I would make quick and easy work of transcribing your calls, podcasts, and videos.
- Document creation/maintenance – Whether your information is in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or some other program, I can format it and create a professional-looking document that will make your business proud.
- Pinterest management – Pinning pictures from your website can be time consuming, but it is a very important part of any social media strategy! With over 32,000 Pinterest followers, I know what works. Let me handle your Pinterest account, and watch your followers grow.
Don't see a service you need? Want to know more? Contact me for a FREE consultation.
Let me put my passion and expertise to work for you.
I know that there's a high degree of worry and skepticism when choosing someone to work with online. To combat that a little, here's a small sampling of what clients I've worked with in the past think about me:
“Tara is a rare find in a writer and editor. She is both a community leader, by providing helpful comments and advice, and a knowledgeable contributor. She is one of the small group of people I have chosen to hire as a mom editor on two of my parenting sites, and I have not been disappointed. She is also one of the first to volunteer to do more, and is constantly eager to help build the sites.” -Kelby Carr, owner of Type-A Parent website and conference
“She is structured in her approach to work with excellent attention to detail. Master of balancing tasks, Tara was able to support multiple stakeholders in their needs. Communication is a strength of Tara's. She is proactive in keeping everyone up to date on progress and issues. Her technology skills and ability to learn new things is an asset. Tara was able to make things happen without waiting for someone to explain all the details. Tara is an excellent addition to any team.” -Tracy Keenan
“She has an insatiable curiosity, a strong desire to share knowledge with others, and a tremendous work ethic; she is a self-starter and consistently took the initiative to go beyond the expectations of her job. Methodical and thorough, with excellent verbal and written communication skills, Tara has an entrepreneurial spirit. Tara possesses many talents, and on more than one occasion, demonstrated her flexibility and willingness to adapt to changes in work requirements.” -Katrine Kubis
“I have worked with Tara several times on various projects. She is always timely in completing projects and highly responsive to any questions. She pays attention to the details and is a true professional in this market.” -Julie Bonn Blank
“Her personality is as big as her knowledge base, and it's a joy to interact with her on various social networks.” -Hillary Chybinski
“She is cool under pressure, she knows her stuff and she is professional, timely and relatable.” -Jo-Lynne Shane
“I've been so impressed with how she's grown her blog and with the dedication she shows to her online persona and work. She's also an all around nice woman who is a pleasure to be around!” -Mary Boyer
“Tara is a forward thinker, she is well organized and her dedication to her clients is as deep as her dedication to her family.” -Adrienne Van Houten
“She has been a pleasure and very diligent on to work with and I highly recommend her for anybody.” -Jonathan Boring
“She is hard working and extremely diligent. I absolutely love working with Tara!” -Amy Metherell
“I have been reporting to Tara since I joined Foodie Mama in October of 2008. She is super organized and keeps the site running smoothly, has ideas and offers assistance when needed to polish an article. I can brainstorm thoughts for future articles and get feedback on what has worked in the past. She is a superb leader as Chief Managing Editor.” -Bonnie Sayers
How We'll Work Together
Here are all the details on how I work with clients. I like to provide this information up front so that you can decide if you and I would be a good fit. If you do decide to work with me, your entering into a working relationship with me is your agreement to these terms, conditions, and policies.
Hiring me is easy. You buy a block of hours and just pay and use as your projects require.
I recommend sending me an email before making your purchase to check my availability, introduce yourself, and get to know me a little bit (via email or via a FREE 15-minute call).
New client projects and tasks typically require a 10-day lead-in time. That means that I need 10 days (just 10 days, not 10 business days) before I begin on your work. The lead-in time may be longer, depending on my schedule (but I'll always let you know). Your payment secures your upcoming spot in line and on my schedule.
Payments and Refunds
All payments are to be made up-front via PayPal (which accepts credit and debit cards, and you don't need to have an account to pay). On my end, this eliminates the need to chase down clients or spend time on invoicing. On the client's end, it helps to keep in perspective just how much time and money we're working with and there are no surprise bills.
Because of the nature of the work I do, there are no refunds. I've never been asked for a refund, so I don't anticipate this being an issue. My goal is to have happy customers (having unhappy customers out there does me no good)!
What Is and Isn't Billable
Everything I do related to you and your projects is billable towards the hours you purchase. Scheduled Skype calls, an email that requires a lengthy response, an in-person meeting, any work I do on your behalf – it's all billable.
Initial get-to-know-you Skype calls and initial emails sent back-and-forth are not billable towards your hours.
Hours of Operation
I am typically available and working during normal business hours (8:00am – 5:00pm EST) on weekdays only. I don't work on weekends or holidays.
All of my communication with clients is limited to email, Skype (chats, voice calls, or video calls), and phone calls.
I strive to return all emails and Skype messages within 24 hours (not including weekends and holidays).
Project and task turnaround times vary by what the project or task is, but I strive to complete all projects and tasks that are handed to me within a week. I will always tell you when (based on your needs and my schedule) you can expect for a project or task to be completed.
I can't always accommodate emergency/need-it-done-right-now tasks, but you can email me to check my availability. A rush fee will apply in this case.
Tracking Time and Timesheets
I track my time for every client and you may request a timesheet at any time. I have no problem with you reviewing the amount of time spent on certain tasks, but I typically only hand out timesheets if a client specifically asks for one.
How Long Your Hours Are Good For
Every time you purchase a package of hours, those hours are good for one year from the purchase date.
What Happens When You Run Out of Hours or Your Hours Expire
When you get down to your last few hours, I will send you an email and let you know. If you'd like a timesheet, you'll be able to request it then as well. You'll be able to decide whether you'd like to buy more hours (in this case, I'll direct you to this page to pay), or whether you'd like to part ways and not renew your hours (in this case, I'll finish your tasks on a good note and in a good place).
I make it a policy to send three email notices when you're approaching expiration. If your hours expire because they haven't been used within a year, that's that and they're gone.
Ending Our Relationship
You are free to end your relationship with me at any point (though it makes the most sense to use up your hours first).
If I would like to end our working relationship, I will notify you via email, finish up the hours you've paid for, and refer you to another virtual assistant.
Below you'll find my rates for 1 hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, and 20 hours. The more hours you buy, the cheaper the hourly rate. Remember that hours expire after a year, and they are good towards any tasks I do for you.