1. Aug
    16
    2015

    Today would have been 6 months

    11:37 AM   ♥   Comment

    Today would have marked exactly 6 months since I started working with Zirtual. Except last Monday, I was laid off along with 400+ other employees. Andrew woke me, like he does every morning and I rolled over to check the time. 7:30am. I started work at 8:30am. However, I saw an email from Maren, our CEO, which was weird for 2 reasons. 1) It was sent over night. 2) It was on my phone. Work email never goes to my phone.

    I opened it to find that Zirtual was done. Our last day of employment was the previous Friday, August 7th, they were ceasing operations.

    https://twitter.com/mgnwrites/status/630795404225998848

    I spent a good 30 minutes just staring at my computer. I had no idea what to do. Our accounts had been shut down. All I wanted to do was email my clients and tell them that I had no idea this was going to happen. I feared them thinking I knew about this and didn’t tell them. I text my VIP client, who’s number I had memorized because of how often we were in contact, and sent emails out to everyone else, also by memory. Immediately 3 of my clients came back to me asking if I thought about working with them independently. I had thought it was over, and maybe I didn’t get through the whole email because of shock and awe. I didn’t know I had that option having signed a noncompete. The fact that they wanted to work with me brought me to tears. I had just lost my job but the support from my clients is what made me cry.

    All of us scrambled to connect to find out what was going on. There was no notice of this. We had no idea things were bad. We all left on Friday wishing each other good weekends. We had no idea this was going to happen. My pod, or team, started reaching out to each other on Facebook. We arranged a Google Hangout to talk this over. All of us were shocked. There were quite a few swears thrown around, I might add. We were pissed. We were sitting in a video conference as equals, not managers and employees but as people. Immediately we started to talk about what was next, what we could do, our clients who were interested in working with us. Slowly at first and then all at once, all of the employees came together on Facebook to help each other. It was amazing to see. Given what we did/do for a living, we are a pretty resourceful bunch.

    By Thursday, I was able to completely sit back and relax. I had been offered a part time position with my VIP client. I couldn’t help but cry on the phone seeing how generous she was. She didn’t owe me anything and Zirtual wasn’t giving refunds. She was out money, a lot of money actually. It made me feel like I had really done a great job if she was offering this to me. She put me in touch with people to help me get my business off the ground, she offered me options for my future. For that, I will be eternally grateful.

    I can see the possibilities in this, at first I was heartbroken, then angry. I’ve come to see that this was for the best. I couldn’t leave and take my clients with me because of the noncompete. If I left Z, I had to find a job doing something else, trying to convince people who knew nothing about me that I was the ONE out of the thousands of VAs out there that they needed. It would have taken a couple years to make real money doing this. Now I have clients who love me, and boy do I love them. I’m already better off than I would have been. This may not have been such a bad thing after all.

  2. Aug
    06
    2015

    What is SEO?

    5:35 PM   ♥   Comment

    Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is one of the most effective methods when it comes to increasing the popularity of a website. Here is how it works. Google is by far the most popular search engine. Because of this, most SEO tasks are centered around the algorithms that Google uses to compile its search rankings. For example, if the word “houses” is your search query, what determines which website is listed first? How are the other rankings determined? There are certain keywords that Google’s algorithms look for. The sites that have the correct keywords and phrases will get ranked higher than the sites that do not contain these things. You will find the importance of search engine optimization explained in greater detail below.

    Why is SEO important?

    Now that you know what SEO is, why is it so important that many online businesses spend thousands of dollars hiring SEO professionals to work for them? The answer is very simple. If your site is listed in the top 10 search rankings for a very popular topic that millions of people search for every day, you basically have a license to print money. How can search rankings mean so much money for a company? The answer comes down to basic human nature. When people search for an item, there might be literally thousands of search results. Most people have limited time, so they will usually only look at the websites near the very top of the search results. Any websites listed below the top 20 are typically ignored by the vast majority of people. Now you can see why companies are going out of there way to get their sites at or near the top of the search rankings. They often spend many thousands of dollars by hiring local search engine optimization services in order to accomplish this goal. If they are successful, it will be money well spent.

    How does SEO translate into profits for a business?

    If a company is involved in a popular industry that receives many searches, the result of their site showing up in the top 20 search rankings could be literally thousands of unique visitors every day. You do not need to be a genius to figure out that this many people visiting a site on a daily basis will mean more sales, which will lead to increased profits. The additional money that a company can make from being positioned close to the top of the search rankings is quite significant.

    Why is SEO important for new businesses?

    While SEO is important to large and established businesses, it is even more vital to companies that are just starting out. The reason for this is these businesses have not yet made a name for themselves. This means they need to make the public aware of who they are and what they have to offer. They also need to develop their brand. SEO, if done properly, can drive lots of traffic to a site, helping a new business develop name recognition with their brand.

  3. Jun
    26
    2015

    #LoveWins

    2:38 PM   ♥   Comment

    “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.

    val3

  4. Jun
    20
    2015

    Protected: I don’t care

    2:24 AM   ♥   Enter your password to view comments.
    Due to the nature of this post this entry is password-protected.

    If you would like access to this post I encourage you to contact me on Twitter, Facebook, or E-mail me.

    Anyone is welcome to ask for the password, but not everyone will receive it. Please do not be offended if this happens to be you. The best way to gain access is to comment on my public posts or converse with me on Twitter so that we can get to know each other a little. I’m pretty awesome and I’m sure you are too.

  5. Jun
    09
    2015

    10 Tools for Digital Marketers

    1:17 PM   ♥   Comment

    It seems that mobile apps are a big deal when it comes to managing social media. They make the process so much easier to manage from wherever you are. Here are a few mobile apps that marketing professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners can use.

    1. Buffer: One of the best content distribution apps on the market, Buffer can be used on your iPhone, Kindle, computer and practically any other device you may have. By uploading posts to a number of different platforms, you can make sure they’re posted on the days and at the times you want.

    2. PixxFly: This is another distribution automation app that lets you post content to various channels with just one click. You can also access analytics for your posts.

    3. Pagemodo: If you’re in need of Facebook management services, Pagemodo is for you. The primary function of this app is to setup Facebook pages for businesses or organizations. You can then create visual content that will encourage fans to engage with your page. You can also schedule posts. Plus, there’s a feature that shows you relevant content you may want to share on your social media accounts.

    4. Hootsuite: If you need to manage social media on top of simply scheduling posts, Hootsuite lets you create multiple streams for each of your social media accounts. You can keep up with what people are saying and interact with your audience all from one dashboard.

    5. Tint: This app lets you pull your favorite content from different social media sites and then form custom feeds on your WordPress blog, Tumblr blog or other social pages.

    6. Buzzsumo: Need to tune in to what your audience is talking about? This app lets you see what’s trending, what’s popular and what people are sharing online.

    7. Mention: If you need a way to keep track of brand mentions, Mention is a great app. You’ll get alerts throughout the day, whenever your brand is mentioned, giving you the option to act quickly.

    8. Dynamic Signal: To better connect with your audience, curate content by promoting some of the content they create. Dynamic Signal lets you distribute all types of content, both created and curated. Then, your audience can re-share the content on their own profiles.

    9. SoAmpli: Want to get your team involved to increase brand awareness? This app encourages your employees to be brand advocates by sharing your content on their social media.

    10. EveryoneSocial: One of the best parts about this app is that it has a super clean and simple interface. The tool will amplify your brand by creating a team of advocates who will share your content on their own social media.

    The role of the marketer has changed drastically over the past few years, and it’s still changing. One of the best ways to keep up with the industry and demand is to regularly update strategies and campaigns. Often, mobile apps are a big part of this.

  6. Mar
    14
    2015

    I’m an organized mess

    8:07 PM   ♥   Comment

    So, things have been going well at work. I’m up to 4 clients now.  I’m going from 8:30 to 5:30 non stop. I’m working on getting used to having a lot less time to myself all around. Afterwards, I want to just lay down and unwind and that’s when Andrew comes home. I’m assuming I’ll get used to it but it’s like everyone needs something from me all day and then I can’t even get 5 minutes to myself afterwards, not even in the bathroom (since Andrew thinks it’s funny to just walk in on me and it’s become a normal thing for him to stand there and talk to me while I’m on the toilet). It doesn’t help that I’ve had the kids 2 weekends in a row and am taking them next weekend on Friday to Saturday. I mean, it’s to help my step dad out so he and my brother could go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade today. I’m really looking forward to next Saturday when the house is quiet, and hopefully clean, and I can just sit down and relax and have a few drinks.

    Speaking of the house, it’s in shambles. When I wasn’t working, it wasn’t spotless, that’s for sure, but it all fell on me. I was in charge of the house because I wasn’t working. Fair enough, right? I’m not the best housekeeper and Andrew, bless his heart, never said a word about it. He had a right to but never did. Now that I’m working, I think it’s only fair that we share the housework. However, this hasn’t been properly vocalized to anyone, yet. But it’s coming. I know if I don’t do it soon, it’s going to come out in the form of an explosion that Andrew is going to get the brunt of because my brother is never home. I’m seriously thinking a chore chart might be best for this. Of course, anything relating to the animals is my responsibility and something I need to work on. As of now, my life is being run by alarms and notifications so I don’t see what it can hurt to set a few more to do the litter boxes and dog papers. Andrew already does the laundry because I’m a little bitch and can’t enter the basement by myself. I’ll give Patrick something to do because even, though, he’s never home, he can at least keep his room clean and maybe the bathroom. I need to get the house in order because everything is chaos, and when I have to move soda bottles or coffee cups off of my desk to work in the morning, it makes for a miserable Randi.

    As a matter of fact, I’m not doing anything now (I was playing Minecraft but it keeps crashing because of a driver issue I can’t figure out) so I should probably get on some of it now and tomorrow. It’s difficult with 2 extra people (the kids) parked in my way but I’ll just sweep them into the piles with the broom too. :P

  7. Feb
    19
    2015

    So Productive

    8:56 PM   ♥   2 Comments

    My week started out rough in the sense that I was a basket case. I was extremely anxious and nervous about what was ahead of me, filled with self doubt, and shy. That’s just how I am. I’m terrified of the unknown and this was no different. By yesterday, though, things started to feel much better. I wasn’t as worried, I was gaining confidence in what I was doing, and never hesitated to participate in the meetings.

    Today was even better, actually. I got up and cleaned the house (okay, I was slightly forced on that one), started my tasks at noon, finished just as I was being called to the meeting, we had our break and then dove into our teamwork tasks. I felt good about today. I mean it wasn’t perfect, I still started to get that feeling of “Oh god, what am I doing?” but it quickly faded when I calmed myself down and focused bit by bit. There is no rush and I have to remember that. They are looking for quality not quantity. I would rather complete what I can perfectly than make a mistake trying to finish. One mistake can be costly to the client. Nobody wants that.

    Today was great and I’m hoping things are even better tomorrow. Overall, I feel good and I’m happy. :)

  8. Feb
    10
    2015

    This is it

    4:13 PM   ♥   5 Comments

    Remember my vague blog post from last week? Well, I no longer need to be vague! I applied to Zirtual, a virtual assisting company, in the beginning of January. I thought they had forgotten me or that I didn’t complete their tasks well. When I got the email that I was moving on to the next hiring step, I tried to not get excited but I was. Oh so excited! I was afraid to jinx it, though, which is the reason for the vague blog.

    I had my interview at 2:40PM this afternoon and it last 20 minutes. I called my mom immediately to tell her that I thought the interview went well but I was so nervous that I wasn’t going to get it anyway. Zirtual is very picky and is known for it’s rigorous hiring process. 28 minutes after my interview ended, I got the email confirming that I got the job. I was still on the phone with my mother and just kept saying, “Oh my god!”

    I needed this, not only because I needed an income but because this is what I want to do. I’ve not stopped thinking about this job since I applied. I’m happy. Not just because I got the job but really happy. I feel like things are on the right track now. I am going to have a job I love, extra money all around, benefits!, and I feel like this is the beginning of the life I’ve always wanted. We can start saving to buy a house, get married, children. Getting a job was what I needed to do to accomplish any of this but getting this job makes me feel like things are finally on the right track. This is it. :)

  9. Feb
    06
    2015

    Vague-Blogging

    3:42 PM   ♥   1 Comment

    I hate when I want to shout from the rooftops how excited I am about something but don’t for fear of shit going wrong. It happens far too often but I want this so bad that I don’t want to jinx it. I’d appreciate good vibes if you can send them. Hopefully, things will be good next week. :) If not, you probably won’t hear anything about this again.

  10. Jan
    29
    2015

    Key Questions To Ask When Looking For A Dog Kennel

    7:27 PM   ♥   Comment

    For dog owners, looking for a kennel is like searching for a daycare for a child. You are looking for the perfect place and you’ll know it when you see it. As a pet owner, you always want to ensure the safety and care of your pet.

    However, looking for a dog kennel can be complicated. Often times you are not sure what to look for or what a kennel should provide. To help you in your hunt, we’ve put together a list of common questions that you should ask the kennel and yourself during your search.

    Tour the Kennel

    Let’s start with the most important part of searching for a dog kennel. You absolutely should tour the facility first. Your first red flag should go up if the kennel does not allow tours. It doesn’t matter what their reasoning is. If a kennel does not allow you to tour its facilities, don’t choose them.

    Touring the kennel is incredibly important because you not only get to interview your tour guide, but you also get to see the kennel first hand. Seeing the kennel firsthand will give you a lot of insight into how their facilities are ran and maintained.

    The tour is the best opportunity to ask any follow-up questions on the spot. You should go in with your own list of questions such as the ones below, as well as any that you come up with as your tour the facility. You may find specific items throughout your tour that you can ask about.

    Is the kennel staffed at all times?

    One of the first questions to ask, is about the kennel’s staffing plan. Simply ask them what hours the kennel is staffed. Not all kennels are staffed 24 hours per day. However, it is an added bonus if they are.

    Even with 24 hour staffed hours, you want to find out how those staffers are going about their jobs. Does the night shift just monitor screens or are they actually making rounds and checking on the dogs? These staffing questions will ensure that you understand how the kennel operates.

    Do you have a veterinarian on call?

    Accidents and emergencies happen. It is important that the kennel you find has quick access to a veterinarian. Good kennels will provide on-call veterinary services. That means that they have a nearby veterinarian that can be reached out to at a moments notice in the event of an emergency.

    Does the kennel require immunizations?

    Kennels should require that all of their animals have the recommended immunizations. The primary vaccines that kennels should require are rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus. Many kennels also require a Bordetella vaccine for all of its incoming dogs.

    Having this requirement is important for your dog’s health. Even if you are a responsible dog owner that is up to date on your dog’s vaccines, it does not mean that the other canine owners are.

    What type of exercise and play programs are offered?

    This is where kennels will probably vary the most. Some kennels offer the most simplistic of boardings. Either a crate or room is provided for your dog with periodic walks and trips for the bathroom.

    Other kennels will provide extensive play programs such as organized playtime, doggy TV, and even swimming pools.

    Are dogs separated by size?

    Depending on your dog and your concern of its size, you should find out if different sized dogs are kept separate. This doesn’t have to do with breed restrictions or anything like that. The fact of the matter is that larger dogs can accidentally hurt a smaller dog accidentally while playing. There isn’t any aggression or harmful intent involved but rather the sheer size of the dog.

    What is the staff to dog ratio?

    Another important staffing ratio is regarding the staff to dog ratio. An overwhelmed staff is not a good staff. The ratio will depend on who you ask but it should be no less than one staff member per ten dogs.

    How was the staff’s attitude?

    During and after your tour of the kennel, you’ll want to ask yourself about the staff’s attitude. Their overall energy and enthusiasm is a good gauge of how well they work with the dogs in the kennel.

    Enthusiastic, caring employees are easy to spot. They treat dogs like their own, showing them love and giving them plenty of positive attention. They also do not get flustered or irritated quickly by a misbehaving dog. They provide stern but positive reinforcement.

    How was the overall cleanliness of the facility?

    Finally, during your tour, keep an eye out for the overall cleanliness of the facility. Is the doggy waste piling up or do staff members promptly clean up after the dogs? What kind of condition are the individual cages, crates, and rooms in? A good kennel will provide a clean, sanitary condition for the dogs to live in.

     

    About the Author:

    Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AndrewFujii2/posts

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewfujii/

I’m Randi, short for RandiLynn. I am a 23 year old blogger, web developer, furmama, and gamer from Northeast PA. I live with my boyfriend of 7 years and 7 animals. I live, eat, and sleep HTML & CSS. I spend my time creating pretty web stuff, blogging, gaming or binge-watching TV shows.


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