Freelancing Online

June 27, 2009

oDesk Review

oDesk is a freelance bidding site. If you have never worked with a bidding site before it can be very interesting and confusing at first but it gets easier with time. The way a bidding site works is much like a regular interview process for a normal day job. You search for a job you would like to do then apply for it by giving the client a price quote, estimated time and a cover letter explaining why you are the one for the job.

I know what your thinking – “This sounds complicated and there’s no guarantee I’ll get the job.” In some senses you are right, there is no guarantee you will be chosen, but there is a good chance you will be is you have your profile in order and you write a decent cover letter. The great news is bidding sites do not just work with writers they also work with web programmers, sales consultants, customer service representatives, accountants and so much more. If you have more than one specialty or if you just don’t want to be tied down to doing the same work every single day then you can bid in various fields.

I personally love oDesk because the community is nice, the people are helpful and the clients are great. I have landed at least 10 jobs in the two months I have been with oDesk and most of the assignments are long term. I have good working relationships with all of my clients and I get to set my rates. I have had a few prospective clients refuse me because of my rates, but I have others that have hired me because my rates were slightly above the norm. It also helps that I always direct potential clients to my website in my cover letter. My website is designed to be more of a portfolio than anything else and with the wide variety of topics organized by category tabs clients are able to easily get an idea of my writing style and my versatility.

Another aspect of oDesk that I absolutely love is their free skills tests – yeah you heard me right – FREE. I have taken quite a few of the tests and it helps clients to know where you are proficient. oDesk will even allow you to retake the tests after 30 days if you want to try for a better score. Some clients will only select applicants who have passed certain skills tests. For instance if you are proficient in English take the English skills test. This allows clients to know that you actually do know and understand English and you are not just going to write an article in your native tongue then pass it through a translator. I have taken the English, SEO, article writing and blog writing tests whereas these are my main fields. I plan to take more, just because I like taking tests – I know, I’m weird. The great thing is, if I do not pass or I get a score that I don’t want to advertise to the world I can choose to hide the results from public view.

oDesk is very different from other Freelance Bidding sites whereas it does not charge you any membership or upfront fees. They do however take a 10% cut from the money you do make. It is up to you whether you choose to take that cut or charge it to your clients. I personally take the hit because I think the clients appreciate it and if I only get $90 from a $100 job I don’t see it as a huge deal. Many freelancers have the client pay the 10% though by setting their bid at $100 then having oDesk tack on the extra on top.

There are two different types of jobs you can complete through oDesk: Hourly and Fixed-price. oDesk does not garantee payment on Fixed-price jobs whereas they are not tracked in any way. Hourly jobs are garanteed though because oDesk has a special program that you download onto your computer that tracks the amount of work you complete. You are able to easily take out times when you walked away from the computer or add “offline time”. On hourly jobs a client does not have to pay for the “offline time” though all the ones I have worked with have paid it with no questions asked.

I strongly suggest oDesk to anyone who is trying to find clients and decent paying freelance assignments. Click here to view my oDesk Profile.

The On Demand Global Workforce - oDesk

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