How It All BeganEverybody told me that working online was a big scam, but I wasn't the kind of person who would instantly believe everything said until I examined things myself. So I did my research and found the most popular platforms for freelancing : Elance, oDesk, freelance, PeoplePerHour and many others, but those in specific I had some experience with.I was determined to make money online.
First Experience (Tips and Tricks)
First, I tried oDesk, I prepared my profile which took some while. I also included a portfolio from previous work. I tried bidding on over a 100 project but nothing worked. Other people who had good profiles where bidding extremely low, and I do mean extremely low ($2/hour). That was a $2/hour, which oDesk took partial amount of this amount of money too!!
In addition to that each posted project had more than 50 bids, sometimes it even exceeded 100 people bidding on the same project. This made me stop using oDesk, competition was too high and bids were so low, it was not worth my time.
Decided to Change the Freelancing Site
So I decided to continue my search and started using Elance. I found that Elance had a much higher hourly rate and people posting their projects there, were willing to pay higher than what is paid on oDesk. After submitting many unsuccessful bids, I decided I had to work harder to get my first job online. So I reconstructed my profile so it would look much more appealing to clients. After that I bid super low on one of the projects and I was lucky, the client was willing to take the risk with someone with no previous rating. So I did my first project, and I got paid a $20 for something that took about 6 hours to finish …
I continued doing jobs; some were pretty easy and made pretty good amounts of money, especially that I know how to use excel pretty well. So I made a total of $800 per 1 month which was pretty good as a start. However, this was not very easy, I had to spend hours just to watch the jobs posted and apply for these jobs. Also, I had to pay money to promote my membership, since a free membership doesn't give you enough connects (credit to apply to jobs).
So my experience was a mix of good things and bad things happening together. It was a good experience in terms of I learned a lot from this experience about many things. Another thing is that you would really know how to outsource your project, when and where. That in my opinion is very important, and I would really like to apply this effectively in my future business.
However Elance is becoming like oDesk, too low hourly rate and too much competition. I think when such sites become so popular they are ruined. To talk from a client perspective it is a good thing to have many options and they have to pay less. But for people looking to work online this situation is the worse because this is what happens:
Contractors have to lower their hourly rate to fit in the completion or otherwise they won’t get any jobs. In the mean while, they are expected to do quality work while they are paid less than what they previously were charging.
As you spend more years in a certain job your wage normally increases, but when working online your wages go down significantly which annoying and makes people want to search for other ways to invest their time and money.
- I always applied to jobs posted by clients from Canada and USA majorly and Europe sometimes. Those countries probably include people willing to pay a decent amount of money on their project.
- I never bid on projects posted from the third world and those are the reasons why:
a) Usually salaries in the third world is low, so if clients are planning to outsource this means that they want to pay less than what they pay for the local market, which makes the amount of money they are willing to pay too low.
b) Some contractor’s take jobs from certain clients and then re-post them, and pay much less than what they are earning. Thus they make profit themselves without doing anything in reality.
c) In some countries they don’t have access to the internet all the time, so clients take ages to reply which get’s annoying.
- I take good care for every application I submit, I do some research before applying to any job. This would show the client that you do care about their job and that you are knowledgeable about their project. This is one of the most important things in applying.
- Create a very eye catchy profile and add a portfolio to your profile; this would make it much more attractive to clients.
- Try using http://www.peopleperhour.com , they pay significantly higher than Elance (probably because they are new). But the problem is that they don’t have a big amount of daily jobs posted so that’s the disadvantage.
If you need any advice about Elance I am ready to help, please contact me on my blog and I can surely help you.