You hear of so many “make money working on-line” and “I make thousands a month working part-time at home with my kids!” and other intriguing statements made from at-home “millionaires.” But what is out there that REALLY works? As a freelance writer and desktop publisher, I can tell you from experience–go with ODesk!
First, sign up for a free account with ODesk. Log in to ODesk.com and follow the steps to create an account.
Once you have your account established, spend a lot of time on your new profile/resume page. This is the page that prospective “bosses” will be viewing and basing their decision on. You’ll want it to be impressive, but quick to read and not too lengthy.
I cannot stress the importance of spell check and grammar on this page, ESPECIALLY if you are advertising yourself as a freelance writer or editor. Because if you’re worth the money, you’d know to check your own work for mistakes. One error on a resume like that and business professionals will be clicking around elsewhere.
Take the ODesk online tests. This is a great way to show prospective business partners what your knowledge is best in, and how well you know your way around a software program. Take your time and do the best you can–your scores will show up on your profile page for the world to see, so study, study, study!
Once you’ve created an eyecatching and professional profile page, upload a picture. Yes, some business owners would rather SEE the person they are outsourcing their work to. Don’t use any crazy avatars or animated images that are too distracting–stick with a great picture of you with a happy face. 🙂
Set your rate. On ODesk, you can set your hourly wage. Keep in mind that ODesk takes a percentage of it, so be sure to figure that in. It’s always best to start low–remember, you are competing with a lot of people from India that will work for next to nothing, but you will want to emphasize that you are from the US and show that you are worth what they pay. Start cheap to get started–trust me. If you start your pay too high and you don’t have any past experience, it will be a while before you get your first job.
Apply for jobs. Search through their job listings for your area of interest. Read the descriptions, see the specifications they require, and if you’re interested, apply. It will bring you to a page where you send a cover letter with your resume / profile page. This is very important–it is the letter they will first see and decide whether they want to look at your profile page or not. Make it intriguing, but don’t sound desperate. Also, be sure to be polite and grammatically correct.
Apply for numerous jobs. Some you may get interviews for, some you may never hear from and they expire after 30 days, and some you may be turned down for. DO NOT get discouraged. There are so many job postings, you’re bound to find a match somewhere!
Yay, you get your first job! Do your best! Be sure to log into ODesk’s software (it takes screen shots of your work during hourly wage jobs and guarantees you will be paid for what you do!) and work your heart out. Just like eBay, ODesk has a feedback system. Feedback is important on this site–get it and get it good! I have over 10 positive marks on my account, and I get numerous requests for work because of my “impressive” feedback and history on ODesk. So it will help you in the longrun.
Withdraw your profits and smile on the way to the bank–you just had your first online freelancing job. How does it feel?
Tips and Tricks
* Before getting any of your payments, you will need to fill out and send a 1099 form. Yes, they track taxes on your payments, so be sure to claim them on your tax form!
* Be available 24/7. I can’t tell you how many times I have applied for a job and three minutes later get an IM from the poster wanting to ask some questions and have me start right away. This is crucial, especially when you are trying to get your first position.
* I have been very profitable doing this. My husband works full-time and I make ends meet at home while watching the kids, and this has been a great source of disposable income for our family. Take your time, do it right, and reap the benefits!
* Start low. There are too many people in the forums on their site complaining about not getting a job, but they have incomplete profile pages, horrid resumes, and was $30 an hour for what they do. Start low, get the experience, and then raise your price–you’ll know what you’re worth when you start getting job invitations.