Saturday, 8 September 2012

Why I love ODesk for online writing jobs

For any aspiring freelancer, part of the difficulty in starting your online business is to find someone who will let you work for them before you have a solid portfolio of work and a string of word of mouth referrals. It is so much easier to get started these days, however, because there are a wealth of sites designed to match businesses looking for freelancers to freelancers looking for work.

ODesk is one of the best freelance sites on the market for a number of reasons and I say that as someone who has used it as a business looking for freelance help and as a freelancer looking to establish my online writing business.  Even though my online writing business is now fully established and much of my work comes in privately, I still use ODesk as a freelance writer when I see something that I want to do.

So what makes ODesk so great?  Well, for business you can obtain some fantastically skilled work for a very reasonable price. In fact, competition is so high that you can get good quality work for very little outlay.  This review is predominantly for freelance workers so if you're a business looking for graphic design, web design, wordpress development, SEO or even copywriting, Do More with Less on oDesk.

Good Points for freelancing with ODesk
Quantity and quality of work is good
 As a freelancer, whether you specialise in writing content for the web or develop PHP sites, ODesk is usually teaming with available jobs.  For some reason you also tend to get employers that are happy to pay a little more for a higher quality of work than other well known freelance portals.  This means wider choice and if you are serious about your business, plenty of opportunity to show what you can do.

Long term relationships can grow from small jobs
Some of my best clients are ODesk clients. Thanks to some relationship building in the early days and being willing to compete with the Far East on price without compromising on quality as a sweetener, I have developed some long term working partnerships through ODesk which continue to be lucrative today.

Reasonable Fees
So many freelancers complain about the fees charged by freelance sites. I find this utterly ridiculous and always say, if you don;t like the fees then find your own work.  They don't, becasue the 10% of your fee that ODesk charge (and the fees that all sites charge - whether they take it from you or your client),  is the price for the enormous market place that ODesk offer you.  Most freelancers, when they think about it, would rather have 90% of £100 than 100% of £0. Me too. And you too. So even though yes, you have to pay ODesk for their services (they need to pay their staff, feed their kids and all the usual things we all need from our work), the fact is that without them, there is no work for the majority of people that do find work through ODesk.  Their fees are also reasonable as far as the freelance market goes. You only pay when you actually do work, and yet you have access to the whole market. Many of these sites want an upfront monthly subscription for access to the online jobs then a cut of each on top.

The market is growing
ODesk have invested considerably in marketing to raise awareness of their fantastic services. They come highly recommended accross business forums and this greater awareness means more businesses on there looking for great value work.  Your market is growing and as Google continue their war to eradicate spam and junk information from the internet, the amount of jobs for quality article writers, bloggers and all other kinds of online writers is growing. There is a lot of money to be made writing online content these days and the demand is not slowing down.

Bad Points
Well, this is an unbiased review so there has to be some bad points, right?

Of course there are bad points with the online freelance industry but actually none of these points are specific to, or the fault of, ODesk.

As I mentioned above to businesses looking for low cost freelance work, these sites are amazing. The competition is huge because we are all now operating in a global market.  That means that prices over the last few years have been shaved to minimum, so onlne writers like me were struggling to make ends meet by just using freelance sites alone.

But you want to know something?  This site is predominantly aimed at English speaking (as a first language) readers, so I'll tell you what I know about this situation. It is changeing.  All acrross the business forums, people are warning against buying cheap work from ODesk and other freelance sites. Everyone is saying that you have to pay a good rate for good articles these days. And Google is constantly striving to wipe poor articles of the face of the internet.

So this bad point is turning into a very good point for us online writers because we have something that few people actually have, even in a worldwide market. The ability to write very well in fluent English.  It's a talent and one that is worth more than businesses have been willing to pay. But this is changing fast, so join ODesk now in confidence that you will be well rewarded for your work and you won't have to compete with Indonesian article spinners.


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