In the land of the Internet, there exists more websites that are willing to take your money and give you nothing in return than there are legitimate companies. And the people that have created these websites are smart. So smart in fact, that they will come out at the top of the search engines for the keywords you are looking for. This is why when you search for “How can I work from home?” you will find a treasure trove of websites right at the top that are completely misleading and full of scammy people.
That being said, there are legitimate ways you can work from home using skills that you already have. Freelance based websites are all over the Web, and they post a wide variety of jobs every single day. And no, it shouldn’t cost you a dime to start working.
However, a word of warning about using freelance websites for work. It will be a long, long, long time before you start making enough money to quit your day job, if ever. If you are a mom who just wants to make a few extra dollars per week, this is a good opportunity for you. If your family relies on your secondary income, it might be difficult to generate the kind of money you need.
In that light,this week we’ll focus on:
There is no fee to sign up for Odesk. If you find a job, they will take a portion of your income (it’s very small).
I’ve worked on Odesk for over 3 years, sometimes for as many as 20 hours per week. When I signed up, Odesk wasn’t as popular as it is now, and I found work writing press releases quite quickly.
There are quite a few categories for freelancers on Odesk, from computer programming to data entry. I focused on content writing, as in blog posts, press releases, and articles. To get your first job on Odesk, you must:
- Create a good profile – Highlight your experience and portfolio if you have one. Make yourself stand out.
- Bid Low – Although you want to make over $20 per hour, you have to start with small jobs first. It’s more difficult than ever to find a small job given that some people will literally bid $2 for 1000 words. Don’t bid that low, you are worth more. Bid only what you would be willing to actually make per hour. Your time is worth more than $2.
- Aim to please – If you can continue to get 5 star feedback, you will continue to get job offers.
I’ve found some of my best clients via Odesk, and still work for them in some capacity or another.
The Good: It’s free to sign up, and free to bid on jobs.
The Bad: You will have to give people a reason to hire you instead of Joe Blow who is literally working for $3 per hour.
The Ugly: You will find more jobs posted that ask you to work for pennies per word or hour than you will find legitimate companies.
My advice? Don’t quit your dayjob to work on a freelance site.
If you have time, focus on picking up a small job here and there. Build up a portfolio. Eventually, with enough legitimate clients of your own, you can start picking up jobs everywhere.