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Content and Copy

Odesk – A Freelancer’s Dream or Nightmare?

OdeskOdesk has been an incredible success story and has enable people all over the world to earn a living by providing services that have traditionally been too expensive for smaller companies to afford. In addition to the armies of programmers and web designers who charge fees that are well below market in the US and UK, there are literally thousands of contractors on Odesk willing to write a 500 word article for $2 or less. Usually these contractors reside in countries where English is not the primary language of communication so it has become a selling point to describe oneself as a “native English speaker.”

With so much downward pressure being applied by freelancers who can afford to charge so little and produce so much it is no wonder that many people have given up on the venue altogether and suggest marketplaces such as Elance (now in the process of merging with Odesk) or Indeed as viable alternatives. Still, it really is my belief that one can succeed on Odesk and begine to make a living wage there but, like everything else, it is going to take patience and time.

Think about it: you’re a businessperson who’s looking for someone to update your corporate blog. If you’re like most managers you aren’t going to pay top dollar to someone with no proven track record. Odesk gives writers and freelancers the chance to build a portfolio and get paid for it When you consider the fact that there are thousands of interns out there willing to perform jobs for free just to get experience Odesk starts to look a lot better in comparison.

And, there’s also this to consider: once you have amassed a large number of completed projects and have earned feedback that shows the quality of your work you will begin to contacted by more and more companies looking for writers and content producers. It’s right around this time that you can begin to incrementally raise your rate and start to be paid something which is closer to a living wage.

So, in the final analysis, what is our opinion of Odesk? Obviously it’s not perfect and, non, I wouldn’t recommend it as a means of supporting a family of four in the US but it has its use and it should not be ignored. Use  Odesk to build your street cred, familiarize yourself with the industry and to start relationships with clients you maight not otherwise meet and, when you’re ready, branch out to other, better venues.


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