Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Resources for Freelancers

As many of you may know I am big proponent of trying to increase your income. Even small increases can really help out in the long run. For instance my unexpected dental work will probably be paid for entirely through funds from my side job. This means I won't have to tap into my emergency savings or cease regular savings habits.

The best way I have found to bring in a little extra cash is by marketing my skills and talents. This usually means freelancing. Freelancing has been particularly great for me because it means 1) I work when I want to. If I have a committee meeting or a big experiment running, I simply don't take on freelance work. 2) I can do it from home in my spare time. My biggest skill was writing, and that is what I chose to market but the same paradigm can be applied to many skills.

This post will feature some freelancer resources I have been using lately.

Craigslist.org You've all heard of this site before. It is the old stalwart of the online services and calssifieds industry. Have I gotten any work from Craigslist? I responded to several job postings. One panned out and I made a decent chunk of monye for writing test prep questions for an up and coming test preparation company. I have not aggressively posted my resume or offered services. I hear some people get some leads that way. My craigslist advice is: be persistent and consistent, check the listings everyday and send in a resume to everything that looks good. Be wary of anyone that offers pay that seems way too small or way too large. Be wary of anyone who posts with bad spelling and grammar or lewd phrasing. It is not a bad idea to request at least partial payment up front. Do not meet anyone in non public locations.

Freelance Writing Gigs This site cruises the web and posts all jobs available for freelancer writers every day. It is a pretty comprehensive list. I have yet to find a good match for myself but I highly recommend this free resource.

Wahm.com This is a website for Work at Home Moms. There are job postings as well as forums for women working in various fields, including writing, sales and graphic design. It is nice to have a supportive community to dicsus professional issues with and share advice. People are also free to share good resources, leads and extra work. I landed a small job from this site that paid exactly what was specified without any complaints or hassle. I was satisfied.

Elance and Odesk: Both of these sites allow those seeking work to post jobs. Freelancers then bid on these jobs by posting their resume, salary requirements and how fast they can accomplish the task. A lot of the jobs are locked and only paying subscribers can bid on them. I was not willing to pay that fee. I found there to be a lot of overseas bidders driving down prices and a lot of people who wanted to pay peanuts for good work. I tried one job just to see how it went and never got paid. Not shocking. When someone posts a ridicously low salary it is good odds they won't even pay it. The pay version may be better. Please share if you have experience with it.

Fiverr.com:  This Website allows you to post services for a flat fee of five dollars. The site collects the money and pays you via paypal, after taking one dollar as their cut. Most writing tasks are not worth doing for 4$, but it is an interesting way to build contacts. I have made about 40$ so far on that site and had a lot of fun with it. This is also a great site for those who have services that are very easy and fast such as sending a link to a spreadsheet you created.

Any resources you like to use?


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