Monday, September 6, 2010

Why A Lot of People Don't Succeed in oDesk

I was reading the comments on oDesk's FaceBook page, and I got really disheartened by some of them. I am sad to hear that there are a lot of providers/contractors out there having a hard time landing jobs, and because of that a lot of them resort to calling oDesk a scam. Believe me, oDesk has been my main income source, and a good one at that. My whole month's salary from working in a call center doesn't even come close to the amount I earn in a week's full of work.

One of the things I noticed is the fact that they complained about something similar - how hard it was to start. Well, nothing's easy at the beginning and I clearly recall how I almost gave up on oDesk myself last year, because all of the jobs I applied for got declined. I knew I couldn't beat other people who had great feedback and built their reputation already, so the only edge I had while I applied for article writing jobs was to make great examples of my work to submit to clients during my application. True enough, one buyer liked my sample and hired me. I gave my best on that first job and eagerly awaited my first feedback, which was 5 out of 5 stars. From then on, she kept re-hiring me for other projects of hers and I built my feedback from there and applied to other jobs too. Now, with over 1,000 oDesk hours and over 40 assignments, I am turning offers down because they do not fit my current work schedule. Plus, I have also retained clients whom I've been working with close to a year now.

Another thing I read which was one of their complaints was the pay. I know there are a lot of providers who charge even less than a dollar per hour, and it is but natural for any client to want to save as much as they can when paying wages. When I started out, I accepted articles of 500 words in length for $1. I saw this as a way for me to prove my writing skills and to build feedback which will help me in the long run, and it did. Now, I get paid $1/100 words, and that's not so bad. Think of oDesk like any other job in the office - you have to start somewhere, and you're not automatically the next CEO upon joining. As you prove your worth to your clients, you can ask for a raise or even bonuses along the way. One of my clients gave me a whopping $500 as a birthday bonus, and even gave me the day off, too!

A blank profile will not get you anywhere. One of the things clients do when going over their list of applicants is to check out your profile. If all that's in there is your name, your hourly rate, and maybe a picture of you, then that's not going to get you anywhere. Take as many oDesk tests you can (don't forget the oDesk Readiness Test so you can apply to 20 jobs a week), and attach relevant samples of your work to your profile. Fill it up with as many pertinent information as you can and when applying, include samples of your work even if the client doesn't ask for it. 

One thing I can say is that oDesk is definitely not a place for the lazy. If you really want to succeed, then you have to make sure you apply for jobs which are relevant to your skill, have patience and perseverance, and see the declined applications as a challenge. It isn't easy but it does get a whole lot better with time and hard work. Trust me, I know. I make 5 figures in a week.


Anonymous said...

wow! ang galing mo naman....idol na kita ngayon..dapat talaga may tiyaga.

Chai Chen said...

Love you Les! I'm inspired to try it! :)


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