Whatever your skillset may be, there's sure to be a job that you can find online. We take a closer look at the top freelance websites for different skill sets (with pros and cons) and tell you how you can build a profile that will get accepted and land you an online gig.

With the digital nomad culture on the rise, more and more people are becoming their own bosses. You don’t need to have a billion-dollar idea and trillion-dollar funding to do that; all you need is the right skillset. A freelancing opportunity will help you find and do the rest.

The freelancing industry is so robust that it is expected that freelancers will comprise about 50 percent of India’s workforce by 2020. If you have a skill, chances are, you are more likely to survive and thrive better on your own than working under someone.

But you don’t just need to possess the right skill set; you also need to have a good profile to back you up. In fact, landing a freelance IT gig has become tougher today than it was a mere three years ago.

Getting a freelancing gig

While freelancing can be done in any profession, the IT sector is one of the most popular yet tough to land a freelance job in. Projects for web design, content writing, SEO, graphic designing, coding, app development, book-keeping, etc., are getting harder to land day by day.

freelance

A lot of websites offer freelance opportunities for professions other than the IT sector, be it carpentry, dance, art, masonry etc., but these are mostly categorized in end-to-end freelance sites. They do not have specialised websites as such.

Irrespective of the kind of job, as I have mentioned earlier, the first and foremost challenge a freelancer faces is to getting accepted by these websites. I will focus on how you can build such a profile at the end of this article, but let us first take a closer look at the top freelance websites in various domains along with their pros and cons. 

The top 5 freelance websites

1. Upwork 

upwork logo

Upwork is one of the top-rated websites in the world when it comes to freelancing and freelance jobs. It has about 50 lakh registered businesses and 1.2 crore registered freelancers for more than 30 domains. The jobs range from writing, designing, marketing, sales, customer support, ethical hacking, accounting, and much more.

Upwork charges about 20 percent of the total fee you would be charging for your services for the first five jobs, after which it charges about 5 percent of the fee. While a few argue that there are hidden charges, there are hardly any valid Indian stories to back this claim.

Upwork is mostly for top-rated professionals and getting a profile approved can be daunting. The key to getting approval is being genuine in your application.

I shall get more into detail about this at the end of the article.

Pros:

  1. A vast number of jobs across various domains
  2. Trusted by millions
  3. Transparent payment methods
  4. High profile value

Cons:

  1. High commission charges
  2. Profile approval is not instantaneous

2. Fiverr

Fiverr Logo

Fiverr was founded in 2010 on the concept of buying and selling of freelance services globally, starting at just $5. The prices would go up depending on the complexity, skill, demand, and the duration of the job. It soon grew in popularity and is now actively used by millions of users to offer and use freelance services in more than 30 different domains.

Fiverr has a “gig” culture where you, as a client, post a gig for a certain requirement. A freelancer with a relevant skillset can bid for this and "get the Gig". It works extremely well for beginners of different and vocational skill sets to start searching for gigs in domains such as writing, dancing, editing, painting, and coding, among various other niches.

Though simple and easy to use, Fiverr has always been controversial due to its low pay rates and professionals globally complaining about the quality of the work being delivered. Be sure to bid well and deliver quality work while you’re at it.

Pros:

  1. Simple to use and get started
  2. Has a wide range of niches and domains
  3. Ideal for beginners too

Cons:

  1. Low rates

3. Freelancer.com

freelancer

Freelancer, as the name suggests, is most straightforward and is used by a lot of IT freelancers, majorly in India, the UK, the US, and Pakistan. It has a presence in about 247 countries and a total user base of 24 million.

One can find a wide range of freelance jobs on this site: coding, web development, graphics, accounting, data entry, writing, sales, and marketing.

From time to time, Freelancer hosts a range of bid competitions apart from the usual gig bidding. There are substantial cash prizes for winning these competitions.

While jobs on this site are genuine and up to the mark, Freelancer has a history of getting into legal trouble over how it handles personal data.

Pros:

  1. A vast number of jobs and easy to find
  2. Easy profile registration
  3. Great for IT sector
  4. Competitions for cash prizes

Cons:

  1. Bid wars
  2. Issues over sharing sensitive information on bidding zones

4. Guru

guru

Guru.com is one of the oldest freelance platforms on this list. It was founded in 1999 as eMoonlighter.com and then rebranded as Guru. This platform allows users get paid not just by the hour or by the tasks but also based on milestones and recurring payments.

While it is still among the top websites, the competition has certainly made headway in recent times. This, actually, is good news if you are a freelancer as it means that you have comparatively lesser competition when compared to giants such as Upwork or Fiverr.

However, there is one major drawback - how the website handles client accounts and user funds. There have been reports of account suspensions, and it's important that you proceed with proper caution.

Pros:

  1. Less competition
  2. Can get paid by four different parameters (recurring, by tasks, by the hour, by the milestone)

Cons:

  1. Account management

5. PeoplePerHour

 PeoplePerHour

 As the name suggests, People per Hour is an online marketplace for hiring talent on a per-hour basis. It also has a unique collaborative feature. Collaborative streaming of projects allows freelancers to pool in human resources and work as a virtual team to finish their goals. This not only helps freelancers do a better job, but also helps them grow their network.

People Per Hour, apart from helping create a peer network, helps you build good client relations that may help you secure future jobs.

Like Fiverr, this site does not deal in localised currency. While Fiverr deals in dollars, People Per Hour deals in pounds and pays out in the same currency. This might be a minor inconvenience for freelancers taking up international projects.

Pros:

  1. Good pricing
  2. Great networking opportunity
  3. Portfolio management
  4. Team collaborations

Cons:

  1. Payment is usually done in pounds (or euros)

6. UrbanPro

  UrbanPro

UrbanPro is an online tutorial portal, which has registered and verified teachers in every domain possible. Here, one can learn anything from basic mathematics to playing the cello.

If you are talented and capable of teaching people of any age group, you could sign up and start teaching them online or offline too. All you need to do is create your profile, bid for the best, have a conversation with your would-be student, and start your classes.

Pros:

  1. Good reputation of having high-quality trainers
  2. Premium plans to give freelancers more visibility and branding

Cons:

  1. Customer care service

7. Broxer.com

 broxer 

Broxer is the perfect way for beginners to start their freelancing careers. One can start offering services such as writing, graphic designing, coding etc., for as low as Rs 250 per hour.

Signing up and getting this experience can also help you build a better profile for high-end freelancer sites.

Pros:

  1. Low commission rate
  2. Free registration for job seekers and employers

Cons:

  1. Less popular than other websites

Best 5 freelance websites for content writing

Content is king, and will always be. One of the biggest problems in India is that there is a huge demand, but a paucity of good writers. In this list, I’ve included a few international websites dedicated to the writers' community.

1. Listverse

Listverse Logo 

I’m going to start this with my favorite one. Listverse is a website with great content. But the website is content-scarce and ready to pay any writer $100 for any new list.

The condition is simple - keep it original. The best part about this is that there is no specific topic and you are also not given any specific guidelines. Choose any topic under the Sun and generate engaging yet fact-rich content, and you are good to go.

There are no upper limitations to the word count, but keep the list to at least a minimum of 10 per article. By personal experience, I would say that each article should easily cross a 1,500-wordmark.

The one and only major roadblock for is the payment. You NEED to have a PayPal account as Listverse does not allow payments on any other network. So ready your listicle, sign up for PayPal, and you are good to go.

Pros:

  1. The freedom to write about anything under the earth
  2. No deadlines
  3. Fixed pay of $100 per article

Cons:

  1. You need to have a PayPal account to get paid

2. ContentWriters.com

 contentwriters logo  

Next on this list of writer-centric freelancer websites is ContentWriters.com. This is an enterprise-level content writing services firm dedicated to providing high-quality content.

The best part of working with ContentWriters is the huge knowledge repository you will be exposed to, allowing you to climb up to the next level of your professional writer journey.

ContentWriters is a serious website and accepts only professionals; the pay reflects that as well. Also, you would be working with some top professionals, which would enhance your knowledge. Apart from signing up as a writer, you can also sign up as an editor too. This has its own perks and large pay cheques.

Pros:

  1. Professional freelancing opportunities
  2. Work with big brands along with the company
  3. Good pay cheques
  4. Can work either as a writer or an editor

Cons:

  1. Ideal only for professional writers and editors and not for beginners

3. Crowd Content

 crowd content  

Crowd Content is an online content writing services firm that, even with its team of in-house writers, heavily relies on outsourced content.

Though a small website, Crowd Content offers two more things.

Writer’s University: An online knowledge repository where you can further sharpen your skills or writing content/copy.

Pricing Table: This can be leveraged and stated as your standard pricing once you have a substantial experience working with their formats and if you want to branch out.

Crowd Content has an application limitation and uses this for filtration. But you can apply and await approval.

Pros:

  1. Good knowledge repository
  2. Great pay
  3. A good way to start

Cons:

  1. Limited opportunities

4. Freelancewriting.com

Established in 1997, Freelancewriting is a dedicated platform for freelance writers to bid and get the best available writing gigs in their area of preference.

All you need to do is sign up and create a profile to get started. The payout at FreelanceWriting is neither too high nor too low, but is competitive with most freelance websites.

But the best part are the writing competitions the website holds. These will bring out the best in you and keep up your writing spirit while winning you more projects and cash prizes.

You can also access the best of writing resources available on their website to amplify your ability to write better.

Pros:

  1. Dedicated platform for writers to post and get jobs
  2. Good pay cheques
  3. Knowledge repository
  4. Writing competitions

Cons:

  1. None to mention specifically

5. Kolabtree.com

Kolabtree is a medical and scientific freelancer platform where you can hire and consult with top-level scientists and science professionals all over the world.

While this is not the place for regular content writers, it is a good platform for someone with a science degree in almost anything. There are projects that require medical writing by professionals and if you are someone with a Bachelor's or a Master's degree, or a PhD in the relevant projects, you are up for a bid.

Bids and projects range from chemistry, biology, and doctorates to over 2,400 different fields of science. It is possible to find PhDs and veteran scientists from every discipline here.

Pros:

  1. Good for academic and scientific writers community
  2. Can collaborate with other scientists
  3. Good pay

Cons:

  1. Only ideal for PhD or highly educated writers; not for regular writers

6. Publoft.com

Publoft is a marketing services startup dedicated to providing startups and businesses with inbound marketing strategies.

The freelance programme at Publoft promises great prices for your content with biweekly payouts. Editors at Publoft will handle your work and help you with any necessary corrections and clarifications.

Your payout is likely to increase as your association with the website grows. The startup is at a nascent stage, and promises a great journey as it grows.

Pros:

  1. Biweekly payouts
  2. Dedicated editors to aid in editing
  3. Pay appraisals with an increase in loyalty

Cons:

  1. Nascent stage startup

Best 5 freelance websites for web developers and graphic designers

Designers, both web or graphic, not just add colour, but seem to breathe life into everything on the internet. Graphic designers and web developers are some of the most in-demand people today.

There exists no company that does not need a designer nor a startup that does not need a web developer. Listed below are the top sources of gigs for developers and designers.

1. Behance.net

freelance services

Starting off our list for creativity is Behance, an online platform owned by Adobe for showcasing and discovering creativity. Famous for the talent it curates and projects, Behance is the perfect way for designers to not just showcase talent but also find great opportunities.

One can also find full-time and lucrative opportunities from around the world. However, given the discovery nature of the platform, the pricing of the projects is entirely client dependent. But, there is no bidding on this platform.

Pros:

  1. High profile value
  2. Great talent discovery and collaborating opportunities
  3. Discover full-time opportunities with great brands

Cons:

  1. Cannot bid for projects; you need to either apply or wait for a search to hit your profile

2. 99Designs

 

types of freelance jobs

Designs is an online creative marketplace that works as an intermediary for designers and clients who post requirements about logo designs, websites, book covers, and pretty much anything related to visual designing and editing.

With over 1.7 lakh designers from over 192 countries, it is highly trusted by the creative design community all over the world. The USP of 99Designs is its highly famous design competitions where competitors bid and compete for projects and clients.

Clients can either browse and pick profiles that they find interesting or just create a contest where contestants can enter and try to win the project. The pricing is non-uniform as this is a competitive platform and you have to be extremely talented and competitive to rank on top.

Pros:

  1. Helps build a good profile
  2. Can get you interesting competitions and projects

Cons:

  1. Non-uniform pay model
  2. Ideal for pros

3. Toptal.com

best freelance websites

A pure IT and tech talent-centric platform, Toptal is a dedicated community website that caters to coders, web developers, app developers, and UX/UI designers of the world.

Apart from coding and tech development projects, it also acts as a platform for non-tech IT jobs such as project management, finance, accounting etc.,

Great for networking and pricing, Toptal contributes immensely towards the development of its registered talent by offering many tutorials and research blogs. However, getting in is tough. As the website suggests, it only accepts only the top three percent of the cream crowd. Screening is done rigorously through a series of filtrations of your application.

Pros:

  1. Great profile value
  2. Good knowledge repositories
  3. Ideal for designers, developers, finance, and product profiles

Cons:

  1. Highly selective filtration policies  

4. Codeable.io

freelance websites designer

Now this one’s an interesting website. Codeable is a web platform that is dedicated to Wordpress developers around the world. This simple platform ensures that clients need not search for individual developers and check their credentials. An algorithm does all the job of searching if you enter your requirements.

As a WordPress developer, all you need to do is create an impeccable profile, bid correctly and deliver satisfactory work. This ensures you end up ranking for every search related to your expertise and skill set.

Codeable pricing follows a no-bid strategy. You can set your own price; this essentially eliminates pricing competition and puts the focus on talent and intuition.

Pros:

  1. Exclusive Wordpress developer community and service platform
  2. No more bid wars. Only one pricing for your services

Cons:

  1. Need to improve your profile
  2. Pricing should be organic so you rank for relevant projects

5. Dribbble

best freelancing websites in india
Dribble, yet another platform owned by Adobe, is a community for creativity. Users can post questions, answer queries, ask for help, and do much more. Think of it as the GitHub for the creative community.
Clients can post their requirements to find the right talent for their requirement on Dribble Jobs. This is a brilliant opportunity that can be leveraged if you are a seasoned designer.

Similar to Behance, Dribble has no bid culture. The pricing is either task-dependent or client dependent.

Pros:

  1. Easy to use interface
  2. Great community of talented designers for collaboration
  3. Great opportunities
  4. Acts as a portfolio too

Cons:

  1. Cannot bid for a job; you need a good profile to get noticed

6. Envato Studio

 freelance gigs

Every WordPress developer and design professional knows this vast repository of creative themes, but did you know that Envato has a separate platform that serves as a marketplace for freelancers?

The Envato studio enables clients from around the world to search and hire not just talented WordPress developers and designers, but also online marketers and app developers.

Best freelancing sites for students to work and earn

When you are in college, you have the energy and time to climb a mountain but not the money. The best and the most rewarding way to make good money is through freelancing. There are a lot of websites that offer internships or part-time jobs, but most are not satisfactory.

You need to have a good certification to back up the bucks you earned. We list the two best available platforms for students to make some money and learn a thing or two in the process.

1. Gradbee.com

Gradbee is the best website for students to register and get hired by companies for freelance jobs.

This not just gives students cash for their services but also helps them increase their corporate network and gives them a glimpse of how corporates actually work.

With good pay and decent work domains, internships range from basic coordinators, sales interns to copywriting, social media executives, full stack, mean stack, and web development. Gradbee helps you build a portfolio that could be leveraged for further career enhancement.

Pros:

  1. Easy signup
  2. Good portfolio development
  3. Diverse domains for internships
  4. Gives you real-time experience
  5. Provides you with proper internship certificates

Cons:

  1. May not have pay equal to professional services

2. Stumagz

best freelance websites
StuMagz is a new digital media platform that aims to connect students from different colleges. The new internship interface allows students from various domains to apply for and get internships, and earn while they learn.
Apart from academic opportunities, StuMagz also has a wide range of vocational and talent-based opportunities for students to connect, collaborate, grow their network, and also their portfolio.
Pros:
  1. Good platform to learn and grow
  2. Good for academic relations and networking
  3. Portfolio development

Cons:

  1. Needs to increase the number of opportunities available on the platform

[Source: This article was published in yourstory.com By Sanjay Shenoy - Uploaded by the Association Member: Eric Beaudoin]

Categorized in Work from Home

Freelancing can be a risky business if you have bad clients. If you want to make sure you get paid, and paid what you’re worth, you need to see the warning signs of a bad client before you agree to work with them.

Some clients are bad on purpose, while others are oblivious to what an inconvenience they really are. Here are a few signs to help you spot both types:

1. They’re vague

Communication is key to a positive client relationship. The more details they can give you about the project, the better you can cater the work to their needs.

That’s the problem if a client is vague. They don’t know what they want, and they don’t give you much direction. Sometimes, you can deliver something perfect that they’ll be happy with. But in most cases, they’ll only figure out what they actually want after they see your finished project.

Clients like this almost always want revisions, wasting your time and the value of the project for you.

2. They micro-manage

This type of client is one that doesn’t seem to trust you to do your own job. They want to be involved in every step of the creative process. Say a client requests an outline, revised outline, draft, and revised draft of a writing project. If they hired you to write a book, that’s reasonable. If they hired you to write a 700-word article? Not so much.

Keep in mind that the more involved a client is in your work, the more time it will take you to complete it.

3. They change the game

Say a client gives you clear instructions to design a simple, 10-page website with HTML. You quote a price and agree on the terms. Then later they start shooting you emails. They want to add 2 more pages. And can you do the schema markup for them?

In the freelance world, this is called scope creep. They keep adding new tasks to the project that seem like no big deal, but they add up. After you’ve finished the project, you realize you should have charged double for the work you did.

4. They don’t like to pay up

This is probably the scariest type of client you can come across. So many novice freelancers fall into the trap of agreeing to payment after submission. Then the client never follows through. Or they pay a portion, 3 months late.

Coming across a client who’s reluctant to pay a percentage in advance is a red flag. It means either they don’t trust you can deliver the right work, or they never had plans to pay in the first place.

5. They’re forgetful

Your client could be a nice person and pay you well. But if they’re forgetful, they’re still a bad client.

A forgetful client may ask you to include a new element to a project, then later ask why you did that. Then you’re stuck sifting through old emails to prove to them that they asked you to.

A forgetful client can also think they paid your invoice when really they didn’t. And again you have to do the dance to prove them wrong.

All this wastes your time, and doesn’t earn you any extra money.

What to do about bad clients

Here’s what you should do if you find yourself working with a bad client:

1. Set boundaries

If a client wants to micro-manage your projects, try to set boundaries. Tell them straight out you’re not available for a 3-hour phone call to brainstorm their logo design, but you’re happy to make revisions if the finished product doesn’t suit their needs.

2. Charge extra

Tow a hard line, and don’t agree to a single piece of extra work unless they’ll pay you for it. If you do something for free one time, then the expectation will be that you’ll always do it.

3. Insist on advance payment

There’s no way to know if a client plans to cheat you out of your money. To avoid inadvertently working for free, always insist on advanced payment. Or you can use a tool like Escrow to hold funds for you until the project is complete.

4. Tell them they’re a bad client

Many clients might not realize they’re being a pain. Sometimes, all you need to do is tell them that they’re being too vague on project guidelines, or they’re too controlling. Some clients will get angry, but others will take it in stride and improve their behavior.

5. Don’t ignore your gut

In many, many cases, no matter what you do, a bad client is a bad client. It’s better for you to be picky and refuse to work together than deal with someone who’s difficult. So don’t ignore your gut.

As a freelancer, time truly is money. No matter the circumstances, you can’t justify working with clients who waste it.

Author : Abdullahi Muhammed 

Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/abdullahimuhammed/2017/02/28/how-to-spot-a-bad-freelance-client-and-what-to-do-about-them/#6b58f08a788d

Categorized in Work from Home

Any job offers extended from www.rds-usa.com should not be accepted. BBB learned that the domain for the website is registered in Hong Kong and isn’t the site it’s pretending to be. The fake website has details designed to make it look like it represents a local company – Rapid Delivery Service, a BBB Accredited Business – but it’s actually based in China and doesn’t have anything to do with the business located in Cincinnati.

Any job offers generated from this site should be treated cautiously as they may be linked to a package reshipping scam. Reshipping scams are where job seekers are hired to unknowingly smuggle stolen goods out of the country or distribute counterfeit money orders to scammers. By simply removing one address label and replacing it with another, the unsuspecting worker participates in mail fraud.

Spoofing occurs when scammers use information about a business found on an Internet search, LinkedIn profile, or social media site to create a website. They’ll generate job postings on common employment recruitment sites like Job Monster or Careerbuilder and link it back to the fake site. Applicants who respond to the post are usually asked to complete online forms with their personal information or in some cases, provide financial information.

Rapid Delivery Service is aware of the spoof and confirmed they’ve received calls about the job from job seekers even though they don’t have a website and didn’t send out a job posting.

Through Scam Tracker data, BBB discovered that the fake position advertised a salary of $2,700 for the first month of work, increasing to $600 per week plus $15 for each package delivered. The job reportedly involved collecting packages, taking their photos and uploading those photos onto a website; once that was complete and the postage for the package was received, the worker was then to send the package to a separate address.

It is important for job searchers to be wary of email offers that promise large profits with minimal effort or companies that extend an offer of employment without an interview. Additional red flags may include recruiters who will only interview via chat or email instead of conducting the interview in person or online. Activity like this should be reported immediately. Businesses should be aware their information may be lifted from Internet searches and social media sites – including professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.

It’s a good idea to periodically search for your business on the Internet to see if there are any fake job postings unrelated to your company. Report any fraudulent listings to the websites where you found them and to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Scam activity can be reported to BBB’s Scam Tracker either by phone at 513-421-3015 or online at www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us/.

Sandra Guile is the Community Outreach Specialist for BBB. She promotes BBB’s message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, media relations, press releases, web content, and other written materials.
Contact Sandra at (513) 639-9126 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your BBB is located at 1 East 4th Street Suite 600 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 – to reach the office, call (513) 421-3015.

Source : http://www.nkytribune.com/2017/02/bbb-trends-beware-of-job-offers-online-some-sites-just-arent-what-they-are-pretending-to-be/

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Whether you have a great job you love that just doesn’t pay a lot, you need to find a new job or you need some extra money to tide you over during a tough time, freelance jobs can be a great way to make up the difference. Believe it or not, there are a lot of ways to make extra cash and very few of them require any special skills or training. Depending on your interests and what you have available to you, you can try a few different things or concentrate on one. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up with a new career.

1. Social Media Guru

Believe it or not, your time on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites can actually pay off. Offer your services to businesses as a social media expert — assuming you are one and understand the types of social media out there – you can write blog posts, Facebook posts, Tweets and other messages for companies that don’t have time to keep up with their social media platforms. Check out just what you need to be a social media guru here. A social media guru can charge per post or per month, often as much as $150 per brand per month.

2. Yard Work

Post a sign on the board at the grocery store, post in groups on Facebook and let everyone know that you can weed, mow, weed whack or whatever. Those who do yard work for a job often charge by the job, so call around and find out what others in your area are charging and adjust your prices accordingly.

3. Trash to Treasure

Do you have a flair for turning something old into something new? Start refurbishing old furniture and other items. Add knobs to old dressers, paint them bright colors and resell them for a profit. You’d be amazed at how much you can make at a local flea market doing something like this. An old dresser you buy for $20 at a yard sale can turn into a $200 item.

4. Teach

Can you play the piano? Knit? Take brilliant pictures? Offer classes. Talk with someone at your local library or community center and set up class times. Piano or other music lessons are frequently about $20 per half hour. If you’re not sure what to charge, look up similar classes in a nearby town.

5. Babysit

Parents always need extra help in this department. If you have some time available in your day or night, you could offer babysitting services for local families. Make sure you are familiar with first aid and CPR first and then hang out your shingle. If you want to do something more permanent or long-term, check with your state about laws for child care. Babysitters make different amounts in different areas but can charge between $5 and $10 an hour depending on where you live and how many kids you are watching at once.

6. Petsitting/Walking

Dogwalking is a great service to offer those who are away for a long time during the day. It’s also a great way to stay in shape. You can also add petsitting services and if you’re not squeamish, dog poop scooping services. Dog walkers frequently get about $20 per hour, depending on location. Petsitters often charge per visit – usually about $20 per day depending on what your duties will be.

7. Head to the fair

Summertime is fair and festival time. Do you have a craft you make that you would be willing to make a lot of? Do you bake or make fudge? Try your hand at making fudge and bring it to the fairs and festivals in your area. You could make hundreds of dollars — maybe more — over a weekend, depending on the festival. Make sure to investigate your state rules first regarding cottage food industries if you are making edibles.

8. Tutoring

Were you a math whiz in high school? Do you understand the intricacies of chemistry? Many students could use a helping hand in a lot of these subjects and you might be just the person to help them out. You could make $10 or so an hour and be a real boon to a student who is struggling.

9. Videographer/Photographer

Have a flair with a camera? From weddings to parties to receptions of all sorts, many organizations need someone to photo or video their events. Become familiar with your equipment and offer to do the first one or two jobs for the cost of gas and you will have a portfolio upon which you can build.

10. Running errands

Moms, seniors, folks that work out of town often, frequently need someone to help them get those little things done. You could drive senior citizens to appointments or go shopping for or with them. You could pick up someone else’s dry cleaning while you drop off someone else’s prescriptions. Put up flyers, post on Facebook and Craigslist. You’d be amazed at how much people are willing to pay for an extra hand now and again. Start by charging a basic rate – $5 per errand, for example, depending on the errand – or $20 for an hour of shopping plus delivery. Adjust your rates as you run more errands and find more need for your services.

Author : Michelle Kennedy Hogan

Source : http://www.lifehack.org/articles/money/freelance-jobs-anyone-can-easily-make-extra-money.html

Categorized in Work from Home

More people are going freelance than ever before. With the rise of the internet and increasing acceptance of portfolio careers and flexible working hours, self-employment is becoming a common option. This is especially true for those working in creative professions. If you can make the freelancing lifestyle work for you, geographical flexibility and a great income can be yours.

When did you last give your mindset a health check?

However, there’s much more to freelancing success than simply taking the leap to self-employment, filling out your tax return on time, and applying for gigs on freelancing job boards. What will determine your success in the long run is your mindset.

It doesn’t matter how skilled or lucky you are: if you don’t believe in yourself, then you are vulnerable to early burnout. The following is a list of the most common self-limiting beliefs that you must overcome in the early days of your self-made career if you are to make it as a successful freelancer.

1. “Success is all-or-nothing.”

If you tend to have a perfectionist streak or see success and failure in binary terms, you need to adjust your attitude quickly. Otherwise, you will become demoralized. It takes time to grow a reputation as a professional freelancer.

Some weeks and months you will feel as though everyone wants to hire you and everything is going fantastically well, then at other times you will encounter setbacks in the form of difficult clients, underemployment, problems with your website — the list of potential pitfalls is endless! Know from the beginning that you can expect an interesting and varied journey. Keep a list of your triumphs for encouragement. Remind yourself that the path to success is rarely smooth.

2. “Rejection is too painful. I can’t bear it.”

The harsh reality is that most freelancers get rejected on a regular basis, whether it be in relation to an article pitch or a carefully-made application for an advertised gig. Even clients who have previously hired you on multiple occasions may decide they no longer have any use for you.

The best approach is to see each rejection as a chance to become more resilient. As the months go by, you will feel the sting less acutely and come to accept that all self-employed people need to deal with the fact that rejection is inevitable.

3. “I feel overwhelmed, which means I just can’t do this.”

Feeling overwhelmed isn’t a sign that you should give up on your dream of working for yourself, just that you need to refine your time and project-management skills. At first, you may indeed struggle with the responsibilities that come with having to motivate yourself, organize multiple projects, and manage on a fluctuating income.

However, once you learn how to make the most of your time, you will become more comfortable and confident in your abilities. Read a couple of books on time management, implement the basic principles, and be patient with yourself. Working freelance is a skill in and of itself. Like all skills, it can only be learned through trial and error.

4. “No-one will ever want to pay me enough to live on!”

There really are customers out there who can and will pay you a fair sum of money for decent work. That’s the good news. However, it might take a little patience to find them. With practice, you will soon be able to spot a promising client from one who is only looking to get work done at the cheapest possible price. If you are serious about becoming a high-paid freelancer, do not compete on price. Compete on quality. Build a solid portfolio, do great work, and ask your clients for references.

If you feel as though you aren’t making sufficient progress in your career as a freelancer, use this list as a sanity check. Are you falling into negative thought patterns and sabotaging yourself? Take a deep breath and remember that you don’t have to believe everything you think! Have faith in your abilities, and take your career one gig at a time. You can do it.

Author:  Jay Hill

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org

Categorized in Social

Upwork, a leading online freelancer marketplace and enterprise freelancer management solution business, released its second quarterly Skills Index report this week. The first report, Q2 Skills Index, was published in July. Each report identifies the 20 fastest-growing skills among U.S.-based Upwork freelancers in given quarters year-over-year.

Those 20 top skills were:

1. Machine learning
2. Tableau
3. User experience design
4. C++ programming
5. MySQL programming
6. Pardot
7. Social media management
8. Project management professional (PMP)
9. Swift development
10. Chat support
11. Android development
12. Unity 3D
13. Shopify development
14. Video editing
15. AutoCAD
16. Facebook marketing
17. API development
18. Content writing
19. .NET framework
20. WordPress development

 

Well over half of the skills were software development and other technical skills, with Machine Learning at the top of the list.

But What Does It All Really Mean?

The Upwork Skills Index calculates growth rates based on freelancer billings in a given quarter relative to billings in the same quarter in the prior year. According to Upwork, all of the 20 fastest-growing skills in Q3 grew at a rate in excess of 100% year over year.

While these are interesting data points, my “inner statistician” feels the need provide a few points to consider while interpreting these findings.

  • The first and most important consideration is that these growth rates are not likely to be consistent with the expansion in absolute billings. For example, Machine Learning may have a higher growth rate than C++ Development, but the latter’s total skill billings are bound to be orders of magnitude larger than the former and the increase in absolute billings for the latter skill would likely dwarf that of the former. Recommendation to Upwork: Include additional information to give the audience a more complete picture.
  • Another consideration is what year-over-year quarterly growth of skills really tells us. Given those measurement periods, there are likely to be many fluctuations which would also determine the growth rates, but not necessarily represent real growth. Accordingly, if we compare the Q3 and Q2 Index reports’ top 20 skills, most of the skills are entirely different. Recommendation to Upwork: Track contiguous quarter-over-quarter growth of a range of different high-growth skills; at least do this for contiguous year-over-year quarterly growth in those skills. Create and show consistent time-series.
  • Yet another consideration is that growth in billings may mean increase in the number of engagements and/or increase in the billed amount per engagement — whether due to higher rates and/or bigger projects (in all likelihood, the growth rates reflect a combination of all of these factors). Recommendation to Upwork: Decompose these factors and provide your audience with a more complete picture. Your audience is not a media audience, it is business people who “want to know.”

Why Should Procurement Still Care?

In case you think I am only finding fault with Upwork’s methodology, this is not the case. What is important to understand (especially for contingent workforce procurement practitioners) is that Upwork is sitting on a treasure trove of data that exceeds that of any VMS and can be leveraged for spend analysis, arbitrage of labor costs and transaction costs, and for performance metrics and big data analytics.

So despite my recommendations above, I obviously do not expect a business like Upwork to open its kimono and give away its intellectual property. But I do think that a better job could be done to demonstrate the power of the data that businesses can eventually exploit. It’s not just about the talent and the skills, it’s also about the incredible data and analytics that can be used to leverage the talent and skills.Upwork: Show procurement people the data, and you will find salivation.

On the contingent workforce management procurement side of the table, you cannot just hem and haw about risk, the unfamiliar, and scary, etc. (all the while, parts of your organization are beginning to rely more and more on work intermediation platforms like Upwork and many others). Instead, sit down at the table with Upwork and others, pound your fist and demand the data. Say, “show me what you got, just show me the data.” And in that, you may find what you have been missing all along and what may tip the scales toward the future of work and the future value of procurement.

Source : spendmatters

Categorized in Work from Home

When I woke up this morning, one of the first things I did was open up Evernote and start to write. (After I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and brewed my green tea, of course.)

I don’t wake up every morning and think carefully about what I’m going to write. I just do it. It’s ingrained into my morning routine.

In 2013, I read Leo Babauta’s Zen Habit piece about writing every day. He inspired me. So, every day for the past three years, I’ve been waking up at 4:00 am with the same routine. My laptop is always in the right place, I always spend the same amount of time writing each morning, and I never have to think about it.

Habits influence our actions and behaviors. Building positive work habits as a freelancer gives me the freedom to perform the work I need to be doing, without it feeling like it’s a job.

There are a lot of things outside of this list below I know I should be doing, but I’m not. Yet. If you’re an SEO freelancer, please feel free to share insights into your work habits at the bottom. I’d love to hear from you!

As an SEO freelancer, my day isn’t just about building backlinks, curating content, and a kick-ass schedule as most might like to believe. I have fallen into the stigma of becoming accustomed to infinite daytime TV, sweatpants, and finally (drum roll, please) being my own boss. In a time where outsourcing is a “thing,” I realized early on in my career that there’s never been a better time to my make own rules for my dream 9-to-5. But, as with any change, I had to learn new habits.

Earlier this year, SEJ posted a Marketing Nerds podcast about making the leap from full-time to freelancing; today expanding on that topic and I’m talking all about the habits of us seasoned side hustlers and full-time grinders of freelance SEO.

From the 2:00 pm afternoon naps to the 2:00 am client calls, these habits I’ve developed go way beyond the basics of performing keyword research or managing client meetings. Maintaining my routine often feels like a third job, but I make it work. Here’s the skinny on the habits I’ve created and what it takes to make it as an SEO freelancer. Get ready: the full American dream ahead.

Why is it Important to Hire a Good SEO Freelancer?

Today, you’ll see many companies on Indeed hiring for an SEO Manager.

SEO has seen incredible growth over the past couple of years. Conductorreported double-digit growth in salaries from 2012 to 2015 in the top U.S. cities. And while there are many positions available for in-house SEO Managers, there are many of us SEO marketers making a career in SEO by flying solo. With the changing role of SEO, it’s important to evolve your skill set to maintain the status of a good SEO freelancer. Today’s SEO freelancers will pride themselves on these skills:

  1. Build and manage an editorial calendar that attracts an audience
  2. Grow new leads with landing pages and lead generating content
  3. Manage technical on-page SEO in collaboration with developers
  4. Create goals for clickthrough rates, conversions, and traffic
  5. Connect with influential bloggers, journalists, and users to build brand
  6. Run experiments to optimize website

And there is so much more.

If you think about SEO, it isn’t something you can teach someone like your ABC’s. It’s a skill that is learned and developed over time after you’re able to work through real-life website problems.

So what habits do you need to develop to become a more efficient SEO freelancer?

Below I share my daily habits — budding SEO techies, you’ll want to take notes.

1. Pants are Optional

This may sound like a silly habit to develop, but it’s one of my personal favorites. As any SEO freelancer that’s been doing it for a while will tell you, invest in a pair of comfy, yet classy sweatpants. No, I’m not talking about your faded high school JV soccer sweats with holes in the pockets. I’m talking Lululemon, Under Armour, Adidas, whatever makes you feel, as Demi Lovato would say, “Confident.”

While it can be tough to overcome the temptation of working on a disavow file in your jammies all day, researchers say that wearing formal clothing can enhance abstract cognitive processing. But, Melissa Gonzalez, founder, and CEO of Lion’esque Group a retail firm in Chelsea, New York believes otherwise. She told the New York Post “Being comfortable keeps my energy more open to idea generation.”

So, how do I battle this debate?

I show up to my desk every day with a business button-down on top and a party pair of sweatpants on the bottom. And, to all the sweatpant-doubters and believers in “clothes make the man (or woman),” I answer with this: It’s the “sweat” in “sweatpants” that helps me grind out the long hours and weekends at my computer for another free SEO analysis or a new client proposal. I am dressing for the job I want.

How to start this habit:

  1. Brush your teeth, wash your face, take a shower, whatever!
  2. Change out of your pajamas and into your sweatpants.
  3. Begin your day!

2. Stalk Data Every Day

Before I shut off my computer for the day, I login into Google Analytics for each of my clients and annotate any events that happened that day. I do this every day. Doing this helps me to remember if an email newsletter launched or a social media contest kicked-off. It gives me a day-by-day snapshot of the different marketing events going on, which may be useful down on the line if I see a spike in traffic.

I’ll also take a look at my numbers to make sure we’re moving along nicely. For instance, I’ll take a quick dive into real-time traffic to make sure Google Analytics is firing on the website. I’ll also take a look a bounce rate to see if users are pogo sticking.

By documenting the evolution of traffic growth or decline, I’m able to make my monthly client meetings a lot more interesting and insightful. This also helps when I’m putting together case studies for my website.

How to start this habit:

  1. Set-up daily reports for each of your clients to be emailed to you every day.
  2. Set-up dashboards in Google Analytics to easily access what you need.
  3. Create alerts if your data drops or rises below a certain number or percentage.

3. Audit Weekly

Every month, I share reports with my clients about their overall website health status. From organic traffic conversions to new backlinks, we talk about everything that’s happening on their website for SEO purposes. To better serve my clients, I started auditing my work weekly. I use TogglTrello, and Google Calendar as my time tracking apps. I color code meetings, research, writing, building backlinks, etc. At the end of each week, I review the time I spent on each client and compared to the work I’ve done. I’ll also associate the work I’ve done to their analytics.

(Editor note: This concept is also something covered in our latest book club pick.)

Not to my surprise, the majority of my time is spent in meetings and responding to client meetings. If you’re a solo freelancer, like me, this is a habit you’ll want to break. It will eat away at your time and clients will wonder why you haven’t spent any time doing actual work.

How to start this habit:

  1. Block out an hour every Friday or Monday (whatever works best for you.)
  2. Write down your goals for that client every week.
  3. Use a tool to set-up a crawl of your client’s site weekly. I use Screaming Frog or SEMRush.
  4. Head over to Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Bing Webmaster Tools to make sure there is nothing out of the ordinary.
  5. Go through my Google Alerts emails for that client to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
  6. Once the crawl is finished, complete one or two things on your goal list from the crawl test.

4. Look Beyond the Obvious Competitors

When looking at competitors for my clients, I don’t restrict myself to looking at competitors in the same vertical. It’s important for me to keep an open mind and remember that competitors come in many different forms.

For example, a client of mine, PetYen, is a pet care search engine who would obviously be in competition with Rover.com and Petfinder. But, they are also in competition with Angie’s List, Airbnb, and Uber. I’m inspired by different aspects of each.

After all, competitive research is about learning what sites do good and bad. The more variety I have in that, the more I have to offer my clients.

How to start this habit:

  1. Start small. Pick one competitor per month to research.
  2. Choose a clear competitor at the start of the month.
  3. Use Moz or Ahrefs to analyze their backlinks and on-page SEO.
  4. Make notes on what strategies inspire you.
  5. Next month, pick a random company that you think is doing SEO really well to analyze. See where it takes you.

5. Know Your Worth

When I started freelancing almost six years ago, I was making $10.00 an hour. I had six months of experience at an advertising agency and about 30 years of student loan debt ahead of me. Freelancing was my extra source of income that was going to pay down my student loans.

As my knowledge started to grow with every new conference, class, or client, I kept charging the same price. I didn’t know my worth. Agencies would outsource work to me from Fortune 500 companies, and I was still charging $10.00 an hour. I wasn’t getting paid what I was worth.

freelance seo quote 2

I changed my pricing structure from per hour to per project. By changing my price structure, I changed my entire life.

Knowing how much my time is worth changed EVERYTHING.  

For example, the first month a client and I start working together; I’ll perform a competitor analysis. Typically, the client shares 2 to 3 competitors they want to analyze from an SEO perspective. If I charge $25.00 per hour, and it took me 2 hours to complete the research that’s $50.00. But, if the competitors don’t offer value in tracking from an SEO point-of-view, then I spend time researching competitors that do. This adds another two hours that I’m not getting paid for.

As a human, it’s in my DNA to want something bigger, better, stronger, and faster. But don’t fall into the trap of achieving money nirvana overnight. You don’t need to charge $25.00 an hour, then spike up to $100.00 an hour. This total overhaul of my pricing structure took time, not only for clients but my behavior as well.

How to start this habit:

  1. Figure out what your costs are every month. How much is your electricity bill? Water bill? Groceries? Etc.
  2. Calculate how much you need to make per hour to pay all your bills.
  3. Don’t forget to subtract 30% tax if you’re a W-9 at the end of the year. For example, if you make $1000 per month, you’ll want to save $300 for taxes. Ask yourself: Can I pay my bills with $700?
  4. Every new client you get, up your prices by $5 or $10 to get to a spot where you feel comfortable.

6. Baller at Budgeting

It might feel like you’re on a rollercoaster ride, but, reality is, SEO freelancers spend the majority of their time organizing invoices and expenses. For some of us, it’s categorizing our expenses into write-offs, while others may find themselves just figuring out how much money to take out of their business to pay rent.

One of the drawbacks to getting out of your 9-to-5 grind is getting a grip on your spending habits. Sure, you want to fantasize about having the same client for years, but, truthfully SEO freelancers need to be prepared to win and lose some clients. No judgment here on what you end of skimping and splurging on. You work hard for that money. Budgeting for a 6-month buffer in case you lose a client or two will give you a little breathing room.

How to start this habit:

  1. Set-up automatic withdrawals every month to subtract 20% of everything you make.
  2. Continue this process until you get three months of savings that you could live on. Meaning, you have enough in your savings to pay your rent, utilities, and eat for three months without clients.
  3. Then, continue until you get to 6-months. You can drop the savings down to 10% if it’s too much of a burden.

It’s important to take your taxes and savings into consideration when charging your hourly or project rate. If you’re getting paid $1000 per month, $300 goes to taxes; $200 goes to savings, is it worth the $500 for you to do the work?

7. Love for the Hustle

Whether you’re side-gigging it or just trying to make a living, you know what it feels like to hustle hard. I know what it feels like to roll out of bed with zero money in the bank then turn on some gangster rap and get it done. True hustlers challenge themselves every day to reach “optimal anxiety.” A study conducted 1908 proves we need to reach “optimal anxiety” to find maximum performance levels. This is where the “feast or famine” hustle work cycle comes into play. We see it in successful stories like Kobe Bryant, Mozart, and Sophia Amoruso every day.

freelancer SEO quote

SEO freelancers have to face their fear of a lack of stability to achieve optimal performance levels. Personally, I’ve taught myself to wake up every morning at 4:00 am to work on my clients. I often spend my Friday evenings in front of the computer. And, my work week begins on Sunday. Every day I’m hustling to get better in hopes one day, I won’t have to hustle this hard anymore.

How to start this habit:

  1. Dream big. Write your big, ridiculous, over-the-top goal down.
  2. Map out each day to get yourself closer to achieving that goal.
  3. Learn to say no to plans that get in the way of you achieving that goal.

8. Strategic About Your Time

Even though I’ve been freelancing for almost six years now, I still get overwhelmed by my workload. I am guilty of saying “yes” when I shouldn’t. But, to keep myself organized, I’ve created a robust daily workflow that I stick to every single day. At the same time, I audit my client work; I’ll cross-check my time for the past week and the coming week.

I’ll open my Google Calendar (or Trello) to a block of times for client meetings, client projects, the gym, grocery store, whatever! I even have blocks of time buffered in for walking the dogs.

Jack Dorsey, CEO, and Founder of Square and Twitter, puts themes on his work days. Here’s an example of his work week:

  • Monday: Management
  • Tuesday: Product
  • Wednesday: Marketing, communications, growth
  • Thursday: Developers and partnerships
  • Friday: Company, culture, and recruiting
  • Saturday: Day of rest
  • Sunday: Reflections, feedback, and strategy

How to start this habit:

  1. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish this week on Sunday or Monday.
  2. Prioritize it starting with the top 10 things you want to complete.
  3. Open Google Calendar and block off times to complete each task.
  4. Once your Google Calendar invite pops up to start a new task, stop where you’re at and begin the new task.

9. Champions of Community

Here’s what I thought about my career when I was transitioning from social media to SEO: create an authentic voice, overachieve on high-quality content, and be the first person to master a new trend. Well, I still need to create an authentic voice, overachieve on content, and I still aim to be the first person to master a new trend. However, I’ve taken this from Facebook posts and 140-character tweets into link building gold mines.

As an SEO freelancer, I need to create ongoing, long-lasting connections not only for my current clients but my future clients.

How to start this habit:

  1. Start by making a dream wish list of everyone you want to have a connection to.
  2. Follow them on their most active social channels.
  3. Sign up for their newsletter.
  4. Comment on their blog.
  5. Send an email thanking them for a recent piece.
  6. Continue to nurture that relationship.

A Good SEO Freelancer Lets You Scale

A good SEO freelancer will grow and change alongside you as your business, products, and services start to scale. I’ve helped increase organic traffic to over 100+ client websites in less than six years. There have been many challenges and rewards along the way. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about my habits that have helped me! It’s truly amazing to see how small tweaks can have the biggest impact.

Are there any habits you’ve developed as an SEO freelancer that have helped you succeed? Drop me a line in the comments below!

Source : http://globalnews.ca

Categorized in Search Engine

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