Online work is real. Millions of people across the globe use the Internet as their primary source of income. Some people even manage to reach high paid jobs without leaving the warmth of their homes. They in fact may visit their employer’s physical premises, though only a couple of times over a year. And it’s not only Web developers and other IT professionals. Online working world has hundreds of thousands of virtual office assistants, writers, graphics designers, video and music producers, phone operators, salespeople, and many others. Basically, any job where the outcome of everyday tasks can be stored electronically as data and delivered through the Internet or any other network is a potential online job.
Online work also gave another meaning to the notion of outsourcing. Companies assign freelancers for short tasks, subprojects, projects, programs and lengthy job assignments should they save more money and find better talent. Though, there are many concerns arising from outsourcing jobs and projects online. This concept basically means that firms should hire people they can’t physically reach, so these can’t be sure about how real that person, skills, education, experience and other working qualities are. The best solution for that are online marketplaces where job postings are standardized, and where all employers/clients and freelancers/providers need to build their profile and reputation. Online marketplaces like Upwork or Freelancer help both sides connect in a better way and develop trusted business relations.
Here we will see some of the largest marketplaces which can help you find online work.
Although it technically evolved from oDesk, Upwork is actually a child of merging oDesk with Elance. Both were among the top three general-purpose marketplaces, just to integrate into the present-day state. Upwork is a general purpose online work marketplace, which means it covers all kinds of work which can be carried out over the Internet. You will be able to choose one or more categories of work, take skill tests to assess your knowledge and show to the world if the test score is good. Doing this is just a small part of building your profile. You need to complete your profile to 100% by adding your personal info, previous experience, education, a picture of you, work portfolio items and to verifying your payment method.
Upwork is a very secure marketplace where freelancers don’t have to pay anything prior finding work. It basically charges a 10% fee only when freelancer gets paid, and it’s their main source of income by far. There is also a paid membership plan for freelancers, but it doesn’t offer much. Security of payments is very high. All you need to do is to make sure that anyone who hires you funded the milestone for work. Unless a client funds the milestone, you shouldn’t even start working. One the milestone is funded, your payment is almost secure, and even n the case when the client vanishes you’ll receive these monies after a couple of weeks after the official deadline.
However, it also has some drawbacks. Upwork is notorious for its frequent outages and users often reports back-end bugs such as private messages not going through, notification settings not taking effect etc. In meantime, they have managed to improve the overall service quality, so nowadays it’s working mainly fine.
As the major and only serious competitor to Upwork, Freelancer stands out with huge abundance of projects. By the number of jobs posted Freelancer is larger than Upwork, though there’s way too many low budget jobs. If you live in a high income country many of these will be unacceptable for you. Still, Freelancer is always good when you want to know how do you rate on a major online market. On Upwork, there are more high paid jobs, but these are often too few and the competition is very high, so you will often depend on luck. Speaking of Freelancer, as long as you stay on a paid membership plan, you will be able to build your reputation and collect “Credits” Your Credits can be exchanged for many items on the website which are otherwise paid: tests, bids and bid highlights. Practically, the more you grow by doing projects, tests, earning achievement badges and passing levels like in a computer game, the more bids you will be able to place on a monthly basis. You should never fear that you’ll run out of bids. Actually, you will struggle to spend these.
There is a dark side of it as well. One of the most troublesome things related to Freelancer is that once you get hired the platform fee is deducted from your account immediately. That practically means if you find a scammer, you will be not just duped into free work, but also indebted by the platform. Beware that it’s raining scammers there. The best way to pick actual clients is to choose only those who verified their payment method, though even then you need to be watchful. Just like on Upwork, any service one can offer remotely over the Internet can be sold on this platform.
I know you’re now a bit surprised, since this website‘s main purpose isn’t to help people make for living, but its perhaps the fastest way to get money and online publicity, which in long term can turn into even more money. You probably saw a video of an iPhone destruction. YouTube users exposed their iPhones to microwaves, blenders, boiling water, lava, put them under trucks, tanks, trains, destroyed them with chainsaws, hammer drills, assault rifles, sniper rifles and other destructive devices. What’s common for all these weird videos is that these multiply returned their investments – which included not only the destroyed phones, but also time of everyone involved, setting preparations etc. Of course, you aren’t now going to toast your iPhone just to publish it on YouTube. You should film something you excel at and deem interesting for public.
Vlogging is the core of earning on YouTube. Since it’s a Google service, YouTube acts as the the video section of this world’s largest search engine and is by far the most popular video platform. You will not have to worry about things online bloggers have to, such as search engine optimization and backlinking. What you need is just two things: being viral and being regular. Now high quality camera devices are very affordable, and these make high quality videos. You will need just to know basics of video editing. It’s even more important to have a well prepared setting for your video to make it appealing for the viewer’s eyes. If the content is viral and different from other videos covering the same topic or interest, you can quickly get a high amount of views, put the ads on and watch the amount generated grows.
This is the third largest general online work marketplace, similar to Freelancer and Upwork. PeoplePerHour encourages direct communication between “buyers” and “sellers” how do they call clients and freelancers respectively. The main distinctive feature is the two-way nature of the market. A Seller can submit proposals to job postings and can offer Hourlies. A Hourlie is a package of services which you can offer to Buyers to be executed within an hour. Yours is to standardize the package and start selling. A good photo or image inseparable part of your Hourlie, regardless the category. Seems like PeoplePerHour emphasizes visual representation in all its concepts.
This marketplace looks more serious than the previous two, but features less clients and less projects. However, if your personal marketing is good and you know how to sell yourself through negotiation, this might be the best choice for you.
First step into working online might be tough for you. Finding a first job requires sacrifice. You will be in need to lower and cut down your real life hourly rate for the first time, make a shiny profile, or differ in what you do. This last one is the gold for most online businesses. Being different the right way can get you online work success quickly.