Why oDesk tops other freelance marketplace sites

Even though I attend college near a tiny rural town with few internship and job opportunities, the digital age has allowed me to gain experience (and make a little cash) using the skills I’m learning about in my graduate classes.

Many websites help freelancers find work, but I personally have found using oDesk.com rewarding, and I highly recommend any undergraduate or graduate students in my situation check out the site.

Before I found oDesk, I looked at a lot of other sites, like elance.com and demandstudios.com, but didn’t find success with either for various reasons.

Mainly, I didn’t like elance.com because you had to pay up front to really be able to build your credibility, and Demand Studios paid a mere $7 or so for most articles on topics that required tons of time on my part. My input just wasn’t worth what I was getting out of it.

Then I heard about oDesk and gave it a shot. It didn’t cost anything up front, so why not? I ended up having a great experience and coming out on top in the money department. So, I wanted to share a few reasons I love oDesk compared to other freelancing sites.

  • I can actually get jobs, receive experience and make money, despite being “just” a college student. And, yes, real money deposited directly into my checking account. On oDesk, I’m treated like a professional, not a student, so I can obtain real experience and real money like a professional.
  • I don’t have to pay money up front. Instead, it takes a 10 percent cut from what I get paid after a job. This makes a lot more sense because if people seeking writing or marketing freelance gigs probably don’t have a ton of extra money to throw around.
  • I can search for jobs in multiple fields, including my areas: writing/editing and marketing/PR. A lot of other sites charge extra to for more industries. For example, with elance.com I can have a writing profile for free, but then if I find a marketing job I want to apply for, I have to pay. That might be great for experienced writers or marketers who freelance full time, but for poor college student like myself, paying and not receiving a guarantee of ROI is a frightening idea.
  • I can create an extensive profile, complete with work experience, education information and portfolio docs. This proves my value to employers seeking freelancers before I even open my mouth (or, in this case, type an email on my keyboard).

It’s not all rainbows and puppies, though. Like any freelancing site, it can be difficult to establish a reputation on oDesk, and until you do that, you’ll probably only get hired for fairly low-paying jobs. After all, you’re competing against the entire world, not just your home country or town.

For this reason, it’s an ideal site for those looking for extra money rather than full-time work (a.k.a., it’s perfect for college students seeking a little extra cash and experience to boot).

What experiences have you had with oDesk or another freelancing website?

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5 thoughts on “Why oDesk tops other freelance marketplace sites

  1. Yeah ODesk is good for jobs if you live in low economic countries that take low based pay. They sure don’t have a lot of USA buyers in that site. You can make money if you can work for say $1 an hour. I personally think they need to do a revamping of the whole site.

    1. Thank you for commenting and you do bring up a good point. Depending on your area of expertise, it can be hard to find to find a job that would support an adult middle class American lifestyle. However, I think it’s perfect for college students seeking experience and some pocket money. The two major jobs I found for myself on odesk were both from Americans – one in Connecticut and one in Virginia. However, I didn’t really make enough to live off it after college.

    1. You’re welcome. I opened my account in February 2009 or something like that but didn’t really get going with jobs until around June, so I haven’t been using it too long. Not even a year yet.

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