When I landed a job as a web designer for a local consulting firm, I’ve had nothing but code running through my veins. I can’t get enough of it, and honestly, I don’t think I could live without it. I’ve been looking at making extra cash for awhile now, but haven’t had any luck. For awhile there I was browsing Craigslist.com to pick up some of the extra gigs for website designs, but I rarely received any communication back. Or if someone was interested, they’d fall off the deep end (which is also why it’s a good thing to charge a 50% deposit up front–don’t want to get screwed out of work you do…)
Now before you think this is some god awful sponsored review, well, you’re wrong. I can’t remember how I found this exactly but I believe I was searching through Google for “freelance websites,” and other variations of it. I ended up stumbling across elance.com and immediately was interested in it. Before I joined up I browsed around some of the companies that are listed on there, and then some of the projects that are listed as well.
The system is divided in half. You have one section that’s dedicated to finding professionals and another part of the site that’s dedicated towards finding work. There are eight categories each of the two are divided into which range from Web Programming to SEO & SEM. Since I’m only interested in finding work in the web programming area, I ended up just browsing around some of the listings and was just a bit confused on the setup.
It’s not like a standard listing where you contact them, and if they’re interested, they’ll go with your services. Each listing is actually similar to an auction. They state how long the bidding will last for, what their budget is, how you’ll get paid, and then they have the option to list the details of the project that needs to be done, or what they can do for you.
Once you’re logged into your account (and you’ve completed the criteria necessary to actually bid [membership fee of $9.95/month, an Elance test to “certify” your account]), you’ll see a special section next to the bid where you can submit any questions to the user about their product/services, and then you’re able to type in your proposal to them. You can attach files to give them a better idea of what you can do for them. Once you’ve got that down you can then submit the price you’d want to be paid for the project, and how long it’ll take to deliver it.
Then it’s a waiting game to see if your bid will get accepted. I’ve noticed that majority of the users that are using the Find Work section of the website are from India, and other countries in Europe. I’ve also seen a few from the states but like I said, majority from India. I’m not sure what my point is in mentioning that, but it was just something I noticed. Most of the bids I’ve set for projects have ranged from $150 for a small 5 page hosting company design, to $500 for a WordPress powered blog with a custom design and other plugins implemented within the design.
I’ve yet to receive a project yet as one of them I bid on has just ended today, and some of the others are set to end in a few hours or in a week or so. But I’m kind of hoping that this will help to bring in extra work my way so that I can just get some rainy day cash flow started, and hopefully appeal to my need to waste my money on electronics, plane tickets, and well, you know, pizza and beer.
Regardless of the fact that I’ve yet to make any money of it, judging by some of the stats I’ve seen from other users (in each bid it shows their feedback given by the bid starters, as well as how much money they’ve made on Elance), it’s definitely a great way to earn money. One person/company from India had over $100,000+ in profit from bids they’ve won on Elance. Now I’m not sure if it was all design based, or if it included various other gigs. Either way, I’m hoping that my profit will get to at least 1/10th of that!
Other resources about Elance: