Freelancing on Elance
One of the things that I’ve wanted to do for some time was to free lance. The romantic notion that one could code from home, in their spare time no less, and make money has always been something that’s appealed to me.
I guess that’s partly because of the way I’m wired. I’m a family guy, and having children and a family I believe that I should be spending time with them, and you can’t do that effectively if you’re married to a job or making long distance commutes.
So, when I lost my job last winter, and again this summer, I took it as an opportunity to get a chance to try out the realm of freelancing and see if my skills were something that were in demand and if there was money to be made that way.
Finding an Online Connector
In order to get gigs, one must first have connections. Having been in the corporate world, and not making contacts, for quite some time, I figured that my best shot was to actually go about and find an online service to pair me up with people in need of my skills.
So, I found Elance. Elance is a place where people can post jobs and bid on jobs in order to get work. It’s pretty simple, actually:
- You create a profile where you set up who you are and what your skill set is.
- You can register different areas of expertise.
- You search for jobs that you think that you can do.
- You create proposals about the work that you will do for the given job along with a price.
- If the person accepts your bid, you work on the job, and then get paid when the job is completed.
How Do They Make Money?
One should always ask how a company makes money, because most legitimate ones either do or want to. In this case, Elance definitely wants to make money.
- They make money on “Connections” or bids that you can place.
- They make money certifying your “Credentials” (former employers, tests in various skill sets, etc.)
- They get a cut of your fee.
For this money, you get to see all different kinds of jobs, from programming/design to writing/virtual assistant.
My First Job
So how easy is it to get a job?
I’m a professional, with 10 years of professional development experience, mostly with the Microsoft Technologies (C#, VB, SQL Server) and it took me over a month and twice the regular number of connections to get my first job. However, the experience with the first job was pretty good.
I’ll talk in greater detail about what it was later, but the job was something I was qualified to do and I was able to get it done in a good amount of time.
It’s hard to adjust your bidding, and it will take time to find your niche, but I’m sure there’s money to be made from home on this site.