Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nevermind - Thinking ODesk Kind of Stinks

Aha - "you get what you pay for" is right!

In this case, a free job board may leave you writing for free - or close to it.

I started wondering as I scanned through some of the jobs. They seemed a little on the low side, to say the least.

Went through the registration process, though, and it seemed kind of cool at first. There's some function where you can work with other writers - all about that - and it seems like the site owners are pretty organized.

First red flag, though, was that you're paid on an hourly basis. As I've mentioned before, that doesn't really work well for anyone involved. The client in this case allots a certain amount of time for you to do your thing. But are they getting what they need? Or what they think they can afford? And what if you're excellent AND fast? You get paid less than someone who's slow.

The next red flag was the deal killer, though - a closer look at all the projects shows that the "candidates" are, on average, charging about $4.17 an hour. And there were about 52 writers competing for those peanuts!

Um, I'm pretty sure McDonalds pays more than that.

Do I want some fries with that ODesk?

Stick with a paid membership - it'll thin the herd.

However... looks like SEVERAL of you have had great experiences on ODesk. So, tell us more - what am I missing on this? Tell us about the other features, how the hourly pay thing has worked, and whether you've found some gigs with good pay.

1 comment:

rd7 said...

Yes, there are low bidders and buyers who are looking to hire the cheapest labor possible. But, as with anything else, you have to pay your dues and do your research. If you look hard enough and are careful about the jobs you apply to, you can really strike it big. I've found multiple writing jobs through oDesk, and on many of them I was actually the highest bidder, rather than the lowest. The buyers who have been around (read: have feedback and payment history) know that THEY get what they pay for and look for talent and skillset, rather than the lowest hourly rate. Another reason I appreciate oDesk is that they GUARANTEE payment. No other freelance outsourcing site on the block offers that. It's so nice not to have to chase down clients for payment! I think the site is great, but you do need to spend a little more than a week or two feeling your way around before you become successful. Once you do, though, you won't regret it.