Work for Freelancers at oDesk

oDesk is a site for freelancers of almost any type looking to find work. There’s work available for people who do web development, software development, data entry, call center work, freelance writing, and even accounting or bookkeeping jobs. Other individuals or companies list the work they want done, and you can be hired to do it. oDesk acts as the middle man — you use their web-based application for logging your time, and they guarantee you will be paid for your work.

How much can you earn with oDesk?

The amount you make varies a great deal. It all just depends on how much you decide to charge. With oDesk, you set your own price, but if you set it too high, you may not get hired. This is why it might be a good idea to start off pricing yourself on the lower end and then raising your rate as you successfully complete jobs and get good feedback from employers. Some jobs pay hourly, while others pay a fixed rate for the entire job. However, oDesk will only guarantee pay for the hourly jobs. If you take a fixed pay job, you might want to make sure that the person you are working for is reputable and known for paying their workers.

How can you be sure that a person you’re working for is trustworthy and will pay?

If the work is hourly, you should be paid. oDesk claims they will see to that. If the work is not hourly, oDesk can’t personally guarantee payment. You can decide whether or not to trust a person by looking at their profile. Workers can rate their employers, so you can see at a glance whether or not you want to take a job for a certain person.

Is there a referral program?

Yes, oDesk will reward you for referring people you know to oDesk, IF they become active on the site. If they just sign up and then do nothing, there are no bonuses in it for you.

Who pays you, oDesk or the employer?

oDesk pays you. You use their web interface (if you’re working hourly), and it keeps up with your hours for you, so they know how much you are owed for the work you do. oDesk will bill the employer for the hours you worked, and the employer will pay oDesk your rate plus a small surcharge (which is how oDesk makes their money). If the employer doesn’t pay oDesk, you will still be paid. Remember that for fixed rate jobs, all this goes out the window and oDesk is not involved in whether or not you’re paid.

How hard is it to get hired by someone?

It might take a few weeks if you’re new. You can create your resume and cover letter online, upload a photo, and also take some skills tests to prove your aptitude in certain fields. All of these things will factor into whether or not someone hires you. The more work you do, the more you can build up your profile, and the more likely you are to get hired.

How many jobs can you work on at once?

The maximum amount is 20 jobs at a time, and the minimum is 4. New workers start out at 4, and the amount they can claim increases as they build up experience and their past work profile.

What are oDesk payment methods?

odesk pays you either through direct deposit to your bank account, Money Bookers, wire transfer, Paypal, or something they call the Payoneer Mastercard debit card.

Does oDesk take taxes out on you?

No. You are an Independent Contractor with oDesk, so you are responsible for all your own tax stuff. If you make over $600 in a year, they will send you a 1099 form to use when you file showing how much they paid you.

Are there any benefits that you might qualify for at oDesk?

Yes. They have a 401K plan and some healthcare plans you might want to check into.

Is oDesk open to international workers?

Yes. The exact countries oDesk hires people from isn’t listed on their FAQ that I can see, but they do hire internationally, outside of the United States.

Does oDesk charge you to work for them?

No, there are absolutely no fees associated with working for oDesk. They don’t charge you to sign up or start working. You might have to invest in certain equipment you may not have to do certain jobs, but that is your call depending on if you take certain jobs or not.

Bottom Line

I think it’s worth checking into. I like how there are so many different types of work there, and the fact that you can set your own rate. I also think it’s great that they guarantee your hourly payment. It may be worth signing up for if your’re interested in all kinds of different freelance work. I have noticed that oDesk does offer a lot of data entry work! That’s a plus for those of you who are constantly on the lookout for keying jobs.

If you’re ready to get started, you can sign up here

Need some more help? Read this post I wrote with lots of tips on how to make freelance websites work for you. I would also recommend the e-book  Executive in Sweatpants – a Handbook for Launching Your Work From Home Career. This is a highly rated e-book available on Amazon with lots of tips for earning money through oDesk.

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