3 Simple Tips To Win Paying Jobs on oDESK

As a professional freelance writer who is interested in building an online freelance writing career, there were times when I used to quite often visit oDesk.  The frequent visits were to check for openings and apply for almost all the potential jobs.  And then I used to get messages like this:

“Hello Anil,

You have not been selected for the job opening ‘ Ghost Writer‘.
* Reason candidacy was ended: Job Opening Expired
from oDesk.(Emphasis mine).The undeniable underlining hope was that it would take me closer to a successful freelance writing career.  I was yet to learn the tricks of the freelancing trade.  I did not know then that I was wasting my time and effort applying for some of those ‘freelance content writing openings’ that were very clearly saying ‘DO NOT APPLY’.  Surprised?  Don’t be.

The signs were all there.  The thing was I did not know how to read all those signs then.  I do not claim to be any wiser now.  But then I think I am better off from where I began working on oDesk, having spent more than 50 productive oDesk hours (you can check my oDesk history) and made some pretty decent money with freelance writing.  It included, website content writing, product descriptions (more about it in future), press release news, ghost writing for employment related blogs, some Internet research apart from other jobs.

Those little known ways that helped me, didn’t they?  So I would like to share them with you so you too can save some time.  You can invest that time in improving your chances of quickly finding ‘paying jobs’ and make some more money.

The First Tip
I subscribed to “Job alerts” a feature that you will find under your ‘My Profile” tab.  Half the clutter is out.

I get my job alerts into my inbox.  The jobs of my choice walk into my ‘inbox’.The Second Tip
When I visit the job posting on oDesk, the first thing even before I read the job posting is, check to see if the ‘buyer‘ is ‘oDesk Verified” for ‘Payment’

If the buyer is not ‘verified’ then you need to think twice before applying.  Is this buyer really serious about the job?  IMHO, I do not think this buyer is either professional or serious.  Out goes this from the list.The Third Tip
I check the ‘Buyer Facts’.  If this buyer became a member and posted this job the same day, this buyer too is ‘out‘.

The reason?  Well, I think this buyer doesn’t need my attention because, this buyer is not willing to tell me how she is going to pay me and when she is going to pay me, if at all she is going to pay me.So, there you have a buyer, who is not “oDesk payment verified” and the ‘oDesk Buyer Facts’ has nothing to tell you, so what would you do?

You love the gig and want to ‘do’ it.  Go ahead.  Be my guest. You can always give this gig a try and may be you will be introducing a great buyer to all of us here at oDesk.

Bonus:
The bonus is you can avoid all those “Candidacy Ended“, “project was canceled“, “Project expired” messages and unnecessary disappointments that keep crawling into your in box.
* With thanks to Brian Clark, the Copyblogger.
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How to drum up your business?

Jose Feliciano, store – owner of Five Star Pets,a pet food store of Miles Town says that during a recession advertisement dollars are hard to come by. A small business owner, Jose feels that every dollars needs to be conserved to offer the best range to the thrifty customer that drops in.  Anne, a single mother and a part time sales person says sales at their store had begun to perk up ever since her employer, Jane had begun to advertise in the local news paper.

“It is always better to be seen at the convention, than the flea market”, says Liz, a gift and souvenir stores owner.  Incidentally Liz imports novelty and gift items from China.  Liz is on the road most of the time and conventions are the places where she feels she is able to drum up more business and get  to add new ones to her rolodex and eventually to her shipping list.

Conventions add value

Conventions are better organized and it is much easier to set up the show and it takes much less time to get the word out to potential customers.  It brings in a touch of professionalism to the business – especially to the one-man-army-bands. It helps to get to know the different market conditions.  The reps are there who bring in their new lines. Networking with the other players is easy.

Do conventions cost more?

Though at the end of the day, booth rentals and advertising costs, flyers, bill boards add up to  overheads, there is also the cost of the give-aways to count.  The get- to-know-dinners do add value to the relationship though it adds up to the costs.  But then they are all evened out by the business one does.  Out of towners obviously need to factor in their motel rents and parking charges.  Some of the convention centers charge additional fees for power and phone lines but then according to Peter Brown, a small business coach, “every dollar spent here is worth it.  You get a place, you get your buyer and he’s got the money.  You get to know the right guy who calls the the shots.  So it is that much easier and quicker to close the deal.  Everything under one roof and that includes your press-bureau too. I always advise my sellers to plan their presence.  That way they can keep their own expenses down”.

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