T Nation

E-lance - Anyone Tried It?

Just wondering if anyone has ever used this to make some extra money? www.elance.com

I’ve been looking to put some extra money in my pocket so always looking for things that I could be doing on the side.

I actually hire off of elance regularly. Out of all the networks, I think this one is the best for the service provider, as it seems to be the most expensive for the person doing the hiring. I go on elance when I am looking for quality; other networks are better for cheap but adequate work.

What kind of services are you looking to offer?

Financial reporting mainly. Microstrategy business intelligence platform would be my specialty (multiple certifications) though I’m quite good with a few other database oriented softwares and of course Excel.

I’ve hired a ton of people from Elance and Eguru with varying results. Mostly graphics and web development. I’ve found it to be kind of hit or miss.

I’ve never heard of this, so thank you for sharing.

I noticed there are replies to some of the requests with a short description and “Proposal: SEALED”. Are all replies posted publicly like that or can you bid privately?

I used to do some work on www.rentacoder.com (now vWorker.com) back in my studying days.
Was ok.

It’s funny how some fuckers think they can get good work for shitty money.
Good that the deliverables had to be explicitly stated and that payment was handled by an escrow intermediary.

@angry chicken
Did the bad cases still have good reviews/recommendations?

Basically the thing with elance is if you have a high-paying skill set you will have to prove it. No one cares what your resume is because you can just make up all the info and people don’t really have the time to double check your info. You will have to take a few lower-paying jobs until you get on-site feedback and reputation at which point you would be able to successfully bid on high-paying jobs. Also, it can take awhile to find a provider, but once you find one, you can usually get repeat work if it is good.

I have found the same thing angry about the hit and miss results. That works in your favor OP, as if you don’t screw up (which half do) you will get plenty of work. The tough part is just landing that first high-paying gig. Once other providers see someone is willing to pay you big $ and is willing to re-hire, they won’t hesitate.

I only use sites like this now for long-term projects. I will hire everyone with a pulse who applies and give them all the same minimum-bid task. Whoever does the best work at the best price will then get the long-term position. This has saved me so many headaches and wasted money in the long run.

For short term projects I have actually had the best results going to forums on whatever service I am looking for. Anyone who is trolling a forum on graphic design is bored enough to work for a low price and interested enough in the material to do a good job. Just had a top-notch header/logo designed for a new site for 25$ with a revision!

I think everything is posted publicly. Any option to hide I believe is up to the provider who is listing the job.

Everyone has good feedback on these kinds of sites because the job provider doesn’t want to get hit with negative feedback. The best way to tell if someone is good or not is to see if they have repeat work from the same provider. If someone has worked 20 jobs and never been asked to work again for the same provider, they probably suck.

With that said, I think that elance and such sites are getting harder and harder for people who live in more expensive areas to earn money. There are a lot of skilled foreigners and ex-pats now who can afford to work for less. I have an expat writer working for me who is very good and only charges 7$ an article. This probably boils down to about $10-12 an hour for her but in her current country that is pretty good.

The only thing I will pay big $ for is people who can do multiple jobs to save me a headache. Right now it seems designers who can do some coding are really cleaning up. I (and others) will pay much more than the going rate for web design if you can create a custom wordpress theme, hand-code all the plug-ins to work, and then integrate it yourself with a popular membership or payment processor like amember.

Thanks for all the input. I guess I’ll have to take some low paying jobs and get some credibility built up.

one addendum to that - don’t take low paying jobs that are beneath your skill level. feedback on data entry isn’t going to lend much credence to whatever you specialize in. Bid a below-normal price on the tasks you are interested in, explaining that you normally would charge more but are willing to work for less than you are worth to build up some credibility on the site.

you could always try the Craigslist Personals section if you want to put some extra money in your pockets LM