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Build Your oDesk Career

Updated on June 6, 2014

Start Building Your oDesk Career Today

In this lens I want to tell you a bit more about one of the popular sites for freelance writers - oDesk, and give you some tips on how to build your oDesk career. In my opinion, this is one of the best sites for online writers, and I am not saying this to promote the website neither am I their affiliate. I truly believe that freelance writers can build a great writing career on oDesk. What are my reasons for believing so? Well, I have worked on oDesk for more than two years, and have nothing but kind words for the oDesk team, as well as for the clients working on this site.

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Where to Start?

Your first step to building your oDesk career is the oDesk’s homepage where you’ll find the sign up button. Once you've entered the sign up page, all you have to do is fill in some basic information about yourself such as your name, country, email address, etc. Now, the next step is to fill in other profile information that will help you ‘wow’ your potential clients.

My Freelance Profile Tab

My Freelance Profile tab is your most essential tool that will help you stand out from other freelance writers. I'll share with you some of the most important tips for filling out this section:

Profile Title - Under the 'Title' tab you should give a short description of your expertise. For example, if you are great at writing articles your title should say 'Article Writer'. You can opt for more general descriptions of your expertise and use a title such as 'Experienced Writer', 'Seasoned Writer', etc. The bottom line is this: you should be as precise as you can in presenting your area of expertise to your potential clients.

Additional Tip

Avoid typos in your title, as many clients are very sensitive to this.

Profile Picture

Dress professionally, and put a big smile on your face! Clients respond very well to pictures of freelancers that are smiling, as this sends a message that they are friendly and that they have a positive attitude in general.

While a profile picture is not crucial in determining your success on oDesk, there's no reason why you shouldn't present yourself as a friendly person.

Hourly Rate

When setting your hourly rate you should be realistic. If you are not sure what hourly rate you should start with browse other freelancers’ profiles to get an idea. Now, you should know that setting your hourly rate is not as important as applying at the right rate for a particular job position. These two can be, and in most cases are completely different.

Additional Tip

Applying at the right rate is very important for your oDesk career as it can increase your chances of getting a job. What is the right rate? You’ll determine the right rate after you browse through your potential client’s work history and see the average hourly rate they have paid for the similar type of work. Providing that you are comfortable working at that rate, you should place your bid accordingly.


This section of your profile is your chance to present yourself to your potential clients. Here you should describe your area of expertise, as well as your work experience. Be brief, friendly, and professional when introducing yourself.

oDesk Video Feature

oDesk has a relatively new feature that you should take advantage of and this is to upload a video of yourself talking about your skills and work experience. This is your chance to connect with your employers, and help them see with whom they'll be working with. Seeing someone talk and reading something they've written are completely two different things.


When choosing the skills you want to showcase on your profile be honest. Namely, the best practice is to complete a test for each skill you've chosen, and if you don't have a particular skill or you are not that great at it your potential clients will be able to see that based on your test results.


As I have mentioned it in my lens, Freelance Writing Jobs: Tips for Beginners, it is very useful to have a portfolio especially if you are new to freelance writing. Your potential clients can easily take a glance at your writing skills, and decide whether to work with you even if you don't have any prior work experience. Having a writing portfolio is one of the top factors determining your writing success, so make sure you have some writing pieces to show to your potential clients.

Next to Read

We'll take a brief pause here, and whenever you're ready feel free to continue reading the next lens: Building a Successful oDesk Career - Crucial Factors for Your Success.

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