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Back to the future- a tale of an Odesk freelancer

Updated on April 1, 2012
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Drowning... drowning... no land to put my feets on

It was already a few years since the day we had lost 'Koinx', our brainchild, the website to promote local musicians and music bands in a global scale. My college fees were mounting up, yet there was not any chance that I could get any money to pay the fees. My parents were already overwhelmed with the family necessities, and I could not even think of asking them for any money. It was a pretty critical moment, I was frustrated and tensed... yet I somehow got involved into an "open ended relationship" with an old friend of mine. It was quite embarrassing for me to go on dates with hardly any money in my pocket and I was also worried that I would not probably be sitting in the third year professional examination as I had to pay almost a year's fees in the college along with the exam registration fees. And I could not even think of any future together for us as I had no way to foresee the future.

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Freelancing - the only ray of hope

Me and my girlfriend had been thinking hard what we can do. It is Bangladesh, and after the three hours of daily travel to and from my college and spending six more hours for studying there, it was not truly possible for me to go and find a part time work somewhere. And you need to mind it that, the part time options here are not at all any good. A year back, one of my close friend told me about Freelance jobs at a site named Odesk and one day I told my girlfriend about this website. She told me that she also had an account in this website, but she did not try much as she was already doing a full time job. Somehow both of us had been trying hard and searching for ways in the Internet. She managed a few writing tasks from a few friend of hers. We both joined Odesk with simple profiles as we did not have much to write on our profile. And the first month on Odesk was quite confusing and frustrating. There were some money in the beginning, but we could not think that we could manage our needs with that trivial amount.

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How did I prepare myself as a freelancer?

My start up as a freelancer was not at all a smooth one. I used to write occasionally, but never thought that it could be my profession someday. Besides, I had not been writing at all for years.

The first few tasks were very confusing. But we had each other to discuss with. Whenever we bid for a project, we used to discuss together and try to figure out if we should carry on with the task or not. My girl friend also used to give me tips and sometimes I helped her too.

It was kind of fortunate that we got a few tasks on the first month. But some of the experience was quite painful. In some cases, we did not realize the requirements of the clients as being new to the profession. In some cases, the clients themselves were not quite sure what they wanted from us. But after the first month was over, we found it is relatively easy to get jobs. And the payment also had started to increase. From a rate only 10 cents per 150 words article, we managed to achieve a rate of 2 dollar per 150 words. Even though, this rate is not constant, it is okay for us. But this development had been a really difficult one. Both of us had to study really hard, learn how to do research on Google, and we also learned the ways of natural inclusion of keywords as all of the clients wanted Google SEO implemented in the articles. And it was a good learning curve for both us on article writing along with SEO.

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My perfromance so far as a freelancer

As I have already mentioned earlier about my rates, I will not go back in to that again. Even though we are not yet self sufficient, yet this writing tasks have made our life much easier than before. With a situation, where I had no money to pay my tuition fees in the month of October of 2011, within a period of five months we have managed to earn enough to pay the fees, save up for the cost of my dental instrument, cover my girl friend's medical treatment and also some of our daily expenses.

In the last 5 months, we have earned about 4000+ USD together, which is not probably too much. But considering our situation and the facts that we are newbies, had no prior experience, both of us had their other stuffs to do (I have my studies, and she has her job), we were kind of satisfied with the progress. And now, we have some future plans that we want to execute. We in fact can think of a future just because we now have a platform now. We just want to make it stable.

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Freelancing tips that might help you on Odesk

It has been my story so far. However, I think even in this short experience phase I have managed to attain a few milestones from where I can share a few tips that can help you to succeed if you really want to start a freelancing writing career.

* While approaching the client with your cover letter is brief yet descriptive.

* Clients would not like to read a long list of stuff that you have done in the past. It is better if you can provide some related example of your prior work. If you do not have any, simple show any sample and talk to him about your capacity.

* It is better starting at a comparatively cheaper rate with a client. After you have started to work for him, you can always convince the client about the rate; and after you have worked for a while most of them do not mind.

* Always be punctual about your deadlines.

* While taking the task be sure that you understand all the requirements and also make sure that the client also understands what you are going to deliver. It is difficult to solve disputes on these once you have already started to work.

* Before applying for a job check the employer's profile to see how many jobs he had posted so far and what feedback he had received. An employer with good payment history and feedback will usually be patient, helpful and is also likely to pay you on time.

* For writing tasks, you will not easily find the hourly jobs that are secured by the Odesk system, however; you can work for both fixed and hourly rate and develop your profile gradually.

* Once you are already confident on writing certain topics, you can use that experience to get tasks on the similar tasks from other buyers.

* There are many clients on Odesk that look for long term workers. If you are reliable enough and deliver good quality content within the time, it is more likely that you will get further chances to work with the same buyer.

This is what I have learned so far. I wish to come back to you with more tips after my feet are on more stable ground. Till then adios and I also hope that those who work with Odesk will help me with their tips as well.

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    • Reves-diary profile image
      Author

      Reve 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Hi K Kiss!

      Actually what I figured out is that unless someone is in dire need like me, it is really difficult to stick to something that needs lot of hard work. Odesk probably not the best option for all, but when I started it it was the only option for me and I am still on it. With my accumulated experiences, I am not able to grab much better paying jobs on odesk. you are welcome anytime to have a talk.

    • K Kiss profile image

      K Kiss 5 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      This is amazing Reves. Like many other commentators, I too, signed up with odesk some time back but never really gave it the time. 4000 dollars is a lot not just in Bangladesh. I would really like to discuss further with you regarding odesk.

    • Reves-diary profile image
      Author

      Reve 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Thanks :)

    • Reves-diary profile image
      Author

      Reve 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Thanks Alexander Mark for reading this hub. Odesk has been one of the finest freelancing websites on the web. So, you can try at least once to see how it goes with you.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      This is a great success story, even though as you said, 4000 may not be much, it is from hard work and persistence and proves that you can make more. I had no idea that Odesk was still a good place to freelance. This is a useful and interesting hub, thank you.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Very interesting. GBY

    • Reves-diary profile image
      Author

      Reve 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Thanks! I think odesk is working just fine for me. But this probably because our living cost is pretty low compared to the western countries. I am also looking fro better opportunities. I will share if I find anything better.

    • Kalmiya profile image

      Kalmiya 5 years ago from North America

      Thanks for the tip on odesk. I've been checking out various online writing possibilities to make money but hadn't found this one yet. Keep on working on all these projects as it takes time!

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Luck or coincidence is just Gods way of remaining anonymous, many folks pooh, pooh the power of prayer but I know it works and for little stuff too, do not underestimate it!

    • Reves-diary profile image
      Author

      Reve 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Thanks somethgblue for appreciating this hub. Let's see. I will try start working with full motivation :) Wish me luck. I need that badly :/

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      I will have to agree with the other commenters . . . that I signed up for Odesk but found it to stifling for the creative juices, the money wasn't even close to what I could earn just umpiring a few games so didn't do anything with it.

      Hub Pages allows me to write on what ever subject I see fit and have censored very little. The site allows other like minded writers to share a diverse collection of stories, articles and poetry while doing the formatting and other mundane chores for you.

      Although I have published 70 Hubs and gained over 14,500 page views I have yet to make a dime and couldn't care less. However I am poised to begin making some money after six months of part time writing.

      After all I'm a successful artist and don't need the money but it will be interesting to see how the second half of the year pans out.

      Good Luck, this was a good Hub and maybe the start you need!

    • Reves-diary profile image
      Author

      Reve 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Thanks Barbara Kay for your reply. I think you should give a try as the website is a pretty good one if I am not incorrect :)

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

      I'll have to try it out. I signed up for it and then never did anything with it.

    • Reves-diary profile image
      Author

      Reve 5 years ago from Dhaka

      shaikatrrh

      Thanks a lot for what you have said here. I do agree with you in this matter as there are millions of peoples whose are always wondering on what to do for their livings. With some creating ideas and proper executions, they can certainly make something worthy for making their stable and wealthy.

    • Reves-diary profile image
      Author

      Reve 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Thanks for your reply bizwin. I think you should try it. If you are attentive enough, you will start to see the result :)

    • bizwin profile image

      Christabel Evans 5 years ago from England, UK

      Great tips on writing on oDesk. I have an account there for over a year, but i've not done anything with it. With what you've mentioned above, i think i better check back on oDesk. Thanks for sharing this, it is much helpful.

    • profile image

      shaikatrrh 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Great article dude. Keep it up. It is really very much encouraging for those people living their life in miseries and hoping for doing something for survival. It is indeed a great article also for those people thinking of doing something besides their regular 10 to 6 jobs. Thanks.

    • Reves-diary profile image
      Author

      Reve 5 years ago from Dhaka

      Thanks Lisa. Glad that you liked it. I hope these tips help you. :)

    • Sidewinder6661 profile image

      Leese Wright 5 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Great article. Thank you for sharing your experience so far. I recently joined oDesk so your tips will definitely come in handy!