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Made $290 In 7 Days - Freelancing Advice To Get Starter Money For Your IM Projects

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by Vibrance, May 7, 2012.

  1. Vibrance

    Vibrance Junior Member

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    This thread is not really a method but more some advice on using freelancing websites in order to gain some starting capital for your IM ventures. Don't be lazy and/or make excuses that you don't have any money to start. Read on....


    I made $290 in 7 days, and most of the work was done in my downtime at my 9-5 job. How did I make this?


    Ok I will start by explaining that the particular freelancing website I used was oDesk (highly recommended). This website offers free 'tests' in which you can complete in order to make your profile look better, as potential employers can see your profile which contains your test marks, but more on this later.


    Anyway, when creating a profile for your account, you can choose up to 10 skills for the things you are proficient in. Employers can see this and it may increase your chances of getting a freelancing job/contract. Examples of the skills I added to my profile were blog commenting, SEO, article writing, website development, technical support, C++, PHP. When this was complete, I wrote a short blurb about what skills I have to offer (in the profile). An example is:



    Now the next part is optional, doing the free tests that the site offers. If you choose to do these, make sure you put the effort in as it really looks good on your profile when you have completed tests with good marks (Don't worry - you can hide the marks from tests if you didn't do so well). For example, on my account I have done the following tests:

    [​IMG]


    Ok here is when I got down to business, I decided that I would start nice and easy and get some content writing jobs - for easy feedback. I filtered jobs to show only 'Article Writing' and 'Technical Writing'.


    After about 5 minutes I found a job for writing 3 articles and the employer had set a budget of approximately $15 for the three. I know this does not sound like much, but like a lot of things, building feedback is important and i will show you how I leveraged on that good feedback to get higher paying work.


    When applying for jobs on the site (and probably other freelancing sites) you have the option to write a cover letter and this is your chance to sell yourself and to stand out from other candidates. See below for an example cover letter, but similar to a resume, make sure you tailor some points to meet the job needs of the employer so that you look relevant for the job and that you aren't just copy a pasting cover letters into every single job on the site in hopes of getting hired.


    Example Cover Letter:
    Of course, make sure you change this up to suit your own skills and also to link your skills to the job description.

    So I sent off this application and was accepted. I completed the job as soon as I received the keywords and the employer was very impressed and gave 5 stars. The next job I applied for I used the same cover letter and was hired for re-writing 5 articles for $25.

    This was all very nice but I thought that it was time to step it up a notch. The next job I applied for was writing reviews for a range of different software products and would gain me $250 for 10 reviews of approx 800-1000 words with screenshots. For this job, I noted in the cover letter that I had received 5 star reviews for previous jobs. So for this, add something to your cover letter, such as:

    Note how I have said "When you hire me", rather than "If you hire me", as it will help the mindset of the employer and to aid in his visualization that you will be working for him - it becomes a WHEN, not just an IF.


    Anyway I scored this job as well and completed it in 4 days. The total for 3 jobs was $290 in 7 days, and this was just done in my downtime at my 9-5. I'm not sure how many man hours it was but even still - it is good starter money.

    So with ~$300, you could probably buy the following things for your IM ventures:

    Idea 1:
    5-8 Micro Niche Sites (people sell entire setups)


    Idea 2
    $40 buy some keywords
    $40 buy some domains
    $10 (per month) buy some hosting
    $?? Outsource content or create it yourself since you have been getting practice anyway


    Idea 3
    - Create Youtube videos
    - Buy likes


    Idea 4
    - Create a site
    - Buy PPC credits (although if you are a new to this, I dont recommend this until you have more money to burn and are more experienced)

    Idea 5
    You come up with something.


    Overall, I am just showing you guys that it is very easy to get starter cash. I see so many people complaining that they don't even have $10 for a domain name. Well I had never used a freelancing site, and after a week of doing it part time, I had $300. This is more than enough to get you started and pushed in the right direction. Just apply some of the advice given here and you will be up and running with some ventures in no time at all.

    But remember, just reading this won't do much. It is now up to you to take action.

    Enjoy!
     
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    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  2. The Secret

    The Secret Junior Member

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    Nice work, Good read and perfect advice for anyone needing some quick money
     
  3. YugiMutou

    YugiMutou Junior Member

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    So what if I dont have all these skills still put them so I can get the chance to get picked ?
     
  4. Majinn

    Majinn Junior Member

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    Well, there are a lot of skills in oDesk that you should be capable of doing. If you are confident with your research, grammar and sentence structure skills, it's article writing for you. If you have a few years using computers, it's data entry, which involves more sub-skills. I guarantee that you will find at least 10 skills you are capable of doing, it's a wide variety of them and as OP said, try to build up your profile to make a confident person look.
     
  5. Vibrance

    Vibrance Junior Member

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    The example cover letters, skill sets and profile information I provided was not intended to be copied, but rather used as a base - you should be making it relevant to the skills that you personally have.
     
  6. uncutu

    uncutu Power Member

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    Good post. This is an easy way to get started making money online. What % of job applications did you win?
     
  7. Vibrance

    Vibrance Junior Member

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    About 50%, which is good, but I believe it would have been higher if I was bidding lower. I try not to sell myself short by instantly bidding lower than everyone else. Instead, I bid what I think is a good price, and then in the cover letter explain to the employer why they are better off selecting me, regardless of price. You can push some of their buttons by mentioning that you will write better English than the alternatives and avoid them having to ask for revisions, which is a time saver for them, and other triggers, that I will leave everyone else to figure out and test.
     
  8. liranbo

    liranbo Junior Member

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    Well not all of US were born in the U.S and have fluent English as u may have. so ya its a good way to start IF this option fits u.

    However I do agree with the main idea of this thread, there's always a way to make up to missing 50$-100$ if u really want to.
     
  9. bigfoot1

    bigfoot1 Regular Member

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    This is an excellent thread.

    Anybody who needs money to startup in IM needs to read this thread, its very easy to get this kind of work provided you create quality work.

    I myself have made some extra cash through Article Writing, its a quick and easy method to make that spare cash. The best thing is you can do this at school or work when you have nothing to do, instead of wasting time on facebook not making any money.
     
  10. Vibrance

    Vibrance Junior Member

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    While what you have said is perfectly valid, this advice/method can also be considered good practice for your English skills, however, you may have to bid slightly lower in order to gain employer attention. However, if you keep practicing, you will build good feedback and be able to apply for more indepth projects or projects with higher specifications. As I said, there is no excuses. If your English skills are lacking and preventing you from making money to the fullest - improve them, they will help you both now and throughout the rest of your life.
     
  11. uncutu

    uncutu Power Member

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    I had an account I registered on oDesk back in 2010. I did some tests, filled out a profile and sent 15 job applications before I was reached the max job application limit. Haven't heard back from any contractors yet.
     
  12. Vibrance

    Vibrance Junior Member

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    PM me your cover letters and profile link if you like, and I can provide some suggestions. Also, you can increase your job application quota by completing more info in your profile and also verifying your identity
     
  13. Vibrance

    Vibrance Junior Member

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    I have replied to your PM uncutu, and will share a bit of information with the thread that I provided him:

    Even if your tests state "Above Average", you really want to only show tests in your profile in which you have gained Top 10% or Top 20%, so I suggest hiding these tests, and if it has been 1 (or 2? I cant remember) months since you have completed these tests, resit them, and when you get a good mark display it on your profile. Another thing, do the Spelling Tests for an easy mark, I did these tests and just had a second tab open in Google to double check the spelling of the words, and got Top 20% (4.90/5.00) for this test, which looks good). Do more and more tests, until you do tests that have you in the Top 10-20%. Once you have these, mention it in your cover letter as well. Say something like
    Then verify your identity and also complete the oDesk Readiness Test if you haven't already, as these will both increase your job application quota.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  14. intrepid

    intrepid Regular Member

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    Hmm, I've been meaning to signup with oDesk since my fiver gig never sold.
     
  15. monopoly monies

    monopoly monies Newbie

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    Do you suggest we upload a photo of ourselves? I'd also like to know if you suggest we take the odesk readiness test? Is there some way I can study before I actually take it?
     
  16. Apollo93

    Apollo93 Newbie

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    Nice post. Easy to start making money. I will try. Thank you
     
  17. toughtrasher

    toughtrasher Senior Member

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    So is it easy to find jobs that you can do? Or do you spend a lot of time finding jobs that are suitable for you to do 100% correctly?

    Also, do you have any more tips on how to out-do other people into persuading the employer to hire you instead of them? I once went to a freelancing website and just browsed around, and saw a bunch of people trying to get into seperate jobs to do, and I was just like "They'd never pick me for this job.."
    How do I get around that?

    Thanks, +rep given you deserve it.
     
  18. Vibrance

    Vibrance Junior Member

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    Just take it, it is very simple. All of the answers can be found on the site itself so just load up a second tab and search for the answers as the questions are asked. You will get 100% very easily, and if you fail, you can just retake the test.

    It is quite easy to find jobs as you can filter your categories. I usually checkout the Writing and Translation section and also the Scripting section and there is tons of jobs, just browse in whatever section best fits your skill set. I think you can also search by keyword.

    As for convincing employers to hire me, I really hit home hard that I have exceptional English skills and sell the fact that the quality of work will be so high that they will not need to proof read. Once you have some feedback, also push this by saying something
    Like "As you can see, my profile exists of 100% 5 star feedback and this quality of work will be applied when you hire me." Always talk as if you know they will choose you.

    Also, it is obvious but a lot of people don't do this, TAILOR YOUR RESPONSE TO MEET THEIR CRITERIA. If they talk about keyword density, tell them how you are experienced in this and understand how it benefits their search engine rankings. If they talk about writing a user manual for a product, tell them you have extensive experience and that you are able to view the project from the users point of view and can write content to suit their needs. If they want a web script or some programming, tell them that you will provide meaningful comments and will code in such a way that the software will be easily expanded later on (if needed). Doing these things will beat 99% of template responses that your competitors will use.

    Any more questions? Ask away!
     
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  19. toughtrasher

    toughtrasher Senior Member

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    Wow, great response. Thanks so much!

    I've just spent the last 2 hours or so creating my profile, completing 4 tests (readiness test, +3 English tests [for article writing]) and getting 4.0/5.0 or higher in each of the tests, and then applying to 4 jobs with all custom-made and criteria-targetting letters.
    I hope I'm chosen for at least one of the jobs I applied for, and I think I did a good job explaining that I am a professional writer, native English speaker, and that I can do the criteria they ask at a much higher quality than all the other competitors.
    I also ask that the client contact me with their very cheapest bid and I was willing to accept $0.25 less than that, just extra so that the client will like me better and save money.

    Is that fine, what I've just done?
    And I'm a bit scared since I'm only 15 and I decided to put a portrait on my profile of me so that I look more professional. I don't know if employers will buy it since I'm only a teenager, but how do I get around this?
    I see the portrait picture as mandatory for trust, kind of like how Fiverr favors people with videos in their gigs.
    Thanks again.
     
  20. Vibrance

    Vibrance Junior Member

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    I would advise against putting a profile picture (at least in my experience)

    Why? Consider a scenario in the offline world where you apply for a job and send a resume. I would never put a picture or my age on my resume. While I am 25 which is a good age for getting employment, you cannot gauge how the employer thinks. So I would consider that having a picture and your age on your resume is giving them more information to decide against you and they may not interview you. If they can't see what you look like or your age (at least pre-interview) then they will be judging you on your actual skills NOT YOUR DEMOGRAPHICS.

    Now apply that to oDesk.