Going Freelance, Part 2: Getting online jobs

I had a scheduled post for this topic, but for some reason, when I did a last minute check before it publishes, it looked exactly like the previous post in this series. Sooo weird. I have no idea what happened. Either it was a Blogger glitch or I copied my previous post here by mistake. The latter is highly unlikely because I remember previewing that post several times. Strike 1 for Blogger. Tsk tsk.

Anyway, on to getting online jobs. In this post, I will simply share how I found my jobs and maybe share a few tips I picked up along the way. :)

Signing up on online job marketplaces

Most of my jobs are from oDesk. I created an oDesk account the year before I quit my job but I wasn’t able to attend to it. About two months into my unemployed life, I started fixing up my oDesk profile and applied to several small jobs. My first job was a rewriting job which paid me $2 per rewrite. It wasn’t much but it was a good way to get started and get a feel for this kind of work. I started getting other jobs, mostly short article writing jobs. At some point, I realized that I had accepted too many jobs and had to cancel some. That was lesson 1 for me–to not take in more than I can handle. These days I try to manage my time more carefully and be more realistic with my work schedule.

I also created an account on Elance, which is pretty much similar to oDesk. I received a couple of invitations to interview, but I wasn’t interested in the jobs or I was too busy with other projects, so I turned them down. I didn’t get any more invites after that and I stopped being active on Elance. I decided to just focus more on oDesk since I had a better profile there. Many freelancers swear by Elance so I think it’s also a pretty good place to find work.

Checking out popular job sites

I also applied to writing jobs that I found on Jobstreet, JobsDB, and Jobopenings.ph. I accepted a couple of freelance writer positions at two local firms. The work is really just article writing and the work load depends entirely on the writers since they would be the ones who would request or take in assignments. I haven’t taken in assignments in a long time because I’ve been busy with other projects. Anybody looking for online jobs can always check out these trusty job sites because they also have a lot of options.

Sometimes the universe hands you something unexpected

My two most favorite jobs right now were just lucky breaks for me. The first one is a fashion product description writing gig which I found through the job board of FemaleNetwork.com. It’s one of the very first jobs I scored and really one of my all-time favorites. It involves writing product descriptions for clothes, shoes, and bags. My work for this is sporadic but I enjoy it because it’s a fun break from writing articles.

My other favorite job is the one I do for an author PR marketing company. I consider this another lucky break. As part of my personal goals to read and write more I signed up as blog tour host and participated in a few tours. This is how I got under their radar and was offered a paying job opportunity as an assistant on their marketing team. My bosses are awesome and so far I’m loving the work, which involves discovering awesome authors and their books and getting to know a lot of awesome book bloggers.

General tips

So, I didn’t exactly do anything extraordinary to get jobs, but I did give a lot of time and effort to find work for myself. Here are a few tips for anyone looking to join the online work bandwagon.

  • Build your profiles on online job marketplaces and be active in applying to jobs. The competition can be stiff so you also want to make sure your application stands out.
  • Be sure to check out hiring employers’ profiles, too. You don’t want to end up with “bad” employers who may end up not paying you for work completed. I actually had a couple of those.
  • Consider taking in small jobs at first to get a feel for it and also to build your portfolio. But if you already have an extensive or impressive background to begin with, you can shoot for big projects if you think you’re ready for them.
  • Make sure you only take in what you can handle. Be careful not to overload yourself or over-commit on projects. Time management is key!
  • Be patient and be positive! Sometimes you may not get results right away or you may not get the jobs you want. You just need to keep at it until you find something that you like or works for you.

If you’re interested in freelance writing or working online, you can check out more tips from last month’s guest bloggers. Click here and here. :)

Read the previous posts in this series:

0 – Going Freelance a.k.a. Operation Jump Series
1 – Going Freelance, Part 1: Jumping ship

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