10 Steps to Keep Your Freelancer

June 3, 2010 by

You finally found a freelancer or contractor who "gets" what your business values, understands what you need, and delivers on promises. Wouldn't it be nice to hang onto him or her? Nobody wants to lose the workers who really make outsourcing worthwhile. Read Full Article

Hotels with Free Wifi

June 1, 2010 by

Freelancing during the summer months can be a juggling act for some of us. Trips to visit grandma, vacations in the sun, sight-seeing with the kids, getaways with friends -- unless you have made arrangements not to work during these minibreaks, you'll need to know how to access the internet while away from home. Read Full Article

Facebook Changes: A Brief Primer for Businesses

May 27, 2010 by

Yesterday, in reaction to growing criticism from users concerning privacy controls, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded with this blog post, which outlines the new privacy settings that will be rolled out in the next few weeks. This arrives as a follow up to the apology that Zuckerberg issued in a letter to the Washington Post on Monday, offering that they "missed the mark" with overly complicated Privacy Settings. So how will it impact businesses? Read Full Article

Don't Discount Android...

May 24, 2010 by

Q1 2010 mobile phone sales figures are rolling in from several research firms, and in turn, the analysis of Android devices and iPhone sales are flowing in the news and blog world as well. Android has grown significantly to become a serious iPhone competitor, but Google's App Market is yet to follow suit. Read Full Article

Fixed-Price Finesse: The Test Run

May 20, 2010 by

Employers looking for the superstar worker who can lead a major programming overhaul or provide steady support for the foreseeable future usually don't want to trust something of that scope to an unproven talent. Enter the fixed-price job. It has less flexibility than hourly work, and requires more clarity up front, but it can be great way for an employer to quickly whittle down a list of promising applicants. Read Full Article

Marketing Work Joins Top In-Demand Categories

May 19, 2010 by

In our recent Online Employment Situation Summary (a companion to the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly Employment Situation Summary), we took a look at the $8.6M worth of online work performed last month to discover the types of work most requested by hiring employers. While certain technical work still rules the roost (Web Programming and Web Design, we're looking at you!), there were a few new entries to the top 25 that caught our attention. Marketing is hardly a new business skill, but certain specialized areas are enjoying increased demand. #25 Search Engine Marketing While SEM has hovered in the top 25 work categories before, it's the growth seen in this area over the past year that is truly staggering. Up 27 places on the list since May 2009, folks with the skills to optimize web sites, drive link building, and build social bookmarking are finding themselves in a field that is in high demand. SEM pros have enjoyed a staggering increase in demand over the past year. #24 Telemarketing & Telesales Like many types of work, the growth in telemarketing and telesales over the past few months seems to be tied directly to the recession. Online telemarketing professionals are a natural fit for businesses looking to expand into new markets without large investments . Up both month-over-month and year-over-year, folks with the people skills to engage users and customers by phone are enjoying a long-term growth curve in demand. #19 Social Media Marketing Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. It also opens doors for companies to increase brand awareness and facilitate conversations with customers in a relatively inexpensive platform. It should come as … Read Full Article

How to Best Use Your Remote Team

May 17, 2010 by

Managing remote team members has its own unique set of challenges. For managers used to having their team on site, the switch to managing remote workers can be tough. Many small businesses have a sense of community that can be hard to replicate over the internet, and when personal interactions and non-verbal communication cues are lost, workers may not feel the same connection to their work. The following tips are a good starting point for not only utilizing your team to it's fullest, but also empowering your remote team and giving them a sense of ownership and responsibility in your company's success. Read Full Article

Cloud Computing: Emerging Platforms (PaaS)

May 5, 2010 by

The idea behind the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model is that businesses launching an application can be blind to the infrastructure their app is running on, and focus solely on the application they are launching. PaaS providers often include everything from a development and testing environment to hosting the application in an elastic cloud environment. Many PaaS offerings allow for easy provisioning of servers, configuration, and lots of other time consuming details, so that you can focus on the most important part of the project, the application itself. Read Full Article

How to Write a Cover Letter

May 4, 2010 by

What is a Killer Cover Letter? It’s your first — and perhaps only — chance to impress a potential client or employer. But don't let that intimidate you. A cover letter is, in fact, your opportunity to shine. It gives an employer a brief glimpse of the potential success you bring with you- your experience, your personality and your enthusiasm all play a part in helping you land the job. Read Full Article

Freelance Challenge Winners

April 23, 2010 by

Last week, we asked you to try to set "office hours" - committed work hours that fit your schedule, during which you didn't let distractions creep in. The idea: set office hours to gain productivity and more enjoyment out of your personal time. The results? Mixed. Some found that setting time aside just for work was nearly impossible. Freelancer and mom Phillipa W. works with her son's crib next to her desk - making for unpredictable starts and stops to her work day. "My hours revolve around my 15 month old son and his moods, if he's in a good mood I can get lots done, if not, then boo. But I think if I were able to I would work set hours it would be more productive." Some folks hated even the idea of set hours. Comments shared reflected that some of the best creative ideas came from "Aha!" moments outside of their usual work time. Others took to it like a fish to water: Dianne Mae P. expects to make more money this week because her office hours allowed her to be more productive. "It’s not really about having a regular 9-5 job. It’s more about making sure that you are able to work steady and continuous hours for each project that you are working on each day." Florante V. says, "I still have the same work hour patterns. The only difference is the fact that i'm in control of what I do, what to prioritize. One thing i've learned, 'Don't crowd the important things with the urgent' It may not work for some, but it's making my world a merrier place for freelancing." Thank you to everyone who submitted their comments on setting office hours! Phillipa, Dianne and Florante are our winners and will be receiving … Read Full Article

Has oDesk Changed Your Life?

April 16, 2010 by

  oDesk lets hundreds of thousands of talented providers find the work they want to do, but sometimes when we're looking at the oConomy's satellite perspective (almost $150 million earned via oDesk!) on our vibrant marketplace, we wonder about the individual stories, not just the numbers. Nearly every month, we run across a blogger talking about finding financial independence through oDesk, and we've talked to remote providers whose oDesk work opened up a world of travel opportunities, or helped them pay their way through college. But we know there are more stories out there, and we want to hear, and celebrate, them. Have you launched a new career through oDesk? Overcome the challenges of a lousy job market in your area, family needs or a disability? Made extra money to meet a financial goal, or just break the shackles of that padded cubicle? Let us know in the comments below. Tell us where in the world you live, what kind of work you do, and what being an online provider has meant to you. Keep it short, but be sure to tell us how you changed your life with oDesk. Buyers, don't feel left out — we're asking you the same in this post! … Read Full Article

Has oDesk Changed Your Business?

April 16, 2010 by

  We know that oDesk is changing how the world works, but how is it changing your business? First-time entrepreneurs tell us how they got their dream company launched on a very tight budget, and how they expanded beyond the limits of time zone and local talent, but what's your story? So c'mon oDesk buyers, tell us how you've used oDesk expand your business — or transform you life, for that matter. You could have added a range of services to your business, launched a new venture while still holding down a day job, stretched your budget or found the right talent when the local market let you down. Tell us your story in the comments below. Where are you, what do you do, and how have you used oDesk to do it better? Providers, don't feel left out — we're asking you the same in this post! … Read Full Article