Online Work Tips & Best Practices

How to Hire an SEO Expert

December 9, 2013 by

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? This age-old adage could not be more fitting to the world of internet marketing today, where information is abundant and everyone is vying for the top spots in search rankings for Google, Yahoo and Bing. Better search engine rankings can lead to increased traffic, sales and profits. But how exactly does one proceed to rank their pages higher in search engine results? The answer is through search engine optimization (SEO). Running a full SEO campaign can be a daunting task to handle alone; fortunately SEO experts are here to help. Here’s what you need to know to make informed decisions when hiring SEO consultants. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

oDesk VP Matt Cooper Shares 5 Steps to Becoming More Marketable

September 4, 2013 by

The world of work is changing fast, leaving a wake of frightening uncertainty that's especially daunting for those of you early in your careers. We're facing an unemployment rate of more than 7%, an online landscape that turns simple daily actions into permanent reputations, and a world so fast-paced that the next in-demand skill may not even exist yet. How can you help yourself stand out? In a column published today for Inc., oDesk Vice President of International & Enterprise Matt Cooper provides 5 steps to becoming more marketable by bolstering your current skills and developing new ones. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Teacher In The Cloud: Online Education Opens New Opportunities

August 26, 2013 by

Leslie Fetzer's passion for helping students succeed has driven her to innovate on the cutting edge of education: online classrooms. This award-winning teacher rarely enters a traditional classroom; instead, her main office is her computer desk — at her home in Holly Springs, NC. She believes that the freedom and flexibility online education provides helps make a difference in the lives of her students. And she's not alone. More and more teaching professionals are discovering that the world of online education offers new ways to harness and share their love of teaching. Read Full Article

oConomy

The Rise of Specialists Online: Growing Opportunity for a Long Tail of Skills

August 5, 2013 by

The Internet is the main driving force of long-tail markets, as suppliers of these more unique items are now able to tap into buyers via online marketplaces (such as eBay and Amazon). But what if the long tail phenomenon spread to a more advanced market, one that would bring a broader economic impact? In other words, what if it spread to the world of work? As oDesk approached $1 billion cumulative spent hiring via our site, I wondered if the long tail was taking hold in our online workplace. With the Internet opening up access to businesses and professionals worldwide, I hypothesized that plotting oDesk skills data would show a long tail. Read Full Article

oConomy

Fastest-Growing Skills in the oConomy: Bright Spots that Represent Job Opportunities

April 8, 2013 by

Those following the U.S. jobs reports closely are experiencing whiplash after the March numbers were released last Friday. Following February's positive report, March results showed the lowest rate of labor force participation (63.3%) since 1979 — turning optimism into depression. According to the March report, almost half a million people simply dropped out of the workforce. What’s happening? We decided to look at our job listings and identify skills that could represent opportunity for frustrated job seekers. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Comedy in Business: What Improv Can Do For Your Team

March 5, 2013 by

A person’s ability to tap into their inner comedian on the spot is an indication that they might be a great fit — especially for your distributed team. Follow the example of TeamSnap, which uses improv in business: "Using improv techniques can make it much easier to face unexpected challenges, deal with surprises and work better with others,” said Andrew Berkowitz, TeamSnap's vice president of product management. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Say What?: Why the English Language is Weird and What To Do About It

January 3, 2013 by

Welcome to the wild world of English idioms! Where nothing is as it seems and phrases like “you’re pulling my leg” have nothing to do with someone truly tugging on your lower limb. As oDesk’s official word wrangler, this is a subject I spend a lot of time pondering. (Like, waaaayyyy too much time.) So I thought I’d share a few thoughts on how both sides of the communication equation can navigate a notoriously wacky language. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

2013: The Year of the Specialized, the Customized and the Analyzed

December 20, 2012 by

Advances in Internet technology have changed the way we work, with serious implications for how we structure companies and teams, how we think about our careers, and how we communicate with our fellow team members. From telecommuting and online work to distributed teams and even entirely virtual companies, the way the world works now is light years away from the business landscape just 20 years ago. As technology continues to advance rapidly, what does that mean for the way we will work in 2013? Or even 2020? oDesk CEO Gary Swart shared his vision for the future of work in an article today for VentureBeat, outlining 4 major trends that will shape the world of work in 2013. All of them lead to the conclusion that 2013 will be the year of the specialized, the customized and the analyzed. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Beyond Tech: Agile for Anyone

November 28, 2012 by

National Public Radio (NPR) was facing an innovation challenge: In five years, they hadn't produced a single successful new show—but had spent millions on failed experiments. Agile—traditionally for web and software development—is transforming the way NPR does radio programming: As one blogger describes, the philosophy that products should be released early and iterated often means new programs are essentially in public beta. As NPR’s example illustrates, the principles that define Agile can transform your business, whatever industry you're in. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Beyond Orientation: Successful Online Team Onboarding

November 13, 2012 by

Many clients simply give new hires a brief orientation process and a workflow manual to read. But taking it one step further with an extended onboarding program—like intense job orientation—can be a powerful tool for integrating new hires, especially when the team is distributed around the country or the world. Here are some strategies for making new hires as successful as possible through a thoughtful onboarding process. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Make it Viral: The Secrets of Web Video Success

March 12, 2012 by

One trillion. Not only is this a number with a whole lot of zeros, it is also the number of playbacks on YouTube in 2011. And those viewing numbers are not getting any smaller — in fact, online video’s explosive growth will probably add a few more zeros with this year’s roll out of Internet-enabled Smart TV sets (not to mention the new high-resolution iPad). This growth in online video offers unique opportunities for small businesses and freelancers. Unlike advertising on television, you do not have to buy “air time” for online video. Neither do you have to confine yourself to the 30-second spot or to selling within the conventional commercial format. On the Internet, a small business has a much greater chance of attracting relevant eyeballs and winning new customers in a cost-effective way. And video advertising can take varied and creative paths (witness the iPhone in a blender commercial). Successfully marketing with video requires more than just clicking on YouTube’s “upload” button.  It takes careful development and focused execution at all stages, from planning to production to promotion. Here are some pointers for success during each phase. Read Full Article