If you are thinking of outsourcing your article writing, then oDesk is worth thinking about. Odesk allows you to start with tiny jobs and you have no financial commitment, no deposit, you just pay by credit card once a week.

ODesk 101

What is oDesk?

Odesk is a website where you can employ freelancers. Workers on oDesk live in every part of the world, so some workers’ wage rates are considerably lower than North American and European rates.

You can invite specific workers to bid for your job, or you can invite bids from anyone. You can find workers in particular countries, whose hourly rates are within a range you specify. Workers also have a star rating and you can use that as a filter, too.

I have looked at most of the freelancing sites, but oDesk is the only one where I am willing to risk my money.

Odesk has systems in place that allow you to check your employees are actually working when they say they are, so abuse of the hourly pay structure is minimal. You can set an amount per job instead of an hourly rate, but disputes are more common, so it is better to pay by the hour.

Why Should You Seriously Consider oDesk for Outsourcing?

There are not enough hours in the day to write all the articles you need to write. A 1000 word article takes about two hours to write, including research and getting the on-page SEO right. That article should earn you $20-$30 a year from a site like Info Barrel with the 90% Adsense share you can get there.

It makes sense to pay a writer in the Phillipines $10 to write that article because it will pay for itself in a year, allowing for a slow start, and after that you are in profit.

Using oDesk ghost writers to write your articles means you can get ten times as many articles online and your income next year will be ten times higher.

How Does oDesk Work for an Employer?

  • You sign up, create a fictitious job just for the signup process, make it ‘Private’ so you are not inundated with offers to do your fictitious article
  • You authorize your credit card. Odesk will deduct $10 from your card, this amount is refunded if you decide not to complete the process, or you can use it to pay for your first job or two
  • You post a job. Within minutes you will have dozens of would be employees bidding for your job
  • You choose an oDesk writer. Reject any who write in less than perfect English. Ask applicants a few questions that require them to think and to write a paragraph to help you judge their written English
  • Answer queries your employee sends you promptly
  • When the work is complete review the timesheet and screenshots of your employee’s screen to reassure yourself that you are only paying for work done
  • Close the job
  • At the end of the week your credit card will be debited by oDesk. Odesk add 10% on to the fee you pay the oDesk freelancer to cover their costs. If you pay your writer $10, oDesk will charge your card $11
  • If you are happy with the writer’s work then ask him or her to bid on your next article. If you are less than happy do not accept a bid from that writer again

How Does oDesk Work for a Worker?

  • A worker bids for jobs according to his skills and the demand for his services
  • Your oDesk employee researches and writes your article
  • Odesk automatically logs your employee’s time on each task and takes frequent random screenshots of the worker’s screen so you can ensure that time charged is time worked
  • Your oDesk ghost writer sends you queries as they arise
  • When your article is finished your employee submits the job and his timesheet and moves on to another job

Is Outsourcing on Odesk Taking Advantage of Writers in Poor Countries?

If you talk to writers in the Phillipines you find that $3 an hour to them is equivalent to $30 an hour to a US writer. Without your $3 an hour your oDesk employee would literally starve. Few countries in the developing world have any unemployment benefit or assistance. If you have no job in the Phillipines, you find one or you starve.

Arguing about the merits and faults of the global economy is pointless; it exists. If you do not want to give charity to people in poor countries give them Work.

Odesk has writers from USA, Canada and UK, too. Give these writers a try if you want to keep your money in the local economy, but Odesk’s writers in the Phillipines are usually a safer bet.

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