How to Win Work Bids in Odesk and Elance

Considering the growing use of internet as a source to provide opportunities that encourage people to work from home, there has been an increase in the number of people who have a kick-start to their freelancing career. There is no dearth of opportunities online for writers, programmers and web designers. However, as the number of freelancers who can offer these skills is much more than the number of such opportunities, there is intense competition.

Working from home as a freelance consultant for any of the most needed jobs that include writing, graphic designing, software or program development, etc gives you the advantage of deciding your work hours and your work timings. Without having to report to any boss, you will be delighted to work for yourself. Most importantly, when you work on internet as a freelance service provider, you do not have to worry about not being able to taking time off your busy schedules for family. Working on freelance can give you a lot of time for your family by helping you decide the amount of work you want to conveniently take.

If you are new and are looking out for sources on the internet that offer you freelance opportunities depending upon your skill set, you will quite surprised at the number of results that show up for your query on any search engine. That is because there are many such freelance websites that provide you the necessary information to make the right move. Elance and Odesk top this list.

Elance – The Basic Structure

Elance is perhaps the most popular websites of all that provides innumerable work related opportunities on freelance. In fact, Elance provides freelance job across various platforms. When you create your account and login to Elance, you will see a list of categories which are – Web and Programming, Design and Multimedia, Writing and Translation, Sales and Marketing, Finance and Management, Legal, Engineering and Manufacturing and lastly, Admin Support. Depending upon your skill set, you can choose the category you are comfortable with. There are also sub categories in each of these to further narrow down your search for the most appropriate freelance opportunity for you.

Bidding on Elance

If, for instance, you are looking out for writing jobs, you can choose the category Writing and Translation and find yourself a relevant job posting. While searching for jobs, you can even sort them depending upon the budget, the job end date, and other such parameters. Once you have chosen a job for yourself, you will be required to submit your bid. When submitting your proposal (with the bid amount), you will need to be very cautious with what you write in your cover letter. Also, focusing on your profile will help you to a great extent. The proposal cover letter and your profile have to be extremely impressive for a client to get interested in you. You might want to add a few samples from your previous work to further make your proposal interesting.

After having completed your cover letter, you will need to place your bid. It is always appropriate to follow a fixed or standard rate for a similar service. However, it is important to look at the budget range specified by the client so that you get an idea on how much the client is willing to spend. Bids that are vague and unreasonable will be straight away declined so be careful when placing the bid.


Odesk works on pretty much the same grounds as Elance. On Odesk too, you have a certain set of categories that are created to break down the various opportunities in to broad heads like Web Development, Software Development, Networking and Information, Writing and Translation, etc. Again, depending upon your skill, you can choose the category and look for relevant opportunities. The bidding process then follows which is very similar to that of Elance.

Getting Projects on Elance and Odesk

For both Elance and Odesk, the profile is extremely important to win deals. Your profile needs to be complete and up-to-date with all the basic information about you and your experience in your respective skill. A complete profile will make you genuine and trustworthy for your prospective clients. Once you sign up on Elance and Odesk, you get a certain number of connects or quota respectively that will help you with your applications.

To conclude, Elance and Odesk both offer quite lucrative options for people who are interested to work from home but it is important that the person spend some time on these platforms to understand how they work. First few weeks might not really be fruitful but your consistent effort will win you some good projects to start with. Once you get that start, there is often no looking back!

Image Source: Elance homepage screenshot

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Prime Aque is the back-end guy of Self-Help. He is a blogger and WordPress front-end designer. Importantly, he is a husband and a father of three wonderful kids. His firstborn are twin girls. He loves writing and sharing.

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