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How to Make Money Working for oDesk

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Earn in oDesk

One of the best things that I have done in my search for ways to make money online is joining oDesk.  I have landed many works here and have earned a lot to cover my bills and other financial needs.  I never knew that joining this site would make a big impact in my life.  I have met kind and understanding clients and most of them right now are my regular employers. I have learned many things that help me enhanced my skills and knowledge specially in document formatting.   

Credit: own photo

What You Need To Do

Sign-up. Joining oDesk is absolutely free and easy.  They encourage new workers to verify their accounts to increase trust of their clients and also to increase your job application quota.  During the verification process you have to submit an ID with your picture, signature and date of birth and a proof of billing not later than 6 months.    

Before you apply for work, you have to pass the oDesk Readiness Test.  The test is easy but you have to answer all questions correctly.  Don’t worry if you weren’t able to pass it the first time you take it because you can retake the test if you failed.       

What is oDesk

Video Tutorial

Some Tips in Working with oDesk

  1. Create a nice profile. It is one of the most important things you can do so that you can attract clients.
  2. Create a portfolio. Sometimes clients look at the works you have done before to know if you are qualified according to their job posts.
  3. Take oDesk tests. Taking an oDesk tests increases your chance of getting hired. Some clients prefer workers who have taken a skill test.
  4. When you are lucky to get hired, try to do a good job to impress your client. Be honest and efficient so that your client will give you a nice feedback and in the end you will gain from it. It will also reflect your profile. And if you are lucky, your client will rehire you for a long term job. 

What does oDesk gain?

While joining and applying in oDesk is free unlike in other freelancing sites, once you get a job and get paid, oDesk charges a fee equivalent to 10% of the total amount charged to your client. If you do not have work, you will not pay any amount but if you have work oDesk charges your client additional 10% of the amount you are paid. So it’s the client who shoulders it if it is in an hourly rate. It is different with the fixed rate, if the amount agreed between you and your client is 10$, oDesk takes a 10% of it so you’re earning will be 9$. The worker is the one who shoulders the oDesk fee.

PROS of Odesk

  • Guaranteed payment when it is an hourly job.
  • There are many jobs available according to your skills.
  • There are affiliate programs where you can earn extra cash.

CONS of oDesk

  • Most jobs available are low paying. It is okay to rate a $3 for an hourly rate or a $2 if you are a new worker but an hourly rate lower than these are not good for you and for your client. 
  • There are too many available freelancers so you will have to compete with many workers.

Is oDesk a scam?

Before I encountered oDesk, I was hesitant to believe that I can earn money by doing job at the comfort of my home or at my free time or that I can earn money more than the basic rate here in my country. oDesk have helped me a lot and I would say that oDesk is still helping me because of the jobs I am still having right now and the money I am earning from it.

In my 3 years working in oDesk, I have proven that oDesk is not a scam site. I have worked and been paid by my clients. Transferring money from my wallet in oDesk is easy. The money is transferred directly to my bank without issues, in one to two days at the maximum. And even before when I was still using Paypal as my payment processor, I haven’t encountered any issues too. The only reason I do not use Paypal anymore is to cut the withdrawal expenses. There are clients who scam their worker and there are workers who scam their client but oDesk has nothing to do with it. If you feel that you have been scammed by your client or your worker, you can file a dispute with oDesk. There are many ways to withdraw money from your oDesk account. Depending on your country, these include ACH, local funds transfers, PayPal, Moneybookers, pre-paid debit cards, and wire transfers.

What is my proof that oDesk is not a scam?

I think that I am one of the proof that oDesk is not a scam. For you to believe that oDesk is not a scam site and that I have been paid by oDesk, I posted some of my earnings in oDesk.

oDesk payment proof
Credit: own photo

oDesk payment proof

oDesk payment proof
Credit: own photo

oDesk payment proof 2

My First Month

My first month of being a member here is hard.  Like any other companies, clients prefer workers who have track records.  Some clients accept workers with a very low hourly rate.  But eventhough I am a newbie I did not lower my hourly rate so much because I think it is not fair for me since I know my skills and capabilities.  Some workers accept low paying jobs just to collect experience and later on increase their rate which is a good tactic for a newbie.

I remember I have been applying for many work that my job application quota for a week which is 25 is still not enough because I have never been hired.  I keep on applying and taking my chances for the projects posted.  

What is My Experience in oDesk?

Working in oDesk is a gain for me. I have learned new things and met different kinds of Clients and I’m lucky that all of my clients are good to me. My first job is less than $3 an hour and I got a bonus there. And now I am averaging $5-$10 an hour mostly working as a Virtual Assistant and PDF to Word transcription which is my expertise. I am happy that they are satisfied with my work. So if you need any assistance or any PDF to Word Transcription, you can reach me there.

Some think oDesk is a freelancing site with low paying jobs. But for Third World Countries like us, earning a $3 per hour is already above the minimum wage especially if you work for 8 hours a day. Maybe that is the reason why oDesk became more popular than its competitors. Clients with the low budget who are looking for people to finish their work to be done found oDesk and workers who are looking for online jobs find jobs and assurance in oDesk. But there are also Clients who are willing to pay more than $10-$50 an hour according to your skills or expertise and your country of origin.

In working with oDesk, do not stick with just one client especially if it is not a full time work. Because sometimes they do not have regular work for you, so if you have at least 3 clients, you will have a fall back. But make sure if those 3 clients gave you jobs at the same time, you will be able to finish them all.


Even if I earn a lot in this site, there is no assurance that you can make the same money that I have earned.  There are people working here that earn more than what I have earned and there are people who earned just a little and some are not lucky to have landed any jobs on this site.




Jul 6, 2014 10:39am
Really great article. Wish you continued success on oDesk.
Jul 6, 2014 6:38pm
Thanks Gopala.
Jul 7, 2014 11:26pm
Great article Gopala and all the best with oDesk. Have you also tried fiverr?
Jul 8, 2014 8:11am
I am happy this is working for you. I tried oDesk a while back but it frustrated the crap out of me so I decided to call it quits. lol!
Jul 8, 2014 10:38pm
Yes Anya Tripp. Thanks for your visit.
Jul 18, 2014 5:43pm
i tried odesk too. but i never got hired :( haha..
Jul 18, 2014 8:39pm
Yes aseduj, maybe I was just lucky. There are lots of competitions over there.
Aug 19, 2014 5:00am
Great article Yayang, another helpful and very informative post! Thanks
Aug 19, 2014 6:56pm
Thank you chasbear.
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