The world is rife for working online from home as a freelancer. At the rate technology is advancing combined with employment becoming scarce in the traditional industries and even the service industry in the UK, it makes sense that ‘the global workplace’ is only just at the dawn of realising its potential. However, accessing the global workload has oft been fraught with too many a ‘how-to’ request and far too many language barriers.
oDesk, one of the largest such marketplaces in the world, is already profiting from countries with huge populations, reasonable levels of education and high unemployment. Indeed, the top three countries who draw upon oDesk’s varied contracts all fit this mould, with The Philippines, India and Bangladesh accounting for more than a third of freelance work supplied to the thousands of employers in its network.
There is a huge opportunity, with the amendments to Google following their Penguin update, for native English speakers to not only get involved but also capture some of the workload that is currently heading out to Asia. This is by no means to the detriment of those workers who have built their reputations writing for the Internet, but Google is getting smarter.
Much of the work on oDesk, for writers certainly, has been posted by Webmasters who have used Google’s previous algorithms to ‘Build My Rank’, with spun articles that are simply 300 words automatically spun from an original article and submitted to Copyscape to scrape through Copyright / DMCA regulation in order to get their websites onto page one of the Search Engine Rankings.
As much as I despise this type of theft, it has worked in the past. With the Penguin update, for the first time I can see that Google is making giant steps towards eradicating it, freeing the WWW of this Internet Mozzarella. Most of the time, only the search engine crawlers can understand this tripe and, although it works as a tool to get websites to the top of the rankings, they are of little use to the English-speaking surfers who are looking for useful information to match their search term.
Okay, there may be a way to go before it is perfect and article spinners, as much as it grinds my gears (thank you Peter Griffin/Seth MacFarlane – that suits my mood to perfection), there is probably still mileage in this, what I consider to be illegal (certainly immoral), practise. Over the next week or so, I intend to relate my own oDesk experience in the hope that people can take on board the best practises for finding online freelance writing projects and hopefully build their own portfolio and reputation as I did and use the experience as a platform to launch a successful and profitable writing career in the UK and Europe.
In the meantime, please feel free to check out the official tips for contractors from oDesk on their blog, here: