Freelance Guide – What is oDesk?

oDesk is a global job marketplace accompanying remote projects. This freelance site is designed to connect the client (said to be as “providers”) who could post their job and the employers (said to be as “buyers”) who could do that particular job. oDesk is one of the few websites that offers opportunity for individuals to start work online for free.

free work online from home

The name is short for ‘no desk’ in reference to the company’s objective to connect anyone who could work online at anytime and anywhere. Prospective buyers are free to post there outsourcing job, and providers can create there profile to bid on the particular job. Few to mention of in demand IT web jobs in this marketplace includes web development, graphic and multimedia design, programming and system development, search engine optimization, data entry, article writing and posting, networking and information system, and wide variety of administrative support and business services.

oDesk is one of the amongst record of companies, including Elance, Freelancer, Guru and vWorker that offer services between freelancers and employers. IT freelancers preferred this site for the following services they could offer:

1. oDesk has free membership for both buyers and providers.

2. Services can be paid by the hour or fixed-price bid.

3. Payment is guaranteed. Software is downloaded by the provider which gives transparency to the buyers to have confidence in billing. Hourly jobs are monitored using this oDesk Team software. The system tracks the activity of the provider in a given period of time, and guarantees secure and accurate billing for all the worked performed.

4. Automated bookkeeping task for the convenience of buyers and provider, this includes invoice and billings. Buyer’s billing information is handled by oDesk and automatically charges when the pay period comes.

5. oDesk doesn’t charge providers for monthly, annual or any regular fees. Instead, oDesk get commission at the time when the provider gets paid. The charge is about 11.11% mark-up on the provider’s income. This scheme is favorable to the provider’s side since fees are charged to the buyers.

6. Free skill tests are showcased. Different relative exams are designed to different fields depending on the jobs you are willing to work on to.

About Agnes Galinato

Agnes has been a self-proclaimed Rockstar VA for 5 years. When she's not focused on a computer screen, she's a certified couch potato.


  1. , I want to be sure it’s accurately erpersented, as many freelancers stand to benefit from our offerings. While your assertions are energetic, they are inaccurate.Points of clarification:1) To be eligible, you have to work for hourly payThis is not true. All hours logged via oDesk, whether for an hourly job or fixed price, count toward benefits eligibility. The only requirement is that the average hourly rate (total earnings divided by hours logged) for that pay period cannot drop below the minimum wage for your state of residence.2) You have to PAY’ for the privilege of the staffing modelAlso not true. oDesk’s normal fee is 10% of the buyer’s pay rate. While it’s clear that you and many of your readers find our time tracking software intrusive, it allows us to guarantee that an hour worked is an hour paid. oDesk workers don’t have to chase down invoices and don’t lose money from deadbeat buyers. If they are transparent with the work being done, oDesk guarantees payment – we lose, not the worker.In the staffing model, the fee is 20% of the pay rate (10% more than normal), and the additional cost turns out to be 11.1% of what the worker would have received in our standard model. As you know, independent contractors pay self-employment taxes, which in most cases is roughly equivalent to the additional cost of oDesk Staffing.In reality, when you go through all of the calculations of the two scenarios and incorporate the appropriate state and federal taxes, an oDesk Staffing worker makes slightly more than a regular oDesk worker in most situations on an after-tax basis. I designed it specifically so that it would not cost the worker anything additional on an after-tax basis.3) Giving up the freedom of being a freelancerWhich freedoms are you referring to? Setting your own hours? Choosing your own work? Working from where you want when you want? All of those freedoms are still available via the oDesk Staffing model. Plus, you get group healthcare when you are too sick to enjoy your freedoms, you don’t have to bankrupt yourself to take care of it.We are actually making the freedom of freelancing available to many that couldn’t make it work before. Think about how many people would never consider striking out on their own specifically because they can’t get benefits for their families. We’ve opened the world of freelancing to a whole new group of people.4) oDesk Staffing is illegalThe legal structure is exactly the same as traditional staffing agencies. The buyer pays us, we keep a fee, then we pay the worker. It’s a proven model that we’ve adapted to meet the specific needs of our workers.5) You can get your own health insuranceYou can certainly get your own health insurance, but I have yet to see an individual health plan that has no restrictions for pre-existing conditions, unlimited (or very high limit) benefits and is still affordable for the typical freelancer. You can get all those things with oDesk Staffing. From my research, comparably priced individual plans have annual benefit limits of about $20,000. That’s fine if you have a runny nose, but not so good if you get in a car accident. If you have a pre-existing condition, there are few individual plan options. Again, I realize the oDesk model is not a great fit for everyone, but we became the number one marketplace for online work for a reason. Yes you need to be comfortable with a level of transparency that is not typical in a remote work scenario, but one that is common in the traditional work place. At any given time, my boss can walk around the corner and ask me why I’m writing a dissertation on this blog site. From the response I have received from oDesk contractors eager to take advantage of the program, oDesk Staffing has clearly struck a chord for many freelancers. I am happy to answer any and all questions about the program and how it works. You can email me at .

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