I left my job to be with my daughter at home as she was just 2. But, quitting my full time job did not stop me from leaving my passion- Testing! The first thought that I would not be working anymore gave me fears. But, I decided that I will not leave my work even though I leave my office! But, then I didn’t know from where to start. I used to do a lot of search on Google and visit testing forums, spoke to friends but nothing seemed to work out. I used to Google with the key word- “Work from Home” and there I got millions of pages with the title “Earn up to 300$ per day! Earn upto 200$ per hour”. There was no one who can help me to find ways through these vast search results of Googling. It was almost 3-4 hours of searching everyday for about 3-4 months that I found that there were actually sites dedicated to Freelancers and they cater to any area in the industry. It took me almost 6 months to be an expert in Freelance job search! I had to struggle for so long just because I did not find any site, any blog which would help me out with all the ways of “How to start as a Freelancer” So, I thought why not write it down myself?
So, when you think of Work from Home, the first question that comes to your mind is- Can we get a freelance job in our area of expertise? Is the pay equivalent to that we were getting when we were fully employed? Can we trust the employers?
And, the answer is- YES: We have millions of job opportunities available for people who want to work from their homes without even investing a single penny. YES- We can rely on the employers for work and of course the payment. And, the best part- There are hundreds of jobs available for you to choose from and that too in your own area of expertise.
I have listed below few sites and the description of how the freelance sites actually work and what is their process. They have been reviewed from the point of view of a Freelancer. There might be hundreds of other sites which are present, but these ones are those which I have been working with for some time now. And, I can guarantee that these are neither FAKE ones nor they are the”Make Money in 10 days!” type of sites. Before starting your journey as a freelancer, the most important thing to remember is ‘There is no shortcut to make money online’. You cannot get more than the effort that you spend on. Please do not go with the fraud sites which say that you can earn money in 1 day or just by clicking links or by referring people. They will just land you in trouble and you might as well end up losing some money.
Below are the sites which can be your starting step towards freelancing.
- 1. ODesk- www.odesk.com
I would rate this with 5 *s. A good freelancing site with very user friendly approach. They have a well structured approach right from the way the projects are categorized or the way the employee profile structure is built. The main plus point of this site is the user interface when the employee applies for a project. The page is structured in a proper way from the top where we enter the Rate/hour to uploading your profile. They have their own employee work tracking software called the ODesk application which when installed tracks your time when you are working on a project so that the same can be billed to the client. In this way the employees can connect with their contractors and their colleagues who are working on the same project.
The employers are verified properly for their contact no’s and their payment conditions. If an employee did not verify his payment credentials, it is clearly indicated near the name of the employee. The payment is done through Escrow so there is full guarantee for your payment once you finish the work. There is also an Employee to Contractor feedback once you finish working on a project. There are wide ranges of areas where projects are posted from Data Entry to Programming to writing to testing. ODesk has it all!
- 2. Elance-www.elance.com
Elance is the next best in its class. Similar work process as that of ODesk. This also has a similar profile creation page. Both Elance and ODesk have their own skills assessment tests where you can take tests in many different areas like Windows administration, English tests, language tests, Testing, and also translation tests to name a few. But, one thing I observed is that both have almost same kind of questions in their tests. I had taken the U.S. Basic English test and both the tests had the same questions! May be developed by the same company!
But, one drawback of Elance is the job application page is not as user friendly as ODesk. Otherwise, in terms of employer verifications or project categories, both are equal.
I will rate Elance 4*s
- 3. UTest- www.utest.com
This is my favorite! UTest is only for testers. The projects posted are only for testing. And, UTest works in a complete different way than the rest of the sites. There are no biddings, no resumes to be uploaded and no different categories. You have to create a profile with your available Machines (With OS, browser and antivirus) details and cell phone model details. The projects are posted on the site and you can see them if the requirement suits your profile. Here profile is your machine details and your ratings. This follows pay per bug model. Pay differs with the type and severity of bug you log. For ex, a High priority Technical bug may be paid $20 and a GUI bug is paid $5. There are also various competitions called Bug Battle which are held quarterly and the winner is selected as ‘Highest no. of bugs logged or quality bugs logged’
This is a great site for all those who are looking for testing projects. But, one thing we have to keep in mind here is time and good quality testing. The test cycles get locked as soon as their budget or time expires. So, as soon as the project is active (an auto generated mail comes to your inbox when a project is active for you) we have to start testing. There are various testing projects that are posted here- For ex- Web based applications, security applications, desktop applications and many more.
There are also blogs and forums for UTest where you can interact with fellow utesters and share knowledge. I will rate UTest 5*s again.
- 4. Pay4bugs- www.pay4bugs.com
Pay4Bugs is a similar site to UTest where there is a pay per bug model. This is not as popular as UTest and also does not have good budgeted projects. But, good for people who are not able to find too many projects there on UTest. The no. of people on Pay4Bugs is less so there are more chances of your bug getting approved!
Projects are good and an averagely designed site structure.
I will rate Pay4Bugs 3.5 *s
- 5. Freelancer- www.freelancer.com
The main drawback of this site is the design of the site. There is no way we can build a profile. Employer can only see our skills when we write while posting a project. Project categories are good. But, I could see many bogus projects also placed on Freelancer like pay per clicks etc. Freelancer does not validate the employer thoroughly. You get too many project notifications if you subscribe to!
- 6. LimeExchange- www.limeexchange.com
Similar site on the lines of ODesk and Elance. Has project categories, profile builder. I could not see many projects for testing, but yes there were many projects for developers and data entry work. Not very user friendly and easy to use. Rating- 2.5*s
- 7. Guru- www.guru.com
Not very user friendly and easy to use. Project categories are good. I did not get any projects myself here, so not sure about the payments. Otherwise, I would rate it about 2.5 *s