Freelancing with Odesk

I have been doing web development in PHP for 3 years now, and I have had the pleasure of working with many open source PHP frameworks such as Code Igniter and ZendF,  and content management systems (CMSs) like Typo3, WordPress, and CMS Made Simple. However, I have never been into freelancing and my freelance career only includes no more than 3 projects. However, now that I could use some extra money I turned towards Odesk.

Odesk is a platform where employers post jobs, and can hire contactors to get those jobs done. It offers both Hourly based jobs and fixed budget but Odesk does not guarantee payment on fixed budget jobs. However, a contractor could ask for an upfront payment to limit the risk of no payment.

I have been a member at Odesk from September, 2010 but to be Odesk ready I had to complete the “Odesk ready test”, which comprised of 11 questions, and all must be answered correctly. I tried to pass this test on my own, answering the questions by reading the reference links they provided with each question, but I failed to pass it the first time, and then they wouldn’t allow me to retake the test until after one month’s time. Therefore, I gave up hope, left Odesk and concentrated on my permanent shift job, and my own projects. During this time, I did some part-time jobs as well for 3-5 months to earn the extra money at that time.

But now after getting some guidance from my colleagues, I have rejoined Odesk. I cleared the Odesk Ready Test in the third attempt, and was happy to achieve that. I then passed a couple of PHP tests that Odesk provides to increase my job quota to 15 applications.

However, my experience on Odesk is still sore and I do not have a single job or Odesk hour, even If I quoted lower bids. Adding to my worries is the electricity outages in Pakistan especially after midnight. My friend says that I can only get picked at midnight, since most jobs are posted at that time. So, I’ve been trying for a week now to get even a 5 dollar job, but I have been unsuccessful so far.

I have not given hope yet, and I am concentrating on passing a couple of more Odesk tests, and am applying to simple jobs such as data entry. Seeing job posts on here, I have noticed that most jobs require HTML/CSS work or designing, and that is a serious setback for me, since I do not have much experience in designing, and cannot convert a PSD into an HTML, at least not 100 percent.

Therefore, I was wondering if anyone has a suggestion for me regarding freelance work or propose some other platform where I could try. Any help would be appreciated.

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