oDesk makes me want to kill myself

41 replies
I posted a very detailed job description of what I want done, how I want to done and when I want it done and I have had 6 applicants reply, offering services that I didn't advertise.

I wanted to get some competitor research done. My job posting detailed that I want the URL's, domain PR, inner page PR and top keywords for 30-50 sites in my niche. I have had 6 applicants say that they are more than willing to do blog commenting 40 hours a week and have experience with Angela and Pauls backlinks. I sent a message to one applicant outlining once again what I want done and asking if he was able to provide 2 examples of what I wanted (IE - send me the URLs of 2 sites in my niche) and he replied saying that he was unable to commence blog commenting because I didn't give him my URL or keyword.

I envy the people who have the patience to outsource.
#kill #makes #odesk
  • Profile picture of the author cma01
    This is just basic internet research and data entry.

    Does your posting make it sound overly complicated or like someone needs specialized skills to do it?

    I've had really good success with oDesk lately and I had a really simply project that I posted and I had 120 applicants in two hours.

    But I just request the basic skills that I'm looking for and then give the detailed step by step instructions to the person I end up picking.

    But as far as the inner page PR goes, it would be just as easy to use Scrapebox to get all the indexed pages on the site and get the PR as it would be to explain to someone how to do it.
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    "Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
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    • Profile picture of the author Jackie935
      Originally Posted by cma01 View Post

      This is just basic internet research and data entry.

      Does your posting make it sound overly complicated or like someone needs specialized skills to do it?

      I've had really good success with oDesk lately and I had a really simply project that I posted and I had 120 applicants in two hours.

      But I just request the basic skills that I'm looking for and then give the detailed step by step instructions to the person I end up picking.

      But as far as the inner page PR goes, it would be just as easy to use Scrapebox to get all the indexed pages on the site and get the PR as it would be to explain to someone how to do it.
      What does PR mean?
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      • Profile picture of the author dbarnum
        First, get ice cream. That helps

        Then go elsewhere than oDesk for help because those contractors aren't paying to bid, I believe, so it's free ads for them to spam all projects. Yes, you can insert keywords, etc. but hey, it's easier to just go to a more reputable place like the Warriors for Hire area where you choose who you'd like to seek bids from, or Elance, where contractors pay to bid, so there's less spam.

        oDesk may evolve in a similar direction (as Elance) and hopefully will, so things could improve down the road. It would be in their best interest, so maybe threads like this will help give them a push.
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      • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
        Originally Posted by Jackie935 View Post

        What does PR mean?
        In the context that it was conveyed, it means Page Rank! Each webpage of every indexed site has a Page Rank attributed to it. The PR can range from nothing at all to PR10. The only PR10 in existence is Google itself.

        There are many factors that contribute to Page Rank, but that is a discussion on its own.

        In other contexts, Pr can stand for Press Release or Public Relations.
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  • Profile picture of the author SolomonHuey
    It can be an uphill battle finding the right people.

    But once you find those people you'll wonder how you ever got anything done without them.

    I've been fortunate enough to find some fantastic people, but I'm still on the hunt for more to help me work in other areas of my business.

    Just keep looking, it's totally worth it!

    Solomon Huey
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
      Scott,

      I get a better group of candidates by requesting a feedback score of 4 or 4.5 when I post a job on oDesk.

      Let me know if I can Help.

      Joe
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  • Profile picture of the author TPFLegionaire
    here is what I do when I post a long term job on odesk :

    Detailed description of the task (a couple of hundred words), inside the description I put a specific request for the way I want them to answer their application. (for example, you could say: mention the name of my website in the first sentence)

    You'll probably get between 80 to 200 answers

    this get rid of the spammer who answer with their services indiscriminately or people who's attention to detail or comprehension is below your standards .Any one not replying the correct way is disqualified.

    That might leave you with 30 to 40

    Selecting those who made it through:

    Take a good look at their resume, feedback and any associated links they provide.

    you are selecting maybe 20

    Now invite the ones you think are the best to do a very simple task , unpaid, should not take them more than 30 minutes, include something very specific they need to do (like contact you on yahoo messenger when task is finished) . This enable you to weed out anyone not prepared to "prove " themselves and follow very precise instructions


    Next, a paid trial, You are probably down to 5 or 6 supplier by now...Hire them all for a 1 week trial , paid of course, explain that you will only hire one or two at the end.

    Evaluate them according to your criteria during the week, who needs to be micro managed, communications, quality of work.

    At the end of the week , make your choice (i recommend you hire two people for the same task , you want back up), thank all the trialist and give good reviews to the ones not selected (they usually have done an ok job, just not your top choices)

    For the ones you hire, give them a pay rise straight away. Also I give 4 weeks paid holidays to long term staff, paid quarterly. Treat your staff well . They are some amazing people on Odesk, you just need a system to get to them.
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    • Profile picture of the author JPMaroney
      Originally Posted by TPFLegionaire View Post

      Next, a paid trial, You are probably down to 5 or 6 supplier by now...Hire them all for a 1 week trial , paid of course, explain that you will only hire one or two at the end.

      Evaluate them according to your criteria during the week, who needs to be micro managed, communications, quality of work.

      At the end of the week , make your choice (i recommend you hire two people for the same task , you want back up), thank all the trialist and give good reviews to the ones not selected (they usually have done an ok job, just not your top choices)

      For the ones you hire, give them a pay rise straight away. Also I give 4 weeks paid holidays to long term staff, paid quarterly. Treat your staff well . They are some amazing people on Odesk, you just need a system to get to them.
      @TPFLegionaire

      Love the way you laid things out!

      Very similar to what I'm doing ...

      Here's actual experience from one of my outsourced projects this week.

      Task: Download my GoToWebinar video, split file into two pieces, encode to MP4, upload to my s3 account.

      I hired top 3 candidates ... I was on a short timeline.

      1) Sent me a note about 12 hours after I gave him the assignment, saying he was bowing out ... couldn't get it right.

      2) Had LOTS of issues -- and finally delivered the file 2 days later. I'm actually going to use him for some other stuff.

      3) Got it done and back to me overnight.

      Glad I didn't hire JUST ONE to start with.

      The labor is so inexpensive that it's easy to double up or triple up or more.

      BTW: I hired a single provider this week for a powerpoint slide design and screen video project ... and I've had some serious HICCUPS. I MUST admit, that looking back over my instructions, I failed to fully communicate what I had in my pea brain. We've started over from scratch, I did some sketches of what I wanted, and he's working out nicely. Once we get the first video templated, the other 100 or so that he'll do for me are basically the same ... so the time savings will more than make up for the front end "pain."

      Cheers,

      JP Maroney
      aka "Mr. Monetizer"
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  • Profile picture of the author George Tee
    @TPFLegionaire: Great system over there. do you really give 4 weeks paid holidays? that's quite alot lol..

    @Scott Kennedy: Most of them just trying to get lucky by just using the same reply for most of the bidding. In order to get them to look at your ad, you need to add a special keyword "QWERTY" or something and ask them to reply you with that. That will ensure that they are reading your ad.
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    • Profile picture of the author TPFLegionaire
      Originally Posted by George Tee View Post

      @TPFLegionaire: Great system over there. do you really give 4 weeks paid holidays? that's quite alot lol..
      Well...Depending on your cultural background , where you live and work...

      But for me , here is where I am coming from on the issue. I am French and live and work in the UK, culturally speaking , I am used to a working pattern where employer give me anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks holidays a year. As an employer, I am confortable reciprocating...over a year it's not much money, it often has a massive impact in my outsourcer's perception of me as an employer , hence their productivity.(no I don't have any stats, just my perception)

      I also give unexpected bonuses from time to time, and if there is a possibility of giving extra commissions , I will...Keeps every one motivated.

      If my outsourcing plans are working right, my ROI will allow me to do all that and come out well ahead, everyone win.

      As I said , treat them well, as you would like and expect to be treated.

      I know that for many warrior based in the States , the concept of getting paid holidays is a bit of a sore point add that a reciprocating fire at will mentality between employer and employee and it might be difficult for them to give more vacation time to an employee abroad than they ever have been given themselves.

      You don't have to be a fully paid member of the Socialist workers party to understand the need to treat your employee well.

      Leadership , fairness , decisiveness.

      Happy hiring.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
    Many thanks for all the great suggestions guys. I've had 6 new applicants and have messaged all 6 asking for a sample of the work they will be doing (find 2 gardening blogs with 1-2 high PR inner pages) and they have all failed. Some guy sent me an empty excel sheet with his gmail address in it, another sent me 5 education blogs which have been spammed to all hell. The rest sent me high PR domains with no inner page PR.

    I've pretty much given up and will hold out until next week before buying scrapebox and doing it myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author glassextreme
    I tried odesk to hire someone to manage my sites by changing something. After a week, she was still having problems and did not get much headway. I had to end it early.

    I tried to post one job, but odesk banned it saying it violates another company's TOS. And the person I wrote the description for disappeared without a trace and ended up wasting my time.

    Then I hired graphic designers to do graphic headers. Simple instructions on giving me both jpg and psd files couldn't be followed easily. I had included test phrases in the description, so I had weeded out a lot already.

    I was too cheap, so I decided to try my luck with 2 designers who bid half the amount I posted, and I really got crappy results. I had to tell them where to get the pictures, how to edit them until I finally got what I wanted.

    Finally got lucky and had a good designer, so I got him to repeat a task.

    However, when I approached him again to do something, he quoted a high price, and then promised he would work on a website for me, then totally disappeared. It's hard to keep good workers.

    Third time, I tried to get some rewriting done. 2 disappeared without doing the test, and the only one who got back to me had such serious English errors, but I was in a hurry, so I had to get her. Terrible mistake. Had to constantly correct her errors, explain to her the finer points of grammar and in the end I just corrected the stuff myself.

    Told myself this was too much trouble. I should hire full time staff and train them instead.

    So I hired two people from onlinejobs.ph. No idea whether it's a coincidence or not, but last week, one employee's son was admitted to hospital. Couldn't get much done. Just today, my other employee told me her son was admitted to hospital as well. She also had lots of internet connection problem. I can't believe this. (not that I don't believe her story) Why is it so coincidental? Perhaps I should hire men instead the next time.

    Perhaps I really ought to hire a project manager to manage them and check their work. But I think it's even harder to get a good one.
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  • Profile picture of the author cma01
    Scott,

    I think the difference between your experience and mine on oDesk is that you are looking for someone who has experience doing what you want while I have been looking for just a basic skill set and then telling them exactly what I want and how to do it.

    If someone already knows how to find what you're looking for and understands why it is important, they would be finding them for themselves and then selling the link building package for probably a lot more than they would make researching for you for a few dollars an hour on oDesk.

    It's the difference between a consultant and an employee.

    I personally would never do work for free and I wouldn't ask someone to either. So it's only 30 minutes, if they are applying for multiple jobs and contractors are asking for samples that take a 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there, your whole day could be gone providing "samples" for people where you only have a 1 in XXX chance of getting the project, and that is assuming they aren't tire kickers.

    When I have research projects, I just need someone that knows how to use the internet, Excel, maybe Word, and then can follow the directions I give them. I don't expect SEO experts.

    When I hire writers, I post projects for small sets of articles and give the general topic of the niche. I say that if they know how to write for SEO that's great, but if they don't it's fine because I will provide instructions. And then I give them a 12 page document spelling out exactly what I am looking for along with tips for research and improving writing speed.

    As a result, I always get a ton of applicants. The first writer I hired on oDesk had a Bachelors in English and had written before for a newspaper. She had no feedback before I hired her, but she had links to writing samples in her profile.
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    • Profile picture of the author TPFLegionaire
      Originally Posted by cma01 View Post

      Scott,

      I personally would never do work for free and I wouldn't ask someone to either. So it's only 30 minutes, if they are applying for multiple jobs and contractors are asking for samples that take a 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there, your whole day could be gone providing "samples" for people where you only have a 1 in XXX chance of getting the project, and that is assuming they aren't tire kickers.



      It's all depend which pool of contractors you are targeting and for what jobs...If someone has a very strong portfolio of the precise work you want them to do, you could indeed take it as a given that they will be able to do it, however in the context of Odesk , you can afford to ask for a sample of their ability to work and follow precise instruction by having them do a very limited task (I mentioned 30 minutes but it could be a lot less) . I think than when I was looking for someone to do the profile creating and link building the "free" task consisted of creating 1 profile manualy on 1 website, that wasn't even close to 30 minutes and yet several of the selected people did not bother to do it, no explanation, just did not meet the deadline for the task...Left me with 5 that I hired for a week of proper paid trial.

      The above exercise is designed to make sure they can walk the talk and show a level of motivation in getting the job that put them above their peers. It is not designed to abuse them and try to get work done for free.

      In the context of Odesk and the type of work the typical IMer ask the contractors to do , you will find that you will not alienate people but still weed out a further layer. O desk is a "buyer's" market , Leverage it in your favor.
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  • Profile picture of the author Art Turner
    Recently I have had much more success in finding good outsourcers using Craigslist compared to oDesk or the .ph sites. You can concentrate on looking for competence and dependability without simultaneously fighting the language and cultural differences.
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  • Profile picture of the author Love_Money
    I posted a project in Odesk and invited couple of contractors based on the skill. One rejected and one replied after 3 weeks. Both were from India. I read Philippines manpower is much better
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  • Profile picture of the author John Henderson
    The best piece of advice that I heard on this subject was from Travis Petele who said that if you make a screencast of what you want doing, then even the dumbest outsourcer will be able to "rinse and repeat".
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    • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
      Originally Posted by John Henderson View Post

      The best piece of advice that I heard on this subject was from Travis Petele who said that if you make a screencast of what you want doing, then even the dumbest outsourcer will be able to "rinse and repeat".
      But who wants to hire the dumbest freelancer? I'd rather hire someone who can follow directions and understands the job right out of the gate.

      Cheers,
      Becky

      To the OP: You may have to spend some time weeding through poor candidates to find your gem. But once you do, you'll have someone you can send all your work to, worry-free. (Though good work and reliability come at a price.)
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      • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
        Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

        ... (Though good work and reliability come at a price.)
        I couldn't agree more! I have seen some people ask for articles to be written for a measly $1.00/500 words. No one has any right to complain if the output they receive is unsatisfactory if they are not willing to pay for quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Henderson
    You're right Becky, but I still thought that it was an ingenious "insurance policy".
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    I've had a lot of very good success with oDesk. I'm not sure if that's because I've been lucky, or perhaps it has been the types of work I've contracted there or how I've written my requirements.
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  • Profile picture of the author CrystalBerg
    oDesk can make you want to pull your hair out sometimes. It is so frustrating when people have obviously not read your posting at all. I hire and work on oDesk and just can't stand people wasting my time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      What a pain.

      I had the other side of the story this morning. Buyer invited me to bid on a small project - he gave exacting details of what he wanted.

      I responded with a bid for those exact details (which involved using MY platinum EZA account with a pen name and my UAW account).

      Message back from him - he wanted to hire me but at half the price I quoted.
      Not gonna happen. Sad thing is he's probably a nice person who read some bad advice.

      We need a new site - Fleamarket Freelancing
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  • Profile picture of the author evanlambda
    There are far too many people on these sites who lack the skills and know-how to do much of anything online. I've had instances where I try to get some quick graphics work done, spell it out precisely, and still they do not grasp even the simplest concepts.

    They will call themselves professionals and experts but more likely than not they are just kids (or adults) that want to become rich on the Internet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Super Affiliate
    Originally Posted by Scott Kennedy View Post


    I envy the people who have the patience to outsource.
    I guess it's just a matter of how accurately you present your plan and what you're looking for. There are a lot of service providers whose mother tongue is not English. So if you could articulate everything, you should have no problem.

    Joe
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Turner
    I don't post jobs on odesk - made that mistake once , like you overwhelmed with innappropriate offers- search through the contractors and find someone who's skills match your project and offer them the work,- works for me
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  • Profile picture of the author JennSpencerIM
    WOW Odesk is my most favorite thing EVER...i post a job then find people I want to work for me! Has been amazing and love the work that gets done for pennies while I'm sleeping!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Iannotti
    Be very careful who you hire. Alot of them have may have little experience for the job you have posted (big waste of time for you) and others will try and hustle more money out of you during the interview process. They will say, oh it's more to it than I thought (even though it says it all in the job posting)

    I have had some good experiences, but by far more bad.
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  • Profile picture of the author Firstrate
    Haha the title is pretty dramatic! I've personally had much better success with ODesk rather than Freelancer. Like anything though, there's always going to be good and bad on these places... you need to find the diamonds in the rough.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave90210
    I use scriptlance.com I've never had any issues. Ignore responses from people with generic responses, they use project managers to find new clients and they copy and paste responses.

    Go into photoshop and create a mochup of what you're looking for or do it in Word.

    When you pick someone to do your project make sure and put the money in escrow and don't release a penny until the project is 100% complete


    Originally Posted by Scott Kennedy View Post

    I posted a very detailed job description of what I want done, how I want to done and when I want it done and I have had 6 applicants reply, offering services that I didn't advertise.

    I wanted to get some competitor research done. My job posting detailed that I want the URL's, domain PR, inner page PR and top keywords for 30-50 sites in my niche. I have had 6 applicants say that they are more than willing to do blog commenting 40 hours a week and have experience with Angela and Pauls backlinks. I sent a message to one applicant outlining once again what I want done and asking if he was able to provide 2 examples of what I wanted (IE - send me the URLs of 2 sites in my niche) and he replied saying that he was unable to commence blog commenting because I didn't give him my URL or keyword.

    I envy the people who have the patience to outsource.
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  • Profile picture of the author thegamecat
    $1 is a lot of money to some people.
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    • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
      Originally Posted by thegamecat View Post

      $1 is a lot of money to some people.
      I agree! A $1 is a lot of money for many people. But my point was that quality comes at a price.
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  • Profile picture of the author rypher21
    no matter how many is the applicant, it would be good if you really ask em well and make em understand what do you really needed..
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  • Profile picture of the author hireava
    There are other freelancing web sites like Getafreelancer.com or elance.com but odesk is very good.

    I am working on Odesk for more than 2 years now and very much satisfied with it.
    Only one hurdle with Odesk is If you don’t have enough reviews people less consider you for hiring even if you are too good in your work.
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    • Profile picture of the author iwontgiveup
      I think we have to interact w/ them.

      Especially outsourcing your job there is a big difference rather in our local area.
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      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi Scott,

        I envy the people who have the patience to outsource.
        Succinctly put, which made me smile - same with the thread title -

        oDesk makes me want to kill myself


        Just noticed you said this last year....
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        Roger Davis

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  • Profile picture of the author JennSpencerIM
    Its not Odesk..its the people you are choosing. I have some great people working for me now but had to go through a lot of bad seeds to get them. Start off with small easy to manage tasks then move them to bigger more in depth things.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Jenn,

      Your avatar makes me smile too.
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      Roger Davis

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  • Profile picture of the author Rukshan
    Now most of newbies are trying to start Profile backlinks and Dofollow blog commenting without learning basics of SEO. This is a common mistake. They always try to do those cheap works as data entry tasks without doing any research.
    You better to contact a well known person from a forum
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