Are any freelance sites other than elance and odesk worth using?

50 replies
I'm doing pretty well with odesk and I've landed a decent job or two off elance, but I can't really see much that looks worthwhile on Guru, vWorker, etc. Am I missing something here?
#elance #freelance #odesk #sites #worth
  • Profile picture of the author Ewan Lumsden
    Banned
    Have you tried Freelancer?
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    • Originally Posted by Ewan Lumsden View Post

      Have you tried Freelancer?
      Yeah, I've checked it out.

      I don't know what it's like for programmers or designers, but the writing section there is pretty much the worst on any freelance site by far. They tell people to post article writing jobs in the "copywriting" section, so you end up having to sort through a billion SEO article jobs to find anything decent there.

      Actually, it seems like pretty much all the writing jobs there, in every category, are for article writing. I even checked the academic writing section there and it seems like 90% of the jobs posted there are looking for SEO fodder. Heck, even the "press release" section is like 40% article writing jobs. Who the hell is running that site?!?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kragsig
    10 Popular Sites Like Odesk (Updated: Jun 9th, 2012) | moreofit.com
    More examples..

    Present time I only use Odesk. This is the most professional platform according to me.

    I have heard good about http://getafreelancer.com/ but I have not tried them yet..

    Kragsig
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  • Profile picture of the author thebiwriter
    Thanks for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author IMFury
    Freelance Switch listed a bunch of it: freelanceswitch.com/finding/the-monster-list-of-freelancing-job-sites/
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    • Originally Posted by IMFury View Post

      Freelance Switch listed a bunch of it: freelanceswitch.com/finding/the-monster-list-of-freelancing-job-sites/
      Looks like a great resource, thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author mslone
    I use 99Designs for site design or other design needs, Elance, Freelancer, Voices.com for voice overs, Site point for custom scripts.
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  • Profile picture of the author rontheitguy
    I've tried freelancing on a couple sites and it seems to be massively competitive. On top of that, until you get your first gig and actually have some stats to show it seems impossible to get anywhere.
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    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
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    • Originally Posted by rontheitguy View Post

      I've tried freelancing on a couple sites and it seems to be massively competitive. On top of that, until you get your first gig and actually have some stats to show it seems impossible to get anywhere.
      It's kind of funny, but in spite of the tone of this thread, I actually think elance and odesk are pretty much the best things since sliced bread.

      It's just that all the other ones seem to be such complete, unmitigated garbage :p
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      • Profile picture of the author rontheitguy
        Originally Posted by Andy Button View Post

        It's kind of funny, but in spite of the tone of this thread, I actually think elance and odesk are pretty much the best things since sliced bread.

        It's just that all the other ones seem to be such complete, unmitigated garbage :p
        Got any tips to help a someone get started on elance & odesk? I've been on elance for a while and eventually quit trying to get jobs there...no one would hire me even when I bid super low. All I can say for sure is that having no history or reviews makes people hesitant to give you a try.
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        "Do, or do not. There is no try."
        The Wisdom of Yoda
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        • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
          Banned
          Originally Posted by rontheitguy View Post

          All I can say for sure is that having no history or reviews makes people hesitant to give you a try.
          You hit the nail on the head, Ron. No one would dare to take the first bite. Warrior Forum-wise, you got to back it up with either reviews or sensible contributions on posts (not those typical 'cool stuff dude' or 'Boy, I couldn't agree more' type of posts.
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          • Profile picture of the author rontheitguy
            Originally Posted by contentwriting360 View Post

            You hit the nail on the head, Ron. No one would dare to take the first bite. Warrior Forum-wise, you got to back it up with either reviews or sensible contributions on posts (not those typical 'cool stuff dude' or 'Boy, I couldn't agree more' type of posts.
            Makes it tough to start out with that attitude floating around! Running my first WSO right now with none of that and I've been overwhelmed at the great response folks have given me here in spite of the 'just starting out' factor! I like it here much better than elance!
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            "Do, or do not. There is no try."
            The Wisdom of Yoda
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    • Profile picture of the author IMcoder
      Originally Posted by rontheitguy View Post

      I've tried freelancing on a couple sites and it seems to be massively competitive. On top of that, until you get your first gig and actually have some stats to show it seems impossible to get anywhere.
      There is plenty of competition on freelance sites, but I've found most of the competitors aren't really "competitive". I've been quite successful on eLance, currently a "Level 10" provider, with lifetime earnings of about $90,000 (I signed up on eLance in August 2009). So, that's an average of $30,000/year I've pulled in off that site... directly. Indirectly, it's far higher. I do far more business outside of eLance for people that were referred to me by clients I originally connected with on eLance, and those referrals have sent me more referrals... and so on.

      If you're looking for a site with fewer competitors... there are plenty to be found, but then of course you're also working a site with fewer potential clients. eLance definitely isn't the only game in town, there are others, and some of them from what I understand are pretty good. But, if you're looking for an opportunity to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond, remember... there's less room for clients in that pond, and there's also nothing stopping them from also posting their projects on all those other sites... so you're still competing with people on eLance.

      Switching isn't the answer to finding success as a freelancer. Standing out from the crowd, and having a good bidding strategy is what's going to make you successful. The first thing you have to understand is that timing is important. You want to be one of the first 3 people to make contact with the buyer. If you find a project that already has 50 bidders... walk away, unless it's a project that's just too desirable and you can't not give it a shot. But, it's important to be one of the first.

      There is a lot of back and forth that goes on between buyer and prospective bidders... asking questions, defining project scope, and so on. Once someone has exchanged a few messages with a prospective client, invested a little bit of time, and offered some helpful suggestions... there is now a relationship between that bidder and the buyer. The bidder is considered a valuable resource, and it's his project to lose. The buyer almost feels obligated to award the project to that person... so to win the project for yourself, you have to overcome that and develop a more important relationship with the buyer after the fact. It's far easier to just be that person who develops the relationship first.

      So, how do you develop the relationship? It definitely takes a lot more than being the first to tender a bid or submit a proposal. In fact, I very rarely do that on my first contact. Instead, I focus on establishing a dialogue and building up a relationship... and I start out by offering up some value, presenting myself as someone who is a knowledgable resource... not someone who's just looking to get hired. The first thing you want to do is read the project description. It's usually light on detail, because it's someone who isn't necessarily proficient in what they're looking to hire someone to do... if they were, then more often than not... they'd do it themselves, or they'd write a very clear project specification as opposed to something along the lines of "I need a website that does this and kinda looks like that". They're usually written a bit better than that, but you get my point. Rephrase their proposal to show them that you actually understand what they're saying, and then think about different ways to tackle it, present a couple of options... list the pros and cons for each, and ask them which approach they would prefer to take. That will get a response 99% of the time, and bang... you're having a conversation. The next step is to re-write the project description into a project specification, and you want to do this in a series of messages, each time offering up suggestions on how to either add functionality that you think might be desirable or how to reduce cost and development time. Once you have a COMPLETE SPECIFICATION and the prospective client is excited about it... you then tender a bid (and along the way, you've been giving ballpark figures for various components of the project so there's no surprise when you type in the grand total). Your proposal will simply say "as discussed in private message board". Now, what you've accomplished is this... you're no longer one of many bidders competing for the same job... you are the ONLY bidder on a job that YOU have basically defined. There IS no competition at this point. I have used this technique to win projects posted with budgets of $500 to $1,000 for well over $5,000... on numerous occasions. And, people are okay with paying more than they've budgeted for because they know they're getting more than they'd originally thought they were going to be getting. If you exceed what they're willing to spend... no problem... you've gotten them excited about a lot of extra features and functionalities... but they didn't initially want these things and weren't necessarily aware they could be done... revert to something closer to what they initially posted and redefine the scope of the project and remove non-essential items to get the price down. If they still want them, they can re-hire you to add them at a later date.

      There's no need to fear the competition, or the offshore low-bidders. People seldom make their decision on whom to hire based on price alone. Quality at a justifiable price always wins in the end (I've been hired to do projects I originally didn't win when the low-bidder didn't complete, or didn't provide satisfactory work). If you can't redefine the project, and eliminate the competition by using the technique I described above... which is sometimes the case... sometimes people do have a really good idea of what they want, then all is not lost... you've still developed a relationship and that person now wants to hire you... if the price is right. So, what's the right price? What's the strategy for bidding? Well, on eLance the bids are sealed... but you CAN see what the low bid, high bid, and average bids are. People don't typically really know what the work is worth, so they automatically throw out the low and high bids and focus on bid amounts that are around the average. They already like you, you've already shown them that you're knowledgable and capable. It's your job to lose at this point, so take the average bid and add a few percentage points to that amount in consideration of the fact that you've already demonstrated your worth. Being on the high side of average is a good thing. It tells the client that you value your time and your skill, which is reassuring to them, and it's difficult for them to value those things if you don't value them yourself. They also want to reward you for helping them to define the project, and having already put in some time and effort to do that. But, being close to the average shows them you're not trying to gouge them either... your price is reasonable and justifiable given the relationship you now have.

      That's how to bid... now, what to bid on... Bidding on eLance costs money. You get a certain number of points each month based on your account level, and each time you initiate contact or submit a proposal... it costs you points, and to keep bidding you have to buy more, or wait until the beginning of the following month. It also takes time to prepare and submit your proposals, and time is money... so you need to be very selective in terms of which projects you choose to bid on. I avoid buyers who have a low rate of awarding projects... sometimes there's a legitimate reason to not award a project, but if that rate falls below about 70% then walk away... they're just shopping you. The only exception to that rule is if it is a NEW buyer with no track record. Definitely go for those buyers because they're new to the site, possibly new to contracting out, and they don't have any preconceived notions of how things actually work... you're the expert there, and that's important leverage to have when you can have it. Also avoid people who say things like "this is a simple job", "it shouldn't take long", "it shouldn't cost much" in their project descriptions (they WILL go with the lowest bidder). People who are EXCESSIVELY vague (too much hand-holding is going to be required).

      Then of course you have to select jobs that you actually stand a chance of getting. On your first attempt, with no feedback, no history, no track record... someone is FAR more likely to take a chance on you for a $500 job than a $5,000 job. Go for the smaller jobs first (note... this is NOT the same thing as doing a big job for a small price... you do have to make money), and use the technique of establishing dialogue and building a relationship... that will overcome your lack of feedback, and on those first few jobs... that lack of feedback can actually become an asset and help you win the job. People do want to negotiate on price, so make your feedback a part of the negotiation. Be honest, and be shameless. If you're quoting $500 on your first job, and the buyer wants to pay $400... say okay, I've been doing this for a while and I know my stuff... but I'm new here on eLance. If you help me establish myself here, I'll work with you on the price. I'll do it for $400, but I'm going to earn 100% positive feedback and do the job as if I was being paid full price... I want that 100% positive feedback when we're done. They'll say fine, and you've got your first job... and great feedback to show off when you bid on your second.

      If you speak fluent English, can write reasonably well, and you know your stuff... you will get noticed... regardless of whether you have feedback or any kind of track record on the site you're using. You needn't fear the "canned bids" for any reason other than by the time someone has received 50 of them, they probably stop paying attention and may not even read or bother to respond to your opening question... which is another reason to be in the first 3 to make contact when a project is posted.

      That's my strategy... and it works... for me. I'm sure other freelancers have their own strategies that work for them, but all the successful freelancers do one thing the same... they do things differently than the competition in a way that makes them stand out, and get noticed. Coming across as someone who is knowledgable, wants to be helpful, takes pride in doing things right... those things get noticed, and when competing against the canned bid that reads like "We're a big company in ______ with over 100 programmers and 20 graphic artists, with over 5,000 happy clients and we can do this job for you"... actually taking the time to build a relationship, and personalize things definitely makes a big difference... in whatever way you approach it.
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      • Profile picture of the author infosrch
        Excellent feedback. Thanks for supporting the community!
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  • Profile picture of the author IMFury
    ^ Personally, I offer my jobs (web design & dev) at Freelancer and 100% satisfied by the works of freelancers there.
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  • Profile picture of the author williamk
    Banned
    vworker is the best if you want to anything other than odesk and elance. I am using them for quite sometime now and they are good.
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    • Originally Posted by williamk View Post

      vworker is the best if you want to anything other than odesk and elance. I am using them for quite sometime now and they are good.
      Yeah, vWorker looks promising, I get invitations to interview for jobs there sometimes. However, I'm just sort of put off by how ratty looking their site is. The interface is really hard to use, I still haven't figured out how to reply to an invitation.
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  • Profile picture of the author neverfaithless
    Hello! I have used Fiverr to pick up new clients. It's pretty easy, and very reliable. A great base of people always searching for help there... I actually hire help from there when I need it as well. I really great resource!
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    • Originally Posted by neverfaithless View Post

      Hello! I have used Fiverr to pick up new clients. It's pretty easy, and very reliable. A great base of people always searching for help there... I actually hire help from there when I need it as well. I really great resource!
      I used Fiverr for a while, but I'm charging like $30 an hour now so it would just be too much of a step backward earnings-wise.
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      • Profile picture of the author techbul
        Originally Posted by Andy Button View Post

        I used Fiverr for a while, but I'm charging like $30 an hour now so it would just be too much of a step backward earnings-wise.
        Well that means 6 gigs per hour, 1 gig per 10 minutes. If you can write a 400 word article within that limit, Fiverr is as great a place as all of them. But Odesk is my favorite, although I get more money out of Freelancer right now.
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  • Profile picture of the author forester1985
    have tried odesk and freelance
    but failed
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  • Profile picture of the author righttoo
    I use rankfast.net for all my SEO projects. They have a good list of experts
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I have done more on vworker than all other sites combined. You can bid on as many jobs as you like or ask questions without having to pay or use credits, unlike elance and some other sites.
    I think different people have varied experiences. You need to try some out for yourself to see what works.

    However, also run an ad in here if you are looking for work.
    You can also run classified ads in sites like Gumtree. I pick up work from that site as well, sometimes more than I can handle at once.
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Website / Blog for more info.

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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    Just my 2 cents

    Worth it websites:
    Elance
    Guru

    Crappy websites:
    Odesk
    Scriptlance
    Freelancer
    Getacoder
    All pay crap and are worse to use
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  • Profile picture of the author Demetrius
    All of a sudden, oDesk has become the most popular freelancing platform. Because they does not charge anything from the contractor's earning. oDesk is very easy to use for the contractors and employers too. Freelancer.com has updated their interface and has added some excellent features.
    You may go for freelancer.com. But you will not get any other freelancing platform like odesk.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew D
    I will share another freelancing site freelance.com that provides very prompt and sincere services. you can find there well-paid jobs. Moreover, you will receive daily job updates to your mail address from where you can choose your jobs but no need visit the site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Griffin Smith
    Originally Posted by Andy Button View Post

    I'm doing pretty well with odesk and I've landed a decent job or two off elance, but I can't really see much that looks worthwhile on Guru, vWorker, etc. Am I missing something here?
    When I started out writing copy online (completely clueless at this point) I was easily getting work from odesk and the DP forum...

    As the months passed I was getting frustrated at the ridiculous LOW pay and the absurd requests of the clients I was attracting.

    I read through this forum day and night gleaning as much insight and advice (even bought a couple WSO's) as I could, to find better clients and make more money writing.

    Before I took the plunge and decided to write for myself and earn a passive income (no matter how long it takes) this was the method I was using to find my clients.

    This kept me at a consistent $300-$500 a week 12-18 hours a day researching, writing and editing (Until I burned myself out)

    • First thing in the morning I grabbed by coffee, sat down at my laptop and searched Online-Writing-Jobs for what was posted that day or the night before
    • There is a widget box to the right that'll keep you busy looking at new writing jobs for hours!!!
    • I learned to avoid any bidding site like the plague!
    • Craigslist was a goldmine of writing work for me also, but the key to success I found searching there was to stay local, I live about 50 miles east of Orlando FL and most of the writing gigs I got via Craigslist were in that 50 mile vicinity of where I lived
    • In my opinion, what closed the deal for me with these clients was that I would attach a portfolio with every job query e-mail I sent (Nothing fancy, about 10 articles, a couple sales letters and various other forms of content that I had created and got permission to use from previous clients and made them into an easy and readable PDF doc)
    • I also had a WP website with a short video on the landing page linked into the query e-mail and the portfolio so that the prospective client could see that I was for real and had been writing for some time. Here is the site I used (not accepting any clients, just want to give an example)
    I hope this helps you and good luck on all of your writing endeavors.



    ~Griffin Smith
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  • Profile picture of the author hitman13
    I work at Freelancer and I am satisfied...
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  • Profile picture of the author Perrymma
    Freelancer is horrible. i have been ripped off countless times on that site. Stay away
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  • Profile picture of the author cferfland247
    I can suggest you project4hire.com
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  • Profile picture of the author ezpay4me
    um I would suggest freelancer.com , I have been using them for over a year now and they work wonders for both employee/employer's

    best regards,
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Walsh
    never heard of guru site will try it out, i use elance a lot its good
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    Nick Walsh The Online Lifestyle Coach - Add Income.
    Work Less. Enjoy Yourself! Let Me Help You.nickwalshblog.com

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  • Profile picture of the author garveyonweb
    As an outsourcer I use freelancer, good service. Although as a freelancer I cant imaging a great return. I could get dozens of offers for projects and obviously only one successful. It mst be very frustrating to be down the rankings getting started as a freelancer.
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  • Profile picture of the author charidemos
    If you are looking for top notch content that will satisfy the search engines try Media Piston mediapiston.com It's pricey but can't go wrong with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Website Promotor
    I am working on odesk and it is going well.
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    • Profile picture of the author sunny@2000
      With the current market getting more and more competitive, it's not really a time to stick to a single website, rather it's the time

      when we start looking for what and whatever is coming new. Because the newer business are having lesser internal competition.

      I would suggest giving Bench Over :: Home a try. It's relatively new in the market, but it provides way more options to help your

      business, rather than simple freelancing. It also allows people to sell products and also helps businesses to advertise themselves

      apart from the freelancing stuff. So it's not all only about freelancing, of course freelancing is also one of it's business. And the best

      part is that it doesn't charge any commission at all for the work you do. Payments can be done outside the site.

      Do share your views about how you find this site.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelEmily
    There are so many Freelance sites. You can take a glance on the "Warriors For Hire" & Fiverr, getafreelancer, vworker, rentacoder, getacoder & so on.
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  • Profile picture of the author edenandrej
    Of course there are! I am currently using SEOclerks and I am very satisfied with the results I get. I am using SEOclerks for buying and selling too.
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  • Profile picture of the author amuro
    Originally Posted by Andy The Copywriter View Post

    I'm doing pretty well with odesk and I've landed a decent job or two off elance, but I can't really see much that looks worthwhile on Guru, vWorker, etc. Am I missing something here?

    You might consider iWriter.

    One difference between it and other sites is that you pay ONLY if the articles you outsourced to be written meet your expectations.

    Best of all, you have 3 choices to choose from article writers.

    Standard, professional and elite writers.

    Of course the higher standard you want, the higher you pay.
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  • Profile picture of the author krad32
    Have you tried Staff.com? Elance and Odesk was hit by DDOS attacks, downing services for many freelancers.
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  • odesk and elance have their place but they are the bottom of the barrel
    when it comes to clients.

    full of nutters with crazy expectations that are full of fear and anger about their business.

    Full of people who think spending a few hundreds bucks is going to make them millions.

    when I look back on any year's revenue, the Lion's share came from people who I had targetted.

    In saying that, Elance and Guru are better than the others in my opinion.
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    "Peter Brennan is the real deal, In the first 12 hours we did $80k...and over $125k in the first week...if you want to be successful online, outsource your copywriting to Peter"
    Adam Linkenauger

    For 12 ways to sell more stuff to more people today...go to...www.peterbrennan.net
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  • I use ultimately Fiverr which is great. But there is also 99design.com and a new one that I'm trying out 4virtuals.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricardo Furtado
    Great insights. Thank you all for sharing.
    Best wishes and regards.
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    Ricardo Furtado

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    • Profile picture of the author GlenH
      I've done about 30 project on Freelancer, and find them very professional.

      And the talent on there is good, if you know how to weed out the duds
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  • Profile picture of the author cheehien
    Highly recommend Fiverr, it is cheap and provide good services. Freelance also not bad.
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    Affiliate templates are not allowed.

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    • Profile picture of the author Elena21
      Have you ever heard about SeoClerks, listingdock and Codeclerks.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    I like crowd spring, 99 designs, and hatch wise. There are many more. Basically, crowd spring is super. Probably, it is the best one. All the best to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author garmahis
    I've tried all of them - Freelancer, Elance, etc. but I sticked to Odesk as this site has the right balance of talent to hire and easy of use.
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