Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How Filipino writers can land a job in Odesk and other sites

In writing

The basic formula to land that dream job in Odesk and other freelance writing sites goes like this: your/client’s standard rate + perfect qualifications + perfect cover letter = dream job!

True enough, with your hard-earned studies paying off through compelling articles for your clients, you will surely land your coveted freelance writing job NOW. Read on and feel free to share your insights, too.

Factor # 1. The Rate
Ask yourself this question: “What is my worth per project or per hour of writing work?” 
Have you figured the answer yet? If not yet, you may find this site useful. Consider calculating your work’s value per hour. Remember that you, the Filipino writer, is just like any writer (wherever he/she may be located). Likewise, determine the type of writing you will be developing. Is it a blog writeup, an ebook, a keyword-rich article, etc.? How much research does it entail? How many articles should you turn in per hour? (I have encountered some clients asking if I can turn in 2 articles per hour, so that should also be considered)
Now, if you believe that you’re already set at $6 per hour for a start, go for it! However, if your experience rounds up to more than 15 years of solid writing experience (crafting top white papers, ebooks, sales letters, ad copies, etc.), then think some more and maybe a whopping $50 per hour would just fit the bill.

Factor # 2. The Qualifications
Before you apply for a particular job in Odesk, Elance, Guru, and other freelance job sites, consider weighing your credentials. Anyway you will be setting up your profile, thus, you’ll need to tick in your specialties. Whether you are a pro in writing keyword-optimized articles, mind-stirring blogs, or simply twittering, make sure that you specify your strengths very well. Were you the former editor-in-chief of your college newsletter? Show that off and let your potential client know what you can really do. 

Show your future clients what your forte is all about. Note that Filipino writers are known to be fluent in English, so don’t be shy to strut your stuff!
To aid you further, try checking out this list of possible credentials you may want to engage in to fit that dream job well.

ü       Technical writing
ü       Copywriting
ü       Creative writing
ü        Blog and article writing
ü       Website content
ü        Ebook writing

Now, as you determine which types of writing fit you best, practice, practice, and practice. You may also want to read helpful books to aid in writing. Below are some reads I’d suggest you try to pick up:

1.    1. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series)
by Ann Handley and CC Chapman

    A very good read for those who would like to learn the basics and more advanced tips on creating killer content for the web. With the author’s personal approach in seeing to it that readers learn of the tips by heart, it’s sure to match the book’s goals as a whole.
I myself considered this as a handy companion to online writing. Making this my personal workshop about web writing, I just could not resist the nuggets they had to offer. From blogging, podcasting, ebook writing, white paper writing, etc. – the web writer would indeed find his haven!

2.    The Copywriting Sourcebook by Andy Maslen
Meant for the everyday writer at work, this book is sure to find its way to the hearts of those who are in need of rush-hour jobs. Although not all about web content, this can be an all-in-one solution to those looking for hints and templates for writing brochures, corporate write-ups, web articles, etc.

What I did find good about this book is its regard for the rushed lifestyle of the writer at the press. Filled with hints on how to develop headlines and other article ideas without losing one’s mind, it should surely be that trusted friend of the coffee addict in the writer.

3.    Web Copy that Sells by Maria Veloso

A sure winner for those writing sales copies, email content, and luring the emotions of readers and potential customers (of the client’s services and products), this book by A+ copywriting guru Maria Veloso ticks in the essentials to writing effective copies for sales and marketing.
True enough, with the proper mindset and approach to writing such articles, it would be a no-brainer for you, the Filipino writer, as to how you will also tickle your client’s fancies.

Factor # 3. The Perfect Cover Letter
Just as you would apply for a job, take note of putting your best foot forward as you write your cover letter when applying for a freelance writing job. Always highlight what you can do for the client based on his/her expected output. May it be a 100% copyscape-free work, an engaging tone, or a fully professional-looking, keep in mind that this would mean the world to your career. This will serve as your passport to another five-star portfolio in Odesk so dress the best that you can.  

Read the instructions of the employer very carefully, too. I have encountered some clients asking applicants to write a specific word at the topmost part of the cover letter such as “dog”. Thus, those who did not place that word would instantly be rejected. (now this calls for a keen eye, right?)

With these simple tips, hopefully, the Filipino writer won’t get lost anymore (I hope). Just prepare very well when applying as you might know already that it’s yourself that you are selling all along here. :-)


  1. tried joining freelance job before.. i find it tiring having to make up stories for product review and sort of lie. :(

  2. it can sometimes be that way nga.. though if you'll apply to those you truly love in the field of writing, maybe you'll soon find that perfect job for you. :) have you already tried Odesk?

  3. You mean you can't just say "hire me" when walking into their main office?

    That would be a lot easier.

  4. @Doug: I bet one can try though.. :) that would really be easier. lol.

    P.S. I really love your blogs!

  5. Nice tip.. I myself having a problem in writing.. but Im having a problem where to start and how.

  6. @Jade: thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it. :) if I may suggest, to start writing, you may first need to reflect or plan on what you intend to write. Look into your innermost desires and try determining your goals in writing. From there, you may start getting hints of what to write and how. :)

  7. I started working in oDesk in March this year. It was hard landing the first project because I had no feedback yet. Good thing I started doing a personal blog that served as my work portfolio. I put a link to that blog in my oDesk profile. Once I landed the first project, work has been constant.

    Thanks for the book recommendations. I'm sure they'll be a great help in improving my writing skills.

  8. @mas: It's nice to know that you already landed your first job in Odesk this March! :) congrats!! yupp, I agree. work pours in when you gain good feedback on your portfolio.. though watch out for those offering fixed job rates. they might not pay at all. :( and you're welcome on the book recommendations!


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