Its been a while since I posted anything to my blog. In recent months I had some experience of doing some freelancing at vworker.com formally known as rentacoder.com. So I thought may be it would be good to blog about this experience that possibly might help some one else. Although I done this for a short period of time, almost a month and moreover I worked only on weekends. But it was quite nice. I learned a lot about freelancing for example how to bid, how to communicate with people and keep them in touch. I was able to earn reasonable money for few days that I spent with vworker.com. So here are few things that I want to share. I am going to place these points in question and answer fashion.
1- Do I need to spend any money before I can go start looking for work on vworker.com?
No, signup is totally free and you don't need to spend anything in order to get your self an account. vworker.com will charge you from earnings that you will make at vworker. At the time when I worked with them they were charging 15% of what ever your quote is.
2- How do I collect payments from vworker.com?
Well they offer many methods which you can use in order to collect your payments. If you have PayPal account then its best because by default they charge you for PayPal. If you choose any other payment method then you may have to pay some extra charges. For example I used Western Union. The charges they mentioned for it was $10 USD but when I received the payment they turned to be around $20 USD. This was kind of thing I didn't liked :(. They provide you options to configure certain amount limit after which you want your earnings to be dispatched to you. So provided that if there are any charges involved for your payment method, choose this limit wisely because if its is too low then you have to pay more for payment charges.
3- How do I setup my profile?
You have to fill in your details in your profile, I mean your professional details like your work experience, any reference links etc. In my personal opinion try to be domain specific, I mean don't try to show that you are jack of all. For example if you are web developer having major work experience in ASP.NET then stay with it and don't try to put every other technology that you know in your profile. I believe customers do prefer experts of jack of all. Don't forget to put reference links for your previous work in your profile if you have any. That increases clients trust in your abilities.
4- How to get good rankings?
First of all go through posted projects and figure out projects that meets your work domain. Then initially try to pick the small projects. The reason is in small projects normally budgets tends to be low so there are higher chances that you can get the project without having no or low rankings due to sensation of low risk for employer. Secondly in small projects work boundaries are well defined so you will always certain about how to approach the work. This lowers the risk of getting stuck into the work. You will reach the deadline in time and hopefully get good rankings.
5- What is the best way to bid?
Try to understand work requirements by reading work details. Figure out all possible things that needs to be fixed and your approach to cater them. Then go and place your detailed bid/reply to employer. Don't hesitate to reformulate the things and be descriptive for example tell him that you understand what he is looking for, what will be your approach and what will be work output. Make employer feel that you are interested in his/her work. Don't get embraced with bid counter showing a lot of bids placed, most of them are placed by sales guys or bots with canned messages like we are blah blah company and we can do this etc. So if you placed reasonable comment, it will make difference and you will get employer's response :). Lastly if you are not sure about any thing don't place bid, instead send employer a private message querying about the points you are not clear.
6- How much I should quote for work?
Try to be fair. You may see maximum budget associated with work, but sometime that may not be correct. For example normally employers are not technical persons and are not aware of the work complexities. So sometime they are asking for something that is either too low or too high. In any case measure the work and get a fair estimate according to work.
7- Do I need to keep my employer updated with progress?
Yes, that is very important thing to do. Your employer is not sitting next to you. He doesn't know what's happening on your side. So if he sees long delays in response he may get nervous and can create some trouble for you. The best way is too post about your progress when ever you are about to close you work session. This will make your employer keep faith in your abilities and he will be confident that you are making progress in his project.
8- How much work I should try to take?
Don't get yourself overwhelmed with lot of work. This can make you fail to achieve deadlines for some projects which can I turn cost you as a cut in your rankings or loss of work. In either way that is not a good thing. Try to get amount of work that you can deliver in time.
9- What is the best way to communicate with client, through vworker.com or too take him out and talk in private?
Well there are different opinions and it really depends upon how you are comfortable. If you stay within vworker.com then there are some advantages for example your employer can't runaway. If you have any dispute with your employer then vworker.com representative can go through your communication log to resolve the conflict. So if there is no other intension involved like to take work from employer in private to save extra charges then using vworker.com for communication is better option.
Secondly if you are always grabbing the work through vworker.com then it means you are getting more and more success stories on your profile plus rankings. Lastly if you want to take employer out of vworker.com then you can do communication using allowed private messengers.
This is how I saw the things, its not necessary that every one of you agree with me. So if you have something to add feel free to place comment and share your thoughts. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.