Who couldn't use some money in their pockets these days? Whether you're working full-time and eager to supplement your income or you're job seeking and in need of part-time cash while searching, there are several Web sites that may help you do just that.
Many of these new openings are jobs in fields that were outsourced overseas but are now coming back.
Sales is often thought of as an "in-house" position, but Elance.com sees growth in this category as businesses are eager to boost revenues by hiring freelancers to assist with sales tactics from cold calling to writing sales materials. This is an area where U.S. workers have an edge over overseas competitors.
Solid communication, writing and language skills, plus an understanding of the domestic marketplace and current business climate help drive results. You can make $15 to $50 an hour depending on sales skill level and expertise.
oDesk.com is an online marketplace on which businesses post freelance projects, and anyone can apply. The site connects technology service providers with people who want to hire them.
There is significant competition from overseas workers, but American service providers do very well in in positions including software programmers, Web developers, search engine optimization specialists and Web-savvy writers who create compelling content for English blogs and Web sites.
The average pay for this work on oDesk is $21 an hour.
A few key tips to keep in mind when bidding for work on online sites:
Create a thorough profile. Respond to every question, check for typos and proper grammar, and carefully complete the skills assessments in your area of expertise. Link to a portfolio to showcase your previous work. Sample work is a powerful selling tool. If you expect to land a writing assignment, then writing samples are a must.
Research the competition. Review the profiles of other service providers, paying particular attention to their rates and their experience. This helps you determine what's realistic to charge. You might opt to lower your rates to land your first few assignments, but don't try to be the lowest because someone can and will always undercut you. Instead, to get going, aim for the lowest rate within your skill set and level of expertise.
Cover letters and phone interviews count. Don't be generic; treat it as professionally as you would treat in-person conversations.
Use social media to attract interest in your skills. Your Facebook, Twitter, VisualCV and blogs should promote your skills. Post comments on related blogs and message boards touting your knowledge too.
Freelance graphic artists and Web designers who create logos, Web sites, letterhead, business cards and so on are competing for projects on the site 99Designs.com.
Each month about $125,000 in business from the site goes to U.S. designers; the average payout is $350 per designer. Even more importantly, many designers use this as a springboard to find new clients and develop long-term relationships to build up their freelance business.