Fast Five in Search – Week 49, 2014

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If you saw my post earlier this week, you’ll know that I’ve decided to become an e-lancer. I’m spending 30 days totally immersed in the online job market as a way to earn income as a freelance geek-for-hire.

In preparation for this experiment, I needed to research and find the most popular outsourcing job sites and online work platforms on the Internet and register with them. And so the inspiration for this week’s Fast Five was born!

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Elance – Elance is the world’s most popular outsourcing job site, used by approximately 500,000 businesses and 2 million registered freelance professionals, who have collectively earned nearly $900 million to date. The site launched in 1999, with a name apparently inspired by a 1998 Harvard Business Review article called “The Dawn of the E-Lance Economy”. In December 2013, Elance announced that it was signing a partnership to merge with its biggest competitor, oDesk, to create an online workplace for a combined total of 8 million registered individuals. The new partnership is unimaginatively named Elance-oDesk.

2) oDesk –  oDesk was founded in 2003 by Greek entrepreneurs Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis. Prior to merging with Elance, oDesk was the second most popular outsourcing job site. Unlike Elance, oDesk tends to have a more technical audience, with the majority of jobs available leaning more towards the IT and digital fields. Most freelancers in tech that I’ve spoken to suggest that oDesk offers better quality job opportunities than Elance, as well as higher earnings potential and a more professional network of employers and freelancers. There is also a stronger spirit of collaboration on oDesk, with freelancers regularly banding together to bid collectively for large projects.

3) Freelancer – Freelancer pitches itself as a marketplace where employers and employees are able to find each other. The site allows employers to post projects they need help with. Anybody is then able to submit bids to complete the project and the employer chooses the bid that appeals to them and awards the project. This can result in competitive bidding wars, where the price for a project actually goes down, rather than up.

The site was founded in Australia in 2009 and operates quite differently to other job outsourcing sites, in that it operates on a reward system and different levels of paid membership. Free accounts can only bid on 8 projects per month and cannot make direct deposit withdrawals. Higher tiers of paid accounts get additional bids, direct deposit withdrawals, and other features. You can also get rewarded with extra XP for performing actions such as “Like us on Facebook”. By earning XP, the user can “level up” his or her account and unlock more rewards, including features such as being able to bid on more jobs per month.

4) Guru – Guru.com directly connects businesses and employees in 160 different industries. Guru Inc. was founded in 1999 in San Francisco as an online clearing house for high tech workers seeking short-term contracts. The company, led by brothers Jon and James Slavet, raised $3M in angel funding and a further $16M in a full venture round. The company was acquired in December 2002 by Unicru, a human resources software company based in Portland, Oregon. Unicru later sold the Guru.com domain name and logo to eMoonlighter.com, and eMoonlighter was renamed Guru.com.

and finally…

5) Fiverr – Fiverr was founded by Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger in 2009 to provide a platform for people to buy and sell a variety of digital services typically offered by freelance contractors e.g. writing, graphic design,and programming. Fiverr’s services begin at a cost of $5 per job performed (from which it takes its name), and can go up to thousands of dollars. Each service offered is called a “Gig”. The website was launched in February 2010. In August 2014, Fiverr announced that it had raised $30 million in a Series C round of funding, bringing their total funding to date to $50 million.

Happy job hunting!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 21, 2014

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Did you know that staff with tech skills – particularly search engine marketing skills – are in increasingly high demand globally? In some cases, the demand is so high that there aren’t enough employees to fill the number of positions available and salaries have sky-rocketed.

Don’t believe me? Check out the 2014 IT Salary Guide from Robert Half and then go check out the Creative Group’s 2014 Salary Guide for those of you looking for gigs that combine tech prowess with creative flair.

See what I mean? So just where do you look to find the latest gigs in tech and search? That’s what this week’s Fast Five is all about! May I present my Top Five Sites for Finding Jobs in Tech:

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Internet Marketing Jobs by Marketing Pilgrim – This job board serves job seekers with Internet marketing skills, particular those specializing in search marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing, web design and development. You can sign up for their RSS feed of jobs to keep up with the latest postings daily.

2) Jobs in Search – This site advertises a large variety of search engine related career vacancies on behalf of the following types of search engine marketing firms, search engine optimization companies, new media and digital media agencies, major search engines, software companies and corporate employers recruiting for in-house search engine related jobs. They have a RSS feed for subscription as well as a email service that can email you positions vacant within your ideal search criteria.

3) Mashable Jobs Board by Mashable – A much under-utlized resource, the Mashable Jobs Board is a hiring hub for more than 3,000 employers. If you are looking for a social media or marketing job in the digital space, you might want to check it out regularly.

4) Search Marketing Jobs by Indeed - This job search portal is unique in that it aggregates job vacancies from across a wide range of job sites, newspapers, associations and company career pages. You can narrow down your search to specific job categories and this particular link is for Search Marketing vacancies.

and finally…

5) Google Careers –  As the largest search engine in the world with a prolific number of offices opening globally, Google has hundreds of jobs and internships up for grabs annually. If you’ve got your eye on working for the big G, this site should be your starting point.

Happy job hunting!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Q and A: How do I get a job in the search industry?

QuestionHello Kalena

I am about to complete the last module of my CSEO course at Search Engine College and I am trying to get myself into this industry here in the UK. And although the demand is quite large I am struggling to get a job within the industry.

I was wondering if you have any advice for me in order to get a job in this industry?

Thank you very much for your time
Lonnie

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Hi Lonnie

Glad to hear of your progress with your course – congratulations!

In terms of gaining employment in the search industry, here are some things I recommend:

1) Keep an eye on our Search Engine Marketing Jobs Board. and the other search related employment sites we have listed on Search Engine Wiki.

2) Review my previous blog posts about salaries and jobs in search.

3) Review current SEO / SEM / PPC salaries before you apply for any jobs in the search industry.

4) Consider doing some pro-bono SEO work for a charity or not-for-profit site in your area in exchange for a written recommendation. If it goes well, that can lead to lots of good publicity, which can lead to paid work.

5) Register yourself on freelance project sites such as eLance.com, freelancer.com, odesk.com and guru.com and build up your resume with small projects to show potential employers.

6) Spread the word that you are looking for work! Post your resume and new qualifications online, tell your friends and family, use social networking to get the word out that you are keen to find a job in search.

Best of luck and keep us posted on how you get on.

Kalena

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Q and A: Can you start a career in SEO / SEM from home?

Question

Dear Kalena…

I just read your article on SEM careers at Pandia and I have a strong feeling that you probably are the right person that I can air my career-question to.

I am Raj from Hyderabad, India and I am an engineering graduate. I worked as a Software Developer and am planning to shift my career to SEM/SEO. I have been reading as many article as I possibly could on SEO/SEM but unable to get that first break. Could you please answer the following questions for me?

1. Is it possible for a newbie on SEM/SEO to work remotely (from home)?

2. Where does a newbie make a beginning and how?

Regards

Raj

Hi Raj

There’s no reason why you can’t start a successful career in SEO and/or SEM working from home. As you’ve already read my “11 Reasons” article, you’ll know the benefits of gaining employment in the search industry.

If you need SEO / SEM training, there are plenty of options available these days, (including *cough* Search Engine College *cough*) but you should also start practising on your own sites and others as soon as possible. Hands-on experience is essential to competency in the field.

Once you feel confident with your newly acquired skills, offer to SEO sites pro-bono or for very little compensation, to help expand your experience. Charity or Not-For-Profit sites often need SEO services but don’t have the budget to hire experts.

Monitor industry job sites such as our SEM Jobs Board and join sites like Elance to bid for projects to gain freelance SEM work. If there is an appropriate opportunity in your location, offer to be an unpaid intern for a SEM agency for a month. The knowledge you will gain will be invaluable. Likewise, you could offer to do some voluntary freelance SEO or SEM work online from home for an agency you respect that is not necessarily in your region.

Review all the posts here in the Jobs and Salaries categories for more inspiration.

Best of luck!

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Q and A: How much should I charge for an SEO instruction manual?

QuestionHi Kalena

I have to write an SEO instruction document that will be translated into 5 languages and distributed to 4,000 business owners who have signed up for an industry-specific web template program.

The document will guide the business owners through the process of optimizing their websites by means of simple instructions and screenshots. Many of them are not computer or web savvy so it will be an exact step-by-step process.

In the end, the document may be just a dozen pages, and it may take around three days to produce (approx) – but my gut feel is that the value of the document goes beyond just man hours. I feel that I should be charging for my expertise as well as the value of the document to these 4,000 businesses. Anyone have any feedback or past experience here? I’m having difficulty putting a price on this job.

Thanks
Carolyn

Hi Carolyn

You don’t say whether you are writing this document as a freelancer or as a full-time employee of an agency. If you are being hired as a freelancer, then definitely you should be asking for a premium fee for your knowledge. If you’re an employee and your boss has commissioned the document, you should probably discuss your concerns with him/her and ensure that you are rewarded for the project in a manner that you think is suitable.

If the document is being sold to the 4,000 businesses, perhaps you can ask for a commission or a performance bonus of some kind?

You might also want to consider copyrighting the information as your intellectual property or making it available to your employer / client with distribution restrictions (perhaps using a Creative Commons license).

Hope this helps.

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