Odesk Freelancing so cheap it’s practically Free

My oDesk Freelance Examples

I have said it in the past, that oDesk is my favorite resource for finding Cheap freelancers. I believe it is the best freelance site. In fact, within the past couple of months I hired out 2 jobs that ended up costing me so little, that I almost felt guilty. Almost!

In this post I am going to share with you in detail my recent 2 oDesk jobs that I hired out for some pretty big jobs. When I say big, I mean there was no way I could have done it myself.

This should serve as motivation for anyone looking to try odesk outsourcing.

First oDesk Online contract

The first job I needed was to have a website converted to a wordpress theme then migrated over to my Host gator account. The website was Shakacostarica.com this is my main website for my day job which is owning and operating a Surf & Yoga retreat in Costa Rica.

The site was originally on an old joomla CMS platform. I wanted to have the blog on the same URL. I believe WordPress is easier to manage, and more SEO friendly. The website would look the same but it hand to be built completely from scratch, hand coded PHP, with a custom theme.

What’s great about oDesk is that it is free to post a job. So you can test ideas and prices to see if people bite. Here is the ad that I posted on oDesk with a maximum budget of $400 for the job.

 “I need someone to take my Joomla website and convert it to a WordPress site keeping the same look. Curently the site is on joomla but with a wordpress blog in a sub directory. I want to move everything to just one new wordpress site. I also need everything moved over to my new host.”

odesk freelancing onlineWithin 12 hours I had over 20 contractors bidding on my job. I probably could have set a maximum budget at half of that and still had bidders, but since this is my primary brick & mortar business and I didn’t want to be to cheap and only attract the less experienced Freelancers(Oh yah, I forgot to mention that a local US design studio quoted the job at around $2000-$3000).

I actually had 1 oDesk contractor bid $100 for the job. But he was new to the oDesk system and did not yet have any ratings or work history. 90% of all the applicants were from India.

I let the Job run for about a day and half then settled on a girl named Sadia from india who had a 5star rating(here is a snap of her profile). So yes, you could go to Odesk signup and do a search for her if you need webdesign work.

Odesk- online profile example

The experience was amazing! She had the first draft done in about 3 days. Then it only took 2 small revisions and it was DONE. I was blown away at the level of service and quality.

All I can say is the American digital work-force should be very worried. These third world countries are spitting out young anxious pros who are more reliable,ambitious and willing to do a better job for 1/10 the cost.

 Second oDesk Online Contract.

This was more of a spur of the moment impulse. I wanted to see about how much it would cost to have my Passive-income eBook course translated into Spanish. Since this was not the most important project I wanted to see how low I could go.

Here is the ad that I posted with a maximum budget of $100

“I have a how-to eBook and 3 web pages i would like to translate into Spanish. It is an eBook on how to setup simple word-press websites as well as basic instruction on creating content and basic SEO. The book is about 130 pages and written in a very clear easy to understand style.

 the ebook can be downloaded for free here http://www.zzzprofits.com/course/ if you want to check it out.

 the 3 pages to translate are



http://www.zzzprofits.com/making-money-online/ “

The Freelancer bids for this job came in a little slower, so I let it run for a couple of days. At this point I had about 10 freelancers who put in a bid. The interesting thing was that all the freelancers who had high ratings and work history counter offered my maximum bid stating they would manually translate at 2-3 cents per word.

I did a quick calculation and added all the words together, and it came to about 33,000 words total. At that price the cost would be $660-$990. That was quite a bit more then I was willing to spend.

I was just about to scrap the idea, then on the 3rd day I received a bid of $25. I thought for sure that was a typo and wrote back a message confirming if the price was correct. Here is the exact email conversation:

I just want to make sure you read and understand the job?

Ok, this is what I understood from your job description:
- You need someone to translate from English to Spanish an ebook of 130 pages and also three web pages is this alright?

Thank you

yes that is correct. Can i ask why you bid so low? Is it because this would be your first job on oDesk but a good way to gain some initial work history/ratings?

To be honest that is the main reason, I know that is a lot of work but normally no one will hire me because I have no feedback. That is a problem for me because I am able to translate from English to Spanish perfectly. So I didn’t want to put a bid which you could say like “This guy has no feedback and his bid is too big, I will choose another one”. I am just being honest.

Are you kidding me? This offer was to good to be true. The worst case scenario I am out 25 bucks. It was pretty much a no brainer, so of-course I had to gave him a try. The other bonus was he was a computer science major so he understood most of the terminology about building websites, SEO and internet marketing.

It took him about 1 week to complete it. He probably spent 20-30 hours on the job. I had my Costa Rican friend take a look, and she said it looked good. I gave him a glowing review and 5 stars so it worked out for both of us.

So guess what? ZZZProfits is now a multilingual website. You can see it in action here http://www.zzzprofits.com/es/ all for 25 bucks! Well, actually after the oDesk fee $27.50 muahahaa!

In case your wondering I used a premium plug-in called “WordPress Multilingual Plugin” to handle the backend. The plugin makes it easy to setup all the translations as well as make sure its SEO friendly.

It cost $79 for the complete version with a license to use it on as many websites as I want. I did a lot of research and it seemed to be the best method available.

 Go Team oDesk!

In fact I currently have another really cool oDesk project in the works. I am in the process of having a oDesk freelance writer write a zombie book for my son and I. I wanted to do something fun and expose my son to the concept of outsourcing. When the project evolves I will post more details about it.

Once again I can say oDesk has been a great tool in keeping my internet marketing costs down. If your thinking about giving outsourcing a try, I highly recommend you try a small project on oDesk.





P.S. Could you use an affordable and reliable web host that makes it easy to start and run your profitable website? Click here to find out why I use Hostgator »


  1. David Oliveira



    Very Interesting Article Moe!
    It’s great to hire a Freelancer since for many it is too much work to have to take care of everything in one site. Tip very valuable soon I will contact a service Odesk! Thank you and Success!

  2. DoG



    I joined oDesk to be a freelancer, now it seems to me i better turn to be the opposite – outsourcer. I can’t compete with cheapies there!

    • Moe



      Yes the competition coming from countries like India and the Philippines is tough, however there is still a big demand for skilled Native English speakers that completely understand and relate to other Native English speakers.

  3. Doreen



    You got lucky Moe. You’re the type of person that I run completely in the opposite direction from and I wouldn’t hesitate to bid a real amount of money for your job. And for you to come here and BRAG about how cheap you got something and diminish the freelancer is horrible.

    People at oDesk have to STOP thinking they can only compete on rates. We all started with NO feedback and most of us managed to make it to the first assignment without taking crap from someone who places so little value on other people’s work.


    • Moe



      Luck? Not even close. I can do it over and over. How? because I know how. Why? because i can. It’s business. Freelancers have a choice and they have to build there reputation. If i hire someone with a glowing history, guess what? I pay their rate because i know i have to if i want their credentials.

      A new freelancer is a risk. By the way, i have been burned by new freelancers with zero feedback asking for 50% down. I learned my lesson. When I hire a brand new freelancer for cheap, they are the lucky ones, because if they do a good job they will get a glowing 5 star feedback from a company with a 5 star premium profile. It is a win win.

      “most of us managed to make it to the first assignment without taking crap from someone who places so little value on other people’s work” Speak for your self. I know plenty of people who gave up on trying to be an oDesk or Elance freelancer because nobody would hire them because they had little to no experience/feedback and were to proud to lower their rates.

  4. Doreen



    And they can only do that when unscrupulous people like YOU take advantage of their desperation. NO morals, NO scruples: Bad business

    • Moe



      You obviously don’t understand the concept of outsourcing, freelancing or good business. The reason why we use services like oDesk is so we can SAVE MONEY. Freelancers work from home, they don’t have office overhead, they don’t have to commute, they don’t have to invest in an expensive business wardrobe, they don’t have to eat out every lunch, and they get to pick their hours. This is why they are able to lower their rates.

      IF you think hiring a willing freelancing at a cheap rate is unscrupulous, what do you have to say about the hundreds of thousands of interns that work for almost nothing or free every year to get experience & build their portfolios? So I guess every successful business that has provided opportunity to an intern to gain experience is moral-less, unscrupulous and practices bad business?

      Your a writer? How many blogs, guest posts, websites, hubpages or squidoo lenses etc have you written free articles for to build your profile? I guess they are all unscrupulous too.

  5. Doreen



    Umm I hate to tell you this:

    Overhead: I pay for Internet, telephone, computers and software on my own. I also have to pay taxes (33PLUS percent), my own insurance,etc. If this is your definition of no overhead then you are delusional

    Wardrobe: Maybe I’m not buying business suits but I’m not working naked either

    Meals: Ya so you can pay me $1 an hour? I still do eat regular meals even though I work at home

    Pick my hours; Are you kidding me? Ever heard of deadlines?

    Interns: Interns KNOW what they are getting into and they are NOT paying taxes. YOU on the other hand are looking for PROFESSIONALS and laughing about paying them $1 an hour

    Building a portfolio is a MUST for every writer. It’s part of my marketing plan (make sense?) and I own those forever. I also do get residual income from that.

    I find it hysterically funny that one of the things you tell people to do to make money is to write for $10 an article and then you brag about paying $1 an hour for work. Do as I say, not as I do.

    What scares me so much about YOU is you are sending more bottom feeders like yourself to screw over more contractors.

    I DO run a business (and have been since you were peeing in diapers) so you don’t need to tell me how a businesses bottom line is impacted by expenses. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Oftentimes a client and freelancers are at opposite ends of the spectrum regarding rates: SOMEWHERE in the middle (not at the bottom or the top) is where these issues should get resolved.

    I promise this will be my last post here because you’re trying to defend the indefensible and we’re never going to agree about this. BTW: Fix oDesk in your headline so it’s spelled with a small o and a large D so you get the name right ok?

    • Moe



      Wow! I must be good at what I do. You dislike me, yet you just created me all this great comment content and on top of that your helping me edit my writing. And even better, you did it all for FREE. Thanks!

      By the way I never post a job looking for $1 an hour. IF I pay that, its because the freelancer bid it down, probably because they need to build there profile. I guess I should always pick the highest bidder? Yah, that would be smart business.

      Let me clarify something for you since your vast years of business experience has obviously dulled your intelligence, and left you with some confusion on the meaning of many words.

      Screwing someone is not – (Employer) Posting a job on oDesk and receiving a low bid from a freelancer, accepting the bid, receiving the work, then paying the agreed amount.

      Screwing someone is –(Freelancer) Placing a bid for job, requesting 50% down, then never doing the work and running away with the money.

      I have seen freelancers do a hell of lot more screwing on oDesk then the Employers.

  6. bubbleboy



    what you are doing is sketchy…like shopping at walmart. Sure the prices are lower using indians and third world kids, but its no different WHATSOEVER than what companies like nike and apple are doing – taking advantage of 3rd world ppl while depriving your fellow 1st world person of an opportunity. That is why our countries are in such a sad state.

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