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lyambarreau
Member

Adapting

I'm considering learning new skills or trades which will enable me to have a wider field of employment on oDesk. My professional skills are difficult to apply at oDesk because they aren't skills that can be used online, excect for maybe writing about them, like a plumber, plasterer, electrician, etc..

 

I've been thinking about SEO because I see that advertised a lot, but if I was to learn it, how would I know I was ready? My suggestion would be offering a lower price and telling the client the truth about my experience and say "look, I'm new to SEO, but I'll try my best, and offer X, Y and Z"

 

So, my questions:

 

-Have you ever learnt a new skill to widen your job search?

-If you have learnt a new skill; what skill did you learn and how did you approach the job application?

-How did you do? 

 

Thanks!

10 REPLIES 10
junelle
Member

i learn new skills, but more to increase my knowledge and not as much to widen my job search. does that count? Smiley Wink

 

i resort to those free online courses offered by sites like Coursera, just to learn the basics - so i end up not with something i could actually use, but at least i know a bit more about it than i used to. later, if i feel like it, i might just improve on it.

 

ironically, i was compelled to learn a new skill in one of my projects, and that's when i discovered i get it more often when i'm not actively taught than when i'm just going through the motions. guess i'm just one of those people.

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." - Maya Angelou
Try harder, or care less.

It definitely counts! I'm the same in a way, I'm constantly learning new things, even if it's little things that seem simple, but I've never had the reason to do it in the past.

 

I think with every job I do, I gain a better understanding of the task and it seems to make me better ๐Ÿ˜‰

"I think with every job I do, I gain a better understanding of the task and it seems to make me better :smileywink:"

 

i'm with you on this, Lyam. nothing teaches us better than experience.

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." - Maya Angelou
Try harder, or care less.
anne_ginger
Member

Hi Lyam,

 

I think that it is great you're trying to learn new skills! That is always something clients like in a freelancer (I sure like it in my freelancers!).

 

To answer your questions:

 

-Have you ever learnt a new skill to widen your job search?

 

Yes, I learned new skills but widening my job search is not my reason for it. For me, I was genuinely curious about SEO writing when I started out here but I was not sure if I can do it right although there are info on the web o  how to do it.

 

One day, I saw an ad from a client who is looking for a writer who can write SEO optimized content. His ad says he is foremost looking for a really good writer (which I know I am) who is either good at SEO writing or is willing to learn. I sent him an application and said I'm fine with being trained as long as it is also paid.

 

We got into an agreement that I will get paid my discounted rate during training which is for the first 10 or so articles. He corrected my initial attempts and made suggestions, also taught me how to find the best keywords etc etc etc (he has a spreadsheet for this). After the first 10 or so articles he said I was ready and he started paying me my usual rate. Of course this goes without saying that I used my newfound skill to apply to other jobs.

 

-If you have learnt a new skill; what skill did you learn and how did you approach the job application?

 

See answer above. Also, on the next applications to other clients, I sent them links to my samples on the web (which has my name in the byline (very, very good selling point), with full info on the SEO merits of the writing and how I arrived at picking the right keywords for the target audience.

 

-How did you do?

 

I think I did very well, after all, I did make a few thousand dollars from SEO writing alone in under a year of learning it. 

 

By the way, I'm both a freelancer and a client here, just in case my post seems confusing.



โ„โ„โ„ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines โ„โ„โ„

You seem to have had a good experience with a great client who saw great potential and was willing to put the time and effort into it his and your success. A client like that is what I'm looking for, someone with whom you can rely, trust and learn from.

 

I've had some great clients, but I've never been comfortable offering services which I know I'm not skilled in. Although there is tonnes of information out there for all different skills, what I want is a client to review it (like he did yours) and say "change this, don't do that, look out for this, etc..."

 

I've applied for the odd job and asked to be trained for a discounted pay but I've had no responses, understandably. I'm realistic in my talents, I'm not going to ask to be trained to write HTML or use AI because those are pretty big jobs, but things like content writing, SEO, etc...I think I could manage it.

 

Thanks for sharing!

msayno
Member

Hi Lyam --- if you really want to get yourself involved in SEO, I'd rather that you study Conversion Rate Optimization, w/c pays so much better.  I mean, there's huge competition in SEO right now on this site and many are competing for less than $3/hr.

 

I'm not against SEO guys but this work is so much like instant gratification.. and many clients would rather have a hundred web visits that converts (who buy & care about the brand) vs. traffic bots in thousands.  I've got 2 clients (who are cursin' the cheap SEO agency they hired before) == who got penalized by Google because of unnatural links + traffic... and I'm helpin' them fix it, w/c allows me to charge better rates anyway.

 

Good Luck ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

ETA:  Here's a LINK to a beginner's guide that you can take a look at.  In my experience, CRO is way more fun than SEO.. especially when the tests you implemented are bringing in results (or what clients would call as ROI)

 

marciamalory
Member

Don't knock your plumbing, plastering, or electrician skills. If you can write clearly and well, and have personal experience to back you up (mixed up with some SEO writing knowledge) you can earn a lot more than a $5 per article "content writer" who rewrites Wikihow articles on "how to fix a leak".

Lyam can make more than $15 per 500 words articles with his plumbing, plastering and electrician skills. I'm no professional DIYer but I got paid that rate and more for tutorials with plastering, plumbing etc. Add in 3-5 photos and upwords of $50 per article is also possible.

 

I think Lyam just needs a bit of polishing. As I've seen on the boards here, he writes fairly well (even better than those who claim to be professional writers) and very attentive to details. 

 

Anywhoo, I wish we have the writer's section in the job skills area of the forum so people with potential will have a place to post and share things. Example, I want to help some people here but I don't want to send PMs or hire them to be trained. In the past, I helped people build their portfolio pro bono but I see no way of doing that here in oDesk without looking like a stalker especially with the new PM feature haha.

 

Oh and John B, thanks for posting resources for coding. I have plenty of time (thanks financial planning!) and can always pick up some new skills or simply geek out ๐Ÿ™‚



โ„โ„โ„ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines โ„โ„โ„

Sorry. When I mentioned 'plumbing, electrician and plastering' - those were examples. My past profession was a trainer, so I mostly wrote manuals, SOPs, did inductions, etc...

 

I've seen the odd few jobs requesting such experience, but I have nothing to support my claim unfortunately.

 

Lately, I've been focusing on transcription, because it's something I actually enjoy. I've also begun to write articles and reviews which is something very new to me and apparently I have a fun, engaging tone in my style which is good. I'm still learning how to 'structure' my pieces, because I notice there are times the wording or purpose is scattered here, there and everywhere.

 

In regards to anything DIY or construction - I'm probably the last person to give support! ๐Ÿ˜›

 

Marcia, Merissa, Dianne and John  - thanks for your information and support!

jbampton
Member

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/11/24/programmers-price

 

In general SEO on oDesk won't pay a lot on average.

 

Globally there is a shortage of programmers.

 

Anyone can learn to code, its easy!

 

There are so many online resources that can help you learn to code or learn any topic.

 

Some of these websites are great because they give you a profile that you can show off to everyone.  Helps you build your online presence!

 

https://www.khanacademy.org/

 

http://www.codecademy.com/

 

https://www.codeschool.com/

 

http://codecombat.com/

 

When you have levelled up a bit you could try the following:

 

http://www.codewars.com/

 

http://www.checkio.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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