Freelancing. It’s kind of an ugly word, really, like outsourcing. Of course, managers love outsourcing because they can save money (usually it costs more in the long run, but who has time to notice that?).
How many times have you done freelance work, only to have your “client” burn you? What options do you have (personally, I like contracts and collection agencies). You know who does not like collection agencies? Florida (and Texas, but much more Florida). Collection agents do not collect from Florida because they have little to no legal weight, and cannot get the money anyway. I also like escrow services, I believe the investment (especially with new clients) pays off.
I have good and bad experiences with some of the freelancing websites currently available. The only invite UpWork recruiters sent me was an Excel file with a Trojan (that practice of not opening random files from the web comes in handy). UpWork sent confirmation of the Trojan a couple days after the invites went out. I have good experiences hiring from eLance (the precursor to UpWork), but not getting work through them.
Outsource offers lots of opportunity, but also lots of people looking for super-cheap work. You do pay for credits, but at least they carry over if you do not find anything. Outsource also does a great job of refunding if the client does not view your offer within a week. I’ve pulled in about $5k across two jobs with Outsource. However, I also have had a couple of nearly-insulting offers to work for anywhere from half to 10% of what I normally charge, with clients expecting me to thank them for it.
I have not had the opportunity to explore Moonlighting yet, but it looks like an interesting opportunity…when I can try it out, I can report back.
Finally, I recently came across Toptal Web Freelancers Network, and honestly, I find this one the most interesting. First, developers must go beyond an application and through a screening process. I hope this translates to clients who have no qualms about spending money. After all, this blog isn’t putting a gated Murci in my driveway… 😉
I’m looking forward to the interview process (I apologize in advance, I cannot share anything that goes on therein).
All the best in your endeavors!