In tough Times more Freelancers Turn to the Web

In these tough economic times where still people are laid off daily, the ranks of independent contractors appear ready to grow. More and more people who have lost their full-time jobs are seeking work on their own now. Many of them are using the Internet to find freelance work.

There are several online companies that are easing the transition to a freelance economy for workers and employers. Freelancers in a wide range of fields can use sites like Elance or Guru to advertise their work and bid on jobs. Of course, employers also use these sites to find contract workers.

Especially in tough times you will see a steady growth of new freelancers. This is not surprising, because when résumés and applications go unanswered then people have to search something for themselves and become self-employed. You can see them as accidental entrepreneurs.

But not only people that can’t find a “normal job” turn to freelancing. There is also large group of people who have a day job but are looking to make some spare cash in their spare time.

There are also more and more stay-at-home moms who are searching for part-time work to make an additional income for the family and most of them use the Internet to do this.

The Internet has given people an extraordinary tool not just to bid on jobs-sites such Elance or Guru but also to create their own marketing vehicle. For instance with an own website and online portfolio, and to do all kinds of other functions on the cheap: keeping the books, online banking, interacting with customers (email, chat, video chat), etc. These days every freelancer should at least have a website with a portfolio, even if they not use the Internet for their job-search.

To make use of sites like Elance or Guru the employers need to pay them. Most of these freelancer sites take or charge employers a commission, often 5 to 10 percent. Elance deducts between 6.75 and 8.75 percent from the payment, covering both its service fee and credit card costs. Guru charges a 10% fee or 5% fee for premium members (you also need to pay to become a premium member.)

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