How to Find a Job on Elance: The Complete Guide

What is Elance?

Elance is an online freelance clearinghouse where remote workers (known as "providers") can connect with employers who are hiring for various projects (known as "buyers"). Elance is one of the oldest sites of this type doing business on the Internet, and has a huge number of project postings active at any one time. As of early August 2009, Elance has over 97,000 registered providers working on their system, and Elance buyers posted over 25,000 jobs from July through August of 2009. Since its inception, Elance providers have earned nearly a quarter of a billion dollars from the comfort of their own home.

What Sets Elance Apart from Similar Sites?

Elance is structured much like similar sites that you may be more familiar with, such as Guru.com, RentACoder, and (relative newcomer) oDesk. Elance gets more traffic from both providers and buyers, possibly because it has built a solid reputation in the freelance arena. Elance offers freelance service providers:
  • Access to clients from around the globe
  • A cost-effective mechanism for marketing their services
  • An efficient system to accurately bill providers
  • Confidence in a payment system that holds payments in an escrow account
  • Ability to work anywhere, anytime, from the comfort of home

What Skills Are In Demand in the Elance Marketplace?

Elance allows registered providers to submit proposals for jobs in the following areas: web and programming, design and multimedia, writing and translations, sales and marketing, legal and engineering and manufacturing.

How Do I Become an Elance Provider?

Becoming an Elance provider is easy, although to have full access to the Elance system, you will be required to pay a fee. The first step to becoming an Elance provider is registering for an account and selecting your account "type" (paid or unpaid) and creating your provider profile. Let's look at the different steps of becoming an Elance provider in greater details and address each section that will need to be filled in.
 
Next: Signing Up and Creating an Eye Catching Profile