The Way We Work

How to give your website a quick SEO check-up

If you have a website that hasn’t seen any change in a while then it’s time to give it an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) checkup. There are some simple tasks you can perform that will significantly assist the success of your website in search engines. Google Analytics: Google Analytics is free, easy to use and incredibly useful. If you are not paying an SEO company to optimize your website and get it ranking in search engines, then this is for you. What do you get: Google Analytics will tell you how many people are visiting your website, what keywords brought them to your website, what websites referred them to your website, where they are from, how much time they spent on your website, what page they entered your website, what page they left your website and much more. The information is fantastic. However, ensure you analyze it and act on it. There is no use having so much relevant information and not taking any action on it to ensure you are tweaking your site the right way. One of the most important pieces of information you will gather from Google Analytics is what type of visitors you are attracting to your website. Are they the right type of visitors and potential clients? If not, tweak your Title meta tag and your content to let the search engine know, for example: you want people who were searching for “web design” not “web development“. Check your links: There are many tools available today, free to use, that will tell you if you have any broken links. Be sure to use these, and correct any broken or missing links you may have. Meta information: Examine your Title meta tag on each page. Is it reflective of the content on each… Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Anatomy of a Viral Twitter Blog Article: How to Get a Lot of Retweets

Last week we had somewhat of a coup with our “25 Writers You Should Follow on Twitter” Post. We got it out and it enjoyed over a week of twitter traffic based upon hundreds of retweets, some from the royalty of Twitter. Analysis of the article and the manner in which it spread reveals the following: 1. It was a list post: Minimal search on the web finds plenty of evidence to back up the fact that lists posts are not only popular but highly “bookmarkable”. Problogger’s own Darren Rowse recently made the case for the list post and it held up here. One other point to note from experience is that naming a list with a number “Top 25 …” as opposed to “Top ….” Also seem to be more attractive. 2. It was about Twitter: Tweeps love Twitter and love to talk about Twitter. This is in itself an indicator of the health of this social network – the users promote and defend it. This is not to say that you can’t go viral on Twitter without talking about Twitter, but it helps. A look at Twitturls.com gives you a look at how much the topic of Twitter is a popular topic on Twitter. The subject of Twitter is a topic common to all Tweeps so, as a topic, has a great chance of success on the platform. 3. It was a good article: Yes, self praise is no praise but Danalyn, who sculpted the piece, spent a lot of time actually finding good writers and really looking for quality. She spent the time and effort to find not only quality writers but make the case as the… Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Dollars earned on oDesk soared, and so did the team

This was another big week for oDesk. Just three months ago, we were thrilled about crossing the 10,000 online hours/day mark.  This week, we passed 13,000 hours, meaning 6.5 man years of work are done through oDesk each day.  We also crossed $70M earned on oDesk: With these soaring numbers, the only appropriate way to celebrate was with an afternoon of indoor skydiving.  The 25 people working in our Menlo Park office enjoyed flying with the assistance of only a jet engine blowing at ~150mph.  See Brian, our VP of marketing, soar. Thanks again to our 300,000 buyers and providers in 150 countries – you are the ones that make these milestones possible.  Each day we have the privilege of bringing you together to collaborate through oDesk, and seeing amazing products come out of it.  Let’s all keep on changing how the world works!… Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Business and Project Management Through Disasters: Disperse Your Operations

Thankfully, swine flu does not appear to be a repeat of the waves of influenza pandemics that swept across the world in the early parts of the 20th century. Still, as with other natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, and volcanic eruptions, there will eventually be another one. The businesses that thrive through the disaster will be those that are hardened against it. The easiest way to harden your business is to spread it out geographically. With most natural disasters, simply not being there is enough. An earthquake in San Francisco, for instance, has little effect on an office in Chicago. Pandemics are different beasts entirely. They spread rapidly across continents and while they don’t hit everywhere at once, they do hit everywhere eventually. The infamous 1918 influenza pandemic killed between 20 and 40 million people world wide, making it even deadlier than the entirety of the first World War. Dispersing your operations gives your organization a flexibility to roll with these sorts of punches. It also gives you a wider talent pool to draw from and makes you less susceptible to regional economic fluctuations. Even if you’re not facing down a plague more virulent than the Black Death, a dispersed organization is healthier, more flexible, and more robust. The key to making this sort of thing work is communication. oDesk provides the tools to organize a scattered team and insure that everyone is working towards the same goal without wasting resources by duplicating the same effort in multiple places or working at cross purposes. This opens up a wide array of options for companies. It means no longer being tied to the skills and labor pool of a single geographic location. It means having input from different regions and cultures. It means being able to organize and unify… Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Top 10 Online Resources to Learn and Master Microsoft Excel: Training and Tutorials

So you want to master Microsoft Excel, but don't know where to start? Do terms like Array Formula, VLOOKUP, User Defined Functions, ODBC, VBA and PivotCharts make you cringe? Is the transition from Excel 2003 to Excel 2007 giving you a double migraine headache? Have no fear! There is a vibrant community of Excel Experts online who are willing to take you under their wing...you just have to know where to look! We've compiled the top 10 places online to find help and get trained for free. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Twitter Job Growth Accelerates

If this is the first reference to Twitter you’ve come across, surely you must have been living under a rock. Twitter is the new online phenom, the new killer app of Web 2.0.  Breathless gushing aside, Twitter is the real thing, a surprisingly useful and fun tool that has already proven to be extremely popular. And the Twitter wave hasn’t even crested yet. Tech journalist Michael S. Malone has said of Twitter: The real social breakout – 100 million U.S. and 500 million world-wide users and all of the social transformations that will come in their train – has not yet occurred. Remember the frenzy surrounding eBay when just about everybody you know started buying and selling on it? It’s going to be like that for Twitter six months to a year from now. Twitter’s not just for fun, but is also now making a splash in the world of big business. Dell recently announced that they’ve moved more than one million dollars worth of merchandise through their Twitter groups. And again, if Malone is correct, this has only really just begun, with bigger things still in store. So it’s no surprise to find that Twitter is creating jobs. Like the rise of Twitter itself, the trend points towards meteoric rise. There are 105 new twitter jobs posted on oDesk per month, and 282 twitter professionals. Many of these jobs are traditional SEO services, simply adding Twitter to the battery of tools which can drive traffic and increase Google page rank. Others are programming jobs, creating automated services that create a tweet reporting activity elsewhere from the web. Twitter’s also becoming a part of other, more traditional services as well. Saying something useful in just 140 characters is a skill, and we’re beginning to see… Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Congratulations to NeedInstructions, oDesk’s Site of the Month!

Congratulations to NeedInstructions.com, who won oDesk’s first Site of the Month contest. NeedInstructions.com has a rapidly growing library of Instructions, Manuals and How To’s created by NeedInstructions.com members. They actively promoted their contest submission on Twitter, which helped them receive 1407 votes and won them a $1,000 oDesk credit and an Apple iPhone. Meet the Team: Ava, Philippines Dana, United States Edison, Italy Poonam, India Rampalli, India Stacy, United States More team members: Abderraouf, Tunisia | Bappi, Bangladesh | David, United States | Keshav, India | Prashant, India Runners-Up: Ozzietel Ozzietel enables its customers to make unlimited calls within Australia and abroad, all for a low-cost, set monthly fee DVDCorral Organize your DVD Catalog, Share with Friends, Enhance your Collection! OnTrackArabia On-Track Arabia is dedicated to enabling small and medium enterprises in the Middle East develop their IT strategies oDesk buyers who completed websites via oDesk were eligible to submit their sites to the contest. Winners were determined entirely by oDesk community voting. We’d like to thank all of the participants in our inaugural Site of the Month contest. Thanks to your… Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

25 Writers You Should Be Following on Twitter

We’ve said it before: Twitter is the wave of the social media future! With Ashton Kutcher reaching over 1.5 million followers, and Oprah gaining over 700,000 followers since her Twitter debut on her show two weeks ago, Twitter growth is increasing exponentially! New users are signing up by the boatloads every day. Because the second most frequently asked question by Twitter newcomers is, “who should I follow?” we decided to put together a list of the writers we follow on Twitter…and why you should probably follow them, too! @problogger (Darren Rowse): Full time Blogger, Author, Social Media Participant. Sharing Blogging and Twitter Tips (and a little life). Why we follow him: If you haven’t read his blog, Problogger, check it out. He offers excellent tips for writers and people aspiring to be professional bloggers. @skinnyjeans (Stephanie Quilao): Deliciously creative blogger of Everyday Tweet. Founder. I share stuff I think is awesome and helpful. Healthy living, Work, Food, Design, Photography, Twitter. Why we follow her: Her documented journey to becoming a professional blogger on her website, The Everyday Blogger. @daivrawks (Daiv Russell): Super-caffeinated Ninja-Nerd, Foodie, SEO/Copywriter, Husband, Project Mangler, Vegetarian, Software Process junkie, and Org Psych, Marketing & Statistics Why we follow him: With a blog named Ninja Nerd, how could we not? Plus, he’s got great SEO writing tips on his blog. @copyblogger (Brian Clark): I create new media content for fun and profit. Why we follow him: He offers great writing tips on his blog, Copyblogger, from how to write catchy titles to how to overcome writer’s block. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Skilled Technical Hourly Rates Rise or Remain Flat; Other Categories Decline – Good For Developers, Bad For Writers

With the economy as it is, one would assume that hourly rates would be declining across the board.  We’ve certainly seen a faster increase in the number of providers than buyers, leading to increased competition for jobs. Let’s look at some real numbers to see what’s happening to hourly rates. This data for providers goes back over two years.  The top line on the graph, the average hourly rate for developers, is actually up from $13.17 to $15.59 over that time, an increase of 18%.  Network Administration is flat over this period.  Data entry work and technical writing, however, have seen steep declines of -39% and -53% each. Thus, providers in skilled technical categories are seeing rising or flat rates, whereas technical writers seem to be taking a bath.  However, this next graph helps to complete the story for writers. The number of writing jobs posted in the last year has seen an incredible explosion of over 500%.  There are 380 open writing jobs and 20,372 freelance writers on oDesk today. How can demand for writers increase so dramatically while rates decrease? The number of lower hourly-rate writing jobs jobs has increased over time. This chart shows the number of jobs at each hourly rate over the past calendar year. You can see that while the bulk of the jobs are clustered at the left end of the rate axis, there are still jobs on the far side, including jobs that pay as much as $110.00 per hour. The high paying jobs are still there.  Thus, even in the sector that showed the largest decrease in average hourly rates over the past two years, top performers are still commanding exceptional rates.  However, these jobs are… Read Full Article

I can do that!

I can do that. No, really, I can! And I can do the job as cheaply as everyone else. I’m an every-man. Whatever you need, I can provide it. Whatever you want, I can do it. Whatever you say, I’ll jump to it. You and everyone else. But hey, wait before you run away from me. I’m special! Different! Much more different than all the other different people, and more special than the most specialist. I specialize, you see? Take a long, long, long look at what I specialize in. Can’t see what you want? Wait, I’ll add it to the list. Can’t you see how versatile I am? I’ll work exclusively on your project, and everyone else’s. I’ll be available night and day, as long as I’m not doing my other job. I’ll answer your every query, as long as I’m not off learning other skills. I’ll deliver my work speedily, just as soon as I’ve read a tutorial on how to do it. Does the above sound familiar to you? It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of the fat kid in the free candy store, grabbing everything, and having no time to enjoy anything. The internet has allowed us not only to reach a geographically greater audience, but also to be all things to all men. In seconds we can change our profile, or add something to our portfolio. We can be who we want to be today, and someone else tomorrow. And this might seem great, empowering even, but it’s not. If you say you can do everything, you will appear to be just anyone. A nobody. I saw a sign written white van on the way to work today. It said: J. Bloggs, building foundations I thought, “If I ever need to lay… Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

New Job Categories!

oDesk is not just for geeks, anymore! Of course, we’ve known this for a while which is why we have been frantically working behind the scenes to accommodate our non-techy providers. Over the years we’ve seen oDesk grow exponentially, and it was all thanks to you! In response to user demand, we’re proud to announce that we’ve vastly improved the way we break jobs into searchable categories. We’ve combined some job categories, added others – bringing the total from 51 to 74! The biggest highlight is the addition of three new non-tech categories: Customer Service Sales & Marketing Business Services What does this mean? Providers in these service areas can more easily find the right jobs. Buyers can craft more accurate postings that will attract exactly the professionals they need. It’s all about finding the right person for the right job. Some of you may find your jobs changing categories (don’t worry – we’ve done all the migration work!). We suggest all providers double-check their preferred profile categories in Profile & Settings > My Provider Profile > Categories & Job Alerts. This is especially important if your skills are in any of the areas listed above, or the newly-combined Design & Multimedia category. Buyers may want to double-check open jobs to make sure there isn’t a new sub-category you’d prefer to move it into. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Please let us know what you think in the forum. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Improved Time Analyze Reports

We have rolled out a brand-new Time Analyze report. We’ve basically taken the two old reports (Work Analyze and Time Analyze), combined them, and thrown in a few new features. For example, providers now have access to individual Time Analyze reports to check out their stats across assignments. And staffing managers get their much-requested combined view of all their affiliated contractors. Try it out and tell us what you think! Who can see these reports? Visibility of reports depends on the team privileges you have. Hiring managers can see hours and charges for their teams, Team members can see only the hours, Providers can see their own hours across all their teams. Staffing managers can see hours and charges for their all the assignments they have staffed. How do I use reports? On to the Manage & Work > Reports Time Analyze tab. Select the role for which you want reports Select whether you want your report to be grouped by day, week or month Select the time period over which you want reports (jump to providers some useful options like “last payroll period”) Select the columns to show and sort the data using the column headings to create the report you want For example: If you are a staffing manager and you want to see how many hours your affiliated contractors worked by company in the last payroll period, Select a “staffing manager” report Choose to report by week Jump to “last payroll period” Remove all columns besides “company” The resulting report will show one column showing the total number of hours for each company. Similarly, Buyers can create: estimated charges by week, hours worked in each team, hours worked by a single provider across all teams. Staffing managers can view charges by company, charges by provider,… Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

How we run our business on the cheap

oDesk CEO Gary Swart will be speaking at tonight’s Biz Tech Series Event in San Francisco: How to Run Your Business on the Cheap.  Register here. At oDesk, we have the privilege of helping small & medium-sized businesses do more with less by hiring, managing, and paying contractors from a global talent pool.  Tonight, Gary will share how we use our own platform to find the right talent, the right way, as well as other insights on doing business frugally.  Come if you can; otherwise, see his presentation here. How oDesk Runs Its Business On The Cheap View more presentations from Amit Bakshi. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Celebrate Earth Day by Staying Home

We like Earth Day around here. We usually talk about how oDesk benefits small & medium sized businesses and remote contractors on this blog, but we feel like we’re offering something for the planet, too.  Remote workers do a lot of things, from software development to customer support, but one thing they don’t do is commute. The average solo car commuter produces more than a thousand pounds of CO2 per month.  A lot of hot air, yes, and then add in all those disposable coffee cups, heating and cooling the cubicle farms, the reams of paper, the gallons of printer toner, the cleaning agents … on and on. The environmental impact of the average office of 100 workers adds up to more than 650 tons of CO2 annually, and a lot of landfill space. Working from home doesn’t eliminate all that — you still need heat, and maybe the occasional printout. But you drink from a real mug. In general, working from home is much more efficient. You’re getting dual use out of your living space, and not sucking added resources for a sprawling office park surrounded by endless fields of obsessively striped asphalt. If being green is important to your company, then start by buying recycled-content paper towels. But take it a step further: Encourage telecommuting. Since last Earth Day, oDesk has helped 10,693 software developers from around the world work from home. In that group, Americans alone accounted for nearly 2,000 individuals, saving an estimated 600,000 gallons of gasoline. That day you were running late and couldn’t believe how light the traffic was?  That was us. Want to see what sort of impact your office can have on the environment? Use the Green Office’s calculator to tally up your environmental impact based on common office… Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

New Ontology (Categories and Subcategories)

We’ve vastly improved our ontology, the way we break jobs into searchable categories. In response to user demand, we’ve combined some job categories, added others–bringing the total from 51 to 74! The biggest highlight is the addition of three new non-tech categories: Customer Service Sales & Marketing Business Services So what? Providers in these service areas can more easily find the right jobs. Buyers can craft more accurate postings that will attract exactly the professionals they need. It’s all about finding the right person for the right job. Some of you may find your jobs changing categories (don’t worry – we’ve done all the migration work!). We suggest all providers double-check their preferred profile categories. This is especially important if your skills are in any of the areas listed above, or the newly-combined Design & Multimedia category. Buyers may want to double-check open jobs to make sure there isn’t a new sub-category you’d prefer to move it into. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Please let us know what you think in the forum. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

7 Things Every oDesk Employer Should Know

We’ve been using oDesk for a while now to subcontract out programming, data entry and virtual assistance services. We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the quality of people, but it took a while for us to get into our groove and figure out how to best use oDesk to our advantage. Below are 7 steps that we’ve learned while using oDesk, should make your employer experience a lot easier and more useful. 1. Establish Clear Objectives and Talents When looking for an hourly hire, make sure you know what you’re looking for. Don’t just put up an ad for “PHP Programmer”. Instead, establish what skills you are looking for: PHP Developer with 4 Years Experience, extensive knowledge of XML and PayPal integration. Not only does this help you attract more experienced candidates, it will help you figure out what you’re looking for. 2. Keep Clear Lines of Communication Just as you want to hear from employees, they want to hear from you. Keep them informed of anticipated work, project completions, and even why you let them go. This makes it a much more beneficial experience for everyone involved. 3. Test before Hiring If you’re not sure about a potential hire, hire them first for a small fixed pay job. That way you can judge their skills without committing to a long term project. You can also limit their amount of hours initially to get an idea of a skill level. For certain jobs, like writing, you can ask for specific samples from potential hires. 4. Know the going wage I see this one a lot – You can’t hire competent programmers from North America for the same price you would someone from overseas. Cost of living and taxes just won’t tell you. So if you’re angling for the homeshoring angle, be… Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Buzzworthy (April 2009)

Each month we talk about our favorite recent blogs and message board posts about oDesk — and there are free T-shirts involved. Blogging about oDesk? Send us your link at buzz@odesk.com! (and don’t forget, when you blog about oDesk, link back to your profile — you never know when a potential buyer is reading …) Our favorite post this month is one by Arron Washington. Anyone whose blog url starts with “geek ninja” is probably worth paying attention to anyway, but the post we have in mind is where he talks about the life he’s set up with oDesk. He says he made $40,000 just through oDesk last year, and kept his work week as a coder to about 20 hours, so he could use the rest of his time to pursue his dreams of writing (and maybe make the occasional sandwich). If you check out his blog, you’ll see he’s off to a good start as a writer, too. Also creating oDesk buzz lately, Search Engine Journal’s Loren Baker talks about how to find a “rockstar” copywriter. Don’t worry, you won’t be hiring actual rock stars. Although, you know, if you could afford Keith Richards, it’d be pretty funny to see what kind of press releases he’d crank out for you. Explain SEO to him, we dare you. No — what Loren’s talking about is how to use oDesk and other resources to find top-quality remote workers. While he’s focusing on writers, much of his advice is readily adapted to hiring call-center staff, coders, personal assistants and more. We’re not endorsing all his ideas — some of which draw tons of flak in a very robust comment section—but we think there are provocative thoughts and solid advice to be mined. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Round of Applause (April 2009)

1363 providers from 67 countries, including Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya and Kyrgyzstan, got their first jobs in the last month. These 1363 providers have already racked up 49552 oDesk hours and over $492,550 in just one month. Congrats to the providers who landed their first jobs in the March! Want to get in on the earning action? Get oDesk Ready, fill out your profile, and apply to job openings!… Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Provider Spotlight (April 2009)

Each month we like to highlight 4 providers who’ve received exemplary feedback. Great job Stephanie, Pavel, Nguyen and Vindhya — you’ve earned this!   Stephanie S Creative web and print graphic designer Total oDesk Hours: 249 Overall Feedback: 4.97 (Based on 12 feedbacks) Comments: Once more Steph was great to deal with and completed the poster project with great professional skill. Pavel I Highly experienced Drupal, PHP, AJAX (jQuery), MySQL web developer Total oDesk Hours: 317 Overall Feedback: 4.90 (Based on 9 feedbacks) Comments: Pavel is a highly skilled programmer who can find creative ways to resolve problems or accomplish the goal. Nguyen T FreeBSD, GNU/Linux SysAdmin, Script/Server Apps Programmer Total oDesk Hours: 1,363 Overall Feedback: 4.67 (Based on 17 feedbacks) Comments: Well once again my mind has been blown and job assignment satisfied with expert competency, attention, client consideration, and thorough completion. Vindhya R National Award Winning Innovator and Internet Researcher Total oDesk Hours: 350 Overall Feedback: 4.99 (Based on 8 feedbacks) Comments: Nice work. Timely and what I asked for. Thank you Vindhya! Spotlight Providers must have earned a 4.5+ feedback score with a glowing comment on an assignment in the past month, have a 4.0+ overall feedback score, an impressive profile, and a high quality individual portrait (not too blurry, no avatars). Only oDesk Ready public profiles are eligible. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk “Site of the Month” Contest – Vote Now!

We’re proud to announce the oDesk Site of the Month contest.  Each of the 27 websites entered in the April contest was built by oDesk providers in collaboration with their oDesk buyers. Every day, we have the privilege of bringing remote workers together to collaborate on oDesk, and seeing amazing products come out of it.  We’re looking forward to  showcasing the web development talent of our community and honoring some of the best work done through oDesk. Winners will be chosen entirely by community voting.  The grand prize winner, or Site of the Month, will be announced on May 1.  The owner of the site will win a $1,000 oDesk credit, an iPhone, and a spot in our Site of the Month gallery.  Runners-up will get oDesk t-shirts. Was your website built on oDesk?  Submit it to our next contest. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

America’s Workforce Adapts: What Outsourced Jobs Do We Want Back?

Asked when Americans could expect jobs outsourced to other countries to return, President Obama replied, “Not all of these jobs are going to come back … And it probably wouldn’t be good for our economy for a bunch of these jobs to come back because, frankly, there’s no way that people could be getting paid a living wage on some of these jobs — at least in order to be competitive in an international setting.” If you view the world economy as a zero-sum game, this is grim news — if each nation’s economy is a bucket of water, and you only fill one by emptying another, we seem to be running dry pretty fast. Fortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. Sometimes jobs slosh out of one bucket into another, but other times, to totally belabor a metaphor, some entrepreneurial genius adds fresh water to several buckets at once.  We may not yet be at the next wave of entrepreneurship (but remember, both Apple and Microsoft were launched in the wake of the ’70s oil crisis), but even as waves of layoffs make national headlines, jobs are sloshing back into our bucket as companies around the world are outsourcing to United States professionals. America’s national myth is cowboys, pioneers, revolutionaries — not couchbound whiners.  Displaced U.S. workers are not idly waiting for their old jobs to magically return.  An oDesk survey found that of its 70,000+ U.S.-based contractors, 32 percent had taken up freelancing after recently losing a job. These Americans are adapting to today’s market needs.  For example, just 20 years ago, graphic artists and designers competed for a tiny pool of newspaper and magazine jobs. Today, those same newspapers are tottering or failing.  But the web is increasingly offering opportunities for freelance designers,… Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Outsourcing to the United States on the Rise

When Americans think of outsourcing, they typically think of U.S. work going overseas to lower-cost countries like India and Russia.  However, we’re seeing an interesting trend in small and medium sized businesses around the world increasingly turning to U.S.-based talent.  The last time we reported on this, we focused on homeshoring, or U.S.-based companies hiring U.S.-based freelancers.  Today we’re going to look at the growth in overseas companies doing the same. Last year, we saw over 300% growth in the number of assignments overseas companies outsourced to United States professionals on oDesk. Overseas companies have employed more than 700 U.S. workers since January 2008.  These jobs are coming from places as diverse as Jamaica, Egypt, Norway, and Singapore.  However, the top countries outsourcing jobs to U.S. workers were: Rank Country Rank Country 1 United Kingdom 6 Sweden 2 Canada 7 United Arab Emirates 3 Australia 8 Saudi Arabia 4 Netherlands 9 Israel 5 Spain 10 Germany Top 10 countries outsourcing work to the U.S. on oDesk The top categories of U.S. professionals being hired on oDesk are freelance web developers, virtual assistants, and freelance writers. Why are businesses choosing to outsource their jobs to U.S.-based professionals, who are more expensive than their international counterparts?  One possible explanation is that there are more U.S. providers on oDesk today, providing buyers a wider variety of U.S.-based skills and experience, than ever before. In December alone, over 20,000 new U.S. providers signed up on oDesk, the largest monthly percentage increase (over 40%) that we have seen since 2005.  Another possible reason is that U.S. providers’ average feedback score is consistently higher than the oDesk average. This is certainly an interesting trend that we intend to keep tabs on. Read Full Article