Online Work Tips & Best Practices

Dodging Social Media For Your SMB? You’re Not Alone

June 25, 2014 by

When I asked the owner of a new neighborhood coffee shop which social network I could find her on, she shook her head. She didn’t have time to deal with social media, she said; there are too many other pressing matters to take care of. It's tough for the owner of a small or midsize business (SMB) to keep up with social media demands. We talked to Melanie Feltham, oDesk's community manager, for her advice about taking a strategic approach to social media so you can make the most of your time. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Perspectives on the Future of Work: June 2nd

June 2, 2014 by

oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on hiring and managing teams, freelancing, and the future of work. This week highlights advice for people who manage distributed teams, why recruiting for remote workers is different, how new work trends are influencing corporate culture, and why freelancing can be a great stepping stone for entrepreneurial graduates. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

How to Build a Partnership With Your Web Designer

April 30, 2014 by

The time-tested wisdom of relationship advice columnists says that good communication, realistic expectations, and mutual respect go a long way toward heading off trouble. As it turns out, advice for creating a great relationship with your web designer is exactly the same. Maria Pentkovski, oDesk's interactive art director, has a lot of experience in this regard — she's worked for the client, and as the client. Here are the lessons she's learned about building the ideal client/freelancer relationship. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Hiring a Web Design Firm: What You Need to Know

April 23, 2014 by

Branding developed? Check. Product perfected? Check. Website ready to launch? Not exactly... For many DIY entrepreneurs, this is one task that requires outside intervention in the form of outside expertise. But how do you choose the right web design firm? One of the quickest ways to get up to speed is to talk to someone who's done it successfully — multiple times. To tap into such experience, we recently chatted with Maria Pentkovski, an interactive art director with oDesk. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Mobile Website Design Helps Keep Customers Happy

April 7, 2014 by

You walk into a waiting room filled with people. They’re not watching the television; they’re not reading magazines. No, the majority of those seated have their heads down, thumbs expertly typing on mini-keypads with eyes glued to small screens. Thanks to ever faster and cheaper data plans, mobile devices are ubiquitous; they are a rapidly growing force in the way we access information. Has your website rolled out the welcoming mat for these visitors? If not, it's time you took a look at your mobile website design. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Is Your Business Ready for a Virtual Assistant?

April 2, 2014 by

Try as you might, you can't do everything yourself if you want to grow your business. It's one thing to accept that; it's another to actually welcome someone new, like a virtual assistant, to share your work. When you've relied on a team of one, how can you feel confident that someone else will understand your priorities, motivations, or rationale? Three professionals explain their experience and advice for those preparing to take the next step. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

The 5 Phases to Build a Website

March 31, 2014 by

How do you move your business or personal website from concept to launch? Whether you decide to learn how to build a website on your own or to hire a web developer, there are five phases your process should go through. It's exciting to make a website, and it can be tempting to simply jump in. However, by taking the time to follow a more structured process, you'll create a site that’s more effective and spend less time fixing problems later. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

eBook: Top 10 Startup Tips for Going Global

March 27, 2014 by

Studies show that startups are going global more quickly than ever before. Economic forces and globalization push us to explore new markets while technology has made cross-border transactions and communication comfortable. Accessing capital and reaching more early adopters of technology are strong incentives to expand internationally. oDesk teamed up with General Assembly to create “Top 10 Tips for Going Global,” an eBook that gives actionable advice to startup founders, marketers, and mentors who are leading the charge to cross the pond. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Web Development 101: What Are Website Templates?

March 24, 2014 by

Not everyone needs a team of web developers, programmers and graphic artists to build a website. For many people, a simple web presence is all that is needed. Using website templates can be a fast, easy way to build a website for a small business or for personal use — and there's a wide range of options available. Whether you're looking for an online business card, a portfolio to showcase your photography or design, or a blog to share your thoughts, a template can save you time and money. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Web Development 101: Top Web Development Languages in 2014

March 19, 2014 by

When it comes to choosing the best web development language for your website, it's important to remember that there is no single best language. Instead, a web developer will choose the option that best suits your project, based on the specific functionality or features you want. Here is an overview of the more popular web development languages in use by the industry today. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Web Development 101: What is a Web Developer?

March 12, 2014 by

If you've decided not to build your own website, you may already know that you'll need a web developer to make sure the technical side of your new website comes together smoothly. But what skills should you look for in a web developer? And do you need a web developer or a web designer — is there a difference? Here's a closer look at the specific skills and talents your web person should have, so you can identify what you’re looking for and understand what web-related skills are needed to build the best site for you or your business. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Web Development 101: What is Web Development?

March 7, 2014 by

If you’re looking to build a website—whether you’re considering doing it yourself or hiring a web developer to do it for you—you’ve likely heard the term ‘web development’ come up very frequently. Familiarity with the concept is fine, but if you’re serious about learning how to develop a website, you should have a solid understanding of the term. So for our first post in the Web Development 101 series, we’ll start at the beginning—what is web development, anyway? Read Full Article

Digital Nomads

Sue: Made a Plan, Then Took the Digital Nomad Leap

March 5, 2014 by

To realize her vision for her life, Sue Brummeler made one big decision: to quit her job, launch her first business (Online Cottage Rental), and in doing so become a Digital Nomad. Three years later, Sue and her family are thriving and enjoying spending time together. Now, Sue can work from the beach beside her Florida condo, or from the living room of a rustic cottage in Northern Ontario. Work is no longer a specific place for her. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Looking For Web Design Ideas? Here’s Where To Start

March 4, 2014 by

You’re a web development newbie, and you’re looking to build a new website or redesign an existing one. Your first task is choosing a design direction; in particular, picking out some web design ideas either to inspire you as you learn how to build your own site, or to hand off to a web designer for guidance. That is easier said than done, though. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of sites where you can find some great web design inspiration, no matter your industry or budgeted web design costs. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Featuritis: How To Diagnose Your Product Now

March 3, 2014 by

We designed the product, mapped the logic, and hired a development studio. By February of the following year, we had the prototype for Channelkit and started meeting investors. Then we got a wake-up call. We decided not to hold on to the over-complicated product we’d developed, but instead to reach out to our potential users and figure out what they actually needed. And if you are serious about the success of your startup, I recommend you do the same. Here are the steps we took over the course of several months to course-correct—which we hope can also serve as your roadmap to avoid needing course-correction in the first place. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

How Range Master Took Its Retail Store Online

February 26, 2014 by

In 2008, sales for tactical gear store Range Master were good, but not incredible. Located in a storefront in San Luis Obispo, CA, cash flow came almost exclusively from in-store customers—and Collin Perry wanted more. For several years, e-commerce transactions had steadily become a bigger and bigger part of the retail industry’s overall sales. As the sales and marketing director, Perry recognized that Range Master, his father’s store, was missing out on that trend. Knowing he needed expert help, he decided to enlist online talent to take his brick-and-mortar store online. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

How to Hire the Right Freelance Graphic Designer

February 26, 2014 by

Your company’s visual brand—its logo, website, marketing materials and overall visual presence—is what your customers or clients will mentally associate your business with. It’s often the first impression you’ll give, so it’s crucial that you make a good one! This makes hiring the right freelance graphic designer an all-important task. Making the right choice now will benefit your business and save you both time and money in the long run. Here are a few simple steps that you can follow to ensure you are choosing the perfect designer from the start. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

How High-Tech Startups Can Use Remote Developers

February 25, 2014 by

Many high-tech entrepreneurs think of online staffing as a bootstrapping technique—something used only in the early days of the startup, when headcounts are low and funding is tight, to get a first prototype built. I know I used to think that way. But now, I'm convinced that online workplaces represent something much more: an essential tool in an entrepreneur's arsenal. Online staffing is akin to elastic computing or crowdfunding—it’s a resource that doesn’t just make things more efficient, but also adds a fundamental new capability to the modern company. Take our startup, Diffbot, as an example. Read Full Article