Elance.com: Changing the Way the World Works

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For years now, Elance has been steadily and not-so-slowly changing the way the world works by connecting clients with service providers all over the world. They allow both clients and contractors to create accounts on their site and they are able to facilitate every part of the work relationship process, from holding money in a secure escrow account to providing file storage and message boards. Talk about a game changer for the telecommuting world!

Are you a designer living in Canada that found a sweet gig for a client based out of Dubai? No problem! Elance makes that connection work smoothly. Do you own a company in Montana that needs to outsource your social media management? Elance can help you find a freelancer or even a social media agency to partner with either for a short time or on a long-term basis.

Even though Elance is one of many similar job posting and hiring meccas, it is without a doubt one of the best options out there in terms of reliability and variety. Below is a breakdown of what they can offer you as a telecommuting professional:


Let’s cut right to the chase here, as the number one thing you probably want to know before you even consider trying out Elance is what it will do to your bottom line. For every project posted/accepted, via the site, 8.75% is taken right off the top and goes straight to Elance. So, if you accept a gig that pays $100 to write two press releases, you will be raking in $91.25 once it is all said and done. It is pretty steep, but at the same time, the job search tool they have available makes it stupid easy to filter jobs, taking a lot of your leg work out of the equation. The site also allows you to look for either fixed price projects or hourly work, depending on your workflow preference.

As for monthly account costs to service providers, the good news is that Elance does have a free account option. The bad news is, of course, that it is pretty limiting in terms if how many projects you can bid on in a given month. But for people just trying to dip their toes in the online work-search pool, the free account may just be the way to go, since you will definitely be able to get a good feel for the possibilities out there without having to spend a dime. Paid accounts start at $10 per month and go up from there depending on how many different service industry jobs you want to be able to apply to, and how many bidding credits you want to have available to you. To see more about their membership plans, click here.


Telecommuters can search for work spanning eight different service industries, which is perfect for both those with a specialized skill set and people with multiple areas of expertise. The service areas offered are:

  • Admin Support
  • Design and Multimedia
  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Finance and Management
  • IT and Programming
  • Legal
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Writing and Translation

To learn more about these options, click here and look for the FAQ titled “What Categories Are Available For My Freelance Membership.”


Once you have your account set up and have created your profile and portfolio, you are ready to start bidding on jobs. The process is simple: Click on a job listing that interests you, compose your “pitch,” state your desired rate, and submit it for review. That’s it. While landing work is never guaranteed, there is definitely no shortage of opportunity, as close to 4 million companies and service providers use Elance on a regular basis. That is 4 million people that – like you – are looking to change the way they work.

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