When doing my research, I spent a good deal of time at all of these sites. I looked at the policies, payment terms and such, and most are quite comparable. I read reviews and they were all pretty good. None of them got slammed or had extreme issues with the users, which is a good thing.
After all was said and done, I went with a site that is NOT included in the above list. I kept it out because in my opinion, it was the best and I wanted to talk about it separately.
The site I chose was Odesk.
After reviewing the features and benefits of ODesk, I signed up right away. It was very user friendly and I could maneuver around the site quickly and easily. It lets you sign up for free, and publish a very detailed profile in order to promote yourself and your skills.
There are so many jobs to choose from that you could literally spend hours looking through this site, which I did many times!
I like the fact that you can review the employer, not just the other way around. People who have worked for the employer rate them and the reviews are honest, I must say. Whether good or bad, the reviews are there for you to see. This can help you decide if you want to accept an assignment from an employer before bidding on a job. It takes another "unknown" element out of the mix because you can get information about an employer before accepting work.
I love the fact that you can take tests to add to your profile, which also help you get jobs. There are a varierty of tests - free for the taking - that help employers evaluate your skills when competing for a job. The tests are those similar you might take when applying for any job. They include spelling, English, data entry, office skills, typing, etc. You name it, there will probably be a test for it. After you take the test, your score is immediately available for posting on your profile page. If you didn't do so well on the test, you can re-take it after 30 days, so you don't have to post a poor test score on your profile page.
When you read through the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS and FORUM sections of the site, it will tell you to apply for as many jobs as possible to enhance your choices of landing your first job. The site indicates that it can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks of bidding to get a job, and not to be discouraged but to keep trying, especially because you're new and don't have any feedback or hours logged posted on your profile page.
My experience was that within 2 weeks of bidding for jobs, I got hired for not only one contract, but two!! I accepted both assignments because the hours per week worked out and I could make the deadlines the employers were looking for.
One of my contracts was to write five original articles for use on a web site at a fixed rate. I finished this project on time and received the highest 5 star rating from my employer! He not only paid me as soon as I turned in the last article, he paid me a bonus, as well.
As for my other employer, she was so happy with my work that she extended the project from 10 to 25 hours per week on a long-term basis. Now I'm not sure if that will be for 6 months, a year or will end next week, but I do know that within the last 3 weeks, I have made over $400!
$400 cash - in my Paypal account - available for me to spend now.
I not only landed two contracts, but because of my profile page, three additional employers contacted ME in a private offer to bid on their projects. So, not only can you secure projects by applying for them, if you have a detailed profile page, employers can search you out and make a private offer to you, virtually eliminating most, if not all, of the competition for jobs.
I love the guarantee - yes, the ODesk guarantee - that I will be paid every week for logged hours. I love that you log in to your team room and as you are working, your time is logged into the system, and will be guaranteed for payment at the end of the week.
I love having the security of a weekly paycheck as it is sometimes hard to stretch your 9-to-5 check out for two weeks at a time. I no longer find myself running short on money by the end of two weeks because I have that extra weekly check coming in.
It takes a few extra days to get your first check, because you have to wait for the pay period to end, for the employer to approve the hours, and then the "security period." Once you are working on a weekly basis, your paychecks will fall into a routine and you will have money each week.
I like the payment options where I can have my money be deposited into my Paypal account or directly to my bank account, among other options.
As for customer service, I had a question, sent a ticket to the service department and had a reply in less than 24 hours. A fast, professional, informative response to my question.
I must admit that at first I was a bit skeptical, as most of us are when trying out anything new on the Internet. But this has turned out to be the real deal and I cannot say enough about this site.
If I had to recommend a site to get a job on-line, this is where I would refer anyone who would ask me. I have already recommended this site to several members of my family and to my friends who have been looking for work.
This site is so versatile because you can take one-time jobs, jobs that last for a week or two, or longer-term jobs. While you may continue to send out resumes to get a full-time job out of the home, you can find work at ODesk to fill in the gap. If you are a stay-at-home mom looking for supplemental income, this would be a perfect choice for you. If you want extra money to save up for a vacation, buy something fun or pay off some bills, look no further.
The options are endless and amazing. I could not believe how much there was to pick from and how easy it is to get started.