All posts tagged Location Independence

  • Outsourcing small jobs cheaply

    I probably have about 100 different ideas a week. They can be anything from future Applingua plans to completely new business ideas to something as simple as a blog post. Most ideas are instantly unviable, but there are often a few which get jotted down in The Hit List for future consideration. Unfortunately they often get left there simply due to time constraints.

    One such idea was a blog post I recently published to Applingua’s Blog, listing the Top 100 Paid Mac OS X apps and their localizations. I knew in order to make the blog post more valuable to me, my clients and the blog’s audience, I needed to delve a little deeper than just studying one app store. I also knew surveying 100 apps across several stores would take a lot of my time, which I needed for client projects.

    After weeks of putting it off, I decided to write a quick job on oDesk (if you are interested, the job post is at the bottom of this page). The applicants had to be able to navigate the Mac App Store proficiently, enter information into Numbers or Excel and do a little research on Google to find out where each developer was located. It’s a classic data entry job.

    Within 15 minutes I had 4 applicants. I sent three of them the job and asked them to do the research and get back to me in their own time. There was no rush.

    A few hours later, a guy called Ramon got back to me with the finished work. I was amazed not only by the speed, but also quality of his work and friendly replies. His portfolio told me he was based in the Philippines and is an iWork and iLife “expert” looking for all kinds of work including mundane data entry. Perfect. I instantly hired him again, asking him to do 4 other stores and then to amalgamate all 7 excel sheets to find a set of statistics. I provided the sums and short descriptions.

    A few days later all the hard work was done and all I had to do was quickly check over the stats and write the blog post. In total, my time ~1 hour. Had I done the store research myself, it would have been ~2 hours per store * 7 + amalgamation + statistics + coffee breaks + the data entry boredom effect. Easily 2 and a half days on one blog post. The post is an important one, but I can’t justify 2.5 days off client work for it.

    The point of this post is you can do this too. Look at your todo list, set aside a small budget and outsource all the small, time consuming jobs you can.

    Just because you don’t want to do them, doesn’t mean others won’t.

    Hi Guys! *** Max 1.5/2 hour job ***

    I’m looking for several Mac users in different countries to do some research for me on the Mac App Store.Ā 

    I am looking to extend this blog post:

    You must be:
    – A Mac OS X 10.6.x or 10.7.x user. If you don’t know what this is, stop now šŸ™‚
    – Know what the Mac App Store is. How to access it. How to navigate it
    – Have Excel or Numbers installed to work on spreadsheet

    What you would need to do:
    – Look at the attachment to this project. There is an excel sheet and a screenshot. The excel sheet tells you what you need to record.
    – Launch the Mac App Store
    – Go to the Top 100 Paid Applications in your Country’s Store
    – Click on each app.Ā 
    – Make a note of the available languages (See screenshots)
    – Now, the difficult bit: go to the developer’s website and find out where the developer works (USA, UK, etc). You may need to useĀ if it’s not obvious.

    Any questions, just ask!!


  • Making money online

    For years I struggled to make real money online. Apart from making the odd website, staring at a screen doesn’t bring in cash. It’s a dream many people have, especially those who want to free themselves from their desk and become more “location independent”. Well I’m making money online now and I’ve learnt a lot along the way. I want to share with you what I know.

    This article already sounds like link bait, right? Just like one of those posters that used to litter lamp-posts “earn cash at home” or the countless spam emails you probably receive every day. Well it’s true to a certain extent you won’t be able to earn money online if you are not comfortable with your computer or if you don’t possess any sales drive. Finding work online requires you to be able to sell yourself and sell yourself well. There’s no manager to hand work out to you, you have to go looking for it and you have to tell potential “employers” why you are best for the job, no matter how big or small it is.

    Human Intelligence Tasks – HITs

    Anyone who has managed to navigate to this blog is already overqualified for most of the work onĀ Mechanical Turk, a website set up by Amazon in 2005 to human-automate tasks. It works by developers submitting small tasks to the website which need a human to decipher results.

    An example: someone with a website would like to display summaries of wikipedia articles on their website. A computer can’t decide what sounds best, so the developer creates a HIT on MTurk. You apply, navigate to a list of wikipedia articles the developer specifies and then copy and paste a succinct summary of the article (maybe the first two or three lines).

    Pay is very low, but these tasks are quick. You can easily do several an hour to rack up some change.

    Qualified Jobs (Anyone with any skill, grad or non-grads)

    Can you proofread, administrate,Ā project manage, write blog articles, edit photoshop files, make PowerPoints, edit CSS or HTML, translate or speak another language? Can you web design, write reviews, check spreadsheets, answer support tickets or take good photos? Basically, can you do anything semi-skilled? You will almost certainly find something for you onĀ,Ā orĀ The work is usually time limited, but there are also positions that last 6 months to a year.

    An example: you know how to use some photo editing tools (like Photoshop, Gimp, etc) and a company is looking for some customer support. They want you to login up to 10 hours a week, answer as many support tickets as possible, and get paid for each email you answer. It’s nice when work in = pay out.

    Pay ranges from very low (simple admin / web research) to high (development / web design / etc). I have employed lots of translators in the past from these platforms and it works very well.

    Creative Minds

    If you are creative, you can make things and sell them onĀ You can take photos and sell them onĀ If you can design websites, sell themes for good money onĀ Hey, even if you have a good voice-over voice, or are just particularly attractive while holding a sign that mentions a company’s name, check outĀ There are hundreds of alternatives to these sites, but these are some big names.

    The post-Apple internet is crying out for creative people. If you can offer a few freebies to a developer or company, they’ll almost surely recommend you. If they don’t, you’ll have gained work for your professional portfolio. Win-win.

    Online to Offline World

    If you’re into manual labour, helping people with their shopping, building ikea furniture, cleaning pools, take a look at the likes ofĀ This is a growing market and I imagine you’ll see a lot more from the likes of TaskRabbit in the near future.

    If you have a spare room or two then rent them out by the night onĀ You’re protected by their guarantee and you can also check out guest reviews from other hosts if you’re afraid.

    Live in a city? Rent out your parking space onĀ People in big cities are making real money from this ingenious idea.

    Scared about your CV?

    If you do decide to go at it alone to fund your travels or just to get out of full-time work for a year or so, you may be afraid what effect it will have on your Cv. Well I can’t tell you that for sure and it all depends on the person interviewing you for your next career job.

    In my opinion, any one who has gone out looking for work (being “entrepreneurial”), sold themselves as the right person for the job (“sales & marketing”), budgeted their own expenses (“financial skills”) and managed their own clients, deserves to be praised for it. At the end of the day it will come down to how you sell yourself in the interview, but surely a potential employee who has worked for several different clients doing varied work and getting experience, is better than someone who “just” took two years off.