I decided to use Elance for this blog to give it a more professional look. I was able to set it up on my own using eBooks I read and buying the Thesis theme and signing up on WordPress and purchasing hosting from Host Gator. A lot of what the freelancers on Elance were able to do would have taken hours me hours to figure out on my own. The graphics designer is usually the most expensive freelancer, but can also save you lots of time. I like looking at my blog now that a graphic designer has worked on it and when you put in the budget on Elance it sifts out the very costly and high end graphic designers and graphic design offerings. Below is the job post I used:
Looking for someone to help make my personal website/blog look unique and fresh. I am using WordPress.org and can add you as an administrator. I am using the Thesis 2.1 theme from DIYThemes.com and The Cinch Skin from ThesisLove.com. I also use HostGator and CodeGuard.
There really is no pressing deadline and the project can be completed within several months or even longer. I am flexible and there is no rush. It is February now and it would be nice to have some type of progress by June.
I am open to communicating on Skype and or via email and welcome periodic updates and or clarification questions.
This project’s budget is $200 to $500.
1. Fix the navigation bar
2. Fix the opt-in form and continue to use the free MailChimp account. I can give you the MailChimp account info.
3. Add some design updates to the site.
Would like to establish a working relationship and use again in the future to add some posts in a quiz style format and a sitemap page. I also have some signature style logos from Fiverr.com than can be used. The site is currently not running any ads, but ads are a possibility for the future.
I received five responses all within budget and all from qualified individuals. With Elance you release money by milestone and it is held in escrow until you release it or it is automatically released after fifteen days if there is no dispute about releasing it. The milestones are important to Elance and it works well to set up three payments if you have three milestones. With Elance you can communicate through Skype, for this I just used the Elance message board and just typed messages. You can also add a ‘requirements’ section to the job post, but I did not do that at least this time. The next odd job I could use Elance for is search engine optimaztion and backlink generation. Also, I am interested in adding a printer friendly icon on the blog and adding some quiz style posts and or pages. You can hire people to write articles for you on Elance, but so far I do not plan on using Elance for that. I not do plan on using Elance again for a while because this site is not making any money as of right now. If the site was making money I would use Elance again very soon. At this point I see Elance as place to post an occasional odd job. I signed up for the Elance affiliate program and the links are below:
https://www.elance.com/s/sewisabel/?rid=46FBY (link to profile, invite friends and earn $10 or 10 connects)
- https://www.elance.com/?rid=46FBY (link to Elance)
If the above links are clicked and ten or more people subsequently sign up it is possible I would get a $10 credit for Elance or 10 connects. At this point I do not really have the traffic to probably get those ten sign-ups, but if I did that would help the blog pay for itself. The Mailchimp email list for this blog has basically no subscribers at this point. However, I have gotten a lot of RSS feed subscribers even after the RSS icon was removed. SewIsabel.com/feed brings up the RSS feed. The RSS subscribers seem to be mostly spam as many have fake looking names such as random numbers and letters. There was a point in which this blog got virtually no traffic and then probably due to signing up the name on social media sites and having more content and updates to the site I got average traffic of about 100 hits a day and then I got a bombardment of spam unexpectedly and I put in place the spam plugins. As of this writing (April 2014) the traffic has been about 50 hits a day for the past several months. The average blog gets around 100 visitors a day. Somehow I have to figure out how to increase the traffic. I would use Elance again as all the milestones were met and there were no major issues. It was a positive experience, but I suppose with a bad freelancer it could be just the opposite.