I’ve been registered with the freelancing website ‘peopleperhour.com’ for a few months now, and I have gained some interesting paid commissions from it.  OK, a small percentage (about 5%) of your earnings is taken by the website as commission, but this is a small price to pay in return for getting your skills and talents known in the wider community for little personal financial outlay.

You have to register on the site for free and create a profile with your skills.  Then you can search the database for jobs within your skill areas.  You then put in a bid for a job you like and can specify a certain amount of funding to be placed by the supplier upfront in an eschrow account, which acts as some form of security between yourself and the supplier say if the supplier went bust and could not pay you.  If you are successful for a commission, the supplier contacts you by email via the site and you can get started and start earning!  I’ve noticed that jobs requiring common skills like book keeping have a large number of bids attached to them, if you can find jobs which require a skill that is in short supply, you may be in for a chance.

The site is well-regulated, with a help desk responding to your queries.  So if you experience any problems, there is someone at hand to help you.  There is also the facility to raise invoices to suppliers for your work.  

If you are successful in a job and the supplier likes your work, ask them to ‘rate’ and review you.  This is just like the system used by ebay, and could help you in the future gain more commissions.

A word of advice in bidding for a job – if the price the supplier quotes is in a currency outside of GBP, make sure you price the job in GBP first, and then convert this into the currency the supplier is expecting.  For example if the supplier quotes in USD, mulitply your hourly rate in GBP by 1.6 to give the price in USD.  There may be some complications regarding payment for services further down the line – to receive funds via paypal requires a small (1.96% or something admin fee), and there may be a bank fee incurred in converting from one currency into the currency in which you would like to be paid.

I’ve noticed that some people use the site to gain leads for their business.  For instance, if you are a book keeper working from home and would like to get more leads for your business, you could pay someone using the site to do this work for you.