Sunday, March 29, 2009

Elance Reports Hiring Hotspots for Online Work

Elance, the leading site for online work, today released employment trend data that highlights hiring hotspots and the top skills that businesses are seeking on the Web.

The "Elance Online Work Index," a composite index based on job posts and skills data drawn from 100,000 jobs posted on Elance over recent months, reveals that businesses are actively pursuing candidates who have design, computer programming, technical, online marketing, research, writing and administrative skills. Companies that are hiring online professionals to supplement existing staff are seeking expertise in Graphic Design, PHP, MySQL, Article Writing, HTML, Adobe Illustrator, WordPress, Photoshop, Flash, Search Engine Optimization and Blogs.

With shrinking budgets and growing work loads, marketing and IT departments are increasingly turning to online work as an alternative to hiring full-time. Online work allows businesses to connect with independent professionals to get their work done while maintaining flexibility. In February, companies posted 23,000 new jobs on Elance, building on the 250,000 jobs and $100m worth of online work posted on Elance in the last 12 months.

Notable hiring trends surfacing in February's Elance Online Work Index include:

Companies and consultants are looking for and getting help building world-class websites, hiring experts in PHP (#2), MySQL (#3), HTML (#6), CSS (#8), XHTML (#17 - up ten spots), Joomla (#19) and AJAX (#25).

As businesses look for help driving revenue and collecting payments, PayPal (#41) integration skills have appeared on the list for the first time.

* Graphic Design (#1) tops the charts for the second month in a row with huge demand from companies and agencies for creative services including Logo Design (#4), Adobe Illustrator (#9), Photoshop (#11), and Flash (#12).

* Marketers have discovered the customer acquisition power of great online content, and consequently content creation skills are hot including Article Writing (#5), Web Content (#7), WordPress (#10), Blogs (#13), Online Writing (#22), and eBooks (#26).

* Generating top line revenue is on everyone's mind, and as such businesses are hiring people with the skills to drive revenue including Search Engine Optimization (#15), Lead Generation (#16), Marketing Strategy (#18), Sales (#27), and Market Research (#29).

Businesses continue to need help with administrative work as illustrated by demand for Admin Assistant (#14), Data Entry (#20), Microsoft Excel (#24), and Typing (#36).

* While companies seek out workers with specialized skills, Elance empowers independent professionals to demonstrate their real-world expertise while differentiating themselves in the online labor market by getting tested in any of the more than 250 skills tests offered for free on Elance. More than 12,000 skills tests were taken in February, with popular tests including PHP5, Adobe Photoshop CS3, CSS 2.0, Microsoft Excel, and HTML 4.01.

"Businesses in this economy need to do more with less while still remaining competitive. As a result, the demand for freelance and contract work continues to grow. Data from Elance offers a snapshot of the skills and talents that will continue to be in high demand in the broader US and global economy." said Steve King, partner at Emergent Research. "Companies now have direct access to a diverse and skilled talent pool that gives small and mid-sized companies the flexibility they need to stay efficient and competitive."

Elance Online Work Index - FEB 2009

To view the full Top 100 of February's Elance Online Work Index, visit

The Ultimate Freelancer's Business Start-Up Kit

Drafting Nation LLC has released "The Ultimate Freelancer's Business Start-Up Kit." It is a business-in-a-box designed to kick start a drafter as a home-based business. The new Start-Up Kit is ideal for those just getting started or even those more experienced. These are the same building blocks used by industry experts, Brian and Jon in the development of their own businesses.

The Kit includes the forms, agreements and paperwork needed to get started as a freelancer quickly. "Even though we're phasing in the business and not everything is ready yet, we wanted to offer the Start-Up Kit right away so others could benefit from it immediately." said Jon, one of the founders of Drafting Nation. "We're putting together the finishing touches on our free 7-Part audio course, 7 Big Business Image Secrets Revealed. Those who sign up for the eNewsletter will be receiving the course soon, but we're offering a Coupon Code for the Kit just for signing up today and waiting a bit. Things are happening fast, like an internet radio interview we're doing! It just takes time and we want it to be perfect." said Brian, co-founder and co-host of Drafting Nation's up and coming podcast show on iTunes.

"The Ultimate Freelancer's Business Start-Up Kit" covers the three tiers of starting, managing, and growing a freelance drafting business. The key points of Tier 1 are the Quick Start Guide, Secretary of State Quick-Link Directory for All 50 States, and other helpful set-up documents. Tier 2 provides documents used in client and staff relationship management. Other forms include the email ad template, fax ad template, press release template, subcontractor agreement, and scope of work form. Tier 3 covers the operations and government forms, including a booking forecast spreadsheet, budget template, monthly expense record, and many government related forms and resource links needed by the independent freelancer.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Open Call for Artists of All Mediums to Exhibit Original Work

Red Bull Art of Can is a national juried exhibition featuring artwork in a variety of media that have one thing in common -- they are all inspired by Red Bull or crafted from the iconic blue and silver cans. The juried exhibition is open to anyone with a flair for creativity and the talent to transform an original concept into a compelling piece of art that can be shared with a public audience. Registration is free and open to artists nationwide through May 15, 2009. Sculptures, paintings, digital/graphic designs and various forms of mixed media will all be considered. Registration forms and details can be accessed at


Red Bull Art of Can has very few rules but the most important are: Artwork should be inspired by Red Bull or incorporate the aluminum can; and all artwork must be submitted to drop off location or postmarked by May 15, 2009. All submitted pieces will be critiqued by a prominent panel of judges from the Washington, D.C. art community. On average, 40-60 pieces will be accepted into the national exhibit. Judges will review each piece based on the three Cs -- Creativity (overall idea behind the piece), Conceptual execution (how well the piece translates the idea) and Construction (the quality of production/final presentation). Those with the highest marks will be featured in the 2009 Red Bull Art of Can exhibit and will receive national recognition and exposure.

A select number of pieces from the exhibition will also be included in advertising. Additionally, judges will award top honors to the three most compelling creations. First place honors include an all-expense paid trip for two to Art Basel Switzerland -- the world's premier modern and contemporary art fair. Awards for second place include an all-expense paid trip for two to Art Basel in Miami. Third place will be honored with a customized local art experience.

To register and learn more about Red Bull Art of Can visit For media inquiries, photos, video or interviews, please contact Libby Tierney at Photos from passed events can be found on

SEO for Wordpress Blogs Whitepaper - A Non-Techie's Guide

lizzard Internet Marketing, Inc., a search engine marketing company out of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, has released a new whitepaper: SEO for Wordpress Blogs - A non-techie's guide. The whitepaper instructs readers on the finer points of using Wordpress to further the success of their weblogs in Organic Search Results.

Blogs, by their very nature, are search engine friendly and provide natural advantages in optimizing for the Search Engines. More and more, SEOs agree that among blogging platforms, WordPress provides superior flexibility and more advanced options that enable administrators to customize their designs with specific components. By following simple tips and using recommended plug-ins, even those with limited technical skills can have an easy-to-use content management system that ranks well in the Search Engines.

The 15 page whitepaper is available for download at

Trent Blizzard, President of Blizzard Internet Marketing, says:

A non-techie's guide to Blogging best practices fills an important need among our customers, especially the hotel, vacation rental and hospitality clients we work with. Blogs and Blogging is exploding in the hotel industry and many hoteliers are either clueless, confused or worried about how to make their blog work. We intend for this whitepaper to help them get all their basic best practices into place.

SEO for Wordpress Blogs is authored by Carrie Hill and Mary Bowling. About the Authors:

Carrie Hill is SEO Team Leader at Blizzard. Carrie is a regular columnist for and spends her time doing hands-on optimization work, creating better processes, and researching the newest theories and techniques.

Mary Bowling is an Independent SEO Consultant. Mary has a special interest in website usability and search engine optimization. She blogs at Optimized!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Take Your Creativity to the World Stage by A. Wolski

The boom of the internet has created a stage for anyone wishing to make it possible. People who once had access to only traditional media can now use this media to expand their offline business or to initiate a totally new online business in the niche of their expertise.

Take for instance an artist. The scope of work available offline is limiting. Prior to the internet business explosion, you needed a gallery showing to display your talents. However, the internet provides more opportunities for an artist to show his creativity. There are home based businesses that are available to artists and that will thrust your work into the eye of the world. You can also build a website of your own (or have one built for you) which becomes your own digital art gallery.

Any time you create a new piece of artistic work, you can add a digital image of it to your website and sell your works yourself. This also cuts out the middle man, leaving you much more profit.

If you are a writer, you are no doubt already familiar with computers and the internet. You may wish to set up your own website to show your talents. However, there are numerous other writing opportunities on the internet and these may be worth your consideration.

You could write your own ezine or electronic newsletter using a variety of self-promotion techniques and with little start up costs. You may also like to publish your own blog to get your name out there and recognized for your work.

One good internet business for writers is to hire or sell your writings. Webmasters are constantly looking for fresh and unique content for their sites and are willing to pay good money for professional work.

You could also become a freelance writer by signing up at one of the freelance websites where you can bid on all sorts of writing assignments worldwide. You may need to write copy for companies or even be a ghostwriter.

People from all walks of life have something to offer and can make money on the internet by sticking with what they know. E-books are very popular and someone from the hairdressing trade, sports coaches, or any profession can write an e-book to sell online.

The amazing thing to realize is that some of the most successful online businesses have come from ideas that are right at your fingertips. Take the time to evaluate your experience and where you want to be then use that knowledge to your own advantage. You are limited only by your imagination.

Anne Wolski, since she was only a child, has loved to research and write on a wide variety of interests. Feel free to visit Anne's website.

A Surge in U.K. Self-Employment Creates a Unique Collaborative 'Network', one of the fastest growing freelancing advice websites in the UK, has launched a pioneering collaborative network which allows one person businesses to create a virtual agency and take on bigger projects that would not normally be possible if they were working by themselves.

Network, as it is known, was created in response to the surging number of people becoming self-employed as a result of redundancies and growing uncertainty in the UK job market. Freelancers can search for complementary skillsets, for example a graphic designer looking to provide design for a web site can find a freelance copywriter then source an HTML programmer; creating a virtual team.

The launch of Network comes as unveils a new-look site. It has a brand new design, freelancing-specific jobs board and features expert advice from high-profile figures such as author of the globally successful ‘Pitch Yourself' series of books Bill Faust and Emma Jones, author of Spare Room Startup. The site's podcast interviews with influential people from all industries also appear on iTunes. was founded in March 2008 by successful digital entrepreneur Darren Fell. Fell was named one of the top UK business people in The Observer / Courvoisier's prestigious national league table ‘The Future 500,' and won Entrepreneur of the Year at the Sussex Business Awards in 2007/08 following the sale of his digital marketing agency Pure for $7.8m.

"According to recent research carried out by trade body the Professional Contractors Group (PCG), there are currently 1.4 million people freelancing in the UK*," said Darren Fell, Founder of "This is one of the only sites in the UK that is truly written by the community for the community -- it provides excellent content by freelancers from all industries who have been there and done it, along with every possible resource to help freelancers, people working from home, contractors and freelance consultants. For those who are just starting out, the site will also help ease the transition from employee to freelancer." aims to attract 100,000 site visitors each month over the next 18 months, and grow Network to 25,000 registered users within the next two to three years.

Articles are published on the site three to four times a week, while podcasts are released every month. The ultimate aim of this content is to help new and experienced freelancers work more efficiently, attend events to learn and network and find work.

"Given our current times, freelancers and freelancing is the future, whether companies become more willing to employ flexible talented staff or redundancy forces people to become self-employed," Fell continued. " plans to be at the forefront, helping in every possible way to improve freelancers' existence. Network allows online collaboration between freelancers on bigger projects, and freelancers can also use the trusted group of people they build within Network to pass overflow work to. With the forums available in Network we wanted people to be able to ask questions and get them answered quickly by the community. We expect the forums to generate lots of traffic and content."


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Savvy professionals look to online marketing tactics to position themselves as experts in their field

Not satisfied to simply post a resume at the usual career building websites, a new breed of job seekers is leveraging the power of the Web to land that next gig. Combining the ease of blogging with the effectiveness of article marketing, they've discovered an easy way to build their online reputation and drive traffic to their resume.

How important is it for a job seeker to have a strong presence online?

"A person's Internet presence might give some indication of how they would fit into company culture," says Lisa Hart of Ceridian Services. "And thanks to social networking and association sites, you might discover information about your candidate that could be considered an asset. These discoveries could be positive outcomes of an Internet search."

In fact, nearly half of the HR professionals surveyed run a search of potential hires on Google or Yahoo!, according to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

And the Web 2.0 world is making it easier for job seekers to build a professional reputation online, according to Article Marketer founder Chris Ellington.

"All it takes is a simple blog, where you post your resume. Then, publish articles about your area of expertise, with a link back to your blog. Your name will begin to appear in industry newsletters, e-zines and blogs, positioning you as an expert in your field."

Article Marketing offers a free audio seminar for job seekers who want to learn the specific steps to take to build their status online. Visit to download the full audio recording.

Blogging About The Creative Side Of Advertising

John Kuraoka's Ad Blog, a running commentary on advertising industry news from the perspective of a veteran ad copywriter, is celebrating six years of postings.

Kuraoka started his Ad Blog in late February 2003, with an entry about radio jingles. The persistence of jingles - something he calls "auditory branding" - is a topic that has come up several times over the past six years as new research into the workings of the brain furthers our understanding of memory and recall.

Another topic that comes up frequently - he calls it his "hobby horse" - is advertising aimed at children. Kuraoka brings to that discussion perspective both as an advertising professional and as a parent of two young children.

That brings up his other blog, an online family journal that was started more than ten years ago, before his children - and most other blogs - were born.

Kuraoka says the key to his longevity is managing the process. "Most blogs start out like a house on fire," he says. "Beginning bloggers post daily or even several times a day out of sheer enthusiasm. But after a couple weeks, the novelty wears off; they lose interest and stop posting as frequently. Pretty soon, you have one more derelict blog on the web."

"My biggest tip to people or companies starting blogs is to start off slow. When I started my Ad Blog, I committed myself to two postings a week - and keep in mind, I'm a copywriter so writing comes easily to me. Then, as I found more news sources, I added a day, then another day, and pretty soon I was finding interesting things to write about almost daily. It's best to start slow, and work your way up to a sustainable pace."

"The same thing is true of the online family journal I write - only more so. It started as a monthly online newsletter, just to keep family and friends updated. It evolved into a weekly journal; then, when we had kids and our lives got busier, I started updating it twice a week. That's totally manageable - as a parent and as a writer - and that's a big part of how I've managed to keep that blog up-to-date for over a decade."

"I would also advise beginning bloggers to establish a format that makes it easy to keep going," Kuraoka says. "For example, my Ad Blog entries typically consist of my comments on news events and articles. So, I don't have to generate totally new content from scratch every day. This approach keeps the Ad Blog fresh and relevant, but also keeps my blogging workload manageable. That's important, because I get paid to write ads, not write about them."

"Finally, keep it simple," Kuraoka continues. "You don't need to use all the features available. I'm a writer, so my blogs are almost entirely text. I rarely post photos or video, because that would take too much time and energy. With a family, a business to run, and clients to service, I have other things to do. So be easy on yourself – don't set the bar so high that you end up kicking yourself all the time for not achieving it consistently."

"Set the bar low," he says with a laugh. "Live with that for a while, then work your way up."

Has blogging helped him professionally? "Absolutely it has," he says emphatically. "There's no question my Ad Blog has raised my profile on the web. More important, it gives potential clients a sense of who I am - how I think, how I react to events, what I'd be like to work with. That's information beyond mere facts and figures - it's intangible, something you feel."

"If making a sale starts with building rapport, then having a blog is an essential rapport-building tool – doubly so in this economy."

To visit John Kuraoka's Ad Blog and read his latest posts, go to

Sunday, March 1, 2009

As Economy Deteriorates, Journalists Apply Their Skill at Home-Based Data Entry Jobs - the business that helps match data entry specialists with data entry work - has seen an increase in journalists signing up for their service as conditions worsen in their industry and the broader economy. Q1 2009 projections call for at least 1,000 journalists to try their skill at home-based data entry jobs.

According to Data Entry Company's statistics running over the last 14 days, they have seen a year-over-year increase of 343% in journalists joining their service. Explaining the possible reasoning behind the sharp increase, Vipul Gupta of commented:

"The media landscape is going through a tectonic shift as online disrupts print and TV. The overall media engagement might be the same size or bigger, but power changes hands and monetization is generally weaker - much weaker. Online media also relies less on journalism and more on algorithms, leading to less demand for journalists."

The increase follows news that bankers are leaving the trading desk and booting up their home PCs to start work in the data entry field as well. Professionals working from home now commonly complete data entry tasks and the wages can often be more favorable too, reports Data Entry Company:

"Bankers and journalists tend to earn more with Data Entry Company than the average. There is a high degree of flexibility in how much work you could choose to do in the data entry space. Most people can live comfortably on the income they can generate from working a few hours a day, and a large percentage choose to work less hours rather than earning more money.

"While good keyboard skills aren't necessary to do well, they will help you to earn even more money. Journalists are used to bashing a keyboard and are maybe more disciplined than others who aren't used to writing full-time. This has to be one of the reasons their performance has been solid. We've seen a good number of journalists taking home over $2,000 a month."

Making money online with data entry work does not require any prior knowledge of the industry, as this is included within the cost of Data Entry Company's service. This is considered to be another "key driver" along with journalists' natural experience in front of a keyboard, according to Data Entry Company's CEO.

The company expects to see the numbers continue to rise, as consumer sentiment remains bearish on the overall direction of the economy. The company attributes an increase in demand for data entry services to a growing need for companies to outsource as they reduce staffing numbers and to the continued growth in search advertising as well, as advertisers use their data entry professionals to type their text ads.


New LinkedIn Blog Offers Tips for Sales, Jobs, Recruiting, and HR

LinkedIn users should put common misspellings of their last name into their profile. Why? Because people looking for them might use those misspellings in their search.

That and other insightful tips, such as how to put a maiden name or nickname into a profile, are available in the new LinkedIn training blog by Patrick O'Malley, the nationally known trainer and speaker. The trick is to put these names into the Summary Field of the user's profile. The first blog post will describe the technique, and will also demonstrate it in a short video. Later posts will help users harness the undocumented power of LinkedIn to increase sales, get jobs, hire employees, or network in general.

The new blog is at LinkedIn Tips For Sales, Jobs, HR (, and anyone can subscribe today through email or RSS.

The next blog entry will show job hunters how to use the LinkedIn toolbar to speed up the job search process. This little known feature allows the user to see who they know at a prospective company in a single click. Normally, the same user would use half a dozen clicks and take three times as long to accomplish the same result.

O'Malley has given countless speeches on LinkedIn and other Internet Marketing topics to audiences of all kinds, including the American Marketing Association, Meeting Planners International, the Harvard School Of Public Health, and NEHRA (the Northeast Human Resources Association).