Some time in the last year, I decided to advertise on my website that I do freelance work.
This brought in a small, but steady trickle of folks that were interested in my services. A couple of months ago, I decided I wanted to increase the paying work I was doing. It was becoming a sore spot in my house when my wife called down to find out when I was going to bed and I would respond - "someone just posted a really interesting problem on PerlMonks". If she knew I was getting paid she didn't seem to have any problem how late I stayed up.
This was a lot more difficult than I expected. I didn't use http://jobs.perl.org/ because I was looking for small short term projects not to exceed 15 hours a week. I bit the bullet and started using some of the freelance websites, in particular:
These sites all have the same basic structure:
1. Project posted by client
2. Bidders bid
3. Client selects bidder
4. Contact information is exchanged
5. Project is worked
6. Client pays buyer
The all seem to have the same "rules"
1. No contact information exchanged before project is awarded
2. Programmer pays commission immediately upon accepting project
3. Escrow through the site is optional but is the only way arbitration can work
There are pros and cons to each of these sites. Some charge lower commissions, others have better search interfaces for finding projects, etc.
These sites are super saturated with off-shore bidders that make getting selected for a project very difficult. It took me a while to figure out a technique to even have my bids looked at.
If you have any experience or suggestions, I would appreciate it if you would share.