A Simple Tally Counter For Keeping Tracks of Bids

As mentioned in my previous post I need to put atleast 100 bids per day across the freelancing sites to increase the number of projects we are doing. It is just an arbitrary number and since we are only doing around 10-20 bids in a day, I thought putting it high enough will be a good thing to do. Since the freelancing sites doesn’t display the number of bids made on the day, I needed a way to track the bids so that I can push myself until the minimum count is reached. I tried finding a tally counter software but didn’t find any so I thought of building one myself. As I have been looking to get into programming after a long time, it should be a good way to start again from basics. As such here is the screenshot of first version of a simple tally counter for bids. I will be improving this software and will include more features including making it useful for any kind of counting work.

Bid-Counter

To Do List for Year 2013-2014

This year I am not going to put any financial targets as I find them to be too distracting and moreover I haven’t been able to achieve them so far so don’t want to demoralize myself by not reaching where I want to reach despite making progress. So I am just gonna list some of my to-do list for year 2013-2014. I hope just  sticking to most of these to-do lists will be enough to progress towards my goals.

Daily To-Do

1) 100 Bids spread across freelancer.com, odesk.com and elance.com.

2) One Startup Idea everyday.

3) 1000 Words of Content.

4)

 

Weekly To-Do

1) Review of One IM Course

2) Review of One IM Software

3) 1 Mini-software based on one of the daily ideas.

 

Monthly To-Do

1) 5 Cheap Sites

2) 5 Celebrity Sites

3) 15 Broken Arrow Sites

4) 5 Product Niche Sites

5)  10 Gaming Tips Sites

6)

Quarterly To-Do

1)

2)

Freelancer.com is the biggest fucked up freelancing company

Notification
March 28, 2013
Hi harmonyinfotech,
Congratulations! andrew2305 is impressed by your profile and wants to hire you directly for their project on Freelancer.com. You don’t even have to bid!Project: Custom Project Mar 26 2013 00:04:34
Bid Amount: $50.00 USD
Days to Complete: 5 days

You must decide whether or not to accept this offer. Don’t wait too long! Respond now beforeandrew2305 closes the project or offers it to someone else!

Accept or decline andrew2305’s offer

Notification
March 28, 2013
Hi harmonyinfotech,
andrew2305 has sent you a message about “Custom Project Mar 26 2013 00:04:34”:
Andrew Smith

if you are interested please give me your skp so we can discuss further
Mar 28, 2013 at 7:01 IST

 

Notification
March 28, 2013
Hi harmonyinfotech,
Congratulations, andrew2305 is excited about hiring you for their project:Project: Custom Project Mar 26 2013 00:04:34
Bid Amount: $50.00 USD
Days to Complete: 5 days

We’ve asked andrew2305 to create an instalment payment for you, which you’ll get after commencing work. This is called a Milestone Payment and the remainder will be paid, either as a lump sum or further milestones, as you complete the project.

We recommend milestone payments because they help you and andrew2305 track the project’s progress by organising the work into small tasks (milestones). You get paid by completing each milestone until the project is finished.

Another major advantage of Milestone Payments is that it enables you to build your reputation and attract more work as a Freelancer by increasing your feedback. Plus, we also have a dedicated Dispute Resolution System in place to protect you in the unlikely event an issue occurs involving the project.

To get started, contact andrew2305 now and stay in touch to complete work quickly and efficiently.

View Project

Good luck!

 

Freelancer.com cuts $4 as project fees. They cut it before the client has made any milestone payments. And now the client has cancelled the project without even informing us the reason. The freelancer.com is too happy to oblige the cancellation request but don’t want to make sure that the client escrows the money before cutting the fees. Lately I am getting the feeling what people says about freelancer.com maybe really truth for their inaction to do anything about such issues. 

 

Notification
March 31, 2013
Hi harmonyinfotech,
andrew2305 has cancelled their project:

Project: Custom Project Mar 26 2013 00:04:34
Bid Amount: 50
Days to Complete: 5

This project will be moved to your Past Work tab. Freelancer.com is the world’s largest online marketplace, so browse projects and keep bidding to win more work.

Browse projects now

Regards,
Freelancer.com

 

 

 

 

I sent a mail to support@freelancer.com

Sub – Please refund the fees for a project awarded and cancelled by client

Message –

Hi,

 The project https://www.freelancer.com/projects/4375496.html  was awarded to us by the client by directly inviting us for the project and then it was cancelled without even informing us about the reason. As such the fees cut by freelancer($4) is not appropriate and should be refunded back.
Regards,
Alok

 

The response from the freelancer.com team

 

Hi Alok,

Thank you for contacting Freelancer.com Support.

Even if projects are cancelled, project fees are non-refundable. Our site merely provides the online venue for users to offer, sell, and buy professional services.

To avoid this kind of issue from happening again, here are some recommendations that you may take into consideration:

1.) Always check an employer’s rating and feedback after bidding. This would show how well they have worked with and paid their previous freelancers.
2.) Use the Project Clarification Board and Private Message Board in discussing the details of the project and mode of payment.
3.) Have your employer create a Milestone Payment before before accepting the project, or before starting or submitting your work.
4.) Remember that you have 36 hours to accept a project since it was awarded. You have plenty of time to ask for more information about the project, the payment, and the employer’s background before you decide to accept or reject the project.

Should you have further inquiries or concerns, feel free to contact us again.

—————
Sincerely,
Nathan
Freelancer.com Support

 

—————————————————————

My response –

 

So freelancer.com just wants to enjoy free money without doing anything. Is it our fault that the buyer created a project for us and we accepted their bid. Is it our fault that freelancer.comdoesn’t insist on escrowing the whole amount or part thereof instead of milestone payments. If we have to do all the work and make sure the client is really serious about getting the project done then what you guys are supposed to do?  By your reasoning  we should never accept project from new clients because they won’t have any feedback to speak off.

Anyway now I know it is fairly futile to talk with you guys regarding this. You guys are enjoying this free money and I hope this attitude of yours be the sole reason for your downfall.  Never in my life I wished bad for anyone but you guys really take the cake for being so arrogant and don’t even bother to understand that this is plain cheating.
My next response –
Btw when we received the project details the only option available was to either accept the project or decline it. Nowhere it was mentioned how to ask for milestone payment before the project is accepted. The mails sent by freelancer.com itself mentioned that you have asked

for “We’ve asked andrew2305 to create an instalment payment for you, which you’ll get after commencing work. This is called a Milestone Payment and the remainder will be paid, either as a lump sum or further milestones, as you complete the project.”.
So when and how we are supposed to make sure the milestone payment is done ?

 

A day in my life – 17 March 2013

05:54 – 10:40 – 4.8 & 15:13 – 16:23 – 1.2

I haven’t done much today except reading some blogs. One of the blog post really caught my eye was this. I have always believed in bootstrapping but now I think it was a wrong notion to carry. In particular I can understand behind the lines now which says “Raising money early reduces one of the many variables that an entrepreneur has to deal with. Building businesses from scratch is hard, so it is better to reduce one variable early on.” I haven’t actively pursued getting funded till now but now I am gonna change my game plan a little and will start focusing on raising some external funding. So I have already shoot a non-fluffy, to the point mail to growthstory team and am waiting for a reply. I am not sure how it will turn out but I am gonna start reaching out to more people now to increase my chances of raising fund. I am also planning some crazy stuff to get the word out and get myself noticed which could be a better way rather than chasing people which I am not very good at.

In evening I attended Kavi Samellan event which was good but the highlight of the evening was the food at novotel, vizag which was awesome. I am not a foodie and don’t generally care for food that much but nonetheless I wanted to eat much more than what I generally eat just because it was that good.

 

Here are some stats

Bids – 8 , Won – 0

Niche Sites – 3283

Celeb Sites – 699

Gaming Blogs – 79

Youtube Videos – 25

A day in my life – 16 March 2013

02:22 – 09:40 – 7.3 & 14:40 – 16:14 – 1.6

Most of the day was spent on going through projects rss feeds and bidding on them. I don’t like the 25 bids per week bid limit of odesk. Got some ideas on which I will start working on soon. One of them is building lists of stuff. I am sure something like this already exists but I just want to do it because I am not able to find something for which I am looking for in a proper manner. The other one is to build a domain availability tool. I haven’t researched more about it but I want to build a desktop software (including a CLI version) to help me with getting availability for domains. I will build this even if there are many out there just to get my coding skills brushed up. I haven’t coded anything big for a long time now but now I am bracing for getting more coding output as I am looking to drift towards building products and not just concentrate on services. I think it will be better if I build a to-do page where in I can list all the online stuff I want to do or get done.

 

 

 

Here are some stats

Bids – 15 , Won – 0

Niche Sites – 3265

Celeb Sites – 687

Gaming Blogs – 81

Youtube Videos – 20

A day in my life – 15 March 2013

04:14 – 11:30 – 7.3 & 16:10 – 17:37 – 1.5

I wasn’t able to do for much for the day as I was busy getting some personal stuff done. Also spent quite some time of the day reading stuff.

 

Here are some stats

Bids – 10 , Won – 0

Niche Sites – 3012

Celeb Sites – 757

Gaming Blogs – 70

Youtube Videos – 65

A day in my life – 14 March 2013

Here come the 2nd post for my A Day in My Life category.

02:11 – 06:25 – 4.2 & 09:00 – 11:51 – 2.8 – Total 7 hrs.

I started the day with finishing some project work and then bidding on freelancing sites. After the vworker.com was purchased by freelancer.com, we aren’t getting many projects currently and the only way I see the situation can be improved is by increasing the number of bids. So I have kept a target of bidding on atleast 50 projects daily and hopefully winning 1 or 2 in the process. I am thinking of mentioning my bid count also apart from the traffic details. In fact I will be disclosing more and more details about my life as one of my dream is to run a totally transparent company (kinda open sourced company) wherein everything about the company is in public domain. It is kind of my big idea in life which makes me think about lot of different things. Btw getting projects through outsourcing site is a big hassle but it seems to be the only effective way currently until I can figure out how to get projects directly from clients or market ourselves to our potential clients in a cheap and effective manner. I did have a conversation with the owner of opposite flat in my building who is already running a company in US and it looks like one of his friend who owns decent number of petrol pumps is looking to augment his business with support services helping him with numerous tasks like monitoring, tracking and suggestive remedial measures to increase the business. I also came to know that more and more people in US are now paying with cash for stuff like petrol because of higher credit card fees as there is a rate difference for both the mode of payment and people are looking to save money.

On another note I have been reading the 4 hour body book by tim ferriss and looking forward to start implementing things mentioned in the book. I tried searching for the stuff mentioned in the book like brazil nuts but couldn’t find any source which is selling it in India. And it was a big hassle searching for the stuff on google as many sites listed on the serps weren’t carrying that stuff at all. The more I search for stuff on google, the more I feel there is a need for a niche site which is a hybrid of justdial,  junglee and google. I am definitely putting it on my to-do dream list.

I forgot to mention why it is so tough to find available freelancing jobs currently in a single place. Why I need to go through multiple rss feeds looking for wordpress jobs and I believe there is a need for a software which can find this jobs and make it available in a simple listing for me to go through. In fact I was wondering why I need to bid for common projects like transferring wordpress sites from one hosting provider to another. Why cannot the freelancing sites just like fiverr allows me to create my fixed priced offerings and allow buyers to purchase them instead of going through all the hassle for a straightforward task.

I stopped working on affiliate marketing using paid traffic sources due to some problems (including a problem with my credit card) but I am looking to start working on it again soon. I just got my trafficvance account reactivated and will be creating a campaign there soon. I am planning to post some of the campaign details here so stay tune for that.  I am also building some sites which will help in many of the tasks associated with creating campaigns. It is just a building block towards making a full fledged digital marketing company.

 

Here are some stats

Bids – 12 , Won – 0

Niche Sites – 3390

Celeb Sites – 757

Gaming Blogs – 99

Youtube Videos – 16

A day in my life – 13 March 2013

As mentioned in earlier post I have decided to post daily. As it will become tough to find a new topic and a headline everyday, I will be writing this daily posts under  A Day in My Life category. The primary purpose of the posts will be to get me into posting regularly and I hope it will be easier to just post what I did for most of the day. Most of it is going to be boring so you just need to bear with me until I am good enough to write something worthwhile. Anyway here goes the post for first day.

  • Woke up at 10:40 (Don’t be too surprised as I slept at 04:06) – 6.6 Hrs
  • Replied to few clients and finished a smallish project which was to build a simple text logo for Vancouver Roofing Services site and configured the mobile theme setup which is using the handheld plugin by the eleganthemes guys. One of the task was to display a click to call button on mobile phones but not on desktop browsers and after searching for few hours for an elegant solution, settled on <div class=”hide-desktop“> trick. While searching for this solution I was wondering why the theme authors don’t make the theme documentation publicly accessible. I am really fed up of the whole scenario of hiding everything behind a pay-wall. I feel sorry for some of my clients who despite having purchased themes weren’t able to configure it as per the theme demo site because the documentation is scarce. One of a long pending idea which has been bubbling in my head is to create a single resource / support site for wordpress theme/plugin documentations and charge very nominal fees for helping others with their wordpress issues incase it takes more than an hour to fix it. I haven’t decided on the name yet but will start working on it soon.
  • Checked out Rage of Bahamut Game and saw that a new event has been announced which is Holy Wars Bloodbath. I need a better way to keep track of all this gaming events (not for playing but for updating the sites). We haven’t creating any new gaming sites but hopefully we will pick the steam again. Btw the gaming site thing reminds me of the new monthly targets I have kept for my blogging team. I am listing them here.
    1. 5 Cheap + Keyword Sites
    2. 20 Brokenlink Sites
    3. 1 City Portal
    4. 1 Beach Portal
    5. 5 Celeb Sites
    6. 5 Gaming Sites
    7. 5 Product Keyword Sites
    8. 5 Software Tool Reviews
    9. 5 Summaries of IM Courses
    10. 60 WordPress Themes using artisteer

Now the thing is I want to build lots of virtual real estate but due to lack of enough funding I am not able to build as much as I want to. I have been thinking of crowdsourcing the funds to build these sites and do a 50/50 revshare with the funders. A single niche site can be built for $500 so I just need to raise $5 from 100 persons. Don’t know how much such sites can really make in an year though.

  • Finalised the cheap + keywords sites for the coming months. I had collected lots of cheap + keywords variations and then run it through Market Samurai and picked the keywords which passed the Majestic Golden rules. The sites are listed below
  1. cheaploafers.org
  2. cheapblouses.org
  3. cheapwedges.org
  4. cheapboatshoes.org
  5. cheapblankets.org
  6. cheapclutches.org
  7. cheaptanktops.org
  8. cheaptights.org
  9. cheapchinos.org

I know google is getting ready for another massive penguin/panda update but hopefully my sites won’t be affected much as I don’t do much off-site seo to my sites.

  • The power cut is too severe in Andhra Pradesh as we are currently facing the power cuts from 10-12 in morning and 3-5 in evening because of which we aren’t able to work at all. So I have gone ahead and purchased a 2 KVA gas/petrol powered portable generator build by the perfect company  (PEG-2500) for my project team. As per the dealer this set should be fine for running 5 computer systems. If this one runs fine then I will go ahead and get PEG-3200 model for my blogging team.

I think I have covered most of my work done today. Tomorrow there will be a new post telling what I did for the whole day. Till then goodbye and see you soon.

Update : As is customary on internet marketing blogs, people like to post traffic/income details. As the current income through blogs/niche sites is negligible I will just post the traffic stats.

Niche Sites – 3153

Celeb Sites – 810

Gaming Blogs – 91

Youtube Videos – 9

 

Review of Rank Tracking Tools

The number of niche sites currently being maintained by my company is hovering around 100 and I hope it will be doubling soon. Currently we don’t keep track of the site rankings as we aren’t doing any offsite seo but I think we should keep track of the ranking our sites have and as such I will be reviewing rank tracker tools here.

Just wondering what is the best way to get the blog up and running properly?

Being a man of few words, I don’t feel like updating the blog every now and then but I need to do this as there are many benefits for having a popular blog. As such I have decided that I will post daily even if the content is of low quality at the beginning stage. I feel writing something regularly should be better than waiting for writing a perfect blog entry which in my case may not come anytime sooner.