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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Web Scraping: An Opportunity for Freelancers

Many big corporations operate by utilizing data for their products and services. They rely on internal and external sources to find and analyze data according to their needs. However, they might not want to take on big investments upon themselves and are likely inclined towards using external sources to obtain data.

This creates many opportunities for programmers and freelancers to provide these corporations with data obtained through web-scraping, a process from where raw data is extracted from various publicly available websites and then is structured with the help of data parsing software. Data Parsing makes the raw data readable, well-structured, and organized for other analytics. If you’re interested in knowing more about data parsing, check out this blog post.

freelancingFreelancers working on Upwork or Fiverr can also employ the use of web scraping to collect data for businesses as a side hustle to generate passive income. All that is required is an investment of time, to configure the web crawler to scrape data from public websites and increase their database for interested businesses.

Data needs to be fresh and up-to-date, as no one needs outdated data because they will not be able to generate significant results on even a few days old data. That is why many corporations have a special department of people who search the web for individuals who can scrape data for them. They have an abundance of resources and would not mind paying a good price to obtain data. Some of the reasons as to why they need data is to conduct market research to generate leads, new product ideas based on consumer preferences, and their brand image on the Internet.

Finding Hungry Clients

Corporations are inclined towards using freelancing platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr to employ freelancers to extract the latest data on their behalf. However, many freelancers prefer doing jobs that can be closed immediately therefore the corporations make fewer announcements. Interested freelancers have to search web scraping jobs that are relatively easy to find.

According to the nature of business, corporations usually employ the services of freelancers every month to scrape data for them. If the freelancer is able to provide accurate data as per the requirement of the corporation, then there is a high probability that the corporation will move towards becoming a regular client of that particular freelancer. They pay handsomely because of the benefit they obtain from analyzing the data.

Web Scraping Process

Step 1: Search freelancing platforms to find a credible corporate representative who is interested in hiring a freelancer to scrape the web for their company.

Step 2: Have a detailed discussion regarding the parameters of their required scraped data, take notes so that nothing is missed.

Step 3: Get hold of a web crawler, pre-coded crawlers are available over the internet. They are very easy to find and tune according to the needs of the client.

Step 4: Deploy the web crawler to search a vast number of publicly available websites to obtain the desired information for the client.

Step 5: After the information is collected, use a good data parser to give the raw extracted data a structured layout that is better readable.

Step 6: Contact the client and inform them that their desired data is now available. Try to provide them quality service so that they become regular clients to detail with.

Step 7: Get paid for your troubles and wait for the client to contact you again when they need the latest data.

Step 8: Repeat the search process to find new clients that are in search of scraped data.

Web scraping is a highly rewarding job, as a freelancer. If a person has two to three regular clients that demand data monthly, you’re looking at a good amount of passive income because, once the web crawler is deployed, it will automatically search the web according to the defined search parameters, giving enough time to focus on other tasks.

Automated searching

Sometimes, corporations have a pre-coded web crawler with them and just want a freelancer that can deploy it to run continuously in the background and maintain the web crawler (if needed). This is another opportunity for aspiring freelancers as this is a very simple task that can also generate a considerable amount of passive income as web crawlers rarely need maintenance and they run continuously in the background.

Conclusion

Apart from doing tasks according to a freelancer’s expertise, grabbing web scraping jobs for data-hungry corporations is a wonderful side hustle as they are able to generate good passive income as web crawlers work in the background and grab data according to the programmed requirements of the user. The extracted raw data then needs to be parsed into a more readable and well-structured format that can be easily understood by users. Even if there are no clients available, running a self-built web crawler to increase your data can also prove beneficial one day.

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Josie Patra
Josie Patra is a veteran writer with 21 years of experience. She comes with multiple degrees in literature, computer applications, multimedia design, and management. She delves into a plethora of niches and offers expert guidance on finances, stock market, budgeting, marketing strategies, and such other domains. Josie has also authored books on management, productivity, and digital marketing strategies.

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