Freelance web scraping is one of the most rewarding jobs for web scraping developers. Unlike traditionally-employed scrapers, freelancers get to work at their own pace. They also decide their hourly rates, which clients to take on, and what services they’ll offer.
Table of Contents
Read on to learn more about web scraping and why you should become a web scraping freelancer. We’ll also cover how you can become a freelancer, the types of freelance web scraping services you can offer, and how Scraping Robot can make freelance web scraping even easier for you. You can use the table of contents to navigate to the different sections.
What Is Freelance Web Scraping?
Web scraping refers to the process of efficiently extracting data from websites.
Although web scraping can be done manually by copying and pasting information from websites, manual scraping can be tedious, inaccurate, and very time-consuming. Most companies hire professional freelance web scrapers to scrape their data.
Freelance web scrapers can work on their own schedule. Unlike traditional web scrapers, who work for companies and are paid monthly or biweekly salaries, freelance web scrapers find clients on their own. Once they’ve signed onto a project, they use automated web scraping bots — also known as web scrapers — to extract and organize information into spreadsheets or databases for analysis and processing.
Web scraping bots extract information by interacting with a source webpage’s HTML elements. Short for hypertext markup language, HTML is used by web developers to create, edit, and implement webpage functions and features. In other words, HTML contains all of the information about a source website’s content — including text, images, formatting, and videos.
Why You Should Become a Web Scraping Freelance Developer
The demand for freelance web scraping developers is now higher than ever!
This is because data is the lifeblood of the modern economy. Companies need professional web scrapers to gather, organize, and analyze massive amounts of data about their industry, competitors, and customers to stay ahead of the curve. Companies can use this information to make future-proof investments and decisions. They can also use the scraped data to anticipate potential opportunities and problems and get deeper insights into customer preferences and market trends.
How To Become a Web Scraping Freelance Programmer
With so many free tutorials and courses on the web, becoming a freelance web scraping developer is easier than ever.
Here’s how you can get started:
1. Learn at least two programming languages.
First, you need to learn how to code in Python and Ruby. A thorough understanding of these two languages will help you use web scrapers for your client.
You also need to know how to use BeautifulSoup. BeautifulSoup is a Python library for pulling data from XML and HTML files. It works with your favorite parser to help you navigate, search, and modify the parse tree, saving you hours or even days of work.
Here are some other programming languages you can use to scrape websites:
- Node.js: This language is particularly effective at scraping dynamic websites.
- C++: C++ makes it incredibly easy to scrape for something specific. However, setting up a web scraping tool with C++ can be pretty expensive.
Before scraping a website, you need to inspect the website’s HTML markup to analyze which elements to pull. This will give you a better understanding of how tags and attributes work in scraping.
You should also learn CSS. Short for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS describes how HTML elements are shown on web pages. Web scraping bots typically use CSS selectors to locate HTML elements on source websites, so you need to know CSS to select the HTML elements you want to extract.
- Custom recommendations
- Format changes depending on visitors’ screen size
- Dynamic visual displays and animation
- Social media integration
3. Learn how to fetch and parse robots.txt files.
Next, you need to learn how to fetch and parse robots.txt files.
Every site has a robots.txt file that contains various directives that tell bots what they can and can’t view. It’s part of internet etiquette to acknowledge robots.txt files, so be sure to follow the rules set out in all of your source sites’ robots.txt files.
4. Get a web scraping bot.
Now that you have the knowledge and tools to start scraping, you need a web scraping bot.
Although it’s possible to build your own web scraping bot from scratch, it requires a lot of time, energy, and expertise that you may not have. As such, it’s best to use pre-made web scraper tools like Scraping Robot. Powerful, intuitive, and above all, free, Scraping Robot lets you scrape directly from web pages without having to code or download anything.
Scraping Robot also offers the following:
- 24/7/365 customer support
- Frequent module updates and improvements
- The ability to store your scrapes for seven days
Freelance Web Scraping Jobs
Freelance web scrapers can provide various services to companies, including price monitoring, sentiment analysis, and more. Here are the most popular web scraping freelance jobs that you can offer:
Price monitoring for eCommerce stores involves tracking competitors’ prices and comparing their prices to your employers’. It gives your employers the ability to respond to their competitors’ fluctuating prices to come out on top.
For example, let’s say that your employer sells gaming headphones. You can determine whether your employer charges reasonable prices for comparable products by scraping their competitors. Suppose 70% of your employer’s competitors sell headphones for $105 during Spring Break, and your employer charges $120 for the same or similar product at the same time. Your employer needs to re-price their supply to retain customers.
Your employer should also follow their competitors’ fluctuations in pricing to retain customers. If most of their competitors are charging $140 for the same headset a week after Spring Break, your employer should follow suit to keep selling a consistent volume of headphones.
Sentiment analysis involves collecting and analyzing text such as reviews and social media posts to identify customers’ or leads’ emotions. This can help a wide range of businesses, particularly retail and eCommerce stores, identify how their customers and leads perceive their brand, marketing campaigns, and products.
For instance, let’s say you are conducting sentiment analysis for a streetwear eCommerce company. By scraping your employer’s social media accounts, news headlines, and Google reviews, you can pinpoint their audience’s thoughts on their offerings, brand, and marketing campaigns. Your employer can then use this information to tailor their brand, products, and marketing campaigns to their audience’s needs.
Scraping “Big Data”
Several industries, such as real estate and investment, require analyzing ” big data” to stay on top of their competitors. Big data refers to data sets that are so varied and large that traditional databases can’t capture, manage, or process them. Typical examples include real estate listings, TikTok content, and product information on Amazon. There’s also a lot of big data created in real-time, such as stock prices on Yahoo Finance and Google Finance.
Because it’s impossible for people to scrape big data from multiple sources manually, these companies need professional freelance web scrapers to harness the information contained in these huge datasets. By pulling big data from competitors with your automated web scraper, you can help these companies identify:
- Customer behavior
- Industry trends
- Products and services they should invest in
If you have the right skillset and experience, you can also use predictive analysis to predict how consumers will behave and how future trends in your client’s industry will affect sales. Predictive analysis is an advanced data analytics technique that analyzes historical data to predict future outcomes. It’s typically done by mining data from databases and systems such as marketing automation stacks, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Start Freelance Web Scraping With Scraping Robot
Picking the right web scraper for freelance web scraping work can be difficult, especially if you’re new to web scraping. Most web scrapers are hard to use, overpriced, and have confusing user interfaces.
That’s where Scraping Robot comes in. Powerful, sleek, and easy-to-use, Scraping Robot empowers you to perform a broad range of client tasks, including price monitoring, sentiment analysis, and big data analytics. Our tool also has a simple pricing structure that works for everyone. Unlike most scraping software companies, we don’t have subscriptions or hidden fees. Instead, we have one flat rate per scrape, which can be as low as $0.00045 per scrape, depending on the tier you choose.
Interested in using Scraping Robot for freelance web scraping projects? Sign up today to receive 5,000 free scrapes per month.
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