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Freelancer: Bidding for Work-The Good and Not So Good

Updated on March 2, 2013

Hello all and welcome to the last Freelancer.

There are new sites popping up all the time allowing freelance writers a way to earn a living doing what they (hopefully) love doing which is writing articles and earning some cold hard cash doing it.

But the one area that I haven't covered yet are the bidding for work sites such as Elance, Odesk and People Per Hour.

These are sites that post jobs from people looking to hire someone to do the writing for them. My experiences with most of these sites have been a mixed bag.

Personally, I haven't enjoyed finding work through theses sources but I'll describe the basic process that you have to go through in order to get work from them.

Let's get past the usual things such as signing up for one of these sites by creating an account for yourself. The first thing to do is search for work using keywords specific to your expertise. In my case I usually searched for anything having to do with writing articles, so keywords such as articles, blogs, ghost writing and even e-books make for easy searches.

Then comes the fun part of the process, which is actually applying for the job. My best advice here is to not used a basic template for applying for work, unless you tailor it for each specific job you apply to.

And this is the part that I hated...trying to decide what is a fair price to bid for the job required. Usually this bid had to take into consideration what the total budget for the work was, and what the highest and lowest bids for the work were at.

I am going to warn you that this is a numbers game, and in order to actually do well in this arena you will have to apply to at least three different jobs per site.

This is where I feel that we (writers) are short changed. I've seen some ridiculous bids on projects that could go for several months and made it seem as if you (again, the writer) were not worth paying top dollar for say a quality article that had to be at least 500 words.

That's not to say that you won't find a decent gig here and there, but expect it to take time to establish yourself (and your rep) on each site to start to get better job offers.

I will say that it's best to begin with Elance.

There are lots of freelancers in different fields who earn a decent living (and I'm being conservative with this statement) working through Elance, and building businesses through the site.

If I rank the three in order, I would say begin the process with Elance, then try Odesk and lastly People Per Hour.

I want to point out that People Per Hour is a UK based platform, and so you'll need to figure out what a "pound" equates to in American Dollars as you bid on work there.

I did get two different jobs through People Per Hour. My experiences with both jobs were...

The first job was an excellent experience, and the second job was pretty sucky due to the client. I will tell you that their client response team were very responsive, but it took me several weeks to get paid for work that the client did not like, but agreed to pay a certain percentage of on the work that was completed and submitted.

I wish all of you the best of luck in your future endeavors in this field, and it's been my pleasure sharing my experiences with all of you.


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