I have been browsing many of the articles rating and comparing sites like Elance and oDesk [i know they are merging], and read about many of the likes, and dislikes of each. What i'd love to find out, and share with the rest of the Hub community, is WHAT WOULD YOU IDEALLY LIKE TO SEE IN A FREELANCE SITE? Why is there such a variety? If there were truly great sites, wouldn't there be fewer of them?
Please give your comments about what you feel even the best freelance portals are missing or overlooking [besides asking your opinion]. Then i'd like you to share which sites you like the most and why. I will compile the results and share with the community. Perhaps with a focused effort we can "persuade" such sets to add/remove features, so it works better for all of us!
I would like to make $22 over a period of 1 hour, not 1 year.
I would like everyone to think everything I write is quite possibly the most amazing thing they've ever read.
I would like room service and a german shepherd puppy... I'm not sure how the site would accomplish this, or why, but if I get famous enough, I will demand it.
I would like a site that don't make you wade through lots of material only of interest to people in the third world willing to work for pennies. A site that allows you to rapidly find semi-pro and pro rate jobs based on your particular skills and qualifications.
german shepard puppies...check
ego inflation...check ;]
do you mind being "rated?" right now searches are not "weighted" on your proficiency or skill or past work. but of course this opens up a whole new can of worms...how should people be rated...or weighted for that matter?
Most of them fold in rating by kicking non-completers and offer the good deals only to those who have earned a certain status.
Any rating that exists should be bi-directional to have the same effect on fraudulent and unreasonable employers.
I wish there was a way to filter those who only want to hire foreigners who will work for slave wages. I get tired of wading through tons of crap when looking for new clients. With Elance and 0desk merging I am not feeling very confident at all anymore with Elance. I used to get really good clients through them, but I think now I'm going to take the approach of branching out on my own and contacting businesses I'd like to write for directly. I have a new domain I am developing that features the actual niche I write for. I have plenty of references and numerous samples and clips now.
I specialize in niche writing - so job sites that would list jobs by particular niches could be nice. Also a site that would not cater to everyone around the world, but focus on native English speakers would be nice as well. I know that sounds discriminatory, but let's be honest, it's a real time waster to compete with those $1.00 for 500 word articles people. I am a skilled professional who will not work for peanuts.
I have to believe there are companies (and I know there are) who are willing to pay a decent rate for high quality. I would like to see more sites devoted to high quality writers for high quality clients. Perhaps a site for already well established professionals with excellent references and a strong portfolio. Weed out the newbies from those of us who have been at this for awhile. (sorry if that sounds condescending not my intention).
The fact of the matter is there are writers of all skill levels. I am much more capable and worth much more than I was 5 or 10 years ago. It would be nice to have a freelancing site for professionals in all fields who have a certain level of experience.
I would, but I'm not much of a dog person. I prefer cats, and I have plenty
Now if they would also send free bags of cat food and change the kitty litter pans for me that would be a definite bonus. I don't think I'll ever be famous enough to have someone do that for me though unfortunately.
crazy cat lady...check ;]
seriously, i like your concept of writer "levels" would anyone choose the "lower" levels if offered...or doe level 1 writers go for a minimum of $x and level 3 writers bill at $x/2, etc.? sometimes i like bidding low on interesting projects or people [employers] id "like." in other words, if they seem to "get it" or seem to be doing things that look promising and therefore potentially more work in the future. can't figure out how to reconcile that though...
I'd really like to see the websites a bit more organized. I know some of them can be a real clutter even if their jobs are categorized.
Also I want the pay to increase -- $5 for proofreading and editing 30 word documents is not enough, sorry.
Which site offers $5 for proofreading 30 word article? I'll sign up immediately!!!
I guess you meant 300 words, or is it 3000?
Whoops, I meant 30 documents, not 30 word.
But yeah if anyone knows websites that pay that much inform me haha.
On a serious note some can't be trusted at all. I once did a job on Freelancer and they didn't pay me even though I did everything right. I complained and they said there was nothing I could do.
Another time, on my birthday would you believe, I proofread and edited 15 documents and the person who employed me said he didn't need my help anymore and just cut contact. Wasted precious hours of my time.
Well most of these sites have milestone payments, so you do a bit of work, and they give you a bit of money, so the risk isn't total.
The other thing that is really annoying is people who want "samples", On the one hand, given the quality of the $1 for 500 words writers, it's hardly surprising that somebody might want a sample. On the other hand, you can put together the whole project from the samples for free.
I have actually gotten some reasonable work on freelancer, so it is not all bad, but having to wade throughout all the slave wage, terribly written projects, to find the few that are ok is truly soul destroying.
guys, this is great! are there any freelance sites you like? even a little bit?
informal poll: i'm worried about the elance odesk merger [if it actually happens], are you?
Lurking as well. I'm afraid I agree with the trend in thought here that our profession is being undercut in a scary way.
I'll take the room service - not interested in the puppy. Will trade it for a round trip ticket to somewhere wonderful.
Some comparisons in fees - more than 20 years ago, freelancers who wrote features for Texas Highways Magazine were paid $1.00 for every three WORDS - so a 900-word piece garnered $300. Lesser-known, smaller magazines (even longer ago than 20 years) paid $75-$125 for features.
Newspapers (major dailies) paid maybe $25 to $30 for really short (200-400 word) filler pieces, and much more for longer ones. This was more than two decades ago. Closer to three, actually.
More recently, a local, smaller magazine in my area paid $125-$150 for smaller features (800-1200 words), and $400 for cover pieces.
Something is wrong when 'freelance sites' are recruiting writers for $1-$5 a shot. And something is even more wrong when good writers, fluent in English, are working for that amount.
For what it's worth (being honest here), I joined HP nearly two years ago, when they widely advertised the 'success stories' of people who were (in the site's words) 'averaging' many hundreds and even thousands a month. Although I did question how someone who had been on the site three years, and earned a total of, say, $18,000, could be 'averaging' $2,000 three years later (that's a made-up example), I checked out the examples and figured hey, I'm prolific & I write well. Go for it.
Sadly, the earnings examples did not hold up - I'm sure there may still be some writers earning healthy amounts (some were even touted as supporting themselves through HP). But Panda, etc., changed that. I do not blame HP for Panda, but I sometimes winder if they could have been more realistic with the climate post-Panda when publishing the success stories.
This is a bit off-topic from the OP, but somewhat related. We live in a different environment now, and I am not sure it's reached a point of clarification for either user-generated sites or freelance sites. The markets are different now.
Excuse any errors - writing this via mobile & have to go teach a class now.
Those success stories should have been removed long before they were. The top person on that list (earning over $3,000 a month before Panda in February, 2011) posted on the Forum last July that she barely makes $300 a month now. And that's with over 400 Hubs. She does not write new Hubs now and is not active on the site.
I do wish HP would post a list of the top ten earners on the site. It wouldn't have to name names – just the dollar amount and approximate number of Hubs. It would provide an incentive and realistic expectations for income.
WF - I agree that it would be helpful as well as motivating to have some global data. I like your idea of the dollar figures for the top 10 earners. Along with that, some basic information such as length of time on the site, total (or approximate - to help retain privacy) number of hubs and types of hubs generating revenue would be useful. For one thing, if, for example, poetry or fiction are not big earners, new writers who hope to publish these things to create a source of income will know the odds.
Those who really want to make a go of it here would have some basic idea of the current financial atmosphere and the level of work needed to reach a goal. That info should come with clarification, though, that some writers earned their higher rankings in Google over a long period of time.
You are right; the success stories should have been removed long before they were taken down. I'd go so far as to suggest they should never have been published to begin with - I'm saying this only after learning the hard way that there had been a Panda attack before the success stories were printed that had dramatically changed things for user-generated content sites. No site affected by Panda should have posted those types of enticement stories.
Prior to being on HP, I didn't pay attention to how much control Google had, or those ups and downs. And many writers who are new to the site are in the same naive position. I am responsible for taking things at face value and not researching in some manner, and I learned from it. But the site (as would apply to all such sites) is responsible for ensuring that all information and data put out to potential writers is disclosed in reasonable, objective and forthright ways, rather than optimistically spun as recruitment tools.
I recall the top earner you mentioned - it was a writer who was greatly respected and admired here (and is still admired). I was very saddened at what Panda did to that person's business and career. As you mentioned, I've also noticed the inactivity.
At any rate, it would be very helpful to know where things really stand. I think it is a fair request to make.
Hmmm. - thinking of what it should say. Watch for a new thread.
where's the new thread? very interested...will it include your mexican recipe?
Done. Let me know what you think. Also, excuse typos - not able to wear my contacts just now (accidentally got jalapeño juice in my eye), and I'm pecking things out on an iPad.
Yes, lol indeed. I'd cut some up for a dish I was making washed my hands well (I thought), washed them again, and hours later tried to rinse off a lens that had a speck in it. Excruciating.
I'd definitely like to see them designate job postings according to whether or not you have a degree. No offense, but a foreigner with a master's in English will likely write better than a native English speaker with a HS diploma. Sorry, but it's true. I speak as someone who's taught both.
Beth37, before you say it, I don't want a puppy. Lindemann is allergic to dogs. Actually, if a puppy chased him around just a little, he might take off some of that Christmas weight... Mark that as a "maybe" for the puppy.
When I went to Africa my interpreter was a young 16 year old beautiful girl. We were waiting for the rest of our group and I told her we "had ten minutes left." She looked at me funny and asked me to repeat myself so I did. Finally my meaning dawned on her and in her lovely accent she said, "Oh, you mean we have 10 minutes remaining." lol I loved that she schooled me in my own language.
I edit for an online content site and have seen people with master's degrees in English, including with a specialty in writing, who are horrible writers -- some who haven't gotten the basics of grammar and sentence construction. A master's degree doesn't guarantee competency in writing.
Given that they used to do this, and now don't, I assume it would actually be a disincentive.
Do you think they have enough staff for such a project? It would be nice.
Brake12 - much of it could be done by running a few reports on their computers. I'm guessing they already have quite a bit of the data and use it internally. I just think sharing those things would give all writers some goals to consider.
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