I have finally decided I'm ready to dive into freelancing and am looking for online opportunities. The first one that popped up was Upwork and I'm currently signing up, but thought I'd check and see if anyone here knows anything about them, first. Any info would be appreciated - Thanks!
My personal experience is that I get more and better work by scouting it for myself. Job boards are full of time-wasters and tend to promote a rush to the bottom in terms of pricing, and a lot of scam up-sells. I have got some work from them over the years, but if you count the time-waters and crazies I got stuck with as well... not a good deal overall.
If you are very selective it can work out. But I would suggest targeting clients who pay reasonably, are seeking someone with your specific expertise, and might have ongoing work. Amateur one-off jobs that just require basic writing skills tend to be more trouble than they are worth.
There are a slew of websites out there designated specifically to give beginning freelance writers an idea of where to start. I'm in the same boat as you. I'm started about 3 months ago and I'm finally starting to feel as though I'm getting somewhere. www.masterwritingjobs.com is one website that I joined and they not only have a list of places to submit to, they also have job listings that are posted every day. There is a fee, but I paid it because they do offer a bunch of writing tools as well. I also googled "Websites that pay for new freelance writers" and I was greeted with articles on some good starting points. I spent an entire day writing down different pages to visit and look at submission details and then made an excel document with each website, how much they pay (if listed), how to submit and article, and what kind of topics they look for. You'll find that a lot of them really like for you to have your own website, so if you don't have a blog you should think about starting one. Also, you will find that many places want to see links to some recent published articles, so I would start with facebook and some of those random story pages. I got my first article EVER published about a week ago with the thought catalogue and although they don't pay, not only do I have a link to give possible editors now, it also boosted my confidence like you would NOT believe. Hopefully this helps you.
I know people who earn a good amount on Upwork, but the majority of employers and workers are the cheapest kind who pay $4/hour.
I personally have found the most jobs on classified sites and job sites. I live in Australia so I use Gumtree, Indeed and Seek.
There are many "work from home" sites out there, but it's very hard to find ones that aren't low rates, scammy, require you to pay or train, or are legit.
These days, there are a huge range of jobs you can work from home - some advertised as such, some not.
When I search for freelance jobs, I search 'national' and then try keywords such as these:
Work from home, Remote, Flexible, Writer, Journalist, Editor, Website, Writing, Editing etc
I also search by specific online tools I'm familiar with, to find jobs requiring those skills:
Wordpress, Joomla, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Zendesk, Freshdesk, etc
I use Upwork, and am a top rated provider. Also ranked #1 on the SEO test. I get plenty of invites each day most of which I have to reject. There are quite a few good clients that you find there, writing work (which I did a lot of) as well as other categories. You just need to be able to pick well.
Of course, in the start it's going to be harder as you don't really have a profile filled with 5 star reviews and a 100% client satisfaction rate among other things. This takes time. A month or two if you're going at it full time, and maybe a few months in other cases.
I could easily do it as a full-time job and earn a very good income, but I'm a student and doing my masters in an engineering discipline. But one day I may just do this full time for a few months.
That is not exactly what you have said lobobrandon, It is quite difficult to get the work there in Upwork. There are a lot of competitions, and all 5-star people jumped for bidding once any work published. Also, the pricing for most of the articles is far less than the real world. It is good that you have earned 5-star reviews and a 100% client satisfaction, that is giving so much work there. For a beginner it is really tough nut to crack.
I have worked with upwork in the past and never had a problem. The site runs pretty well (indeed, like someone else has mentioned, if you are selective). It's worth giving it a try!
Unless you are an expert on something that very few people can do, like translate articles from English to Swahili, you're wasting your time. I am a Freelancer there and it is impossible to land a decent job since any good offer gets flooded by 100 people willing to charge $1 per hour.
Clients do not always pick those you know. If you provide quality and charge based on your work a decent rate you would get the job. It all depends on how you write the proposal.
Also before you apply you should check out the clients past, what were his/her previous hourly rates and if they are all low, don't bother applying.
I hired someone from Upwork last year but now I hire the same person directly when I need it due to the quality of the work.
What topics do you write about?
I have a colleague who found a client on Upwork. He had an account on oDesk before it was merged to Elance and became Upwork (I think). The project is for web development and lasted for more than a year. He works together with a group. It's hard to get lucky on your own, though.
I came to Upwork from Elance, which I liked quite a bit. I'm also a top rated provider with a 100% rating, mainly because of Elance. I don't like Upwork quite as well, so I haven't been bidding on jobs. Strangely though, the jobs come to me. Most of them I reject, especially the low paying ones. The one I have now I really like. It's right down my alley, pays 10¢ per word, and is ongoing. I've written 10 articles for them already and will be getting a monthly blog. The key is to choose your jobs carefully, have several articles you can show as examples of your work, and be respectful and honest to those who ask you to bid. Once you get the bid, communicate well and submit your articles before the deadline, whenever possible. Good luck.
I have been working for Upwork for quite some time, back from the time it was Elance. People have hired me to produce both content and videos. It's important to have your credentials all up and samples of your work as many clients look for proof.
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