3 Reasons to Consider Freelance Bidding Sites for Freelance Writing
Making Money as a Freelance Writer
For those of us that love writing, the goal beyond being able to write is to make a living at it. Thanks to the Internet, the ways to do that have greatly increased. There are many more opportunities than what you might realize; it is possible to make a decent living as a writer.
One of those ways is through freelance bidding sites. There are many of them out there, but the best known are Elance, oDesk, Guru, and Freelancer.com. Those are the ones I am most familiar with and have an account with. These sites have gotten a bad reputation as being low paying "content mills." The term "content mills" refers to the fact that many clients want large numbers of articles and are not concerned with the quality of the writing. While this does happen on these sites, you will find quality clients that will pay you a decent price.
Freelance bidding sites are not for everyone, but here are three reasons you might want to consider them if you are just beginning your freelance career.
No Experience Required
Elance was one of the sites where I got my first paying work as a freelance writer. While it can be difficult to be successful with the site, it can be a way to begin making an income from your writing. The key to getting jobs as a beginner is creating a great portfolio and bidding on jobs that will accept new writers.
As far as payment goes, I've never accepted a job that only pays $1 for 500 word articles. I've written ones for $5, but those are usually easy and I can complete them in less than half an hour. That ends up being the equivalent to earning $10 an hour. Not great money but about what you would expect for any entry level job.
If earning money as a writer is your goal, this is one way you can make a part-time income. It would be difficult to earn full-time money with these sites, but there are a few that are doing it.
While not all clients are concerned with quality writing, some do know what they want and expect good work. Those are the clients that can help you take your writing to the next level. You can learn a lot about writing and the writing business by working with clients on the freelance bidding sites.
I wrote a post on my blog about what I have learned from Elance. Here are a few of the lessons:
- How to work with clients to create exactly what they want
- How to meet deadlines, many of them short notice
- How to submit a proposal
I've also learned about different kinds of writing. Before doing this kind of work, I had no idea what a landing page was. Now, I've written several of them and can add them to my resume.
It also allows you to try out different kinds of writing to see if you like it. Learn how to write press releases, business plans, SEO articles, blog posts, and many other projects. This doesn't mean you can practice and do a poor job with these clients; it does mean that many of them are willing to provide guidance and instruction to help you learn.
I had a client that I worked with for over six months on one site. Once the project was completed, I finally got up the nerve to ask them if they would write a letter of recommendation for me. They gladly said yes and wrote a glowing reference that I can use to get other work.
Getting recommendations and testimonials will help you get other work later on. Many people want to hire writers that have already done work or have "clips" and these recommendations will show that you have written for clients and have met deadlines.
You also get feedback on these sites from many clients, which you can use to show other potential clients. I have received numerous feedback comments, but I only pursue the letters of recommendation from long-term clients. Both will have value when you look for private clients and will show that you have experience and do quality work.
Climbing the Freelance Writing Ladder
When you want to make money as a freelance writer, you may end up looking at many sources. Freelance bidding sites are definitely not for everyone and are often not a long-term career, but they can be a way to earn money while you begin your career. My other article on bidding sites tells how to get work and what to watch for so that you don't get scammed or waste your time on low jobs.
I've been working on these sites for almost a year and I have made a decent part-time income with them. My goal is to move beyond these sites and work with my own clients, but I have learned a lot from the experience that I will take with me for other work.