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Writing for Money on Guru

Updated on June 1, 2016
Ronna Pennington profile image

Ronna Pennington is a newspaper editor, journalist and freelance ghostwriter and adjunct instructor.

This is the view once you click on the "Freelancer" tab.
This is the view once you click on the "Freelancer" tab. | Source

Starting Your Freelance Career on

I've been on HubPages a short time and have been thrilled to find several articles about freelance writing. Those articles have given me new ideas, new prospects, and new encouragement. I hope to provide the same by telling you about my experience with

Guru is a website in which writers can bid on posted projects. There are several levels of membership, including FREE! Simply upload your profile and start bidding on projects. Payment is secure through Paypal (Guru withholds a fee which varies depending on your level of membership).

I first joined as a free member several years ago and happened to get a small job that paid $25. I got less than that because of the fee withheld. Regardless, I was thrilled. That client was happy with my work and left positive feedback for me. Feedback and a good profile are important.

My husband encouraged me to buy an annual membership. It paid for itself in the first month through one short term writing job. While the bulk of my writing work today does not come through Guru, I have retained most of the clients I met there on different projects. Guru is a good investment of time, even if you don't buy a membership

Setting Up Your Guru Account

When you visit, you will see that you can register either as a freelancer or an employer. Choose freelancer. The website walks you easily through each step. Don't use cutesy names. You'll see that some others do, but most of the Guru employers appreciate seeing a real name.

Consider also uploading a photo of you with your profile. If you are concerned about privacy, edit your pic to crop your eyes or a portion of your face to show. Adding a personal photo also gives the employer a chance to "meet" you -- to put a face with the Guru user name.

Tailoring Your Guru Profile

Your profile includes your resume, but don't worry if it does not already show professional writing experience. Whatever you do, don't claim to have experience that you really don't have. If you are new to writing, highlight other experience that employers might have you write about. Play up the company policies you have helped write, the church bulletin you voluntarily design, or the press release that you wrote for a club in which you are a member. It all counts!

In the meantime, get published online. HubPages is a great place to start because you can write about what you know. In no time, you'll have developed quite a portfolio of writing samples. Don't forget to update your Guru profile to show the links of your writing samples!

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Jobs You Can Expect to Find on Guru

There are a variety of jobs posted on Guru and not all are for writing. As a matter of fact, there are many categories of freelance work including graphic design, computer coding, translation, and editing.

Within the writing category, you will find all sorts of job posts. If you are new and not opposed to working for cheap just to get experience, you can find those jobs. Some job posts specifically say they will only pay $3 for an article of 400 words. Good paying jobs are there, too, though. Some are even long-term arrangements.

When you find a job you want to bid on, simply click the "Bid" button and follow the directions. You'll be given an area in which to explain your interest in the project, your relevant experience, and why you're the best writer for the job.

Getting More from Guru

More potential employers began contacting me once I finally made my own website. It's far from perfect and I tend to change it periodically, but it gave me a web presence as a professional writer. I use a program called WebStudio because it's super easy!

Right now, my website is geared toward SEO (search engine optimization) writing. At the time, that's what I was doing a lot of and what I enjoy. I'll be changing my website again soon to fit my changing interests.

If you don't want to make your own website, start a free blog. You can likewise use it to tell a little more about yourself and your writing work.

Getting Paid on Guru

Guru pays securely through Paypal. They even offer an escrow type payment opportunity where the employer can pay up front and the money is held until you finish the work.

The one problem I've had on Guru was an employer in another country who simply did not pay. I reported him to the company and shrugged off the loss. It was only $25. However, I also decided only to take jobs from people located in my country.

I was nervous at first about setting up a Paypal account. I set up a separate bank account specifically for receiving payments. It's worked out great, and allows me to keep my earnings separate from my regular bank account.

Where Do You Write?

Where do you find most of your freelance writing jobs?

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    • Guy Foxe profile image

      Guy Foxe 5 years ago from SF Bay Area

      Hi Victoria,

      Apologies for the shameful self promotion, but I just wrote a hub with some tips about getting jobs on Elance that you might find useful:

      Once you get a few jobs under your belt it gets easier (I assume Guru is the same). I'm still to try Guru, but can't seem to get enough of a break from writing projects to really get going with it. Good luck!

    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Hello, fellow Arkansan! From what I gather, Guru is a lot like Elance. I've never been able to get a job on Elance, though. Guru has been best for me. If you've had results on Elance, keep applying. It wouldn't hurt to give Guru a try, too. You may want to invest the twenty-something bucks in a one month membership so you can bid on more projects. Otherwise, the free membership is just fine. Good luck and keep in touch :D

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Hi, Ronna! I'm from Arkansas, too! I have met a few other Arkansans on here. Very cool!

      Is Guru kind of like Elance? I got one $25 job on Elance with great feedback, and I still apply now and then for other jobs. So far no luck. It's frustrating getting started on a site! Should I just keep trying?

      I may check out Guru, too. Thanks for this article!

    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Thank you, eHealer. I hope you find some work there!

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks Ronna, I'm going to check out Guru in the AM. Very well written hub with great information. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.

    • AustralianNappies profile image

      AustralianNappies 5 years ago from Australia

      Very useful information for Hubbers! Thank you.

    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Thanks, Guy. I hope you find Guru helpful.

    • Guy Foxe profile image

      Guy Foxe 5 years ago from SF Bay Area

      Really liked the hub. I have heard of Guru but though it was more for IT types and not so good for writers. I will definitely have to check it out and see how it compares to Elance.

    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Thanks, Amy11692. I hope it helps.

    • amy11692 profile image

      amy11692 5 years ago

      A great hub! Definitely going to be useful.

    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Thank you, SidKemp. I'm glad you stopped by! Good luck with your freelancing!

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 5 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks, Ronna. This is a really useful hub. I'm focusing on HubPages right now, but studying other places to write and find writing work online. Now, I know what I need to know to try out Thanks for giving me what I needed. Voted useful, interesting, and UP!

    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas

      I've never gotten any results from Elance. It is frustrating to see those low paying offers, isn't it? There are some of those on Guru, too, but more that are not.

    • pythian2 profile image

      pythian2 5 years ago from UK

      I'll check it out. I have used Elance in the past, but the supply side re demand especially from the Indian sub continent is overwhelming. This has driven down the price substantially so it's not really profitable anymore.

    • profile image

      jenp123 5 years ago

      Thanks for this hub, Ronna! I've never heard of Guru before, but I'm always looking for new sites to write for. It sounds like, aside from the experience with the client from another country, you've have good experiences. I will have to check it out!